Wednesday, September 12, 2007

`Palestine Lives!'

Palestine lives
Palestine will not die
You can pretend it no longer exists
But Palestine will always survive.

There’s a people scattered
By a heavily-financed foe
There’s a nation which was shattered
By an army backed by gold
There’s a people now resisting
The years of forced exile
There’s a people who cry out:
That Palestine is still alive.

There’s a people with a cause
Which missiles cannot defeat
There’s a nation which was wronged
By oppressors who self-righteously preach
There’s a people now fighting
Experts in international crime
There’s a people who shout out:
That Palestine is still alive.

There’s a people with a vision
Of a new society
There’s a nation with a dream
Of a land in which all people will be free
There’s a people now defying
The Western drive to colonize
There’s a people who cry out:
That Palestine is still alive.

There’s a people who fight on
From the ruins of Gaza and Beirut
There’s a nation which stands firm
Against tanks, cluster bombs and armed brutes
There’s a people, all alone,
Who resist those who seek genocide
There’s a people who, with blood, say:
That Palestine is still alive.

Palestine Lives! was written during the 1970s when the Israeli establishment was then unwilling to even sit down at the negotiating table with the representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] that was recognized as a legitimate political organization by most members of the United Nations. But the folks who control the U.S. media conglomerates still don’t appear very eager to provide much airplay for U.S. folk songs that support the right of all Palestinians to return to their homeland and exercise their democratic right of national self-determination.

Yet according to Jerusalem: Arab Origin and Heritage by M.A. Aamiry, “the period of uncontested Arab habitation and rule in and around Jerusalem and Palestine covers at least 800 years” and “In 1948, the population of Jerusalem was about 160,000, half of them Arabs, half Jews.” The same book also observed:

“After the war of June 1967, the Zionists proclaimed the annexation of Old Jerusalem to add to the sectors of the city which they had occupied from 1948. In spite of resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, Israel has persisted in its arbitrary measures and has lost no time in converting the city to its own purposes, bulldozing Arab houses, driving out their owners and rendering them homeless, expropriating Arab land and erecting tall new skyscrapers, `match-boxes six stories high,’ thus disfiguring the Holy City and destroying its unique character…”

The New York Times (11/18/94) also reported that “the Palestinians” in 1994 accused Israel of violating the 1993 peace agreement “by building blocks of new housing in East Jerusalem.”

(Downtown 12/7/94)

Amnesty International also observed in its 1990 Report:

“About 25,000 Palestinians…were arrested in connection with the Intifada (uprising) in the Occupied Territories. Over 4,000 served periods in administrative detention without charge or trial…Thousands of Palestinians were beaten while in the hands of Israeli forces or were tortured or ill-treated in detention centres. At least eight were reported to have died as a result. Over 260 unarmed Palestinian civilians—including children—were shot dead by Israeli forces, often in circumstances suggesting excessive use of force or deliberate killing. Others died in incidents where tear-gas was possibly deliberately misused…”

Despite its policy of continuing to violate human rights in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, the Israeli Establishment still got “$3 billion a year in aid” in 1996 during the Clintons’ first White House term because “no American Administration wants to pick a fight with Israel during an election year,” according to the New York Times (9/28/96).

(Downtown/Aquarian 10/9/96)

Next: Torture In The Holy Land?