Susan Abulhawa | Mondoweiss | Jul 24, 2011
‘Tears of Gaza’ by Vibeke Lokkeberg is a documentary film that should be watched by every American, to see how Israel spends our taxes. Every European should watch it, to see the true face of Israel. It should be viewed by every Arab, to renew our resolve not to allow a racist nation to wipe Palestine and her children from the map and from history.
I had read the stories from Gaza after Israel’s so called “operation cast lead”. I had read the reports. I thought I had cried enough then not to cry again. But this film went to my heart, stirred everything up, made the tears fall and fall and here I am now, with a hollow, spooned out hole in my gut because bombs were dropped on sleeping children, helicopters rained the death and disfigurement of white phosphorous on terrified civilians huddling at a UN school for shelter… and no one is doing anything about it.Tears of Gaza lays bare the lies, the cover ups and Richard Goldstone’s moral flip flopping. It takes you into the heart of Gaza’s tormented landscape to show the truth behind craven and mendacious headlines with words that describe Israel’s slaughter as an “incursion” or “self defense”. This film shows us these truths through the luminous spirits of children. It is not to be missed!
Vibeke Lokkeberg gives us the names, faces, and stories of three ordinary Gaza children with extraordinary spirits. We first fall in love with Yehya, a 12-year-old boy who wants to become a doctor so he can heal people who are shot by Israelis. We see him on a small motorboat, lost in the magic of childhood as he is taught to steer the boat. His beautiful eyes and brilliant smile during these moments make his tears all the harder to bear when he talks about his beloved father. The losses that follow in his life are incomprehensible and overwhelming merely to hear about.
Until you meet Amira, 14 years old, and walk through her world.
Amira is beautiful. It’s the kind of beauty that holds an ineffable pain not often seen in the young. Her life, too, is marred by death and destruction and disfigurement of her body by ammunition. She tells us that she wants to become a lawyer so she can take the Israelis to court for the crimes they’ve committed. Then, recalling her father and brothers, she admits wishing she had just “gone with them”.
Like Amira, Rasmia is far beyond her 11 years. Arabic speakers might detect things about her that non-Arabic speakers will not. This is largely because of the translation; and this is my only criticism of the film. When Rasmia goes into what seems like a waking trance, her mother tells us in Arabic that she is “imagining”. The translation says “memorizing”, which doesn’t make sense and it distracts from an important subtlety. Her mother explains that she sometimes just “imagines” things from the attacks. I suspect that most psychologists witnessing those scenes and hearing her mother’s explanation would agree that she was experiencing flashbacks and exhibiting clear signs of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Another example where the wrong translation obscures important nuances is when Yehya is telling us about losing his father. He is, in fact, speaking in the third person: “when someone loses their father, it’s like they’ve lost the whole world” etc. But his words are translated as if in the first person: “when my father died, it’s like I lost the whole world.” The distinction might not seem important, until you realize that he cannot get the words out without breaking down when he speaks in the first person. It’s a faint distinction, but one that makes your heart break even more.
And we should all allow our hearts be broken over Gaza. It’s the least we can do. To hear these three children and ask others to hear them is the very least we can do. Vibeke Lokkeberg has given us a monumentally important record of what happened in December 2009 to January 2010; so no one can ever say “I didn’t know”.
Lest we forget, lest our tears dry or outrage subside, and lest our hearts heal before Palestine is free, I hope this film will be shown throughout the world, across university campuses, communities, organizations and living rooms. Take this not just as a review, but a call to action.
– Susan Abulhawa is the author of Mornings in Jenin (Bloomsbury 2010) and the founder of Playgrounds for Palestine.
- A “Leaflet” to the World about it’s own “forgotten” Extermination Camp called Gaza – by occpal
Gaza Siege Harshness Continues. Israel’s committing slow-motion genocide ~ by Stephen Lendman – March 23, 2012
For who does not understand the need or concept of resistance of Palestine, recommended read: History of Resistance | The Eagle of Palestine
- Special Topic | All Israeli Massacres on Palestinians
- iRemember… | Confirmed Names of Martyrs Occupation 2011 *
- Special Topic | Ethnic Cleansing
- Israeli escalation in Gaza | A “cover-up for settlement activity
- History of 1000′s years of Zionist Genocide | The Promised Land
- The Palestinian Right of Self Defense
Click on the thumbnails to view the full albums
Israel is not looking for Peace
- Israel is NOT looking for Peace but for this: “Greater Israel” Published by Radical Settler Movement
- On Aug 30,2010 Before previous peacetalks Netanyahu VOWED NO CONCESSIONS: “Eretz Israel” stretches from the med 2 river jordan INCL West Bank & Gaza
- With his OP-ED in #NYT anny Danon confirmed Netanyahu as well: “Making the Land of Israel Whole“
- Recently: Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said: “The land of Israel is ours in its entirety“
- Knesset to vote on full Israeli annexation of the West Bank
- Read what Israel thinks about US: Netanyahu: ‘America is a thing you can move very easily
- Netanyahu: ‘We won’t renew settlement freeze to lure PA to talks’
- Israel plans 1000′s more settlement units as legislators call for FULL ANNEXATION of the WEST BANK
- Ayalon: Settlement in Jerusalem not for discussion | October 16, 2011
- Occupation planning to build 1.000.000 housing unites in next 10 years | October 26, 2011
- Read, what Leaders of Zionism spoke about the Endlösung for Palestine
- Israel’s Endlösung is going on for 63 years. List of All massacres
- The massacre which is NOT covered by your local media: 2011
- What is being ignored: Gaza Under Attack – in pictures
- Save yourself time, Forget all details. It is only about this : Ethnic Cleansing
Martyred By Israeli Occupation Attacks
انّا للہ و انّا الیه راجعون
May Allah Subhana wa Ta’ ala grant the Shuhada Jannatul Firdaus, and ease it for their families, loved ones and anyone around them. Allahumma Ameen ya Rabbil Alameen. ‘ Inna Lillahi wa ‘ Inna ‘ Ilayhi Raji’un, Allahu Akbar
* The list of shuhada does not display, the numerous victims of the zionist occupation which are undocumented by media. Nor it displays the victims of the “silent onslaught” due to restrictions of movement, ability to go to hospitals for treatment or life saving surgery, due to lack of medication because of the blockades and so on. For example: The Slow Motion Genocide by the Siege on Gaza only, killed 600 patients since Gaza got under Israeli Siege.
Neither does this list, display the avoidable mortality. A clear and statistical factual evidence, about the number of deaths due to indecent ruling by occupation forces. For even an occupier has obligations under International Laws, Geneva Convention and the Hague regulations, which it is neglecting. These circumstances, together with deliberate policies of the occupier to neglect and even deny every basic human right, severes avoidable mortality which is totally silenced by media or reporting organisations. While in the Holocaust, 1 on 6 Jewish people directly died of deliberate neglect, so if we believe the facts over 1 million due to avoidable mortality, neither should these same circumstances be ignores which are ongoing in Palestine. For this report displays a avoidable morality of at least 0,5 million Palestinians.
How many more dead corpses of Palestinians does the international community need to see in order to act? How many more cruelties and violations of Human Rights, Regulations and International Law will be needed to intervene so this ongoing warcrime is being stopped once and for all.