Uncompromising hope inspired by Ghassan Kanafani

Israel/Palestine
on 63 Comments
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Ghassan Kanafani (Photo: Flickr)

This May marks the 65th anniversary of the Nakba (Arabic for “catastrophe”) in Palestine in 1948 when over 700,000 Palestinians were forced off their land, in some cases at gunpoint, in other cases through massacres or threats of massacres like the massacre at Deir Yassin. Hundreds of villages were completely destroyed or depopulated. Today, the suffering in Palestine continues: from the expulsion of thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank, to the demolition of Palestinian homes in Jerusalem, to the continued siege of the people of Gaza – deprived of food, water, electricity, and medicine- to the mass detention of tens of thousands of Palestinian political prisoners.

Each year we approach this date and millions worldwide are overcome with a strong emotional reaction, a feat showing how deeply rooted their connection to the Palestinian issue is. This is true even for third and fourth generation Palestinians who are unable to fulfill their right to return; a powerful emotional connection passed on from generation to generation.

Ghassan Kanafani’s words are perfect to capture this connection. Few Palestinian writers will ever evoke as strong a response as a mere mention of Ghassan Kanafani’s name does. A teacher, journalist, and writer, Kanafani’s wide reach of influence continues even today, especially in the terms of his literature. His works will forever have a seamless connection to the hope for freedom in Israel/Palestine, a goal that even Kanafani knew would become the responsibility of future Israeli and Palestinian generations.

“I was just asking. I’m looking for the true Palestine, the Palestine that’s more than memories, more than peacock feathers, more than a son, more than scars written by bullets on the stairs… Tens of thousands like Khalid won’t be stopped by the tears of men searching in the depths of their defeat for scraps of armor and broken flowers. Men like Khalid are looking toward the future, so they can put right our mistakes and the mistakes of the whole world.” (From Return to Haifa)

If there’s one thing Kanafani attempted to do through his works, it was to show the Jews and Palestinians that they were more similar than they knew. Let us hope these similarities are realized and leveraged to achieve a lasting peace in the near future.

Kanafani was assassinated in Beirut in 1972.

About @WomanUnveiled

@WomanUnveiled is a Middle Eastern gal that grew up in Jordan and has been able to explore the world from there. She has camped in Petra, touched the sky at Burj Khalifa, driven through the streets of Riyadh (shhh), and partied the night away at Sky Bar in Beirut. Her home, for now, is New York. The journey continues at womanunveiled.com.

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63 Responses

  1. Henry Norr
    May 15, 2013, 2:50 pm

    Thanks for a nice post, @WomanUnveiled, but lest there be any doubt, I’d suggest changing the last sentence from passive to active voice: Israel assassinated Kanafani in Beirut in 1972.

    For details, see
    link to beirut.indymedia.org

    • yonah fredman
      May 15, 2013, 9:42 pm

      Israel assassinated Kanafani in Beirut less than two months after the Lod Massacre in which members of the Japanese Red Guard opened fire at Lod airport killing 26. Kanafani, a member of the upper echelons of PFLP was pictured in the newspaper soon after the massacre standing next to one of the Japanese “terrorists”.

      The article you cited gives Kanafani’s death year as 1973 and cites the Munich Olympic episode as the cause for the Israeli assassination. The article may have some value, but not for information on Kanafani’s death, unless his death date was other than July 8, 1972.

      • Taxi
        May 16, 2013, 4:31 am

        yonah,

        You forgot to mention that the mossad was on a secret mission in the early 70′s to ‘kill Palestine’s brain’ – to assassinate all (un-imprisoned) members of the Palestinian political intelligentsia. To leave the Palestinian people staggering around the place, wounded in body and disorientated without a ‘brain’.

        For your information, Ghassan Kanafani not only succeeded in breathing fire into the dying heart of Palestinians at the time, but also, like Che Guevara, he had succeeded in bringing together a collective of different resistance groups from different countries around the world. They joined their various liberation causes into one single struggle – and they acted accordingly to this partnership. Kanafani was the architect behind this global resistance structure. He worked for liberation regionally and he worked for the liberation of the whole world. And what you, yohan, call a “terrorist”, is actually a freedom fighter to millions of oppressed people all over the globe.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 16, 2013, 9:01 am

        He worked for liberation regionally and he worked for the liberation of the whole world. And what you, yohan, call a “terrorist”, is actually a freedom fighter to millions of oppressed people all over the globe.

      • Cliff
        May 16, 2013, 7:14 am

        Wondering Jew said:
        “Kanafani, a member of the upper echelons of PFLP was pictured in the newspaper soon after the massacre standing next to one of the Japanese “terrorists”.”

        Did Kanafani have something to do with that attack or the Munich massacre?

        Didn’t Chomsky visit Hezbollah members after the 2nd Lebanon War? Ditto for Finkelstein.

        I wonder if Israelis or American Jews who cheer on terrorists/freedom fighters should be fair game as well. Certainly we have that case here with American Jewish intellectuals (and non-Jews alike) cheer-leading the Syrian rebels. And simultaneously they are to the right of the settlers on Israel/Palestine and Hamas.

      • yonah fredman
        May 16, 2013, 7:05 pm

        I never heard of Kanafani until reading this post. My understanding is that the PFLP was the group that facilitated the Red Guards’ massacre at Lod Airport and thus Kanafani was not merely a supporter of the Red Guards attack that day but one of the key thinkers of the group that sent the Red Guards to the airport that day.

