Tell Her

Abby Zimet

    Seven Jewish Children - a Play for Gaza

    children appear in the play. The speakers are adults, the parents and
    if you like other relations of the children. The lines can be shared out
    in any way you like among those characters. The characters are
    different in each small scene as the time and child are different.


    Tell her it's a game

    Tell her it's serious

    But dont frighten her

    Dont tell her they'll kill her

    Tell her it's important to be quiet

    Tell her she'll have cake if she's good

    Tell her to curl up as if she's in bed

    But not to sing.

    Tell her not to come out

    Tell her not to come out even if she hears shouting

    Dont frighten her

    Tell her not to come out even if she hears nothing for a long time

    Tell her we'll come and find her

    Tell her we'll be here all the time.

    Tell her something about the men

    Tell her they're bad in the game

    Tell her it's a story

    Tell her they'll go away

    Tell her she can make them go away if she keeps still

    By magic

    But not to sing.


    Tell her this is a photograph of her grandmother, her uncles and me

    Tell her her uncles died

    Dont tell her they were killed

    Tell her they were killed

    Dont frighten her.

    Tell her her grandmother was clever

    Dont tell her what they did

    Tell her she was brave

    Tell her she taught me how to make cakes

    Dont tell her what they did

    Tell her something

    Tell her more when she's older.

    Tell her there were people who hated jews

    Dont tell her

    Tell her it's over now

    Tell her there are still people who hate jews

    Tell her there are people who love jews

    Dont tell her to think jews or not jews

    Tell her more when she's older

    Tell her how many when she's older

    Tell her it was before she was born and she's not in danger

    Dont tell her there's any question of danger.

    Tell her we love her

    Tell her dead or alive her family all love her

    Tell her her grandmother would be proud of her.


    Dont tell her we're going forever

    Tell her she can write to her friends, tell her her friends can maybe come and visit

    Tell her it's sunny there

    Tell her we're going home

    Tell her it's the land God gave us

    Dont tell her religion

    Tell her her great great great great lots of greats grandad lived there

    Dont tell her he was driven out

    Tell her, of course tell her, tell her everyone was driven out and the country is waiting
    for us to come home

    Dont tell her she doesnt belong here

    Tell her of course she likes it here but she'll like it there even more.

    Tell her it's an adventure

    Tell her no one will tease her

    Tell her she'll have new friends

    Tell her she can take her toys

    Dont tell her she can take all her toys

    Tell her she's a special girl

    Tell her about Jerusalem.


    Dont tell her who they are

    Tell her something

    Tell her they're bedouin, they travel about

    Tell her about camels in the desert and dates

    Tell her they live in tents

    Tell her this wasnt their home

    Dont tell her home, not home, tell her they're going away

    Dont tell her they dont like her

    Tell her to be careful.

    Dont tell her who used to live in this house

    No but dont tell her her great great grandfather used to live in this house

    No but dont tell her Arabs used to sleep in her bedroom.

    Tell her not to be rude to them

    Tell her not to be frightened

    Dont tell her she cant play with the children

    Dont tell her she can have them in the house.

    Tell her they have plenty of friends and family

    Tell her for miles and miles all round they have lands of their own

    Tell her again this is our promised land.

    Dont tell her they said it was a land without people

    Dont tell her I wouldnt have come if I'd known.

    Tell her maybe we can share.

    Dont tell her that.


    Tell her we won

    Tell her her brother's a hero

    Tell her how big their armies are

    Tell her we turned them back

    Tell her we're fighters

    Tell her we've got new land.


    Dont tell her

    Dont tell her the trouble about the swimming pool

    Tell her it's our water, we have the right

    Tell her it's not the water for their fields

    Dont tell her anything about water.

    Dont tell her about the bulldozer

    Dont tell her not to look at the bulldozer

    Dont tell her it was knocking the house down

    Tell her it's a building site

    Dont tell her anything about bulldozers.

    Dont tell her about the queues at the checkpoint

    Tell her we'll be there in no time

    Dont tell her anything she doesnt ask

    Dont tell her the boy was shot

    Dont tell her anything.

    Tell her we're making new farms in the desert

    Dont tell her about the olive trees

    Tell her we're building new towns in the wilderness.

    Dont tell her they throw stones

    Tell her they're not much good against tanks

    Dont tell her that.

    Dont tell her they set off bombs in cafes

    Tell her, tell her they set off bombs in cafes

    Tell her to be careful

    Dont frighten her.

    Tell her we need the wall to keep us safe

    Tell her they want to drive us into the sea

    Tell her they dont

    Tell her they want to drive us into the sea.

    Tell her we kill far more of them

    Dont tell her that

    Tell her that

    Tell her we're stronger

    Tell her we're entitled

    Tell her they dont understand anything except violence

    Tell her we want peace

    Tell her we're going swimming.


    Tell her she cant watch the news

    Tell her she can watch cartoons

    Tell her she can stay up late and watch Friends.

    Tell her they're attacking with rockets

    Dont frighten her

    Tell her only a few of us have been killed

    Tell her the army has come to our defence

    Dont tell her her cousin refused to serve in the army.

    Dont tell her how many of them have been killed

    Tell her the Hamas fighters have been killed

    Tell her they're terrorists

    Tell her they're filth


    Dont tell her about the family of dead girls

    Tell her you cant believe what you see on television

    Tell her we killed the babies by mistake

    Dont tell her anything about the army

    her, tell her about the army, tell her to be proud of the army. Tell
    her about the family of dead girls, tell her their names why not, tell
    her the whole world knows why shouldnt she know? tell her there's dead
    babies, did she see babies? tell her she's got nothing to be ashamed of.
    Tell her they did it to themselves. Tell her they want their children
    killed to make people sorry for them, tell her I'm not sorry for them,
    tell her not to be sorry for them, tell her we're the ones to be sorry
    for, tell her they cant talk suffering to us. Tell her we're the iron
    fist now, tell her it's the fog of war, tell her we wont stop killing
    them till we're safe, tell her I laughed when I saw the dead policemen,
    tell her they're animals living in rubble now, tell her I wouldnt care
    if we wiped them out, the world would hate us is the only thing, tell
    her I dont care if the world hates us, tell her we're better haters,
    tell her we're chosen people, tell her I look at one of their children
    covered in blood and what do I feel? tell her all I feel is happy it's
    not her.

    Dont tell her that.

    Tell her we love her.

    Dont frighten her.

    © Caryl Churchill Ltd, 2009

    Please feel free to download the play. This play can be read or performed anywhere by any number of people. Should you wish to apply for rights, please contact,
    who will license the performances free of charge provided that no
    admission fee is charged and that a collection is taken at each
    performance for Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), 33a Islington Park
    Street, London N1 1 QB. Tel: 020-7226 4114. Website: Email:

    Hard copies can be obtained from Nick Hern Books, 14 Larden Road, London W3 7ST. Email:

    The text must be performed as written. No changes of any kind can be made to the title or text of the play.


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