I’ve got to stop doing this: opening Twitter each morning and reading what I find there. It makes my stomach sick with a sense of embodied despair. And yet I can’t bring myself to join the millions who look away, cushioning my nest with cosy denial, running for dear life from the smears that inevitably accompany speaking out.

We know that story; its ending is not happy.

And be assured, that narrative path is muddy but well trod. A short time ago, I joined an organisation called the UK-Palestine Mental Health Network. I’m only a trainee, but my interests expand beyond PTSD to embrace the impact of daily trauma, the routine humiliations of occupation, the children tear-gassed on their way to school, the farmers watching impotently as their centuries-old olive trees are uprooted by Israeli settlers.

Googling a member of the network one day, I came across a letter from a psychotherapist who denounced it with chilling contempt as a ‘grubby little pressure group.’ So you see, we are not allowed even to go there. Just as the IDF routinely attack Palestinian ambulances, we here are not allowed to tend the Palestinian sick and wounded. We are routinely invited to imagine Israeli fear; Palestinian suffering must be erased.

Today there’s this piece from Amira Hass in Haaretz. It’s another scorcher. I’m pasting an excerpt below (and hope I’m not violating copyright by doing so). I’ll also include a link although I only get through sometimes. Twitter lets me access Haaretz content; with other links I often hit a paywall.

It goes like this:

Palestinians Are Fighting for Their Lives; Israel Is Fighting for the Occupation

The war did not start last Thursday, it does not start with the Jewish victims and does not end when no Jews are murdered. The Palestinians are fighting for their life, in the full sense of the word. We Israeli Jews are fighting for our privilege as a nation of masters, in the full ugliness of the term…

Young Palestinians do not go out to murder Jews because they are Jews, but because we are their occupiers, their torturers, their jailers, the thieves of their land and water, their exilers, the demolishers of their homes, the blockers of their horizon. Young Palestinians, vengeful and desperate, are willing to lose their lives and cause their families great pain because the enemy they face proves every day that its malice has no limits.

Advertisements