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(Mohammed Asad / APA images)

WATCH: Remi Kanazi video debuts blistering new poem against the injustice of normalization

“I don’t wanna normalize with you… Did I hurt your feelings?” — so go two lines in Palestinian-American poet Remi Kanazi’s brilliant new spoken-word poem.

The video for “Normalize This!” was released online today, and addresses the issue of normalization, the Israeli push for the abnormal situation of occupation and apartheid to be treated as if it were tolerable.

In another line Kanazi says: “I don’t want to indulge your amnesia about a glorious past, have a therapy session on two sides with equal grievances”.

In a statement emailed to EI, Kanazi explains the background to this, his first ever official video:

Bringing together a great crew of creative minds, and shot throughout Brooklyn, Normalize This! tackles the multitude of ways Israel attempts to normalize its policies and whitewash its crimes against Palestinians. As an avid proponent of the fast growing, rights-based Palestinian civil society call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions, and as an artist who refuses to sign onto projects that promote a false symmetry between occupier and occupied, I felt this was an essential topic to tackle.

In the video’s description, Kanazi gives the following definition of normalization:

Nor·mal·i·za·tion: a “colonization of the mind” whereby the oppressed subject comes to believe that the oppressor’s reality is the only “normal” reality… and that the oppression is a fact of life that must be coped with.

He also links to the normalization definition by PACBI, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

I interviewed Kanazi for EI last year during a UK tour. Watch the new video above!

Comments

Thank you for featuring the poem, Asa, and thank you for the poem, Remi!!

Yuck. Slam poetry. Just write a poem.

Great poem, Brother.

I hope to see a free and independent Palestine in my lifetime.

Thank you for your brilliance.

Anger's understandable. The pain is real and maybe those of us who think we can bridge the divide and learn about and from each other are worse than naive. But I think it's important to hear your words and think about what it must be like to have grown up in Rafah and live behind that wall today. I think it's important for a Jew to reach out to Muslims, and Christians and other Jews and those of other faiths and point to the story of Salim and Aribiyah Shawamreh and talk about why that injustice cannot stand. And I think it's important to come to Jerusalem and see the wall and talk to people and become engaged in peacemaking even if that does nothing to answer your anger.

Thank you for your powerful words, spoken and written.