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Edna's Room exists since July 2002. On this page there are the following texts:

- Joan's Meanderings (Poem)
- Let's Blast Him off the Face of This Earth
- New Year's Resolutions
- On the First Day of Christmas
- Good Morning Palestine (Essay)
- The Massacre (Essay)
- Good Will Towards Who?

(2023, Deutsch:) Edna Yaghi ist eine Amerikanerin, die in Los Angeles lebte, als wir uns im Internet getroffen haben. Sie ist journalistisch und literarisch aktiv und hat Beiträge auf verschiedenen Online-Plattformen veröffentlicht. Auf dieser Seite stand eine Web-Bibliografie mit ungefähr 100 Einträgen, doch sind die meisten der Links nicht mehr aktiv. Man findet aber einige Beiträge von Edna auf mediamonitors.net und auf hejleh.com

(2023, English:) Edna Yaghi is an American who was living in Los Angeles, when we met on the Internet. Edna is an online journalist and poet. She (has) published contributions on various online platforms. On this page, there was a web bibliography with about 100 entries but most of the links are no longer active. However, you can find several of Edna'a articles on mediamonitors.net and on hejleh.com

Joan's Meanderings
by Edna Yaghi

I carried my white banner
Bearing my fleur-de-lis
Across the field of Galilee.
My foes were many.

Dauphin was a heavy price for hegemony.
I won the battle, but lost the war.
Your Bourguignons captured me
And took me to our rendezvous
In the Old Market Square at Rouen.

Though my lance was made
From the feathers of the Phoenix,
My heel belonged to Achilles.

I was once a daring chatelaine
And you the Gem of Chatoyant,
The Pizza Boy in disguise
Knocking on my dungeon door.
You invited me for a cup of Turkish coffee.

Dr. Lecter, along with his silent lamb
Had a friend for dinner at the local Falafel place
Bedazzled by the Chatelaine
Mind boggled by the Gem of Chatoyant,
He sold his soul to George Spiggot
For seven wishes.
Leaving the dinner party,
We met a man with a Green Carnation.

You put me on board one of the two
Ships that go bump in the night,
Along with the Fed-ex packages,
One marked to Charles at Rouen,
The other to Dame at the Fijis,
The land of the bestowing sun.

The Albatross around my neck
Mocked me and tauntingly whispered
I may be forced to walk blindfolded
The plank that the son (a grad of the Chautauqua)
Of the Meister Carpenter made for me.

Across the bay like the Dead of the Sea
Grew the red poppies of Flanders' Field.
The crosses there marking the graves
Are too numerous to count,
Like my enemies before me.

After 14 months of interrogation
In your ecclesiastical prison at Rouen,
I watch as my funeral pyre grows brighter
Its flames beckon me.
One should not keep the Inquisitor
Or a hungry fire waiting.
Let's Blast Him off the Face of This Earth
By Edna Yaghi
Jan 31, 2003

Let us all form a personality coalition of those who hate Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and then invade Iraq with our guns, bombs and fighter jets to wipe him and Iraq off the face of the map forever.

Nothing should stand in our way. It is ok to kill thousands of innocent people, nay, even millions, as long as we conduct our war of hate against those we don't know and don't care to know. After all, our very intelligent American President George Bush has told us that this is the right and good thing to do.

And I'm all for George. I admire him more than ever because he can't even pronounce peninsula. It takes a lot of brains and courage to master incorrect speech patterns and ignorance of words that are rarely used by warmongers. And imagine, if his foreign policy matches his wretched two-syllable vocabulary and failing intellect, then the best is yet to come.

In order to make up for not having a very good excuse to go to war with Iraq, we now hear fabrications that Saddam has links to Al Qaeda. Oh, have you forgotten Al Qaeda and Osama Ben Ladin? Remember, those are the guys we used as an excuse to go and desecrate Afghanistan. And just look at what we have accomplished, almost nothing! Word has it that Osama has flown to Mars. Beware, Mars might just be our next target.

