Thursday, March 01, 2007


These Palestinian children walk alongside a river of blood on their way to who knows where but probably to school or home again.

The blood was provided without charge by several Palestinian men shot and killed by the occupying Israeli Defence Forces. Such rivers are commonplace in the Palestinian Territories. The children are unmoved. They've seen it all before. And much worse.

When I went to school, a five kilometre walk, I used to collect empty cigarette packets thrown from cars and make them into thin cards. At school, with other boys, you'd flick them through the air and the card which landed closest to the wall was the winner and its owner collected all the other cards. I never walked alongside blood.

On my way to school or going home, if a friend joined me, we would often play glass marbles. It made walking fun. If you hit the other person's marble then it was yours. Some of the marbles did have swirls of red in them but they never bled.

Of course if it was raining, the gutters provided all manner of fun for those like me who had bare feet. Twig boats were launched and races were held. Dams were made from large stones. But the only thing that flowed down the gutters was clean water.

The local cinema was a great place to go past. Often bits of film would lay on the ground and when you discovered one you held it up and looked in amazement at the tiny, perfect, romantic images captured on the soft strip. Don't ever recall seeing anything threatening there.

The ice works was another place that was great to go by on a hot day. Sometimes you could nick a bit of ice and suck on it the rest of the way home. One day, while reaching in under the table saw where the blocks of ice were cut, I hit my head on the stationary saw. My head bled a bit and a few drops fell to the ground.

It was the only blood I saw during my entire childhood while walking to and from school. Guess I was lucky!

Some children aren't.


Mary Walsh said...

Unfortunately blood is just another commodity to be spent, and like money, much better when it is someone's elses!

We have to be very careful that we do not lose sight of that wonderfully refreshing state of being known as "Hope"!

I frequently despair of the world in which I leave my grandchildren but as my two daughters keep having them (5.5 to date) I have to think they see much more positive things than I do for the future.

There is also the blood known as transfusions which provide life for the ill, so not all blood spent is in death.....

I think it is totally unnecessary to expose small children to the daily grind of wonder they grow up screwed up!!!

Mary Walsh

Daniel said...

The innocence of my childhood compared to the horrors of theirs is breathtaking. Knowing only fear and oppression they will respond with hate and violence.

That's something the Israelis just don't get. But then the God they worship is cruel and cold so what else could one expect!

No said...

That picture says it all. I tend to ignore things that I cannot visually see, but that picture brought it oh, so close to home.

It will not be the same walking my children to school ever again. I will always remember this picture of the blood.

I appreciate your bringing this to the forefront.

Coffee Messiah said...

I have a jazz musician friend who grew up in the former Yugoslavia, who told me about playing in and around mine fields while a wee lad.

Unimaginable compared to the life I grew up with.

Watching the goings on in the countries where a good many people are killing their own, without the governments help, is even sadder.

I too attempt at being positive, but in the scheme of things, it appears to not be enough rippling to have any effect outwardly....

ninglun said...

Our childhoods were similar, it seems, though we used to check out the car wrecks in the front yard of Sutherland Police Station looking for (and sometimes finding) blood.

Good post. Unfortunately there are too many places in the world where childhood is as shown in your picture.

Some years back a Vietnamese friend told me: "You know how in Australia parents warn their children about crossing the road? When I was a child my mother would send me off to school warning me to watch out for land mines..."

Daniel said...

We fail our children at our peril, Ninglun. Thanks for dropping by.

Fleming said...

Daniel, this is my first visit to SEEKING UTOPIA, and I'm glad that I saw this post right below your eloquent letter to a nonexistent child. The Zionist barbarity in Palestine and surrounding areas occupies a lot of my thoughts, and I'm encouraged to see someone with your gifts spreading the truth.

Playful Pete said...

Yes, my school days too were filled with cricket, icy poles and playground races. Good times indeed. Yet, all around me in the world today, Jewish children have to "put up" with racist attacks by deranged haters using bombs, guns, fire, arson and death threats.

In Canada (twice):

In France (multiple):

In Israel:

In Germany (even a nursery school for goodness sake):,2144,2366952,00.html

Ah wait, hang on, they're just Jewish kids. Ok, never mind.

Daniel said...

Fleming, thanks for dropping by. I will put up your link shortly.

Your comment about Zionist barbarity contrasts strongly with the comment below it where my friend, Playful, a Gerry look-a-like, is trying to make us feel sorry for Jewish children whose parents have brutally occupied the Palestinian Territories for forty years, committed endless atrocities there, and recently used their military might to crush Lebanon. Currently those same parents are, in concert with America, considering nuking Iran.

However, I strongly believe that children of all races and creeds should be protected from violence AND the stupidity, imperialism, religious beliefs and greed of their parents. Cheers.