Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Crying Over Lebanon and Palestine

As the Israeli artillery pounds on Lebanese soil, I am here.
Desolate, alone. The bearded man does not want me to leave.

I hear the sonic booms of an invading racist force. They have slaughtered my kin decades ago, deprived me of shelter, took away my cattle, orchard and olives.

The Ministry building is destroyed. The airstrikes are blowing up our government installations, to cripple the fragile democracy the people won for themselves.

We are crammed into neighborhoods with a long and thick wall isolating us from the rest of the world. There we are left to starve, thirst and die as their forefathers had, half a century ago.

I see them at the checkpoint, aiming their rifles at my children, waiting for the opportune time to click the trigger. My child threw stones at their tanks as they passed my little alley - my child was shot.

My playmate and his family and his relatives and their friends got bombed during a wedding yesterday. Not Hamas nor Fatah, not even Hizbullah. A Missed hit.

We are firing the rockets now, over Haifa. We have killed about a dozen. The people in my village - hundreds of them, mostly civilians, mostly women and children - dead.

Hundreds have been killed, yet I am here. There are no planes nor ships to take me home. I wash the dishes today, waiting slowly for my death.

As the small lady says, "Just go to Libya and work."

The world wept when the Jews were slaughtered in Auschwitz by the Nazis.
The world rejoices when the Palestinians are slaughtered in Gaza by the Jews.

I did, cry today. Over the sons and fathers, dauthers and mothers, who are stuck in Lebanon, in the condominiums where they work. I see the exasperation and anxiety on the faces of a hopeless loved one patiently and impatiently waiting for news about when they can be flown home safely. Or will they?

These are the social costs of the labor export policy of the Philippine government. Filipino lives are being endangered for reasons not their own but just because they were thrust into the pyre as a result of their poverty. Yet government continues to play blind to this reality. Yet the President encourages further more and more Filipinos to go abroad - this time to Libya where there are no hostilities. Or so she says. Most sinister of all, is that despite the conflict, Filipinos would rather be caught in the crossfire than die a blistering death in hunger and indignity in the country. And to this, the government is at fault. For its failure to create employment for the people right inside this sad country of ours. For making promises that everyone knows it will not keep save for the propaganda points it will earn as a prize.

If one Filipino mother or daughter or son or father dies in war-torn Lebanon, the Philippine government will pay a heavy price and face the wrath of a people in struggle.

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