I've been quiet lately. I think it's because I hate the word "indescribable."
As a writer, I hold as an article of faith a believe in the ability for words to reflect truth, to convey meaning across distance, whether that distance is geographic, social, or ideological. Through words, we tell our stories and together we find ways to make them matter.
But a couple of months ago I witnessed an incident that I can write and write about without out coming close to describing it. On April 5 2009, three boys from the village of Juwiyya, ages 10, 11, and 14, were taken by the Israeli army and handed over to a group of masked settlers who insulted and beat them. This remains the most horrifying situation I've witnessed.
For me, besides being so unable to do anything as this went on, talking about what happened was the most difficult part of responding to this situation. Over and over again, I got phone calls from news agencies and NGOs verifying the story. "They really took those kids and handed them over to the settlers? Really?" "Yes," I wanted to scream, "it happened. Really."
I'm embarrassed to talk about myself so much - there's so much trauma in this country and mine is small in comparison. But this indescribable corners of human experiences, the places we can only gesture mutely towards,are the places we desperately need each other. In these hidden places, where memory refuses to walk, we need someone to come alongside us and whisper, "I believe you. I understand."
And somehow we must trust each other enough to say the truth out loud: that this occupation is wrong, that Gazans don't deserve to the bombed, that in 1948 750 thousand Palestinians were driven out of their homes, that Palestinian homes are still being razed today, that guns can't protect a nation from the truth.
This is for the more than 9,000, 000 Palestinian refugees whose Nakba is denied and for three boys from Juwiyya: I believe you.