When Zionism first emerged as an organized political movement in 1897 to solve the “Jewish problem” by “ingathering” the Jews of the world in a Jewish state in Palestine, it inevitably put itself on a collision course with an already existing society in Palestine. As Nehru once put it, the Zionist scheme neglected “one not unimportant fact...Palestine was not a wilderness or an empty, uninhabited place. It was already somebody else’s home.”1 This is indisputably the central fact about Palestinian-Israeli relations, and is indispensable to interpreting Palestinian attitudes toward Israel or Israeli behavior toward the Palestinian people.
To the Palestinians, the Zionists were European settlers who, through a process of invasion by immigration, dispossessed them of their country and turned them into a nation of refugees. On the other hand, “the fact of an overwhelming indigenous Arab majority confronted the Zionists with an imposing ethical problem.”2 It was primary witness to the fact that Zionist colonization of Palestine was of necessity an act of invasion. Menachem Begin once explained the consequences of this fact. When asked during a 1969 conference in the Israeli kibbutz of Ein Hahoresh about Israel’s refusal to recognize the existence of the Palestinians, Begin replied:
My friend, take care. When you recognize the concept of “Palestine,” you demolish your right to live in Ein Hahoresh. If this is Palestine and not the land of Israel, then you are conquerors and not tillers of the land. You are invaders. If this is Palestine, then it belongs to a people who lived here before you came. 3
Zionist success in the colonization of Palestine and the Judaization of the country hinged, among other things, on the propagation of the belief that no one would be victimized by the Zionist scheme. This, in turn, required that awareness of the Palestinian people be suppressed.
The Zionist movement disseminated several versions of the myth of Palestinian non-existence. The first was that Palestine was a country without people. From the beginning the Zionists adopted the slogan: “A land without people for a people without land.” There are indications that the Zionist movement intended that this slogan be accepted in its literal meaning. Even Max Nordau, the British Zionist leader, seemed to have been temporarily deceived by it. The famous Jewish philosopher Martin Buber related in his memoirs: “When Max Nordau, Herzl’s second in command, first received details on the existence of an Arab population in Palestine, he came shocked to Herzl exclaiming: ‘I never realized this--we are committing an injustice.’”
The Zionists’ need to convince the world that their scheme victimized no one required them to maintain the delusion that Palestine was a land without people. When they sought Gandhi’s endorsement of Zionism, their emissary brazenly asserted to him that “Palestine itself was a waste space when we went there... No one else wanted it.” 5 Even after the Zionists created their Jewish state they continued to insist that the Palestinians did not exist. “It was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them,” Golda Meir, Israel’s prime minister, said after the 1967 war. “They did not exist.” 6
The second variation of this Zionist myth about Palestinian non-existence downgraded the fact that the country was populated, when that fact could not be hidden altogether. When asked by an American journalist if he did not think that the Palestinians, like the Israelis, were entitled to a homeland, Israel’s former prime minister, Levi Eshkol, responded: “What are Palestinians? When I came here there were 250,000 non-Jews--mainly Arabs and Bedouins. It was desert-- more than underdeveloped. Nothing.” 7 Ben-Gurion confirmed the Zionist view that the indigenous Arab population in Palestine did not merit the status of a “people.” In 1969, the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz quoted him as saying:
I have always been careful to refer to “Arabs” when speaking of Palestine; I have always distinguished between rights of the Jewish people in Palestine and the rights of the Arabs who live in it; never the rights of Arab people in Palestine.
Menachem Begin’s mentor Jabotinsky described the Arabs as “a yelling rabble dressed up in gaudy, savage rags.” 8 Borochov, one of the foremost theoreticians of early Zionism, believed that the natives “lacked any culture of their own and did not have any outstanding national characteristics.” 9 As one interpreter of the Zionist mind put it:
The dehumanized image of the Palestinians which the Zionists developed and propagated was instrumental in displacing the moral issue and establishing an aura of legal justification around Zionist goals and activity. 10
The assertions that Palestine was a land without a people, a wasteland, and a cultural vacuum were ironic because Palestine is the home of one of the oldest human civilizations. Centuries before the first Hebrews settled in the country “Palestine gave birth to a unique culture...which seems to have been the earliest culture to produce on a large scale. In this period in Palestine, as far as we now know, the earliest permanent villages in the world were built.” 11 Palestine is “the only place in the world where a town is known to date back nine thousand years,” for Jericho is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, and it is “four thousand years older than any other urban settlement known at present.” 12
Yet the Zionists wanted the world community to perceive the Palestinians as they did: a non-people. The Anglo-American Committee of 1946, though highly supportive of Zionist aspirations, commented that “it is not unfair to say that the Jewish community in Palestine has never, as a community, faced the problem of cooperation with the Arabs. It is, for instance, significant that, in the Jewish Agency’s proposal for a Jewish State, the problem of handling a million and a quarter Arabs is dealt with in the vaguest of generalities.” 13 The first major breakthrough in this Zionist campaign against what Begin called “the concept of Palestine” came when the Balfour Declaration in 1917 called the Palestinian people, “the non-Jewish communities,” and by so doing relegated them to a peripheral status in Palestine, even at a time when they constituted more than 90 percent of the population.
Maxine Rodinson suggested that this Zionist tendency to downgrade Arab presence in Palestine and to adhere to such a “dehumanized image” of the Palestinian people was a product of the prevailing philosophy of the European world of the late 19th century which held that “every territory situated outside that world was considered empty--not of inhabitants of course, but constituting a kind of cultural vacuum, and therefore suitable for colonization.” 14
The Zionists knew (what later events were to prove) that the third world, where the Zionists intended to create their state, would refuse to condone the denial of self-determination to the people of Palestine. To counteract this, they tried to present Zionism as the national liberation movement of the Jewish people. Gandhi, who was aware of the Palestinian people and therefore saw the Zionist movement as a European colonial endeavor detrimental to the anti-colonial struggle of an Asian people, steadfastly resisted Zionist attempts to secure his endorsement by saying “you want to convert the Arab majority into a minority.” 15 Similarly, Nehru perceived Zionism to be on the wrong side of the anti-imperialist struggle, precisely because it was detrimental to the liberation struggle of the Palestinian people. The Zionists, Nehru wrote in 1942, “preferred to take sides with the foreign ruling power [Britain], and have thus helped it to keep back freedom from the majority of the people.” 16 Today, the universal support the Palestinians enjoy in the Third World is due to increasing awareness of the existence of an indigenous community struggling for self-determination. The inability of the Zionist movement to masquerade as a national liberation movement and, therefore, as an ally of oppressed peoples, proved to be the most resounding failure of Zionist-Israeli foreign policy.
