This is a list of resources and poems that came out of our Oct. 26 dialog on this topic.
The film “Gaza Fights for Freedom” is available free on YouTube. Made in 2018, it gives an incredible insight into the situation in Gaza 5 years ago and goes a long way to explaining what is happening today. I can’t recommend the film highly enough. Here’s a link to view the film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnZSaKYmP2s
Please watch this amazing talk by Ilan Pappe, brilliant, activist Israeli historian: https://consortiumnews.com/2023/10/23/watch-ilan-pappe-dehistoricizing-oct-7/
Resources for find peace, well-being and activism during times of conflict: https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/greater_good_resources_for_peace_and_conflict
A powerfully moving personal interview with Gabor Maté, a Hungarian-Canadian physician and author who survived the Holocaust as a child, explains how he sees the Palestine Israel conflict:
Poem: Taking Sides by Rabbi Irwin Keller, local spiritual leader at Congregation Ner Shalom in Cotati: https://www.irwinkeller.com/itzikswell/taking-sides
Pema Chodron quote: “There is a teaching that says that behind all hardening and tightening and rigidity of the heart, there’s always fear. But if you touch fear, behind fear there is a soft spot. And if you touch that soft spot, you find the vast blue sky.”
Thich Nhat Hahn poem – Please Call Me By My True Name: https://www.parallax.org/mindfulnessbell/article/poem-please-call-me-by-my-true-names/
Democracy Now! has covered the war daily since Oct. 7, often interviewing Israelis who have worked for peace over many decades, Israeli reporters, Palestinians living in Gaza and Palestinian experts on the conflict. The interviews can be found here: https://www.democracynow.org/topics/israel_and_palestine
I have been summoned my left breast is
It sits lower than
from feeding my babies from offering them
the sustenance to live
All the while
using my accustomed right arm to wipe
the table clean
to take the laundry out of the machine the tasks necessary
No one to notice
this physical consequence
of creating life in my body
All mothers, all grandmothers
all women as the creators
and potential creators of life
must walk bare breasted in protest
As the children we birthed take the lives of the children we birthed
Our fallen breast as memorial
© Corlene Van Sluizer 10/26/2023
Chris Hedges interview with Norman Finkelstein, especially toward the when he is wrestling with the Hamas massacre and took a deep dive into the US slave revolt of Nat Turner as a historic reference point. https://chrishedges.substack.com/p/the-chris-hedges-report-with-professor#details
Goodness Will Be Goodness
Tyrants will roar their victories,
painting red dreams
on the lids of the nation—
And kindness will be kindness.
will scoop out the soft places
leaving only hunger—
and mercy will be mercy.
Fear will cry its hot misguided wrath,
shocking sleepers into dread—
and courage will be courage.
Brutality will shake its tiny fist
gloved thick with power;
people will be killed in shameful ways,
the storms of grief and rage will howl—
and goodness will be goodness.
In the end, no matter the deceit,
no matter how compelling,
we can’t be broken from our truest selves—
we always circle back around
and find our honor where we left it.
Our people, our whole world’s people,
our many-colored threads
stretched tight in warp and weft
between that which knows
its own goodness
and that which does not—
will claim the land again for our children
and the enemy’s children, too,
mending finally all the tears
in the cloth of who we once and still
so dream of being.
by Kalia Mussetter
Island – Langston Hughes
Wave of sorrow,
Do not drown me now:
I see the island
Still ahead somehow.
I see the island
And its sands are fair:
Wave of sorrow,
Take me there.
Dream Deferred – Langston Hughes
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
Red Sea – Aurora Levins Morales
We cannot cross until we carry each other,
all of us refugees, all of us prophets.
No more taking turns on history’s wheel,
trying to collect old debts no-one can pay.
The sea will not open that way.
This time that country
is what we promise each other,
our rage pressed cheek to cheek
until tears flood the space between,
until there are no enemies left,
because this time no one will be left to drown
and all of us must be chosen.
This time it’s all of us or none.