Tewks: “Let the Children Dance”

I recently highlighted Gina Bennett’s National Security Mom, with it’s marvelous drawing from the “lessons we teach our children” to understand national security.
I’ve been wondering then what lessons Israel has been purporting to teach to the children of Gaza. Is this the message of the iron fist, that if you dare to mess with Israel, you will be pounded, mercilessly, until you submit? That seems to be logic of Tom Friedman’s latest column, wherein he invokes the “success” of Israel’s pounding of Lebanon in 2006 to explain Israel’s Gaza “strategy:”

“Israel basically said that when dealing with a nonstate actor, Hezbollah, nested among civilians, the only long-term source of deterrence was to exact enough pain on the civilians — the families and employers of the militants — to restrain Hezbollah in the future….That was the education of Hezbollah.”

In Gaza, Friedman can’t quite tell “if Israel is trying to eradicate Hamas or trying to “educate” Hamas, by inflicting a heavy death toll on Hamas militants and heavy pain on the Gaza population.”
Friedman favors “educating” those civilians who would vote for Hamas. He prefers that Israel not “obliterate” them. How magnanimous.
We’re now past 1,000 Gazans dead, including over 300 children. With Gazans now properly “educated,” Friedman deems the time for “diplomacy” with them is at hand
But what lessons have the surviving children learned? Are they now more likely to submit to Israel’s will or turn in despair to very violent means?
As I have struggled with such madness, I came across a lyric from a rising Charlottesville singer/thinker, David Tewks: I post his blog preface and song with his permission.

In order to keep my heart from imploding with grief over the mess of the world, and especially the hopelessness of Gaza in this moment, I offer a song of hope. [H]oping for a better future is either an act of idiocy or of great faith. I have played the fool plenty of times. In this moment, I am choosing in faith to live and act in hope….
>Let the Children Dance
Out in the heart of darkness, out in the streets of pain
the world is in a harness, and creaking at the strain
see the leaders of the nations crippled with an aching doubt
yet from an ancient hillside, blameless blood is crying out
(can’t you hear it shout?):
Let the children dance, let the children sing
Let them celebrate, rejoice in everything…
You do what you want to. Don’t ask me what I think
But sooner than sooner, we’ll either swim or sink
Just remember the children playing at your feet
They hold the precious pieces that make our lives complete
(I hear ’em say to me…)
Let the children dance, let the children sing
Let them celebrate, rejoice in everything…
Oh, there’s still a light a-shining
Irresistable wind is blowing through
And even the work that was meant for evil….
has no way of stopping you!

15 thoughts on “Tewks: “Let the Children Dance”

  1. sergi

    We’re now past 1,000 Gazans dead, including over 300 children. With Gazans now properly “educated,”
    What education Israel is following, they need a war so they creating/EDUCATING another generation of Martyr with a hate to everything Jewish…well congratulation because this will be the only result of senseless killing.
    Israelis has to find the answer to whole problem within them self as this hate is not 60 years old but as history telling us thousands years…just ask your self WHY? why you are spreading your mess in the whole world?
    After this senseless ongoing acts there is no chance when Israel should be struck by lightening from the sky or anything else that to expect the world be sympathetic………

  2. Abdelhafid Dib

    The only lesson Gaza can take from this crime is Gaza will not forgive. Gaza Martyrs are an asset to its long revolutin for independence and not a loss. We learned from recorded history that the price of freedom is the cost of human lifes should be paid in order to cover their freedom and achieve their independence. In the long future, Isreal will be not on safe because of its criminal actions. I think, in the long run, the resistance will educate Israel and not the reverse. In Algeria, the country which I belong, we had a horrible massacre ” 8 may 1945 “,cost us 45000 Martyrs for a week by the french colony but this event became the flame and the spirit of the armed struggle as an asset and not a burden or a loss to people lifes.
    Hafid

