Denise R. Weuve

Ink Damage and Other Permanent Stains

The Gaza Strip Shrapnel Reaches Southern California

About two years ago I thought I made a new friend. She lived near, in the art district of Long Beach and seemed open-minded and fun to be around. She liked art, music, and even went to a Goth/death rock club with me. I joined her book club, and began to look forward to one Sunday a month to discuss literature in not an English teacher way.

At around the same time I became friends with her I was enamored with a half Persia gentleman. After about three months she made a mention that he should not say hello to her any longer because she did not like his kind. I dismissed this, assuming she was being a friend who perhaps saw something in him I did not. I hoped it was some strange protecting instinct.

This friend and myself were out with others when I mentioned him, and she said to everyone, “I just don’t like him.” I foolishly asked why. Waiting for a joke. Something that we could all giggle about when she said, “What his people have done to mine. He disgusts me.”

She is a California Jew. He was born in California, grew up in Torrance where he watched ducks in a pond near his family’s apartment. Neither of them had anything personally to do with the Gaza Strip. Yet her hate was so palpable. It’s the same hate that gives us children as collateral damage.

I know the photos are meant to be inflammatory. I know that each side has their story. I know I am in no way educated enough to even hazard a guess about who is ultimately right or wrong. But I also know that children are the casuality, and hatred that penetrates through generations to come the only rewards of war.

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