Welcome to a PAIX discussion and promotion !
I am a Palestinian
How could I scream out that I am a Palestinian, so the whole world could hear me ?
I need to clarify that I am a Palestinian without any shame, or fear, and without being accused that I am dangerous to any one.
I am proud of being a Palestinian, and I want the whole world to understand that I will not accept to stay under occupation without any rights, or dignity, thrown with insults and humiliation every day, and reading nothing but what is forbidden to me.
We are forbidden from movement, from organizing ourselves, from expressing our thoughts or opinions, from drinking water, etc.
I wasn't born a terrorist, or people hater, or violent lover, and I don't want to be in a conflict with any one. But at the same time you must recognize my humanity, identity, and rights; as it is not possible to be born under occupation, and live under occupation, and die also while I am still under the occupation.
You accuse me of all kind of charges, and punish me for all the work that I've done or haven't done.
I am accused where ever I go, and I must always prove that I am not dangerous on any one.
So when will I be recognized as a member of this world - a member of humanity ?
I have read the history just like you did, and learnt that George Washington had fought the English occupation to liberate his country; the Vietnamese had also fought the USA; the South African fought the white; and, the black Africans fought the prejudice systems.
All nations struggled for their countries independence and none of them were considered terrorists.
So why we are not allowed to demand and struggle to free ourselves ?
Or does the world want us to become slaves ?
Believe me when I say that we have rights less than slaves did.
Some of my friends told me that they did not leave the city of Bethlehem for three years.
I know some of the Palestinians who spend over a year in prison without a trial, and even without knowing what the charge is.
I know and you know that the Palestinian people are being punished collectively over any action no matter what.
Territories are being closed; curfew forced over cities with and without any reason (and sometimes due to what is called an "intelligence note"); children and old men suffer; students are forbidden from going to schools; ill people are forbidden from reaching hospitals etc.
We are humans, and we are not considered on the law they call "human rights", or "human needs".
In addition to that, we are not allowed to complain or feel pain, or scream, or moan, or write about it.
You may not believe me when I tell you that I may get punished for this letter, or forbidden to move, because what I write here is considered as a provocation, and I may be considered violating human rights with this writing and not the occupation, the administration detention, the collective punishment, and the killing without a trial etc., which violates human rights.
And no matter what I say they will not believe me.
The easiest thing for them is generalization, announcing collective judgments, closing all Palestinian territories, prohibiting objection, threatening with jailing, and killing all those who do not agree.
All this for the sake of security.
Security to whom, and who provides security ?
Don't we deserve security too ?
Or is security for just one kind of human beings, and we do not deserve security, nor freedom, nor respect, nor work, or water ? ? ! !
I wish to know what the Israeli government wants from me.
In spite of all that, I promise you that under these circumstances:
There will be no security, not for us or them, without peace and justice; no matter how long we suffer.
There is no alternative for the just peace, which gives all people the same rights and duties without discrimination, due to religion, color, race, ethnicity, nationality, or whatever.
Is it a shame to be a Palestinian ?
I am proud to be a Palestinian, and I love peace, justice, love, equality, and all good morals.
I work and struggle to bring people together in equal manners and reconcile on the basis of justice and respect to all.
Yours in Peace & Reconciliation,
The Center for Conflict Resolution & Reconciliation (CCRR)
Bethlehem - Palestine
Take a minute to check our joint web site (www.ipctnet.org):
To read our "The Tree of Hope" periodical Magazine:
#1, November 2003, click http://www.ipctnet.org/2003-11-wifaq.pdf
#2, January 2004, click http://www.ipctnet.org/2004-1-28_mag.zip