        If one supports nonviolence as a rule (rather than as an occasional convenience), Annie, one would avoid referring to the act of that day as freedom fighting. I accept that those who oppose Israel and its violence choose their own responses. But the attack at Lod Airport was about as basic an act of terrorism- targeting civilians qua civilians, as there ever has been. And please show me based upon the ignorance of that event, how that murder really helped all oppressed people that day.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 16, 2013, 11:57 pm

        Annie, one would avoid referring to the act of that day as freedom fighting. …. please show me based upon the ignorance of that event, how that murder really helped all oppressed people that day.

        sorry yonah, not playing games on this thread. an anonymous veiled woman calling herself unveiled(who pumps femen!), a palestininan hero disgustingly diluted, published on the commemoration of the Nakba, primed for a hella setup argument in the comment section?

        go find another tool. color me completely unconvinced.

      • jon s
        May 17, 2013, 4:46 am

        Aside from the Lod Airport massacre, the PFLP was responsible for numerous bloody terrorist attacks aimed at Israelis, Jews, and Western interests . Those included plane hijackings, bombings , you name it. The PFLP was the outfit that employed Carlos “the Jackal”.

      • miriam6
        May 17, 2013, 4:48 am

        Cliffy. your ignorance knows no bounds!

        Do you really imagine only ardent Zionists/ jews/jews/JEWS are anti -Assad?

        You really believe that the Arab masses ( you know those that the conflict and the mid east region actually BELONGS to and the folks who live there etc.) REALLY ALL LOVE Assad??

        ****************************************************
        “In Syria, there was a peaceful revolution that stood its grounds as such for long months. Due to bloody regime repression the people was forced to defend itself militarily. Then the country plunged into a dark civil war as a result of the fighting with many agendas interfering and a sectarian division line. All this is the responsibility of the tyranic criminal Assad regime. Its ugly crimes drove the people mad!….”

        ****************************************************

        “Many people discussing Syria with me deny a crucial FACT and that fact is that for almost 6 months the Syrian revolution was in its absolute majority PEACEFUL but still faced by the regime with violent repression and a daily dose of killings that varied between 20 and 30 victims sniped at rallies. The fact that anyone denies this fact that is so crucial to assessing the events and putting them in context and understanding why the peaceful demonstrators became armed rebels, make such people lose credibility in my eyes.”

        ***************************************************

        “Assad Liberated more than 2000 political prisoners in exchange of 48 Iranian hostages. How can this corrupt dictator justify holding more than 100 thousand political prisoners? how can he justify playing poker with the freedom of these innocents who just happen to have an opinion as chips? You must sink deep when you hold your own citizens hostages and exchange them for citizens of other countries that you care obviously more about. But then again, this is a regime bombing its own people with jets, so no need to be surprised.”

        ****************************************************

        “I noticed here that most people defending Bashar and his crimes on my facebook list are Shia. And most people shouting now that Bashar is criminal are Sunnis who love and respect that other criminal Saddam. I also noticed that some shout revolution and injustice in Bahrain and cry conspiracy in Syria while others see a revolution in Syria but see a Shia conspiracy in Bahrain. As long as people reason out of sectarian reflexes and not out of principals and follow their religious leaders like cheeps you cannot reason with them. Double standards will drive them to a status near schizophrenia. Syria is a revolution and so i Bahrain and I hope the Saudi Zionist regime will be next to face the wrath and the madness of a free but wounded people. I don’t care on what side the west stands, I don’t base my position on what the west does or says, I know I will always be with a people rebelling against a corrupt and repressive leader that is not rightfully elected.”

        *****************************************************

        “This is killing me, eating me inside, I feel every and each one of these children as my own. How can you tolerate such atrocity? international community? civilized world? Democracy? Lies! you are bankrupt, morally. Assad committed atrocities like that too, yes, but the whole world was and is against him including us. But how come Israel can get away with this? humanity is dead. Not alone that no military intervention is even possible against Israel, no sanctions, no measures taken, and it is supported. Most people ( among them Arabs and Muslims) still feel it is exaggerated even to call to boycott Israel, they feel we are extremists when we call for that. Your ally, Your friend Israel, the “outpost of western civilization” is killing our children and you want the world to continue living in peace? enjoying life, while we die peacefully? silently? Humanity is dead!”

        link to fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net

        See link to:

        link to aboujahjah.org

        html.link to facebook.com

        Oh don’t worry cliffy if you don’t like what you read or see ,your little pal Shingo will be along shortly to hold your hand….

      • Cliff
        May 17, 2013, 6:04 am

        We know the PFLP committed terrorism.

        The point is whether Kanafani had something to do with the Lod Airport massacre.

      • Woody Tanaka
        May 17, 2013, 9:07 am

        “Aside from the Lod Airport massacre, the PFLP was responsible for numerous bloody terrorist attacks aimed at Israelis, Jews, and Western interests .”

        At least have the decency to mention the fact that the majority of the deceased at the airport were not israelis, were not Jews, but were Puerto Rican Christians who were caught up in the retaliation for the zionists crimes against the native Palestinians. But I guess to you zionists, the death of Christians can just be lumped together as “Western interests” and are not as important as the people you consider to be really worthy of noting, like “Israelis [and] Jews.”

      • jon s
        May 17, 2013, 11:59 am

        Woody, you’re right , I should have mentioned the Puerto Rican tourists murdered in the attack . Murdered, not “deceased”.

