I should be writing a novel, but cannot. I have to empty my head of these circling thoughts before I go insane. I can’t help feeling responsible in some way, guilty, through my silence.

 

As I begin writing, it is sixty days since October the 7th.

The death toll in Gaza passes 16,000 & 1,700,000 people are displaced. 30,000 injured.

 

And nobody fucking cares.

 

I wonder, if they don’t care, are they beyond reaching? Perhaps they feel a semblance of pity. It seems from some quarters there is no experience of suffering, no empathy nor compassion. I’m so pissed off with normal people acting out their happy Christmas while I feel like the world is in flames.

 

Perhaps the curse of the neurodivergent is pattern recognition, if you have an interest in geopolitics, religion, psychology, and the research capabilities of a hyper focused ADHD’er, you can’t help but wonder if we’re at place in time, much like 1933, heading for catastrophe.

 

“History Doesn’t Repeat Itself, but It Often Rhymes” – Mark Twain.

 

The following centres Jewish anti-war voices. As a lifelong pacifist, this is where my interest focuses.

 

I see Jolyon Rubenstein’s post on Instagram:

 “It seems clear that the less people talk about what is happening in Gaza, the more dangerous it is becoming for those who are talking about what is happening in Gaza. Don’t stop talking about what is happening in Gaza. Because what is happening in Gaza needs to be talked about. By talking about what is happening in Gaza you make it safer for those who are talking about what is happening in Gaza.

In conclusion: Shall we talk about what is happening in Gaza?”

 

I think about sharing it to my story. I don’t.

I scroll down and see a cartoon posted by sluttyforsocialism

“We can disagree and still be friends”

“Yes bitch, about pizza toppings, not genocide”

I agree, but I don’t share it.

 

*I can’t talk publicly about Israel or Palestine.

I work in an area with a significant Jewish population, a London suburb  where the average house price is greater than the national average.

Some of my patrons are Jewish people, of those, a few, hard right Zionists. Many of my clients are fanatical Tories.

(* This section edited on 8/4/24 to reflect feedback that it was worded in a way that could be misconstrued.)

My work involves spending considerable time with people, they talk to me, about their

lives, their families in South Africa, America, and Israel.

 

Nowadays, they tell me about Hamas and the 40 beheaded children story that has been proven to be disinformation. That Palestinian children are taught to hate, not knowing that also, Israeli children are taught to hate.

I may mention that a Haaretz Investigation, also corroborated by The Times of Israel, found that Netanyahu supported Hamas, as a ruse to prevent unity with the West bank Palestinian Authority, in much in the same way that America funded ISIS.

They don’t believe it.

 

“A lie will go round the world while the truth is pulling its boots on” – C H Spurgeon.

 

I let them know that I follow the news. Not only in the UK, but other countries news too. Israel, Greece, Russia, China, Al Jazeera, USA.

I follow the right-wing by oligarch’s news, Mail, Times, Telegraph.

The left-wing not for profit news. Novara Media, Double Down News. Investigative journalists like John Pliger and Jonathan Cook , often written off as conspiracy theorists or anti-Semites.

 

I recently re-read Edward S Herman & Noam Chomsky Manufacturing Consent; I mention that.

He’s an anti-Semite.

But he’s Jewish.

Oh, but he’s a self-hating Jew.

Have you read it?

No

 

I mention that Chomsky, professor of linguistics, points out the language often used and how it influences us. Israelis are killed (active), Palestinians die (passive).

The 134 Israelis held captive are Hostages (innocent).

The 7000 Palestinians held captive are Prisoners (guilty)

A young Israeli girl (soldier, age 19) is murdered. A young Palestinian lady (age 4) is accidentally killed when a stray bullet finds its way into her car.

You can’t unsee this once it’s been exposed to light.

 

There are other factors that obfuscate further. Two very different ideologies separated by common Language. When far right Israeli religious, political groups, who coined the phrase, say “From the river to the sea.” They mean cleanse the land of Palestinians, in the same way Hamas might inversely mean it.

