Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts
Volume 2, Number 14 May 12 - 18, 2002 Quezon City, Philippines
We Have Become Suicide Bombers
few weeks ago I said that the struggle of Palestinians today is how not to
become a bomb and that the amazing thing is not the occurrence of the suicide
bombing, rather the rarity of them.
BBC interviewer appeared to understand. I was shocked because it is our
understanding that the world out there will never understand. And who on earth
in their right mind would understand terror and the killing of innocent people?
Why do Palestinians kill themselves and Israelis in such an horrific way at the
bus stop or in a crowded market? Do you really care to know? Well, let me try
believe it is an act of absolute despair and a very serious stage of the
seemingly perpetual conflict. Since the uprooting of the Palestinians in 1948
triggered by Irgun Jewish terror under the leadership of Yitzak Shamir and
Menachem Begin, we have tried every thing. We have tried Nasser and Arab
Nationalism, only to be invaded in 1956 in our second homes in the refugee
camps. It was only because of the Russian threat to bomb London and Paris, and
the resolve of American president Eisenhower that ended the Israeli occupation.
have tried the United Nations and its Security Council, which by the way have
made excellent resolutions on our behalf. For example Resolution 194 calling on
Israel to allow us to return to our homeland, but to no avail. So we kept
wandering around, between airports and refugee camps, waiting for a hero or an
earthquake. All we wanted was to go home. But our story was getting worse and we
grew bitter as we heard that a Jew from Poland would be declared a citizen of
our country - a country now called Israel. We were told that officially we were
stateless with undefined nationality. So we went to universities. We believed
then that Jews were so clever because they were educated. We were told that Jews
controlled the world with their education. They are doctors, lawyers and
scientists, never beggars or boxers. In twenty years many of us became
university graduates and we were in every university. We had some pride. Some of
our educated people formed the resistance movement. They believed that the Arab
countries would never fight Israel, and that we had to force them to fight.
Fatah with Yasser Arafat was born. They forced the Arabs to fight by inviting
Israel to attack Egypt in 1967. In the course of six days the Arabs were
defeated again but worse. This time we lost Gaza and the West Bank, Egypt lost
Sinai, and Syria lost the Golan. In a sudden stroke our fate was sealed and we
had to live under Israeli military occupation for thirty years. Do you know what
does it mean to live under Israeli military occupation? Do you really care to
know? Let me tell you a few things.
simply became the slaves of our enemy. We are building their homes on our
villages, and we clean their streets. Do you know what does it do to you when
you have to be the slave of your enemy in order to survive. No you will never
know how painful it is unless your country is occupied by another force. Only
then will you learn how to watch in silence pretending not to see the torture of
your friends and the humiliation of your father.
you know what it means for a child to see his father spat at and beaten before
his eyes by an Israeli soldier? Nobody knows what happened to our children. We
don't know ourselves except we observe that they lose respect for their fathers.
So they, our children, the children of the stone as they became known, tried the
Intifada - the Uprising. Seven long years our children were throwing stones and
being killed daily. Nearly all our young men were arrested, the majority were
tortured. All had to confess. The result was every one suspected that all people
were spies. So, we were exhausted, tormented and brutalised. What else could we
do to return to our home? We had almost forgotten that and all what we wanted
was to be left alone.
else could we try? Oh yes, peace. When the news came that Arafat had signed a
peace treaty in Washington we were jubilant. At last we thought we were to get
rid of that miserable life of military occupation, at last. So we had hope.
could not believe our eyes when there were no more curfews and we could actually
spend our evening on the beach or wander in streets which were now ours after
eight o'clock at night. We were ecstatic. We even had elections and we had a
parliament, so we were told.
came Binyamin Netanyahu.
refused to meet Arafat and was clearly forced to shake hands in obvious disgust.
He refused to free our prisoners, to have a safe passage for us to move between
the West Bank and Gaza. He even surrounded our towns and villages with his tanks
and arrested our policemen Then he went after our holy places and opened a
tunnel under our holiest Mosque. Tens of our children and also Israeli soldiers
were killed because of that tunnel, but he went on insulting us and driving out
called for patience and we were patient, then Netanyahu started to build
settlements in Jerusalem and drive the remaining Palestinians out. Settlers in
Hebron spat on our prophet and called him a pig. All in the name of peace we
were humiliated, even arrested and tortured by Palestinian forces to protect the
peace. Our Authority was turning against us to please Netanyahu. Our officials
were driving in big cars and building big villas. They have VIP cards and cross
the check posts like human beings while we are left to rot.
told you a few things. Now do you understand why we have turned into suicide