      • Taxi
        May 17, 2013, 3:35 pm

        miriam,

        Admit it – you’ve been secretly going to hasbara high and dumping your homework on us, haven’t you?

    • @WomanUnveiled
      May 17, 2013, 11:17 am

      Thank you Henry glad you enjoyed it. You’re right he was assassinated by Israel, should’ve specified.

      • @WomanUnveiled
        May 17, 2013, 2:23 pm

        At the same time who else would it have been?

  2. Stephen Shenfield
    May 15, 2013, 6:36 pm

    “Return to Haifa” is about a Palestinian couple who after 1967 are able to go back to what used to be their home in Haifa. They discover that the baby boy who they lost in the stampede to escape the Zionist forces during the Nakba has been adopted and raised as a Jew by the family now living in the house and is now serving in the IDF. I don’t know whether things like that happened in real life, but it is effective as a literary device. The message (as I understood it) is that who ends up in what role can be a matter of chance: identities are not predetermined.

  3. gamal
    May 15, 2013, 10:41 pm

    “Men in the Sun” is one of the great works of modern literature, following on from one of the epoch making Arabic works “The Black Sun” whose authors name escapes me right now, an Egyptian but the name is gone.

    Kanafani’s “Men in the Sun” captures the current state of the Arab masses in our world of tortuous Byzantine bureaucratic oppression and forgetful self immolation better than anything i can think of.

    Islam specifically sunnism now apparently sanctions cannibalism, thats faintly reminiscent of the willful western media misunderstanding of an idiomatic phrase used by one of Wasfi Tal’s assassins, Abba Eban made much of it, but now we have
    Abu Sakkar and one only hopes that the man he was filmed eating was slaughtered in the correct manner, and is thus Halal.

    Kanafani i think subscribed to Habash’s analysis that Palestine could not be free without a thorough going transformation of the Arab world, i think that goes for all of us everywhere now, well now we are free to eat each other, and people say no progress is being made, “The Arabs foremost in Hubris, foremost in Hypocrisy” cant argue with that, its scripture after all.

  4. Taxi
    May 16, 2013, 2:34 am

    For such a deeply emotional topic, it’s amazing how pedestrian this article is – the Nakba write-up reads cold like a yahoo listing. And the writer is also completely and utterly wrong in her analysis about Ghassan Kanafani.

    I should know. My parents were very good friends with Ghassan and his wife. I went to school with Kanafani’s kids. We rode the same school bus everyday. They lived four blocks from us. We were regular guests at each others’ houses and we sometimes had Sunday lunch family-outings together (I still have some grainy black and white pics). This was back in the late sixties/early seventies when my parents moved from USA to Lebanon for a few years because of my dad’s work. But back to my point regarding the article…

    One gets the sense after reading it that Ghassan Kanafani was pro 2 state solution. That he accepted european zionism’s illegitimate claims on Palestine. Now why is the writer creating this fake sympathy, this false linkage? Is she simply under-researched or is she a hasbara agent?

    Let’s be clear first, this here below is the essence of what Kanafani believed in:
    1- No zionism in Historic Palestine/Israel is a european invader.
    2- Liberation of the WHOLE of Historic Palestine through the armed struggle, partially guided by the Palestinian cultural intelligentsia.

    “If there’s one thing Kanafani attempted to do through his works, it was to show the Jews and Palestinians that they were more similar than they knew”.
    What a clueless statement. Kanafani didn’t need to “attempt” anything. What he thought and wrote was focused and clear. He was anti israel regardless of it’s jewishness – israelis could be Buddhist or atheist and he’d still be against them as invaders of Palestine. He was a literary and secular warrior. He spoke of Palestinians versus zionists/israelis, not of Palestinians versus “Jews”. His audience was the oppressed Palestinian and other repressed Arabs of all religious persuasions – to “attempt” to show his audience commonality with “Jews”, as the article claims, is just utterly ridiculous. It’s undeniable that Gassan clearly understood his audience needed empowering, not pacifying. He was a populist after all. So why is the writer here presenting Kanafani as a wandering pacifist looking for commonality? What’s the writer’s agenda here?

    And why (like Henry Norr above remarked), why would the writer state in her last line that Kanafani was simply “assassinated”, without mentioning too who assassinated him and why? Why is she hiding israel’s bloody hands? WTF?!! Why did she exclude the most important piece of information? Her last line only needed two little extra words to present us with the whole truth: “assassinated” ‘BY ISRAEL’, she coulda EASILY added that! How ungenerous of the writer!

    And I take particular offense to this omission, having actually heard the car-bomb that killed Kanafani outside his residential building. Yes I remember that boom very clearly till this day. Any journalist worth their investigative salt would have also added that Kanafani’s niece was also killed in the car-bomb. Kanafani’s brother and niece had spent the night at his house and in the morning all three went to get into Ghassan’s car when the brother, last minute, realized that he’d forgotten his toothbrush and headed back into the building to fetch it – as the car exploded at his back.

    I mean, at this stage of dissecting this sham piece of writing, I’m wondering why the heck MW editors would publish such an amateur piece of liberal zionist propaganda disguised as Arab feminist writings. Why publish this thin piece of I-don’t-know-what to commemorate a grave and sombre occasion?

    I’m sorry guys to tell you that I don’t believe a single word ‘womenunvailed’ has to say about the mideast. And I also don’t believe a word about her purported identity. Woman “unvailed” should not be covering up their face with a black handkerchief in their public foto – symbolically or literally.

