The continuation of very good satire- A Trilogy: The Road to “Independence” (1): We are Negotiating … Yes We Are!
A Trilogy: The Road to “Independence” (2)
by Reham Alhelsi, A voice from Palestine
Liberation is an art; an art we excel at. We liberated Jericho, we liberated Ramallah, we liberated Bethlehem, we liberated Jenin, we liberated Nablus, we liberated three-quarters of Hebron, we liberated a few bits here and there and we will liberate Jerusalem. Which “Jerusalem” we mean? Don’t ask, it’s complicated. We liberated some 7% of the West Bank without the need of an army or any “resistance” other than our definition of “resistance”. We liberated 7% of the West Bank through the negotiations everyone is criticizing. We liberated 7% of the West Bank and are encouraging everyone to come and join us in liberating another 7%, then we will have 14% of the West Bank, not of historic Palestine. Historic Palestine is another story, it needs a lot of 7%s and we don’t have the time, we are too busy building a state on the liberated 7% – of the West Bank- the original 7% we liberated. We ask our American patrons to continue supporting our liberation process. We ask our European friends to continue financing our liberation process. We ask our Arab brothers to continue cheering and applauding our liberation process. We invite our Israeli partners in peace and negotiations to continue negotiating with us and asking us for more concessions. They can negotiate with us on the already liberated 7% if they want, we won’t mind because we heart negotiations. Modern liberation is an art; a fine art, an art very few understand. It is the art of selling your rights to the highest bidder in the name of “ending the conflict”. It is the art of shaking the hands of your killer in the name of “peace”. It is the art of joining forces with your enemy against your brother. It is an art only the “civilized” understand. Forget liberation through armed resistance, forget liberation through popular resistance. Today, liberation is achievable through concessions and two-year road maps to statehood. And if liberation is your goal – and you have only 2 years time to achieve that goal – just follow our refined and re-adjusted definition of liberation and you will get your state.
Liberation is an art: the art of “see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing”. We turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to Israeli actions against our people. We hide the minute Israeli soldiers enter a town, a village or a refugee camp. We stand still and watch every time Zionist militias kill a Palestinian child or demolish a Palestinian home or build a new Zionist colony. Liberation requires resistance, requires action and the best form of action is no action. Our people want resistance, they want us to resist the occupation, but why won’t they understand that inaction is a form of non-violent resistance? Why won’t they understand that inaction is the perfect type of resistance, a form everyone will love, mainly our Israeli partners in peace and negotiations; just watch as your nation is being slaughtered and don’t act! And with our silent resistance, our inaction, we are shaking the grounds of Israel. With our inaction we are liberating Palestine! And while we are busy liberating Palestine, why do our people criticize us when we don’t act every time Israeli soldiers kill a Palestinian child or demolish a Palestinian home or build a new Zionist colony? Don’t they realize that any action on our side would make us unfit to be the “brave” who made the “peace”? We need to show the Israelis we are real partners for peace, that we are the partners they have long waited for, that our goals are theirs, that their wish is our command. And while we are busy liberating Palestine, why do our people criticize us when we don’t go complain and condemn Israel every time Israeli soldiers kill a Palestinian child or demolish a Palestinian home or build a new Zionist colony? Don’t they realize that it makes us look like crying little babies every time we go and condemn? Don’t they realize if we start condemning Israeli human rights violation, we will need a 24-hour team to do that and won’t have time to liberate them and build our state? It’s enough to condemn once every six months, that’s the allowed maximum. This is called cooperation, this is called “taking and giving”; we help hide their crimes and they give us the approval to set up new firms, import the latest BMWs, give us permits to go to Tel-Aviv. So, if you happen to pass a murdered Palestinian child just pretend he/she is sleeping, and if you pass a demolished Palestinian home pretend it is being renovated and if someone mentions Jerusalem, just remember that the place was exchanged for a title and a red carpet, and never mention it again and with time people might forget it ever existed. And for God’s sake, stop criticizing us, while we are busy liberating you, for going back to negotiations again and again and again. Negotiating is resistance, and you people keep calling for resistance, asking us to resist and we are resisting; we are resisting the occupier with our unshakable stand that negotiations are the only way no matter what Israel does, no matter what Israel says, no matter what the whole world says. Can’t you see we are embarrassing Israel by insisting on going to negotiations when they don’t even want to give us a tiny road in “Samaria”? We are resisting the occupier every time we kneel down to negotiations, make it our god and our holy book. Do you want them to stop our monthly salaries? Do you want our bank accounts to go in the minus? Do you want them to deny us travel permits? Do you want them to send us packing and back to our lousy 2-room apartments in some Arab capital?
