Sunday, January 18, 2009
I don't even know where my home is
Gaza aftermath. Palestine Chronicle photo.
How many times must a person be bombed, terrorized, chased out of their lands and homes? This elderly Palestinian man is a survivor of the Nakba and of the Gaza massacre. Can not this elder find peace in his later years? Can not the leaders of the world's nations find it in their hearts to help him and his beleaguered people? Must he be homeless, stateless and bombed for eternity? Must catastrophe be his?
"It's a massacre not only against our people, but also against our homes."
In Tal Al-Hawa another resident glanced around the depressing landscape.
"Everywhere I look there is rubble. There is still smoke rising from some places. The roads and buildings have huge gaping holes," said Jumma Nasser, 62.
In the southern city of Khan Yunis, Mohammed Al-Najar sought desperately to find [his] home -- in vain -- in the rubble.
"At least 20 residential houses are completely destroyed in our neighborhood," he said.
"I came to see my home. I searched for it. There is no home. I don't even know where my home is."
Mats Svenssen writes:
"But one did not learn anything [from the war crimes of WW II]. The mistakes are repeated with a creepy sense of precision. The Nakba came shortly after the peace agreement of the Second World War was signed. The ink had dried but all the crimes of the war seemed to be forgotten. Every Palestinian family was affected and many have since then lived in refugee camps. It is these refugees or their children who are being bombed today."
Elna Sondergaard asks
"The crucial question is however: To which courts of justice can Palestinian victims bring their claims? There are Palestinian courts in Gaza but they have no jurisdiction over criminal cases involving Israelis. As stateless people, Palestinians have no state which could sign the Rome Statute with a view to seeking the adjudication of the ICC, or which would be entitled to bring a case to the International Court of Justice in The Hague as Bosnia and Herzegovina did concerning the massacre at Srebrenica. Without a state, Palestinians are also denied the legal protection offered by classic interstate diplomacy."