Peoples Geography — Reclaiming space

Creating people's geographies

An Open Letter to Caryl Churchill from a Palestinian Mother

Iqbal_TamimiIqbal Tamimi’s Open Letter To Caryl Churchill, author of the play Seven Jewish Children (video), a play for Gaza. Iqbal Tamimi is a Palestinian journalist and poet from Hebron. She is the creator of the Palestinian Mothers network and is currently based in London. Her Open Letter here riffs effectively on Churchill’s ten minute short play, which you can read in full here. Thanks PTT (published here without PTT’s images).

Palestinian Mothers are thanking you for your great contributions to peace and understanding. We support your calls for common sense and reminding everybody of what we have in common of unconditional love for our children, we support your mission; your words healed some of our wounds.

Allow me to join you.. And tell her that….

Tell her soon she will grow up like all young girls do, she will get married and become a mother…

Tell her blood is dearer than oil. Explain to her what kind of oil you are talking about; explain to her how many chocolate bars one can buy for the price of one bomb.

Tell her she should reject discrimination and call for equal rights for all when she grows up… No… do not tell her that now… discrimination is a big word… just tell her every human being is special and we are all equal, you might have to tell her why some people are more equal than others.

Tell her if the killing stops we will enjoy art, music, and literature… don’t tell her that, just tell her that she will play outside as much as she wants, and she can play with all the children.

Tell her to demand an apology of the Israeli state to every mother who lost a child. No… don’t… just tell her no more children are going to be killed.

Tell her to request compensating people for their losses. Tell her that she might have to share her toys.

Tell her that we never intended to kill the children and women of Gaza, and did not mean to bomb the schools, hospitals, universities, and ambulances, tell her we are going to rebuild everything. Do not tell her that her father was flying an F-16 and that he bombed the school in Gaza… tell her F-16s deliver milk sometimes… No… do not lie to her, she will find out later.

Tell her Israel is no democracy, no democracy will discriminate against one’s beliefs. Don’t… she does not know yet what democracy or beliefs mean, she only knows lollypops, dolls and candy floss, just tell her that all children should be able to taste some sweets.

Tell her a democratic state will never imprison 55 MPs who represent the people. Don’t tell her that Palestinian MPs have children her own age.

Tell her children of her age are in prison with the criminals deprived of schooling because they dared to love their country. Tell her not to be worried, for Jewish children do not go to prison.

Tell her to thank God that she is not a pregnant Palestinian woman about to give birth at a checkpoint. Tell her if she becomes pregnant she will deliver her baby in the most comfortable way and she will be supervised by the best doctors in the best equipped hospitals.

Tell her we love her. Tell her the USA loves her.

Tell her she can change everybody’s future because she will save many lives. Do not tell her that we never cared about the blood of Palestinians unless it was donated for transfusion to our sick. Tell her that her great grand parents lived in peace with Palestinians for hundreds of years before the apartheid regime ruled over the land of peace. Tell her Muslims are now fanatics, do not tell her about the Christian Palestinians. Just tell her we do not need their help any more.

Tell her we want to sleep without fears. Tell her about the mini rockets fired from Gaza to Sderot, but do not tell her that Sderot was the home of those refugees of Gaza. Do not tell her about the tons of rockets and missiles fired on Gaza.

Tell her the white phosphorus bombs were fireworks celebrating the New Year.

Tell her not to be frightened, all the Palestinians want is equal rights and justice. Do not tell her that we consider Palestinians as animals and unworthy of life.

Tell her if she is brave to change this ugly system one day we will all meet like all good neighbours do.

Tell her Palestinian mothers used to babysit for Jewish mothers like sisters.

Tell her not to believe all the lies she hears from mainstream media. She can only trust Tom and Jerry, but not to believe in Superman.

Tell her if she really believes in God she will respect life and dignity of others. Do not tell her that we consider Palestinians not worthy of respect.

Tell her God is capable of making prophecies come true if he wants without the help of Zionists. Do not tell her that we manipulate relegion whenever we like to suit our agenda, do not tell her that most of our government are secular people who never practiced Judaism.

Tell her no God will favour some of his children over the rest of them. But still tell her we are the chosen people.

Tell her it is not fair that she came from Russia and she lives in a Palestinian home while a Palestinian woman and her family were expelled from their home where they used to live for 1400 years.

Tell her… to ask them… why this woman can’t go home now.

Tell her why people in her home town can’t pray in their local mosque as they used to for hundreds of years.

Tell her 11,870 Palestinians are detained in prisons the majority were never tried at a court.

Tell her a Palestinian woman said when she dies she wants to be buried in her home under a vine tree, tell her do something to stop them uprooting the trees.

Tell her my body blossomed from the soil of Palestine and one day it should be reunited with Palestine’s soil to nourish a jasmine tree….climb the windows and stretch to hug the sky.

Tell her when she prays for children’s safety, she should not pray only for Jewish children, God would not like that… angles are immuned against Zionist propaganda.

Tell her only justice can bring peace.

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This entry was posted on 7 May, 2009 by in Israel, Palestine and tagged , .

Timely Reminders

"Those who crusade, not for God in themselves, but against the devil in others, never succeed in making the world better, but leave it either as it was, or sometimes perceptibly worse than what it was, before the crusade began. By thinking primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions, to create occasions for evil to manifest itself."
-- Aldous Huxley

"The only war that matters is the war against the imagination. All others are subsumed by it."
-- Diane DiPrima, "Rant", from Pieces of a Song.

"It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there"
-- William Carlos Williams, "Asphodel, That Greeny Flower"