We saw Wael Al Dahdouh, Al Jazeera's Gaza bureau chief, say goodbye to his family again. He always looks at us through the screen, conveying to us his pain and tears as he bids farewell to his son Hamza, while those around him are trying to wrap up the moment of farewell, as happens in similar situations.
The screen conveys to us farewell and the physical end it brings, as well as the fleeting feeling of the here and now, and the new beginnings and return to work it brings, as well as the face of inner bleeding. pain. In reality and in front of the camera, it is impossible to scream and cry for long periods of time (as is appropriate for the dead), nor to hold space. Especially grief over death.
Nothing but pain and loss
Al-Dahdouh expressed part of the overall situation in Palestine, particularly in Gaza, given the war of destruction and retaliation that Israel has waged against the Strip without limits or explanations.
Although the reality surrounding the scene shows that in light of Israel's ongoing war, whose slogan is to deny the rights of the people of Gaza, the Palestinians in Gaza lack the simplest things, dignity and the most basic meaning of human values. Humanity, and treating them as “human animals,” as Defense Secretary Yove Galant said.
Despite its determination, there is nothing in Gaza but loss and pain; despite loving life and trying to evoke hope, there is no time to fully feel anything. Goodbye is quick, grief is postponed, hunger is postponed, satiety is postponed, war is postponed, safety is postponed, fear is postponed, safety is postponed, tent is postponed, state is postponed, asylum is postponed, law is postponed, too much talk but too little action, too much condemnation and promise but too little action. .
Gaza does not look like life, nor does it look like death. Everyone is targeted, everyone faces destruction, and there are still calls in Israel for more suffering. Because death itself is a swift punishment that is not commensurate with the desire for revenge of Israeli Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu, who has not ruled out the possibility of dropping a nuclear bomb on the Gaza Strip in the first month of the war.
Because death, for the Minister of Heritage, is not commensurate with the shock of October 7 last year (2023), nor can it restore the deterrence and lost status, nor is it commensurate with the more extreme right he expressed, and he is a Member of the far-right “Jewish Power” party to which Minister Itamar Ben Gvir belongs. National security is also incompatible with the desire to use events to solve problems and rid Palestine of everything.
Pathological desire for revenge
Israel's retaliatory actions involve a wide range of targets, including in Gaza, throughout Gaza and within Gaza, and extend to Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarm and other cities and refugee camps in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Revenge is heightened by pain, heightened by Palestinian suffering and calls for more death and destruction within a spectrum of voices and policies dominated by the far right.
While voices calling for extermination dominated, voices emerged from the margins that timidly raised a necessary and important question about the cruelty of society for the present and the future, turning the discourse of extermination into the dominant discourse within Israel. Without accountability, and a future filled with fear and a violent reality.
The question highlights deeper issues about Gaza in the face of democratic and Western values, which are, as it is believed, based on human protection and respect for rights and freedoms.
Israel is described not only as a democracy, but as the only and unique democracy in the region, and as some Western voices have so far confirmed, it is against this backdrop that Tel Aviv continues to violate human rights and freedoms, kill without responsibility, and destroy without responsibility. Limitations, without dismantling democratic discourse that contradicts reality, it seems normal for democracy to be limited in its scope of application, and infringements in policy and practice are possible simply because they are directed at different groups, or is another group that is not known to come from the civilized West.
Western democracy is emerging in the U.S. electoral battle, where current President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are fighting over the concept of American democracy and those who abuse and threaten it versus those who preserve and support it.
But this democracy appears in a different way in our Arab world, where there is death, international law is absent, and former US Vice President Mike Pence signed a missile aimed at Lebanon, bringing death and destruction.
Pence was part of a continuum of speeches, statements and campaigns by many Western countries that are partners with Israel in terms of values and democracy and don't mind deaths in Gaza, Lebanon or Yemen. At a time when the tension between rhetoric that calls for limits on war persists and rhetoric that calls for limits on war, Israel should be defending itself, or defending Israel's security and, ironically, the stability and prosperity of the region and the world. Policies and positions that do not expand areas of confrontation, expand wars, or ignite battlefields.
This world cruelly tramples on justice every day
Faced with popular pressure and images of human suffering, Western voices retreated from their previous positions in favor of a more humanitarian discourse that did not necessarily condemn Tel Aviv, while others emphasized talking only about aid, as if all the difference assistance. Facing death is whether it should happen later. Before entering humanitarian aid, instead of stopping the killing, protecting human beings and international and humanitarian law, as is assumed.
Israel and the Western countries that support it keep us debating the details, the future, and who will pay the price for liquidating the Palestinians, to forget the essence of the problem, which is the existence of Palestine. The occupation should be held accountable and stopped, not continued at the expense of the Palestinian people, its neighbors and the world, and its future determined. countries and regions, and before that the future of the Palestinian people and the Gaza Strip.
Gaza’s values, laws and democracy are giving way to the abstract truth that Ghassan Al-Kanafani once emphasized, that “the world brutally tramples on justice every day” and still does.
But in the face of this decline, Palestinian steadfastness and steadfastness remain like thyme and olives, and despite the pain and loss, Daduh's sublimity remains like an olive tree, delivering not just a message to interested audiences; information. The conscience of the world, or what is left of this conscience.