Liberation is an art: the art of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. We provoke our brothers and sisters, incite against them and call them the enemy. We discredit, attack and oust every voice that speaks against us, every voice that criticizes us or exposes us. We discredit, attack and oust all, individuals or group, who seek to delegitimize us, for no one is legitimate but us; we are the chosen ones, even though we were not chosen, we are the elect ones; even though we were not elected. We cut off the monthly salaries of those who refuse to obey our orders to go to the streets and march in our support. We cut off the monthly allocations of other factions who dare to criticize us and refuse to obey our orders. And while we are busy liberating Palestine, why do our people criticize us for refusing to talk to other Palestinian factions while rushing to hug Israelis? Do you people expect us to stand with our enemies, those who want to take away the power, the villas and the money from us? And we need those travel permits, we need to go to Tel Aviv, Geneva and Washington. We call for “unity” while spreading disunity, and we agree to “unity” before starting a new round of accusation so we can blame the others for breaking the “unity”. We say out loud that we choose “unity” with our brothers and sisters but secretly assure our partners in peace and negotiations that the disunity shall prevail. And when our rivals finally see the light, fear losing what little power they have, fear losing the salaries and the transactions, we set the agendas and make it clear for them; we and our partners in peace and negotiations give the orders and you obey. We set up sites, call them “independent”, finance them from under the table so they spread our version of events, our “truth” and discredit, attack and incite against other political factions, groups and individuals, against all other voices that disobey us. We hold media conferences with bought pens and conduct imaginary polls by false experts all assuring the people that the Palestinian street is on our side, that lies are being spread about us by collaborators who serve regional powers, by media outlets that are owned by Zionists. We send our people to get media training, in propaganda, from our Israeli friends, send them to Tel Aviv to take lessons in how to build the new Palestinian, re-programme him/her to accept the new facts on the ground, to use the rights words, the rights terms, to accept the new definition of resistance, our definition of resistance, the definition our partner in peace and negotiations, our American, European and Arab patrons and friends have formulated especially for us, because we are special. We install representatives all over the world, trained by our partners in peace and negotiations, and instruct them what to say when foreign media asks about the Zionist colonies, about the ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem, about the siege of Gaza… we blame it all on our political opponents, on our own brothers and sisters, and relieve our partners in peace and negotiations of any responsibility and any criticism. We call everyone a radical: radical left, radical right, radical east, radical west, radical middle, radical Islamists, radical communists, radical socialists, radical nothing, and we are the only ones who are moderate, the only ones who seek peace, Israeli-style peace.
Liberation is an art: the art of “accept what you are given today, because it might not be there tomorrow”. We thank our Israeli partners in peace and negotiations for their generous offers, we offer them more concessions to show our gratitude for accepting to welcome us in Tel-Aviv, for rolling the red carpet for us and calling us “moderate”, for allowing us fake posts and titles. We don’t raise the ceiling of our demands because we don’t want to distress our partners and if they insist we make more concession, we obey. We appear on local TV stations, give interviews to local newspaper and speak in local gatherings and stress that we will never concede, we will never give up on any of our national constants, on any of our rights, and insist that they are legitimate rights, and then we hop into BMW’s and rush to Tel Aviv to emphasize our loyalty and obedience, and we hop into planes and rush to Washington to emphasize our loyalty and obedience. And while we are busy liberating Palestine, why do our people criticize us when we agree to land swaps? What’s wrong with helping Israel achieve its goal and become a pure Jewish state? We should assure our partners in peace and negotiations that we will do all we can to stop being a demographic threat to them, we have to protect them from little Palestinian children being born every day in the dozens, for they have enough threats as it is from besieged people wanting to live, from unarmed protesters yearning for freedom. Our goal is a state in two years, so if they want East Jerusalem, let them have it, for we have Ramallah with all its ministries, the hotels, the NGOs and not to forget the Noble Muqata’a, and one capital for our future state is more than enough. If they want the settlement blocks, let them have them, for we will get Im Il-Fahim in return, and a bunch of outposts with little cute caravans and we will build our own cities, a hundred tiny Rawabis for the elites and the sons of the elites. If they want the Jordan Valley, let them have it, and in return we will get the casino, and become the Monaco of the new Middle East. We don’t need agricultural land, we will build an industrial state, one to compete with Germany and Japan. And while we are busy liberating Palestine, why do our people criticize us when we sign one concession after the other? If our partners in peace and negotiations want 10% of the 20% of Palestine we are begging for, let them have it, and in return we will have tiny bits of An-Naqab desert, the tiny bits no one wants. Isn’t An-Naqab part of Palestine, and