One of the Zionists’ greatest fears has always been that the Jews themselves would refuse to be party to the oppression of the Palestinian people. Some Jews soon discovered that Zionism would make them an instrument for the dispossession and displacement of the Palestinian people. Ahad Ha-Am (Asher Ginsberg), one of the best-known Jewish literary figures in this century, was so disillusioned with Zionism that he said: “If this is the ‘Messiah,’ then I do not wish to see his coming.” 17 Ahad Ha-Am, who visited Palestine in the early 1920’s, discovered the existence of the Palestinians, and witnessed the beginnings of Zionist behavior toward the indigenous population. The early Jewish settlers, he said, “treat the Arabs with hostility and cruelty, deprive them of their rights, offend them without cause, and even boast of these deeds.” 18 He warned that political Zionism was perverting the ideals of Judaism and asked: “Is this the dream of a return to Zion which our people have dreamt for centuries: That we now come to Zion to stain its soil with innocent blood?” 19
Dr. Arthur Rupin, described by an Israeli writer as the “godfather” of Zionist colonization in Palestine, wrote in 1928: “it became clear to me how hard it is to realize Zionism in a way compatible with the demands of universal ethics. I was quite depressed.” 20
It took the 1967 war, however, to show a large number of Jews in and out of Palestine that Zionism did bring oppression and dispossession to a native population. Israelis were being called upon daily to quell riots, encircle schools, man checkpoints, fence confiscated land, demolish homes, arrest students, deport mayors, shoot down Palestinian flags, and otherwise control a population of more than a million and a half Palestinians under Israeli rule. Israelis began to see and to protest oppression against a captive civilian population. Some Israeli youths risked prison sentences for refusal to serve as soldiers of occupation. 21 In a meeting in the Israeli kibbutz of Ein Shemer on the first anniversary of the 1967 war, many participants expressed the ethical dilemma with which Zionism burdened the Jewish people. One participant indicated:
We live with the feeling that our historical revival, and the beautiful and just life that we might be able to establish here, will be built upon an injustice done to another people. Will it be in this way that we shall educate our children to ideals and justice? Will this be the basis of our existence? To know that we, and maybe our sons as well, are going to fight, and perhaps die for something which is built upon causing injustice? 22
The ability of the Zionist movement to create a Jewish state in a country populated with Palestinian Arabs required that it not only ignore, but also destroy a native society. Unlike other forms of settler colonialism, the Zionist goal of “ingathering” the “scattered Jewish nation” required the displacement, rather than just the exploitation, of the native population. Zionist settlers, therefore,
successfully blocked the development of a Palestinian comprador capitalism that might have offered some employment to the expropriated Palestinian peasants. The result was the development of a practically hermetically sealed Jewish society in the middle of a disintegrating Palestinian society. While the nature of “classical” colonialism is primarily to exploit, Zionist colonialism displaces and expels. 23
The expansion of the state of Israel in 1967 into new territory heavily populated by Palestinian Arabs required Israeli attitudes and behavior similar to those of the Zionist movement in the pre-state era. Again, Israel found itself “redeeming” for the Jewish people a land already inhabited by a native population. And now it seeks to overcome this obstacle by denying that this native population constitutes a national entity.
At the same time, the Israeli occupation authorities in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pursue policies designed to make these regions less and less suitable as potential sites for a Palestinian homeland. Increasing international opinion in favor of a Palestinian state in a part of Palestine is met with increasing Israeli determination to foreclose this option by re-doubled efforts to Judaize the occupied territories. Israel annexed Arab Jerusalem: it confiscated about 40 percent of the total area of the West Bank; it implanted more than 100 Jewish settlements; it siphoned off water resources; it expelled a large number of community leaders and potential leaders; it is forcing Arab cities and villages to connect into Israel’s electric grid and water network; it is subordinating Arab hospitals and health services to those in Israel--all in a race to abort the idea of Palestinian nationhood and to foreclose the possibility of Palestinian independence. In short, to undermine the concept of Palestine.24 An integral part of this strategy is the paralysis of Palestinian cultural life and the suppression of Palestinian expression in occupied Palestine.
Occupied Territories Experience Cultural Strangulation
In the whole sphere of cultural life, the Israeli occupation authorities are actively pursuing a policy to stifle the concept of Palestine as a part of its general war against Palestinian self-determination. Suleiman Mansour, a Palestinian artist living in the West Bank, wrote:
This occupation is not like other occupations. The Israelis say that there is no Palestinian people, that they came into a land without a people. Fine arts, literature and culture as a whole shows them that these are lies, that there is a people and that this people has a productive culture. 25
Another Palestinian from the occupied West Bank recently wrote:
Since the establishment of the Jewish state, Israel has carried out not only confiscation of Palestinian land, the source of our physical existence, but also confiscation of our culture, constituting the spiritual source of our life. Culture is our roots, a vital and essential side of the integrity of every people. Without it, we are deprived of our common identity as a national community. 26
Israel’s attack on the development and expression of Palestinian culture has covered the whole spectrum of cultural activity: education, journalism, literature, art, folklore, and even the symbolic representations of the Palestinian national personality.
Educational institutions in the occupied territories have been the main targets of Israeli repression. 27
Israel had acquired experience in this matter through the “de-Palestinization” of the Arabs who found themselves Israeli citizens in 1948. As Sabri Jiryis put it, Israel imposed a curriculum on its Arab citizens designed to isolate and estrange them from their culture and nation.28 Another Israeli Arab explained that although in Jewish literature classes the students read the fervently Zionist poetry of Bialik, in Arabic literature classes they were made to reach such works as A Description of the Earthquake which hit the Italian village of Messina in 1908.29 Arab students are taught Arab history in a way intended to “diminish national consciousness among the Arabs, to make them uncertain about their national affiliation” and in fact to make them ashamed of their heritage. “The history of the Arab peoples is falsified and represented as a series of revolutions, killings, feuds, plunderings and robberies.” 30
In the Arab territories occupied by Israel in 1967, similar manipulation of the educational process in Arab schools has been effected. In the Syrian Golan Heights [recently annexed by Israel], the Israeli Section of the War Resisters International reported that “the school curricula have been modified by the Israeli occupation authorities with the aim of tearing the minds and the hearts of the people away from their country, Syria. 31 The occupation authorities even decreed that Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, will replace Friday, the Moslem Sabbath, in the schools “in an attempt to alienate school children from the Syrian school heritage.” 32
In the West Bank and Gaza, comprehensive control of the school system is exercised by an Israeli military officer attached to the Military Governor. He controls budgets, appointments, curriculum, textbooks, and every aspect of the educational process. The main instrument of this control is censorship.
A member of a UNESCO team that visited the occupied territories late in 1977 reported that the Israeli censors of school textbooks concentrate on books dealing with literature, history, geography, and religious matters. The report indicated that in books dealing with history and geography one finds an almost systematic replacement of the term “Palestine” by “Israel.” 33
Israeli censorship of textbooks is so severe that often books approved by United Nations officials for use in UNESCO/UNRWA schools for refugee children are not allowed by the Israeli censors, even after they are purged of offensive references to Israel. According to a 1980 report by the Director-General of UNESCO, during the 1978-79 school year the Israeli censor confiscated 8 texts intended for use in West Bank elementary schools and 4 books for the preparatory stage in UNRWA schools. In the Gaza Strip, 9 books (out of a total of 27) for use in elementary schools were forbidden. For the preparatory cycle the score was 8 out of 21. 34
By 1971, or within four years of the start of the occupation, Israel was cited in six United Nations resolutions for preventing the importation of textbooks already cleared by the Director-General of UNESCO for use in UNRWA/UNESCO schools.
