Four of the Abu Sa’ad children.
(Photo: Ruqaya Izzidien)
Dear Neil Young,
My name is Nasser Abu Said, I am a farmer in the Gaza Strip, Johr Al Deak.We were poor but we had a family and we had a life, even if we lived by the Israeli border where incursions and regular shooting at our farm workers from Israeli soldiers and jeeps limited how much we could farm there. They knew who we were, it is open land, and they did not attack us during Cast Lead in 2009.
Then, on a quiet day in July 2010 my wife Na’eema and 5 children were enjoying the sunshine. They fired 5 tank shells and a flechette shell at our house. My five children were there and my wife Na’eema ran outside to bring in Jaber the youngest. She was hit by the nails of the flechette shell and I could hear small noises coming from her. I knew she was dying. For hours the Israeli military prevented an ambulance from coming. The children watched as she lay dying in front of their eyes. I was holding myself in, especially in front of the children. The children were crying hysterically and some had wet themselves. I lost my wife and the children have never recovered.
They attacked again with missiles in April 2011, this time burying 2 of my children in the home, injuring others but we all survived. We gave up once the house was half destroyed a second time, and have been living in tents ever since.
By going and entertaining the Israeli audience, many of whom will have committed similar atrocities while in uniform, you are giving a green light to Israel, telling them its business as usual, even if my story has happened so many times in Gaza. Is the blood of my wife not worth anything? There is a chance to help make a difference and joining the boycotts until Israel stops ruining families through occupation and siege, like they did for mine.
The international community must do something and it’s up to people of conscience to lead, so that what happened to my wife and family does not happen to any other farmers in Gaza.
There are 2 petitions you can sign: http://cjpme.nationbuilder.com/neil_young (signed by nearly 7,000), and http://ijvcanada.org/campaign/palestinian-civil-society-call-for-bds/neil-young-dont-play-israel/