"What's gone, is gone. What's important is what will be" said a voice coming from Gaza and which carries so many questions that have no answers.
"We left the house today in the morning (last Tuesday) during the first hours of truce. People were running in different directions. Some went to check on their houses which they fled to find out they're destroyed so they returned to their refugee centers at a school or a mosque. Some went looking for victims under the rubble. Some wrote out lists with the names of missing people and submitted them to Red Cross representatives. No one knows if the truce will hold or collapse any second. But whether it holds and is extended to open the door for negotiations or whether it collapses and the volley of cannons resumes, the question is: Then what? Do you have an answer that reassures us?"
How can I answer the questions of people overwhelmed by confusion and besieged by the pain of death that flourishes in the rubble? A pain that adds to the other pain of the siege imposed on people from all sides which they were told the war will help lift? No. I don't have a ready answer but a Hamas spokesperson, who makes an appearance from an Arab capital via a screen with skyscrapers shinier than Manhattan's glamour as Gaza's night falls into deeper darkness, has an answer. But let's leave the politicians alone whether they're from Hamas or any other organization. Isn't this their duty which they get paid for and which they may be killed for even if they reside near skyscrapers? Yes, but what about analysts, theorists and journalists who have ready answers when it comes to cases like Gaza and other Arab world crises and disasters? They pull out their answers from the drawers of memory and reproduce them to suit the moment and the event regardless of whose tragedy it is. These are not alike and they do not belong to one movement. Those who encourage the fighting to continue in Gaza or other areas as they sit behind America's walls and Europe's rivers are met by those who don't only underestimate the people's emotions and suffering but also underestimate people's intellect. These people justify Israel's extremist and military violence in a manner that categorizes some as more extremist than Israeli right-wing hardliners.
Why? What prevents a moderate stance? What prevents adopting a subjective approach instead of reproducing a political or media rhetoric which in today's developments does not exist even when it was produced the first time? The obstruction is probably a result of thoughtlessness accompanied with lack of understanding or a result of being connected to personal or institutional aims. But the outcome is one: deception and the exceeding of proper boundaries. I remember how I dealt with this thoughtlessness while sitting with a Palestinian politician at the beginning of the first intifada.
What next for Gaza?
Hamas and Jihad can give the united Palestinian delegation a carte blanche to take from Tel Aviv all that achieves the demands of the two movementsBakir Oweida