Monday, August 11, 2014

How not to Write about Gaza

  •  Do not infantilize it by God-awful chants such as the morbid “Gaza Gaza don’t you cry/We will never let you die.” Gaza has withstood a seven year siege, three invasions in six years, and a resistance movement that despite the odds has developed itself and given life and hope to Palestinians. That is only in the last seven years. Look up Gaza’s rich history, one that extends beyond being the spark of the first intifada in 1987.

  • Gaza is not Palestine. It makes up less than 2 percent of the country. Gaza is not the Palestinian cause. It is part of it. The Palestinian cause encompasses all the territories that the occupying power has divided and ruled over such as the West Bank, Jerusalem, the 1948 occupied territories, and Gaza. And then some, considering the millions of refugees still waiting for their right of return in camps in the neighboring countries of Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt.

  • Gaza is no more an “Arab cause” than it is a “Muslim/Islamic ummah cause.” The former are collaborators with the Zionist regime, the latter does not exist. So save your takbeers (unless it is to cheer on the resistance) and empty rhetoric on saving al-Aqsa mosque (it’s not the one with the shiny golden dome by the way) for when Salah al-Din emerges from his grave. 

  • Continuing on in the same vein, bury that stupid slogan of "You don't need to be a Muslim to support Gaza. You just need to be human." NO. Just. NO.
    • Also, don't "Pray for Gaza." Thank you very much.

  • Gaza is not a charity basket case. Use those bake-sales to attain something oh so slightly pettier. We don’t want money to ameliorate the disastrous conditions. We want an end to the siege and a border crossing we can be in charge of. We want dignity.

  • Gaza is not a cool warzone for you to add on your CV and Facebook albums. So pseudo journalists, fuck off. Orientalist journalists, the same applies to you. Foreign journalists who love reporting about the location of resistance rockets fired-endangering whole neighborhoods- the darkest depths of hellfire await you.

  • Gaza is not a cool slogan. Gaza is not cool for you to parade your activism shamelessly. Gaza is not an acceptable mainstream easy activist protest where flags of parties who are actively involved in killing civilians such as Hezbollah can be waved around. 

  • Gaza is not a platform to use for your political and public speaking career, George Galloway. Gaza is not for bigots, no matter how “good” of a speaker they are.

  • Gaza is not a “feel-good call of duty even though I am so angry by all the killings there.” If you want to protest, do it right. Do not hold hands for the umpteenth time in front of the Israeli embassy chanting “Free Free Palestine” like a broken record. Do occupy or smash up the embassy. Quality over quantity.

  • Gaza is not for selfies.

  • Gaza is not to be used for people to further their own careers and star-studded personalities who support oppression elsewhere. Gaza is not for hypocrites, like Abby Martin.

  • Dear West Bank especially, and the rest of Palestine in general: Gaza is not a neighboring country. Do not protest in “solidarity” by holding candles and gathering at city centers. Rise up against the slavemaster’s puppets, the Palestinian Authority. Rise up against the slavemaster, Israel. Shove your solidarity to somewhere where the sun don’t shine.

  • Dear the rest of Palestine: do not internally Orientalize Gaza. That includes describing singer Mohammed Assaf as “dark-skinned but with a great personality.” Perhaps it is too much to ask to get rid of your colonized minds.

  • Gaza is not for your own fetishization. Do not fetishize Gaza.

  • If you do not understand what is meant by “Gaza is Hamas, and Hamas is Gaza” as Israel relentlessly bombards it with thousands of tons of heavy weaponry and massacres then do not even torture us with your senseless analysis.

  • Do not use “We teach life, sir” to the point where the phrase’s essence loses its meaning every time you see a photo of Palestinian children enjoying themselves. Children are children. They quickly adapt to their surroundings and find ways to have fun.

  • Gaza is not for your sympathy. Gaza is a call for direct action against the complicit hypocritical world.

  • Gaza’s murdered civilians are not just “women, children and elderly.” Men are civilians.

  • Gaza is not to be resoundingly victimized as hapless and helpless. Simultaneously, Gaza is not under any circumstances to be compared to the colonizing, occupying Zionist regime.

  • Do not talk about Gaza, liberal Palestinians and foreigners. Do not ask why there are no bomb shelters in Gaza, like that stupid sellout rap group DAM did (who have since deleted that July 13 post on their Facebook page. The powers of screenshots poses their question in Arabic below). Do not ask why people in Gaza “don’t just leave.”

سؤال لحماس-
غير انه عندكم استراتيجية ل-تخويف العدو
هل في برنامج لجلب الطمأنينة للشعب؟
يعني غزة دايماً كانت مستهدفة، بس بين هجوم لهجوم هل في بناء ملاجئ؟
  • Impartiality does not exist in Gaza.


  1. What are you expecting from people then?

    1. To check themselves. To listen. To understand what solidarity is about. To realize that their activism is not all about them. If that wasn't clear enough, I shudder to think of how well your reading skills are.

  2. Hamas and The Palestinian Authority are asking people to carry on the demonstrations as it does put pressure on Israel. Your blog appears to be intending to ridicule those 100,000's of people worldwide, who demonstrate against Israel, Your blog will only benefit Israel. Or is that your idea? Zionist?

    1. leo welch you bore me. have i hurt your poor icky feelings so much that you felt like you just had to accuse me of being a zionist? fuck off, this post is not meant for self-absorbed ignorant idiots like you who act like they know it all.

  3. This is a very long list of don'ts.

    In light of this, an accompanying do's list would be very helpful as I now don't have a fucking clue how you'd want me to be of any help.

    1. that's not the way it works. but hey, there's this little thing called BDS that's helpful.

  4. This is the best written piece i've seen so far. BUT "If you do not understand what is meant by “Gaza is Hamas, and Hamas is Gaza” .." well no! You were going so well and perfect until you arrived to that point! Really such comment is exact opposite to all the other points you made. Gaza is not all the stuff you said above but also it's not Hamas either!

    1. …beside the above comment, you made me laugh so much. You have an amazing sharp sense of humour. I now will have to follow your blog :) keep it up and keep it coming. Also wish you have a Facebook page. hey it's crap but it does reach people! (aa)

    2. your comment is exactly what I meant by those who do not understand what is meant by, sigh- here it is again, word for word: "Gaza is Hamas and Hamas is Gaza" as Israel relentlessly bombards it with thousands of tons of heavy weaponry and massacres.

  5. The first paragraph is not very accurate. That's funny for a blog post which tell us - rather arrogantly - to look up Gaza's rich history. It's not "three invasions in six years". In 2012 the Israelis didn't dare to invade... And by the way, stop this 3rd thing in 6 years. Forgot 2006? It's 4th thing (war, massacre, whatever you prefer to call it) in 8 years. And by the way Gaza Strip withstood some hundreds or thousands of invasions since 2005. Get the facts right, dear... Ah, and something else. Stop talking about "Gaza". It's Gaza Strip. There are other areas in Gaza Strip equally suffering and resisting - or even more I would say, than Gaza (City).

    1. 3 invasions in 6 years, 4 invasions in 8 years, I see no contradiction. You obviously do, since you say that there was no ground invasion in 2012 (true) but continuous aerial and naval bombing DO constitute an invasion. And when I use "Gaza" I do not mean Gaza city, I mean Gaza in its entirety. No need to nit-pick or be a reductionist pedantic.

  6. Very clear. You are with this woman:

    More power to both of you.

  7. "Gaza is not a platform to use for your political and public speaking career,". Nice! Especially coming from somebody who made herself famous by criticising other people's struggles and who's pictures (cute ones I have to admit) are all over the worldwideweb... "Look who's talking"...

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