Alice in Holy-land


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Alice was falling up, then rising down,

With a quantum leap, transcending

Into a parallel universe

Were every thing is upside down,

And nothing is what it seems to be;

In a forgotten land, once called Palestine.

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In this land of wonders, Alice saw

Murderers get Nobel peace prizes,

Thieves are the guardians

Of peace and security,

War criminals are the law,

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In this land of faith, Alice saw

Strangers claiming that

God gave them every thing;

For they are the chosen

Above all others,

Despite the fact: most of them

Don’t even believe in God.

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In this land of pain, Alice saw

Olive trees uprooted for having roots in the past,

Farmers beaten for harvesting their crops,

Men shot for wanting to pray,

Women imprisoned for having a family,

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Children killed for going to school,

Babies gassed for… being.

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In this land of sorrow

Alice saw people in refugee camps;

With large rustic keys around their necks,

Gazing away in despair

At beautiful, invisible homes in the distance,

With no keyholes, no doors, not even walls.

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In this land of history

Alice saw signs for peace;

That only led to war and terror;

Road maps, but no roads;

Security zones, with no security;

Miles long checkpoints, where nothing is checked.

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In this land of paradox

Alice saw a queen of hearts

Leading an army with hearts of stone,

Yet Alice picked up stones

With tender hearts,

Stones with tongues

That can dance and even sing.

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I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think
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And through the rabbit hole

Alice came out again,

Disorientated and bewildered

Alice was in Holy-land

She went, she saw, she understood.

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When a dress becomes an act of Resistance


The Vibrant Colours of Palestine

When I was  young, I was fascinated by the beautiful dresses of my grandmothers, their intricate colourful embroidery, their comfort and modesty appealed to my taste. It became a ritual for me to “borrow” such dresses from both my grandmothers, whenever we went to visit. My happiest and most exciting were the times I would wear such a dress and run outside to play, or to walk to the apple and grape orchard of my grandfather.

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As I grew older, my fascination grew, to the delight of my grandmother, who was overjoyed to see one of her granddaughters taking a liking to something she likes and wearing her embroidered dresses and coin-decorated hat. Filled with pride and happiness and with her usual huge grin, she would always choose the best of her dresses and help me put it on.

Several years later, I was able to produce some of my own embroidered dresses, and wore them with passion.

Until one day, my sister  told me a story that made me not only want to wear my Palestinian dresses out of love for the artwork and the beauty they represent, but also for a totally different reason.

My sister who lives in Australia, told me that she was shopping one day, and was enthralled to find one of the shops displaying some of these Palestinian embroidered dresses and crafts.

She ran into the shop in utter joy and excitement. She told the shopkeeper how wonderful these pieces are, and was about to tell her that she is a Palestinian herself and this is her Homeland’s traditional costume.

But before my sister could say a word, the shopkeeper made a shockingly false statement: “oh, this is our “Israeli” traditional dress and embroidery” ! ! !

My sister was left gobsmacked, outraged and fuming with anger!

“These people have no decency

They have no shame

Not only that they ROBBED our Homeland,   waterbooks organs, trees,  stones, homes,  property, food and native dishes, including hummus and falafel, but even our embroidery and traditional dress.

A disparate gang of rootless, disconnected robbers who have NO homogeneous culture, so they invent one by stealing ours !!”

The theft of Palestine became the greatest robbery in the history of mankind, a robbery of millennia old heritage and the attempted destruction of a superbly refined  and peaceful agricultural culture.

Caressed with the same gentle hands that tended the land, painted with love and embroidered with tenderness, one stitch at a time, a visual poetry exquisitely echoing the vibrant breathtaking beauty of the landscape, my Palestinian dresses became since that day, more than the beautiful traditional dress of my grandmothers, they are no longer mere functional and durable garments;

 Since that day, wearing my Palestinian dress, became a Historic Statement to set the records straight.

My Palestinian dress became an act of RESISTANCE.

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When Talmudic Law is Put into Practice


Understanding the ideology which animates the occupier is crucial  for planning a strategy of Liberation of Palestine.

Talmudic ideological roots:

 “A gentile
who slays any soul, even a fetus in its mother’s womb, should be
executed in retribution for its death. Similarly, if he slew a person
who would have otherwise died in the near future, placed a person
before a lion, or starved a person to death, he should be executed for through one manner or other, he killed.

