What if Chicago was Gaza?

Welcome To Chicago, we're glad you're here!

We were once a thriving and free society, but in the last few decades all that has changed.

Today Chicago belongs to a new people. A people that were long oppressed in their homelands in other parts had been granted rights to move to the Chicagoland area and settle. The settlers took over most of Chicago and have built an entire nation where our ionic streets once stood.  Now Chicago exists in a couple of small pockets of land. There's no freedom here, our fields and crops are gone, so to all our jobs. We've got some scenic roads, but we're not allowed to drive on them. They're for the settlers, they can drive on Lake Shore and all the main roadways. Our city stickers and the color of our license plates are used to control our access.  We live on the shores of Lake Michigan, but have no access to clean water. We have really big walls keeping us from connecting with what once were our neighborhoods.  We do have a state line along our south side, but the folks in Indiana have closed the border crossing to us. Trapped like wild animals in  a small section of the City we have called home for ages. We watch as  the settlers are gifted $3 billion dollars in funding a year to build the walls, infrastructure, the largest army in within 10,000 miles, missile defense systems, and even nukes. For the longest time all we had were kids with sling shots to defend ourselves, but we now turned to some shadowy figures with rockets to try and give us some chance at survival.

Life here is rough, Chicago isn't the city it used to be for us. Everyday we are met with check points and are abused and beaten by armed soldiers while we try and do the most basic of tasks, like go to Church or school.  Access to our jobs or even our markets are off limits, mostly because they've been bombed to the ground. There are some days it's not so bad, just present an ID to an armed guard and they'll frisk you, treat you like criminals, but they'll let you cross the check point. Other days aren't so good.  Chicago is  starving, isolated, and running out of options to survive, but we're still standing.

Chicago is , I mean was, a city of Neighborhoods. Rogers park to Lincoln Park and beyond all with a charm of their own. Over the years bulldozers backed by helicopter gunships have been razing those entire neighborhoods. Leveling all our homes and businesses, leaving nothing. The local barber shop Margie's candy shop, it's all gone. All we could do was watch as our homes were destroyed, some that dared to stand up and try and defend their homes were beaten up, arrested, or killed.  The neighborhoods are now settlements with beautifully built condos, apartments, and homes of all sizes and completely off limits to us. Settlers have moved in and they demands more land for themselves. They don't seem to care if someone's already living there, we are like the wild in the forests that are cut down to make room for cities. Instead of animals it's us humans being driven from our homes. Basic plumbing, clean water, even ACs combined with power and gas, and proper roads are all accessible to the settlers. Chicago was never known for great roads, mind you, but man those potholes we used to complain about before are nothing compared to not having roads. We're living in tents or all huddled into cramped apartments almost 2 million of us all trapped into this tiny piece of Chicago left for us.  Religious or not, Muslim or Christian, doesn't matter, we're all here.  We are Gaza.


Life has been harsh living under these barbaric conditions, but they just got a lot worse for us. The settler's army has launched an all out offensive in our little piece of Chicago. They say it's a war against the group of armed fighters in Chicago and that  they're not after us civilians, yet bomb after bomb lands in our streets, on our homes killing our children, our parents, and destroying what little we had. They punish the entire population to terrorize us into submission, they've done it for years. Bombs in homes for the elderly, the disabled, even hospitals , what's left of Chicago can only survive for so long when terror is raining from everywhere and nowhere is safe.  The armed gangs we got to help us  have been firing rocket after rocket into the land beyond, but most of them are in-effective. The settlers have a multi-billion dollar defense system while we have sling shots and rockets by untrained thugs, better than nothing I suppose.


So far over 190 Chicagoans have been killed, over 70% of them are civilians , a lot of them kids. They haven't stopped firing even after those staggering figures. To show their humanity they actually fire a smaller missile that explodes on top of our buildings as a warning to evacuate in 3 minutes. This is followed by the big one that destroys everything and kills everyone in its path. They say the warning bomb is so civilians can get to safety, but it makes no sense. Where are we supposed to go? The entire area is under bombing and they've locked all the exits. That does make one wonder, if you're warning civilians with a bomb, doesn't that defeat the purpose? Never-mind that, if you know civilians are in the building then why the hell are  you bombing it in the first place?

