Israeli leaders rage over Palestinian poem

Alwaght- In another example of the power of resistance poetry, a media buzz has surrounded Israeli leaders’ reactions toward the airing of a poem belonging to a deceased Palestinian poet.  

Israeli War Minister Avigdor Lieberman has summoned Army Radio Chief Yoran Dekel over a broadcast that included a poem entitled ID by renowned Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish as part of the “University on the Air” programme on Tuesday.

In a statement, Lieberman described Darwish as someone “who has written texts against Zionism” and whose poems “are still used as fuel for terror attacks against Israel”.

 “It’s obvious that this is something that constitutes a cultural decline and it’s impossible to continue with business as usual.”

The fury that Lieberman exhibited stems from the poem’s explicit portrayal of the Palestinian identity under Israeli occupation. To him and many other Zionist leaders, broadcasting this poem on an Israeli radio show constitutes disloyalty to the principles of the Zionist occupation regime. The poem slams this regime and reflects the harsh reality that Palestinians are forced to live under, particularly in the shadow of this force.

One part of the poem reads:

I am an Arab.

You have stolen my ancestors’ groves

And the land we cultivated

Darwish makes it no secret that he opposes the Zionist entity and its establishment, representing the Palestinian community. The difference between these words and common opposition statements is that, culturally and artistically, they resonate farther and are able to leave a print on its readers— or listeners in this case. They also have the power to spark the flames of a revolution.

Toward the end of the poem, the tone of the persona becomes that of threat. It reveals the capacity of a Palestinian to defend himself, his land, his people and the lines he would cross to do so.

Write down on the top of the first page:

I do not hate people

And I do not steal from anyone

But if I starve

I will eat my oppressor’s flesh

Beware, beware of my starving

And my rage.

Earlier, the chief of staff Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot had called to close down the station.

Darwish, who passed away in 2008, is regarded as a national Palestinian symbol. His works upheld values inherent in every Palestinian home such as freedom, love for the land, and reclaiming the stolen rights of the people. Trying to stop the artistic voice of the Palestinian resistance from echoing on Israeli media shows how much authorities fear the power of the word.

By Al Waght