Sugar and spice and all that's nice
by Edna Yaghi
Iman Hijo is the name of the little baby girl whose life was so abruptly ended just a few days ago. Her death is really no big deal. Americans for one have much more important concerns. For example, what brand of dog food to buy and how often should Rover be taken for a walk. Or there might be some whales stranded on a California beach somewhere. Or there might be that favourite TV show or chat room that becomes a priority over the death of a single infant, especially a single Palestinian infant.
But the death of this child is a human tragedy. It is the result of the total siege of the Palestinian people and the destruction and desecration of their way of life. Their fragile socio-economic infrastructure has been devastated and all that these people hold dear has been sabotaged.
Baby Iman is proof that there is no escape from death in occupied Palestine. Her death is proof that the world watches idly and with the deepest apathy while children and infants are slaughtered. Everyone knows that a four-month-old child is not a terrorist, cannot throw a stone and cannot carry a gun. Everyone knows that babies have no hate and carry no malice. Why then, did this innocent child have to die? What was the purpose of killing her? Can Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon justify her death only on the basis that she is Palestinian and that he covets what little land the Jews did not confiscate and steal from its indigenous inhabitants?
What sense can there be in killing babies and toddlers? How can anyone justify not only the death of such infants, but physically impairing a large number of those who have so far survived the Palestinian Holocaust?
There has to be a red line that cannot be crossed. There has to be a limit to how much the Palestinians suffer. There is no sane reason to justify what is happening right now in the streets, cities and villages under Israeli siege. One war criminal cannot continue to massacre Palestinians under the guise that these dastardly deeds that are carried out against them are for the "security of Israel". What about the security of the Palestinians? Don't they have the same rights as Israelis? Are Palestinians occupying Israeli cities and villages? Are Palestinians attacking Israelis by air, land and sea? Are Palestinians bombing Israeli civilians? Are Palestinians blowing up Israeli houses by remote control and are Palestinians singling out Israeli leaders and assassinating them?
How can Sharon pretend that Palestinians put children in harm's way when baby Iman could not walk, could not talk and was in her mother's arms when the house where her mother had taken her to visit relatives was shelled? At the time of the shelling, no men were in the house. No shots were coming from the place where baby Iman was visiting. No male member of the house belonged to any armed Palestinian resistance group. On what grounds does Sharon justify this baby's death?
Baby Iman was not the only one who was hit. Her grandmother Samia, 38, suffered a multitude of injuries and fractions to her abdomen, spinal cord, waist and thighbones. Perhaps she will never walk again, or even if she does, it will take a long time for her to recuperate. Samia's year and a half baby boy was critically injured and so were two other children. Iman's 20-year-old mother was also seriously injured in the shelling. The baby's father, who was not present at the time of the shelling, had already been wounded during a separate incident a few months back.
Several thousand mourners saw baby Iman to her grave in Deir al-Balah. Those who walked the baby to her grave chanted "Long live Palestine". The baby so far is the youngest victim of the war Israel is waging against the civilian Palestinian population. Her father, 21-year-old Mohammed cried before the baby was taken away to be buried and he fainted before the body of his tiny infant daughter was lowered into her miniature grave. Iman's mother, Suzanne, is critically injured along with the baby's grandmother.
But it's no big deal as far as Israelis and Americans are concerned. Israelis will continue to cry over their past Holocaust while in turn committing crimes as heinous or even worse than those that were carried out against them. Americans are so busy being gullible about whatever the American media deems fit for them to be exposed to that they don't have the faintest idea what is going on and they don't care. Anyway, Americans are more worried about what their dogs eat and do than to what happens to Palestinians half a world away.
Baby Iman will never be able to experience the joy of her first steps, or watch her eager parents celebrate her first birthday. She will never go through the pains and joys of being a teenager. She will never fall in love, will never marry and will never have children of her own. An infant's life was ruthlessly taken from her. Unfortunately, she is not the exception but the rule. The war that Israelis are waging right now is against every Palestinian man, woman and child, old and young. The strategy of this brutal war is to either drive out or wipe out the remainder of the Palestinians from the land that Israelis covet.
Sharon's heart is harder than a rock. He has no mercy for non-Jews. Even a rock can spout forth a spring, but only hate spouts forth from Sharon's brutality. Little does he realize that one day all this hate that he directs towards non-Jews will backfire.
What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and all that's nice. This is what baby Iman was made of until her life was abruptly halted. Though to Americans and Israelis, her death is no big deal, there is one good thing that has come from her dying for she has gone to a far, far better place than this world that is occupied by people who did not care enough to ensure her healthy survival.