Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Suheir Hammad's "On the Brink Of (for Rachel Corrie)"/More on Rampaging Bulldozers


Suheir Hammad's "On the Brink Of (for Rachel Corrie)" is an elegy for an American activist who died when an Israeli bulldozer crushed her to death as she knelt, trying to stop yet another house demolition. The IDF driver of the bulldozer was acquitted of wrongdoing, ostensibly because he said that he did not see her. Never mind that she was wearing an orange vest and held a bullhorn in her hands.

Whether or not this individual was guilty of seeing or not seeing, the larger blindness should be clear. Why are Palestinians routinely and pervasively denied housing permits, even Palestinians who are Israeli citizens? Why does Israel engage in collective punishment of Palestinians by destroying houses where a family member was suspected of participating in violence? Meanwhile, the Caterpillars keep building new Israeli settlements in occupied territories, in defiance of international law....

3 comments:

Joseph Ross said...

Philip - Great posting. The story of Rachel Corrie still takes my breath away. Suheir Hammad's poem restores it just a bit, as it often does.

Thank You, Joseph

Philip Metres said...

Thanks for your comments, Joseph!

hashtreck said...

I just found yout blog and it touches! :)