Vox Populi

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Naomi Shihab Nye: They Are Not Much Fun

For Ahed Tamimi


Israeli soldiers, exhausted from carrying

so many weapons for so many years,

have lost their humors, you know this.

Tear-gassing, shouting, pummeling, pushing, bullying,

it’s a rough life for them. They can only smile or laugh

when they’re alone.  On the day they tear-gassed my

100 year old grandmother, they had headaches.

On the day they blackened and bruised the tender face

of my 11 year old naked cousin in the shower,

they were getting the flu.

On the day they pointed huge guns at my daddy and me

as we stood speaking to an ancient farmer

and I screamed at them and my daddy

placed his hand over my mouth…

I’m so sorry you’re in jail, Ahed.

Hopefully they’ll be feeling better soon and let you out.

When the American Vice President wore a yarmulke

to pray against the wall, what was he praying for,

if not their better moods?


It’s so hard to be them.

Exhausted from battle against

thin, strong people who only wanted

a drink of water, those devils.

How could they want so much?

How could they think picking tangerines would be allowed?

Israeli soldiers were born right and everyone else,

ahhhhhhhh. They have to let them know

how wrong it is they were born.  They have so much

work to do.

Copyright 2018 Naomi Shihab Nye


Ahed Tamimi, a teenage Palestinian protester who was filmed slapping and kicking two soldiers outside her home, appeared on February 13, 2018 before an Israeli military court to face various charges including assaulting security forces, incitement and throwing stones. According to witnesses, the soldiers incited the violence by invading Tamimi’s home and shooting members of her family.

3 comments on “Naomi Shihab Nye: They Are Not Much Fun

  1. Max Carbide
    August 13, 2019

    They’re haters. And you know what we do with haters? We pity them.


  2. Jan Jarboe Russell
    February 16, 2018

    Thanks Naomi. How wrong they are and how good of you to hold that truth up.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. triciaknoll
    February 15, 2018

    Thank you, Naomi.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on February 15, 2018 by in Opinion Leaders, Poetry, Social Justice, War and Peace and tagged , , .

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