Chen-ou Liu's Translation Project: First English-Chinese Haiku and Tanka Blog

Saturday, November 18, 2023

The World Divided

This Brave New World, CVII

a wavy sea 
of American flags mixed
with Israeli flags ...
at the corner an old man cries
Never Again for everyone

fighting one war crime
with another war crime 
this foggy night
scream after scream drowned out
by the sound of fireballs

a Haredi
with his back to a man
in an army uniform . . .
shadows lengthen
on the Wailing Wall

Added: This Brave New World, CVIII
written on World Children's Day

hazy twilight ...
rain washing a mother's blood
into her children's blood

FYI: Al Jazeera, Nov. 20: "World Children’s Day tragedy: Gaza’s 5,500 lives lost to Israel’s attacks"

One out of every 200 children in Gaza has been killed by Israeli attacks in the past six weeks...That is one Palestinian child killed every 10 minutes. 

And Haaretz, June 9, 2024Israel Is on the UN Blacklist of Countries That Harm Children, and Justifiably So.

 The IDF has killed 15,517...

Some 17,000 children have lost at least one of their parents; 3,000 have lost at least one limb. Nine out of 10 children in the Gaza Strip suffer from "acute nutritional deficiency," according to UNICEF. The World Health Organization has determined that four out of five children do not eat a thing on at least one day out of three. In January, the international organization Save the Children determined that 10 children lose at least one limb every single day. On Saturday, Al-Jazeera showed a video of a boy asking his mother if his arm would grow back....

Added: Against the Drowning Noise of Other Words, LXIX: "starving babies"

written in response to UN News, June 13, 2024: Gaza: 8,000 children diagnosed with malnutrition amid ongoing shelling

Heavy shelling reported in the so-called safe zone of Al-Mawasi in southern Gaza on Thursday came despite the ongoing international push for a ceasefire and as the UN health agency reported 32 deaths from malnutrition “including 28 among children under five years old”

smoky twilight ...
will starving babies in Gaza
heal the broken heart
of an Israeli mother
whose children were kidnapped

AddedThis Brave New World, CIX
written in response to DW News, Nov. 23: Airstrikes and fighting continue in Gaza as temporary cease-fire is delayed: Fierce fighting is continuing in the Gaza Strip. Israel's military says it has carried out airstrikes on over 300 Hamas targets in the past 24 hours.

Life and Death

a silver-haired man stares
into the night sky:
the time and space
between each fireball

to save a life
is to save this broken world
a rabbi laments ...
TV debate back and forth
about the new body count

FYI: Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin 4:1 (22a)

Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.

And The Guardian, Nov. 15: "Messages arrive from Gaza with news of dead children. It has become a graveyard for humanity’s conscience" (FYI: The headline alludes to UN Secretary-General António Guterres's Nov. 6 remark:

The nightmare in Gaza is more than a humanitarian crisis.  It is a crisis of humanity,...A graveyard for children.

Added: This Brave New World, CX

pasted over Occupier
pasted over Kidnapped
above the photo of a man ...
this battle for perfect victims

FYI: The New York Times, Nov. 21: Between Israelis and Palestinians, a Lethal Psychological Chasm 

Each side begs for the status of five-star victim,” said Mohammad Darawshe, the director of strategy at the Givat Haviva Center for Shared Society, which promotes Jewish-Arab dialogue and is about an hour’s drive north of Jerusalem. “If you are stuck in victimhood, you see everyone else as victimizing and dehumanizing.”

The consequence is a psychological chasm so deep that Palestinians are invisible as individuals to Israeli Jews, and vice versa. There are exceptions, of course: Some Israelis and Palestinians have dedicated themselves to bridging that divide. But generally, the narratives of the two sides diverge, burying any perception of shared humanity.

The 1948 Arab-Israeli war, known to Israelis as the War of Independence, is the Nakba, or catastrophe, to Palestinians. Nakba vies with Holocaust as each side invokes “genocide.”

The relentless weaponization of history goes all the way back to biblical times and the divergent fates of the estranged sons of Abraham — Isaac, the patriarch of the Israelites, and Ishmael, a prophet of Islam.

The demonization knows no bounds. Since the Hamas attack last month, Yoav Gallant, the Israeli defense minister, has spoken of fighting “human animals.” Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the Hamas political bureau, has described Israel as “neo-Nazis supported by colonial forces.” Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, has in turn called Hamas “the new Nazis.”