Thursday, February 8, 2024

A Room of My Own: Ghastly Shade of Red Tanka

Against the Drowning Noise of Other Words, XV: "Gaza's night sky"
written in response to Salon, Commentary, Nov. 15, 2023: "Good times for the military-industrial complex": American arms makers cashing in on conflict: But is it truly the arsenal of democracy?

Gaza's night sky
a ghastly shade of red ...
at the screen's bottom
the news ticker announces
Raytheon stock soars

FYI: The Raytheon Company was a major U.S. defense contractor, and it supplies the Israeli government with a wide variety of weapons, including various missiles and bombs

And this tanka could be read as a sequel to the following one:

This Brave New World, CX

pasted over Occupier
pasted over Kidnapped
above the photo of a man ...
this battle for perfect victims

AddedAgainst the Drowning Noise of Other Words, XVI: "mound of stones"

a mound of stones
near the entrance to Re'im
clicking of cameras 

FYI: [Israeli Oldest and Most Progressive Newspaper]Haaretz, Jan. 25: On Your Right, a Massacre Site: October 7 Atrocity Tourists Are Flocking to Southern Israel: Alongside the solidarity and remembrance, some fear that Gaza border communities will become museums, that memorialization will cover up reminders of the massacres, and that sites will be grotesquely commercialized.

...many in the military and the government encourage continued tours for soldiers, "Journalists, Foreign Politicians, and Influencers of various kinds." "There is a difference between seeing it on TV and physically being there on the ground and seeing it with your own eyes," says a senior official involved in managing the military's communications with the kibbutzim. "But I understand the voices in the kibbutzim saying that they don't want to live in a Holocaust museum."

And within the Jewish faith, it is customary to place a small stone on the grave as a sign to others that someone has visited the grave.

Added: Against the Drowning Noise of Other Words, XVII: "animal feed"

at the border
raging waves of aid protests...
a circle of children
nibbling pita bread
baked from animal feed

FYI: Associated Press, Feb. 7: "More than half a million of Gaza's population is facing catastrophic hunger conditions, report finds"

Israeli Newspaper, Haaretz, Feb. 8: When Pita Made of Animal Feed Is Your Best-case Scenario 

Haaretz, Feb. 8: Blinken Cancels Gaza Crossing Visit After Israel Doesn't Commit to Stopping Aid Protests: The U.S. Secretary of State was supposed to evaluate the passage of aid trucks from Israel to Gaza firsthand, but the visit was cancelled due to fear that protesters would be present, stopping aid trucks from entering Gaza

And Reuters, Feb. 9: Almost 10% of Gaza's under-fives now acutely malnourished,  according to initial U.N. data from arm measurements that show physical wasting.

Added: Against the Drowning Noise of Other Words, XVIII: "Rafah"

attacks on Rafah ...
will the sound of bombings 
echo, echoing
in the ears of the World
thousands of miles away

FYI: CNN, Feb. 12: Israeli airstrikes kill more than 100 in Rafah as international alarm mounts over anticipated ground offensive.

More than 1.3 million people — more than half of Gaza’s population — are seeking refuge in Rafah (an area of around 171 square kilometres no longer a city but a refugee camp on the brink of catastrophe), with the majority of people displaced from other parts of the besieged enclave crammed into a sprawling tent city.

And Associated Press, Feb. 13Israeli forces "rescue 2 hostages" in Dramatic Gaza raid that "killed at least 67 Palestinians"

The overnight bombardment brought devastation in Rafah, which is packed with some 1.4 million people, most of whom fled their homes elsewhere in Gaza to escape fighting.

Added: Against the Drowning Noise of Other Words, XIX: "missile attacks"
a sequel to XVIII: "Rafah"

only Israeli deaths count the missile attacks

FYI: This haiku was inspired by Haaretz, Opinion, Feb. 14: "With the 'Perfect' Hostage Rescue Operation, Israel's Dehumanization of Palestinians in Gaza Reached a New Low"
written by Gideon Levy, self-identified patriot, journalist and top-prize winner for his articles on human rights in the Israeli-occupied territories, criticizing what he sees as "Israeli society's moral blindness to the effects of its acts of war and occupation."

The fact that at least 74 Palestinians, including women and children, were killed during the operation was hardly mentioned in Israel. ...Two very sympathetic Israeli-Argentinians were released and all the rest doesn't matter.

The images I saw from the hospitals in Rafah on the day of the rescue were among the most horrific I have seen in this war. Children ripped to shreds, convulsing, looking helplessly upon their deaths. The horror. There is no need to go into the moral dilemma of whether the release of two hostages justifies the deaths of 74 people – that question is superfluous in such a cruel war – in order to point to Israel's complete disregard for collateral deaths. On the day of the operation, Israel killed 133 people across Gaza, most of them, as is the norm in this war, innocent civilians, among them many children.

We were all happy that they were freed, and the operation in itself was moral and fully justified. But the disregard for the deaths of dozens of people as if they were not human is an outrage.

The disgraceful lack of coverage of Gaza's suffering by most of the Israeli media will be eternally remembered in disgrace, at least I hope so. As a result, Palestinians are seen by most Israelis as non-human and even non-animal.In Israel, the more than 28,000 Gazan fatalities are considered a mere number, nothing more. The uprooting and displacement of millions of people moved from place to place as if they were a flock of sheep and the unbelievable, brazen portrayal of this as a "humanitarian measure" has dehumanized Gazans even further. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu...expressed this dehumanization in a particularly picturesque way when he compared Israel's war against Hamas to a glass cup that we had already broken; now, he said, the fragments remain and we are treading on them until nothing remains.

Netanyahu was speaking about Hamas, but after all, everyone knows that Gaza is Hamas. We broke Gaza's glass, now we tread on its fragments until they turn into grains of sand, air, nothing – human dust, sub-human dust.


swirl ... then stop
day after day after day
as Chinese New Year nears

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