Mahmoud Darwish محمود درويش מחמוד דרוויש: Two strophes آيتين שני בתים


English, Arabic, Hebrew below:

O you who pass between fleeting words
From you the sword — from us the blood
From you steel and fire — from us our flesh
From you yet another tank — from us stones
From you tear gas — from us rain
Above us, as above you, are sky and air
So take your share of our blood — and be gone
Go to a dance party — and be gone
As for us, we have to water the martyrs’ flowers
As for us, we have to live as we see fit.

O you who pass between fleeting words
As bitter dust, go where you wish, but
Do not pass between us like flying insects
For we have work to do in our land:
We have wheat to grow which we water with our bodies’ dew
We have that which does not please you here:
Stones… or shame
So take the past, if you wish, to the antiquities market
And return the skeleton to the hoopoe, if you wish,
On a clay platter
We have that which does not please you: we have the future
And we have things to do in our land.

أيها المارون بين الكلمات العابرة
منكم السيف – ومنّا دمنا
منكم الفولاذ والنار- ومنّا لحمنا
منكم دبابة أخرى- ومنّا حجر
منكم قنبلة الغاز – ومنّا المطر
وعلينا ما عليكم من سماءٍ وهواء
فخذوا حصتكم من دمنا وانصرفوا
وادخلوا حفل عشاء راقص.. وانصرفوا
وعلينا، نحن، أن نحرس ورد الشهداء
وعلينا، نحن، أن نحيا كما نحن نشاء

أيها المارون بين الكلمات العابرة
كالغبار المرِّ مُرّوا أينما شئتم ولكن
لا تمرّوا بيننا
كالحشرات الطائرة
فلنا في أرضنا ما نعمل
ولنا قمحٌ نربيه ونسقيه ندى أجسادنا
ولنا ما ليس يرضيكم هنا
حجرٌ.. أو خجل
فخذوا الماضي، إذا شئتم إلى سوق التحف
وأعيدوا الهيكل العظمي للهدهد، إن شئتم
على صحن خزف
لنا ما ليس يرضيكم، لنا المستقبل
ولنا في أرضنا ما نعمل

הוי העוברים בין המילים החולפות
מכם החרב – ומאתנו הדם,
מכם פלדה ואש – ומאיתנו בשרנו,
מכם עוד טנק – ומאיתנו אבנים
מכם גז מדמיע – מאיתנו גשם
מעלינו, כמעליכם, שמים ואויר
אז קחו לכם את חלקכם של דמנו –
והסתלקו !
לכו למסיבת ריקודים – והסתלקו !
ואנו, עלינו להשקות את פרחי נרצחינו.
ואנו, עלינו לחיות כפי שנראה לנו.

הוי העוברים בין המילים החולפות
כאבק מר, לכו לאן שתרצו, אך
אל תעברו בינינו כחרקים מתעופפים
כי לנו יש עבודה לעשות בארצנו:
לנו חיטה לגדל ולהשקות עם טל גופינו
לנו מה שלא תרוו ממנו נחת פה:
אבנים… או בושה
אז קחו את העבר, אם תרצו, לשוק העתיקות
והחזירו לבולבול את השלד, אם תרצו,
על מגש של חימר
לנו יש מה שלא תרוו ממנו נחת: את העתיד
ולנו יש מה לעשות בארצנו.

[I’ve edited  here English & Hebrew translations I found online, using the knowledge & tools available to me. Any informed suggestions for changes or corrections will be welcomed.]

כשאין בעברית-ישראלית מילים למילים המדייקות יותר

נסיוני לתרגם הקדמה קצרה וקולעת באנגלית ששיתפתי (עם הדגשות שלי) אתמול – לחצו על התמונה כדי להגדיל

My attempt to translate a short & incisive intro in English that I shared (with my emphases) yesterday . A complex task: I note here – & ask what it says about Israeli-Hebrew – that there are no words in it for ‘colonist’ or ‘colonised’ – click on the pic to enlarge.


PINK & GREEN THE WORLD! #ForEqualityForAll&ForViableEcology!