The UNESCO report also documented another type of miseducation. The team cited a geography textbook, printed by the education department in the military government of the West Bank in 1977, which contained a chapter on “The Kingdom of Libya,” years after Libya ceased to be a monarchy. The team concluded that “the censorship at present restricts the prospects of young Palestinians in the occupied territories by giving them a distorted image of their cultural heritage and making it impossible for them to have any access to the Arab world of today or the contemporary world in general.” 35 One member of the UNESCO team pointed out that:
the censorship manages to reject works of fundamental importance to the Arab cultural heritage (poets and prose writers of the second and third centuries of the Hegira, for example), to ban the works of Arab poets of the early twentieth century (I am thinking of the great poet Chawqi among others) on the grounds that they consti- tute incitations to violence, and to reject books concerned with world culture (I am thinking of a book on Paul Ce’zanne) on the pretext that they come from Syria or that they contain brief comments on events which took place in Palestine or the Middle East. One sentence is sometimes enough to condemn out of hand a book of obvious importance. 36
The most repellant manipulation of Palestinian education is the banning of a large number of books. An article in the Israeli newspaper, the Jerusalem Post, reported that 3,000 books have been banned by the Israeli censors. The spokesman for the Israeli army claimed that only 600 books have been banned, but he refused to present his list or explain the criteria used for determining whether or not a book is to be banned. It is more likely that the 3,000 figure is the correct one, since the list seen by the reporter was on Israeli army stationery and carried the seal of the military governor. 37
Often the banned books do not deal with politics or do so only in a peripheral manner. Among recent additions to the list is a group of 60 books which included such titles as The History of Jerusalem, Palestine Poetry and the Tragedy of Palestine, The Use of Sports, Training in War, The Islamic Dictionary, Changes in the Israeli Economy, Brief Look at Islamic Studies, and The Myth of Death and Resurrection in Modern Arabic Poetry.38
In December 1980, 40 professors from Hebrew University, concerned about cultural suppression of Palestinians under Israeli occupation and the restrictions on academic freedom in their educational institutions, established a committee to investigate Israeli practices. The Jerusalem Post reported that, according to observers, the eventual conclusions of the committee, “are likely to cause embarrassment to the Israeli military government.” 39 The committee is particularly concerned about the banning of 3,000 books which include such titles as Alan Moorhead’s The White Nile and The Blue Nile; biographies of Abraham Lincoln and Alexander the Great, plays by Sophocles, Emotions and The Gods of Previous Lands, by Khalil Gibran. The list also includes Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice and Christopher Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta in Arabic translation. 40
Total Israeli control over the entry of books and other forms of publications gives the occupation authority complete power over what the Palestinians under occupation can read. “All books entering the area, for sale or distribution, must first receive permits from the I.D.F. [Israeli Defense Forces] censor. Formally, any book in the West Bank without such a permit is ‘illegal.’” 41 Books brought into the West Bank by an individual for his own personal use are also subject to censorship through the tightly controlled “open bridges” across the River Jordan.
The ban on books and other reading materials is strictly enforced. The Jerusalem weekly, Al-Fajr, reported in September 1981 that its Nablus correspondent, who is also a book seller, was awaiting trial in a military court on a charge of dealing in banned books and publications. The same court, the paper reported, had sentenced another dealer to a one-month suspended prison sentence and a fine of 1,000 Israeli shekels for the same “offense.” 42 A week later, the paper reported the arrest of a third dealer for “possession of banned books” and the closure of his shop. 43 Birzeit University, where I served as vice-president for academic affairs, repeatedly attempted to secure permission to import Arabic journals for its library. The university was willing to limit its acquisitions to scientific and scholarly journals (all of which are regularly received by Israeli universities), but the military government has persistently refused to grant the necessary permit.
Institutions of higher education in the occupied territories are also severely restricted as cultural centers for the community. Extra-curricular cultural activities are suppressed under the pretext of security and public order. Birzeit University was closed for a week in the fall of 1980 by order of the military governor to prevent it from holding Palestine Week, an annual student-run cultural fair displaying books, paintings, handicrafts, etc. The military governor of the Ramallah District required the university to seek permission and present a detailed program for his approval. The students considered it both a cultural affair and a campus function held for several years with no permit required; they refused to subject the program to the scrutiny and will of the military government. The governor responded by closing the entire university for one week. 44 Palestine Week, as a faculty member of Birzeit University described it in a press conference held in Jerusalem, is “a purely cultural event, and it is political, if at all, only in the inevitable but harmless sense that it is Palestinian rather than voodoo or Buddhist or Jewish.” 45
The closure of the university turned the event into a political confrontation, because it provoked widespread protest demonstrations which resulted in the shooting of many students throughout the West Bank by Israeli soldiers. 46 The New York Times reported on November 19, 1980, that 11 youths were shot and wounded by Israeli soldiers, and Al-Fajr reported that from Najah University alone 67 students and faculty members were arrested and that 52 of them, including one faculty member were still under detention a month later. 47 The General Assembly of the United Nations passed a resolution which stated in part that the Assembly was “deeply shocked by the most recent atrocities committed by Israel, the occupying power, against educational institutions in the occupied Palestinian territories.” 48 The Israeli editor of the journal New Outlook sent a letter of protest to members of the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee of the Israeli Knesset on November 23, 1980, in which he said that the shooting of school children by Israeli soldiers “shows the depths to which we have sunk.” 49 The editor rejected the military government’s contention that the soldiers shot in self-defense against students armed with stones. The scenes shown on Israeli television, he wrote, “in which soldiers were seen firing from rooftops at the demonstrators made it plain that they were in no actual danger. 50 A member of the Israeli Knesset remarked that “the military government had itself provoked unrest on the West Bank by making an issue of an internal affair at Birzeit University which had been completely orderly.” 51
Israeli manipulation and repression of education in the occupied territories have intensified in the last few years. This fact supports the thesis presented in this paper that Israeli repression is politically motivated and is designed to undermine the concept of Palestine and its implications regarding Palestinian nationhood and independence; for the intensified repression, as well as land confiscation and settlement, coincide with the increasing international inclination after the Camp David agreements to think of the various prospects and meanings of a Palestinian “entity.”
The most tangible and serious manifestation of increased Israeli repression of educational institutions is Military Order 854, issued in July 1980. 52 This order was described by a group of American professors as imposing “crippling restrictions” on Palestinian higher education. 53 A group of 116 Italian professors, in a letter to Israeli academicians, said of the measures contemplated by the Order 854, “These measures cancel all trace and appearance of the values of academic liberty...” and they present young Palestinians with “the unacceptable choice between emigrating from their own country or renouncing an education based on the values of their own national culture, in favor of self-enslavement to the occupying power and its needs in terms of unqualified low cost labor. 54 The boards of trustees of Birzeit University, Najah National University, Bethlehem University and the Polytechnic Institute (Hebron) in the West Bank, in a joint letter of protest to Major General Raphael Eitan, the Israeli Chief of Staff, wrote:
To subject the universities in the occupied territories to the supervision of a military officer, and confer upon him arbitrary power in regard to organizational, academic, and professional activities would render precarious the very existence of these institutions. 55
Military Order 854 places the previously autonomous institutions of higher education under the total control of the education officer in the Israeli military government. It requires the universities to seek annual permits to operate; it gives him authority over the recruitment of professors and other staff, over the curriculum, and over the admission of students.
A statement by Najah National University in Nablus regarding academic harassment in 1980-81 indicates the scope and variety of Israeli repression. Najah endured six cases of Israeli soldiers storming the campus, the arrest of 9 professors, the dismissal of one professor and his expulsion from the country, the arrest of 198 students, placement of 7 students under house arrest, the wounding of 2 students, the closure of the university three times, and the banning of a sports festival. 56
Even before Order 854 provoked a new wave of protests and suppression, six Palestinian institutions of higher education found it necessary to suspend instruction (on May 5 and 6, 1980), “to protect the students of these institutions from armed attack” and as a protest against such attacks. 57
It is not possible to explain this repression on the basis of need to protect the security of the state of Israel. An Israeli soldier, baffled by the behavior of the military establishment which he serves, said he once expressed his doubts to the deputy governor about the justification of shooting school children or arresting them because they sang about Palestine in their school yards. “Let them sing till they’re dry in the throat,” the soldier suggested to his superior. The officer advised him to mind his own business: “That’s the order and that’s that.” The soldier concluded his story by asking: “Why do we have to fight these children because of songs which we hardly even understand?” 58
Palestinian literature and art have been primary avenues of expression of the tragedy and the aspirations of the Palestinian people. Peoples everywhere have always used novels, poems, paintings, music, and sculpture to convey their personal and communal fears and hopes. The unique individual and collective experiences of the Palestinian people during the past few decades were bound to be recorded in the intellectual and cultural output of the Palestinian people. The fact that Palestinian writers and artists were not an elite group, privileged with a rare kind of education baring their souls through their art to each other in writer or artist colonies, intensified their tendency to become, as a Palestinian intellectual put it, “the spokesmen of a nation.” 59 Palestinian writers and artists were, and still are, for the most part, ordinary people sharing the typical experiences of their community. As one Palestinian artist put it:
Among the Palestinian painters, one finds the stone cutter and laborer, the gardener, the carpenter, the blacksmith, and the school teacher. Few have had the opportunity to obtain professional training, travel, or live in a European capital exposed to the Masters. 60
Palestinian writers and artists, therefore, were and are deeply involved in the affairs of their nation and their art is heavily colored with social concern.