every part of Palestine is sacred to us, and we never reject any crumbs thrown our way. These crumbs are the basis of the Palestinian state, the state that will be born out of the ashes of Palestinian villages demolished and Palestinian children massacred: a state that will be independent from its people and dependent on every donor penny and on every Israeli nod…. a state that will be independent from its people and dependent on everything and everyone else…. a state for the “new Palestinian”, and the not so “new Palestinians” can find themselves another planet to live on. And while we are busy liberating Palestine, why do our people criticize us when we accept to give up 80% of Palestine? Don’t you understand that if we had accepted what they offered us in 1947 we would have had a state… if we had accepted what they offered us in 2000 we would have had a state… if we had accepted whatever crumbs were thrown at us, we would have has a state by now. Stop telling us that even if we accept what they offer us, they will ask for more concessions. So what? We will comply and we will accept whatever they offer us, because they might get upset and not offer it again. We have to show them that we are the long-wished for partners and isn’t this what partnership is all about? They offer and we take. We accept whatever they offer us because our aim is to build a state, even if in the end they offer us only the Holy Muqata’a as our state. All we want is a state and what makes a state but a president, a prime minister, a cabinet and a red carpet?
Liberation is an art: the art of “talk about everything and nothing”. We are masters in diversion. Whenever Israeli terrorist attacks happen, whenever Palestinians are massacred, whenever Jerusalemites are expelled from their homes, whenever Zionist colonies expand and whenever we raise the level of our collaboration with the occupier, we rush to talk about everything but the occupation, everything but the collaboration, everything but the concessions. Whenever Zionist colonists attack olive harvesters, uproot trees and destroy land, whenever Israeli occupation soldiers raid homes, kidnap children and beat up unarmed activists, whenever new colonies are built for aliens from Russia, Canada, Antarctica and Mars, we rush to condemn the “unity” that is failing, the other Palestinian party that is refusing to abide with the “unity” deal and we swear that “unity” with our brothers is more important than negotiations, that “unity” is stronger than any threats, and behind closed doors we unite with our partners in peace and negotiations and swear no other alliance. Whenever we help bury evidence condemning Israel, whenever we vote in support of protecting Israeli war criminals from international courts, whenever our complicity in Israeli war crimes and in covering up these crimes is exposed, we rush to talk about Jerusalem that is threatened, that is being Judaized, we rush to condemn settlements and settler violence, we drive by refugee camps and wave from our armoured Mercedes. We are the masters of diversion, the masters of deception, we answer no questions, we give no solutions, we comply to no local inquiry or national committee. With us, A becomes B and B becomes Z. Whenever there is popular rage over the massacres that have become daily, the Judaization of Jerusalem, the expansion of settlements, the siege that is strangling a whole population, we talk about the division among us, about those who refuse to shake our hands and we call for “reconciliation”, we accuse the “others” of diverting the news to avoid unity talks, we talk about the “others” using Jerusalem to discredit us. Whenever there is popular rage over our corruption, our loaded bank accounts, our villas and summer houses, our VIP cards and Tel-Aviv permits, we talk about Jerusalem that is forever ours, about outposts that will be removed, about refugees that will return, about our determination to end the occupation and build a state. Whenever there is popular rage over the concessions we are making, our repression of our people, the sell-out of the refugees and their rights, the state that is a fiction, our meeting with Zionist war criminals and leaders of Zionist militias, our running to negotiations, our security coordination with the occupiers, our protection of the Zionist terror gangs that roam Palestinian towns and villages and hunt Palestinian children and burn olive fields and homes, we tell people not to worry about Jerusalem being ethnically cleansed house by house, not to worry about the settlements growing and growing and reaching the moon, because we will be liberated in two years. We talk about outside regional powers that work to undermine Palestinian independent decision, we talk about the unity we yearn, the one people we are, the reconciliation some avoid, we talk about the “resistance” we are re-defining, we talk about the prison-within-prison state we are seeking, we talk about liberation through negotiations, we talk about everything and nothing, we blame everyone else for everything we do, but we never blame or condemn our partners in peace and negotiations. And while we are busy liberating Palestine, why do our people criticize us when we defend Israel, cover up its war crimes? Don’t they understand that we need to protect our friends, our partners in peace and negotiations, those who keep us in power? We need to join hands with the friends who will be generous enough to allow us a state in Ramallah, a casino in Jericho and an elite-only Bantustans a la Rawabi. We need mobile networks so you can contact us when you need protection from the groups of darkness come to incite against us or against our partners in peace and negotiations. We need Mercedeses so we can parade in front of your over-crowed refugee camps and show you what it’s like to play the game our way. We need cash flowing into our bank accounts, so we can reward those who believe in us and our chosen path.