    This article is even worse than the last one she wrote. Probably the worst article Mondoweiss ever published.

    Mondo folks, this here is a small taste of what the REAL Kanafani thought about the Nakba, taken from his book, ‘Returning To Haifa’:
    “You should not have left Haifa. If that wasn’t possible, then no matter what it took, you should not have left an infant in its crib. And if that was also impossible, then you should have never stopped trying to return. You say that too was impossible? Twenty years have passed, sir! Twenty years! What did you do during that time to reclaim your son? If I were you I would’ve borne arms for that. Is there any stronger motive? You’re all weak! Weak! You’re bound by heavy chains of backwardness and paralysis! Don’t tell me you spent twenty years crying! Tears won’t bring back the missing or the lost. Tears won’t work miracles! All the tears in the world won’t carry a small boat holding two parents searching for their lost child. So you spent twenty years crying. That’s what you tell me now? Is this your dull, worn-out weapon?”

    Now if the above passage isn’t a call to righteous armed resistance, I don’t know what is. Kanafani has written hundreds of such passages. Please do explore his books – they are highly recommended gems.

    • Cliff
      May 16, 2013, 7:09 am

      Good post Taxi.

      One thing though, sometimes writers abruptly end a piece like this to emphasize the body of the article.

      Kind of like demonstrating the tragedy of someone’s passing. How it was literally cut short (by not going into the details of how). It’s a contrast between the part of the article about the guy’s life and the sentence about his death.

      Not saying that’s what the author of this article is doing, but I interpreted it that way.

      • Taxi
        May 16, 2013, 9:15 am

        Naah, it’s lazy amateur journalism with weird discombobulated intensions. It was more exciting to read my neighbor’s shopping list this morning.

    • jon s
      May 16, 2013, 1:57 pm

      More of what Taxi calls “armed resistance” – and decent people call “terrorism” – will only mean more misery and bloodshed for all the peoples of the region.

      • eljay
        May 16, 2013, 3:16 pm

        >> More of what Taxi calls “armed resistance” – and decent people call “terrorism” – will only mean more misery and bloodshed for all the peoples of the region.

        Wow. You could not have shown your hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist colours any more clearly than you just did.

        So, what – other than continue to steal, colonize, destroy, hate and kill – will the oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” do to defuse the possibility of armed resistance (yeah, I’m an “indecent person”) against it?

        That’s what I thought. Aggressor-victimhood is a tough gig… :-(

      • Taxi
        May 16, 2013, 3:24 pm

        How dare the occupied use the gun against their brutal occupier?! How ‘indecent’ of the natives!

        ‘Oh the savages the savages, they’ll destroy our colony and beyond!’

        Well here’s some biblical corn-cheeze you can chew on while you’re tuning your violin, jon s: You Reap What You Sow.

        It’ll never be: You Reap What Taxi Sow.

      • Taxi
        May 16, 2013, 3:35 pm

        Wouldn’t we all like to have an occupation without resistance eh, but the world just don’t work that way. It never will.

      • Woody Tanaka
        May 16, 2013, 5:34 pm

        Go jump in a lake. when you zionist swear off the use of force in inflicting you ideology of hate and racism – zionism – on the Palestinians in their land, then maybe you get to call the expected retaliation against you for your crimes “terrorism.” Until then it’s just your community reaping what you’ve sown.

      • miriam6
        May 17, 2013, 4:08 am

        “Go jump in a lake. when you zionist swear off the use of force in inflicting you ideology of hate and racism – zionism – on the Palestinians in their land, then maybe you get to call the expected retaliation against you for your crimes “terrorism.” Until then it’s just your community reaping what you’ve sown.”

        Woody, taxi.

        I suppose you then you must then be FULLY ACCEPTING that 9/11 and Pearl harbour and the bombing of the Murrah building was a case of AMERICA reaping what IT has sown..

        Oh, and DO take a look at this;

        On Sept. 11, 2001 Dyab Abou Jahjah, a Lebanese-born naturalized Belgian, sat in a friend’s living room in Antwerp, listening raptly to radio reports as the World Trade Center collapsed in downtown Manhattan. While New Yorkers screamed in horror, fear and unimaginable grief, Jahjah “couldn’t hold” his joy. “Thank God,” he wrote in his autobiography, Between Two Worlds, “that we could live to see the day of America’s humiliation.”

        link to forbes.com

        link to forbes.com

        BTW oddly I find myself in agreement with Taxi about the fakeness of woman unveiled.

        I think its “Gay girl in Damascus” hoax revisited.

        Just some weird friendless dude in the West getting his kicks by pretending to be a fighting – her- oppression- Arabic – woman -type fraud.( how spicy!)

        Not that I would ever laugh out loud to see Mondoweiss FOOLED AGAIN!!

        (My god I would!)

      • Cliff
        May 17, 2013, 6:09 am

        @miriam

        Yes, blowback is very real.

        Israeli terror victims are still terror victims, but it’s not as if terrorism occurs in a vacuum.

        Israel still kills more civilians than all the Palestinian terrorists.

        NOT ONCE have you Zionist trolls made arguments that take that into account. Nor have you or the other troll, jon s, taking into account the on-going occupation, colonization and apartheid.

        Both of you are against BDS and only supportive of worthless and VAGUE (intentionally) Zionist memes like ‘getting back to the table’ (without preconditions, without a meaningful permanent settlement freeze, etc. etc. etc.)

        Palestinian terrorism is not evil incarnate, no matter what the gory details are – while simultaneously those gory details are indeed evil.