When democratic socialist, leftist groups, often from Israeli and Palestinian coalitions, working side by side, say in response; “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” They mean the establishment of one secular state with all citizens equal, living together. The double meanings demonstrated here by Rashida Tlaib and Benjamin Netanyahu.

 

 

I have had similar conversations about Norman Finkelstein, who answers the accusation of self-hating anti-Semitism here.

 

Almost identical arguments are made against Jewish voice for peace.

 

JVP has as a board member, author and activist, Naomi Klein.

Klein’s new book Doppelganger looks at the global polarisation happening and how it changes us. Chapter on Israel & Palestine.

 

It’s not lost on me that these bright minds in the world, who spend years researching and being world leaders in their fields, great thinkers, are Jewish.

They are maligned as evil or foolish people. Not worthy of reading.

 

But isn’t Boris Johnson marvellous, isn’t Brexit marvellous. I’m not racist, but…

 

I once asked one person that I’ve known a long time, if they felt any empathy for the Palestinians in Gaza, knowing that 50% of the population is under 18. They said, that’s because they breed like rabbits so they can fill the population, outnumber the Jews and kill them all. (White replacement theory).

I asked them what the exchange rate was, how many Palestinian lives is an Israeli life worth? They say, it’s justified, that they are in danger of genocide from Hamas.

 

I said, these are human beings we’re talking about. They said, but they’re not. They’re vermin, and should be treated as such. Even the Arabs don’t want them, why don’t any one of the Arab countries take them? They don’t belong there, there’s no such thing as a Palestinian.

They’re taught from birth to hate us, they are trained child soldiers, every one of them Hamas; No one is innocent, they want to kill us all. I say that looking at the numbers and online clips it would appear there is some truth of a mirror-world. They say it’s justified because October 7th.

I remind them that this has been going on for the whole of my life, since before I was born. This didn’t start on October the 7th.

They reply. Because Hamas. But Hamas. Hamas.

 

I have to smile at them and be polite to their friends and family. Sometimes people forget about the ‘staff’ they don’t mind their language in front of me.

That is as far as I dare pushback. I can see them getting angry. We have never spoken about politics again since that day. This same person treats me respectfully as an employee, pays me fairly, and has recommended me to new clients. This adds to the emotional toil for me, the goodness that I know of this person. I wouldn’t argue with them again however, it would cost me the relationship. So polite and respectful is our behaviour, the banality of evil played out in real life.

 

It’s not about differences of opinion, but how we approach our differences. Another of my clients and I have intense disagreements when we discuss politics, we have on occasion been loud and animatedly angry at each other, we get frustrated and profoundly disagree. We listen to each other’s views and we see humanity, and then we say, that was intense, but it’s always interesting to see your point of view, and I love you. This same client, hired in an outside person to perform my work role at her wedding so that I could attend as her guest, such is her generosity. Though I am baffled at her hard right politics, last week, as our conversation overheated, I demanded of her, what’s the answer then? She bellowed at me Ceasefire, now! I was immensely happy to hear that reaction.

 

 

It is not uniquely Jewish to be sensitive to the threat of Nazism. All of us that the Nazi’s would have sent to our deaths. The Romani, the disabled, the mentally ill, the neurodivergent, LGBTQ+ people, all fear the rising tides of fascism.

 

Sometimes I find it so hard to understand how others cannot see what I see. Perhaps it is cognitive dissonance. Having been loyal for this long and to have believed all the lies from our own government and the Israeli and American governments. Perhaps it is less painful to continue to believe the lie that to admit you’ve been fooled.

 

“It was not the truth they wanted, but an illusion they could bear to live with.”

-Anais Nin

 

It would be easy to fall into the good Jew/bad Jew trap, but it is not so cut and dried.

If I place myself in that person’s shoes and look from the perspective of their family history, their political and educational background, I can see how one would arrive at that position.

