Wow, my wife emailed me the news item: “Israeli soldiers tell Palestinians: ‘We will gas you until you die'” and on the same day I also read “Netanyahu, Trudeau affirm friendship in ‘warm’ phone call”. Talk about a head spinning moment. The new and improved leader of Canada affirms friendship in a warm phone conversation with a man who leads a country with an army that threatens to gas people until they die. This was a warm conversation with a man who had recent informed the rest of the world that the people his army would gas, are the very same people who are responsible for the gassing of his ancestors.
I am really in shock not so much because Trudeau has replaced Harper and Netanyahu continues on his merry way. No, I am shocked because I have visited Aida Refugee Camp. It is a place in my life. It now forms a part of me. It is not an abstraction.
I have seen the children; the people who are being threatened with a gassing. The promise is that the gassing will go on until they die, every last one of them. But the gassing already goes on, every day over and over . . .
I was there last year around this time. I watched children full of excitement throwing stones; slinging stones down the road at empty space. The stones bounced off the pavement and the good throws off the wall.
I did not understand what it was they were doing until from behind the wall; a wall, 20 feet high and 10 feet thick, soldiers emerged. They emerged to take on the children throwing stones. The children scream with delight. I did not understand the significance of what was taking place until the pop, pop came from the distance followed by exploding clouds of smoke. The children ran screaming, not from terror, but excitement, excitement that they had poked the giant and it had awoken. The children had penetrated the wall. They had broken through and penetrated the peace; brought upon themselves the wrath of the most moral army of the world.
The group I was with, were ushered from away from the edges of the gassing to a safe distance inside the entrance of Aida Refugee Camp. We stood watching in admiration and yet full of fear for the children. We stood watching in admiration of the children and full of fear for humanity. We feared humanity from knowing that world leaders, such as the recently elected Prime Minister of Canada, have and continue to have warm conversations with the leader of the “most moral army” in the world. An army who after tiring of those they imprison behind not one wall, not two walls, but three, would promise to gas them, the whole lot of them. Gas them until they were dead.