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An Assault on Culture

An Assault on Culture


Culture forms an integral part of a nation's identity.

It speaks of a people and who they are.

It encourages creativity, enthusiasm and joy.

A source of pride for all to enjoy.

It says more than the national flag.

As it springs forth from the soul of the people.

Through music, literature, art, dance and sculpture.

A pattern emerges of who a people are, where they are from.

Landscapes are painted, poems recited and music composed.

To destroy a nation its culture must be destroyed.

Bomb a University is a good start,

then bomb a public library,

then bomb a cultural centre,

a language school,

destroy a printing press,

a mosque, church or temple.

With such destruction the artists, writers and poets are next.

These are those who advance and promote culture.

In Gaza a poet Refaat Alareer was mudered,

a fellow poet Mosab Abu Toha was abducted,

stripped naked and beaten. 

He has escaped with his family to Egypt.

Journalists, too many to mention have been slaughtered.

A culture is being eradicated.

The heart beat of a nation and its people

will soon have no identity.

◄ Right or Wrong

Abstain ►


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Martin Elder

Mon 11th Dec 2023 11:07

A powerful piece as always Keith and one in which it reminds us that art in any form is always subject to the whimsey of those who think it second best. I feel both angry and sad at all that is going on in the world today. Thank you for this piece old friend

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keith jeffries

Sun 10th Dec 2023 19:08

Thank you to Uilleam, Steve, Manish and MC for your comments and others for their likes. Events in Gaza have had a profound effect on both national and international politics. They have highlighted what has for so long been kept in the shadows. The Conservative Friends of Israel who compromise 80% of Tory MPs and the payments made by Israel to our political system to advance their own aims. Turkey has withdrawn from NATO and Algeria has threatened to decalre war sending weapons to the Palestinians. Only America stands alone in support of their offspring. Britain sat on the fence 'Abstain' displaying a lack of courage and not representing the people of the UK. The cat is out of the bag. Apartheid Israel is in for one hell of a shock which they so richly deserve.
Thank you again,

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Uilleam Ó Ceallaigh

Sun 10th Dec 2023 12:41

Thank you Keith.
Your writing accurately describes the details of a purposeful systematic execution of a genocide performed with the cowardly complicity of the UK’s political leaders.

Might I add that, contrary to suggestions, no such act is being comitted against the UK people, or indeed against “The West” as some smooth-talking and fashionable conspiracy theorists (one of whom is currently acting as propagandist for Netanyahu) would have us believe.

The only people “diluting and destroying” our culture are UK politicians who are busy stripping away the basic human rights we have fought to establish here and in Europe over the last couple of centuries.

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Manish Singh Rajput

Sun 10th Dec 2023 11:09

Thank you for sharing the harsh events that Refaat Kareer and Mosab Abu Toha faced. This poem broke me.

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M.C. Newberry

Sat 9th Dec 2023 17:24

Culture is indeed a vital part of a nation's identity - and that of its allies where they exist. We owe it to ourselves to defend
that which created our identity and preserve it from those who would dilute and destroy it. The most prominent example of
my lifetime has been World War Two when the fashionably
maligned British Empire (as was), acted together to combat
the Nazi tyranny, which, if left unchallenged, would have undoubtedly forged an irrrestible alliance of evil with the
imperial Japanese expansion and the Soviet Empire, that even the USA - largely unprepared for war back then - would have found impossible to survive...caught in a vast pincer movement from east and west. On such things does our very existence depend. Nations must always be ready to meet the challenge.

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Stephen Gospage

Sat 9th Dec 2023 14:31

Thank you, Keith. Yes, culture is always a target and this phenomenon in Gaza, like every other manifestation of war, is wrong. We have seen the same in Ukraine and in all the peace campaigners and music fans killed on 7 October.

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Steve White

Sat 9th Dec 2023 09:02

Thanks Keith, so sadly true.

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