Carrol, It's just too one sided.  How about the bombs being thrown  into 
southern Israel by Hamas, which started this latest conflict.  And all  of the 
schools in Southern Israel that had to be evacuated and are still  evacuated.  I 
am two sided.  I am very pro-Israeli, but when that  Gaza school was 
accidentally bombed by the Israelis, I felt terrible for those  children, for their 
families.  The difference is: you don't feel bad  when the Israeli women and 
children are hurt by Hamas, by the suicide bomber who  went into that pizza parlor 
in Jerusalem and killed 20 Israeli teenagers.    Until you can be two sided, 
then you just add to the problem.  If you can't  see the other side and only 
see one side, you just add to the problem.
P.S.  If  you lived near to me, I would read that book to you for  free.
In a message dated 1/18/2009 5:07:47 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
[log in to unmask] writes:

Now I Am  My Mother, Weeping...
I Could Not Save a Single Child


When I was a child my mother used to cry, "I couldn't save a  single
Jewish child." 

Now I am my mother: I cannot save a single  child in Gaza.

Not the ones wrapped in green cocoons lying row on row,  surrounded by
throngs of grieving men. I cannot comfort the fathers who  jump up and
down in agony, screaming as their children lie dead before them  on the

I cannot comfort the mother whose eyes, ravaged and  blanked by terror,
stare beyond me from the photograph, nor save the little  one with
bloodied, bruised face who stands beside her, nor the older  brother, the
only two who survived of six. I cannot say, "Come, we have a  big,
comfortable basement with a bed for you and the children, and a  bath,
and plenty of food. We will take you and shelter you." I cannot  welcome
them to a home full of calm, of sunlight, with the warmth of  potted
plants, the refrigerator full of food, the showers waiting to  receive
them, the warm water streaming down to comfort their bruised and  tired

I cannot save a single Gaza child.

Not the ones  I saw on Al-Jazeera lying dead with heads all bloodied,
under blankets on  the ravaged ground. Not the little one, 2, maybe 3,
bloodied bandages  covering her bloodied skull and face leaving me her
bruised lips and part  of one dull and hopeless eye, her helpless bigger
sister, surely no more  than 4, beside her. I cannot take her, bring her
back to normal life, hug  her and sing to her, hold her up against my
piano and ask her to listen to  the strings as I run my fingers over
them, watch while her face lights up  with pleasure as she spots my cats,
hold her, hold her, and hold  her.

I cannot save the little girl, maybe 5, who says the soldier stood  and
looked at her, then shot her hand and then, as she turned to run to  her
mother, her back: "One bullet went out my back and through my  stomach."
Will doctors in a hospital the siege had already drained of  medicines
and equipment, a hospital where patients must share beds, where  the
floors are full of the wounded, and the blood pools around them ---  will
the doctors working quickly, as expertly as they know within the  chaos
of the terrified families pouring in from the terrified streets of  Gaza
City, will the doctors working as quickly as they know, but in  this
wasteland, save her?

I cannot save the newborn Mohammed,  monitors on his chest, a respirator
over his tiny face, born within the  ground-shaking, ear-splitting terror
of bombs falling from F16s, into a  life from hell, where the smoke of
exploding shells and bombs gags the  other children, the women, the men,
fleeing helpless before the behemoth  wielding their "pure arms" to crush
these "two-legged cockroaches," these  Palestinians of whom Golda Meir
said, "There are no Palestinians," and whom  the Hebron settlers curse in
savage scrawled grafitti: ARABS TO THE GAS  CHAMBERS. These people
concerning whom the Rabbi said, "One Arab is not  worth a million Jewish
fingernails." Concerning whom Avigdor Lieberman,  that man of the Israeli
people, says, drop the atom bomb on them as the  Americans did on Japan.

I cannot lift the dark-faced, dark-haired  teenaged girl from the
stretcher, rock her in my arms and say, "Darling,  Shhh, it will be all
right," because it will not be alright. She is already  dead, face down
on the stretcher where the hopeless cover her body while I  watch her
image at my computer.

It will not be alright.

It  will not be alright.

It will not be alright. I am my mother, and it is  1942 all over again,
and this is the Warsaw Ghetto - different, I'll admit.  I'll admit they
aren't killing everyone. Just some of them. Only 400. Only  600. Only
800. Only 1000. When does "collateral damage" become  malice
aforethought? When does that malice translate as "deaths?" When  do
deaths become "a massacre?" How many in a massacre? A holocaust?  The
shoa Mr. Vilnai wanted?

I cannot save a single child in Gaza. I  am my mother, and we are weeping

(All of the images of  Gaza in the prose-poem above are from Al-Jazeera
English. The references to  Deputy Defense Secretary Matan Vilnai and
other figures come from my  archives and library.)

Ellen Cantarow can be reached at  [log in to unmask]

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