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poetry Before the Gaza Genocide: Thoughts on Hersey’s the Wall

Poet Sam Friedman brings us back to the walls around Gaza before the after.

Before the Gaza Genocide: Thoughts on Hersey’s The Wall   

By Sam Friedman

Relentless sun.



without water,

without electricity,

without walls.

Before October, the Wall

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watched workless weeks,

watched walkers seeking food,

watched belts shrink inwards

while children birthed in dirty ruins

grew gaunt,

birthed babies,


while watched by the hungry eyes of well-fed


seemingly safe beyond the Wall.

Before the breakout.

Before the Genocide.

Sam Friedman is a long-time socialist and activist.  Many know his book Teamster Rank and File or his poetry on organizing socialist workers in the long 1970s: A Precious Residue: Poems that ponder efforts to spark a working class socialism in the 1970s and after. October 17, 2022. He is a member of the Ukraine Solidarity Network, Jewish Voice for Peace, and Tempest Collective.