Palestine, Forgive Us

Another year is closing and we have not yet liberated you from your usurper. Another year is closing and we have not alleviated your pain and suffering. Another year is closing and your blood, the blood of your children, is still being shed…. your tears, the tears of your children still run… your soul, the souls of your children still scream out for justice. Another year is closing and our land is still desecrated, our people still oppressed, our flag still trampled upon and our unit still broken.

Palestine, forgive us;
for forgetting that you are our mother and we your children. Forgive us for forgetting that our unity is what kept us strong, and that we abandoned you the day we chose your killer over our brothers and sisters for the sake of a throne, a red carpet and a fake “Authority”. Forgive us for forgetting that we are one and we remain one only through you, that your love was the bond that kept us together. Forgive us for forgetting that there was a time when we stood as one, and had one name: Palestinians. We didn’t call ourselves Muslim nor Christian nor Jew nor Atheist: we were Palestinians. We didn’t call ourselves Fathawi nor Jabhawi nor Hamsawi: we were Palestinians. We didn’t call ourselves local or returnee: we were Palestinians. We didn’t call ourselves moderate or leftist or extremist: we were Palestinians. Forgive us for we stripped ourselves off of the names you gave us, and exchanged “freedom fighter” for “peace activist” and “Palestine” for “Palestinian Territory” and “submission” for “negotiation” and “oppression” for “peace”. And for the sake of a throne and a Mercedes we allowed your killers to classify us: “peace activist”, “terrorist“, “moderate”, “extremist”. Forgive us Palestine, for their opinion was more important and yours didn’t matter anymore, for it is them who pay and you are the goods to be delivered.

Palestine, forgive us;
for forgetting that you are the first and you are the last, that you are the beginning and you the end, that from you we emerged and that to your bosom we return. You gave us a name, and we used your name to promote ourselves and to build firms and businesses. You gave us a home, and we desecrated it by shaking hands with your usurpers and allowing them into your heart in the name of “peace” and “being moderate”. You loved us freely, and we asked for a price for that love so “we can continue our struggle for you”. You forgave our falls and our mistakes, but we continue to use your suffering so we can increase our bank accounts, drive a Mercedes and live in a villa.

Palestine, forgive us;
for we exchanged a homeland for a throne. We exchanged your green valleys for the red carpet. We exchanged your flag wrapped around the sacred bodies of your martyred children for an imitation hoisted half mast opposite the gun of an Israeli sniper. We exchanged the fight for freedom for a fight for more “ministers”, more “initiatives” and more “road maps”, and swore to negotiate, negotiate and negotiate till the last breath of your children, till the last rain drop falls on your fields, till the last poppy blossoms on your hilltops.

Palestine, forgive us;
for we believed in figures and symbols more than we believed in you. We made them our “Gods” and allowed them to guide us from one “process” to another, from one “initiative” to another, from one concession to another and from one catastrophe to another. We made them more important than you. We allowed them to set the criteria for what is to be “Palestine” and what is not to be “Palestine”, what is acceptable as form of “resistance” and what is not acceptable as form of “resistance”, who is to be our “enemy” and who is to be our “friend”, and that for the sake of a president and a cabinet who can’t move an inch without a permit from the Zionist occupation.

Palestine, forgive us;
for we forgot who we are, and what we are. We forgot who you are and what you are. We allow others to speak in our name, be our voice and we forget that you gave birth to Ibrahim Touqan, to Ghassan Kanafani, to Naji Al-Ali, to Mahmoud Darwish and so many others. We allow bias Zionist-run media to talk for us, to talk of us and to use us the way it chooses in return for the fame and publicity that is promised us. We allow them to paint our past, present and future as if we had no saying in it, as if we had no identity. We talk, write and sing of Mohammad Jamjoum, Fu’ad Hijazi and Ata Al-Zeer, of Lina Nabulsi and Dala Al Mughrabi and the thousands of your children whose body is mingled with your sacred earth, but we forget that they remained loyal to you till the last breath, that they chose death over betraying you.

Palestine, forgive us;
for we the children of Canaan allow the Zionists to erase our identity, our history, our roots in the land of Canaan. We allow them to turn your paradise into a desert, we allow them to uproot your ancient olive trees, we allow them to kill your poppies. We stand still while you are being disfigured by distorted structures that are alien to you, while your forests are being destroyed, while your natural wealth is being stolen, while your fields are being razed. The beauty of you that was the scene of our childhood fades away and your body is infected with colonial cancer, and we stand still as it eats your body and console ourselves with the few tiny bits here and there where we are still allowed to touch you.