 

Some people are happy to discuss world events and share our differing perspectives. Some I’ve talked with have gone red in the face and started screaming at me, or shut down the conversation saying, let’s not talk about it anymore or we will fall out.

 

Many will not bring up Gaza in conversation and I understand the desire to avoid contentious subjects, though it seems unreal to be ignoring a subject that is being talked about everywhere and affects everyone so much.

 

“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.” -Noam Chomsky

 

They taught us never again, but they lied, we’ve seen it again and again. The Mau Mau, the Tutsi and Hutu, the Serbian Conflict, Afghanistan, The war crimes of collective punishment inflicted by the Tony Blair and George Bush administrations against Iraq. All built on lies.

 

I post opaque anti-war memes and quotes about peace and justice and remembering our humanity.

I recommend reading Doppelganger and Manufacturing Consent as essential to anyone who’ll listen.

Sometimes I worry a piece of my soul is dying each time I bite my tongue. That I am complicit in this grand delusion. I feel sick and pained most days.

Wishing I could run away from it all.

 

I tread carefully, some say not as carefully as I should. I could lose my work and home if I was thought locally to be an anti-Semite and I know that some people take any criticism of Israel to be so. If I find myself in debate on this, I take care to quote Jewish or Israeli sources when I give argument, but it’s countered that they are wrong kind of Jew. The anti-Zionist orthodox Jews are religious lunatics, the linguists and the holocaust scholars, they are self-hating Jews. The socialists misguided, immature or anti-Semite.

 

 

Only Tory voting royalists who support the Israeli government are Propper thinking.

No matter that Keir Starmer expels Jewish people from the labour party, for antisemitism, by which he means criticising Israel, itself an anti-Semitic conflation, under the same rules he expels them for.

 

A client told me about the Superbowl advert entitled Jew-Hate. I was shocked at the phrasing on first hearing it, unsure if it was airing an anti-Jew or anti-hate advert. Having watched it and read some accompanying articles about it, I found it interesting that there is a school of thought that this term, calls it like it is, as a lot of ordinary people don’t understand what the term anti-Semitism means, that it can mean different things to different people. Thus, the phrase Jew-Hate distinguishes between criticism of Israel or Zionism, often termed antisemitism or new-antisemitism, and Jew-hate (anti-Semitism), which goes some way to avoiding conflating the two which has led to accusations faced by some Jewish people, particularly on the left, of traitorousness, a self-loathing antisemitism.

To further understand the terminology around this subject, I recommend reading Barnaby Raine’s in depth analysis; Jewophobia.

 

 

I feel like sometimes I’m living in a twisted inversion of reality, the upside down.

I wonder if I should pack it all in and move to some remote hamlet by the sea and have a quiet life away from all these problems, grow vegetables, write poetry, learn to play the guitar.

 

I’m told being on the left, is to think like a student, to believe that everyone can live together in peace. I believe that our greatest failing is to not allow ourselves to imagine peace.

 

I remember during the election of 2019 the fact that Jeremy Corbyn would never use nuclear weapons was considered to be a disgraceful betrayal of Queen and country. To be a lifelong anti-war campaigner was to be a terrorist sympathiser, to be a lifelong anti-racist was to be an anti-Semite. His views on all manner of things, ignored. History shows that Corbyn has often been right when commenting about other recent wars, but his voice is erased from history, nothing he says holds mainstream value. If enough people believe the lie, it becomes the received truth.

(Again, I can’t stress this enough, read Manufacturing Consent.)

 

I hope I never lose my idealism; I hope I never lose knowing that as humans we are more similar than we are different. I hope I never give up on peace and love, or the potential future of humanity and our planet.

 

These conspiracists that hate everything, and the list is exhaustive: Climate activists, especially Greta Thunberg, Prince Harry and Megan Markle, Woke-ism, etc.