        Palestinian terrorism is the reaction to Jewish nationalism and colonialism. That is a FACT.

        And recognizing that fact does not mean we regard terrorists as freedom fighters.

        It simply means you are the bigger evil and your colonial project started this conflict AND perpetuates it – which in-turn breeds terrorism.

        Ditto for 9/11 (not Pearl Harbor, dunno why you included that idiotic analogy).

      • Taxi
        May 17, 2013, 6:55 am

        “My god” miriam you’re a desperate clutcher!

      • Ellen
        May 17, 2013, 9:03 am

        Miriam,

        Not that I would ever laugh out loud to see Mondoweiss FOOLED AGAIN!!
        Giving Woman unveiled a platform here, something was uncovered — transparently revealed, or unveiled one could say.

        Who was fooled?

        As they say, sometimes you just need to give ‘em a long line to step into their very own poop.

      • Woody Tanaka
        May 17, 2013, 9:45 am

        “I suppose you then you must then be FULLY ACCEPTING that 9/11 and Pearl harbour and the bombing of the Murrah building was a case of AMERICA reaping what IT has sown..”

        First, it’s Pearl Harbor. There is no “u” in Harbor. It’s a proper name. It’s also of no consequence in this conversation because it was a military assault on a military target. Further, while the real reason it will “live in infamy” was because a non-white nation had dared attack a white nation; the Japanese most likely intended that the attack be preceded by the notification to Hull that negotiations were at an end. So that’s irrelevant.

        Second, the Murrah building was a crime committed because a bunch of losers in the US disagreed with the manner in which the Federal Government carried out its legitimate police powers. Nothing is the equal here, because no actions by the zionist entity are legitimate, and they’re not police actions, but criminal terrorism against the native Palestinian population who are the sole legitimate occupants of the land. So that’s irrelevant.

        Third, yes, of course 9/11 was a case of America reaping what it had sown. Absolutely. It has caused far worse for far longer in the Arab and Islamic worlds that such an attack was utterly predictable.

        And as for Jahjah, only a fool would have expected someone from Lebanon — a people who’ve suffered so greatly at the hands of the demonic zionist beast to it’s south — not to feel satisfaction that the state which has supported the zionist beast that inflicted so much horror, fear and unimaginable grief on his own state would suffer a small taste of that which the US, through its vomitous proxy, has inflicted on Lebanon. (The only shame is that those who suffered were in NYC and not in Tel Aviv or West Jerusalem and were not those actually in control of the zionist entity which committed the crimes in the first place.)

        Really, what do you expect? The USA has done the devil’s work in every way it can to prop up the illegitimate occupiers who’ve made the lives of those in Palestine, Syria, and Lebanon a living hell over the last 50+ years. Are you so stupid, foolish or naive that you expect that he would feel affection for the US, who bankrolls and protects the zionist entity that has caused nothing but evil, death and destruction for generations?

      • MHughes976
        May 17, 2013, 4:45 pm

        There’s a lot of retaliation in all kinds of wars. I remember reading Churchill’s account of the Blitz on London and his reference to the subsequent bombing of Germany, visiting on the Germans what they had visited on us in ‘full measure, pressed down and running over’ – suitably biblical-sounding language about retaliation in deeply brutal form. I suppose most acts of terrorism and many of counter-terrorism are in retaliation for something bitterly resented by those the terrorists claim to represent. But then retaliation isn’t a moral category: it isn’t necessarily justified or unjustified. That depends on the full circumstances and on how the principles of justice apply to them.

      • libra
        May 19, 2013, 11:00 am

        miriam6: BTW oddly I find myself in agreement with Taxi about the fakeness of woman unveiled.

        I think its “Gay girl in Damascus” hoax revisited.

        Speaking of female fakers, what about that seemingly swivel-eyed woman posting long screeds of the most hackneyed hasbara here on Mondoweiss and then claiming she wasn’t a Zionist? We all nearly fell for that hoax.

        Oh, wait a moment. That was you, wasn’t it Miriam?

      • miriam6
        May 19, 2013, 7:29 pm

        Woody. you have the wrong end of the stick as usual.

        I could care less about the USA.

      • Cliff
        May 16, 2013, 5:35 pm

        Decent people?

        Who are these decent people?

        Zionist Jews and their supporters, who think a 50+ year long military occupation, colonialism, apartheid and disproportionate violence against a hostage civilian population is ‘counter-terrorism’.

        Violence is legitimate against tyrannies and Israel is pure tyranny. Tyranny that is draped in lies.

      • jon s
        May 17, 2013, 11:53 am

        Terrorists always claim to be “retaliating ” or avenging something or other. Whether it’s Timothy McVeigh or Mohammad Atta or Barukh Goldstein or Yahya Ayyash or the Tsarnaev brothers…In my view once they start killing innocent civilians they won’t get any sympathy or “understanding ” from me. I don’t care what their “message” was supposed to be.

      • Cliff
        May 18, 2013, 7:18 am

        Israel kills innocent civilians all the time and more often than Baruch Goldstein or Yahya Ayyash.

        Anyways, I’m not talking about terrorism. I’m talking about legitimate resistance to occupation, colonialism and apartheid.

        Palestinians have the right to use violence against the IDF and the Israeli government. Every day that Israel perpetuates the occupation/colonization/apartheid is violence against the Palestinians (torture, detention, kidnappings in the middle of the night for no reason, settler violence, constant ‘collateral damage’, trumped up charges against non-violent activists, ethnic cleansing, land theft, water theft, etc. etc.).

