Zaytoun: draft 1
Still much missing but a beginning.
Zaytoun A manifesto for the nonviolent liberation of the palestinian people by the palestinian people
It is our belief that the end of the Israeli Occupation of Palestine can only come when the Palestinian people unite under a single banner of nonviolence. It is our goal to weave and plant this banner in the heart of the Palestinian nation and beckon the winds to keep the banner waving.
Our fathers’ fathers have grown up in chains and this nation has forgotten what it means to be free, the Palestinian people have died beside the Palestinian people prisoners in their own homes wrists and ankles shackled we would sink if not for the thickness of our earth, Palestine.
Growing up unfree, we have become overaccustomed to the current habit of conflict, a habit that tears holes in our homes, leaving beds empty, and has taken our brothers from beside us and put them behind bars of glass in picture frames where they will live forever after. We have allowed ourselves to accept the methodologies of our enemy and have allowed their weapons to become our weapons.
In chains, we have learned to hate.
In jails, we have learned to anger.
In fear, we have listened to the raining of bullets and the snowing of missiles, the thunder of tanks and the weathers of violence, and conflated them with victory for they were in the hands of our oppressors.
But we have made a great error, for we have confused our enemies with the innocent and have unwittingly surrendered ourselves to harvesting hate for a machine of violence. We have each of us become farmers in the pastures of our souls, planting blood and feeding its fruit to a tireless machine, a worship of hate. It is this machine that we must fight, not its puppets.
When we allow ourselves to hate, we feed a conflict that feeds on our hate, we make it impossible for our people to liberate themselves. For our freedom can only come when the Palestinian people unite under a desire to end conflict, not persist it. When we use violence we call violence upon ourselves and justify a hate that desires the death of all man, a hate that seeks to make us forget that our enemies are human, a hate that seeks to make our enemies for that we are human.
It is our belief that the liberation of our people will come when we DECIDE no longer to be occupied, for in submitting to the dialogue of violence we are implicitly supporting the reign of the occupation over us. It is our belief that we must use the only true resource left the Palestinian people: our bodies and our wills. We must force the Israeli people to recognize that they have been fooled into thinking that we are unlike them in our bodies and our hearts. We must force the world to remember that the Palestinian people are.
Our methodology is clear:
As a people, we cannot let the Occupation allow us to give up, for that is its goal. To rob us of hope and to convince us that because we do not have as many weapons of violence as our enemy, we cannot win. After years of unsuccessful combat, those of our fathers and mothers and grandfathers and grandmothers who still live have allowed themselves to believe that the occupation cannot end. But that is because they fight an illusion and have had no true enemy. Our enemy is not Israel, it is the power of hate that has taught Israel to dehumanize us and consider us their enemy. And we must fight that power by choosing.
The Palestinian people must choose no longer to live under Occupation.
The Palestinian people must choose no longer to live a life of illusory stability, for the longer we wait to stop the machine, the closer we come to the complete disappearance of the nation of Palestine and its people.
Our Methodology is clear. The Palestinian people must stop cooperating. The Palestinian people from Hebron to Nablus to Jenin, from olive tree to olive tree, must turn off their lights, turn off their cars, shut down their homes, and choose no longer to live under Occupation.
We must, for the first time in history, martyr the entirety of our people with nonviolence. We must forsake food and sight and touch and breath if need be to convince the Israeli people and the world that the Palestinian people are. We must take the power back from the leaders of Palestine and the leaders of Israel who have become as slaves to the machine of violence, voices of hate, and liberate ourselves.
Palestine, we must turn of our lights and turn off our cars and open our doors and open the roofs of our homes to the sky. We must stand unblinking and let the light and air of Allah breathe through us and clear from us the black exhaust that we have breathed in. We must no longer trust to a single voice or a single means to achieve our freedom while we go about our days ignoring the occupation and implicitly supporting our enslavement and the enslavement of our families. We must instead, each and every last one of us fight with our two eyes that were given to us by god. With our two ears that were given to us by god. With our two legs that were given to us by god. With our two arms that were given to us by god open wide and empty palmed and eager not to kill but to emancipate.
Palestine, we will crowd the open air and we will become as a great mass of man and woman and child and when they raise their guns to us we will raise our open arms to them and some of us will die because they will know us only for our violence. But they cannot kill all of us, and we will drown them in a reminder: We are Palestine, we are not terrorists and animals. When your government tells you that we die you cheer because you have forgotten that we breathe. You have forgotten that we love our children also. You have forgotten that we hunger, We are palestine, we are not terrorists and animals.
Palestine, do not be tired by years of defeat, but recognize that they are evidence in the ineffectiveness of violence and the need for Zaytoun.
When they raise their guns and shoot us in our peace the world will watch and they will see the justness of our cause, and the Israelis will see the injustice of their governments and they will remember that we are also a people. But we must lead. We must be the first to remember that they too love and hate and hunger and thirst, for there is nothing left for us. Our land is being stolen and our mothers and fathers are becoming tired and the violence of our leaders further endangers our people and our cause, making us into terrorists for the world to continue to condemn and hate. We must be the first to remember and the last to forget that we all of us are filled with oceans of blood and our hearts are as the reflections of the stars on its surface, our dreams the clouds.
There must be one goal and one goal only: the end of the causes of the occupation, the silent, systematic dismantlement of our homeland, and the destruction of the Palestinian people. We must stop relying on others to fight for us, hoping that things will solve themselves. We must unite and liberate now.
We must remember and force them to remember that we have been lied to by the power of hate and violence, and that our bodies are a surface of pain and pleasure and we will use this surface as the only tool we have left.
This is greater than a movement or a political party or an organization, this is a call to prayer for the future. This is a call to prayer for our children and our families and the memories of our forefathers. This is a call for the collective action of every Palestinian to choose, instantly and perfectly, not to be occupied. Not to be occupied by Israel, not to be occupied by hate, not to be occupied by violence.
God will care for us in our travail, and the people of the world will see us for what we are: the hungry, the thirsty, the forgotten. We are, let us make sure they can never again forget.