May 14, 1948, 4:00 pm, Tel Aviv
“I shall now read to you the scroll of the Establishment of the State,” says David Ben-Gurion to a crowd of 250. It takes him sixteen minutes to read the complete Israeli Declaration of Independence.
Only sixteen minutes.
And immediately after that, Palestine became what it is today.
Dreading the forthcoming destruction of missiles raining from up above, hidden in the shadows of walls twice the size of Berlin’s, and buried underneath the rubble of the roofs that once protected them, Palestinians have been stripped of their national – and international – identity. Ignored by the world and stripped of their human rights, the people of this stolen land continue to struggle for life, liberty, and the pursuit of a self-identity.
This is Palestine after those sixteen minutes. Welcome. Take a deep breath of this salty air. Shield your eyes from the sun and the tear gas canister flying your way. Keep your ears open. Did you hear that bone crack? I’m not sure why those soldiers are beating him either. He’s only twelve. And ignore the gunfire. You’ll get used to it.
This is Palestine. It only took sixteen minutes to get here. Just watch your step. The puddles of blood are notoriously deep.