This is their daily reality. I feel revulsed to be immersed in this reality.

 

I think perhaps it’s a rich white people thing, they really only care about having a wonderful life and can afford to do so.

 

All I can do is remember that for hundreds of years Christians, Jews, and Muslims lived side by side, as we do here in London. As Greeks, and Turks lived together in Cyprus, As Sikhs, Hindus, and Muslims, and Christians, lived together in India.

Before the British and the French and the Americans relentlessly divided them, and taught them to fear each other.

They lived together in the land before Israel was created, because whilst Britain and Europe knew what was happening in the holocaust was wrong, they didn’t want the Jews. History tells us this.

This is not just Israel and Palestine’s mess, this is the West’s mess. The seeds were planted long ago and now bare bloody fruit.

 

 

“Being taught to avoid talking about politics and religion has led to a lack of understanding of politics and religion. What we should have been taught was how to have a civil conversation about a difficult topic.”  (Social Media Post – Anon)

We should be having discussions to learn from each other, not to win them.

 

I was talking with a psychotherapist about the war on Gaza, the atrocities on both sides, the need to understand human nature and empathise and work though our problems, not act them out violently, at home or on the world stage. We can have a reasoned discussion and know that working creatively together with love, can change our current trajectory.

Imagine investing in growing peace, the amounts of time and money we put into waging war.

 

All over the world people of all faiths and races are coming together and organising, getting along just fine, understanding each other and how history brought them here.

But look at the mess we are in. Who are these people that we allow to run the world? Why are we voting for them? How are they even allowed, when so often in the pockets of the oil and arms industries, to stand for office? They take bungs from all manner of evil corporations.

 

They don’t want peace, there is more profit in war; They play both sides. Netanyahu, supporting Hamas and being friends with anti-Semite far right Christian fascists. They both share similar aims, more anti-Semitism in the world means more incentive to participate in the right of return. Netanyahu both calls any criticism of his policies anti-Semitic whilst stoking fear of antisemitism, even going so far as to manufacture it. Our own country cannot condemn the violence it profits from and the crimes it is complicit in.

 

We cannot say, “They will never change”.

They haven’t been given the chance.

If we examine how we viewed the Japanese at the end of the second world war and how much that perception has changed, it is because they were allowed to do so.

 

Humans share more similarities than differences.

Go to Friday night dinner at a Jewish person’s house, it’s just like Sunday dinner at a Greek Orthodox person’s house.

Which is just like family dinner at a Muslim person’s house, they’re the same.

Right down to the miserable grandma in the corner who disapproves of everything.

 

We must mix more, we must listen and understand more, we must love more.

Our news sources are toxic, the well has been poisoned by corporate interference.

Corporate control of government leads to fascism, we know this.

 

Never let them take your soul.

Never stop seeing the humanity in Palestinians, in Israeli’s or any other oppressed people.

Never forget that we live together already in, London and New York and many other cities.

 

All over this god forsaken planet we have lived together for thousands of years.

Until the British arrived.

 

 

2023 was the year that it became abundantly clear that when they taught us “Never Again”. They were lying.

As holocaust survivor, Dr Hajo Meyer reminded us:

“Never again, means, Never again for anyone.”

 

Remember all the victims of lies, hypocrisy and turning a blind eye.

 

 

Far right-wingers are united only by their fascism.

One might easily insert ‘Christian Zionist’ for ‘Philo-Semite’. Echoing the old Yiddish joke: ‘The philo-Semite is the anti-Semite who loves Jews’.

In the modern Zionist-Jewish fantasy when the temple is rebuilt the Mashiach will come, they will rule as the chosen ones, just not in sense of tikkun olam. (Chosen, not as a master race, but bound to a vocation to mend the world.)

 

Christian Zionists support Israel, because they hate Jews, not because they love them. In their fantasy it is foretold that when all the Jews return to Israel, they will demolish the Al-Aqsa mosque, and build a new temple. Thus, Jesus will return and condemn all Jews, Muslims, atheists and idolators, (and pretty much anyone who isn’t a Christian right winger), to the fiery depths of hell. As if we aren’t living there already.