I can't figure it though. Iraq is a sovereign nation. True, Saddam is a brutal and cruel dictator but the world is full of cruel and brutal dictators, many of whom are supported by the US. And since when has America ever been concerned about cruel and brutal Arab dictators?

Why isn't Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on the US hit list? He is about the most cruel and brutal man alive. Every day he has his army murder the Palestinian innocent. He has weapons of mass destruction but you don't hear a campaign to dismantle his nuclear warheads or threats against his stockpiles. In fact, Bush has sort of given Sharon the green light to kill as many Palestinians as seen fit. Who cares what happens to the Palestinian people? After all, they aren't really human anyway.

So goes it for the Iraqis. The US claims it wants to go and save them from their tyrannical dictator but how can dead Iraqis enjoy their new found freedom? And since when did Americans care about the Iraqis either? Are they humans? Absolutely not! Humans are white people who live either in Europe, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, America and of course any color Israeli Jew is more than human.

Now that we know the definition of what constitutes a human being, we won't feel at all bad if we kill tons of Iraqis. And anyway, we are used to the violence on our video games, TV shows and movies. Blood, lots of it, won't really bother us because we have become insensitive to it and anyway, it's just some red ketchup spread all over. Oops! Come to think of it, some Americans might die too. Well, we can't go and slaughter a lot of inhumans without losing some human lives in the process.

Where is America getting all this money to go and kill Iraqis? Why, from the American taxpayers of course. It doesn't really matter that there are many Americans who cannot afford to pay for their own health care or that many elderly Americans cannot survive on their very meager pensions and must go back to work doing menial jobs at a time when they should be enjoying their retirement. It doesn't matter that many states are going broke either and that there is a serious question about how to pay for the most essential services such as schools. But that's ok as long as we go out and kill other non-human people. America's ills will simply vanish once the bombs are dropped on Iraqi civilians.

Naturally, Saddam will just go out and stand on an Iraqi street waiting to be killed by one of those bombs America so generously will drop. He is famous for sacrificing his own needs for the sake of his people. This is clearly seen by his many many palaces and his prisons full of either dead or dying inmates who have dared to utter a word of truth.

This imminent and impending war against Iraq will make many bloodthirsty people around the world ecstatic. But the ones who will be clapping their hands the loudest will be the Israelis. They will see this war as a dismantling of a country they hate and to them, the best Arab is a dead Arab. But while the carnage is being waged on the Eastern Front, Sharon will be busier than ever killing off Palestinian women and children in the hopes of wiping them out or driving them off the rest of their land. There will be no American bombs dropped on Sharon's head, simply quiet pats on the back for the extermination on his own front of the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine.

Is the world a fair place? Of course not. But who cares as long as Americans et al can kill the innocent, bomb anyone they wish to with any excuse they can come up with.

But who has thought of the repercussions of such an attack? What if Saddam once cornered, strikes back? And what about our souls, or have we sold them to the devil?

New Year's Resolutions
By Edna Yaghi
Jan 1, 2003

The coming of a new year provides us with a challenge to better ourselves. Though, we should not need excuses to improve ourselves, many people resolve to do away with some bad habits or tendencies during the forthcoming year.

It does not seem that our American President George Bush is planning to improve American foreign policy during the coming year and the only resolution that seems to be on his mind is that of waging war against Iraq.

The Bush eras do not seem to be eras of prosperity but rather of war and recession. Junior's era is worse than papa's and frighteningly on the brink of a depression. The economic situation in the US is far from encouraging. Companies have gone out of business. Many employees have lost their jobs. People are spending less money. Perhaps this is because of the failing economy, perhaps also out of fear, fear of war, fear of what tomorrow might bring, fear that the world is heading towards an Armageddon.

The question is, if Bush is indeed leading us towards an inevitable Armageddon, who are the forces of good and who are the forces of evil? I seldom think of American foreign policy as a force of good. I do not see a reason for going to war with Iraq. There are other countries in the area, indeed in the world that have nuclear weapons, among these being India and Israel.

