Threads that connect us all
If you ask me what i remember of the Israeli assault on Gaza November 2012, there is one memory that springs immediately to my mind.
It had been a night of relentless bombing. The constant whine of F16s returning with yet another cargo of death. Hearing their engines, harbingers of destruction, passing over the beach, waiting for the next explosion to rent the air. The horror of another wave of bombing to crush the people of Gaza, my dearest friends. Never knowing if one of them had been hit by the latest raining down of concussion bombs, 1000lb monstrous missiles that shook your insides from over 1km away.
The drones incessantly buzzing overhead, spying and killing with impunity and without conscience, push button murderers. The intermittent robotic boom of the gunships firing on the beach refugee camps. The recoil of the guns, the pump of shells fired at a defenceless people. The searchlights of the ships, only a few hundred metres from the shore, illuminating their victims, nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. No shelter from the scream of shells through the air and the thud, thud, as they found their target time after time.
The metallic whirr of the Apache helicopters circling over the plumes of smoke trailing upwards from the demolished homes. Hovering like vultures over the devastation, the broken lives. Revelling in the death of innocents. Hunting down survivors as they stumbled from the rubble, blinded by the dust, bewildered and suffocated by the stench of death.
Finally, dawn crept across the horizon, cracking open the darkness with a soft golden glow. For a moment silence fell, and in that moment the dawn call to prayer rang out from Mosque to Mosque across Gaza. The song of connection to God, a prayer of defiance, a proof of Life. A sound more beautiful than any I had ever heard. A heralding of Hope.
At that moment, fear fell away and the threads that connect us to God and to Humanity shimmered in the half light. It is these threads that bind us, that will never break despite the Darkness that tries to rip them assunder. The threads of our Faith, whatever our religion, that one day Peace will be upon Earth and Love will overcome.
In the midst of all this destruction we are still invincible. We must never forget that.”