Palestine became the predominant theme of Palestinian literature and art. This commitment often was a deliberate and conscious resolve, evident in the charter of the Association of Palestinian Cinema, founded in 1972. The charter noted that it was important “to develop a Palestinian cinema capable of supporting with dignity the struggle of our people, revealing the actual facts of our situation and describing the stages of our Arab and Palestinian struggle to liberate our homeland.” 61
The Palestinian has never felt a need to be defensive about the social mission of his art and literature. His strong urge to shout to the world his tragic experience drove him to seek every conceivable mode of expression, as the mayor of Nazareth who is himself a poet put it, to engrave the “wide range of experiences in national oppression even on the bark of an olive tree in the courtyard.” 62
This strong desire to reach the people often led to the impairment of the quality of Palestinian literature and art. “The young talented Palestinian was overwhelmed by the destitution of his own people. The necessity of self-expression not the impulse for aesthetic creation encouraged his art.” 63 This need “to record and immortalize the Palestinian case and to speak on behalf of the people’s refusal to be defeated or broken” became both the strength and the weakness of Palestinian cultural output. 64
The themes which permeate Palestinian literature and art portray the profoundest aspects of the Palestinian experience: the assertion of a suppressed and denied identity, and the strong yearning for a usurped native soil. Sometimes such themes are expressed explicitly. In one of the most popular poems, “Identity card,” Mahmoud Darweesh expresses defiance of Israeli categorization of the Arab as a non-Jew:
Write down, I am an Arab!
Fifth thousand is my number.
Eight children, the ninth will come next summer.
Angry? Write down, I am an Arab! 65
Harun Hashim Rashid tells the world that he is not merely a non-Jew, not even just an Arab refugee but a Palestinian:
Palestinian is my name.
In a clear script,
On all battlefields,
I have inscribed my name,
Eclipsing all other titles. 66
The Palestinian writer, Jabra I. Jabra, likened the dispersion of the Palestinian people to being catapulted in space, and their wanderings in the life of exile as a journey through the cosmic absurd. But they continued stubbornly to cling to their reason and identity. They refused to forget. He demonstrated this Palestinian rejection of de-Palestinization by describing his own experience as a wandering exile:
If anyone used the word “refugee” with me, I was furious. I was not seeking refuge. None of my Palestinian co-wanderers were seek- ing refuge. We were offering what- ever talent or knowledge we had, in return for a living, for survival. We were knowledge peddlers pausing at one more stop of our seemingly end- less way. When in the autumn of 1948 the customs men asked me upon arrival in Baghdad to open my baggage for inspection I offered them a battered suitcase full of books and papers, a small box full of paints and brushes, and half a dozen paintings on plywood. I was not a refugee, and I was proud as hell. 67
The Palestinian felt his experience deeply, and his experience was profoundly political, and his art naturally reflected this existential fact.
Another well known Palestinian poet, Samih Qasim, vowed never to succumb to injustice:
As long as I own a foot of land,
As long as I own an olive tree,
A lemon tree, a well, and a memory,
As long as Arabic is still spoken
In folklore and poetry,
I’ll wage in the face of my enemies,
On behalf of the free: workers, students, and poets,
A scourging war against the enemies of the sun. 68
Most Palestinian poetry, however, did not go so far in its defiance, but stressed the sense of tragedy, and affirmed loyalty to the native soil, often using symbolic language to evade the censorship and probable persecution. “The poet, and sometimes the Palestinian people, are Christ, with all the consequent imagery of the side wound, the crucifixion, and resurrection.” 69 But however the poet chose or had to express himself, it was Palestine and his yearning for it which continued to haunt him. In a poem entitled “Love Palestinian Style,” ‘Agl wrote:
And when I am led all alone
To be whipped and humiliated
And lashed at every police station
I feel we’re lovers, who died from ecstasy, dark-skinned man and his woman.
And when soldiers smash my head
and force me to sip the cold of prison
To forget you--I love you even more. 70
The Palestinian poet sought to cover the spectrum of his people’s grievances and hopes. Samih Qasim condensed many features of the Arab-Israeli conflict in this imaginary dialogue between an Israeli Arab, perhaps himself, and an Israeli Jew:
My grandparents were burnt in Auschwitz.
My heart is with them, but remove the chains from my body.
What’s in your hand?
A handful of seeds.
Anger colors your face.
That’s the color of the earth.
Mold your sword into a ploughshare.
You’ve left no land.
You are a criminal!
I killed not, I murdered not, I oppressed not!
You are an Arab, you are a dog!
May God save you--try the taste of love
And make way for the sun! 71
As in his politics, so in his poetry, the Palestinian sought conciliation. In this poem, “to Jerusalem,” Yusuf Hamdan proposed a life of peace for all:
I want you to be a Kaaba, for the people of the earth,
A spacious house, Without guards;
I love you...a voice from a minaret,
The sound of horns Mingled with church bells.
I love you, a jasmine in the open air. 72
But above all, the Palestinian poet expressed his people’s simple yearning to go home. In his poem “A Palestinian Psalm” Samih Qasim wrote:
From this wounded land,
Purgatory of sorrows,
The orphaned birds call you, O World!
From Gaza, Jenin, Old Jerusalem: Alleluia.
Under the sun, in the wind in exile, Hearts and eyes once sang:
“Lord of Glory.” We’ve been tired too long
Send us back!
Alleluia, Alleluia. 73
The Palestinian poet, just like the Palestinian mayor, teacher, journalist, and student paid dearly for his Palestinianism. As an Israeli-Arab intellectual put it:
Some of the measures are an insult to men and spiritually crushing. For example: When an Arab poet decides to publish a book of poems, he must deliver the poems for censor- ship--unlike a Jewish poet, of course. The censor does not have to be an expert on poetry; he may strike out whole lines and paragraphs. Some- times a collection of poems appears --like that of Samih al-Khassem [Qasim]--“Ways of Freedom”--with whole pages erased. 74
He continues to say that sometimes “censorship reaches the absurd: Poems which were published with the permission of the censor, may be changed in the press.” 75 He summed up the experience of Arab poets and writers by saying “I can write whatever I like. Then they will do--whatever they like.” 76
Mahmoud Darweesh, the foremost Arab-Israeli poet “became the target of Israeli harassment and was subjected to frequent interrogations, travel restrictions, house arrest and numerous imprisonments.” Finally, he could take it no longer and, in 1971, he chose to go into exile. 77
Press censorship is the main method of restricting literary expression. Most literary production in the occupied territories is published in literary pages or supplements to daily and weekly newspapers and magazines. In a later section, I discuss censorship of the Arab press.
The Palestinian artist, like the Palestinian writer and poet, was deeply influenced by the tragedy of his people and expressed it in his art. In the words of Kamal Boullata, one of the best known Palestinian artists,
The landscape, the painter’s natural inspiration, was not the Palestinian painter’s concern. The Palestinian landscape with all its lyricism and its visual dynamics...all were visual experiences the Palestinian artist could not afford to concern himself with. These are qualities of luxury for a man who lives in misery and oppression and who must constantly concern himself with mere survival. 78
It took the Palestinian artist 20 years, after the catastrophe of 1948, to overcome the shock.
