“what would follow on from this admission by way of political rights which
acknowledge the legitimacy of our existence in our historical homeland and
our right to sovereignty within the framework of our own independent state.
He said that this admission
is the only way to reconciliation and that “asking Palestinians to apologise
for their history, to increase settlement activities, to renege on
agreements made and to create facts on the ground was not the way.
Darwish said “the Nakba
scattered us in the full view and knowledge of the international community
and was brought about in collusion with its great powers.” He called upon
these states to atone for their dormant moral responsibility by increasing
the intensity of their expression of support for the Palestinian people and
their national authority, morally, politically and materially, that they may
fulfill their national rights and save the hope of peace from being
murdered, through putting pressure on the Israeli Government to abide by
resolutions of international law which call for withdrawal and for the
recognition of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.
Darwish reminded Europe to
atone for “its great crime against its Jewish inhabitants followed up
through giving unlimited support to Israel as a resolution to the Jewish
question, and that it bears responsibility for creating another question
which is the Palestinian question.” He said, “No tragedy justifies the
creation of another tragedy, and there is no intercession for a victim when
such intercession transforms one who is innocent of the crime into yet
another victim. We bear no responsibility for the great tragedy which Europe
inflicted upon the Jewish people.
He continued, “If it is our
moral duty to accept the Jewish account of the Holocaust as it is without
entering into discussion about the statistical aspect of the crime, and to
intensify our expression of sympathy for the victims, then it is also our
right to ask the children of the victims to recognise the position of
Palestinian victims and their right to life, liberation and independence.
He added, “The time has come
for the world’s conscience to summon up the courage to distinguish between
the victim and the executioner, and to review the policy of duplicity in
connection with the living and the dead, and to cease to elevate Israeli
reality to the point of a sanctity which cannot be held accountable nor even
criticised nor made to comply with international law, because this only
encourages it to prolong its policy of arrogance and force and its belief in
the capacity of this policy to force us into yielding whilst it evades the
obligations of peace.
Darwish stressed that the
Palestinian people “have had a wounded heart for the half century of the
Nakba and resistance, looking forward nevertheless to a future with spirits
filled with hope that freedom and justice will prevail, after having gained
victory over the policy of genocide and denial of existence.
Finally Darwish said, “We
will not yield and will not lose faith in true peace which is linked to the
implementation of justice and the practice of our right to independence and
sovereignty. Fifty years of the Nakba have not been only in tears over
painful memories. The past is not completely over nor is the future fully
with us yet. The present is still open to the struggle. These sad years have
witnessed a people’s epic of resilient resistance and the investment of
energy into dissolving the effects of the Nakba, in order to provide our
future generations with the right to freedom and dignity on their own land.
He stressed, “We have not
lagged in defending our right to be a free people in a free land underpinned
by equality between man and woman, by democracy and the respect for human
We have gained victory over
a scheme which aimed to expel us from the annals of history, and have
compelled the occupier to withdraw from precious parts of our homeland,
through the thrust of our eternal Intifada, which changed the face of the
occupation in the mirror of the world’s conscience, and became a source of
inspiration to the oppressed and to the outraged. We who have dedicated
ourselves to freedom and peace will not let the spirit of resistance and
yearning for freedom in our homeland and sole land of our birth falter….“We
have been here since eternity, and will remain here infinitely. Jerusalem
will continue to be the beacon of our souls and the capital of our homeland
there's no place for both of us here, and his absence has given me the
possibility to be present. But who's really absent now, me or him?" Over the
years, Mr. Darwish said he had come to view exile in philosophical terms.
"Exile is more than a geographical concept," he said. "You can be an exile
in your homeland, in your own house, in a room. It's not simply a
Palestinian question. Can I say I'm addicted to exile? Maybe."
It has been both cruel and kind, depriving him of his home but nourishing
his art, he said. "Isn't exile one of the sources of literary creation
throughout history?" he said. "The man who is in harmony with his society,
his culture, with himself, cannot be a creator."
"And that would be true," he added. "Even if our country were Eden itself."