Imagine a child in Gaza wondering whether Lio (as Maradona calls him) should have been awarded the Golden Ball at Brazil 2014. He has no brain. The concrete slab of his tenement house caved on him and his family the night we were watching extra time between Argentina and Germany. He missed Mario Goetze's goal, even the endless replays.
Picture (oh! the pictures are so complete with blood, children and more blood) a mother in Gaza asking her bleeding son the result of the previous night's final. He can barely utter Germany in his relentless pain. He has one foot less to kick the ball, his favourite game. He too was looking forward to Russia 2018.
The Israelis too have children, as loving, as endearing, as demanding as any child from the days of Mesopotamia to the weeping ones all over Argentina last Sunday. But now their Ehudee parents drive them night after night to the border with Gaza, not to fight a war with the 'terrorist' Hamas forces that have been shelling their paradise on earth, but to watch the Israeli army 'legitimately' bombarding Palestinian civilian targets in Gaza. Oh! What a spectacle? It is somewhat like the closing ceremony at the Maracana. Only here more blood is spilt than that from the face of injured Schweinsteiger.
Israel, unrecognised by the Muslim world and several other countries as a state, and despised by the vast majority of the world's freedom-loving population for its Zionist activities, is today fighting a one-sided war with a small politico-military group, the Hamas, whose missiles (if any) cannot kill anybody. In the first week of the Israeli blitzkrieg, there were nearly two hundred civilian deaths in Gaza, and not a single one (repeat, not a single) among the murderers. Israel needs to get its act right and learn a lesson or two from Hamas, so as to build an arsenal with missiles made of talcum powder.
Captain Benjamin's brave men (I believe they have armed women too) have chosen an appropriate month for killing Muslim babies, born and in the womb, because the Arabs are incapacitated. While they are engrossed in Sehri, Iftar and Tarabi, the cowardly Israelis are making a hay day (make that night). They are so worn out that the Arab League cannot even meet at the ministerial level to make a formal protest, even if it means that the next Arab baby would still be killed.
But there have been protests, and from the Jews too in different countries. In New York, they held placards reading “Judaism rejects the State of Israel and its atrocities in Gaza” and “Zionism is the cause of Mideast bloodshed” (nkusa.org). Another echoed the same message but only more poignantly, “I am Jewish and I want Israel to stop killing Palestinians”. And another read, “I am a Jew. Stop killing babies in Gaza”. In other words, you need to be a Jew to see the lust for blood among the Israel state politicians.
Protests of any significance from the Muslim 'bother' hood have not been uttered or written, the question of physical interference does not arise because it is Israel (not Saddam Hussein of Iraq nor the Talebans of Afghanistan) who are calling the shots. It appears they are waiting for a mortal signal from somewhere so that the luxurious lifestyle of their unelected leaders is protected, their oil markets are sustained, and their villas in western mountains and lakes are secure.
By contrast, the Palestine embassy in Dhaka is open to receiving funds to provide the affected people of Gaza food, shelter and medicine thorough the Palestine Red Crescent Society. This also gives us an occasion to reflect on how our people, ten million of them as refugees in India 1971, had appealed, cried and yearned for succour with sick and hungry babies sobbing from weakness around them.
Coming back to the just-concluded Brazil World Cup, Real Madrid iconic forward Cristiano Ronaldo exited the tournament early. But he has remained in the hearts of Gaza people since November 2012, when the star forward donated €1.5 million to Palestinian children in Gaza, as reported then by the Arabic version of the club's Classico network. While we would like to give the boot to the human powers that be for the shameless, negligent and deplorable stance towards Gaza, CR7 gave his 2011 Golden Boot to the Real Madrid foundation. The Spanish giants in their turn sold it at an auction and donated the funds to schools in Gaza. It is likely that a few of those schools may have been levelled by Israel's indiscriminate bombing with children buried beneath. A big time Gaza champion, Ronaldo in 2011 sold most of his sports shoes at a Real Madrid Foundation auction dedicated also to raising funds for schools in Gaza.
Ronaldo is one among thousands in the western world who have come to stand by the Gaza victims. On 11 July London and Paris saw pro-Palestinian demonstrators peacefully calling for an end to Israeli atrocities and military strikes on Gaza. In London, the Israeli Embassy was under siege, as angry protesters carried placards that read "End Israel's attacks on Gaza" and "Freedom for Palestine."
The Paris protest was smaller, with about a hundred people demonstrating near the French Foreign Ministry. But these protests can snowball in the coming days if Netanyahu keeps up his middle-age tactics. One woman, the Palestine flag painted on her cheeks, shouted "Palestine will survive".Stephane Frappreau, a Jew, said the demonstrations were about "defending humanity and about stopping the massacre…Palestinians are people who are suffering, kids and women, who are dying every day". Only the Muslim monarchs are yet to grasp the situation.
In Indonesia, young Muslims came out to protest the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza in Semarang. In Jakarta, people waved placards and Palestinian flags during a protest in front of the United Nations office, demanding Israel to stop its military action in Gaza. Greece was no different and demonstrators held placards and Palestinian flags during a protest in front of the Israeli Embassy in Athens. Tunisian protesters shouted slogans and held Palestinian flags to support Gaza in capital Tunis. South Africans gathered outside the Department of International Relations in Pretoria. In Belgium, protesters held a rally outside the Israeli Embassy in Brussels. Turkey saw demonstrations by flag-waving protesters outside the Israeli embassy in Ankara on Friday.
The Americans and the UK (and later NATO members) have been ruthless in Afghanistan since 2001to dismantle al-Qaeda through “Operation Enduring Freedom”, when the world heaved a sigh of relief but momentarily so. The Americans (with a little help from UK, Poland and Australia) were very quick and decisive with “Operation Iraqi Freedom” 2003 and severely firm on Saddam, with the military attaining further target practice, and the world cheered to its dismay later. The world this time looks at the USA and their Arab allies. But it appears that for the fear of yet another failed military solution, the American government is reluctant to apply the military option in Israel; the latter's unilateral bombing and killing of innocents should have gottena heavier dose, “Operation Enduring Gaza Freedom”.
But, alas, all we can hear is president Barrack Obama uttering: “Israel doesn't know what its own best interests are”. We all do!