Similarly, one should be executed if he killed a pursuer when he could
have saved the latter’s potential victim by maiming one of the
pursuer’s limbs. These laws do not apply with regard to Jews.” ~~ Mishneh Torah, Chapter 9, Halacha 4

 “If there is a dispute between a Jew and an idolater: If the Jew will fare better according to their laws, they are judged according to their laws. When the judgement is rendered, the judges explain: ‘Your law obligates this judgement.’ If the Jew will fare better according to our laws, they are judged according to Torah law“.~~~ Mishneh Torah, Chapter 10, Halacha 12

Real life manifestation of this ideology amongst Jewish-Zionist settlers in occupied Palestine:

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Talmudic ideological roots:

 “Israel was commanded to fulfill three mitzvot upon entering the Promised Land:

a) To choose a king, as Deuteronomy 17:15 states: ‘Appoint a king over yourselves;’

b) To wipe out the descendents of Amalek, as Deuteronomy 25:19 states: ‘Erase the memory of Amalek;’

c) To build God’s Chosen House, as Deuteronomy 12:5 states: ‘Seek out His Presence and go there.'”

Mishneh Torah, Chapter 1, Halacha 1

Amalek’s seed should be annihilated before the construction of the Temple”   Mishneh Torah, Chapter 1, Halacha 2:

“It is a positive commandment to annihilate the seven nations who dwelled in Eretz Yisrael as Deuteronomy 20:17 states: ‘You shall utterly destroy them.’

Anyone who chances upon one of them and does not kill him violates a negative commandment as ibid.:16 states: ‘Do not allow a soul to live.’ The memory of them has already been obliterated.” Mishneh Torah, Chapter 5, Halacha 4

“If they do not agree to a peaceful settlement, or if they agree to a
peaceful settlement, but refuse to accept the seven mitzvot, war should be waged against them.

All males past majority should be killed. Their money and their children should be taken as spoil,
but neither women or children should be killed, as Deuteronomy 20:14
states: ‘But the women and the children… take as spoil.” ‘The
children’ refer to males below the age of majority.

The above applies to a milchemet hareshut fought with other nations. However, if either the seven nations or Amalek refuse to accept a peaceful settlement, not one soul of them may be left alive as ibid.
20:15-16 states: ‘Do this to all the cities that … are not the
cities of these nations. However, from the cities of these nations,… do not leave a soul alive.’ Similarly, in regard to Amalek, Deuteronomy 25:19 states: ‘Obliterate the memory of Amalek.'”

Mishneh Torah, Chapter 6, Halacha 4

“By the same regard, Moses was commanded by the Almighty to compel all the inhabitants of the world to accept the commandments given to Noah’s descendants.

If one does not accept these commands, he should be executed.”  Mishneh Torah, Chapter 8, Halacha 10



Real life manifestation of this ideology amongst Jewish-Zionist settlers in occupied Palestine:

Talmudic ideological roots:

“Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob”  ~~ The Book of Isaiah, Chapter 60:16

“If the enemy accepts the offer of peace and commits itself to the fulfillment of the seven mitzvot that were commanded to Noah’s descendents, none of them should be killed. Rather, they should be subjugated as ibid.:11 states:{slaves} ‘They shall be your subjects and serve you.’

“If
they agree to tribute, but do not accept subjugation or if they accept
subjugation, but do not agree to tribute, their offer should not be
heeded. They must accept both.”

“The subjugation they must accept consists of being on a lower level, scorned and humble. They must never raise their heads against Israel, but must remain subjugated under their rule. They may never be appointed over a Jew in any matter whatsoever.” ~~~ Chapter 6, Halacha 1
“For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.” ~~ The Book of Isaiah, 60:12
“The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee; The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.” ~~ The Book of Isaiah, 60:14

Real life manifestation of this ideology amongst Jewish-Zionist settlers in occupied Palestine:


here and  here

*******
Deluded they are if they believe they could wipe out Palestine
 

Deluded they are if they believe they could subjugate Palestinians 

Palestinians no longer represent a mere oppressed people struggling for survival
Palestinians have become the symbol of courage, determination, endurance and inspiration for every bullied individual and every oppressed nation
 Palestinians now are the holders of the torch of justice, freedom and dignity for the majority of humanity who are longing for egalitarian societies and seeking liberation from a predatory, oppressive ruthless minority of warmongering elite
 
Palestine is no longer a mere geographical location or a decaying historical chapter
Palestine now is an inspirational idea, a poignant narrative, a beautiful vision a passionate cause, and a moral concept that could never be destroyed
Vinoth Ramachandra

IFES Secretary for Dialogue and Social Engagement

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