Nov 17, 2023


(by Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh - Bethlehem)

11800 murdered civilians: men, women, 4600 children
But the victim we are told is the villain
Many a death certificate written before birth certificate
Yet, rotten governments western and arab procrastinate
No point to count the thousands rotting under the rubble
For no one has tools or equipment to go to the trouble
No counting of "unknowns" burried in mass graves
For there are still living injured after each of the shockwaves
The 27,000 living dead are injured many cannot be treated
For hospitals were bombed, medicine denied, and they can't even be shielded
Hungry and thirsty they envy the dead
Children merely want to die having last meal fed
Or go to heaven where they can play
They hate the counting and feebly pray
To live to tell a story, realize dreams, maybe safety arrive
silence the bombs and keep hope alive

Tears stop

Facilities of medical service
Rendered out of practice
Al-Shifa (The cure) hospital was framed
With lies so it can be maimed
A pyrrhic "victory" for the offensive occupiers
Hapless patients, displaced people, doctors, nurses: all murders
Denied electricity, water, food, medicines, no place to go
Western hypocrites to a simple ceasefire, they say no
Many newborns off incubators die with feeble cries
Dialysis patients in agonies perish while humanity's conscience dies

Breathing stops

Cancer patients with no treatment and even no morphine to ease their pain
thousands of pounds of amputated legs
But the injured will not be saved
All watch others die and then their turns come
Sickening is the smell of death and rotting corpses
Streets filled with dust and pieces of flesh

Heartbeats stop

45,000 tons of bombs (2 nuclear bomb equivalents) are dropped
An Israeli picture of a scene pathetically photoshopped
10 kg per person in Gaza... every few minutes a US supplied JDAM
Politicians in shiny suits paid by lobbies talk a sham
US bombs kill one every four minutes, a child every ten minutes
Are there red lines. No we are told there are no limits
Homes, schools, water tanks, restaurants, streets destroyed
Hospitals, universities, office buildings, bakeries leveled
No contending armies - this is genocide
Even animals and plants not spared - this is ecoside
And there is the endless "depleted" uranium shells
New incendiary on baby flesh for revenge and war bells

Is God silent?

A girl begs God for martyrdom to join her family - I am alone she scream
Another child is asked what he would do when he grows up.. he says we don't dare dream
A burnt child trembles in shock voice quivering- her one eye to a doctor pleads
But the old Zionists watching stock prices care none but their greeds
Abducted men tortured naked and deprived of food, sleep, and water
Matter not to leaders interested in protecting the illegal squatter
Will the screams of mothers who lost their babies
Make men in 5-star hotels and conventions hesitate when they dip their pastries?
Make more than a statement of "concern"
For an ongoing holocaust to discern?
Let alone the drums of war on civilians stop?

Western media parrot endless lies
Pathetic talking points disproven yet fuel the slaughter as time flies
Massacres need a cover... Hamas will suffice
The truth we are told can be a sacrifice
For there are gas fields of Gaza to take
A new Middle East to make
Where there is no space for truth, justice, or even basic humanity
Where hubris replaces humility
Only space for greed, hegemony, and endless suffering
And the perpetuation of unipolar world worth ushering
Elbit systems worth more than the death of 13000
McDonnell Douglas worth the tiny death bags of 6000
When will the voice of jets scream
and the clank of money stream
get a ceasefire and make a child's hurt stop?
Lack of mercy stop?

Children of a lesser God must endure racism
A sacrifice at the feet of the Golden calf of Zionism
One more holocaust added to dozens before it for chauvinism
Crush the aspirations of 15 million Palestinians for the sake of imperialism
Remind me: Did the Nazis deny water and food to occupied cities?
Did the Americans besiege any Iraqi hospitals to make them cemeteries?
Is the new agent orange and napalm 'white phosphorous'?
Does history repeat itself once as tragedy once as farce?

Will oppression stop?

Will genocide satisfy the injured pride of the "chosen"
Will it satisfy the guilty feelings of those in colonial times frozen
Comfortable on top of the world with an 5th strongest military
Or is it a terror organized army with a fake state, WMD and artilleries
Deir Yassin, Tantura, Jabalia and hundreds of other massacres since 1948
State terror from a state built on terror of Irgun, Hagana and Stern since 1921
To facilitate ethnic cleansing with eight million refugees considered not enough
Having established a "Jewish state" by trying to destroy Palestine is tough
How dare us call for return to a pluralistic society
How dare us show extreme anxiety

Will we dare stop Jewish supremacy?

The West Bank already started to be destroyed
Jenin streets and homes and another hospital besieged
Our fate will be like Gaza, the terrorist army warned
Beirut too soon and other cities will also be damned
for our "new Middle East" with Starbucks
Grow General Electric and all war stocks
The USA has got Israel's back and gives the weapons to kill
American Taxpayers foot the bill

Will anyone signal stop?