I fear Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's intentions much more than I fear Saddam Hussein's. Is Sharon a more benevolent leader? Hardly not. The number of Palestinian dead is evidence of just what a malevolent person he is. Lest we forget, he is also responsible for more than 20,000 dead during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982.

Sharon's extermination of the Palestinian people may have won him votes with the Israelis but does not make him a likely candidate for any peace prize. The Apartheid wall he is building on Palestinian land is illegal and deplorable. To make matters even worse, when around 100 to 200 peace activists from around the world tried to get closer to this 8 meter high structure, they were attacked by Israeli soldiers. These peace activists were clubbed, had tear gas thrown at them and were terrorized by Israeli forces.

It has long been a fact that the Israeli government is totally anti-Palestinian and has done much to not only take away Palestinian land from the indigenous inhabitants, but has done its best to wipe out the Palestinian population little by little on a daily basis. "If we can't kill them off, we will drive them out through means of fear, intimidation, or brute force," has long been the Israeli policy. Though we are shocked to see Palestinian civilians killed all the time, it is even more shocking that the Israelis are no longer trying to hide what they really are and that they have a total disregard for all human life as long as these humans are not Jews, or rather, pro-Israeli Jews. The international peace activists will return to their homes with quite a different image of Israelis. One that we do not see on our local TV stations.

That some Americans view Israel as the only democracy in the Middle East is pathetic because Israel is only a democracy for Jews. In the meantime, Israel busies itself with the taking away of Palestinian rights and lives. Palestinian school children are shot and killed on their way to school. Other children are arrested, thrown in prison and tortured for throwing rocks. And adolescents as well as the elderly are shot down in cold blood just because they are alive. Some teens are randomly caught and beaten to death.

Hundreds of Palestinian civilians have been beaten to death or extra-judicially murdered. Those who perpetrate such heinous crimes against not only the Palestinian people themselves, but against all mankind, go unpunished. This is how the Israeli judicial system is structured and it is always legal to kill or maim Palestinians.

Collective punishment, beating and killing school children, bulldozing homes, desecrating agricultural land, destroying water supplies, implementing 24-hour curfews and attacking international peace activists is not a "war against terrorism" but terrorism itself.

Why is it ok for Israel to invade, occupy, drive out and exterminate those it wishes to and have nuclear plants while America plans to go to war with Iraq? On what criteria do we base our baseless discriminations? Who really serves to benefit from a war against Iraq? Certainly not the Iraqi people. Certainly not the American people who are already suffering from a failing economy. Perhaps a few companies who make weapons will profit, but the idea of sending American troops in to Iraq in order to topple Sadam Hussein is not only stupid but will cost many lives, some of which will be American. However, Israelis will be delighted if any Arab country is attacked, dismantled and crushed.

If one country is to disarm, then all countries should disarm. We Americans have already gone to war against Afghanistan. Have we really accomplished anything? Did we find Osama Ben Ladin? Have we made conditions better for the Afghan people? Have we even improved the lives of our own American citizens? Why is it that the lives of the American people are becoming more difficult at a time when they should be better than ever before? As long as we have a Bush in office, then we can expect war and a bad economy. What is much more pitiful than this is that some of us Americans somehow accept what is happening to us because we have been fooled into believing that this is the way things should be. And slowly, slowly, without even realizing it, we are losing our freedoms, the very freedoms that our forefathers fought and died for.

Bush should base his New Year Resolutions on spreading peace and justice all over the world instead of hate and war. His impending and imminent war against Iraq will be devastating for the whole world and could be the beginning of the end of the America we know.

One of the best and most pertinent places to begin peace is in Palestine. There can be no world peace until the Palestinian problem is solved, until the Palestinians have a state of their own and the oppression against them is stopped once and for all. Bush and Israel may be able to fool all of the people some of the time but they will never be able to fool all of the people all of the time no matter what tactics they use.

