Monday, January 01, 2007
Happy New Year
Unlike the Palestinian refugees, this woman has no deed and she has no key to personal property, but she's privileged because she's Jewish. She's also bereft of morals since she has no qualms about living on stolen land; she has no qualms about all the perks afforded to her, while elder Palestinians may not be buried in their ancestral villages, hundreds of which were demolished by Zionists in 1947 and 1948.
This woman has no qualms about living in an area that was ethnically cleansed which makes her an accomplice to a war crime.
This woman has no regard for international law or human rights since she's chosen to live in a country that refuses to implement Article 13, Section 2, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Everyone has a right to leave his country and return to his country.
Don't ask me or any self-respecting person to utter "Israel has a right to exist."
Israel has no right to exist as a Jews preferred and Jews privileged state.
Israel has no right to exist as long as it refuses to implement UN Declaration 194 which says that any refugee willing to leave at peace with his neighbors must be allowed to return home immediately.
Israel has no right to exist as long as it institutionalizes racist and discriminatory laws.
Israel has no right to exist as long as its inhabitants insist upon the racist notion of maintaining a Jewish majority.
Israel has no right to ask the Palestinians to acknowledge its right to exist. It is the height of audacity to ask a people who have been ethnically cleansed from their homes, whose villages have been demolished and their names changed, whose landscape has been altered, and whose culture has been systematically destroyed to acknowledge that there is anything right about this heinous crime.
Resolve in 2007 to focus on Palestine. The enemy is dissembling, powerful, and canny.
However, it is easy to wage war with the simple truth. We are champions for human rights, the most basic is the God given right to live in one's home.
Israel has always feared the truth which is why they employ thousands in their dissembling "hasbara" campaign. People who demand human and civil rights for the true heirs of Palestine and demand justice for the poor people in refugee camps are smeared as hateful. Amazing, isn't it? Israel bombs refugee camps and then demonises their inhabitants and their champions. Israel's bombs have their limitations, however, and will prove ultimately futile. An ideology with racist underpinnings can not sustain itself indefinitely.
Enjoy once again Ghassan Kanafani's short story, "Land of Sad Oranges," a story of dispossession and loss. Kanafani was killed by Israel's Mossad when he was only thirty-two. He was a brilliant writer and was killed for speaking about Palestine, and he was killed for his intelligence. However, he has gained world renown, and his message lives despite a brutal, racist government's efforts to quell it.
When we had to leave Jaffa for Acre there was no sense of tragedy. It felt like an annual trip to spend the feast in another city. Our days in Acre did not seem unusual: perhaps, being young, I was even enjoying myself since the move exempted me from school... Whatever, on the night of the big attack on Acre the picture was becoming clearer. That was, I think, a cruel night, passed between the stern silence of the men and the invocations of the women. My peers, you and I, were too young to understand what the whole story was about. On that night, though, certain threads of that story became clearer. In the morning, and as the Jews withdrew threatening and fulminating, a big truck was standing in front of our door. Light things, mainly sleeping items, were being chucked into the truck swiftly and hysterically. As I stood leaning against the ancient wall of the house I saw your mother getting into the truck, then your aunt, then the young ones, then your father began to chuck you and your siblings into the car and on top of the luggage. Then he snatched me from the corner, where I was standing and, lifting me on top of his head, he put me into the cage-like metal luggage compartment above the driver's cabin, where I found my brother Riad sitting quietly. The vehicle drove off before I could settle into a comfortable position. Acre was disappearing bit by bit in the folds of the up-hill roads leading to Rass El-Naqoura [Lebanon].
It was somewhat cloudy and a sense of coldness was seeping into my body. Riad, with his back propped against the luggage and his legs on the edge of the metal compartment, was sitting very quietly, gazing into the distance. I was sitting silently with my chin between my knees and my arms folded over them. One after the other, orange orchards streamed past, and the vehicle was panting upward on a wet earth... In the distance the sound of gun-shots sounded like a farewell salute.
Rass El-Naqoura loomed on the horizon, wrapped in a blue haze, and the vehicle suddenly stopped. The women emerged from amid the luggage, stepped down and went over to an orange vendor sitting by the wayside. As the women walked back with the oranges, the sound of their sobs reached us. Only then did oranges seem to me something dear, that each of these big, clean fruits was something to be cherished. Your father alighted from beside the driver, took an orange, gazed at it silently, then began to weep like a helpless child.
In Rass El-Naqoura our vehicle stood beside many similar vehicles. The men began to hand in their weapons to the policemen who were there for that purpose. Then it was our turn. I saw pistols and machine guns thrown onto a big table, saw the long line of big vehicles coming into Lebanon, leaving the winding roads of the land of oranges far behind, and then I too cried bitterly. Your mother was still silently gazing at the oranges, and all the orange trees your father had left behind to the Jews glowed in his eyes... As if all those clean trees which he had bought one by one were mirrored in his face. And in his eyes tears, which he could not help hiding in front of the officer at the police station, were shining. When in the afternoon we reached Sidon we had become refugees.