Sunday, July 27, 2014

Poem: The Telegenic Dead by Jose Tirado

Binyamin Netanyahu is an arrogant man and a racist who thinks his words are not inscribed in the book of life He often says things that illuminate the soul of the occupation. This claim is sufficiently bizarre, sadly to be memorable among the ignoble things said by the wretched dictators of the past, for a long time to come...

H/t Laura Branca.


A Poem
The Telegenic Dead


“[T]hey use telegenically-dead Palestinians for their cause… the more dead the better.”
–Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, July 20, 2014

The leg is in the street.
Roughly attached & delicately
Arranged, (though
Shredded in between)
The torso lies quietly on the sidewalk
In front of the café.
The gray face & glass-like eyes
Looking “just so” at Heaven.
Nearby, her son, probably 4
(Or at least he was 4) has
Only one sandal on & the
Dirt covers his body in a delicate
Wave of sandy colored dustings
Distributed properly.
(Thankfully,) his face is buried beneath
The impeccably coiffed black-red mass
That once was his head.
Across the street lie more,
Posed just right to earn one´s immediate attention.
They work so hard it seems,
To get each pose, each positioned limb
“Just right” for the photogs and reporters.
Apparently, one can’t let up for a moment
Or they may appear
Simply dead.
Gaza works so hard these days
To get those images right.


José M. Tirado is a Puertorican poet, and writer living in Hafnarfjorður, Iceland, known for its elves, “hidden people” and lava fields. His articles and poetry have been featured in CounterPunch, Cyrano´s Journal, The Galway Review, Dissident Voice, The Endless Search, Op-Ed News, The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, and others. He can be reached at


And here is a statement from Naomi Wolf about what the Occupation is doing to the souls of common apologists for Israeli slaughter of innocents in the United States:

"on compassion and morality to Jews everywhere (and everyone else)…(h/t Will Crain)
Naomi Wolf

'Anyone is still trying to tell me this is not a genocide, not the targeting of civilians? Here is what I want to say given the hundreds of responses I have heard to my post: everyone involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has to face the issues they are accountable for. I am not responsible first for Syria, Hamas etc. I am responsible first for my own 'tribe.' Others are responsible first for their "tribes".

So a main issue for me is what is happening to the Jewish soul in contorting ourselves on and on to try to defend the indefensible or else to change the subject, look away. It is ego-dystonic to us to face what Israel is doing in Gaza because "we aren't like that". But looking away is where evil thrives and where we join in and participate in evil.

The hundreds of emails I have gotten from those defending Israel tend to: change the subject (look at how bad Syria is...Boko Haram is...etc.) Or: repeat the uncritical allegations of the IDF that Hamas is "hiding" among civilians. Where else the f-- are they supposed to go NOT to 'hide"? Gaza is all civilian! There is no battlefield! And the responses also try to establish false equivalencies -- ie an Israeli father was killed by rockets.

Now try to really hear this: THOSE REFLEXES ARE THE PROBLEM. There may be merits logically/intellectually in each of these "positions" but faced with the systematic brutal murder of children, of families, the issue for me, the urgent, demanding, compelling, house-on-fire issue, is the collective HARDNESS OF HEART that these intellectual contortions reveal among us.

FIRST should be our empathic response -- this can't be done this way -- this suffering must cease. The fact that we go
FIRST to tortured logic says to me that we are SCARED TO SEE AND FEEL THE TRUTH. And that is a corruption of our hearts and souls.

And the way I understand faith, that is a serious issue -- THAT is spiritual corruption; THAT is an urgent state of moral illness/decay -- that hardness of heart. THAT is what we as Jews have so often so reflexively sacrificed in contorting ourselves again and again to defend Israel and "not-see" what is in front of our eyes in terms of human suffering and injustice among those that Israel corrals/strips of rights/arrests without trial/bombs/degrades symbolically/deprives of basic human dignity. THAT is where I say -- it is not worth it. If this is what a "Jewish state" requires of us, it is not worth it TO US in my view.

Being the occupiers in this way has harmed us and degraded us internally in ways even more than we have harmed and degraded more externally those we are occupying/annihilating/targeting/oppressing. This is where we need to look at the injury we are doing to ourselves..our humanity..our kindness...our relationship to ourselves to others and to whatever decent God may be in any kind of relationship to us."


Where is the tradition of being kind to strangers since we were ourselves were strangers in Egypt?

the compassion?

Naomi Wolf and the demonstrators beaten in Tel Aviv and those who join the Boycott and Divestment movement and many others know this


Every word of Naomi's applies to the U.S. government and both parties who have armed Israel to the teeth - $3 billion per year to buy American weapons - and each "good American" who, forgetting herself, looks the other way...


For previous posts in detail on the slaughter and the underlying ethnic cleansing of so-called "Judea and Samaria" (to drive Palestinians out of the West Bank, a second nakba and steal, yet again, more land during the illegal Occupation, see here and here.)

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