Palestine, forgive us;
for forgetting your pain and thinking only about our pain, for justifying our acceptance of your desecration and for using your children as excuse for accepting any “peace” that is forced upon us. Forgive us for not wishing to know, for not wishing to acknowledge, that any peace other than a just peace won’t bring a decent life to our children. Forgive us for hiding behind our children, and claiming we want a future for them. Forgive us for choosing to ignore the fact that as long as there is an occupation, our children, your children, will have no peace and no future. Forgive us for accepting concessions with the excuse:” this is the best offer we will ever get”, as if we were discussing a watermelon or a used car we are about to buy. Forgive us for forgetting that the land is OURS and that no fake history, no flown-in immigrants and no Apache, Merkava or Demona should make us ever forget that! Forgive us, for we demanded explanations from your children who were forced out of their homes under Zionist gun threat as you were raped in 1948 and blamed them for our current state, and today we are participating in this rape in the name of negotiations, a statehood and a president.

Palestine, forgive us;
for we forget what you are, where you begin and where you end. We draw you complete as you should be; from the river to the sea, but we define your borders according to the will of your usurper. We define Palestine as East Jerusalem, Ramallah, Gaza, Nilin and Bilin, and choose to forget your Jerusalem, Haifa, Yaffa and Acca and every single millimetre of your precious soil. We replace Palestine with Palestinian Territory, Jerusalem with Abu Dees and the Aqsa with the Muqata’a. Palestine, forgive us, for we are negotiating with your murderers and we are selling your body to the highest bidder.

Palestine, forgive us;
for we prefer to immigrate to Canada, to the US and to Europe, and leave you alone with your murderers. We prefer to enjoy the blue sky and the sun, while your skies are clouded with tear gas and bombs. We prefer to enjoy the stars at night, while your nights are lit up with phosphorous bombs. We prefer to enjoy the parks and the gardens and forget your hills and valleys usurped by American and European colonists. We choose to leave you and escape your pain and suffering, while so many of your children stay steadfast despite Zionist terror. We forget that many of your sons and daughters never saw you and cry blood for the wish of seeing you, and we, who have been blessed with Jerusalem, Hebron, Haifa and Gaza want to give them up and immigrate.

Palestine, forgive us;
for we place individual interests above our national interests. We fight each other instead of fighting our enemy. We have made brothers of your enemies, of our enemies, and we have made enemies of your children, of our brothers. We threaten your children with a bloody revenge after a squall, but shake the blood-soaked hands of the killers of your children. We swear that none of your children other than us would ever have a saying over 20% of your sacred soil, but agree to let your usurpers rape 80% of your body. We declare proudly that we never raised even a stone against your usurper and announce a century of resistance to be “terrorism” and “futile”.

Palestine, forgive us;
for we stand by and watch as your children are murdered on the way to school, on the way home, on the way to the olive fields, as your children are thrown out of their homes, as your children are locked up in torture cells, as your children starve to death, as your children are burned by white phosphorous. Our towns, homes, shops are full with Zionist products, while your children search for food in garbage dump. We, your children, who helped build neighbouring countries with our brains, our blood and our sweat, have become a people dependant on donor conferences. We have been reduced to Beggars! We congratulate ourselves for baking the largest Knakeh, for sewing the longest dress, but watch as Zionist colonist burn down our homes and our fields, while they kick us out of our homes. We watch as IOF soldiers humiliate us at every checkpoint, kidnap our brothers and sisters every single day, every single night. We watch as our brothers and sisters still live in tents, don’t have fresh water to drink, sit in the darkness at night.

Palestine, forgive us;
for we are partners in the crime, through our silence, our acceptance and the concessions of those who claim to represent us. Your soil is angry, your sky is mourning, your children are crying, shedding blood, for through our current silence, our current subsidence, we betrayed their souls and left the path they have paved for us with their lives.

But Palestine, you know us, for you are our mother. You know that we are steadfast and will remain steadfast to the last breath and to the last drop of blood. You know us, and you know that the road is full of obstacles, it might take us some time, we might be slow, every step might cause you and us so much suffering, so much loss, but it is our destined road and are taking it. We are taking every step, no matter how painful, no matter how many of us fall, because every step brings us closer to you, every step liberates your fields and hills, every step heals your wounds. Palestine, our memory is still intact, our hearts still throbbing with your love, we are still alive. You know, Palestine, we rose up one time after the other, we never gave up no matter. We will rise up again, and again and again till the world realizes that without our freedom, your freedom, there is no freedom.

So, rest assured, Palestine, your loyal children, our grandparents and parents planted your love in our hearts, their blood, your blood, runs in our veins and as they gave you their word never to forget and never to give up, we give you our word: we walk on the footsteps of your loyal sons and daughters, we will carry their massage and their memory in our hearts, we will continue their struggle, will continue to resist, will remain steadfast until total liberation.


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One Response to Palestine, Forgive Us

  1. Pingback: Palestine, Forgive Us « Silver Lining

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