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Fifth Estate # 363, Winter, 2003/2004

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i can’t help it.

i don’t care how far you think the analogy extends itself.

when i see you making that bus driver climb up and down

on and off the roof of his bus

for your amusement

for hours in the hot sun

i think of how we once had to dance and sing for them

while they shot our parents.

when i see you keep that woman

and her husband

at the checkpoint

while she’s in labor

and you stand there

listening to her scream

watching as she gives birth

on the back seat of a taxi

i think of the walls around our own ghetto

and how we had to crawl through the sewers

looking for rats to eat

while we could hear their children playing

on the other side.

when i see you crush that house

and kill that woman

and her baby

with your armored bulldozer

because they didn’t have a permit

i think of the way we were once forced to leave our homes

at the point of a gun.

and when i hear your general say

that in order to deal with the intifada

you must learn from the tactics of another general

one mr. stroop

in warsaw

i think of how they bombed our buildings

shot us as we fell from the roofs.

and i remember

how we wished we could kill their babies, too.

and i feel sick.

sick of your displaced anger

sick of your self-deception

sick of your attempts to deceive the rest of the world

sick of your accusations of anti-semitism

sick of your occupation

sick of your apartheid state

sick of zionism.

because standing here

in auschwitz, birkenau and warsaw

i see jenin, jaffa and rafah.

and i think of our ancestors

the jewish palestinians

who spoke so eloquently

in their arabic language.

but the dead cannot speak.

and now i find myself again behind the wall of a ghetto

standing with millions of other palestinians.

and i find myself shouting

thawra! thawra! hatta al-naser!

tomorrow in jerusalem!

al-awda

return.

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