PA daily op-ed: Israelis have no right to land, which God gave to Palestinians
From op-ed by Imtiaz Diab:
“1. Nations came to this land and nations left it. They each came as liberators, conquerors or occupiers. We have always viewed them as foreign visitors, for whom it is our duty to open our homes so they may sleep, set our tables so they may eat, and nurse their babies from our women’s breasts.
Some of them stayed a year and left and some of them stayed four hundred years and left. They returned to the place where they had come from, while our nation preserved its Arab identity…
2. All the foreigners disappeared without leaving a mark and the coins they had minted were buried in the ground. Butterflies have continued to flutter over the valleys and weeds have grown over their graves that have been swallowed by the earth. No trace of them remains apart from engraved and unique inscriptions that we taught our children in school.
3. Regarding those [Israelis] who came boasting the metal of their gleaming rifles, while fleeing a fate of their bodies being turned to white dust (i.e., the Jews who fled the Holocaust), who shared our bread and salt with us, who betrayed our courtesy and claimed their God had promised our land to them – they are only transient in their journey in the Diaspora, [a journey] which has protected them from dissolving into the nations that hated them everywhere, except for us, we who gave them shelter in our homes.
4. We know well that they… will leave our holy olive tree one day, [the olive tree] which they uprooted from the soil they claim to own!
5. They have never understood that God gave this land to those who were born on it, those who have lived on it, those whose fathers were buried in it, and to those who were compelled to migrate by force by those who came and claimed the land was desolate. This is the land of those who have loved it, breathed its air, embraced its trees and wept over any damage done to its soil…
7. They promised us slavery if we would behave nicely, as they want [us to]. They turned us into laborers in their settlements, which they planted instead of our trees…
8. What do their rulers know about this land? What do they know about its herbs, with which we treated our sick? What do they know about hyssop, which we dip in its [the land’s] holy olive oil, about our children’s games among the branches of its trees? What do they know about our simple fathers, who harmed no person, animal or plant? This land doesn’t interest them as they claim [it does]. They take a rest from it in the summer and leave it for their countries of origin, to whose citizenship they still hold on!
9. Ever since they set foot on this land we have wept and known pain and our bodies have bled from wounds they made with their rifles. We weep for [our] loss in foreign countries and weep out of longing for the waves of the sea that they have imprisoned and prevented us from fishing in. They prevent us from making a living and claim they are doing this according to God’s command! Is it God who commanded them to make our people flee?”