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

Friday, February 16, 2024

Missile Attacks Haiku

Against the Drowning Noise of Other Words, XIX: "missile attacks"

only Israeli deaths count the missile attacks

FYI: This haiku was inspired by Haaretz, Opinion, Feb. 14: "With the 'Perfect' Hostage Rescue Operation, Israel's Dehumanization of Palestinians in Gaza Reached a New Low"
written by Gideon Levy, self-identified patriot, journalist and top-prize winner for his articles on human rights in the Israeli-occupied territories, criticizing what he sees as "Israeli society's moral blindness to the effects of its acts of war and occupation."

The fact that at least 74 Palestinians, including women and children, were killed during the operation was hardly mentioned in Israel. ...Two very sympathetic Israeli-Argentinians were released and all the rest doesn't matter.

The images I saw from the hospitals in Rafah on the day of the rescue were among the most horrific I have seen in this war. Children ripped to shreds, convulsing, looking helplessly upon their deaths. The horror. There is no need to go into the moral dilemma of whether the release of two hostages justifies the deaths of 74 people – that question is superfluous in such a cruel war – in order to point to Israel's complete disregard for collateral deaths. On the day of the operation, Israel killed 133 people across Gaza, most of them, as is the norm in this war, innocent civilians, among them many children.

We were all happy that they were freed, and the operation in itself was moral and fully justified. But the disregard for the deaths of dozens of people as if they were not human is an outrage.

The disgraceful lack of coverage of Gaza's suffering by most of the Israeli media will be eternally remembered in disgrace, at least I hope so. As a result, Palestinians are seen by most Israelis as non-human and even non-animal.In Israel, the more than 28,000 Gazan fatalities are considered a mere number, nothing more. The uprooting and displacement of millions of people moved from place to place as if they were a flock of sheep and the unbelievable, brazen portrayal of this as a "humanitarian measure" has dehumanized Gazans even further. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu...expressed this dehumanization in a particularly picturesque way when he compared Israel's war against Hamas to a glass cup that we had already broken; now, he said, the fragments remain and we are treading on them until nothing remains.

Netanyahu was speaking about Hamas, but after all, everyone knows that Gaza is Hamas. We broke Gaza's glass, now we tread on its fragments until they turn into grains of sand, air, nothing – human dust, sub-human dust.

This haiku is a sequel to Against the Drowning Noise of Other Words, XVIII: "Rafah"

attacks on Rafah ...
will the sound of bombings 
echo, echoing
in the ears of the World
thousands of miles away

AddedAgainst the Drowning Noise of Other Words, XX: "hospital raid"
first haiku written in the style of magical realism

hospital raid ...
a dead man watches his blood flow
into his children's blood

FYI: CNN, Feb.16: Five patients die at Nasser hospital after Israeli raid cuts off power and leads to ‘deeply alarming’ scenes

For more, see my "To the Lighthouse" post, "Magical Realism in Times of Crises"