Do not go to the Radiohead concert

My granddaughter, I know we only see each other once or twice a year. I roam between continents and you grow and bloom in the enchanted village where you live, amid mountains and pine trees. And once when I was writing about the debate Roger Waters and Thom Yorke had, when the Pink Floyd legend asked the Radiohead legend not to perform in Israel, and Yorke replied that no one would tell him what to do; When I sided with Roger Waters, your father, my son, scolded me: “You know how long she’s waiting for this concert!” he said. “Not everything is about politics, you have to live”. So yes, everything starts and ends with politics, and others want to live too. So please do not go to the Radiohead concert.

Do not go to the Radiohead concert because in the villages east of the backyard of the house where you live, boys and girls of your age, they too want to go to the Radiohead concert. But they cannot. They are forbidden from taking a bus, or ask their dad to drive them to the concert ground, because the Israeli government does not allow them to leave their villages in the occupied territories without a transit permit. You see, the Israeli government sent the army to erect checkpoints in the occupied territories, to block and prevent the Palestinians from traveling. And armed soldiers stand guard at the checkpoints. And the soldiers, who carry out the orders of the Israeli government, do not let these boys and girls from the villages and the refugee camps in the occupied territories whom you can see from your back yard, to pass through the checkpoints and join you in the Radiohead concert. Not without a transit permits.

Do not go to the Radiohead concert, because those who do not have transit permits, the Palestinians who live in the refugee camps, their ancestors lived on the lands of the village where you live. The neighboring village is also on the same land. 70 years ago there was a large Palestinian village there, and its Palestinian residents were expelled, and the soldiers who expelled them destroyed their village, and instead, two Jewish villages were built. And the residents of the destroyed village were forced to march east, and today they and their children and their grandchildren and their great-grandchildren live in the refugee camps that surround Jerusalem from the east, the north and the south. Some of them are holding the key to their destroyed homes, and they pass it from father to son and from daughter to granddaughter, and they dream of the day when they are able visit the land of the village where you live, the land that once belonged to them, with or without transit permits. And if you dream of a day when hatred and violence could be stopped in this region where you live, then to honor and respect the dream of the deportees and their descendants will be a good start.

Do not go to the Radiohead concert because a Palestinian girl of your age who took a pair of scissors from her mother’s sewing tools and attempted to stab the soldiers at the checkpoint, the soldiers who do not let the Palestinians pass without permits, was murdered by the very same soldiers. They shot her to death, even though they could take the scissors out of her hand without a problem. But they did not do that. They did not do that because the Israeli government did not want them to do that. They shot her dead because the Israeli government wanted her shot dead. Otherwise they would not have allowed the soldiers to shoot and kill a fifteen-year-old girl armed with despair and a small pair of scissors. So if you dream of how you can prevent soldiers from murdering fifteen-year-old girls, then figuring out why she picked up the scissors and stormed the soldiers, armed with despair in the first place, will be a good start.

Do not go to the Radiohead concert because this is the last ammo those who dream of a day when hatred and violence will disappear are left with. And if you think how this small (huge) step of yours can bring an end to hatred and violence, then my answer is the belief that your small (huge) step and one small (huge) step of your friends, and one small (huge) step of your parents, and one small (huge) step by their friends, will lead to a series of small (huge) steps that will ultimately force the Israeli government to join your, and our, march to end hatred and violence. So please, my granddaughter, do not go to the Radiohead concert.

This entry was posted in Human Rights, Occupation, Politics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Do not go to the Radiohead concert

  1. Hugh Walker says:

    A beautifully written and heart warming piece – thank you!

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