Of the carnage, there will be survivors alive
They are also those who also watched it live
They will not be forgiving
They will not be forgetting
Keeping the hope alive for peace
They promise to work harder for the nightmare to cease

Who can make them stop?

Thank you Gaza for teaching us to care
Thank you Gaza for teaching us to dare
Thank you for awakening hearts and minds
Thank you for removing the blinds
Dropping the masks
Clarifying the tasks
Letting the sun shine through

Millions go out on streets, blocking roads and the US den of (Congress) thieves
For how can one stop anyone who believes
Some lose jobs and many get arrested
A small price to pay to get connected
Haunted by the pain of living
Feeling guilty when we are eating or drinking
As 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza denied such
And all they ask from us is not much
Stop your governments from supporting criminals
Who dare to call us human animals
(Actually animals are much kinder than many humans)

Genocide must stop

Until justice prevails
And the boat in Gaza sails
Until refugees return
And humanity gets a turn
Until apartheid is dismantled
And our olive trees get replanted
Until the Palestine Phoenix rises
Triumphant from the ashes
Keep the hope alive every day
We shall overcome someday
From the River to the Sea
Palestine will be free


  1. A heart like no other:
    Teaching medical humanities, medical ethics, empathy, and care has always been my vocation. I worked on the hidden curriculum and the overt curriculum; designed courses from scratch and taught with heart and soul. Early on in my journey as a medical ethicist, I played around with Einstein’s formula and circulated the M=EC2 equation (medicine= empathy, caring and curing). I have always known that teaching medical ethics does not guarantee ethical and humane doctors, and that virtues cannot be taught to morally dead people. But I also believed that if done the right way, this vocation can awaken kindred spirits and help molding what can be molded; that while it does not give sight to the blind, it does guide those who see to look in the right direction.
    My research on empathy and caring showed, as did that of many others, that the main stumbling block against being an empathetic and caring medic was lack of time and burnout (as reported from respondents). But lo and behold I do not believe in this any longer, at least not now. It is a myth that has been, dismantled (and still is) for the last 16 days.
    The medical team in Gaza, from doctors to nurses to paramedics etc., have put all such theories and arguments to shame. I see them amidst emergencies and mass influx of victims and injuries while under fire doing their best to comfort a colleague, to talk to a father whose children were killed and to give strength to mothers who lost families. I have seen them under fire, under the deafening noise of rockets hugging children, investing in making a child smile, encouraging the pained, the injured and the dying to be strong. I have seen them addressing the concerns of children who want to kiss their beloved dead sibling with strength and care like no other. I have seen them morning their own families, closing the eyes of their own kids for the last time, bidding them a quick farewell, and moving on to comfort and treat more patients while inhaling death from their nostrils right into their lungs and souls.
    These heroes do not speak about burnout and do not operate in hierarchy, they are all equal in their mission as healers. They thrive and are fueled when able to help, heal and treat (amidst a broken healthcare system and practically no medical supplies).
    Behold! I have witnessed that there is no grander medical school and legacy than the medics of Gaza.
    Medics in Gaza did not have the luxury of a curriculum on medical humanities and clinical ethics. Medics in Gaza have something better: the power of Love
    I bow down with humility and respect to each and every single one of them.

  2. Did you have a name? Asks my heart

    I heard Emy Goodman
    On Democracy Now
    Say one line
    Just one line
    Mothers write their children’s names on their bodies

    Bullets tha-tha-tha
    Thudded my chest
    Bomb blasts boomed
    My ears numbed
    My heart raced
    My body tattered
    Like the Gaza baby in bed
    But the name on my leg was there
    My imagination was wild

    I ran
    Then I heard yells
    Underneath the rubble
    I stopped and asked
    Who are you?
    Do you have a name

    I am Musa Isaa Mohamed, I am Maryam Fatma Sarah

    On arms and legs
    Foreheads in incubators
    Mothers grasp infants
    Hastily dye their names

    It was in the horror of the night
    Before the blast
    Lightning streaked
    Darkness came too soon
    Then the echo
    Stomping thunderous pursuit
    Where are you?
    Musa Isaa Mohamed
    Maryam Fatma Sarah

    Effaceable black ink
    Your names on blackened corpses
    Dismembered head from neck
    Arms from chest
    Legs from hips
    Splayed corpses apart
    Ineffaceable names
    Scattered under monstrous rubble mass
    You waited to be read
    To be recognized
    To be known you were dead
    That you had a name
    It was on the Mediterranean shore
    Where the sea is calm
    The day is hot
    And the night was cold

    Sultan Somjee
    Writer and ethnographer
    November 2nd 2023