Forget everything you learned about negotiations, forget how you used to “negotiate” with your sibling for the last piece of cake, or with your parents for an increase in your pocket money, or with your friends for a spin in their new car or with your co-workers for relieving you of that annoying report you had to write. Forget everything you read about negotiations, forget about countries negotiating to close a “peace deal”, forget about colonizers negotiating “who gets what” of the natural resources of colonized countries, forget about international firms “negotiating” the destruction of local businesses. Forget all that. For we, the representatives of the Palestinian people, the representatives installed by no other than the “world police” aka the US … we, the representatives backed by no other than the “defender of democracies and free elections” aka the EU … we, the representatives in the service of the “light unto nations”, “the oasis of democracy and peace” aka Israel … we, the guards of the revolution, the makers of the storm, the liberators … are proud to present to you the new rules of negotiations; rules that will guarantee those among you suffering from presence of a conscience a quick heart attack, and the ones suffering from lack of a conscience a bank account in Switzerland, a villa in the south of France and a VIP card for a non-stop at Israeli checkpoints. Well, let’s say for a not-so-often stop at Israeli checkpoints.
If your partner in peace and negotiations demands that you give up your claim to 80% of your historic homeland, just nod and say: no problem. If your partner in peace and negotiations then demands that you give up your claim to 20% of the 20% of what is left to you of your historic homeland, just nod and say: no problem. If your partner in peace and negotiations further demands that you give up your claim to 60% of the 20% of what is left to you of your historic home, just nod and say: no problem, want more? And if the people, whose rights you were installed to sell out, are furious, if they denounce what you are doing, demand you go to hell and announce that you have no right whatsoever to negotiate away their homeland, then – in a furious voice and with an angry face – deny their accusations, accuse them of listening to outside forces and tell them that they don’t love Palestine as much as you do… and if they still don’t believe you, just whine a little bit, tell them some poem about a storm that will liberate Palestine and make it clear to them that the aim of all these negotiations is to liberate Palestine, but don’t tell them what “Palestine” you mean. Tell them that the aim of all these negotiations is to liberate Jerusalem, but don’t tell them what “Jerusalem” you are talking about. And if they insist, tell them the aim is to liberate Al-Manarah, to liberate Al-Midbaseh, to liberate the noble Muqata’a and the few bits here and there. If they still don’t get it, send your American trained, European financed, and Israeli approved militias to make them see the light.
If your partner in peace and negotiations informs you that they will continue building homes for the Zionist colonists they are importing from Europe, Asia, Africa, America, the North Pole and Mars and will continue planting them on your land, the land you are supposedly negotiating to “liberate”, just nod and assure them it’s really no big deal. Show them your good will and that you are sincere in your pursuit for peace by giving up vast parts of Jerusalem, Nablus and Hebron, tell them they can keep the colonies, for you are going to build new cities in Duwwar Is-Sa’a and in Baba Il-Zqaq. And don’t forget to give them the bill because everything has its price; the piece of land you are “negotiating” over, the olive field you are “negotiating” over, the stone you are “negotiating” over and even the grain of soil you are “negotiating” over. Don’t bother with those whose land will be confiscated, just appear on TV or give interviews and threaten your partner in peace and negotiations with indirect talks and if they still refuse to stop the settlement activity, threaten them with secret talks and more concessions. And if your people denounce your inactions in the face of land theft, if they denounce your collaboration with the occupier and your betrayal of their rights, if they denounce your love affair with the negotiations with their oppressor, if they cry out: our land, our homes, our rights … just tell them it’s alright because once negotiations are finally concluded – don’t mention that the possibility of this ever happening is actually 0% – and when we are finally allowed our own tiny bit of a state somewhere on planet earth, or better yet our own little cluster of disconnected islands, we shall build better residential areas, grandiose ones for you, so don’t cry over a piece of land, or over an olive field or over a 1000 year old home. Tell them you will give them new modern 2-bedroom apartments in return, overlooking dump sites of Israeli colonies. What more could a person wish for? And until that day when our tiny bit of a state is born, those kicked out of their homes can enjoy sleeping in tents under the blue sky, enjoy outdoor camping, life in the wilderness and remember the good old days of the Nakba when the majority of their people were expelled from their homes and lived in tents. It’s a good way to connect, explain to them, to experience the Nakba over and over and over again. And if they point to one of your villas, just tell them it is your hard work, has nothing to do with what part of Palestine you sold or what Palestinian right you relinquished. Tell them it is just money you found in a well, a magic well called: negotiations.