The thunder made the Palestinian artist close his eyes; he failed to see the lightning in the darkness; he was lucky to find shelter from the heavy rains. For 20 long years life was cry- ing inside; there were no windows, and only when his dwelling was en- tirely blown up, did he find himself face to face with the rainbow. 79
When he opened his eyes, he painted what he saw. Shammout painted commandos, Ibrahim Hazima painted his nostalgia (“A Fisherman from Acre;” “The Keeper of the Vineyard”), and Jumana Husseini Bayazid painted her childhood memories in Palestine (“The Wedding;” embroidered dresses of Palestinian village women, and themes of old wives tales). 80
Just as the Palestinian poet tried to depict his people’s story in a poem, the artist tried to do so in a painting. Suleiman Mansour, a West Bank artist, told it in a painting “Hope,” a view from the inside of a prison, as the prisoner would see it. One critic saw in it “A band of four colors, representing the Palestinian flag (green, white, red and black) leaves his cell, transforming into the colors of the rainbow.” 81 Another critic saw it as “a painting portraying the iron bars across a cell window with barbed wire outside. A rainbow enters the cell and as it passes through the bars is transformed into the colors of the Palestinian flag.” 82 Whether the Palestinian prisoner watched his flag become a rainbow, or the rainbow becomes his flag, the artist depicted the tragedy and hope of the Palestinian people. Consequently, he too fell victim to the Israeli censors. Mansour said: “They say that every painting shown in public is like a leaflet, and that a leaflet needs the permission of the military government.” 83
The censorship is exercised by military officers with no discernible competence in art, and who construe their power in the most sweeping manner. Furthermore, there is no appeal against a decision of the censor. To illustrate the type of “political art” confiscated by the Israeli censors, it is necessary to give a few examples.
In 1974, a work of sculpture, by Fawzi Anastas, depicting a woman in traditional Palestinian dress, carrying a child, and surrounded by a ring of people holding hands, was confiscated from the Birch municipal building. 84 To the censor, it apparently symbolized pride in the Palestinian identity and solidarity of the Palestinian people. Reproductions of a painting of a Palestinian peasant carrying a model of Jerusalem on his back were confiscated; presumably they represented the blasphemous belief that love of Jerusalem was not a Jewish-Israeli monopoly. 85 A painting by Suleiman Mansour which includes two buildings side by side representing a church and a synagogue, with a crescent in the sky background, was perhaps seen by the censor to represent the Palestinian proposal for the establishment of a non-sectarian state in Palestine. 86
For exhibiting such “political” paintings, the occupation authorities, in September 1980, closed Gallery ’79, the only permanent art gallery in the West Bank. 87 Three weeks earlier, “Israeli occupation troops forcibly entered Gallery ’79 in Ramallah and confiscated five of the paintings by Muhammad Hammoudeh.” The owner of the gallery “was warned not to allow the display of any paintings with ‘political’ themes, including those that could be interpreted by the authorities as having political significance.” 88 On September 21, Suleiman Mansour was exhibiting his work “which--in compliance with the order mentioned--was devoid of any political content or coloring.” 89 Israeli soldiers once more stormed Gallery ’79 and summoned the owner as well as the exhibiting artist for interrogation. The owner, Isam Bader, was informed that charges against him were being prepared, and that he would be formally charged in due time. The two artists were informed of the military authorities’ decision to close down the gallery on the ground that it lacked an operating permit. In fact, Gallery ’79 “did have a trade license from the municipality and the Chamber of commerce,” the authorities with jurisdiction over such matters in West Bank cities. 90
Palestinian artists complain that they have no way of knowing what the military censor considers a political painting. One artist said: “An abstract painting can be called politically inspired. Where is the line between political, social and folkloric themes?” 91 Mansour said he and other artists tried hard to avoid giving the occupation authorities an excuse to suppress the art movement.
We have tried to work cautiously for the last several years, to be cautious in our movement, in our exhibitions and even in our paintings. Not to put anything which is too overtly political--against the occupation, directly. It seems that the authorities did not even accept that and they tried during the last year to suppress the art movement completely. 92
In reference to the exhibit which resulted in the closure of Gallery ’79, Mansour said:
For this exhibit, I tried to put myself in the mind of the military governor. So as not to enrage the authorities, I did not exhibit anything I thought he would think political. We wanted the work of the gallery to continue. 93
What the Israeli occupation authorities object to, in fact, is the very concept of Palestine and, therefore, any form of expression of such a concept is forbidden. This is shown by the fact that even the use of the colors of the Palestinian flag in a painting, regardless of its content, is forbidden. Suleiman Mansour was told so by the military governor: “If you paint a flower with colors of white, green, black or red (Palestinian flag colors) on the petals we’ll confiscate it.” 94 This degree of suppression led Professor Israel Shahak to title his article on Israeli censor “The Four ‘Terrible’ Colors.” 95
The artists themselves are frequently subjected to various types of pressure and harassment. Suleiman Mansour related that, every now and then “they call one of us to the military governor’s office, to interrogate us, to frighten us, to create an atmosphere in which we cannot work effectively.” 96 He said that every letter he receives from abroad is opened by the censor. Once, while on a trip abroad, he said, he mailed himself books and art materials. He never received any of the books; the pencils and charcoals were cut in half before delivery. 97 “We are also not allowed to send things abroad,” he said. “The authorities told us that every picture they catch on the bridge will be confiscated.” 98 On July 27, 1981, Mansour was arrested and detained for nine days because he was taking pictures of Palestinian villages “to guide his future drawings for a special exhibit on the Palestinian village.” 99
Many artists are intimidated and driven to inactivity. An art exhibit in Gaza was described by a critic as superficial. “Gazan artists,” he explained “were threatened so only three...showed their work. The majority of Gazan artists, who are teachers, were afraid to exhibit.” 100 The military government was not content to warn against the display of paintings with “Palestinian themes,” but “the chief supervisor in the Gaza Education Department and military officials visited the exhibit before the opening to weed-out ‘poisonous works’” 101 Palestinian artists protested that “We are not inciting against Israel, nor the Israeli people. We are merely expressing our feelings as Palestinians in paint.” 102 But it is precisely that which the occupation authorities seek to suppress. As Professor Shahak put it, it is actually simple to know why the military governor considers all types of expression of Palestinian feelings as sinful. “In the opinion of the military governor and his ‘experts on Arab affairs,’ everything which can symbolize Palestine, or the Palestinian people, can be and is prohibited.” 103
Israeli repression of Palestinian artistic expression has been so severe that
one can only conclude, therefore, that in implementing such harsh and repressive policy of harassment and persecution against Palestinian artists, the Israeli authorities are completing the enforcement of a campaign against the Palestinian national culture and heritage as a whole. 104
Israel usually justifies its repression on the grounds that Palestinians use the language of violence to communicate with Israelis. In fact, it is what they are trying to communicate rather than how they do it that is anathema to the Zionist mind. Tawfiq Zayyad, the poet mayor of Nazareth once said, “we want to communicate with the Jewish people through the language of flowers, paintings, music and other artistic means.” 105 But experience demonstrates that, even so, it is still a risky proposition.
