" Cry Leila cry!!!" screamed Magda across the morgue piled up so high with corpses she could see Leila through the crook of her youngest little boy's elbow. Beneath him like grotesque maniquins lay her five other children.
"Dead. All dead. They are killing all of us. We are going to be wiped out one by one. There is nothing any of us can do. No one will help us. We are poor Palestinians. We don't matter to anyone in this land except as corpses."
In grief and in impotence Magda tore at her scalp until tufts of brown hair flew like cluster bombs through the air. Her tears like the milk in her breasts had dried up. She was now a desert without an oasis in sight.
Leila gazed at the bodies of her grandparents, thrown on top of one another like slaughtered sheep. Her parents, together with her boy Hamid aged seven had died in the first onslaught of the bombing a few days ago.
"Where are my brothers Ahmed, Feisal and Ramzy? Please God, may they not be here." she prayed.
Aiee! She saw what just a few hours ago had been her neighbors, cousins, uncles, aunts and friends. All torn to pieces. There wasn't much left of any of them.
Leila screamed until she lost her voice. Tears blinded her but she could not stop them. She continued screaming. Her vocal chords taut against the side of her scrawny neck looked as if they might burst at any second. And then she fainted.
"I implore you, no more bloodshed, this violence is intolerable." said Pope Benedict the XVI to the Israeli and the Palestinian High Command. It was his third such appeal in less than a week.
But the smell of blood and gunpowder was too strong and irresistible for any one to pay attention.
The United Nations at the request of Libya held an extraordinary session of the Security Council. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon called for a ceasefire; neither side listened.
British Foreign Secretary David Milliband declared in a statement" Only an immediate ceasefire will do." Bla, Bla, and more Bla Bla.
Muammar Ghadafi, Charismatic Leader of Libya said"The Arabs, Semites all, should be ashamed of themselves negotiating on behalf of the Palestinians as if they were pieces of rags. They dare to do this from their luxurious albeit cowardly and morally weak positions."
President -elect Barack Obama has telephoned Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. To say and do what? Until he is formally inaugurated President of the declining power known as the United States he may well be told to lump it.
The Israeli tanks are at the the doors of Gaza. They mean killing business. Extermination business. Genocidal business. We are all standing by - AGAIN - as we did in the 40's when the Judeans were dying like flies in the Shoah.
My family and I know a dear human being, a diplomat, father, husband and grandfather, who also happens to be President Abu Mazen's closest Adviser. He is Nemer Hamad. We have known him since the early 80's. Rania, his daughter and Cinzia my daughter are the oldest and best of friends since their school days at Marymount International.
We have no word of Nemer. His family lives in Rome and for the time being they are safe. I say for the time being because none of us know what will happen next. Wars, like fires have a way of going where we least expect it.
The guns of the Nativity are on full blast with no sign of stopping. Peace on Earth does not exist in the Holy Land. Goodwill to man is demode. Bernard Madoff cheated both Gentiles and his fellow Jews. Glory to Mammon in the Highest. That means Money and Armaments. That part of the world where Jesus walked is Godless.
Meanwhile, back in Gaza the morgue is floor to ceiling and wall to wall cadavers. Leila, still in a dead faint is thrown out into the courtyard. She moans hoarsely, blood streaming out of her nose.
" What are you doing, you pigs ! She's alive,"yells Magda.
The desperate medic yells back. "Get her out of here. We need the courtyard for the dead and the mortally wounded. There is no more room at the morgue."
Magda places her arms around Leila's underarm and pulls her up. She scrutinizes the nose bleed.
"Girl, your fine nose is not broken, thank God.''
Leila's tears have not abated.
''Magda, I am the only one left," croaks Leila.
" I am afraid that I may the only survivor too."
Then Leila raises a fist towards the heavens " Inshallah! I will not be crushed do you hear me?"
"What are you going to do?"
"Magda, don't worry I will not do anything violent. I am going to bed every man I see, Palestinian or Israeli. I must get pregnant immediately. That is what all of us women must do after we have buried our loved ones according to Muslim tradition.
Then, we must fuck our hearts and souls out.That is what female rats do. It is a very intelligent way to ensure survival. Let us see to it that our wombs will be more fertile than their tanks or their bullets."