If your partner in peace and negotiations demands that you recognize their entity, the one that was built on the bodies on your parents and grandparents, just nod and sign the papers without hesitation. It doesn’t matter that with your signature you are giving up over 80% of your historic land, it doesn’t matter that you are acknowledging a terror entity build on the blood of the people you claim to represent. Nothing matters as long as you keep repeating: Negotiations, negotiations, negotiations are the way to get ourselves a state. And if your partner in peace and negotiations goes one step further and demands that you recognize their entity as a “Jewish” one, just nod and say: why not! It’s not our business what they call themselves, it’s their internal issue, and even when they keep interfering in our internal issues and keep dictating our internal policies, we won’t interfere in their internal issues, so are the orders. Don’t give a damn about your people who are steadfast in the face of tyranny, racism and terror since 1948, for you have other uses for them; you will exchange them later for Jerusalem and get more people to enjoy oppressing. And don’t be disappointed at all if despite all your recognition of the “noble, democratic, Jewish, moral” Zionist entity, that despite all your concessions, your partner in peace and negotiations still refuses to recognize your one-day-in-the-far-away-future-to-be “state” … don’t be disappointed at all if despite all your concessions, your partner in peace and negotiations still refuses to recognize any of your rights except the right to be their slaves and killing target … still refuses to even recognize your right to exist as a people. Don’t be disappointed, don’t worry, don’t be bothered, just negotiate.
If your partner in peace and negotiations demands that you renounce your right to defend yourself, the legitimate right of every occupied nation, hurry up and change your national charter. And if that is not enough, hurry up and rewrite the history of your people, redraw the geographies of your homeland, introduce new curricula for Palestinian children teaching them of a state to be called Palestinian; a ghetto, a semi-state, a petite Palestine minus Haifa, Yaffa, Akka and Ar-Ramleh, minus Jerusalem and Al-Jalil, minus all that is between Ramallah and Bethlehem and Nablus, minus the lands and the valleys and the hilltops, minus the destroyed villages and the stolen fields and the dried up water-wells, a Palestinian state minus 80% of Palestine. Introduce new curricula for Palestinian children teaching them of a history to be called “modern Palestinian history”; rewrite the history of an ancient people who were for thousands of years one with the land that gave them their name, introduce a history minus Deir Yasin, Kufr Qasim and Ad-Dawayma, minus Mohammad Jamjoum, Fouad Hjazi and Ata Az-Zir, minus Ghassan Kanafani and Naji Al-Ali, minus Dala Al-Mughrabi and Mohammad Al-Aswad and Yahia Ayyash and all those who wrote the word Palestine with their blood, minus Dal’ouna and Ataba, minus Mish’al and Jafra, minus the old city of Jerusalem, Nazareth, Beisan, Akka, Ras Il-Naqurah and Im Il-Rishrash. And after you delete one historic Palestinian national constant after the other, and after you erase the names of hundreds of Palestinian villages and the names of thousands of martyrs, and after you denounce every Palestinian revolt, every Intifada and every protest, after doing all this and more your partner in peace and negotiations still demands that you punish your people for dreaming of freedom, for wanting a just peace, while your partner in peace and negotiations continues to sing of terrorism and continues oppressing your people, massacring them and honouring war criminals, just nod and ask for the price, because negotiations is but a business.
And if your people cry out in anger tell them that resistance is not good for their health, tell them oppression makes them strong, makes their children strong, teaches them to withstand hunger and pain and loss so they may be prepared for the loss of what has remained of Palestine. Don’t make the mistake of asking your people for their opinion, for what do they know about negotiations? What do they know about real “resistance”? To insist on negotiating when the whole world thinks you are a fool for doing so is the true “resistance”. To insist on negotiating while your partner in negotiations is killing your people, stealing your land and spitting in your face is the true “resistance”. Tell them, assure them, convince them, with force if necessary, that you will continue to carry the burden and negotiate on their behalf, for you don’t do it for yourselves; no, you do it for the new state to come, for the multi-dollar businesses you and your partners in peace and negotiations will be running, for the “few” extra millions in certain bank accounts, for the new exquisite villas in newly build luxury neighbourhoods, for those who believe in negotiations as the road to “liberate Palestine” and swore to die negotiating.