Here’s the story of what sparked this meme (though it’s only part of a bigger story): my Facebook friend Rachel Elior posted a status that so far has received almost 100 comments & many more likes. I translate the first two paragraphs (readers of Hebrew can read the entire post & the comments here):

‘A question – What in your opinion is the connection between the occupation that has continued for fifty years in which one people oppresses another people in a process of colonization of millions of human beings who have no civil and political rights in the Occupied Territories, and the numerous acts of violence by men (with positions of authority and rank and connections and power) against women who have no power or connections, are dependent and subordinate – acts that in various circles are called rape, forbidden intercourse by force or by consent, rape by dint of superior rank, acts of sodomy. torture, breaking the body and the psyche of the raped female, debasing her dignity as a human being and objectifying her while turning her into a vessel or object for satisfying the uncontrollable lust of men?
A reflection: Is the inability to relate to other human beings as human beings and to respect their humanity, their sovereignty, their liberty and their dignity, the common denominator?’

As I said, there were many comments to this status. I commented too (my translation):
‘It’s good that you raised this good question, Rachel. In my opinion, the connection’s a tight one. The principle that really rules in human “society” in our world is the power of privilege & the privilege of power: might is right.
By the way, the “Israeli”-Jewish occupation of Palestine (EY) has continued for almost 70 years, since the implementation of Plan Dalet on April 1, 1948.’

A little later I added another comment:
‘To further point my earlier comment: this principle can be summed up in one word: conquest/occupation. The conqueror is always tight. The conqueror does as he lusts. The conqueror dictates the history. No?
& another comment that I found in my feed that connects with what sparked the question raised here: in Hebrew ; my translation: ‘Buchris may have raped a female soldier or ten, but on the other hand he murdered lots of Arabs – so the State takes that into consideration.’

One person replied to my first comment. Eliahu Galil (my translation):
‘A pity. Because in other places everything’s pink and the dignity of women is not violated.’

For those who may not know this “everything’s pink” is an Israeli-Hebrew idiom for “everything’s wonderful”.

I replied:
‘Eliahu – read well. You responded to two sentences as if they were one. No, The principle of the conquering/occupying power rules in our entire still-patriarchal world. & see my additional comment further on. But thanks for mentioning the color pink. I’m thinking that this should indeed be the color of our struggle for a truly egalitarian world – together with green, the color of the struggle for the continuation of life on our planet. Let’s develop this…’

So, here’s the first outcome…


Aya Zinati: “We Are Not In The Same Boat. A Letter to Israeli Feminists”

[My translation / Hebrew original below / מקור בעברית בהמשך]

To Israeli feminists and activists I say clearly and emphatically: No, we’re not in the same boat, and we’re not partners in the same struggle.

Such partnership is not possible because we don’t undergo the same oppression. We can’t be partners because you (and to be fair, I’ll say the crushing majority of you) don’t acknowledge the injustice of the Nakba and the oppression of the occupation that began in 1948, continued in 1967, and to this day.

This injustice and this oppression cannot be separated from what we’re undergoing today. We were expelled, murdered and raped in 1948 and in 1967 and the vast majority of you denied and continue to deny this fact, and whenever we bring it up you choose to abandon the struggle. For this reason it’s important to make clear that we, the Palestinian women living within the borders of the State of Israel, and also the Palestinian women living in the West Bank, Gaza, and in the Palestinian diaspora, have been conducting a single (although changing and developing) feminist-national struggle for many years, from back in the days of the British occupation and even before that. We have struggled against the Zionist occupation since 48, and at the same time we have conducted a struggle against the patriarchy that dominates in most of the strata of our Palestinian society. We do not need beside us Israeli women who are willing to “support” us in a way that is partial, conditional, limited and stuttering. For how is it possible to champion values of feminism and equality, but not to acknowledge and not to be willing to speak about oppression and occupation? I need to note that a very few of you are indeed willing to speak about the occupation, and particularly about the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza since 1967, but those voices dissolve under the majority of you who aren’t willing to speak about this at all. How can a settler-woman in a house and on land that she has stolen from another Palestinian woman and family expect us to sit at a table and speak about partnership and women’s rights? It’s impossible, period. A Palestinian woman who participates in such a discourse places herself from the outset in a weak and hypocritical position, and is perhaps unaware of the danger in such a discourse.

