Feb
10
2024

Valentine’s Day Action With Poetry From Broken Hearts Open to Gaza

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Justice – Poetry

This first version is general/for anyone. If you live in Congressional District 1, scroll down to see a targeted message for Representative Richard Neal. 

Call your representative (contact info here) around Valentine’s Day. (Skipping the Senate right now because they just voted on a bill.) This action will take only a few minutes. If you are feeling shy, you could even do it at night on the 14th and leave a message

Script

I’m [name] from [town]. [If you identify as a poet, you can also say And I am a poet.

This Valentine’s Day my heart is broken seeing what is happening in Gaza. Gazan poets are keeping my broken heart open. I want to share a few lines from [pick from one of the three options below]

I urge you to call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire and oppose any legislation that sends our tax dollars to fund violence against the innocent people of Gaza. Also funding for UNRWA must be reinstated; they are the only organization with the infrastructure to address the catastrophe of displacement and famine facing the 2 million people of Gaza.

Three poetry options 

#1: from Hiba Abu Nada, killed in an Israeli airstrike on October 20th 

I grant you refuge
from hurt and suffering.

With words of sacred scripture
I shield the oranges from the sting of phosphorous
and the shades of cloud from the smog.

I grant you refuge in knowing
that the dust will clear,
and they who fell in love and died together
will one day laugh.

or 

#2: from  Saleem Al-Naffar, who was buried under the rubble on December 7th 

 Knives might eat
what remains of my ribs,
machines might smash
what remains of stones,
but life is coming,
for that is its way,
creating life even for us.

or 

#3: from Mosab Abu Toha, who is in exile in Egypt worried every day about his family in Gaza 

Every child in Gaza is me. Every mother and father is me. Every house is my heart. Every tree is my leg. Every plant is my arm. Every flower is my eye. Every whole in the earth is my wound

Notes

  • These general calls are inspired by some of the more targeted actions of Jewish Voice for Peace that I have been active with. You can get involved with them to get the latest, sharpest calls for action. There is also a Ceasefire Tracker so you can see what your legislators have done—or not done. Every time I look a new person has been added.
  • This poetry action is inspired by a justice and accessibility activist who saw my original post on Poet Solidarity and told me that they made their calls to congress at night and shared poetry along with their message. 
  • Let me know how it goes. 
  • And just to state here what I have written about and said in other places, I absolutely condemn the Hamas attacks on October 7th and my heart too is broken open for those killed, those who experienced sexual violence, those who witnessed the horrors of that day, and their families. My actions to end this war are focused on the US government because I have no leverage over Hamas or Iran, the power behind it.

Targeted Message for Representative Neal of Massachusetts Congressional District 1

Call the Springfield (413-785-0325) and/or DC (202-225-560) offices. This action will take only a few minutes. If you are feeling shy, you could even do it at night on the 14th and leave a message

Script

I’m [name] from [town]. [If you identify as a poet, you can also say And I am a poet.

This Valentine’s Day my heart is broken seeing what is happening in Gaza. Gazan poets are keeping my broken heart open. I want to share a few lines from [pick from one of the three options you can see above in the general post]

I appreciate Rep Neal voting against the stand alone bill for military aid to Israel on February 7 and call on him to continue opposing sending our tax dollars to fund violence against the innocent people of Gaza. Also funding for UNRWA must be reinstated; they are the only organization with the infrastructure to address the catastrophe of displacement and famine facing the 2 million people of Gaza. I urge you to make a statement calling for an immediate and permanent ceasefire. 

Please pass this message on to both Rep. Neal and to Chris Cozzaglio in the Pittsfield Office. 

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