When Children Play In Jerusalem

The Carousel of Jerusalem

The Imitation Game

We say:

We are killing them
because we are defending ourselves,
because we have nowhere else to go,
because it is our homeland,
because we’ve been there for a very long time.

They say the same.

We say:

They are killing us
because they want to kill us all,
because they want to take all the land,
because they think it belongs to them,
because their religion tells them so.

They say the same.

We say:

No one is on our side
because they look like the victims,
because the media is unfair.

They say the same.

We say:

We will win this war in the end
because we are on the side of history,
because we are on the side of justice.

They say the same.

Our friends agree with us.

Our enemies agree with them.

The indifferent people plug their ears and look away;

they know what happens when you get involved.

God looks down and shrugs his shoulders;

He knows all too well what happens when you get involved.


Home Not Alone

Your parents must have been around at some point,

but now their presence has turned to myth.

It’s another one of those dark and misty nights,

so you retreat to your warm, secluded home.

Looking out the window,

you’re startled when you see a face staring back at you.

Is that your own reflection in the warped glass,

or an impostor who’s come to steal your house?


The Bicycle of Violence

We are two people on one bicycle.

We’ve learned to cooperate by taking turns pedaling.

They pedal, then we pedal, then they pedal again.

We both need to keep pedaling if we are to keep this bicycle of violence moving forward.

Where are we headed on this bicycle of violence?

Towards that cliff over there.

Shouldn’t we change course?

We cooperate on the pedaling, but not on the steering. We want to turn left and they want to turn right, so we end up turning nowhere.

Why don’t we stop pedaling?

If we stop pedaling we’ll fall off and scrape our knees. That’s the thing about a bicycle: you have to keep pedaling to move forward, otherwise you’ll fall down.

Isn’t a scraped knee better than falling off the cliff?

We’ll have to wait and see when we get there.

Can’t we both stop pedaling at the same time?

Both of us want to get the last pedal in.

Can’t we make an arrangement?

Even if we both stop, it’s only a matter of time before it all starts again. That’s the other thing about a bicycle: you never forget.

What if we make an arrangement to both stop pedaling, and make an agreement to not get back on?

In this neighborhood, if we’re not riding the bicycle then the bullies will come around and steal it from both of us.


Sharing is Caring, that’s why there’s no peace

We are two people on one see-saw.

‘Go away, we were here first!’, they say.

‘No, we were here first!”, we say.

They say, ‘Well that was yesterday, and now it’s today. You can’t keep it forever. You left and now it’s ours.’

We say, ‘No, that was yesterday and now it’s today. You had it yesterday and then you left.’

They say, ‘We didn’t leave, you forced us off. You’re a bully!’

We say, ‘No, you’re the bully; you and your friends! You kicked us off all the other toys and surrounded us and tried beating us up! We’re lucky we’re still alive!’

They say, ‘It’s not luck; you won because your friends helped you, and your friends are bigger than our friends. And those aren’t even our friends, they don’t let us play with them either!’

We say, ‘Well, looks like we both have nowhere else to go. We’ll have to learn how to share.’

They say, ‘How can we share a see-saw? We’d rather wait until you get tired and leave.’

We say, ‘We’re not leaving, we have nowhere else to go!’

They say, ‘Well you must have somewhere else to go, since you came from somewhere else!’

We say, ‘No, we were forced out of those places! We can’t go back, and we don’t want to anyway! This is where we belong!’

They say, ‘You don’t belong here! You don’t look or sound or smell like us, and we’re the ones who belong here!’

We say, ‘OK, if you don’t like us then we’ll stay on our side and you can stay on your side.’

They say, ‘There’s no side that’s yours! It’s all ours! Go away, we were here first!’


Would it Ever Be Enough?

If we would give you the Temple Mount, but not give you all of Jerusalem, would it ever be enough?

If we would give you all of Jerusalem, but not give you Haifa, would it ever be enough?

If we would give you Haifa, but not become second-class citizens, would it ever be enough?

If we would become second class citizens, but not throw ourselves into the sea, would it ever be enough?

If we would throw ourselves into the sea, but refuse to drown, would it ever be enough?


Ice Cream (The Chilling Chant)

I scream,

you scream,

we all scream,

because we don’t know what else to do.

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