Liberation is an art, the art of “it’s my way or no way”. We decide the outline, we outline the do and don’t. We talk about liberation, mention the word freedom a million and one times, but condemn our people to a life in slavery. We mention the word state two million and one times, but condemn our people to a life in concentration camps. We swear our support to popular resistance, because everyone else loves it nowadays, everyone else calls for it nowadays. We organize popular conferences and become their patrons, we give speeches and declare that popular resistance is the answer, is the key to freedom and to the coming state. But when our people decide that popular resistance is the way to liberation, when our people decide that the time has come for another popular Intifada, we denounce the Intifada, denounce popular resistance, denounce resistance as a whole and declare that we won’t allow any Intifadas, whether armed or non-violent, declare that we won’t allow any demonstration, whether small or large, declare that we won’t allow any form of protest, whether a sit-in, a march or even a song that might upset our partners in peace and negotiations, that might make them feel “threatened” by us or might make them doubt our sincere intentions and doubt our suitability for the role of partner. And while we are busy liberating Palestine, why do our people criticize us when we denounce resistance and declare we will never throw even a paper clip at Israeli occupation soldiers? Don’t they realize that it is our duty to show the world that we are cool, peaceful people and follow the modern adjusted definition of “resistance”, the one approved by our Israeli, American and European friends, approved by the rest of the free world, the adjusted definition of “resistance” that deprives us of our legitimate rights, of our national aspirations, of our freedom, of our dignity, the adjusted definition of “resistance” that states that occupiers can stamp on the hearts and souls of the oppressed to which the oppressed should reply: Thank you, do you have more? We do our best to stop demonstrations against the occupation, we detain anyone who marches towards an Israeli checkpoint, or even thinks or protesting in the vicinity of a Zionist colony. We prohibit protests against our policies and against security coordination with our partners in peace in and negotiations. We threaten employees with their salaries and force them to march in our support and in support of the concessions we are making, we organize marches in support of our partners and fellow dictators. We employ our security apparatus, trained by the occupation, for the safety of the occupation and its terrorist militias. And while we are busy liberating Palestine, why do our people get angry when we crack down on their protests against the occupation, when we prevent them from reaching Jerusalem, when we kidnap them upon orders of the occupation, when we torture them for resisting the occupier? Don’t they realize that the safety of the occupier means salaries at the end of the month? Don’t they understand that the safety of the occupier means that we can build imaginary towns aka Bantustans, create industrial zones aka slavery centres and declare a fake state aka a prison within a prison? Don’t they realize that Jerusalem is outside our future state limits, beyond our future borders, and that anyone who wishes to liberate Jerusalem is “free” to go there and demonstrate there, if they are allowed in? We encourage the boycott of products of Zionist colonies in the West Bank, but are vehemently against a boycott of all products of the Zionist entity, even if our economy is destroyed by the occupier, even if our shops and homes are drowning in the products of the occupier, even if our products rot at the occupier’s checkpoints, even if our fields, farms and factories are demolished and bombarded by the occupier, even if our natural resources are stolen by the occupier right under our very noses. We declare Palestinian homes and shops “settlement-products-free” but fill our villas, our offices and our conference rooms with Israeli products. And if a Zionist colony moves the administrative offices of its factories to occupied Haifa or occupied Bisan, then we remove it from our boycott list. We are good partners in peace and negotiations and we don’t boycott the occupier, we only boycott the Zionist colonists who embarrass us by selling their products openly in our towns and villages. Those who do it secretly are another story. And while we are busy liberating Palestine, why do people criticize us when we hide the minute Israeli occupation soldiers enter a town, a village or a refugee camp? Why do they criticize us when we escort Zionist colonists into the heart of Palestinian communities? Why do they criticize us when we patrol the roads of Palestinian towns and villages in the company of Israeli military vehicles and intelligence jeeps or when we parade in front of refugees camps and work as human shields for Israeli occupier? Why do they criticize us when we join the occupier in the hunt of Palestinians and or when we hide while they extra-judicially execute Palestinians? Don’t they realize that it’s one of our duties, our main duties, to protect the Israeli occupier, our one and truly partner in peace and negotiations, and make way for them to do their job? They allow us to do our job and steal, build imaginary cities and states, and we should allow them to do their job and kill, demolish, detain, steal and expel. Why don’t our people realize that once and for all: the security of the Israeli occupier is our religion! It’s called peace of the brave and we are the brave, for accepting what no Palestinian would ever accept, for giving up what no Palestinian would ever give up.