 

 

This would be laughable if these groups did not have so much power, but when I look to the world, I see we are losing many of our rights. More money is being funnelled into dark PSYOP’s than ever before. The right-wing oligarch Press barons have so much control on the narrative that no-one hears the dispossessed.

Peace protesters outside British Parliament are accused of being violent terrorists by their representatives inside the house. When those on the left publicly call out their bad behaviour, particularly their islamophobia it is dismissed as antisemitic, even by actual Nazi’s as we see with the pronouncements from the far-right resurgent parties in Germany.

 

But this began with anti-Semitism, the Daily mail, vilifying Jews until they couldn’t anymore, then everyone that came afterwards, now the current rise in stop-the-boats islamophobia as documented here by The New European.

 

 

We have to examine how we got here.

Israel is not behaving as a Jewish enterprise, but as a Christian colonial one, installed and backed by Europe and America. Israel, under Netanyahu’s regime, imports Jews and exports anti-Semitism, thereby perpetuating the cycle, growing an anti-Semitism further accelerated by public perception of Israeli assaults on Palestinians and the West’s failure to hold them to account. America gets to whitewash its crimes against humanity and people blame “the Jews”.

 

White privilege confers advantages on white people all around the world, and its counterpart is oppression. With the creation of a European ethno-state, Israeli Jews became white,

in much the same way that Italians, Irish and Jews became white in America. It serves to divide and cauterise cooperation with the black, non-white, or indigenous populations.

This is the behaviour of white settler-colonialists, not Jews. Jews are not Israel. Israel does not speak nor act on behalf of all Jews. There is a long tradition of radical Jews fighting all manner of oppression. Donny Gluckstein & Janey Stone present an account of the Jewish socialist tradition in their book, The Radical Jewish Tradition.

 

We should consider the origins of some ancestral Palestinians who have been on the land for generations, people who converted to Islam, to remain in their ancestral homes, first in the 7thC and later the 16th C as a matter of pragmatism. They are genetically, the closest relations to Jews. It is Testament to Christian hegemony that any Jew would have any truck with Israel’s endeavours, and many do not.

 

Historian Barnaby Raine said:

“Jews know what it is to be dehumanised. Jews know what it is to be referred to as human animals, which is how Netanyahu referred to the people in Gaza.

Jews know what it means for our lives to be valued less than others, we faced thousands of years of it. So, I think the most Jewish thing to do is to come out into the streets in solidarity with the people of Palestine, who face the kind of brutality and dehumanisation that my ancestors faced in tsarist Russia, and the lesson that I take from that persecution is that No-one should ever face that”.

 

 

This week Israel advances preparations for a ground invasion of Rafah, where most of the population is based, one of the designated “safe areas’ though it has been documented that these safe areas have been targeted. This may be the last chance to stop what is now becoming inarguably a genocide. A secret genocide, because our government and everyone around us pretends it isn’t happening.

Egypt is building holding pens in the event that Gazans are pushed into the Sinai, and have said Europe should take them.

 

It is spring now, but it feels like the world is ending.

 

I find myself procrastinating, wondering if this piece is career ending, house losing. A small part of me thinks that I could leave it in the lap of the gods. “Publish and be dammed.”

Move somewhere remote and leave working with the public behind me.

Common-sense dictates that committing professional and social suicide for half a dozen reads is too heavy a price to pay.

 

 

“Everyone’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s really an easy way: Stop participating in it.” Noam Chomsky

 

The Gulf war was the first war played out on Television with the whole world watching it unfold, often live.

 

My father was transfixed and could not tear himself away from the carnage of the 24-hour rolling-news. I watched him go for days without sleep. He became more agitated and disturbed, balancing the scales until he tipped into full-blown mania. Knowing that its inevitable polar flip into deep depression was imminent, I had to take him to the hospital and have him committed, such was his distress at the world events laid out before him in technicolour.

