Martyn Joseph is a performer like no other: Shades of Springsteen, John Mayer, Bruce Cockburn and Dave Matthews there may be - but he stands in his own right, built on a reputation for giving what thousands have described as the best live music experience of their lives delivering his "songs of lyrical intelligence" according to BBC Radio 2's Bob Harris.

December 31, 2008 2:24 pm

Five Sisters

Five Palestinian sisters were killed during an attack from Israel yesterday. Amazingly enough they were lying together asleep when the deadly rocket hit the mosque next door to their flimsy house causing the roof to collapse on them. The eldest was 17, the youngest 4. Their names were Tahir, Ikram, Sarnar, Dina and Jawaher. ‘They grow up day after day and night after night, within a second I have lost them’. Those were the words of their father Anwar Balousha who turned on fellow Palestinians who tried to turn the burial into a political gain saying ‘this is a funeral, not a rally’. He continued saying ‘we are not those who are firing rockets at Israel, we are just people, human beings and not animals’.

Today Israel refused to have a cease-fire so that emergency services could move freely and safely around so those displaced and maimed by the attacks could receive help.

What on earth does anyone think this will achieve? I don’t condone for a second anyone firing rockets at each other and the taking of life. I do ask myself though how long would it take if you pushed me and those I love and care for to a point where my water supply was tampered with so it came back as filth, stopped me from travelling to find decent work, forced me to live in a third world situation where my children became vulnerable to disease that poverty brings alongside little opportunity for education, before I would have to do something to make a point. But of course no one would listen to my voice outside of the Gaza strip, a written song would not tell the story. After years of this, I might finally sign up to something that I would normally feel strongly against. Why don’t people who hold the power get this? That injustice breeds a need to strike back. Why can’t they see beyond the fanatics to the ordinary folk who want to live in peace? How do people who decide to take this action sleep at night?

Five sisters managed to close their eyes and drift off despite the injustice they lived and breathed on a small strip of land. Just another night for them but it all ended in a second. This enrages me; I know it enrages many thousands of good people.  How does this happen? This violence will solve nothing and will only fuel a fire that will continue to burn and bring more violence and loss of life and a greater distance from justice and peace. Why can’t there be a meaningful dialogue between reasonable people to end this no win situation? Fundamentalism is the scourge of the modern world and the world is too small for us to live this way.

Sorry that this is the main content of these final scribblings for 08. It was a good year for this journeyman; although there are many struggles it will have been a good year for many of us who live relatively safe and comfortable lives. We say it at this time every year but let’s hope again that this New Year will bring some true hope and moves towards justice and peace all over our world. Happy New Year everyone and thanks so much for your support for the music.


M x

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