In the Face of the Unthinkable

Yesterday on Democracy Now! Emily Henochowicz was interviewed. Which for personal reasons, yesterday marked the 14th anniversary of my accident, was rather symbolic. For those unaware, Emily is a “twenty-one-year-old American art student who lost her eye [while in the West Bank] in May after being shot in the face by an Israeli tear gas canister at a protest against Israel’s attack on the Gaza flotilla.”

Now it isn’t my intent to get drawn in to arguments about what happened, I’ll refrain from comment, this time. Rather I’d most like to comment on the aspects of her story for which we share a connection, seeing what August 5th represents for me every year. Having the unthinkable occur and being forced to live the rest of a life with the result. I can, most definitely, relate.

And empathize…

I admire Emily for her courage, not only since May 31st, when she lost her eye, but previous to that day as well. Knowing full well how her family — her father being an Israeli citizen and she is the Grand Daughter of Holocaust survivors — would feel about her participation in a protest against Israeli “re-actions” toward the flotilla attempting to break the siege on Gaza? Yet still feeling the need to be there? I think that, in and of itself, is a powerful commentary toward the facts, or at least how she saw them, on the ground.

What I’d most like to say regarding the interview is I couldn’t help but notice her not so subtle awkwardness throughout the entire time she spoke. Granted, she lost half of her visual ability — and the fact she happens to be a visual artist merely compounds that loss — just this past May, and that is a very good reason for her “fidgetiness.” I assure you, it’s all still very raw, both physically and especially mentally. It will take time to heal. And fair enough. But, all that aside, she didn’t seem to be angry about what happened to her.

Yet she came on to talk about the incident regardless? That was truly remarkable!