Settler Attack on Chicago

Alas this is nearing the end of what's left of Chicago. They offer cease fires but it's used to re-load and bulldoze more houses, they make no promise to end their occupation or to stop their brutality. Even so, we all could use a little peace right now. Be able to watch our kids play outside without being blown away.. Ah the good old days.  Just when we thought the cease fire would come, our so-called protectors laughed it off and kept firing missiles.

A full on invasion is coming.. We are warned to flea, but we can't run North or West, they've put up walls to keep us in, we can't go south, their friends in Indiana have closed the border. Chicago's meat packing days are back, except we're the ones going to slaughter.  Even if they wanted to stop their invasion, rockets from our side keep being fired and that means peace won't come any time soon.

All isn't doom and gloom, maybe we'll get lucky and the international media will witness first hand the terrors that we are living through. Maybe their eyes will open and they'll start telling our story too and put real pressure on them to stop the violence.  It'll have to be something big, maybe something like , I don't know, say a naval ship opening fire on little children playing on the beach in broad daylight. Just one bombing wouldn't be enough, they'd find some excuse, it'd have to be two bombs aimed directly at the scared kids. As the horrified journalists watch and capture the first hand accounts, they'll be forced to jump into action to save the kids. Maybe seeing a small child blown to pieces while playing soccer would be exactly what they need to rally support back home. You think that would work right? Help will come for us right?

The reason help isn't coming is because of the  deal we made with the devil.  We turned to armed militants for defense, a group which not a lot of people, even within our own communities support.  Rather than defending us or help build up our economy, they fire rockets into settler's homes, provoking them into launching massive attacks. Even the folks in Indiana despise them, hence the border being shut. They don't have to bury our dead or our children, I suppose it doesn't really matter to them either  if we live or die so they keep firing rockets to prove their might while we pay the price.



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  • Does the Tribune make no effort to filter nonsense before it gets on your website? Your credibility takes another hit.

  • In reply to seand:

    This is America, where people of all opinions get to share their opinion and not get kicked off the air or imprisoned for their thoughts. Don't like it? Love it or Leave it.

  • What if Chicago was Israel? Living by people who swear that they will do anything to kill you? Who kidnap your children and kill them just because they are different? What if the world told you that you had no right to your ancient, ancestral homeland, a land that you pray towards daily for over 2000 years. What if Chicago was Israel, and you had to live under daily rocket barrages from Indiana (gaza) or Wisconsin (Lebanon)? What if Chicago was Israel and constantly had to fight for its own survival, surrounded by enemies who refuse to negotiate, who refuse to say that it has a right to exist. Refuse to make peace? What if Chicago was Israel, and was surrounded by enemies who kept people in refugee camps for over 50 years and did not allow them to become citizens of their own state, like Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon have done to the Palestinians? What if Chicago was Israel and had to accept almost 1 million Chicagoans who lived and where born outside of Chicago when it was trying to run a city for the first time. If Chicago was Israel, than those people would have been integrated into society as soon as possible. Instead of wondering what if Chicago was Gaza, we should wonder what if Chicago was Israel? We can all agree, Thank God, it is neither.

  • In reply to Danmonster:

    100% agreed. Hamas is no friend to Israel, or Palestine. If you read my previous post you'd realize that I have equally called out the actions of Hamas as I have done with Israel. It's easy to blame Israel, but I'm not appealing to Hamas' humanity, they don't tend to have any. Remember that Hamas has a clear mandate to see the destruction of Israel. Israel going after Hamas is no different than Pakistan finally taking on the Taliban/Al Qaeda, but real efforts must be made to preserve innocent lives and that is all I want.

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    In reply to Essam:

    I think that's the problem - you've "equally" called out both saying you want "real efforts [be] made to preserve innocent lives." Israel gives advance warning to areas it's going to bomb (and unlike in your Chicago fiction, people in Gaza do flee and deaths are indeed prevented) - that's a "real effort," - while the other side is tossing as many bombs wildly into Israel *hoping* to kill civilians.

