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THE NAKBA

‘…mourning and sorrow shall end,
when I return to Jerusalem…’

Mediaeval Jewish Prayer

 

‘We suffer from an incurable malady: Hope.’

Mahmoud Darwish

 

On a land mass that is the size of landlocked

Rutland, the smallest county in England,

Gaza, the Earth’s third most populated

polity, has two small rivers  and a hill.

Its city, four thousand years ago,

was the site of a Pharaonic fortress.

 

Though the Jordan is inaccessible,

nowhere in the Strip is more than eight miles

from sandy beaches and the ‘Great Sea’,

the dark blue ‘Sea of the Philistines’.

 

During the so-called Suez Crisis,

as the invading Israeli infantry

reached the outskirts of Gaza City,

refugees from the Nakba – ‘catastrophe’,

‘disgrace’ – left their faded British Army tents

and clapped, thinking the young soldiers had come

to take them all back home.

 

 

 

© Copyright David Selzer
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2 Responses
  • Alan Horne
    June 28, 2021

    I very much like the understatement and the long historical view in this.

  • Mary Clark
    July 12, 2021

    I wonder that there is still a Jerusalem to return to? I hate the evictions going on, though in limbo right now, and all the score settling. When will it, how will it, end?

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