by Julie Webb-Pullman
Yesterday I went shopping. Like billions of people throughout the world, I went to the market to buy fruit and vegetables. Like a fraction of a percent of them, I did so beneath falling bombs.
Because I was shopping in Gaza.
Gaza, where we eat our bread with blood. Gaza, where the babies are bathed with tears. Gaza, where we LIVE.
We live despite media misinformation that paints Israel as the victim – a media that harms us every bit as much as every Israeli missile.
We live in the face of the lie of Israeli self-defense, of Israeli “response to rocket fire” – which ignores the root cause planted, watered and fertilized by Israeli snipers last Friday, when they shot dead Palestinian teenager Raed Khalil Abu Tair, on crutches and hundreds of meters away from the fence.
THAT was the seed from which this situation grew. And it is a seed that feeds our defiance, resistance, and our very will to live in Gaza.
I refuse to be cowed by Israeli bombs. I refuse to shiver and shake from fear in an inside room. I defy Israeli brutality, I refuse to let it define my life.
Instead, I LIVE.
I went shopping to Saha market, and between the blasts I bought a pair of sandals, and a sunhat each for my friend’s daughters. Yes, I jumped with each bomb – then continued with what I was doing – getting on with LIFE.
I bought fruit and vegetables – eggplant, capsicum, potatoes, tomatoes, onions – ordinary, and life-giving. Oranges and kiwifruit – vitamin-packed jewels to add a sparkle no drone can dim.
I went next to the Curiosity Shop to see if he had a traditional Ramadan lamp – he didn’t.
I jumped in a car and went to Jundy; a missile struck behind us, the people in the car craned to see, people in the street all hurried towards it. I got out of the car and went into a dress shop, looking for something light to wear inside for summer.
More bombs fell.
I went to the supermarket, bought dates, water, tomato paste. I got home, put on a load of laundry because there was electricity, and unpacked the shopping.
I began preparing the vegetables for dinner.
There was a massive explosion; I went to the balcony, and saw palls of smoke rising from behind the supermarket – and realized I had forgotten to get coffee.
I will have to go and get some tomorrow.
War or not, daily life must go on. Ramadan or not, mouths must be fed. Destroyed home or not, families must eat, sleep, bathe, survive. Israeli atrocities or not, children must be cared for, the sick tended to, the dead buried.
But how, when the air above sends a hail of missiles every five minutes, the sea and land around you explode with mortar fire and worse? When a trip to the corner shop becomes a death-defying exercise in what you need more – a pound of rice or a pound of flesh? (more…)