Whenever I think of Gaza I remember a cartoon I saw many years ago when I was still a citizen of the troubled Middle East. The cartoon could have been by the late Palestinian cartoonist Naji Al Ali, but I could not trace it on his official website. In the cartoon the Arab nation is depicted as a wounded woman; a knife had just stabbed her chest. An arrow points to the bleeding wound, proclaiming it as Gaza غزة . The cartoon works best in Arabic and particularly for those of us familiar with the Eastern Mediterranean version of spoken Arabic, where غزة (Ghazzah) means a stab, and is perhaps a derivative of غرزة a stitch, usually made with a sharp needle or similar instrument.
In my mind Gaza is still bleeding, and it is a wound in the heart of the whole world. I feel sorry for those who are forced to endure life within its borders, because I know that most wouldn’t want to live there if they had a choice.
Gaza is worse than a Bantustan. It is one of the most densely populated regions of the world. The living conditions of the people there are among the worst in the world. Now they are living under the shadow of death, destruction and war. I have nothing but sorrow and sympathy to offer them.
This blog is not about politics. I do not want to stand for a cause or declare myself as a militant supporter of one side over the other. I will not write from the viewpoint of an Arab, although I spent the best part of my youth in the Middle East, and I am familiar with the pain, the disappointment and their by-product of extremism. I am writing because I do not understand how some South Africans Jews who have never been to the Middle East and know nothing about the conflict, choose to support the attack on Gaza.
I performed a google image search on Gaza and came up with over 15 million pictures. They are mostly of death, destruction and misery without end. Gaza is still a wound that is bleeding the world. Nothing has changed in the last two decades; violence breeds extremism and then more violence. So the the bloody history is poised to repeat itself again and again, as long as radicals on both sides of the divide keep calling for each others blood. It is never going to end.