Days #42-43 Aug. 17 & 18, 2014 — Sumud

I walked out of the courthouse in Albuquerque today feeling pissed and angry. The Judge ruled against me, but it shouldn’t have surprised me. I didn’t have the expert testimony and couldn’t prove my case.

My case was no larger than a tick on a flea on the back leg of a fly resting on a dog’s tail. It was nothing. But it represented 18 months of hassling and haggling and took my energy away from where it might have been better focused. I’m disappointed.

Many losses this past year.  Maybe they’re catching up with me.

A good friend succumbed to cancer in January —- a slow and painful end. And with that passing was also the death of a friendship.

Another good friend succumbed last December to many health maladies that she had been fighting for years. I said ‘goodbye’ to her a month earlier knowing it would be the last time I would see her.

An Uncle passed away in January — the last member in that generation of my family. Although I spoke with him a week earlier, I didn’t realize it would be our last conversation. I would have said “I love you” twice as hard as I did.

And now this itty bitty loss today in court has brought up all the tears.  Crazy!


The word “SUMUD” came to mind as I stepped onto the elevator at the courthouse. I learned about “Sumud” from the Palestinians in Gaza. They told me it means “steadfastness.”  It means so much more.

Sumud is standing your ground when Israel is throwing one of the world’s most modern arsenals at you.

Sumud is teaching your children to understand and appreciate their ancestors’ history and struggle.

Sumud is resisting the occupation by whatever means it takes to hold on to your land and your dignity.

The Palestinians in the West Bank, Jersusalem and Gaza teach the world about “Sumud” every today. Maybe today the lesson is meant for me. Even when I feel like a loser, when I feel the losses of people dear to me, when I get discouraged, when I lose hope about acheiving my dreams, I need to show “Sumud”.

Sumud 2

I need to be a role model for the next generation. The generation that’s growing up in a more hostile environment than the one I grew up in the 1950s-1960s. The generation that has inherited a burdensome debt and an insecure future. I need to show them “Sumud” — steadfastness — and determination even in the face of loss.

This time last year, the Palestinians in Gaza were waiting to hear whether a negotiated truce might end Israel’s horrific assault. As reported on Democracy Now on August 18, 2014:

Israel and Hamas are continuing indirect talks in Cairo as a five-day ceasefire is set to expire. A Palestinian official says the two sides remain far apart on a long-term agreement. Hamas has made an end to the blockade of Gaza a central demand, while the Israeli government has reportedly hardened its stance in recent days. On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel is prepared to continue the assault.

Protestors worldwide were demanding an end of the assault. Thousands of Israelis demonstrated in Tel Aviv in support of negotiations with the Palestinians.

In the United States, protesters in Oakland have prevented an Israeli ship from docking in protest of the assault on Gaza. The Zim Piraeus had been due to unload its goods at the Port of Oakland on Saturday. But several thousand activists with the “Block the Boat for Gaza” campaign gathered at the port, forcing a delay. Clarence Thomas of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union took part in the action.

Haaretz reported these headlines:

PA urges Hamas: Continue Gaza truce talks, even without immediate guarantees
Palestinians: Egypt seeking extension of cease-fire for talks
UN: Gaza reconstruction 3 times more dire than after 2009 war
Netanyahu tried to hide Egyptian cease-fire proposal from cabinet
Israel, Palestinians agree on 24-hour extension of Gaza cease-fire as sides try to reach a deal

In the face of all of this, Palestinians in Gaza displayed Sumud last summer and every day.

sumud 3


1 Comment

Filed under nonviolent resistance, Occupation, Peaceful

One response to “Days #42-43 Aug. 17 & 18, 2014 — Sumud

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