In the West Bank, where the military governors are absolute rulers and where the Defense (Emergency) Regulations of 1945 still apply, censorship is total. Article 87 (paragraph 1) of the Regulations gives the censor the power to prohibit publishing anything he deems prejudicial to security, public order, or is “likely to be so.” Publishing is defined to include circulating, dispensing, handing over, communicating, or making available. The proprietor, the editor, and the writer are all held accountable. Furthermore, the expression “publishing” is defined to include lithography, typewriting, photography and all forms and modes of representing or reproducing words, figures, signs, pictures, maps, designs, illustrations and other like matter. Article 96 (paragraph 1) says that “No notice, illustration, placard, advertisement, proclamation, pamphlet or other like document” is permitted without prior permission from the military government. 106
The importation of newspapers and magazines is also forbidden without prior permit from the military government. The Importation and Distribution of Newspapers Order of July 11, 1967, imposes a penalty of five years in prison on violators.107 Arabic newspapers and magazines published in Israel itself by Israeli-Arabs, like Al-Ittihad, Al-Jadid, and Al-Ghad are prohibited to circulate in the West Bank.108 Even Arabic newspapers published by people from the West Bank in Jerusalem are frequently prohibited from circulating in the West Bank and Gaza. 109
Although it is claimed that Israeli laws are applied in Jerusalem equally to Arabs and Jews, the Arab press is in fact censored more severely than the Hebrew press. A senior Israeli official admitted to The New York Times that the censors have unlimited authority, and they may delete anything which appears to them to endanger security, public order, or public well-being; in the case of the Israeli press only the “state security” criterion is applied and he “acknowledged that this was not the case with the East Jerusalem Palestinian newspapers.” 110
Knowing the severity of Israeli censorship, and desiring to continue to function, the Arab press exercises self-censorship. A Palestinian journalist wrote:
The censor has become the constant shadow of the writer in the occupied territories, holding him accountable for every word he writes. Therefore, the writer censors himself before he sends anything to the newspaper. Is it or is it not permitted to publish this? 111
Very often, the only way Arabic newspapers can publish a story of interest to their Palestinian readers is to wait until it appears in the Hebrew Israeli press and then take it verbatim from them. 112 I learned from the editors of the Arabic newspapers that, to be able to print a story, they sometimes have to give it to an Israeli journalist, wait for it to appear in an Israeli paper, then publish a translation of it in their papers. Sometimes even that does not work. The editor of Al-Sha’b told The New York Times that sometimes the censor bans articles and news taken from the Israeli press. 113 He said that he ordinarily prepares 25 percent extra material “because I know Israeli military censors routinely ban about a quarter of all articles and news I submit.” 114 On bad nights,” he added “they take out much more...but there is nobody to whom I can appeal their orders.” 115 An editorial by Al-Fajr in June 1990 said that 30 percent of its editorials were crossed out by the censor in the month of May. 116 Another Arabic newspaper, Al-Tali’a (weekly) announced in 1978 its intention to suspend publication because most of its articles were being banned by the censor. 117
Newspapers are the main instruments of literary expression in the occupied territories. They all include literary pages or issue literary supplements where most of the literary production of the Palestinian community living under occupation appears. So, the censorship of the press is to a large measure suppression of literary expression. Alluding to this fact, the literary editor of Al-Tali’a wrote symbolically: “In every issue we march in the funerals of little babies born to pens which spent sleepless nights to give birth to them.” 118
Newspapers and their editors are continually threatened and harassed. The editors of three of the four Palestinian newspapers are and have been for many months under “town arrest.” Ma’moun el-Sayed, editor of Al-Fajr, Akram Haniyeh, editor of Al-Sha’b, and Basheer Barghouti, editor of Al-Tali’a, all of whom reside in Ramallah, are forbidden indefinitely to travel anywhere in the West Bank, including Jerusalem where their offices are located. They appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court for permission to modify the order restricting their movement if only to the extent of enabling them to spend eight hours a day in their Jerusalem offices, but the court refused the petition under the pretext that the matter was within the jurisdiction of the military governor. 119
Palestinian newspapers are also undermined by orders periodically banning their distribution in the West Bank and Gaza. According to the editor of one of these papers, such restriction deprives the newspapers of 70 percent of their readers and 90 percent of their advertising revenues. 120 The English-language edition of Al-Fajr, the only newspaper which gives foreign visitors and interested Israeli readers access to Palestinian opinion, is subjected to continuous pressures. Raphael Levy, District commissioner for Jerusalem, wrote to the newspaper demanding the deletion of “Palestinian Weekly” which appears under its name, 121 making it clear why the paper was being punished. The newspaper told the story of the pressure against it this way:
Al-Fajr Palestinian Weekly suffered a three-pronged attack this week. On the streets of West Jerusalem a 10-year-old Palestinian paper seller was assaulted by paratroopers; while at the post office, a Mr. Allon refused Al-Fajr the bulk postal rate given to newspapers and magazines for mailing abroad. The final blow came when Shilo distributors, who get the paper to Israeli readers, announced that they were discontinuing their contract with Al-Fajr.122
The newspaper elaborated on the assault story. On July 6, 1981, it wrote, a newsboy was selling Al-Fajr outside of Cinema Orion in West Jerusalem.
Two men in paratroop uniforms, described by witnesses as heavily- built, armed and wearing knitted skull-caps, grabbed the boy’s papers. In the course of a scuffle, as he tried to get them back, the papers were destroyed.
The paper added that “Over the past years dozens of young boys have been attacked by Israelis in West Jerusalem for selling Al-Fajr. 123
Many Palestinian journalists have been imprisoned, deported, or placed under house or town arrest. The editor of Al-Sha’b said “we are constantly receiving threatening letters, but we don’t bother reporting them to the police because we know they won’t do anything.” 124 In July 1980, Al-Fajr received a letter in Hebrew signed by “Youth of Israel” telling the editor “to appear on Israeli television by July 22 to announce the closure of the paper.” Al-Sha’b received a similar letter. At 2:40 a.m. on August 3 a bomb exploded outside the offices of Al-Fajr in Jerusalem. 125
Instead of finding the culprits, “several days after the bombing, the military government placed the editors of Al-Fajr and Al-Sha’b under town arrest for the maintenance of security, public order and safety in the area.” 126
This is a great deal of harassment for newspapers which cannot publish anything, not even an advertisement or a love poem, without prior approval of the censors. 127 The only way it can be explained is that their very existence is objectionable. As Lt. Col. Ami Gulska, the Israeli military spokesman in Jerusalem once put it: “I wonder sometimes why Arabs should have a press in the first place.” 128
The curtailment of Palestinian expression, whatever form it takes, has been recently broadened to cover any and all expressions of Palestinianism among the Arabs of Israel itself. Although the new restrictions came in the form of a law (The Tamir Law) passed in the summer of 1980 by the Israeli Knesset as an amendment to the so-called Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance, 129 it is obvious from the wording of the law, from explanations given by Justice Minister Shmuel Tamir who proposed it, and from the arrests and trials of violators that it is the freedom of expression which is being restricted.130 The law, forbids “any kind of expression of support for or sympathy with the Palestine Liberation Organization,” whether “by means of placards, slogans, flags or anthems.” The mayor of Nazareth said that “according to this law, any Palestinian child who raises a branch of olives will be charged and sued because Arafat himself held the olive branch at the United Nations in 1974.” 131
The primary symbols of Palestinian nationhood are, of course, the word “Palestine” and the Palestinian flag. The objection is not only to the context within which the word “Palestine” is used, but also to its symbolism. For that reason, the word itself, even when it stands alone, is considered offensive by the Israeli authorities. Professor Shahak pointed out that “the very word ‘Palestine’ (whether written in English, Arabic, or Hebrew) can be a criminal offense. Boys are frequently arrested and sentenced for the ‘crime’ of writing on their T-shirts the forbidden word ‘Palestine.’” 132
The Israeli authorities have also clamped down on the use in the names of business establishments. The Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights, in its report for 1980, said it was particularly shocked by “the prohibition on the use of the word ‘Palestine,’” especially in apolitical contexts as this. The Palestine Bank in Gaza which, like all Arab banks, was closed down after the occupation, has been negotiating for many years with the Israeli authorities to re-open. The Israelis finally agreed to allow the bank to re-open, but only if it removed the word “Palestine” from its name. The Israeli authorities contend that “Israelis are sensitive to the name of Palestine and that the word is ‘offensive to the Israeli public.’” 133 Another Palestinian establishment which ran afoul of the authorities on account of its name is the Palestine Press Service in Jerusalem. The Israeli Register of Companies refused to license the Press Service, again on the grounds that the name is “offensive to the Israeli public.” The establishment’s lawyer argued in the district court in Jerusalem that the word Palestine is acceptable and was used in the Camp David accords. The Israeli judge upheld the Register of Companies’ refusal to issue the license because of the “offensive nature of the proposed title.” 134
An Israeli postal official said that mail coming from abroad addressed to Palestine would be returned to the sender. A woman from the West Bank spent a year before she could get a birth certificate issued to her baby girl, because the baby was named “Filastin”--Arabic for Palestine! 135
The Palestinian flag, of course, is not taken less seriously by the Israeli authorities. Professor Shahak wrote: “To have the Palestinian flag in one’s possession, even hidden in a chest, is, of course, a serious crime. To exhibit it in public is even a greater one.” 136
Palestinians understand that such repression is politically motivated, and its purpose is to repress and deny their very existence and identity. Anwar Nusseibeh, former minister in the Jordanian cabinet now residing in Jerusalem, said that Palestine “represents a people, a history and a cause which the Israelis want to smother.” 137 A co-owner of the Palestine Press Service, commenting on Israel’s motive in harassing his company, said:
Israel’s policy today, and the philosophy behind the establishment of the state of Israel is based on the elimination of the Palestinian na- tional identity. By recognizing Pales- tine they would be forced to unmask their own well-propagated assertion that Israel was established in an uninhabited land, one of history’s most blatant falsehoods. 138
When one surveys the political motivation, and the totalitarian scope of the Israeli repression of “the concept of Palestine,” one is driven to the conclusion that it is indeed an essential ingredient of Israel’s resolve to perpetuate the denial of self-determination to the Palestinian people, and to secure its monopoly over the whole of Palestine.
