Quote of the Week: Hybrid Hopes

Watching as Palestinian children scream for their mothers and Palestinian fathers desperately cover up their children’s injuries against the glare of the cameras, unable to cover them against the bombs themselves . . . As the coverage of the bombing of Gaza unfurls two things rush through my brain:

1. Condi saying Hamas must stop bombing Israel
2. this quote from Hybrid Hopes:

Nature is red in tooth and claw, maybe, but it takes humans to really be monsters.

Children have died on both sides for a war that Bush has made that much harder for us to stand on the side of Human Rights to stop. As the international community meets to discuss the situation, I can only think “Whose children are more precious? Whose rights more valid? Whose lives more human?”

Then I think of a special I saw late the other night about a Saturday program that brings Israeli Jewish children and Muslim Palestinian children together to discuss their faith, hopes, dreams, and trials. The documentary shows them all wary at first but soon growing to call each other friends. Only one Jewish girl refuses to let go of old prejudices and the distances they create. The rest of the class, Muslim and Jewish alike, recognize each other’s humanity. I wonder if these children can withstand the onslaught of hatred and violence all around them. I wonder if they will be alive to stand up for peace when the last bombs fall in this or some newer conflict. Or will they sadly turn into the one girl who would not give up her hatred and mistrust? Or worse, will they become the adults who taught her such things so well in the first place? (Does anybody recognize this documentary as I neglected to write down the title?)

I also wonder where the feminist outcry is for the women’s wing of the university, bombed to oblivion by Israeli bombers on the first night of the attack on Gaza. The Israeli’s claim that the university was a primary recruiting ground for Hamas but they gave no explanation for why the women’s wing was targeted and destroyed.

I can’t help but wonder if they are retaliating against the women for the last time they bombed Palestinian houses. Palestinian women and girls climbed up onto the roofs hoping that their gender would protect the homes and children below. Mobilizing gender essentialism as resistance, they relied not only on the humanity of Israeli pilots but also the international community who they bombarded with images of their daring acts, taken by cellphones, until the phone lines were shut down. While some women were successful, some homes were bombed anyway, flooding the emergency room with injured women the international community shed no collective tears over.

For these women’s powerful gendered defiance, did they also lose their school?

These are the thoughts rushing through my head two days before the end of the year . . .


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