It is only Palestine


8000 rockets are no excuse
Suicide bombers, it’s all just a ruse
Unless you’re Israel, self-defense is right
A Jewish army response is disproportionate might
The activists sailed to deliver their aid
Jihad cash is what they were paid
Turkish delight in the media’s glare
Slashing knives don’t seems fair

And the song goes on…

This is how I sat listening to the charming power of music: a strikingly amazing Israeli piece made me on the verge of crying, sympathizing with the poor defenseless Israelis against the terrifically heavily-armed and fanatic Palestinians.

However, while I sat staring at the young lady, as she gently played the piano with her slight fingers, a sudden immense collection of images kept turning up in my mind: images of bloody corpses lying lifelessly on the ground amidst the rubble; a huge devastated area, which had just been bombarded by a US-made F16, covered with an enormous, rising, thick, black smoke; images of phosphorus bomb, thousands of serpentine white braids descending like white lines of smoke creeping towards the earth to burn; images of a mother tearing her hair, crying over the death of her eldest son who hasn’t been married for more than a month, the agonizing wails of the mother are drastically intensified by the dumb silence of the wife who retreated to a corner of her crammed room, covered in black, and staring at the crying women; images of women and children endlessly queuing up in the early morning in front of a bakery waiting for their lot of bread; images of a firefighter standing before a huge burning fire, which lit the dead night, holding on to the water hose while helicopters hovering above in the sky in the aftermath of shelling a mosque; images of trickling blood, trickling tears, corpses, destruction and debris; sounds of wails, cries, whines, snivels, bombs, overhead drones, and prayer calls. All these images, and others far more disconcerting, filled my mind as the song went on.

The Jewish girl poured her magical voice out while this series kept turning in my mind. The girl apparently believed that she is oppressed, for she was singing with all her heart, with a sad and melancholic expression on her face, which I believe would make way better sense on the faces against whom she sang. At any rate, I would have no problem to believe she is oppressed, but from this video it is unclear – who is oppressing who? I would have been the first to side with the girl had she chosen to be another one’s enemy (perhaps ‘enemy’ here is unpleasant to describe such a sensitive delicate girl, but this is the actual fact).

Let’s keep ourselves away from illusive political talk and unceasing historical arguments and pose the ultimate question: who is in power? Who is murdering the other? Who is besieging the other? Who is occupying the other? Who is waiting at checkpoints for long hours in mid-day under the burning sun of September? Who has lost 1500 in less 22 days? Who is spending the nights in the dark? There is an unending series of ‘who is’?

‘Only Israel’ was the name of the song. Only Israel doesn’t have the right to self-defense. Only Israel doesn’t have the right to respond. Only Israelis are not cared for. Only Israel is discriminated against while the Palestinians, who are never mentioned in the song, are surrounded by cousins flowing with oil demanding the Israelis to give up their land! It would have given me a stoic smile to have watched myself listen to these words. Can’t she take herself as far back as to 1948? Who has taken the other’s land? Can’t she open up her eyes and see things better than that? How accurate it would have been had "Israel" been replaced with "Palestine!" It is only Israel, young lady, who has the right to talk, attack, kill, bomb, besiege others, seize their land, expel them, build settlements, own weapons and the list continues.

It is only Israel.

The music was no longer charming, and the words were a greater ruse than the ‘suicide bombers’ she spoke of, for we both had not heard of a suicide bomber in the region for long (perhaps the disproportionate bombing helped wipe them out). The words were a ruse, for the 8000 rockets certainly look different when you consider how many Israelis were killed or even hurt by these rockets. It might amuse the young lady to know that these 8000 rockets put together will almost certainly weigh less than just eight of the several hundred bombs that Israel dropped in only one area in the last war. It is a ruse.

I am not going to refute the lyrics of the song one by one, nor am I to defend myself against the song. I will only backtrack to the one moment where I felt myself going with the rhythm, abandoning my people’s misery in the blink of an eye. I twitched. I felt the grave sin of my treachery and knew I should tell no one of how fragile my faith and I are against the poignant influences of a short piece of music.

Yes, young lady, the song is all just a ruse: It is only Palestine.

Mohammed Rabah Suliman, 21, is a student of English Literature at the Islamic University of Gaza. He blogs at

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