Quoted in G.H. Jansen, Zionism, Israel and Asian Nationalism. Beirut: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1971, p. 182.
2. Alan R. Taylor. The Zionist Mind, Beirut: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1974, p. 48.
3. Yediot Aharonot, October 17, 1969; also quoted in Arie Bober, ed., The Other Israel, New York: Doubleday, 1972, p. 27.
4. Ibid., p. 37.
5. Jansen, p. 177.
6. The Sunday Times (London), June 15, 1969.
7. Newsweek magazine, February 17, 1969.
8. Quoted in Taylor, p. 96.
9. Bober, p. 155.
10. Taylor, p. 48.
11. Emmanuel Anati, Palestine Before the Hebrews. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1963, p.7.
12. Ibid., pp. 241-242.
13. Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, Report in the United States Government and His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1946, p. 40.
14. Maxime Rodinson, Israel and the Arabs. New York: Random House, 1968, p. 14.
15. Jansen, p. 178.
16. Quoted from Nehru’s Glimpses of World History in Jansen, p. 183.
17. Quoted in Taylor, p. 103.
18. From his article “The Truth from the Land of Israel,” quoted in Taylor, p. 103.
20. Quoted in Bober, p. 159.
21. For an interview with Gadi Elgazi, an Israeli soldier who was imprisoned for refusing to serve in the occupied territories, see Al-Fajr (Jerusalem), May 17-23, 1981. All references to Al-Fajr in this article are to the English edition.
22. “Know Thy People,” Israc, no. 1 (May 1969), p. 17.
23. Bober, pp. 10-11.
24. Muhammad Hallaj, “As We See It, “The Middle East International, No. 144 (February 27, 1981), pp. 6-8.
25. Wilhelm Geist, “The Growing Pains of an Art Movement Under Occupation,” (interview with Suleiman Mansour), Al-Fajr, September 6-12, 1981, p. 13.
26. Awad Abdel Fattah, “Firing of Palestinian Teachers,” Al-Fajr, November 23-29, 1980, p.5.
27. For recent reports on Israeli repression of Palestinian educational institutions see Michael C. Griffin, “A Human Rights Odyssey: In Search of Academic Freedom,” The Link, vol. 14, no. 2 (April/May 1981). “Cutting the Cultural Spinal Cord,” Al-Fajr, March 15-21, 1981, and Naseer Aruri, “Repression in Academia: Palestinian Universities vs. Israeli Military,” Al-Fajr, June 7-13, 1981.
28. Sabri Jiryis, The Arabs in Israel. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1976, pp. 146-155.
29. Fauzi El-Asmar, To Be An Arab in Israel. Beirut: The Institute for Palestine Studies, 1978, pp. 46-47.
30. Jiryis, p. 153.
31. Report by Yeshaayahu Toma Schick, in the Journal of Palestine Studies, vol. 8, no. 3 (Spring 1979), pp. 127-130.
33. See UNESCO Team Report: Document 104 Ex/52 in UNESCO, General Conference, Twen- tieth Session (Paris, 1978), Report of the Director- General, 20 C/113 (September 28, 1978), pp. 4-11. Direct quotation from p. 9. For other references on curriculum changes see “Cutting the Cultural Spinal Cord,” cited in note 27, and Najla Bashur, “Change of Curricula in the West Bank After 1967,” Shu-un Filastiniya (Beirut, in Arabic), July 1971, pp. 229-241.
34. UNESCO, Director-General, Report to the General Conference, Twenty-First Session (Belgrade, 1980), Document 21 C/18 (September 5, 1980), p. 33
35. UNESCO document 104 EX/52, cited earlier.
36. Ibid., 0. 10.
37. Benny Morris, “Controversy over books banned in Territories,” Jerusalem Post, March 8, 1981. I have been able to obtain a partial list which contains more than a thousand titles. My list includes “Islamic Ruins in Jordan and Pales- tine,” “The History of Arabic Drama,” “Arab Philosophers in the Middle Ages,” “The Science of Psychology and its Application,” “Khalil Gibran: Analytical Study,” “Gandhi,” “DeGaulle,” “Immigration and Social Change in Kuwait,” “Marriage and Related Issues,” etc.
38. Jerusalem Post, July 13, 1980 and Al-Fajr, December 7-13, 1980. Another list of 72 titles added to the list in Al-Fajr, May 24-30, 1981. Other references to the question of banned books: ‘Al-Tali’a (Arabic Weekly, Jerusalem), April 14, and July 23, 1981: and Palestine & Israel (Supplement), January 1981, p. 18.
39. Morris, Jerusalem Post, March 8, 1981.
42. Al-Fajr, September 6-12, 1981.
43. Al-Fajr, September 20-26, 1981.
44. For accounts of these events, including Birzeit University’s statement, see Al-Fajr, November 16-22 and 23-29, 1980. Also see the Jerusalem Post, November 16 and 19, 1980, and the New York Times, November 20, 1980.
45. New York Times, November 20, 1980.
46. For some of the press reports on protests and clashes following the closure of the university, see the Jerusalem Post, November 19, 1980: Israel & Palestine (Supplement to October 1980 issue); and Filastin al-Thawra, November 24, and December 1, 1980.
47. Al-Fajr, December 21-27, 1980. Also see Fahed Abdullah, “Injured Students Describe Nablus Events,” Al-Fajr, December 7-13, 1980.
48. Text of resolution in Special Unit on Palestine, Bulletin no. 1 (January-February 1981), pp. 35-36. Emphasis in the original.
