Palestine

To my brother, Yassir Arafat

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May I call you my brother? A beloved elder brother, smiling as he paved the way for justice for his people. And showed others the way. Against an injustice that that caused hearts to weep.


You stood up for all of us! And created bonds of brotherhood, between us and them. We were allowed to feel love for your people!

You were that people’s father! And called it forth to fight, dignified and proud. You gave it faith and hope, and pointed to the embattled road. To achieve just goals, accepted in time by the world.

Except for a few pugnacious and blinded people, among them those with blood on their hands, collaborating with the wrongdoers.

Israel – the wrongdoer’s name! And the USA, its fellow-conspirators. Alongside them stand others who are guilty, some of whom may be persuaded to see the difference between justice and injustice, truth and untruth, fact and deluded belief.

Israel is the oppressor, the Palestinians are oppressed! Israel occupies, and the Palestinians are occupied! Israel has driven the Palstinian people from their land! Israel’s land has been wrested from the Palestinian people.

This is the simple truth! Anyone who can see, must be convinced of it. Should this injustice be swept under the carpet, and the Palestinians be forced to accept compromises? Must the weaker party give up even more?

My brother Yassir Arafat! May you not rest in your grave, but go on moving new souls and strengthening the old ones, on the road the Palestinians’ goals: freedom and independence! Entitlement to their own land! As you have mapped it out.

There is a poem in this country, with some verses I would like to repeat to you. But words alone honour no one. We who are left must do more.

Death can flame like a cornfield;
Clearer than once we spy
Each life in that glowing anguish:
They are the best who die…

The world is rules by the living.
Never can be suppressed
The competent, indispensable
Host of the second-best.

The best are murdered in prisons,
Swept off by bullets and seas;
Not in their hands our future;
To die is enough for these.

So we build them shrines of our weakness,
The sense of our emptiness:
But this is to fail our greatest,
Betray them with vain distress.

They would live in our faith and courage;
They would not be mourned as dead;
Still flows in hearts of the fearless
The blood that the fallen shed.

To each of us here that knew them
More wealth than was theirs descends;
For children had these for fathers,
An men have had these for friends.

Increasing the life they yielded,
Their ghosts in new men survive.
Upon their graves shall be written –
For ever the best shall live.

(Nordahl Grieg)

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