Friday, January 23, 2009

Travails of a legless man filmed in fog of war



Sometimes it seems like there must be a parallel universe out there beyond the haze of white phosphorus and the fog of war. This message arrived today from a respected academic friend in West Jerusalem. It offers a window into his careening world view. There's no way of checking the veracity of this incident while IDF soldiers are forbidden to speak on the record to the press, but Dr Shlomo offers a guest blog about an exceptional battleground incident he says was filmed last week inside the Gaza Strip.(Did anyone see this on Israeli television? Is it a documentary or a fantasy/agitprop? Help us out here! ) After the sabbath, I hope he will be willing to provide a link to the documentary film he cites. As the IDF prepares its case against war crimes charges, it's interesting to contemplate these remarkable actions by Israeli troops:

A week ago, Shabbat and war were intertwined, ...and now...the war of devastating sounds and the destruction of people and places has given way to a battle of images...and ordinary people are still suffering...on both sides.

A French journalist was in Gaza before and during the war and while the war raged she created a documentary film...ordinary people and 'freedom fighters"...as the former attempted to protect life, limb, psyche and soul within an enclosed area from which there was no retreat...no salvation...from the so-called 'enemy Zionists' nor from the modern Salach din committed to spreading their faith through terror.
And in this film a scene which has been with me since Wed. night...a young Palestinian man...both legs amputated...describing over and over...that the defenders of the Hamas "faith" had come to his home ..and machine-gunned his legs...six bullets...both legs...were about to shoot and kill him when ... the Israelis appeared...an Israeli soldier picked up a board...The Gazan was sure the soldier was going to kill him... knock him dead...the soldier created a splint ...stopped the bleeding...no description of who did the amputating...nor where...questions...words...images.
And he kept on saying in Arabic till his voice cracked and the tears overcame him and he hid his face with his hands..."The Palestinians were going to kill me...the Israelis saved my life"...on and on...a close up of his wife...sitting near by.... hiding her face...crying...his two children looking bewildered...at the camera...at the French journalist...and hours after this documentary film---IMAGES and SOUNDS...was shown on Israeli TV Hamas returned and tortured him...took him away...where to?...no words to explain...and last night's news...more words...altho' the Israeli army had left Gaza, soldiers and doctors were able to secret him out of Gaza into Israel...to treat him...a Ludlum-like tale...the border check points are only opening today...did the Israelis use the tunnels created by Hamas to smuggle weapons and kidnap Israeli soldiers and to transport terror...as well as to smuggle drugs. His family was not "saved". Are they safe? What does safe mean during these promised times of "change"?

A narrative.of a single human being...not a THEM...within worlds of CHAOS...the 5 letters of chaos unable to express its smell...its sound...its touch...its sites/sights...its volume...its overbearing colors...
Chaos and uncertainty in Gaza...and in Israel...as promises are made by Saudia and Qatar to rebuild the destroyed. To rebuild what? An Abu Dubai-like paradise in lieu of the refugee camps of the most density populated place-enclosure in the world... "home" for a non-nation of human beings?

And the trucks filled with humanitarian efforts and products ar emptied by Hamas in Hamasland before they reach a population in need...so many, many needs. A new definition for "populations-at-risk"...not AT... but within...under...encased by...a new challenge for the UN as it defines what it avoids...images which "impotize"...words...phrases...accusations...reasons announced and renounced in a new declared world of expectations for change...CHANGES...CHANGES...

Hours after a new president is sworn in in the USA a second swearing in...in order to personally note where faithfully is to be stated...at the beginning...at the end...is it a process...an outcome...just a word...a behavior...a lifestyle...so many WORDS...so many options.
And here in Israeli the war of havoc gives way to the battles of political faiths. The elections are less than 3 weeks away. The three weeks of temporary 'unitedness' gives way to promises of deeds...which are not likely to be met...and to playing on people's fears. Voting for Kadima and Labor will bring one into the range of missiles and rockets...voting for Likud will bring protection...and if organized crime ran in the elections they would also bring 'protection'


A week of words...of promises...of so many images... I wish you a Sabbath of rest to experience the joys that DO exist within all of us as well as around us...to share BEING with others...to make the opportunities to do something you have not done before...and in this process to create an image that will fill your soul and be with you whenever you call upon it....a Shabbat of and for the soul and for less violating of others...who ever they are.

Shabbat shalom.

Shlomo

1 comment:

Dimona Dan said...

Apparently French television apologized for running an old amatuer film clip shot in 2005 to illustrate a report on the current Gaza conflict.
They are very prone to mistakes, so don't let yourself be emotionally manipulated by French docos, Shlomo.