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PA daily op-ed: Claims “the invaders” will someday leave, claims Israel tattooed “seals and numbers on our backs in order to replace our identity with another artificial one,” and claims “I will return to the new old Palestine, to Haifa, to Safed..."

Excerpt of op-ed by Muwaffaq Matar, Fatah Revolutionary Council member and regular columnist for the official PA daily

Headline: “The Nakba and the mill of memory”

“We are from the dust of this land; it knows us and we know it; it loves us and we love it; we sanctify it and it sanctifies our blood in it…

Our good and sacred land does not give itself to invaders and does not accept them, even if they stay for years. And these, with the passage of time and days their weapons will rust, and their fire will become shrapnel that returns to their chests, while there is nothing for them but their ships and their sea.

The terror forced our grandparents to flee from a hungry preying animal of death, but they left their hearts in the yard of the house under a ficus, fig, or pomegranate tree, and exchanged it for a key – and this item made of iron has become more valuable to them than any gold or precious stones in the world…

They left the house windows open, and the light, the sunlight, and the morning breeze pass through here, and Palestinian Adam (i.e., the first man) was here and will remain…

A Palestinian was asked: ‘What has helped you bear the disasters of the Nakba (i.e., “the catastrophe,” the Palestinian term for the establishment of the State of Israel),’ and answered: ‘Because the invaders could not occupy and settle in my mind and spirit; they pushed us to desolate and unknown places, and tattooed seals and numbers on our backs in order to replace our identity with another artificial one! (sic., PMW has found no evidence that Palestinians have had seals or numbers tattooed on them) However, their arrogance blinded them so that they thought that the homeland was an artificial product with a limited [shelf] life, and that it would end up in the mills of memory. However, we did not deviate and were not lost, even if the invaders’ crimes pushed us out of the borders of the homeland…

We did not accept lives of humiliation and surrender; we turned the refugee camps into bases of self-sacrificing fighting…

I will return – I, the refugee – to the new old Palestine, to Haifa, to Safed, to Lod, Ramle, and the Galilee, to its sea and mountains, and to its air, sand, and valleys, to its deserts in the Negev, to its veins, to its Jerusalem – to Allah’s city (all areas mentioned are within Israel –Ed.), as its holy cities are not for sale.’”

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