Journalist/2

by Mark Chmiel

1.

That is precisely what I have been trying to elicit all these years:
Outrage, outrage, and offense at what Israel is making a million and a half immiserated people
Living in the Strip endure.
To the best of my meager abilities,
I am asking all Israelis to be outraged—
Or at least to understand what is being perpetrated in their name,
So that they may never have the right to claim:
We did not know.
We didn’t know that the Israeli occupation was so devastating, so brutal;
We didn’t know this horror was going on.

2.

I have sought to record the increasing—
And ever more rapid—accumulation
Of war crimes and human rights abuses
Committed during that period.
It is an exasperating calling to write in Israel
What so few want to read.
Perhaps this book will prove that
Notwithstanding what has been said so far,
Israel still possesses some dissenting voices.

3.

It is not legitimate to cut off electricity to 750,000 people.
It is not legitimate to call on 20,000 people to run from their homes and turn their towns into ghost towns.
It is not legitimate to penetrate Syria’s airspace.
It is not legitimate to kidnap half of a government and a quarter of a parliament.

–Gideon Levy, journalist for Haaretz, author of The Punishment of Gaza

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