Mahmoud Darwish Spoke in The Name of The
Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish spoke in the name of the Palestinian people on
the fiftieth memorial of the Palestinian Nakba, through Radio Palestine and by
broadcast over the loudspeakers of mosques and churches, to mark the
commencement of Palestinian marches in PNA controlled areas.
began his rallying call by saying, “We who are born here on this divine land, we
who are dedicated to the message of peace and freedom and the defense of human
values, and of the strength of the olive tree, we who are yoked to the night of
fifty years of occupation and dispersal, who are wounded from the heart’s vein
to the artery, we declare our presence as a wound crying in the depths of time
and space in spite of the tempests which try to rend our roots from the very
earth to which we gave our name. After a brief journey through the history of
the Palestinian Nakba in which he recalled the memory of those Palestinians and
Arabs who had sacrificed their lives for the sake of Palestine, and those who
are captive in Israeli jails, Darwish considered “that admitting honestly to the
moral and political responsibility for the crime which the Zionist scheme had
perpetrated against us (the Palestinians) is what will pave the way for a
historical reconciliation between the two peoples - the Palestinian and the
highlighted “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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 rights..
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 for ever.
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."