Happy New Year.

On the First Day of Christmas
by Edna Yaghi (Dec. 2, 2002)

"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get-only with what you are expecting to give-which is everything." -Katherine Hepburn

On the first day of Christmas, miles away, in an ancient village in the Holy Land, a young man was making his way through cobbled streets inviting the pious to wake up and pray and drink that last cup of coffee before dawn.

The night air was cold but the young man felt warmed by his voluntary mission in the land of his forefathers, in the land of the prophets. There in shadowed corridors, the pale light of the waning moon and some bright stars lit his way. He was a poor boy and had no gifts to bring but his love to his people.

Suddenly, one shot rang through the air and cut down this young life. Bilal, the drummer boy died instantly. What the murdered boy did not see was how his sniper smiled happily because he had murdered another of the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine. He worked for the neo-Hitler, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. A man far worse than Herod who had the blood of more than 20,000 innocents indelibly staining his hands.

Across the ocean, that very same day, a young man by the name of Ziyad prayed his last prayer. He stood in his chapel asking God to forgive him for any past sins he may have committed and to bless his family during this holy month of Ramadan. Ziyad was a Palestinian refugee. His mother was a teacher at the school he once attended. He and his parents had come to America with only a few pennies in their pockets and some faded dreams. They had lost everything in Palestine, their land, their homes, their way of life.

One shot rang out in America taking the life of this young man. But unlike Bilal, the drummer boy, this shot came from the hands of his own friend who had been examining a gun when it went off and killed Ziyad.

I attended Ziyad's funeral service. Being new in town, I had not had the good fortune to meet the lad that everyone spoke so highly of. I listened to the funeral service and I realized that the loss of this bright young man, who had been kind to all, was my loss as well. He was my son too and his mother, not only a fellow teacher, but also a dear sister in faith.

There are no words to adequately express sorrow. I am always at a loss when it comes to vocally expressing my sentiments. But as I sat in the congregation, the tears of Ziyad's mother and sisters, aunts and in-laws burned a path down my own face.

The sermon master reminded us all of our own mortality. How fleeting life was, he told the mourners and the Angel of Death can appear at any moment to any one of us. The greatest hope that our sermon giver had to offer us was that Ziyad had gone on to a far better world and that while he was alive, he had done his best to implement his faith peacefully and joyfully every day of his life. He was a blessing to his parents, kind and considerate to all.

We prayed the last prayer for Ziyad outside. The day was bright, but a cold wind felt as if it had passed right through my bones. Then, Ziyad's body was placed in a black limousine and carried away to the cemetery where he would be buried.

His father and other members of his family stood crying. I took those tears home with me and the tragic scenes of his funeral service will remain until I depart this world as well. In my heart, I will cry those tears for the son I never knew but lost.

Meanwhile in the Holy Land, Bilal's mother sat crying as people flocked to her simple home to offer their condolences. Bilal the drummer boy had been retracing the footsteps of the ancient prophets when he was killed while serving his community.

On this First Day of Christmas, no one will hear the story of a modern day drummer boy and how his life was taken away from him at a time when he had so much to live for. No one will care how he died, or that he was murdered simply because he was Palestinian. The world will not see his mother's tears nor see his father sob silently. After all, somehow Palestinians have become dehumanized.

But Bilal was my son too and he was yours. We are all responsible for his death. We are all to blame. On this First Day of Christmas, two young men were laid to rest. The only consolation is that they both have gone to a far better place where there is no war, no hate and no killing of the innocents.

During the Christmas season, we speak of peace on earth, yet we promote war. We sing Christmas carols of the Little Town of Bethlehem but Bethlehem and the rest of the Holy Land and their occupants are in chains. This is the First Day of Christmas. On every day of Christmas, Palestinians will continue to die while we sing songs of a mythical joy and peace in a Never Never Land we pretend exists.