    But what's worse is the political equivalence. Hamas was elected, and yet it's treated in your Chicago analogy like some foreign third party. Egypt brokered not one but TWO cease fires, Hamas rejected it. Accept and the bombing stops immediately. If Adolph Hitler had offered the Jews of Germany in 1939 a similar deal to what Olmert offered the Palestinian Authority in 2008 (say a discontinuous homeland in what was East Germany, with some of the mountains in the Sudentanland thrown in to make up for leaving Berlin to the Germans) he'd be a Zionist hero. Hamas - elected into power in Gaza - not only deems that unacceptable, their "counteroffer" is "Palestine from Sea to Sea." For your analogy to Chicago to work, Chicago would have to be willing to have elected a government unwilling to cede an inch of Cicero in exchange for its freedom - in reality Chicago would cut that deal in a second.

  • In reply to Farmer Jim:

    Hamas was indeed elected, much like we've elected presidents that weren't all that great for our nation. I invite you to check over the weekend and read my entry about Hamas and do post your thoughts on that.

    But I must say the Palestinian people have given up almost all of their land already, not much left to cede. However without Hamas' rockets, I bet this entire scenario would've played out differently.
    the fight now is focused on Gaza and Gaza alone for a very real reason. That I will discuss in my Hamas centric post that I should have ready tomorrow.

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    Its hard to be sympathetic toward either side of this conflict. Both sides are filled with mouth breathing zealots who lay claim to the land on religious grounds.

    Have you ever seen Jews praying at the wailing wall? With their incessant chanting and rocking you would think you were in a looney bin, which is where these people should go.

    You can call me "culturally insensitive", but I don't like that the Jews consider themselves the chosen people and elevated above others. They don't allow non-jews in their wineries because they will make the wine "unclean". I'm sorry, what year is this? Why are we siding with such racism.

    The Muslim side isn't any better. They put pressure on their women to wear burqas, then brainwash them into thinking that they have a choice in the matter. "I'm doing it because it is my choice to live in accordance with the Koran and glorify Allah." Suuure, why don't you use some more guerrilla warfare tactics to terrorize people. Just go ahead and do anything that book tells you to do, because people were really intelligent 2,000 years ago when that thing was written. So intelligent that they believed people could fly to heaven on winged horses.

    When both sides lay unrelenting religious claim to Israel, I really just stop caring. Bunch of morons being morons, what more can you say.

  • In reply to Dan Howery:

    Peace for all is all I want. Israel has its flaws in its policies, everyone can see that. Hamas' very existence is based on fighting Israel. So there's bound to be outbreaks like what we are witnessing. Both sides have recognized that if they make it about religion then they'll fire a lot more people up than if it were just about territory.

    It's how all the most horrifying groups in history have ever taken power, from Hitler to Osama, they know what hits our buttons and to their credit they succeed in enough circles to cause havoc.

    While religion tells people to have open minds and to be fair and just, most have forgotten those rules and have latched on to whatever parts give them power.

    What will change that? Education.

  • In reply to Dan Howery:

    You are mistaken that Jews consider themselves "elevated above others." The choseness refers to being chosen to study the Torah and obey the commandments. Chosen for special obligations to God and other people.

    Nearly every religion considers its way the "right" way. Even atheists consider their way the right way. Religious practices may seem odd to outsiders but to condemn them is based on ignorance.

  • You neglected to include the only reason that your "Chicago" would be under Siege and combat.
    The government of your "Chicago" has been killing people in adjacent "Illinois" with rockets, bombs small arms for decades. All concessions made to appease you "Chicagoans" have never been enough. You place your rocket launchers on hospital and school properties and force woman and children to stay in close proximity to insure high numbers of civilian causalities in "Chicago".

  • In reply to CWS FAN:

    Not neglected, if you read my other posts you will see that at the end of my "Israel joins the ranks of terror's elite" post i have pointed out exactly that.

