Contrapuntal: Transforming Gaza
A Blog by Marilyn Garson
I had to let go of ‘my’ nice, liberal, imagined Jerusalem. I began to ask how ‘our’ city might be built on justice. Now Trump has gifted Jerusalem to his electoral base, and the protests have begun. Will someone catalyze them with a vision of a better Jerusalem?
The blockade itself is the first anomaly of Gaza, and the immediate cause of Gazans’ suffering. That our Western governments tolerate the blockade wall is the second anomaly. The composition of our aid to the people behind that wall is the third: we bankroll the maintenance of the blockade regime. It is not true that nothing works in Gaza. The problem is that so little is tried.
If you cannot imagine living together, you have underestimated all the creativity, money, technology, infrastructure, and hard work that has been expended to keep us apart.
Each year, Jews count fifty days of transformation to situate ourselves in time and space. In Gaza, through the fifty days of war in 2014, we counted many things.
I lived and worked in Gaza (2011 – 2015). With an extraordinary Palestinian team and a niece in Israel, I was surrounded by smart, loving young adults. None of them wanted to raise their children in a bloody cul de sac. The music of their hope was contrapuntal.
We must transform this conflict, re-think it and resolve it.
I want to state my position. My understanding of the conflict is a work in progress. The first, transformational act takes place behind each of our eyes.
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!
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