We are in two boats, and they’re essentially different. We, the Palestinian feminists, don’t need women who’ll preach morals to us, or tell us how we ought to conduct our struggle – just as you wouldn’t be willing to accept men who’ll tell you how to conduct your struggle. We know very well how to conduct ourselves, how to demand and obtain our rights, what to say and when! We know that our journey is very long and hard. It includes resistance to the occupation, resistance to the patriarchy, and resistance to women who think they’ll redeem us from oppression while they themselves take part in our oppression but don’t have the courage to acknowledge this. You want a shared and comfortable struggle, but we’re not comfortable at all with this equation, and in this struggle too we’ve decided to break the silence. We erred and were silent a lot, and there are those who are still silent, but the day will come when they too will reach the right conclusions. Once we thought that you’d take it in, that you’d understand, that you’d acknowledge, but to our regret nothing has changed, and to be truthful it isn’t worth the effort, when we find ourselves expressing and explaining our position again and again, and while every new Israeli women’s project that wants to work in partnership with us repeats your willingness to speak only on gender problems in society, your evasions of speaking in a truthful way about the price the occupation extorts from is, and your expectations that we’ll be willing to give up.


Palestinian women demonstrating outside the British High Commissioner’s HQ, 1929

The struggle being conducted by Palestinian women wasn’t born yesterday. Here are some historical facts you should know: the Palestinian feminist movement was born in 1893, when women demonstrated against the establishing of the first Zionist settlements in Palestine, on lands of Palestinian villages. Already at its outset this struggle was interwoven with the Palestinian national struggle. In 1904 the first Palestinian women’s NPO [non-profit organization] was formed. In 1910, Palestinian women in Jaffa set up an NPO for women’s empowerment, which among other things assisted women to study and to get an education. In 1917 women demonstrated against the Balfour Declaration. In the late 1920s many Palestinian women’s NFOs were formed. Some of these engaged in politics and in the Palestinian national project, others in health, education, economics, empowerment, and in advancing women on all levels. The first union of Palestinian women was formed in 1919, with the participation of women from many towns and villages, including Akka, Haifa, Jaffa, Nablus, etc. The first congress of Palestinian women took place in in 1929, with hundreds of women taking part. Many important congresses like it have been held since then, and continue to do so. Women participated in the Palestinian revolution and took part significantly in the uprising and the resistance, were part of the Palestinian army until 1948, and Palestinian women fighters were killed in the course of the fighting beside those women who were killed in their homes, in mosques they were hiding in from the shelling and the shooting, or while they were fleeing with the intention of returning one day. Palestinian feminist history is too long to detail in a short post, and these are only several details from it.
– Does any of you know it? Has any of you invested time in learning about it?

Since 48 the movement has undergone many changes: the messages, the goals, and of course the women themselves, have changed, but we’re proud to be daughters of this strong and empowering movement. We are another generation, and a generation is lacking, because many are not with us physically. Our partners in the struggle live in refugee camps in Arab countries after being expelled in the Nakba, others were expelled to the West Bank or Gaza and live there, in addition to the Palestinians who were already living in the part of Palestine that was occupied in 67. We wish for the moment when all Palestinian women will be able to return to their homes, to their lands, to their homeland, we wish for the moment when we’ll be able to work together without any barriers or limitations. For this too is a right that has been stolen from us, and you choose to deny this. We, Palestinian women, the majority of us, will always be here, in order to say this.

And from here I wonder, and today in a loud and proud voice, how is it possible to talk about feminism and to refuse to talk about the occupation since 48? How is it possible to talk about feminism and not to talk about the Palestinian women who were raped in 48? How is it possible to refuse to hear about cases of sexual harassment by men of the Border Police undergone since always and to this day by women activists during demonstrations and during interrogations? How is it possible to be a feminist and to champion values of freedom and equality, and to represent Palestinian women as weak, and Israeli women as saviors and not as occupiers? How is it possible to dare to demand of the Palestinian women that they put aside their national and political pain, so as to sail with them on a phoney journey of liberty that perpetuates the occupation? You keep repeating “Why drag everything back to the Nakba?”, and we keep declaring “Every day is Nakba” – of brave, strong women, who will change society, but in a different boat than yours, a boat that we have built, and we know where it’s heading.

Aya Zinati is a Palestinian feminist activist, residing in Lod, and a leading figure in the struggle against violence towards women in that city and in Palestinian society within the 48 boundaries

Here is the FB post with the Hebrew original , as shared by Miri Barak, who wrote: “A clear and strong voice. Every day is Nakba”.

וכאן הפוסט עם המקור בעברית