    Israel called truce. Hamas said it's a joke and kept firing rockets. Hamas is very much to blame for the lives lost in Gaza, but if you expected a militant group to have a show of humanity, that's just silly.

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    Tell me this, as a new Chicagoan, am I bombing Gary Indiana with constant bombs to destroy them? Have i vowed to kill every citizen of Indiana? And as a loyal citizen of the new Chicago am I hiding terrorists in my apartment so when they are killed I can say that the people from Indiana are killing innocent citizens? As a typical new Chicagoan have I agreed to a cease fire, only to kill innocent people from Indiana?

    This article is offensive and disgusting. How do you publish this in the Chicago Tribune?

  • In reply to eyerag:

    The people of Palestine have lived there long before the new nation of Israel was formed. This is common knowledge. They have been pushed aside, their rights trampled on, and their homes destroyed. They turned to Hamas for safety because no one else was doing anything. So what's offensive and disgusting is that people like you feel that the loss of life is OKAY as long as it's not your children. I stand strongly behind Israel's right to exist. It's reality and the people now deserve to live in peace, but so do those that lived there before. The Palestinians. Give them their dignity and their rights and they will NOT need the "protection" however misguided , of people like Hamas.

    Want to stop Hamas? stop giving them a reason to be.

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    In reply to Essam:

    Yes, it is common knowledge that BOTH people have ancestral ties to the land. But for some reason unlike other partitions to create ethnic or religious majority nations that resulted in mass transfers, the Jews are treated differently. For example, tell the Sindhi Hindus that they should become terrorists to retake the land that for centuries they were the majority in prior to the India/Pakistan partition. What's "offensive and disgusting" is how prior to recently the dominating political theory in the Middle East was Pan Arabism, and that Jews (and Christians) AT BEST lived under Jim Crow like regimes (woe be it if you were something else like a Hindu or B'haih or considered a Mormon-like branch of Islam such as the Kurds of Iraq) and telling those folks they didn't have the right to a homeland in their ancestral territory. You say you're ok with Israel's existence - I'm guessing not as a Jewish state, which means you're simply saying "for now," but if I'm wrong about that, you're target is all wrong - Israel can and should be attacked for the settlements (violation of the 4th Geneva Convention - you can occupy but not settle), lack of due process, unequal treatment of its Arab population (though better than nearly all the vice-versa in the Middle East), defending themselves against Hamas' nihilism is not one of them.

  • In reply to Farmer Jim:

    Farmer Jim,

    Everything you have said I agree with completely. I have always championed for and stood for the rights of all, especially the minorities. Our test of how strong we are isn't measured by how we treat the well-to-do but those that are in need.

    However your statement that I am "okay" with Israel is unfounded and ignorant. Israel is a Jewish state and I recognize and respect its right to exist. When President of Pakistan, Musharraf was in power I sent letters to his party encouraging his nation to recognize Israel. I am not just OKAY with Israel for now as you claim, but I am proud of Israel's existence. While i do not wish to see others suffer, i have said in all my writings that Israel is a reality, one that everyone must accept. And Palestine too deserves it's recognition and freedom. There is no Jewish person I have met in all my community out reach and work that has ever disagreed .

    You do bring up some good points about the people in other lands, and I encourage you to visit back and read my upcoming postings on the deafening silence when it comes to minority rights in certain countries. I would love to hear your thoughts on that piece. I have also posted my piece on ISIS and will be finishing my piece directly addressing Hamas' true intentions in Gaza over the weekend.

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    In reply to Essam:


    That's very good to read - as someone who both boycotts goods from the occupied territories but believes Israel is firmly within its rights to demand recognition as a Jewish state I don't fit well with either "camp" and I imagine you're in somewhat of the same position. I will keep an eye out for your upcoming posts.

  • I realize that in this story I did leave out a very big detail, something I have made very clear in other posts but failed to in this story. That being the role the rockets play in this mess.

    I am a Muslim, and i surely do not place the entire blame on Israel alone. And as pointed out, even though my other writings make my position clear, I did fail to convey that in this story.

    A small edit but one that was rightfully needed has since been made.

