Welcome, Paris. With Love, From Jerusalem.

Welcome, Paris

It is 4 am and I am up again
like so many other pre-dawn mornings
spent wrapped in blankets of worry.

Like when the war this summer
left me sleepless, speechless
in the heat of the fighting.

But now I am shivering and it is raining in Jerusalem
and there is little chance of sirens on my horizon this morning.

– What there is is Paris
petrified – in the wintertime.
What there is is images of
6 Jews fearful in a freezer
10 slaughtered artists
3 gunned-down police
4 martyred hostages
and the myriad 1000s of mourners,
hoisting candles, held in vigils
for another barbaric crime
against humanity.

And beneath my compassion
and my tears tinted by this computer screen
– I feel justified.

For the senseless murder of innocents
has already kept me up, carved me up,
so many nights.

And now Paris will also be sleepless
in the face of terrorists,
those self-same terrorists
that taunt my dreams.

And maybe, just maybe,
the world will be woken
from her blind-eyed slumber.

Shaken up enough to get what we
have long been ‘getting’ in abundance.

This insomnia in the face of fanatics
with automatic
weapons and rites of violence
in the name of their religion
– the Islamic religion…

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There I named it…
I thought to maybe leave it generic
for fear of being offensive.

But that would have been but another twisted
defeat for truth-speaking.
And the truth already has too many corpses
strewn on the streets this week.

So no, I will give the truth its deserved say.
I will name this darkness
for I have seen it
from the front-lines of my very children’s lives
as I send them to the Jerusalem bus stop
– terrified.

This is the face of the darkness, my friends,
Study well its features.
This is the Islamic fundamentalism
that strives to destroy
your liberties, your equalities, your fraternities.

This is the rabid enemy the world
demands Israel befriend, bend to,

This is the spreading darkness against which
we defend our borders, our families,
our humanity.

Dear blurry-eyed world,
our enemy is your enemy.

When you condemn Israel
– you condemn your own future.

When you sanction us
– you slash your own right hand.

When you damn us
– you yourselves are damned.

So welcome to sleeplessness, Paris.
Welcome to truth.
We mourn with you.
– With love,