Liberation is an art, the art of “what is yours is mine and what is mine is mine alone”. We hold a conference and beg for money in the name of our people. We are liberating Palestine and liberation is a costly business. We want to build a state, we want to build more five star hotels for the international experts and consultants who come to sell us talk for a piece of the pie, we want to build more casinos for wealthy Israelis who are transforming our land into a pure-Jewish state, we want to build more Rawabis for the elite of the elite, for those who suffer while negotiating, while signing concessions, while travelling from one world capital to another to give talks. Travelling is hard work and talking is hard work and getting all your expenses paid so you speak in the name of people who never delegated you is extremely hard work. We threaten people into selling us their lands for very low prices so we can build cities for the elite, so we can build small Dubai replicas, for those who sacrifice their lives in negotiating with our partner in peace and negotiations, those who refuse to keep silent and choose to serve their masters and negotiate, those who believe that negotiating is a duty, a sacred duty, that very few are willing to sell their homeland for. We widen Wadi In-Nar road, make a real highway out of it, make it something just out of the movies, so Palestinians travelling that road can forget there is a Jerusalem. We install sun-energy street lights so Palestinians will be dazzled by the sun and not see the colonial cancer that is devouring Palestine. We tour the world and collect money for the people who are being brutally oppressed while we watch and refuse to take action as per Oslo at al, for Jerusalem that is being Judaized while we watch and refuse to take action as per Oslo at al, for Gaza that is being besieged while we watch and refuse to take action as per Oslo at al, for the land that is being massacred while we watch and refuse to take action as per Oslo at al. We allow private businesses for a share of the pie, and create quasi-state companies and firms, call them private and independent and employ consultants who served us well in the negotiating teams. We know they only abandoned the ship of negotiations after they milked the negotiations cow dry and after they built villas that compete with ours from which they preach and attack the negotiations. But it is okay if they criticize us openly now that they are no longer part of the negotiating team, what really matters is that they keep silent about the cash we and they make from private businesses. So why do our people criticize us when we divide the shares between us, it’s all a matter of business and everyone is selling and buying, even some of your work-with-them-during-the-day-and-criticize-them-at-night preachers. Is it our fault if what reaches our people in the end is a big null? A huge nothing? We, the representatives of the Palestinian people, have many bills to pay, many planes to catch and many hotels to stay in, and playing your representatives is really tiresome and expensive; all the travels, the speeches, the dinners, owning villas and summer houses. And while we are busy liberating Palestine, why do our people criticize us when we wear Armani suits and appear on TV screens to give interviews to Israeli TV, CNN and Al-Arabiya or Al-Jazeera. Don’t they understand that we are liberating Palestine and it’s our duty, as representatives of the Palestinian people, to show the world that we are no more the savages wearing kuffiyyas and lousy “I love Palestine” T-Shirts, but that we are civilized and wear suits and boots expensive enough to feed a hundred families a hundred days? We threaten people with their salaries before religious feasts, before school begin, every month, every day and night. We force employees to go out to the streets in our support and in support of our concessions and threaten them with their jobs and salaries if they refuse. We treat employees according to their political affiliation, if you are one of us, you get a monthly bonus because you are one of the good guys, those our partners in peace and negotiation appreciate. To the others we deliver dismissal notices. We tell syndicates they have the right to strike and to protest, and when they do strike we rush to the higher court to stop their strikes and to punish them. For how dare they demand “reasonable” salaries so they can feed their families? Don’t they see that while they only work 7 hours a day, we work 24/7 non-stop in their service? We travel the whole world, are forced to stay at five star hotels, just to negotiate and sell-out their rights? Why do they get angry if the one hundred and one security apparatuses we have get paid firstly, regularly and receive higher salaries than those with a hundred university degrees and with a thousand years of professional experience? Aren’t these security apparatuses the ones who protect us, work for our safety from the forces of the darkness, help escort and protect our partners in peace and negotiations? They are the “new Palestinians”, the protectors of our wealth, the worst nightmare to anyone who disagrees with us and the guardians of the coming state.