Gaza Unsilenced: On Small Bodies Being Piled In Ice Cream Trucks
Gaza's kids. Photo by Said Khatib/AFP/Getty Images.
Today marks the first anniversary of the Israeli assault on Gaza known for its horrific actions and numbers - over 2,250 killed, most civilians and perhaps a third of them children, thousands of families displaced, an infrastructure decimated - and how little accountability has come of it. The grim milestone has been marked with Block the Factory campaigns and protests shutting down U.K.-based Israeli arms factories, calls to stop arming Israel and establish a two-way arms embargo, painful recognition of the enduring trauma suffered by too many children, an in-depth retrospective by Ha'aretz, considerable commentary, and the launch of Gaza Unsilenced, an anthology of Gazan voices, photos, writing and art seeking to tell "the story of what happens when, despite an ability to do so, powerful nations choose to remain silent."
In a powerful introduction, its editors - Gazans living abroad during the assault - explore the baffling discourse in mainstream media that Gazan residents who had already endured years of siege, blockade and brutal "put-them-on-a-diet rhetoric by Israeli leaders, were "by some perverse and morally vacuous logic...'to blame' for their suffering." They are also careful not to portray Gazans as simply "passive victims to be pitied, starving, impoverished, silenced into submission," nor to see their task as advocating the mere rebuilding of "the laboratory, the holding pen, the ghetto" without dismantling the power structures behind it. "This story is not simply the story of a 51-day attack (or) of an Orwellian world where war is peace and victims are villains...Gaza is the example of what happens when we fail to hold our leaders accountable...And if we aren't moved to act in solidarity, or at the very least speak out, then we have lost everything."