Hatemongering Israeli Defense Minister Denigrates Palestine’s Poet Laureate
by Stephen Lendman
Neocon lunatics run Israel, a crowd similar to America’s ruling authority under either right wing of its duopoly government.
Ultranationalist, hatemongering Israeli defense minister/former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman is an embarrassment to legitimate governance. In Israel, he holds high office, an Arab-hating gangster with his finger on his nation’s nuclear trigger.
On Israeli Army Radio, he compared revered Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish (1941 – 2008) with “glorification of the literary marvels of Adolph Hitler’s Mein Kamph” – a shocking perversion of truth, typical of how Lieberman and likeminded Israeli extremists operate.
Regarded as Palestine’s national poet, Darwish won numerous literary awards, his spirit and work reflecting Palestinian anguish and hope.
He’s described as representing “the tradition of the political poet in Islam, the man of action whose action is poetry.”
At age six, Israeli soldiers destroyed his Galilee al-Barawi village, turning it into rock-strewn soil. He and his family fled to Lebanon, returning later to Galilee’s Deir al-Asad village.
For a decade, he became a “present-absentee,” persecuted for his activism, incarcerated and placed under house arrest several times.
“My homeland is a suitcase,” he once said. “In fact, for years my homeland has been my language alone…I am from here, and here I am, and I am I, and here am I, and I am I…forever here, here forever.”
Gideon Levy called his “superb poems (some of) the most powerful love songs ever written to this bleeding land. His words of yearning cannot fail to move anyone who reads them.”
Home for him was “sit(ting) with oneself – with books, with music, and with white paper. The house is like a room to listen to one’s inner voice and try to use the time in the best way possible.”
He called exile the opposite of home…When deprived of it, it turns into a need and a lust…the ultimate aim of the whole journey.”
On August 8, 2008, he died following open-heart surgery, lapsing into a coma, then death. Buried on a plot next to Ramallah’s Cultural Palace, he received a state funeral attended by thousands of Palestinians and other admirers.
His “Silence in Gaza” in part said:
“Gaza is far from its relatives and close to its enemies, because whenever Gaza explodes, it becomes an island and it never stops exploding.”
“It scratched the enemy’s face, broke his dreams and stopped his satisfaction with time. Because in Gaza time is something different.”
“Because in Gaza, time is not a neutral element.”
“It does not compel people to cool contemplation, but rather to explosion and a collision with reality.”
“Time there does not take children from childhood to old age, but rather makes them men in their first confrontation with the enemy.”
“Time in Gaza is not relaxation, but storming the burning noon. Because in Gaza values are different, different, different.”
“The only value for the occupied is the extent of his resistance to occupation. That is the only competition there.”
“Gaza has been addicted to knowing this cruel, noble value. It did not learn it from books, hasty school seminars, loud propaganda megaphones, or songs. It learned it through experience alone and through work that is not done for advertisement and image.”
“Gaza has no throat. Its pores are the ones that speak in sweat, blood, and fires. Hence the enemy hates it to death and fears it to criminality, and tries to sink it into the sea, the desert, or blood.”
“And hence its relatives and friends love it with a coyness that amounts to jealousy and fear at times, because Gaza is the brutal lesson and the shining example for enemies and friends alike.”
“(Gaza) is not the most elegant or the biggest, but it equals the history of an entire homeland, because it is more ugly, impoverished, miserable, and vicious in the eyes of enemies.”
“Because it is the most capable, among us, of disturbing the enemy’s mood and his comfort. Because it is his nightmare.”
“Because it is mined oranges, children without a childhood, old men without old age and women without desires. Because of all this it is the most beautiful, the purest and richest among us and the one most worthy of love.”
“We do injustice to Gaza when we turn it into a myth, because we will hate it when we discover that it is no more than a small poor city that resists.”
“Gaza was born out of fire, while we were born out of waiting and crying over abandoned homes.”
“It is true that Gaza has its special circumstances and its own revolutionary traditions. But its secret is not a mystery: Its resistance is popular and firmly joined together and knows what it wants (it wants to expel the enemy out of its clothes).”
“Enemies might triumph over Gaza.”
“They might break its bones.”
“They might implant tanks on the insides of its children and women. They might throw it into the sea, sand, or blood.”
“But it will not repeat lies and say ‘Yes’ to invaders.”
“It will continue to explode.”
“It is neither death, nor suicide. It is Gaza’s way of declaring that it deserves to live.”
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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