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    (Links removed)

    Imagine everyone in Chicago running off to shelters every few minutes with only 15 seconds warning before the rocket explodes in a random place in Chicago.

    Imagine you couldn't fight back because the world says "they're weak, restrain yourself" ..... would you stand by and ask them nicely to stop?

  • In reply to Revi:

    Israel is fighting back. With invasions and systematic bombardments of civilian areas.

    Take a step back and look at what has happened. If there's a just reason, then show humanity. The people, the civilians of Gaza have been asked to leave, but all borders are closed. That is not how you defend yourself.

    It took Pakistan over a decade to take on militants in Waziristan, we all called them everything under the sun, but now that they went in, it's easy to see why they waited. 1.2 Million people had to be evacuated and leave their homes. Where would they go? Prior to engaging in the all out war there was time given and access/ options given for people to flea.

    In Gaza they're trapped.

    Hamas' has to end its hostilities towards Israel , the people of Israel deserve to live without fear or rocket fire, and the people of Gaza deserve to be free, with access to basic human rights, and without total destruction and death raining down upon them.

    There are two sides and unless we can see and respect the lives of both sides, there can never be peace.

    I pray for the safety of everyone in Israel, I pray for the safety of everyone in Gaza. If an Israeli dies, I will mourn the loss of life. When a Gazan dies, i mourn their lost too.

  • Actually, Israel should no more be a jewish state than the u.s. should declare itself a christian state. 30% of Israelis are not Jewish - that includes 25% of Israelis who are of Arab descent and another 5% who are from polygot nations - and those 30 percent are also of different religious traditions.

    As was expressed by the founders, Israel should be a home for the Jewish people but not a theocratic state..

    As you know Israel has no but are those who follow another religion or are citizens whose religion is christ

  • In reply to marilynkatz:

    Being a Jewish state doesn't mean the rights of the minorities within its care will not be defended or up-held. Jewish, Christian, and Islamic law prohibits the kind of injustice world leaders are partaking in today much like International law itself. But just because something is illegal by international and religous standards doesn't mean there aren't people out there that will ignore those laws.

    Israel has a right to be a Jewish state and all of her citizens should have equal rights. If they do not , that is a failure of people and politics. Certain people cannot stay in power if equality happened and so they'll continue to inflame passions so they can hold on to the power they desperately want.

  • This article is spot on. What is disgusting is that Israel continues to spit in the face of the UN, breaking 65 resolutions and yet apologists come on here and call Esam's truths "disgusting" and "nonsense."

    To those of you comparing Hamas to the Israeli government, please! You have homemade bombs (Hamas) up against the most complex, modern weaponry that (US) money can buy. That's like calling David and Goliath a fair fight. The lie that every Palestinian backs Hamas and wants Israel "pushed into the sea" needs to stop. The funny thing about elections is, majority rules. Even if that majority is 51%. As Essam said, Bush and Cheney committed war crimes against Iraq. Like many Americans, I was against the war and saw through the WMD b.s. No, I did not vote for Bush. Sadly, I had to live with his failed, misguided policies.

    To that end, there are Israelis who oppose the brutal occupation. There are Palestinians who did not vote for, and oppose Hamas' actions. I pray for peace but doubt it is possible until the illegal land grabs stop. The illegal settlements, collective punishment against innocents, and the mass execution of "SUSPECTED terrorists" without trial is proof positive that Israel is not a democracy at all.

  • In reply to Snowball:

    Thank you for the support Snowball,

    Unfortunately Hamas doesn't have home-made weapons. They aren't as sophisticated as Israel's as you point out, however their weapons are still deadly. In this battle the only side we should be taking is the side of the innocent people. Hamas and the Israeli government have both put those lives at risk and show blatant disregard for the loss of life.

    In the end though, you're right. The demands from the Gazan side aren't a destruction of Israel, but open borders, lifting of the blockade, end to settlements, and access to their rights on the water they live on.

    The occupation must end and so should Hamas' campaign to use violence. can't threaten and kill someone then say I want peace, that goes for both sides equally.

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