49. Text of the letter in Al-Fajr, November 30- December 5, 1980.
51. Jerusalem Post, November 19, 1980.
52. For a study of Order 854, including its text, legality, and impact on Palestinian education, see Jonathan Kuttab, Analysis of Military Order No. 854 and Related Orders Concerning Educa- tional Institutions in the Occupied West Bank, Geneva: Law in the Service of Man, May 1981.
53. Press statement made during a visit to the West Bank in November 1980 is found in Al-Fajr, November 30-December 5, 1980.
54. Text on letter in Al-Fajr, November 23-29, 1980.
55. Text of letter in Al-Fajr, December 7-13, 1980.
56. See text of university statement in Al-Tali’a, June 25, 1981. For additional accounts on order 854 and clashes stemming from it see the Jeru- salem Post, August 1, 1980; The Washington Post of the same date; various issues of Al-Fajr in- cluding November 23-29, 1980 and November 30-December 5, 1980; and Penny Johnson, “The Next Day in Nablus,” A.A.U.G. Newsletter, vol. 14, no. 1, (January-February 1981).
57. Text of joint statement announcing closure in Al-Fajr, May 11-17, 1980.
58. This story was related by the Israeli columnist Amnon Danker in Ha’aretz of December 26, 1980; English translation in the Journal of Palestine Studies, vol. 10, no. 3 (Spring 1981), pp. 133-134.
59. Hanan Michael Ashrawi, “The Contemporary Palestinian Poetry of Occupation,” Journal of Palestine Studies, vol. 7, no. 3 (Spring 1978), p. 86.
60. Kamal Boullata, “Towards a Revolutionary Arab Art,” The Arab World, vol. 16, no. 2 (February 1970), p. 6.
61. Guy Hennebelle, “Arab Cinema,” MERIP Reports, no. 52 (November 1976), p. 8
62. Quoted from Tawfiq Zayyad’s “On a Bark of an Olive Tree,” in Ashrawi, p. 90.
63. Boullata, p. 5.
64. Ashrawi, p. 90.
65. Translation in Emile Nakhleh, “Wells of Bit- terness: A Survey of Israeli-Arab Poetry,” The Arab World, vol. 16, no. 2 (February 1970), p. 33.
66. Translation in Mounah A. Khouri and Hamid Algar, An Anthology of Modern Arabic Poetry, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974, p. 231.
67. Jabra I. Jabra, “The Palestinian Exile as Writer,” Journal of Palestine Studies, vol. 8, no. 2 (Winter 1979), p. 77.
68. Translation in Nakhleh, p. 36.
69. Ashrawi, p. 92.
70. In Abdelwahab M. Elmessiri, “The Palestinian Wedding,” Journal of Palestine Studies, vol. 10,no. 3 (Spring 1981), p. 90.
71. Translation in Nakhleh, p. 36.
72. In Elmessiri, p. 89.
73. Translation in Nakhleh, p. 36.
74. Fauzi El-Asmar, “From the Diary of an Israeli Arab,” Israc, no. 1 (May 1969), p. 8.
77. “Poetry of Resistance: Mahmoud Darweesh,” Arab Perspectives, vol. 2 (May 1981), p. 37.
78. Ibid., p. 5.
80. For themes and illustrations see Ibid.
81. Neil Catford, “Palestinian Paintings Exhibition,” Al-Fajr, May 11-17, 1980.
82. David Adams, “Gaza Red Crescent Hosts Palestinian Art Show,” Al-Fajr, June 29-July 5, 1980.
83. Geist, interview with Mansour, cited in note 25.
84. Nidal Samed, “The Politics of Art: Military Close Sole West Bank Gallery,” Al-Fajr, September 28-October 4, 1980.
85. Danny Rubenstein in Davar of May 23, 1978. Translation in the Journal of Palestine Studies, vol. 8, no. 1 (Autumn 1978), p. 134.
86. Painting confiscated from exhibit in Gallery ’79, Ramallah, which was also closed. Al-Fajr, September 28-October 4, 1980.
87. On the closure of the gallery, see the Jerusalem Post, September 22, 1980; Al-Fajr, September 28-October 4 and December 14-20, 1980.
88. “But No Windows for West Bank Artists,” Al-Fajr, December 14-20, 1980.
91. Samed, Al-Fajr, March 29-April 4, 1981.
92. Geist, interview with Mansour.
93. Samed, Al-Fajr, March 29-April 4, 1981.
94. Ibid. Also see Geist.
95. Israel Shahak, “The Four ‘Terrible’ Colors,” Palestine/Israel Bulletin, March 1981, p. 4.
99. Al-Fajr, August 9-15, 1981.
100. Al-Fajr, June 29-July 5, 1980.
102. Jewish Telegraphic Agency, September 8, 1980.
104. “But No Windows...”
105. Zuhair Sabagh, “Some Art and Politics Mix in Nazareth,” Al-Fajr, December 14-20, 1980.
106. National Lawyers Guild (U.S.), Treatment of Palestinians in Israeli Occupied West Bank and Gaza. New York: National Lawyers Guild, 1978, p. 53. On how the Emergency Regulations were used against Israeli Arabs in the 1950’s and 1960’s see Chapter 8 in Bober, The Other Israel, and Sabri Jiryis, The Arabs in Israel.
107. National Lawyers Guild, p. 53.
108. Danny Rubenstein, cited in note 101 above and Al-Fajr, July 12-18, 1981.
109. Al-Fajr, June 8-14, 1980.
110. New York Times, August 31, 1980.
111. Adel Al-Ustah, “Palestinian Literature in the Occupied Territories After 14 Years of Occupa- tion,” (Symposium), Al-Jadid, nos. 6-7, June-July, 1981), p. 57. In Arabic.
112. “Common Ordeal,” (editorial) Al-Fajr, June 8-14, 1980.
113. New York Times, August 31, 1980.
116. “Common Ordeal.”
117. Jerusalem Post, October 26, 1978.
118. Muhammad Batrawi, “Palestinian Literature...,” (symposium cited in note 111 above).
119. Al-Tali’a, April 16, 1981. On the placement of the editors under “town arrest” see also the Jerusalem Post, July 15, 1980, and Al-Bayadir Al-Siyasi, September 1,1981.
120. Al-Fajr, June 8-14, 1980: the Jerusalem Post, June 2, 1980; and the New York Times, June 2, 1980.
121. Al-Fajr, July 12-18, 1981. Text of the letter appeared in Al-Fajr, January 11-17, 1981.
124. New York Times, August 31, 1980.
125. Al-Fajr, August 10-16, 1980. 126. Robert Friedman, “Political Censorship of the Arab Press.” Al-Fajr, January 11-17, 1981.”
127. Amnon Kapeliouk, an Israeli journalist who studied the censorship of the Arab press, said “I found simple love poems that were censored although they contained no reference to the na- tional question. Perhaps our censors are anti-love. Probably the censor didn’t understand the poem, so he cancelled it.” Cited in Ibid.
129. For information on this law see New York Times, July 30, 1980, and Jerusalem Post, July 19, 1980.
130. For Tamir’s statement to Israeli television see Al-Fajr, July 20-26, 1980. For cases of arrest see Benny Morris, “Trouble on Campus,” Jerusalem Post, May 30, 1980, and September 24, 1980. Also see Al-Fajr of September 27-October 3, 1981.
131. Quoted in Al-Fajr, August 3-9, 1980.
133. The report of the Israeli League in Al-Fajr, March 29-April 4, 1981; and the story of Palestine Bank in Al-Fajr, March 15-21, 1981.
134. Jane Story, “Filastin-Everything in a Name,” Al-Fajr, January 18-24, 1981.
Palestine - The Suppression of an Idea