If your partner in peace and negotiations keeps repeating Jerusalem is one and theirs, if your partner in peace and negotiations keeps repeating Jerusalem will never be divided and demands that you forget Jerusalem, that you wipe it out of your vocabulary, that you wipe it off your map and out of your people’s memory, just sign a secret agreement and agree to their demands and change the maps, the names and the history, delete the ancient Quds with its old city, with its old wall, its Salah Iddin Street, its Musrara, Wadi Il-Joz, Silwan, Ras Il-Amoud … and rename Abu Dees and Al-Izariyyeh as Al-Quds, for what difference does it make if you present your people with a new modified Jerusalem; one consisting of a few towns and villages outside the old city walls and renamed as Al-Quds? And while doing that continue the work on preparing your new capital: Ramallah with its noble Muqata’a, continue making it a Palestinian Paris or Dubai, an oasis in the midst of overcrowded refugee camps, poverty-stricken villages, destroyed fields, illegal colonies. And don’t forget to tell your people: we will never give up on Al-Quds, we will liberate Al-Quds. And whatever you say, don’t mention that you already agreed to turn a blind eye to the Judaization and ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem, act blind and deaf when European and American colonists occupy Palestinians land, when they attack Al-Aqsa, when they demolish Palestinian homes and when they expel Palestinians from the city. And when your people object, denounce your schemes and shout: Jerusalem is one, Jerusalem is ours, Jerusalem is not a number of suburbs outside the old city walls, hold up conferences and give talks and confirm the right of Palestinians to the tiny part of Jerusalem that is termed “East Jerusalem”. Stamp on the table and stress that you will rather die that give up Al-Aqsa and the old city. Don’t bother much with people’s anger, outrage and indignation, for they are too busy defending themselves from daily Israeli attacks to understand that it is Abu Dees ash-Sharif the new Al-Quds, that the huge parliament building was built there for a reason, that the agreement was signed early on, and the exchange was made early on; an exchange agreed on in secret and denounced in public!
If your partner in peace and negotiations orders you to be blind, deaf and mute while they bomb refugee camps, raid villages and besiege cities, just obey orders. If your partner in peace and negotiations orders you to leave your posts and become invisible while they massacre your people, kidnap children from their homes and beat women at checkpoints, just pretend you were called to conduct operations in another area. If your partner in peace and negotiations orders you to do their dirty job for them and oppress your people, just lend them a hand and relieve their terrorist army of some of the countless military oppression operation. If your partner in peace and negotiations demands that you denounce your own brothers and sisters and oppress them, just provoke a conflict and point to your brothers and sister of other political affiliations and accuse them of being the ones behind the occupation, of being the oppressors, of being the enemy. And if the people you claim to represent condemn you for joining hands with the enemy against your own people, tell them you are joining hands with the “light unto nations”, with Gods own “chosen people” against the “violent people”, against “radicals from the right, the left, the east and the west”, against “despicable terrorists”, against Palestinian Muslims, against Palestinian Christians, against Palestinian Jews, against Palestinian leftists, against Palestinian atheists, against every Palestinian who is against you and your negotiations and your concessions, against the people of Palestine. And if your people still don’t get it, cut off their salaries, let them hunger, isn’t it their fault for defying you and not consenting to the concessions you are making on their behalf? Torture them and detain their mothers and sisters, let them rot in cells, and when they are released ask your partner in peace and negotiations to kidnap them and complete the joined work. And when you face trouble controlling the angry people, just ask your partner in peace and negotiations to send their undercover terrorists to subdue your people, to massacre them while in their beds, to blow up their homes over their heads, but don’t forget to disappear from the scene before action takes place so you “denounce” it later. That’s cooperation and good partnership. That’s what a partner in peace and negotiations is for!
And whatever cries of rage you hear from the people you are supposedly representing, whatever cries of anger you hear from the people on whose behalf you are carrying out the charade of negotiations, in whose name you are collecting money in donor conferences and stacking it in your bank account and on whose behalf you are building a stadium and a casino in exchange for giving up the old city of Jerusalem … Just don’t listen, don’t care and don’t bother … Just negotiate, negotiate, negotiate till “Negotiation” itself packs and leaves you with your partner in crime.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian