[URBANTH-L]Of sowing and harvests: Subcomandante Marcos' speech on Gaza

Angela Jancius jancius3022 at comcast.net
Thu Jan 8 19:33:06 EST 2009

Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Of sowing and harvests: Subcomandante Marcos' speech on Gaza


Two days ago, the same day we discussed violence, the ineffable Condoleezza 
Rice, a US official, declared that what was happening in Gaza was the 
Palestinians' fault, due to their violent nature.

The underground rivers that crisscross the world can change their geography, 
but they sing the same song.

And the one we hear now is one of war and pain.

Not far from here, in a place called Gaza, in Palestine, in the Middle East, 
right here next to us, the Israeli government's heavily trained and armed 
military continues its march of death and destruction.

The steps it has taken are those of a classic military war of conquest: 
first an intense mass bombing in order to destroy "strategic" military 
points (that's how the military manuals put it) and to "soften" the 
resistance's reinforcements; next a fierce control over information: 
everything that is heard and seen "in the outside world," that is, outside 
the theater of operations, must be selected with military criteria; now 
intense artillery fire against the enemy infantry to protect the advance of 
troop to new positions; then there will be a siege to weaken the enemy 
garrison; then the assault that conquers the position and annihilates the 
enemy, then the "cleaning out" of the probable "nests of resistance."

The military manual of modern war, with a few variations and additions, is 
being followed step-by-step by the invading military forces.

We don't know a lot about this, and there are surely specialists in the 
so-called "conflict in the Middle East," but from this corner we have 
something to say:

According to the news photos, the "strategic" points destroyed by the 
Israeli government's air force are houses, shacks, civilian buildings. We 
haven't seen a single bunker, nor a barracks, nor a military airport, nor 
cannons, amongst the rubble. So--and please excuse our ignorance--we think 
that either the planes' guns have bad aim, or in Gaza such "strategic" 
military points don't exist.

We have never had the honor of visiting Palestine, but we suppose that 
people, men, women, children, and the elderly--not soldiers--lived in those 
houses, shacks, and buildings.

We also haven't seen the resistance's reinforcements, just rubble.

We have seen, however, the futile efforts of the information siege, and the 
world governments trying to decide between ignoring or applauding the 
invasion, and the UN, which has been useless for quite some time, sending 
out tepid press releases.

But wait. It just occurred to us that perhaps to the Israeli government 
those men, women, children, and elderly people are enemy soldiers, and as 
such, the shacks, houses, and buildings that they inhabited are barracks 
that need to be destroyed.

So surely the hail of bullets that fell on Gaza this morning were in order 
to protect the Israeli infantry's advance from those men, women, children, 
and elderly people.

And the enemy garrison that they want to weaken with the siege that is 
spread out all over Gaza is the Palestinian population that lives there. And 
the assault will seek to annihilate that population. And whichever man, 
woman, child, or elderly person that manages to escape or hide from the 
predictably bloody assault will later be "hunted" so that the cleansing is 
complete and the commanders in charge of the operation can report to their 
superiors: "We've completed the mission."

Again, pardon our ignorance, maybe what we're saying is beside the point. 
And instead of condemning the ongoing crime, being the indigenous and 
warriors that we are, we should be discussing and taking a position in the 
discussion about if it's "zionism" or "antisemitism," or if Hamas' bombs 
started it.

Maybe our thinking is very simple, and we're lacking the nuances and 
annotations that are always so necessary in analyses, but to the Zapatistas 
it looks like there's a professional army murdering a defenseless 

Who from below and to the left can remain silent?

Is it useful to say something? Do our cries stop even one bomb? Does our 
word save the life of even one Palestinian?

We think that yes, it is useful. Maybe we don't stop a bomb and our word 
won't turn into an armored shield so that that 5.56 mm or 9 mm caliber 
bullet with the letters "IMI" or "Israeli Military Industry" etched into the 
base of the cartridge won't hit the chest of a girl or boy, but perhaps our 
word can manage to join forces with others in Mexico and the world and 
perhaps first it's heard as a murmur, then out loud, and then a scream that 
they hear in Gaza.

We don't know about you, but we Zapatistas from the EZLN, we know how 
important it is, in the middle of destruction and death, to hear some words 
of encouragement.

I don't know how to explain it, but it turns out that yes, words from afar 
might not stop a bomb, but it's as if a crack were opened in the black room 
of death and a tiny ray of light slips in.

As for everything else, what will happen will happen. The Israeli government 
will declare that it dealt a severe blow to terrorism, it will hide the 
magnitude of the massacre from its people, the large weapons manufacturers 
will have obtained economic support to face the crisis, and "the global 
public opinion," that malleable entity that is always in fashion, will turn 

But that's not all. The Palestinian people will also resist and survive and 
continue struggling and will continue to have sympathy from below for their 

And perhaps a boy or girl from Gaza will survive, too. Perhaps they'll grow, 
and with them, their nerve, indignation, and rage. Perhaps they'll become 
soldiers or militiamen for one of the groups that struggle in Palestine. 
Perhaps they'll find themselves in combat with Israel. Perhaps they'll do it 
firing a gun. Perhaps sacrificing themselves with a belt of dynamite around 
their waists.

And then, from up there above, they will write about the Palestinians' 
violent nature and they'll make declarations condemning that violence and 
they'll get back to discussing if it's zionism or anti-semitism.

And no one will ask who planted that which is being harvested.

For the men, women, children, and elderly of the Zapatista National 
Liberation Army,

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
Mexico, January 4, 2009.

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