Chronicle of the Middle East and North Africa

My Problem with Israel is Purely Personal

israel problem
A Palestinian woman offers sweets to worshippers to celebrate the end of fighting between Israel and Hamas, during Friday prayers in Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque compound, the third holiest site of Islam, on May 21, 2021. AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP

Hakim Marzouki

My problem with the rulers of Israel is still personal before it is a problem of nationalism, class, race, or human rights. Why do their rockets and their gunfire prevent me from spending a pleasant day with children, family, and loved ones while exchanging congratulations and tasting Eid al-Fitr sweets?

If you want to support a humanitarian cause and contribute to publicizing it, make it a personal concern. Its people will be closer to you than anything, and you will get into a confrontation with its enemies as if you are carrying weapons on the field.

I saw the massacres and arrests of Gaza and Jerusalem in the eyes of the people and those who refrained from celebrating the Eid before I spotted it on TV screens. The food that I could not taste was bitter, and this is not the weakest of faith, but the strongest, as it nourishes and revives the memory that the rulers of the Israeli right wing won’t let it be forgotten and start a clean slate to the possibility of coexistence and peace.

He who sows hatred is not entitled to talk about the future of peace. What Israel does these days in the Palestinian territories is planting hatred and ugliness. It even fertilizes its soil with killing and forced displacement. What perspective will the region have, and how hearts will come together after this destruction?

Men of thought, literature and art are always the first to extend their hand and open their arms for love and peace. What opportunity did Israel leave to these defenceless people other than hypersensitivity and counter-attack against what they once thought to be the desired peace?

If Abu Al-Alaa Al-Ma’arri was a “double prisoner”, I am then a prisoner to three things: silence, anger, and the pen that writes letters and words. This is what’s on the mind of any Arab intellectual who once believed in the possibility of peace which has today become a miracle speaks.

What is the use of the finest symphonies before the roar of planes, missiles, and rockets? In the face of this massacre, men of art have come to admit that they have failed to avoid direct screams so that the enemy – as Mahmoud Darwish warned – bears responsibility for “the defect that will befall the aesthetic structure of the painting and the poem”.

The Israeli military machine does what it wants, simply because it is not ashamed of those who protected the Jews from the oppression of King Ferdinand’s armies, and even from the gas chambers and incinerators under Hitler’s rule.

Did we not tolerate them in all their plots against us? Did we not want to talk civilly to them to protect our children and theirs? Did we not tell them one day, “Take your share of our blood and leave?!”

Palestinians have become accustomed to ordeals. Israel plays with fire every time it revives the Arab memory through the killing and demolition machine. It reopens the wound and turns all this oppression into arrows in the Palestinian quiver. The Israeli right-wing culture adds fuel to the fire with more destruction and devastation.

Why was I forbidden from visiting my friends in Jerusalem and Ramallah under the pretext of “normalization”? This is what Israel also did to me before the outbidding of our Arab brothers.



The opinions expressed in this publication are those of our bloggers. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Fanack or its Board of Editors.

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