        Israel only exists because it subdues a civilian population, the indigenous population, with violence. Pervasive and institutionalized violence.

        You are a racist Jewish colonist so starting the timeline of events when Israel is attacked (as if these actions occur for no other reason than arbitrary Jew-hatred), is typical. Hence your straw-man about terrorism as if that is what I’m talking about.

        From your logic, no one under occupation or colonialism should resist their occupiers and colonizers.

        They should wait until a solution magically appears, since you also oppose the BDS tactic. Zionist Jews push the meme of ‘getting back to the negotiation table’ whilst they advocate Israel’s unique right to violence (because when Palestinians use violence it’s always terrorism and hypothetically terrorism).

        How about this simple question jon s, do you believe Palestinians have the right to use violence against the IDF and armed settlers? Or would the Palestinians be justified in fighting those two groups?

        Or is all violence illegitimate unless it’s the Jewish State utilizing it?

      • Woody Tanaka
        May 19, 2013, 9:23 pm

        “In my view once they start killing innocent civilians they won’t get any sympathy or ‘understanding’ from me.”

        Well, that raises the big question of when civilians are “innocent.” The Israeli people, as a whole, repeatedly elect governments which promulgate oppressive and inhumane conditions on the Palestinians (and they often do so when the parties vie for office promising how brutal they will be to the Palestinians [although they don't have the balls to actually say this...]). Are those people “innocent”?

      • Danaa
        May 19, 2013, 2:01 pm

        jon s – the ultimate concern prawl…. actually it’s a kind of a dance: clap twice to show you deeply care for the “misery and bloodshed” of the aw-so-not-Jewish followed by a jive to the right to symbolize the parallels between ‘resistance” and “terrorism”. The dance, I believe was invented in Algeria suffocating under the French colonizers. Or was it in Congo under the oh-so-civilized brit-rule?

        BTW, for those interested in dance moves, this dance also includes a couple of short hops to the left, with head turned to the right. I think we all know what that stands for. jon s does it pretty well, just not much stamina – whiplash is an ever present danger indeed.

      • RoHa
        May 19, 2013, 10:11 pm

        “Or was it in Congo under the oh-so-civilized brit-rule?”

        The Congo would have been lucky to suffer the oh-so-civilized brit-rule.

      • Bumblebye
        May 20, 2013, 10:34 am

        Danaa, Britain was guilty of plenty, but the Congo was Belgian! You can’t blame us for that one!

        As for jon s, he can remind us just how many times we’ve seen video where at least one Israeli soldier claims to be “at war” with the Palestinians in the West Bank. And mebbe he knows which well armed army Israel’s up against? All we’ve seen is sling and hand thrown stones, with the occasional molotov, in response to the provocation of theft (of homes, land, resources), abuse, denial of movement, assaults, home destruction, crop destruction, etc, etc. On and on and endlessly on.

    • irishmoses
      May 17, 2013, 9:13 pm

      Taxi,
      Your post inspired me to hear about Palestine’s history through Palestinian voices, fiction and non-fiction.

      I just ordered Kanifani’s Men in the Sun and Palestine’s Children. I also ordered I Saw Ramallah by Bargouti, and Wild Thorns by Khalifeh.

      I’m also looking at samples of Mornings in Jenin by Abulhawa, and The Lemon Tree by Tolan.

      I’d like to hear Taxi and others’ recommendations on these and other books about the Palestinian experience.

      • Taxi
        May 18, 2013, 2:29 pm

        irishmoses,

        Thanks. Yes, best (and more soulful) to get the story straight from the horse’s mouth.

    • miriam6
      May 20, 2013, 2:41 am

      *****************************************************Mondo folks, this here is a small taste of what the REAL Kanafani thought about the Nakba, taken from his book, ‘Returning To Haifa’:
      “You should not have left Haifa. If that wasn’t possible, then no matter what it took, you should not have left an infant in its crib. And if that was also impossible, then you should have never stopped trying to return. You say that too was impossible? Twenty years have passed, sir! Twenty years! What did you do during that time to reclaim your son? If I were you I would’ve borne arms for that. Is there any stronger motive? You’re all weak! Weak! You’re bound by heavy chains of backwardness and paralysis! Don’t tell me you spent twenty years crying! Tears won’t bring back the missing or the lost. Tears won’t work miracles! All the tears in the world won’t carry a small boat holding two parents searching for their lost child. So you spent twenty years crying. That’s what you tell me now? Is this your dull, worn-out weapon?”

      *****************************************************
      Typically Bloodthirsty Taxi claims this is a call to armed resistance in the present time.

      It isn’t.

      It’s about the author’s regret that his family didn’t fight hard enough for the homes his and other Palestinian families lived in 1948.

      Typical of Taxi though.

      Always wanting the Palestinians and Lebanese to fight to the last drop of THEIR blood.

      Not hers.