Good Morning Palestine
by Edna Yaghi

Good morning Palestine! What a beautiful day it is today. The sun is shining, the temperature is around the seasonal average and winds are moderate and northwesterly. The seas bordering Palestine are calm.

It's a great day people. And I'm your DJ to make sure you have the best day ever. If you just woke up then grab some coffee and enjoy the show on Radio Palestine. That is, if you still have a stove to make coffee on and if you still have a home that you can wake up in. But, hey, as long as the Israelis are happy, no problem.

If you now live in a tent as a re-refugee in a refugee camp, I welcome you to my program. Look at the bright side. It's almost summer so you won't get frostbite. Think of the whole affair as camping out. Some of you have no doubt experienced living in tents before, like when you were displaced in 1948. Others of you might have been displaced in 1967 and some of you have been displaced several times more. But you can forget all your troubles while listening to my show.

I remember doing a similar show during the Nam war. But you see, things were different then. What the North Vietnamese were afraid of was that the South Vietnamese would not convert to Communism. Then you know what happened after the Americans lost a lot of their servicemen, they just took off and ran, leaving the Northerners to slaughter those of the Southerners they felt deserved to die. Now things are different. Let me tell you this, Communism is nothing compared to the reincarnation of Evil, Sharon. He's not out to convert us native Palestinians to Zionism my friends, he is simply out to exterminate us.

Remember those good ol' Americans? They chickened out of Nam but we can see their weapons everywhere, like, killing us and we can feel their presence making sure that the Israelis do a good job getting rid of us. The funny thing is, every time those Israeli bulldozers move in and demolish more homes and uproot more trees, Sharon claims such actions are "anti-terrorist." Can you beat that? There must be a new definition to terrorism that we have not yet heard of. Why, in Khan Yunis refugee camp, 400 people were left homeless because of such anti-terrorist actions. There is now a refugee camp within a refugee camp. The first ever in the Middle East. We might even get in the "Guinness World Book of Records" for such feats.

And when some of the occupants of Khan Yunis camp tried to see what was happening to the houses of relatives and friends, they were shot down in cold blood by the Israelis. Everyone knows that onlookers are terrorists and that bulldozers and tanks and Israelis aiming to kill are harmless.

Fierce gun battles broke out in the Gaza Strip after Israeli tanks entered Palestinian controlled territory. Good morning Gaza! How are you faring after Israeli army bulldozers backed by 3 tanks demolished a Palestinian military intelligence headquarters and 15 Palestinian houses? How can anyone be expected to be feeling after 35 Palestinians were wounded, including a 16-year-old boy whose leg was blown off by a tank shell? No Israeli casualties were reported of course.

Six other Palestinians were injured in the Kalandia refugee camp in the West Bank as Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli troops who responded with live and rubber bullets and tear gas too. Good morning Kalandia! I hope all is well with you this bright sunny morning.

Israeli forces entered the Rafah area and demolished several houses which Raanan Gissin, spokesman for Evil Reincarnated and Evil Incorporated, claims were used as hiding places for gunmen firing at Israeli troops. Residents of the Rafah camp threw stones at tanks before the Palestinian police arrived to confront the Israelis. Of course we all know how disappointed the Israelis must have been that they didn't have the chance to shoot more of your children. But, hey, you'll laugh when you hear what Gissin said. He stated that when little kids throw stones at heavily armed Israeli soldiers, they pose a threat to the security of Israel.

Good morning Rafah. Good morning to those of you who lived through the ground assault, the demolition of your houses and the shells, missiles and machinegun fire.

Have you ever noticed that the bullets that Israelis kill us with are made in the USA? Talk about complicity. Talk about justice. Talk about the US Congressmen being mad at us because we don't just let the Israelis kill us without making a fuss about it all.

Mr. Evil Reincarnated made a recent statement that peace talks would not resume until calm is restored completely. People, you gotta be calm! Don't be violent. Remember you are violent when you sit quietly in your homes or when your children play in the streets or when you refuse to let the Israelis shoot you point blank.