He had no direct connections to Iraq, perhaps it was just his inherent humanity and empathy that tortured him so.

 

This current conflict, which has escalated into what is undeniably forced displacement and quite possibly the first genocide live streamed by its own victims, has caused many feelings to surface for me. Today I wonder, wasn’t his reaction the logical one? To be thrown off his axis so completely in the face of such ultra-violence. It seems reasonable to me now, reminded as I am of the words of Krishnamurti.

“It is no measure of good health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

 

How do we deal with the pain of others that we may disagree with when we are consumed and constrained by our own?

 

Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens, an Israeli, has written:

“Most Israelis are psychologically incapable at this moment of empathizing with the Palestinians. The mind is filled to the brim with our own pain, and no space is left to even acknowledge the pain of others…

… Most Palestinians are in an analogous situation—their minds too are so filled with pain; they cannot see our pain. But outsiders who are not themselves immersed in pain should make an effort to empathize with all suffering humans, rather than lazily seeing only part of the terrible reality. It is the job of outsiders to help maintain a space for peace. We deposit this peaceful space with you, because we cannot hold it right now. Take good care of it for us, so that one day, when the pain begins to heal, both Israelis and Palestinians might inhabit that space.”

 

I, as an outsider, like my father before me, find myself wholly immersed in pain.

Working with the public, knowing many people affected on both sides of the ongoing calamity, I’m reminded of that time, myself drowning in images of the crimes against humanity unfolding in Gaza.

 

What is to become of the Israeli teenagers who will return from this war with their hearts full of the things they have done, and their minds broken, and of the Palestinian orphans of orphans who have never known peace, what will they become?

 

I feel like this a battle for the very soul of our humanity.

The seeds we are planting now, what will they grow into?

 

 

 

“I have lost my capacity to focus on anything since the 7th of October, because we are part of a genocide and we are complicit in it. We are not bystanders, we are not observers, even those who are supporting Palestinians and are opposing genocide. We are complicit in genocide because it’s not just something that’s happens out there. It’s happening out there with our bombs with our fighter jets. It is with our money, with our moral support through our government, through our own representatives.”

Yanis Varoufakis

 

 

And so, I find myself speaking out, not knowing where this will lead me. One thing I do know. Doing so will not cost me the same as it has the generation of artists and poets, the academics and journalists of Gaza whose voices are silenced now, those who are forever gone.

 

In America; twenty-five-year-old U.S Airman, Aaron Bushnell, having received his papers to go to Israel, takes action. Calmly speaking into his phone as he live-streams, he explains that he is about to make an Extreme Protest. Walking to the Israeli embassy in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. He speaks to the viewer. “Many of us ask ourselves, “What would I do if I was alive during slavery? Or the Jim Crow South? Or apartheid? What would I do if my country was committing genocide? The answer is, you’re doing it right now.”

He stops, pours an accelerant on himself, Says “This is what our ruling class has decided will be normal.” He self immolates. Standing quite calmly, repeating “Free Palestine!”

To one side, a policeman stands training a gun on him the whole time. When he cannot stand anymore and falls to the ground another police officer runs in with a fire extinguisher. CNN

 

Aaron, had arranged a new home for his cat, made a will, and left word that perhaps if a white American serviceman makes the ultimate sacrifice, it will be newsworthy and his message, “I will no longer be complicit in genocide”, will break through.

In his will he says. I am sorry to my brother and my friends for leaving you like this. Of course, if I was truly sorry, I wouldn’t be doing it. But the machine demands blood. None of this is fair.”

“I wish for my remains to be cremated. I do not wish for my ashes to be scattered or my remains to be buried as my body does not belong anywhere in this world. If a time comes when Palestinians regain control of their land, and if the people native to the land would be open to the possibility, I would love for my ashes to be scattered in a free Palestine.”