      “If there’s one thing Kanafani attempted to do through his works, it was to show the Jews and Palestinians that they were more similar than they knew”.
      *****************************************************
      “What a clueless statement. Kanafani didn’t need to “attempt” anything. What he thought and wrote was focused and clear. He was anti israel regardless of it’s jewishness – israelis could be Buddhist or atheist and he’d still be against them as invaders of Palestine. He was a literary and secular warrior. He spoke of Palestinians versus zionists/israelis, not of Palestinians versus “Jews”. His audience was the oppressed Palestinian and other repressed Arabs of all religious persuasions – to “attempt” to show his audience commonality with “Jews”, as the article claims, is just utterly ridiculous.”
      *****************************************************

      What Taxi REALLY means is that Taxi finds the very notion of Palestinian Arabs and Jews finding common-ground and a shared future as voiced by Kanafani SO threatening she / he must deny it’s very possibility…

      So in denial, instead Taxi claims;

      “What a clueless statement. Kanafani didn’t need to “attempt” anything. “

      • Taxi
        May 20, 2013, 7:25 am

        Oooooh and wooooow I’ve been soooo busted by miriam!

        LOL! Sorry Sherlock but you tickle my funnybone with every post – that’s the kinda effect you have on me now.

        Thanks for the laugh and Viva Palestina!

  5. Taxi
    May 17, 2013, 12:09 am

    What true-blooded Arab woman, who allegedly fully supports the Palestinian plight, would turn a sanguine resistor like Ghassan Kanafani into a kombaya crooner! Who do you think benefits from diluting Kanafani’s ardent message? One thing we know for sure: once a revolutionary’s message has been successfully diluted, they cease to be revolutionaries and their books and ideas soon lose appeal and lapse into dust.

    Lady (if you are a lady), what’s with the ‘@’ symbol before your “name”? What’s that about? Do please entertain us with a marvelous clever-clever anecdote ’bout how important it is for you to stay on top of the alphabetical ladder, the PR ladder, the ehm propaganda ladder. And why are you being afforded the luxury of calling yourself a “WomanUnveiled” anonymously but with veiled portrait – how does that work in your ‘chosen’ world? By jeebs you’re like a copycat of the writer of the ‘Syrian Lesbian’ hoax!

    Sorry to do this but I’m raising the alarm on this contributor. I must – it’s my duty. Not just for her highly suspicious modus operandum, her motivation to be here on MW, but also because she is such an atrocious writer too! She’s disseminating covert propaganda AND lowering the high literary standard of this site.

    Do something about this, investigate it – or else encourage her to come forward and answer some questions by this here commentator – others too if they’re so inclined.

    • Ellen
      May 17, 2013, 4:35 am

      Taxi, Thanks for your account here. Before reading your response to this piece written by “WomanUnveiled,” my Propaganda radar went off big time. Then I read your comment.

      In my experience (which is nothing in comparison to yours,) no woman (even a woman of western background) who was raised in Middle Eastern culture, or Jordan would ever refer to herself as a Middle Eastern gal that grew up in Jordan and has been able to explore the world from there. Gal?????

      Then there is classic propaganda device of trying to assure its readers that gee, he/she is just like you! We’re reminded that this unveiled woman is really a cool “gal.” She has camped in Petra, touched the sky at Burj Khalifa, driven through the streets of Riyadh (shhh), and partied the night away at Sky Bar in Beirut… All the stuff kids from the west do on the grand tour.

      Another Propaganda BS alert: the prominent use of the veil symbolism — the western cliche of all women from the ME, suffering repression behind a veil. But alas our gal is now liberated and living in NYC, — as her web site tells us — telling the world “the story of a woman who discovers herself. ”

      This gal, attempting to write on serious subjects is not a serious person. Then for a narcissist to write of Kanafani without context and end with meaningless platitudes of to show the Jews and Palestinians that they were more similar than they knew. Let us hope these similarities are realized and leveraged ….

      Drivel to divert.

      • Taxi
        May 17, 2013, 6:52 am

        Ellen,
        Don’t you think her biog reads like the travel list of a mosad agent too?

      • Ellen
        May 17, 2013, 8:58 am

        Taxi, yes also of a mossad agent — these are the typical well-to-do tourists destinations.

        Camping in Petra for the younger Western set, the trekkers, but clubbing at the Sky Bar Beirut and the Burj Khalifa are for those with access and money.

        Unveiled-whatever seems just to be a phony operative.

    • chocopie
      May 17, 2013, 6:49 am

      Good eye, Taxi. The blog and Facebook seem fake.

    • @WomanUnveiled
      May 17, 2013, 2:15 pm

      I commented below! Don’t know if you get a notification if it’s not a direct response to your comment

  6. Cliff
    May 17, 2013, 10:50 am

    Does Phil know who this anonymous author is? Not asking who, but whether the editors know.

    She reeks of ‘Draw Muhammed Day’/FEMEN ‘liberal’ interventionism.

    • Walid
      May 17, 2013, 4:57 pm

      A lot of unfairness being shown here because the word “Israel” was left out in the sentence about Kanafani being assassinated in Beirut. The thread went from being about Kanafani and the Nakba to becoming a witch hunt. I read through her blog and from its consistent anti-Israel content, she sure doesn’t sound like a hasbarist. Neither does her piece here about Kanafani that painted a very ugly picture of Israel’s continued oppression of the Palestinians.

      • Taxi
        May 18, 2013, 11:56 pm

        Walid,

        An ‘infiltrator’ will often use language that would be pleasant to the ear. It’s her cold cut&paste passage for the Nakba followed by a complete corruption of Kanafani’s philosophy that raises eyebrows here. She changed his message completely. Why, why why?! Is she just a ditzy amateur writer/researcher looking for her 15 minutes of fame? Or is she undercover?

        Either way, Walid, there’s something not quite right with her roll-outs.

