‘We Have The Same Desire For Freedom’ – Palestinian Christians Respond to Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren

The Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU) captures the responses of Palestinian Christians to Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s claim that the main source of duress in the Palestinian Christian community stems from Islamic oppression. This is, of course, entirely unsubstantiated and false. This type of rhetoric has long run its course and highlights the drastic lengths the Israeli propaganda machine will go to try and save face. Unfortunately for them, the truth always prevails. As one of the Palestinian Christians interviewed in this video puts it:

‘If you come to my hometown, the only time you will know the difference between a Muslim or a Christian is if you come in on a Sunday or a Friday and see where we go to pray. That’s the only difference. Otherwise, we have the same culture, we have the same attitude and the same desire for freedom. To be liberated from Israeli Occupation and Israeli ethnic cleansing policies.”

“There is no god, but Bashar” – Syrian Man Buried Alive By Assad Loyalists

A video uploaded to YouTube today shows a Syrian man being buried alive by Assad loyalists. The description of the video claims the man was being punished for providing Al Jazeera Arabic with footage of the Assad regime’s crimes. As they begin to cover the man’s head with dirt he begins to yell La ilaha illa Allah ‘There is no god but God.’ The Assad loyalists respond La ilaha illa Bashar ‘There is no god, but Bashar.’

Regardless of your stance on the revolution, I can’t imagine how anyone in their right mind wouldn’t find this beyond repugnant. Be warned the video is graphic and heart wrenching. And as with everything coming out of Syria, it is virtually impossible to absolutely confirm anything. Viewer discretion is advised.

Heart, thoughts, and prayers are in Syria.

Palestine Paralyzed, A Poem.

Guest contribution by Ruba Ahmad

From the moment I open my eyes, I feel them burn.

Not because I’m in pain

But because you are.

As I sleep you cry. As I sleep you bleed. As I sleep you die.

If I could put all my moments of peace in a jar and send them your way,

You’d never hear a bomb again.

You’d save them right between the black olive jar,

And the green olive jar.

In the morning you’d take them all out,

Set the table for breakfast,

Hand yourself some peace of mind.

If I could, I’d hold you tight,

So tight that all you feel is my arms around you.

No pain

No hurt

Just my arms around you.

My hands are small but they’ll hold you all.

If I could hold you so tight

That the sound of my beating heart drowned out every boom in the distance,

I’d never let go.

My words are inadequate,

They’ll never be enough.

But if every letter I wrote could be a smile on your face,

I’d write forever.

I’d write a thousand words,

I’d write a billion letters.

But as I write you cry. As I write you bleed. As I write you die.

So I pray.

I close my eyes and raise my palms and I pray that today is different.

Today, you live.

I pray that clouds filled with little drops of hope never run dry.

They’ll fall until every inch of oppression has been washed away.

I pray that a lightning bolt of faith lights your sky.

And a roar of thunder screams

“This land is mine.”

Because it is,

Its yours and its mine.

No matter how many settlements they build

Trees they destroy or lives they end,

This land is ours.

It’s ours.

You’re much better than me,

I’ve never felt our land beneath my feet.

I’ve never breathed its air,

Or counted the stars in a Falasteeni sky.

What I know of our land is the ever present ache in my heart that has haunted every moment of my life.

What I know is the rhythm my heart beats seem to follow,

Beat after beat,

Fa la steen.

Fa la steen.

Oceans and walls and miles and checkpoints and passports mean nothing.

I love you, and I love our land,

Simply because I do.

Simply because I feel it pulsing through my veins.

I know nothing of your suffering.

You can tell me, or I can read it, even or watch it on a screen,

But I’ll never really know.

So I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that hearts have grown numb and ears have fallen deaf.

I’m sorry that I sleep while you cry

I write while you die.

I’m sorry that I’ve taken so long to come to you.

Just know that I’m on my way,

While you’re there and I’m away,

Please know that

I always pray.

Ruba Ahmad is a Palestinian-American college student and activist studying political science. You can follow her on Twitter @Ruubzx