Mr. Evil has set 3 national goals for the people of Israel: One, to bring in a million Jews in the next 12 years, two, to develop the Negev and three to revitalize Zionist values in education. Peace is no longer a word in his limited vocabulary. What he does best anyway is slaughter Palestinians.

If we cease our "hostile acts" then Evil himself will offer us 42% of what is left of our occupied territories. The settlements will of course remain on what is left of our land. Naturally, this will be for the purposes of "security" and to contain us natives.

Good morning Palestine. I hope you are enjoying my show. It's great to be alive, isn't it? Enough small talk here on my part. Let's get the music rolling. The first song I'm going to play is, "It's Gonna Be Me." I think this is very appropriate since it's gonna be us who keep dying while the Israelis and Americans point their fingers at us accusing us of terrorism while the real terrorists are plowing us under the ground.

The Massacre
by Edna Yaghi

While I was a child growing up in Colorado and Montana, I held the tenets of my American forefathers dear to my heart. Among the pine trees of the Rockies and gushing forest streams I lived the freedom that the early Americans had fought and died for. My heroes were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin as well as all the unknown courageous soldiers who died on lonely battlefields.

It was American freedom fighters and those who refused to succumb to tyranny that forged a free and independent country based on the inalienable rights of all. I could yet hear Paul Revere's cry of, "The British are coming" amongst every blade of grass and every grain of wheat that grew valiant and unrestrained. I was proud to be an American and live in the glorious country of the brave and the free.

However, I also grew up indoctrinated with the ideas that the Jews as a people were faced with extermination by Adolf Hitler and his German army. In the epic films I watched and countless novels I read, the Germans were always depicted as cruel, inhuman and bloodthirsty.

When I began to travel and live abroad, many of the myths that I had constantly been exposed to began to disintegrate. I began to study the history of the Palestinian people and I heard countless testimonies of Palestinians who had been forced out of their homes and off their lands by Jewish invaders. I learned how Palestinians still kept their titles of land stolen from them and I touched treasured keys rusted by time and tears. These keys and yellowed parchment are all that are left to the many whose homes have been occupied or destroyed by those came to take what they had no right to.

I was witness to the sorrow and despair that dug deep crevices on Palestinian faces and many a time I trekked through the dust of dirty, hot, sprawling refugee camps where tin roofs and air block structures baked the former owners of their paradise now lost. Just over the hills and through barbed wire barriers lay the rose gardens and remnants of blossoms of orange and lemon groves. So close and yet so far.

I read about the massacres that drove Palestinian survivors off their land and I spoke to eyewitnesses who miraculously lived through the horror of those black and bloody days. And I watched as the former leaders of Jewish terrorist groups became honored heroes and were elected as leaders of the counterfeit country built over the cremated bodies of the indigenous inhabitants of the land. Every Palestinian town and village stood no longer painted in soft pastel colors of daisies and olive branches but splashed instead in the colors of blood and tears and anguish. Custer's unquenchable thirst for the lives of the innocent reverberated throughout the whole of Palestine.

But it did not stop there. The Palestinians have and still are the inexpedient victims of Jewish greed and Jewish lack of respect for human life and human dignity. Zionist control of the media has manipulated and distorted the facts and covered up the massacres that have been and are yet to be. There are no self-evident truths in the Israeli protocol and in the stolen state of Israel, only Jews have the inalienable rights that all men are entitled to. In Israeli eyes, every Palestinian is dispensable and the life of every Palestinian, valueless. A newborn babe is considered a threat to Israeli security but the American made tanks, planes, helicopters and bulldozers are always depicted as tools to secure Israeli lives and not what they really are, mass weapons that bring terror and death to each and every Palestinian regardless of profession, gender and age. There is no safe haven for any Palestinian. Palestinian lives are not sanctified because they are not Jewish lives.

