Oh Israelis … Sorry for the inconvenience - Issa Qaraqe
Published Sunday 24/10/2010 (updated) 30/10/2010 14:52
Oh Israelis …. After everything that happened between us, we are sorry for the inconvenience caused by our refusal to give up our soul. It has more patience than is bearable. You paid a high price militarily, economically and psychologically to control and destroy it but you failed.
We are sorry that our land has many olives on it that obstruct your eyes which are used to seeing imported or artificial plants and trees, and that you have to pay for your settlers' wars as they chase villagers and set fire to trees and olives.
We are sorry that we disturb you by having a higher birth rate than yours, that we became a demographic threat to your existence and future, and your Jewish state and its total destruction of us.
Oh Israelis .. We are sorry that we are in the way of the natural growth of your beautiful settlements and luxurious houses, stopping your children from playing and running in the gardens of Kiryat Arba, Ma’ale Adumim, Beit Eil, Efrta, Aztion and others
We are sorry to disturb you with our miserable poor workers who crowd your checkpoints at dawn with permits, and sometimes without permits, dressed in worn-out clothes, their sleepiness charged with hunger.
Oh Israelis …. We are sorry that our old vehicles pass through your vast bypass roads, that the faces of our passengers provoke you, that their features and constant depression, their dirty cloths and loud voices cause you anxiety, fear and environmental pollution.
We are sorry for the patience of our detainees and female prisoners who even after 33-year sentences still remain steadfast and dare to defend their hope for freedom without despair.
We are sorry that you were forced to build new prisons and camps, and expand those you already built to absorb thousands of prisoners and detainees whose guards are expensive human resources and need expensive equipment to oppress us.
Oh Israelis ... Sorry for the inconvenience caused by our children who hate your settlers, and throw stones at them, and who disturb your skies by placing the Palestinian flag on top of homes and trees, disturbing your memory that doesn't want to remember.
We are sorry that one of our mothers, Huria, gave birth to Mahmoud Darwish, whose poems violated your false legend by asking you to live with us as human beings and not as armed soldiers afraid of us, asking that we love life to the utmost and in every way we can.
We are sorry that the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque are still there in Jerusalem despite your hard work, day and night, digging underneath them searching for a temple that you will not find.
We are sorry that Bethlehem lit a Christmas tree even when you besieged the Nativity Church and shelled the Virgin Mary with bombs, as if you thought Santa Claus had died or left the city of peace.
Oh Israelis ... we are sorry for confusing your collective memory when we celebrated Jericho's 10,000th anniversary, we suspected your history on this land when we did not find a name for you in it or a stone to refer to you.
Sorry to disturb you on 15 May every year when we commemorate the anniversary of our Palestinian Nakba and the tragedy of 1948 when Palestinians were massacred and expelled, disturbing your celebrations of the anniversary of the independence of your state.
We are sorry a Palestinian mother delivered a boy named Marwan Barghouthi who refused to recognize the legitimacy of your courts, and that you had to hear him chant "Occupation is destined to end."
Oh Israelis ... We are sorry to disturb you when our children chant every morning at schools "Oh my country… oh my country… you have all of my love and heart," confounding your leaders' calculation that the elderly die and the young forget.
We are sorry for capturing Gilad Shalit when he was carrying out a humanitarian mission in Gaza, dropping bombs and white phosphorus on its residents so that they could sleep quietly.
We are sorry that we named the main square in Ramallah after Dalal Al-Mughrabi, reminding you of our murdered people who have rested in cemeteries for many years, sparking fear inside you that our victims might return to tell the truth.
Oh Israelis ... We are sorry to disturb you by staying here in the same place, raising existential questions among you as you turned from the civilized and civil state that Herzl wished for to a racist, fascist one.
We are sorry, but we did not know that after accepting the principle of equal co-existence with you on the land of our historic homeland that you would escape to the Ghetto again, there behind the wall, military checkpoints and watching towers as if you hate peace and life.
Issa Qaraqe is the Minister of Detainees Affairs for the Palestinian Authority