In a different part of town, another young fighter and his wife were getting ready to go see her brother, 20, who had been wounded in southwest Gaza City two nights ago while bringing food to fighters. The fighter, 27, in dark jeans and Timberland-style boots, swaggered with words about Islam and duty to his people. Hamas is doctrinally opposed to Israel’s right to exist.
“It’s either victory while alive, or martyrdom,” he said. “Both ways are victory.”
His wife, in a white head scarf, agreed.
“Two days ago, he was very tired and he didn’t want to leave the house,” she said. “I told him you have to leave, you have a responsibility.”
But the sight of her brother unconscious in the hospital bed seemed to jolt the couple into an alternate reality, one where they were vulnerable and afraid. The man’s eyes glistened with tears as he asked the doctor question after question.
Back outside, the woman regained her composure.
“I prefer you as a martyr,” she said to her husband.
“What if I am injured?” he asked.
She repeated her preference for death.
Could somebody tell these people that there are ways to resolve a bad relationship that do not involve blowing up buses full of schoolchildren?
Saturday, January 17, 2009