Listen: “Love in the Time of Genocide” performed by Haidar Eid

In this video, the Palestinian intellectual and activist Haidar Eid, in Gaza, performs “Love in the Time of Genocide,” adapted from a poem by the late Egyptian poet Abdul Rahim Mansour.

The words are unadorned, but Eid’s performance is haunting, set against images from Israel’s most recent massacre in Gaza:

Between contractions and pain
We will be reborn

Between contractions and pain
Wisdom will be born
The song of freedom will be born

All that has passed and gone
Is still being born in your eyes

At the end of the video are these words from Eid himself:

The Palestinian people, and Gazans in particular, have been living an unending massacre since 1948. We can no longer negotiate about improving the conditions of oppression; it is either the full menu of rights, or nothing. And that means the end of occupation, apartheid and colonialism.

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Love like passion gives all, desires all... In its beauty it is not inhibited
by "responsibility", by deals for crumbs.

If I knew Arabic I could read Abdul Rahm Mansour. But I am stuck with
William Shakespeare and Dylan Thomas:

IN MY CRAFT OR SULLEN ART

In my craft or sullen art
Exercised in the still night
When only the mood rages

And the lovers lie abed
With all their griefs in their arms,
I labour by the singing light
Not for ambition or bread
Or the strut and trade of charms
On the ivory stages
But for the common wages
Of their most secret heart....

Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

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Very hard to watch. There has been so much death, destruction, and pain. But, having forced myself to watch this, I am given hope through the words of this song. As long as we fully submit to God, positive change for Gaza, and all of Palestine, will come.

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"All or nothing"? Yes, I believe even psychopathic Israel would be forced to bend under the weight of that determination. The World would have to concede, do we stand by whilst Israel annihilates the whole Nation of Palestinians, the rightful residents of these ancient homelands, or do we finally intercede to kick Israel into the twenty first century.The World has been complicit in this struggle for too long, we have taken too many Israeli pieces of gold and shekels, and, to their everlasting shame, this includes all other Arab and Muslim States World wide. I for one would like to hear the protestations and arguments all other Arab and Muslim states will advance to explain or justify, their lack of action to support Palestinian justice; lets call upon them to speak and explain. Do not use the excuse relating to Israeli possession of nuclear weapons, that is irrelevant, especially if the World will unite against this Israeli oppression; will they "nuke" the whole world? Also tell me this, which Nation will they occupy next? and, where will they stop? Read their history of pronouncements over the last one hundred years; read their religious texts, they see themselves as the "chosen" race, and everyone else exists either to "serve" them or be dead. Now think where have you heard those teachings before. Israel must be brought down to Earth, so it must be "All or nothing".All Peace negotiations are a farce simply used to punctuate the periods of Palestinian death and destruction.

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To Thomas W. Adams:

Thank you for your special sensitivity to the role of religion. Michael Prior analyzes these concepts in depth in THE BIBLE AND COLONIALISM:A MORAL CRITIQUE.

The late Joyce and Gabriel Kolko wrote in THE LIMITS OF POWER....
(p. 383) :

"Dominant political theory assigns special significance to public opinion as
the origin of a democratic state's conduct, but this proposition only reinforces
a positive theory of legitimacy that avoids the more durable reality that it is
elite opinion and power that is the source of policy."

Thanks as always for your contributions.

Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah's picture

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.