When word filtered through the Internet about the massacre committed by Israeli forces in Jenin, I felt a sense of shock and helplessness. History has repeated itself so many Palestinian times and when countless Palestinians die at the hands of their occupiers, it is nothing new. Rather, amidst the carnage and rivers of blood that continue to soak Palestinian hills and city streets, human rights groups have become entangled in the definition of just what a massacre is. Had a massacre really taken place in Jenin or not? Would a higher body count make the definition of a massacre more intriguing or more real? Some say as many as 500 were killed. Does this figure not constitute a massacre?

As peaceful turquoise waves lapped the shores of Istanbul, I tried to rationalize what had happened just a few plane hours away. But nothing could excuse the murders of the innocent, the victimized, the occupied. Civilians living in their homes were subjected to the greatest forms of terror. Children were bulldozed alive and buried helplessly beneath the rubble of inhumanity. The elderly, having seen too many massacres became themselves part of the body count. It was Sabra and Shatilla revisited by the Butcher whose thirst for Palestinian blood is insatiable.

But everyone knows a massacre took place in Jenin. Everyone knows that the dead were mostly civilians. Everyone knows that the occupied have every right to defend their lives and property when attacked by their occupiers. I cannot understand how my American forefathers were the brave defenders of American liberty but Palestinian freedom fighters are defined as terrorists. Every Palestinian is a freedom fighter, from newborn to the elderly. They have no choice. They fight with their bare hands when all odds are against them. They live in huge concentration camps where extermination of all that is human in them and their existence as well is a common every day practice.

How can people cry over what Hitler did to the Jews when we now see what the Jews are doing to the Palestinians? Is not one life as valuable as any other or are we supposed to believe that only Jewish lives are of worth?

In Istanbul, students demonstrated against the Israeli atrocities and the massacres. After the unspeakable incident in Jenin, Turkish people came to outdoor tables where pictures of brutalized Palestinians stretched across city squares. Many shook their heads in dismay and then signed their names to protest the brutality being waged against the Palestinian people. At one of the squares in Istanbul, I sat and watched as Turks stared at pictures and whispered to one other, shaking their heads in disbelief and then jotted down their names in small copybooks. Writing down their names perhaps gave them some sense of solidarity with the victims.

The Israeli propaganda machines have categorically denied there was a massacre. But the homeless, the children in prison, the dead yet buried beneath the rubble – all are testimony that indeed a massacre took place. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon can lie until he is blue in the face but as he eats, as he writes, as he speaks, Palestinian blood drips from his hands and indelibly stains the blackness of his heart.

He has forged the Palestinian into human bombs. He has taken away from them their country and left them with nothing but bitterness and hopelessness. He has filled his prisons with thousands of Palestinians from every walk of life. Children are tortured and beaten and deprived of the most basic human rights. How many Palestinians have died as a result of torture and how many Palestinian mothers have been shot down in cold blood? How many Palestinian babies will go through life deformed because of Israeli bullets and shells? Where will it all end?

Across the Marmara Sea, in a small snip of Paradise, gypsy women with gold teeth sell flowers of every imaginable color. Life in Turkey is beautiful and free. Elegant trees grow everywhere and the air smells sweet of green grass and summer activities. Boats of every shape and color skim across the turquoise waters and there is a sense of serenity on Turkish countenances. But just over the Mediterranean past where seagulls fly, Palestinians continue to die in the Holocaust that has now become theirs. Weapons made in the USA are wielded by a people who have lost their own humanity. And Israeli lies continue to spin at an even faster pace. But one day, the boy who cried wolf will be found out to be exactly who he is. This Day of Reckoning is close at hand and it is on this day that everyone will see the nakedness of the Emperor with the new clothes.

Good Will Towards Who?
Edna Yaghi, November 25, 2002

Even before Halloween was barely over, Americans had already begun to ready themselves for Thanksgiving. Even before American turkeys grace Thanksgiving tables, Christmas decorations, candy and piped Christmas music abound at every shopping center.