  3. Don Bacon

    The mass killing of Gaza civilians is of course horrendous. Many people, including myself, are sickened by it, particularly when innocent people and children are targeted. But not all people think of it as a bad thing, and this in itself is depressing.
    A recent US poll indicates that 44% of Americans blame Hamas for the current conflict while only 14% blame Israel. Also, 57% of Americans thought that Hamas had used “excessive” force, whereas 44% thought that Israel had used “appropriate” force.
    No doubt a factor in the poll are the opinions of the people’s representatives in Washington. There have been a recent Senate unanimous vote and the House’s nearly unanimous vote (five dissenters) endorsing the Israeli onslaught.
    Another factor is that Israel is doing what is standard US foreign policy, except on a smaller scale. Citing recent history only, the US has done Gazas on steroids in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Economic sanctions, bombing, assassination attempts, invasions, imprisonment, torture, house raids, random killing and occupations, all a staple of US foreign policy, particularly harm the innocent, the women and children, and orders of magnitude worse than Gaza.
    The children, particularly, deserve better.
    Yeats:
    Where the wave of moonlight glosses
    The dim grey sands with light,
    Far off by furthest Rosses
    We foot it all the night,
    Weaving olden dances,
    Mingling hands and mingling glances
    Till the moon has taken flight;
    To and fro we leap
    And chase the frothy bubbles,
    While the world is full of troubles
    And is anxious in its sleep.
    Come away, O human child!
    To the waters and the wild
    With a faery, hand in hand,
    For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

    –William Butler Yeats, The Stolen Child

  4. Don Bacon

    The UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon, a US lackey, went to Israel yesterday. He condemned Palestine actions but is only “concerned” about the mass killing of civilians, including hundreds of children, by Israel.
    “I am very pleased to be here in Israel and to meet Foreign Minister Livni again. I come at a very difficult time for Israel. I come with heavy heart. I come on a mission of peace.
    “I am well aware that rockets have been fired at Israeli civilians for years from Gaza. I have always condemned these rockets as acts of terrorism. They have no justification and they must cease.
    “But I must also be concerned at the suffering of Palestinian civilians in Gaza. Many people have died and are still dying. Civilian suffering has reached an unbearable point.
    “That is why I have urged an immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire. This is what Security Council resolution 1860 calls for. The rockets must stop. And Israel’s offensive must end. All violence must cease, and the bloodshed and suffering among the civilian populations must be halted. . .We are working closely with the Israeli authorities to alleviate the crisis as much as possible.
    “We don’t have any more time to lose. We must end civilian suffering now.
    “I count on the wise leadership of the Israeli Government. I want to thank Foreign Minister Livni again for welcoming me to Israel and I look forward to the remainder of my visit. Thank you very much.”
    http://www.un.org/apps/news/infocus/sgspeeches/statments_full.asp?statID=400

  5. sergi

    “I count on the wise leadership of the Israeli Government. I want to thank Foreign Minister Livni again for welcoming me to Israel and I look forward to the remainder of my visit.
    What a sleazy speech of the UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon,
    What for are UN SC Resolutions?
    Ignore by some and enforce by others?
    This should be main concern of UN Secretary General
    What a shame to have such a person leading this great (toothless) International organisation!

  6. Shirin

    Sleazy – right on.
    But isn’t it sweet that Ban Ki Moon is “also concerned” about the suffering of Palestinian civilians? You see, he is doing his job.

  7. Salah

    Israel’s once-mighty peace camp has been mostly silent during its country’s military assault on the Hamas organization in Gaza – at least until Saturday night. Then, as the Jewish Sabbath ended, more than 1,000 Israelis protested against the Gaza attacks in front of the Ministry of Defence offices in Tel Aviv. It was the first and only public outburst in Israel against the conflict in the 15 days since it began.

    Barry Steinberg, a farmer and former kibbutznik in northern Israel,

    “I think we [Israelis] as a people have become more ruthless, more willing to tolerate the killing of innocent people to attain our goals,” he said. “It’s what disturbs me most about this conflict in Gaza.”

  8. Christiane

    Please look at that : Pat Buchanan live on MSNBC is telling what is right concerning Gaza, the Hamas and the Israeli war crimes.. Why is Obama still mute about the Gaza blockade and bombing ? Buchanan dared call it a BlitzKrieg against the Palestinian people. Where is Obama’s indignation ?
    The Israeli have already bombed four UN schools .. the last one packed with refugees

  9. Don Bacon

    Why is Obama still mute?
    It’s the fault of the American people, some would say. Baloney. Let’s be honest and put the fault where it squarely belongs.
    Anybody got some spare “change”?

  10. Susan

    I heard that Israelis have been protesting against Israeli government actions since the bombing started and that 700 Israelis are now in jail. One IDF guy went to jail for refusing to go to Gaza.
    small victories….

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