Every time I sit and talk to new foreigners coming either to study Arabic in Beir Zeit, or to spend the summer volunteering in some NGO or doing some work somewhere, the hell I care, I hear the same old talks. Ohh I love Palestine and Palestinians, I am so coming next year, freedom, Love, Peace… CRAP CRAP CRAP and finally BS.
I usually listen to them talking passionately about the amazing time they spend at this village or that. “ohh i am sooo in love with tea and Meramyeh and na’a na’a” they would also talk about the Wara’a Enab they ate the other day too, and they always finish it with “Ohh, Ahmad living with those people, sharing food with them, made me understand their pain, I feel like I am one of them.” (seriously, already? You came like a week ago!). I usually smile, and think “how deep lady gaga’s lyrics are!?”
Most of those people never stayed in Palestine longer than the usual 3 months, they come in, have a nice trip, and maybe hook up with either a Palestinian, or an Israeli(you never know) Then they get on an airplane and get the fuck out of here. Many we never see again(Thank God), some return;”they come back to liberate Palestine”.
Ramallah down town
About a month ago a friend of mine asked me to meet up in a bar in Ramallah called Bait Annesah, despite my promise to myself not to step a foot there, I went to see this friend, as she was leaving the next day. I finally got in the pup,, after convincing the bouncer that I am part of a group, which was waiting for me inside.
I walked up to sit with my friend, who was already sitting with a group of Palestinian(i am not sure) Europeans and Americans. The conversation carried on, while I sat there saying nothing, until one of the so called Palestinian said “Existence is Resistance, being here is part of resisting the occupation”. I looked to their faces for reaction, I saw nothing but approval. I said bye to my friend directly, as I couldn’t stay any longer;I would kill someone if I did.
FYI: existence is resistance when your house, land, or even bar under threat of being attacked by settlers or army, when your existence as individual effect the Israeli policies in your area. Existence is NOT resistance if you are sitting in a bar in Ramallah downtown!
This is one of the too many statements I heard from many of those same pretentious, arrogant white-people, with a big colonialist and orientalist mentality. And just to help you understand why I said what I said, I am adding a couple of those statements I heard:
“The Palestinian keep fucking it up.” American. “they wont give up!”
“I really can’t understand why you people love violence that much” European. “coffee?”
“Palestine will be much better, if you got rid those bearded fanatic” European. “who?”
“I can’t believe this man, he told me I can’t drink in there, so dark age” European. “OK”
“I dressed as Palestine for Halloween this year.” American. “not going to ask how!”
“I don’t think Palestinians understand, what non-violence means” American. “TRUE”
This post is not directed against a lot of the great people who got to knowthe Palestinian cause as their own, standing at the front line in Nabi Saleh, Bilin and Nilin, or spend hours documenting and translating to expose the Israeli practice against my people. I have nothing but respect and appreciation for them, this post is against those who think by spending a week or 2 hanging out in Ramallah bars and expensive restaurants, they can claim to understand me, my people and my cause. This one is against everyone who thinks he/she has the right to judge my people, based on their standards.
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged” Luke 6:37