It is strange that we, the American people speak of being thankful and of such noble thoughts as peace on earth and good will towards men while at the same time, we speak of a war against the Iraqi people. Also, in the Holy Land, the Palestinian people suffer horrendously and every day, the toll on the civilian population grows heavier.

Where then, is this peace and joy that we claim we promote at this special time of year? Is it that only Americans are entitled to peace on earth and good will towards themselves? Is it that the deaths of others no longer matter to us? Is it that our own holiday seasons are so commercialized that we no longer recognize exactly what we have become? And is it that the American government has become so adept at propaganda that we have stopped thinking clearly about what is right and what is wrong? Have we become conditioned into believing that our government has the right to dictate whatever it wants to to whomever it wants to?

The Iraqi and Palestinian match girls are at our windows freezing in the falling snow and we are so busy with our own festivities and making sure that our banquet tables overflow with a surplus of bounties that we no longer see them or hear them.

Our media continues to remind us that all Palestinians are terrorists, even unborn babies. We continue to believe that children bravely clutching stones and dying for freedom against the Israeli government that we, the American taxpayers support to the tune of more than 97 billion dollars a year, are armed soldiers. We supply the Israelis with tanks, with Apache helicopters, with F-16s, with bulldozers so that the Israeli army can attack Palestinian civilian targets by land, by sea, and by air at all hours of the day and night. Yet, we see no wrong in this. We only become enraged when a few ragged Palestinian freedom fighters dare to die for their people, for their land, for their freedom.

We don't mind it when the Israeli army storms into Palestinian refugee camps and bulldozes homes and leaves either the occupants dead inside of the bulldozed houses or out in the cold without shelter. We don't care when Palestinian farmland is destroyed by Israeli tractors and olive and fruit trees overturned. We don't mind when Palestinians are kept under 24 hour curfews and anyone who dares to put his or her foot outside their door is shot down. We don't even wonder how these Palestinian people are able to support themselves when they are under curfews and when they are surrounded by Israeli tanks and soldiers.

We aren't amazed when Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon demands that illegal Israeli settlers who have set up their houses on Palestinian land kill Palestinians in their homes, on their way to school, or watching their flocks by night. We simply sit, complacent that we are full and it is not us who suffer.

It does not bother us that every month more than 5000 Iraqi babies die as a result of the sanctions. It is not that we really perceive Saddam Hussein as a cruel dictator, but a man who defies American dictates. We never stop to think that he is not out to harm us or our interests because we have been told that our lives are being threatened if he has weapons of mass destruction. But we don't even wonder why it is ok for Israel to have such weapons and also India. We fail to understand that it is not at all about weapons of mass destruction but rather how can our government topple Saddam so that Iraqi oil can begin to flow into the pockets of our own dictators such as George W. Bush and Rumsfeld.

We continue to bash Islam and Muslims in our hate wars. And everything and anything that goes wrong around the world is immediately blamed on Muslims or Islam. We don't really stop to think that we bombed Afghanistan to near oblivion in order to kill Osama Ben Laden and yet, we are no closer to capturing this elusive man than we were before our bombs were dropped. We will only think of him as a threat to American security when the moment is appropriate but we are not ashamed to admit that with all our technology, with all our money, with all our superior power, we still don't even know where he is or even if he is really responsible for the 9/11 attacks, or even if he is alive or dead. And we don't even care!

It is time we see other people around the world as human beings. It is time that we not only feel sorrow for our own pain but the pain and suffering of others. It is time that we understand what is really happening in Palestine and that at this special time of year, at a time when we speak of peace and joy on earth, Palestinian women, children and the elderly die on a daily basis. It is time that we understand that freedom and justice are not just American commodities for American people, but the inalienable rights of all. It is time that we open our hearts and listen to our consciences. It is time that we open our doors to those little Palestinian and Iraqi match girls whose lives are in danger. It is time that we embrace the true spirit of Christmas before it is too late.

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