an impossible dream?

This is my “Portal for Peace,” with special interest in Israel/Palestine, two of my “tierras keridas”. The basics there, as far as I am concerned, are two cousin peoples with irreconciliable narratives. As “my narrative” just means my version of history, how I make sense of things, the solution in principle is so simple: The two sides talk to each other, with the actual humanity of each side the only pre-condition or assumption.

Ha! What a dream, for Jews and Arabs not to start from the assorted brutalities, such as Occupation and suicide attacks, on both sides. What a dream to think that Lincoln’s appeal to “the better angels of our nature” applies to Those Othersand to ourselves.

For now, links at the right….. and this from 2007:

The Peacewar

The peacewar, it seemed, went on forever.
Wars went on, however, beyond all seeming.

The peacewarriors faltered then,
required encouragement.
The troops are hammered
into a blunt instrument.

Peaceniks, oh they were crazy
for cookies and for daisies;
officers likewise for ordinance,
cookiecutters and daisycutters.
How the loon wind mutters:

Jesse, nailed.
Buddy, a torch.
Donna Nobis in crimson robes
whoring for the Inquisition,
and Junie Krishna thinks:
Here are stranger fruit.

The fields turned brown.
Formations wheeled around.
Children ran exploding ground.

In the hands of children, weapons.
In their eyes, confusion.

In our hands, weapons.
In our shipping containers, weapons.
In our eyes, compulsion.

Nothing is the moral equivalent of war.
The moral equivalent of war is nothing.
War itself: the art of making nothing
from something. Who praises it
begs the moral equivalent
of a knife in the throat.

And now for
the Good War!
Read the price tag, ladies.
(Only the dead count.)
Soldiers: 25 million.
Civilians: 47 million.

In defense of democracy? No more
than of bound-for-ashes Jews.

Bravely, bravely, Bravo company
like a starburst
illuminates the movie
we thought we were watching.
Who were loath to pay
a small price early, how eagerly
to declare No price, no sacrifice
too great — for someone’s son.
Rape, slaughter,
deployed at the side
of someone’s daughter….

No. Nothing,
my friend,

David Almaleck Wolinsky


and if that was not grim or topical enough, this was written much earlier:


By the Waters of Babylon

By the waters of Babylon, and the river
that ran out of Eden, by Tagus, Danube,
by the golden Rhine, and the rockets’
red glare over Chesapeake and Neretva —

At heaven’s shore, at the Ocean of Tears,
we have longed for you, O Israel.

We read in every generation the megillah
of blood and fire, fire and blood —
Torquemada’s pyres, Cossacks
with torches on horseback,
smokestacks coughing
the thin lyrics of children.

We are the Hebrews, sons and daughters
of slaves.We are the Jews! We are
because for four thousand years
we have lifted this song from the song of water
from the singing blood and the dry riverbed
to lay it at the feet of our God.

And now Abdel Rahman watches his children
play in the same dirt he kicked as a child,
in the same camp. And now centurions turn
another charred page in Jenin, in Nablus,
and we do not know if it is screams or tears
that wring the mothers dry in the dust.

Hear O Israel. Hear O God: It’s us,
your Jews — with our cries for justice,
our complaints, arguments, lamentation….
We have lain down our harps
and picked up Uzis.
We remain faithful, Lord,
though the house of the covenant
become a wailing wall.

This year in Jerusalem, hear our prayers.
Let us lay this burning metal down at your feet.