 

 

I understand well what it is to feel like you don’t belong in this world.

If Aaron was willing to give up his life to show his country and the world what they have become, it begs the question. Who am I not to speak out? What price comfort?

 

The queer mantras: Silence = Death & Silence = Violence, pop into my mind.

I hate that I stay silent on social media when I want to be screaming. Not that I have a huge platform, but to state which side of history I stand on. To testify, as 102-year-old philosopher Edgar Morin, revered French intellectual figure, Jewish WW2 resistant who fought as a lieutenant in De Gaulle’s France combatant, advises us to.

 

I am both astonished and outraged by the fact that those who represent the descendants of a people who were persecuted for centuries for religious or racial reasons… That the descendants of this people who are today the decision-makers of the State of Israel, could not only colonise an entire people, partly drive them out of their land and seek to expel them for good… But also, after the massacre of October 7, engage in a real massive slaughter on the population of Gaza and continue, incessantly, hitting civilians, women, and children.

And to see the silence of the world, the silence of the United States, protectors of Israel, the silence of the Arab states, the silence of the European states who claim to be defenders of culture, humanity, human rights.

I think we are living through a horrible tragedy because we are also powerless in the face of this thing that is unleashing. At least, I say: bear witness! The only thing that remains if we cannot resist concretely is to TESTIFY. Let’s RESIST IN OUR MINDS, let’s not be fooled, let’s not forget, let’s have the courage to face things head-on.”

 

Most recently, there has been much talk of sexual violence and gang rapes committed on October 7th. Norman Finkelstein forensically examines the UN report.

The short version is that further examination reveals that Pramila Patten’s UN report compiled with full Israeli cooperation, states that her team viewed 5000 photographs and 50 hours of footage from Oct 7th attack, supplied by the Israeli government and from verified open sources. The digital evidence from every angle, every device, bodycams, dashcams, cell phones, CCTV, traffic and surveillance cameras did not yield one single image of sexual violence. The report states that no forensic evidence could be located of any sexual violence. It goes on to state it was unable to meet a single survivor of sexual violence from Oct 7th. No one came forward to corroborate any sexual violence. Bizarrely, Patten, phantasmagorically concludes; “There are reasonable grounds to believe that multiple incidents of rape, including gang rape, occurred.”

 

Finkelstein states: “If the report were correctly packaged and publicised, the title would read: October 7: No Direct Material Evidence of Rape.”

 

There is no question that this is a difficult subject, that there have been abhorrent atrocities committed by Hamas and the State of Israel. The question is, how did we get here and how do we move past it? First, we have to stop.

 

Cease Fire Now.

 

Yoko Ono invites us to Imagine Peace. War Is Over, If you Want it.  She says.

I think about that.

If we cannot imagine peace, we can never create it.

We have to want it. We have to believe it possible.

This moment in time demands that we come together and banish the malevolent forces with peace, love and creativity.

This is not about picking sides. This is about facing our demons and coming together.

We cannot avoid this conversation any longer.

We cannot wait for those in power to give us a better world.

A world of Peace, Justice & Equality for all.

We are going to have to build it ourselves, from the ground up.

 

Let us unite in exchanging ideas, sharing our hopes and dreams.

It is our moral imperative to have ambition, to keep this conversation going.

The only nation of any importance now, is the imagi-nation.

Imagine Peace.

 

Through alchemy we will transmute despair into hope.

 

 

 

As I end writing this, on day one hundred and sixty-four.

There are 40,042 dead. 2,000,000 displaced, 74,400 injured.  Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor

 

If killing people is wrong, how is killing myriads more the answer?

 

I bear witness.

 

It’s clear that I decided to go ahead with publishing this piece. I thank the people who have given me courage to be true to myself, to stand up and be counted.

 

The next part in this series focuses on non-violence and centres Palestinian voices.

Edited by Ennis Welbourne