Chavez and the government of Bolivarian Venezuela saw the struggle for liberty and decency in the land of Palestine as one he could not distance himself from and remain silent, so they expelled the Israeli staff from the Israeli embassy in Caracas. (May they never return.)
Other communities relate to the struggle in the land of Palestine more deeply than Chavez. Among them are the Zapatistas, also struggling for liberty, self-determination, and equality in Chiapas, in southern Mexico. Subcommandante Marcos recently spoke about Gaza at the World Festival of Dignified Rage on 4 January. . Here is an excerpt:
It just occurred to us that perhaps to the Israeli government those men, women, children, and elderly people are enemy soldiers, and as such, the shacks, houses, and buildings that they inhabited are barracks that need to be destroyed.
So surely the hail of bullets that fell on Gaza this morning were in order to protect the Israeli infantry’s advance from those men, women, children, and elderly people.
And the enemy garrison that they want to weaken with the siege that is spread out all over Gaza is the Palestinian population that lives there. And the assault will seek to annihilate that population. And whichever man, woman, child, or elderly person that manages to escape or hide from the predictably bloody assault will later be “hunted” so that the cleansing is complete and the commanders in charge of the operation can report to their superiors: “We’ve completed the mission.”
Again, pardon our ignorance, maybe what we’re saying is beside the point. And instead of condemning the ongoing crime, being the indigenous and warriors that we are, we should be discussing and taking a position in the discussion about if it’s “zionism” or “antisemitism,” or if Hamas’ bombs started it.
Maybe our thinking is very simple, and we’re lacking the nuances and annotations that are always so necessary in analyses, but to the Zapatistas it looks like there’s a professional army murdering a defenseless population.
Who from below and to the left can remain silent?
Is it useful to say something? Do our cries stop even one bomb? Does our word save the life of even one Palestinian?
We think that yes, it is useful. Maybe we don’t stop a bomb and our word won’t turn into an armored shield so that that 5.56 mm or 9 mm caliber bullet with the letters “IMI” or “Israeli Military Industry” etched into the base of the cartridge won’t hit the chest of a girl or boy, but perhaps our word can manage to join forces with others in Mexico and the world and perhaps first it’s heard as a murmur, then out loud, and then a scream that they hear in Gaza.
We don’t know about you, but we Zapatistas from the EZLN, we know how important it is, in the middle of destruction and death, to hear some words of encouragement.
I don’t know how to explain it, but it turns out that yes, words from afar might not stop a bomb, but it’s as if a crack were opened in the black room of death and a tiny ray of light slips in.