Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Poetry of the Other Darwish

On the Temple Mount, the Waqf rules.

The Waqf moves from Jordan to the Pal. Authority to Hamas and back.

Israel has no 'hands-on' supervision role except in extreme cases and even then, like the near-collapse of the southern wall, Jordanian and Egyptian engineers are brought in.  Hamas and ISIS flags and banners are flown, demonstrations and assemblies of a political nature are held and there are riots regularly of various degrees all intended to prevent Jews and other non-Muslims nay right to freedom of worship or respect to be displayed for a religious holy site.  No coexistence, no sharing.

[the police allowed 15 Jewish settlers and 20 intelligence officers to desecrate the Aqsa Mosque’s courtyards in the morning under their protection. The Aqsa foundation, in this regard, warned the Israeli occupation authority of its persistence in its hostile activities against the Islamic holy place and said it would continue its efforts to protect it against all Judaization plans.]

But I found an account of this year's PalFest, with this
on the esplanade of the Burj Al-Luqluq Social Center, the local poet Najwan Darwish reads from his collection Nothing More to Lose, recently published by NYRB Classics. His poem “Jerusalem (I)” [2 is here]opens:

“We stood on the Mount
to raise a sacrifice for you
and when we saw our hand rise
we knew
that we were your sacrifice”

Sorry, Najwan, but if anything or one is being sacrificed on the Temple Mount, it is the rights of Jews.  It is the young Haredi children assaulted last Passover. The shouts and venomous screams directed at Jews simply strolling along, as the Muslims attempt to interfere and block the route, acting provocatively.

And as for Darwish's literary worth, this charge from another of his poems:

I see a thread of beauty ripplinglike a river of nobilityBut soon enough I tell myself:Shut up and look awayyou Narcissus surrounded by Zionist lieswalls and checkpoints rising all around youShut up

and from another

In the thirties of the past century it occurred to the Nazis to put their victims in gas chambers. Today’s executioners are more professional:They put the gas chambers in their victims.

He can compose poetry, I'll grant but he can't navigate:

...he made it to the following night’s event in Ramallah and, after several false starts, he finally explained: He’d waited at a checkpoint for forty-odd minutes before being turned away. A soldier didn’t want to let him through, and Darwish felt he didn’t have time to wait for some higher-up to arrive and sort it out. So he drove off in search of an alternate checkpoint. But he got lost. He couldn’t find Nablus on his GPS, he couldn’t find signs pointing to the city and — perhaps even more telling — walls blocked his view of possible landmarks.  He ended up near Tel Aviv, where he got stuck in traffic, and continued driving around for a while longer before, in frustration, he gave up and went home.

By the way, there are no walls near Shchem so, unless he got lost leaving Jerusalem, he doesn't even know that lay of his own "land".

And as I am a bit digressing, this disturbed me:

Four days after Darwish and his guests read to an audience of more than 1,000 in Ramallah's Kassaba theatre, the Israeli army began its operation to root out suicide bombers. Palestinians see the invasion as collective punishment and a move to destroy the infrastructure of their embryonic state. Darwish, who had already left Ramallah to give a poetry recital in the Lebanese capital Beirut, was unable to return. He learned that the Sakakini Cultural Centre, where he edits his quarterly literary review Al-Karmel, had been ransacked and his manuscripts trampled into the floor. "They wanted to give us a message that nobody's immune - including in cultural life," says Darwish. "I took the message personally. I know they're strong and can invade and kill anyone. But they can't break or occupy my words."

To think that Israeli soldiers purposefully sought out Darwish's poetry (or even could read it) is laughable.  As the Palestinian society mostly is mobilized, even their cultural output is suspect to incite and encourage terror and the examples above illustrate well my point.

P.S.   The other Darwish.



Anonymous said...

You have no spell check? This blog post is written very poorly for someone supposedly so well-educated.

YMedad said...

thanks. i corrected the 5 spelling errors I made. no excuse but actually, it seems I had written it up in one place and intended to review at another but pressed "update".