The title track, an 11-minute melody, transmits the host of emotions that engulfed many of us when Israel began mercilessly pounding the resilient and hostage Gaza Strip late in 2008. First there were the simultaneous strikes, which killed hundreds. Some of us woke up to watch the dreadful images of poor police cadets in Gaza reeling under the ceaseless bombardment in a heap of human flesh.
Body parts of young men and their families scattered across burning buildings and pulverized concrete. Those still alive were hauling whatever remained of their bodies across the sea of the dead, mostly in their graduation uniforms. It was a moment of disbelief, of questioning much of what we had previously held to be true. It came as a shock and awe to our collective consciousness, and it was further bolstered by endless days of constant shelling and tragedy.
And the tide began to change as if the moment of death, of release, was the very moment of liberation. Gaza's thousands of victims may have produced the nudge for millions around the globe to begin to finally confront their inner fear, their subtle sense of shame for allowing a tragedy of that magnitude to continue for all of these years.
As Gaza held strong, proving once and for all that unspoken values — human spirit, the will of the people, the collective dignity of a nation — were stronger than all that military genius can possibly generate, millions went to the streets in a most disorganized, chaotic, and yet genuine expression of human solidarity witnessed in many years. The tide has changed, then, and continues to change. The frenzied and disorganized, yet real, sentiments have become an unwavering and well-articulated commitment to justice.
The shift cannot always be validated by numbers or demonstrated in charts, but it is nonetheless felt widely. Israeli researchers refer to it as a global movement aimed at delegitimizing their state. They are laboring to link it to anti-Semitism somehow, but to no avail. Palestinians and their friends vary in their own reading of what happened during and after those fateful days, but they contend it was Israel's murderous acts that incepted and cemented the process of its own delegitimization...I smell H-I-T (in the killing--not the popularity--sense)! As for me, I'm waiting for the "musical essays" Boy Assad, the Demon Ophthamologist of Damascus and No, No Hezbo. Here's snippet from the former's theme song (which I wrote just this second):
Attend the tale of Boy Assad
(Attend the tale of Boy Assad).
He mowed 'em down in lakes of blood
(He moved 'em down in lakes of blood).
And though he was a big fat dud
Whose name was mud,
Caused a flood of blood,
He hung on,
He hung on fast
The demon ophth' of Damascus...