        Not ONCE does she even use the word ‘isreal’ in her ‘Nakba’ piece. You don’t think that’s odd? How is the random reader to know that it was israel who is behind the “very ugly picture” of the Nakba and the assasination of Kanafani. It’s like talking about the holocaust but never once mentioning nazis were involved. What kinda journalism is this? Is it even journalism?

        Naah no “witch hunt”, Walid. Too many fundamental things wrong here that I ain’t buying. I don’t buy her words. Don’t buy her picture either.

        Don’t let the nuances pass you by.

      • Walid
        May 19, 2013, 2:23 pm

        Hi Taxi, this is more a question of inexperience on her part. So she flunked the class on Kanafani, but this does not make her a hasbarist. It’s good that you corrected the picture on Kanafani. It brings to mind the other Israeli assassination in 1987 in London of another great Palestinian, the political caricaturist Naji al-Ali. The creator of Handala had been given a break by Kanafani in 1961.

      • Taxi
        May 20, 2013, 12:15 am

        Walid,

        “So she flunked the class on Kanafani…”.
        Nice of you to defend the damsel in distress. But this ain’t ‘school’ buddy. This is grave history she’s tempering with – and whether by will or by ignorance, she most certainly deserves the criticism she got.

        “… this does not make her a hasbarist”.

        You don’t know that for sure of sure. And neither do I. But unlike you, I don’t easily dismiss either the puny or grand deceptions that zios base their existence on – be they veiled or ‘unveiled’ – especially when there’s a ‘method’ to the omissions practiced.

        Question is, are you gonna trust what she writes in her next article, considering what an utterly abysmal journalistic failure she’s exposed herself to be?

        Bigger question: are the MW editors gonna keep publishing articles by “flunked” amateurs?

      • Annie Robbins
        May 19, 2013, 12:30 am

        walid, i’m curious what you think of the veiled woman’s femen article, link to mondoweiss.net

        unlike the veiled woman, at least they have the courage if their convictions; they don’t hide their identity and just pretend or be unveiled (in name only).

        and have you read ‘FEMEN’ and the suppression of native voices by Roqayah Chamseddine? publish a few day later. now this is authentic, no question: link to mondoweiss.net

      • Walid
        May 19, 2013, 8:57 am

        Annie, read both and I agree that WU is somewhat amateurish but I wouldn’t go as far as branding her a phony or a hasbarist. Nothing wrong with hiding one’s identity since over 90% of those that post here remain somewhat anonymous for various reasons. Roqaya’s in a different league, authentic as you said, a pro journalist and probably serving as an insipiration to the unveiled woman; in time if given half a chance, she will be like Roqaya. Femen is a circus act but I’m 100% in favour of rights long overdue to women. I feel uncomfortable and annoyed around veiled women but I have to respect their choice. Today, there was a 10km women’s marathon race in Lebanon to bring attention to improving the rights of women.

        We never got an update on the legal case between Roqaya’s father and the IHOP.

  7. @WomanUnveiled
    May 17, 2013, 2:13 pm

    Wow I wasn’t expecting this many responses! Thank you to everyone who commented and read the article.

    My submissions to Mondoweiss grew out of a personal blog. The aim of my blog is to express my opinion on the subjects and topics that interest me, and that’s what I want the focus of my readers to be. Mondoweiss knows who I am and agreed to respect my privacy.

    @Taxi of course Israel assassinated Kanafani in Beirut! Who else would it have been anyway! Any omission of that was not intended to take away from his story.

    All I was trying to say in my post was that every year the Nakba is a moment in history anyone with even a remote connection or care for the Palestinian cause holds dear to their heart. I believe we can actually gain some inspiration from Kanafani’s works and use it to build on our hope for a future independent Palestinian state through a lasting peace. In no way do I dismiss injustices and atrocities committed by Israel.

    I hope you keep reading my posts! Follow me on Twitter @womanunveiled.

    • Taxi
      May 17, 2013, 3:13 pm

      I see you’ve decided to just swan around singing lalalalalalala like half the posts above critiquing you and your work just didn’t happen. Well I appreciate that, actually. Way better than wasting everyone’s time with your pretenses.

      So enjoy your “privacy”, dear.
      And your “Twitter”.
      And your precious ‘@BrandName’.
      Hope you’re paying poor Phil and Adam their cut
      For using their site as advertising billboard.

      • Inanna
        May 20, 2013, 8:31 am

        Well said Taxi. I admit when I read this I just thought this person was an amateur and wasn’t interested in engaging with her. But her response here, which side-stepped legitimate criticism about her misrepresentation of Kanafani as well as her avid self-promotion indicates that your (and Ellen’s points) are very fair. I hope MW thinks again before republishing anything by her.

    • Ellen
      May 18, 2013, 11:10 am

      @womanunveild build on our hope for a future independent Palestinian state through a lasting peace.

      What does a Middle Eastern gal think of 1S1p? One people, e pluribus unum?

      You know, the way it was before the Zionist gig. Really not too long ago?

      • Walid
        May 19, 2013, 1:52 pm

        “One people, e pluribus unum? You know, the way it was before the Zionist gig. Really not too long ago?
        (Ellen)

        It wasn’t like that. From over a hundred years back, both groups in Palestine were trying to grab it all by eliminating the other. Jewish nationalism with the zios came on the scene at the same time as Arab nationalism but the Jews were better organized or smarter at it.

      • Taxi
        May 20, 2013, 12:18 am

        “… the Jews were better organized or smarter at it. ”

        You mean more ‘desperate’ for it.

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