Friday, January 27, 2006
I Feel So Proud For Palestine Tonight
It's a shame what they did to those people. Baseel Harb
I'd like to preface this post. I am a Palestinian-American woman who has been studying Palestine since 1967. My focus is on the United States, even though I haven't lived in the United States since 1980, but God knows our work is cut out for us in the US and my English is pretty good and the US is my territory.
I read today about a Jewish woman, a US citizen, who was born in London, who was run over while she was walking her dog in New York City. She's a rich woman, a Bronfman. She was buried in Jerusalem. Born in London, lived in New York, but buried in Jerusalem. She was a hasbarist, that is,one of those who shill for the brutal, manufactured, toxic state of Israel, and Ms. Bronfman was a tacky ol' anachronistic colonial racist shill with the best of them--she was one of the shakers and movers of Birthright Israel, which convinces normal American kids that they need to arise and make their aliyah to Palestine because they will never be well if they remain in the good ol' US. No, they must "arise and go now, to a land called Israel," a country to which their ancestors migrated a few thousand years ago from Iraq... understand this, US taxpayers, they are not even indigenous to Palestine, but who in his or her right mind claims a God given right to land from three thousand years ago? They must go because the Bible and Meir Kahane told them so.
Now, Yasir Arafat is not permitted to rest in peace in Jerusalem. And the other side of this virulent Zionism, the side that demonises and vilifies any indigenous person to Palestine; don't you love these Poles, these Germans, these South Americans, these Peruvians, these Brazilians, these people from New Jersey, who drone on that Arafat wasn't born in Palestine, who pay some joker to make a case that Edward Said wasn't born in Palestine (he's too smart; he couldn't possibly be a Palestinian), who deny that we were born where we say we're born? If I want to go to Ramallah, from where my father comes, I'll have to jump through security hoops--stripped, provide my GRANDFATHER'S name, subjugate my German chocolates to interrogation...
OK, you know from where I come. I'm not from the Palestinian fellahin stock(that's such a tired, overworked phrase). I remember my dad told me "It is a shame what they [the Jews, the Zionists, what have you, as dad would say] did to those people."
And I think those people (and I miss my dad so much because if I said a name to him he could tell me precisely from where the person hailed in Palestine; he said the funniest stuff sometimes, like when I'd say, "Hey dad, I met someone from Ramallah"; "No, he's not from Ramallah," regarding my dear friend who lived in Ramallah since 1948; he's from Jaffa!") are the people who voted Hamas into office. And I do not have a thing to say about it although I will listen to Hanan Ashrawi talk about it because I love her dearly and Hanan is like me, and when she spoke to the Ramallah Convention a few years ago her eloquence reduced everyone to tears.
I don't have a thing to say about it because I live a fairly comfortable life (not as well off as Birthright Bronfman) and my purpose is to educate Americans.
Which is no easy task.
But I feel good tonight because Palestinians have affirmed something.
Because whatever one thinks about Hamas, the majority of Palestinians, by voting for Hamas, showed that they still have some fight in them, and that they still resist. They still resist corruption; they still resist compromise of God given rights; i.e., the right of return; these people for whom my middle class father was so sorry, these magnificent people who are bloodied but unbowed, by voting against corruption, and by voting for Hamas, still resist a world that beckons them to compromise on justice.
I feel so proud tonight.