They walked to the wall in their thousands
They came like a surge of the sea
They crossed the hard and barren earth
Where their olive groves used to be
They flew flags in freedom’s colours
Sang songs of victory
The Wall carved through the landscape
For as far as the eye can see.
The Wall towered over them
The Wall barred their way
Above them an Apache
Hovered like a bird of prey
Some of them picked up stones and rocks
And hurled them against the Wall
And stood and watched in silence
As if waiting for it to fall.
Uneasy in their watchtowers
Uncertain what to do
The soldiers looked down on the swelling crowds
And their nervousness grew
The Brigadier phoned the General
Who arrived in his APC
‘There’s trouble here,’ said the Brigadier
Said the General, ‘Leave it to me.’
He climbed up into the watchtower
He spoke through a megaphone
‘Go back now where you came from
This is a military zone.’
‘We want justice, we want freedom,’
They chanted in reply.
‘You won’t find them here,’ said the General.
‘Don’t you know they’re in short supply?’
‘We want bread, justice, freedom,’
They sang out with one voice.
‘We are the third intifada
You give us no other choice.
You turn our lives to rubble
You turn our hopes to dust
But you cannot break our resistance
For we know our cause is just.’
Said the General, ‘You’ve had your last warning.’
‘This is our land,’ they said.
The soldiers’ hands gripped their rifles
The gunship buzzed overhead.
They said, ‘Do you think you can kill us all?’
The General said, ‘Why not?’
A woman screamed out to the heavens
When they fired the first shot.
The Minister of Propaganda
Alerted the BBC
‘Terrorists tried to breach the fence
And attack our troops,’ said he.
A hostile mob assembled
Where civilians aren’t allowed
And gangs of armed militants
Hid themselves in the crowd.
Of course any civilian casualties
Are a matter of great regret
But we have the right to defend ourselves
When our soldiers are under threat.’
The white flag the boy was waving
Was a white scarf stained blood red
And the vow he made was a promise
That one day their blood would be shed.
They gathered up their wounded
They gathered up their dead.
‘We will come again tomorrow.’
‘Your choice,’ the General said.
(From A Proper State Fuse CFCD 024 released 2008.)