Contrapuntal: Transforming Gaza

A Blog by Marilyn Garson

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 Reading Maimonides In Gaza

Mondoweiss has published an expanded version of my earlier story of my time in Gaza.  Part of each purchase price goes to the We Are Not Numbers project, supporting Gazan writers.  You can read more, and order copies here.  I’m very proud that Mondoweiss has made Reading Maimonedes in Gaza the second in their forthcoming series of hardcopy publications!

What is Contrapuntal?

Contrapuntal is a discussion, in the unrepresented space between the fixed extremes.
I am proudly Jewish, and equally proud to have lived and worked 2011 – 2015 with civilians in Gaza.  My colleagues, and the Palestinians around us, transformed my understanding of the conflict, and the potential for just solutions.
I want to add adjectives to our understanding of Gaza as a whole, blockaded community of two million people.  We need to recognize them as people, protect them, restore their rights, dismantle the wall that hides them, and restore Gaza to discussions of solutions.
When I speak about Gaza, it evokes curiosity, goodwill, indignation, and helplessness.  I frame the conversation in the language of human rights, legal accountabilities, and international solutions.  Those concepts equalize us.
Politics has failed.  Violence fails.  The Occupation secures no one.  The wars deter no one.  We, people, are what’s left – and I want us to act.  We can change the cost of the status quo, and raise the rewards of solution.
We must re-think this, and resolve it.

There has to be a visionary alternative, a distinction between the this-worldness which doesn’t allow us to see beyond the impossible odds in power and status, and the possibility of dreaming a different dream, and seeing an alternative to all this.

To every situation, there is always an alternative.

One must train onesself to think the alternative, not to think the accepted and the status quo or to believe that the present is frozen.

Edward Said, The Pen And The Sword, 1993