FROM A CORRESPONDENT: Everyman's Child on Gaza

August 11, 2014

In Blog

There was a man, his name was Zayd, and he had this to say:

Having been to a pro-Gaza demonstration with me, my son asked,

What is the point of demonstrations, if they fail to stop evil? We protest, but evil stays. We fight, but evil repeats itself. We win by an inch, but evil comes back by a foot. So, what’s the point?

This is what I told him: If we stay in our homes, if we shrug our shoulders and say “just another day, another bloodbath”, and if we play content with the accident of life that cast us where there was plenty and in poverty threw them, would evil end? Would peace arrive? And this whisper of justice in the wind, would it be voiced, would anybody hear it? My son, I don’t know if there is any point in playing a losing hand – which is what we powerless people do – but if we don’t risk a day’s honest labour at the roulette wheel, and spited by the stormy luck abandon ship, if we let the powerful few take all our savings, our dignity, and all our children sleeping in their beds, where any man you see is one of just two, tyrant and coward, then in this miserable ordeal, what is the point of humankind?

When he finished, on hearing this, I said to Zayd, you asked a question, what did your son say?
He said, he looked for a full minute onto a placard figuring a dead, bloodied boy his age, and said, in a world of tyrants and cowards, happy those who fled to the underworld.

And then he went silent.

All was quiet, like the wasteland left by an Israeli shell in what was once a family home.

I thought to myself, what is the point? and asked myself, who should feel sorry for whom? We, for those whose lives were cut short, or they, for those living in a world where massacres are the norm, sanctioned by public silence, financed by the public purse?

– Everyman