a time for peace

- standing against occupation

come Obama, change my life

This plea from Israel appeared in CounterPunch on November 6, 2008 – it’s too good not to share!

By Edna Canett, of Machsom Watch, an Israeli group of women who monitor the checkpoints on the Jerusalem side.

Obama my dear, they tell me that you are going to change the world. Do me a favor, come and change my life personally.

Come to Israel, grab its stupid leadership by the throat and take its foot off the neck of another people. Come and force us to do what is clear, and written, and fitting, and necessary, come and get us out of the Territories, if necessary do it with a smile that reveals million-dollar teeth. If necessary bare your teeth and force us to do it.

Make it so that I don’t have to get up in the morning – I who hate to get up early, to go to the checkpoints, to watch and to weep. Make it so I will not have to see 19-year-old children who have been duped into believing that they are defending the home front by pointing rifles at five-year-old children.

Make it so that when my daughters take a shower for half an hour I don’t have to think about Ayad’s family from Awarta that puts buckets under all the washbasins in order to reuse the water which is more precious than gold. Because the settlements need the West Bank’s water more than the Palestinians do.

Make it so that when I sit in a traffic jam I don’t have to think about the vast numbers of cars that are standing at the entrance to Tul Karem while each one is checked by soldiers and dogs because there has been a warning that they’re about to blow up Tul Karem.

Make it so that when my sister urgently rushes to the hospital to give birth and when I rush my husband to the hospital practically with red lights flashing, I don’t have to think about the women giving birth and the heart patients and the wounded people who are stopped at the entrance to Nablus because their vehicle has no permit to enter.

Make it so that when I see a soldier in uniform on the street I do not wonder what he did last night. What house he entered in a “Straw Widow procedure”,* what boy he beat up in the alleys of Hawara because he smiled the wrong way.

Make it so that in the morning I don’t hear the satisfaction in the voice of the radio newsreader who relates that the IDF has killed six terrorists.

Obama my dear, this autumn I did not go to the olive harvest. It didn’t work out. Please make it so that I will not suffer from pangs of conscience because I am not doing enough. That I am living my own good life, pursuing my career, while for the other people just to get home safely is a career in itself.

Please relieve me of this pain that I have all the time deep in my belly. It never lets up, I can never really enjoy life, children, friends or work, because my mind is preoccupied with the image of the shepherd in Baq’a standing by the locked gate and shivering with cold because the redhead with the key has not showed up, and the bound blindfolded boy, and the three-year-old girl who got hit on the head by the carousel at the checkpoint, and the barriers of dirt and the concrete blocks that stop the lives of so many people from flowing smoothly.

 Come, Obama, come and save us from ourselves.

 And if that is what they mean when they say you are not a friend of Israel, then don’t be a friend. We have already had friends who arm us and justify every horror we carry out and save us from the international courts. Be a true friend. Save us from ourselves. And don’t do it for the world, do it only for me, so I can have peace. You owe it to me. I do not believe in God but still I prayed for you.

 *The IDF practice of forcibly occupying private Palestinian homes temporarily, for tactical purposes – translator

Edna Canetti wrote this for MachsomWatch. The piece was translated from Hebrew by George Malent 

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November 12, 2008 - Posted by | children, Israel, Occupation, Palestine, peace, women

2 Comments »

  1. I’m sure Barack Obama is just a mortal man, and cannot possibly grant the wishes of us all. My heart aches for Edna Csnetti, and all God’s children that you have introduced us too. We can at least be joyful and hopeful that we may be respected and trusted around the world, and that we are going to experience a much needed change, that we all have to be a part of, in our lives. God Bless America, and all the people of the world!!! Pat F.

    Comment by Pat F. | November 12, 2008 | Reply

  2. THIS IS SO VERY POWERFUL and I’m glad you posted it. Your presence was very vital here and you are missed by many, Pat! Your blog is just the best and I hope you continue to write. I check it often and have referred it to people back in the states who wonder why Martin and I have come here for four years. Keep in touch and we’ll meet again, inshallah! “Shadia” Suzanne Shoffner

    Comment by Suzanne Shoffner | November 26, 2008 | Reply


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