Young protesters are defying Israel's blockade with scraps of paper and plastic
Publisher: Jonathan Cook
Date Written: 24/06/2018
Year Published: 2018
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX22951
Five years ago, the film Flying Paper documented the successful efforts of Gazas children to set a new world record for mass kite-flying. The children defied Israels blockade, which prevents entry of most goods, by making kites from sticks, newspapers and scraps of plastic.
The childrens ambition was if only briefly to retake Gaza's skies, which Israel dominates with its unseen, death-dealing drones that buzz interminably overhead and with missiles that can flatten a building in seconds.
A young girl observed of the kite's lure: "When we fly the kite, we know that freedom exists." A message scrawled on one read: "I have the right to pride, education, justice, equality and life."
But the world record attempt was not only about the children's dreams and their defiance. It was intended to highlight Gaza's confinement and to issue a reminder that Palestinians too are human.
That same generation of children have grown into the youths being picked off weekly by Israeli snipers at unarmed protests at the perimeter fence the most visible feature of Israels infrastructure of imprisonment.
A few have taken up kite-flying again. If they have refused to put away childish things, this time they have discarded their childish idealism. Their world record did not win them freedom, nor even much notice.
After the snipers began maiming thousands of the demonstrators, including children, medics and journalists, for the impudence of imagining they had a right to liberty, the enclave's youths reinvented the kites role.