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Which songs define Palestinian “cultural and… national identity”? ‎

Nan Jacques Zilberdik  |

Songs about rifles, violence, ‎murderers, and Martyrdom are PA’s “cultural and… national identity”:

  • “I'm coming with my rifle… I’m coming towards you, my enemy”  

  • ‎“Take my blood… The Martyrs’ blood illuminates our path”  

  • Murderers of Jews in 1929 are “noble heroes”

  • PA misrepresents photo of three Syrian independence leaders hung by ‎Turkish Ottoman forces in 1916 as Arab murderers hung by the British in ‎‎1930. Those three had “committed particularly brutal murders [of Jews] at Safed ‎and Hebron” [British Government report]. The PA defines their brutal ‎murders as "the most wondrous things in the pages of the [history of ‎the] struggle against the invading occupiers. They are the noble heroes ‎of Palestine.”‎

The Palestinian Authority currently broadcasts a TV quiz with songs that the PA ‎views as an integral part of Palestinian culture and which “still fascinate us with ‎values and meanings,” as the narrator of the quiz explains. Palestinian Media ‎Watch has exposed that the content of these revered songs and accompanying ‎visuals praise violence and terror against Israel. ‎

One song is apparently so valuable to the PA that it decided to feature it twice in the ‎quiz. The lyrics address the “enemy” – Israel – and state that “I'm coming with my ‎rifle… I'm coming towards you, my enemy… with cleavers and knives.” The second ‎time the PA broadcast this song in the quiz, it was added to another song by the ‎same writer. While the songs play, images and footage of Palestinians carrying and ‎firing weapons and buildings exploding are shown: ‎

Official PA TV narrator: “Because songs are a basic part of our culture ‎and they express our national identity… and because these songs are ‎present in our consciousness and still fascinate us with values and ‎meanings… It’s here: ‘The Tune of the Homeland.’”‎
Lyrics: “We pledge to Allah - we won’t leave! ...‎
We pledge to the revolution, the revolutionaries, and the public – we ‎won’t leave! ...”‎
Narrator: “Who wrote the song ‘We pledge to Allah - we won’t leave!’‎‏?‏‎”‎
Lyrics: “I'm coming towards you, my enemy, from every house, ‎neighborhood, and street
I'm coming with my rifle and my faith, I'm coming towards you, my ‎enemy
Our war is a war of the streets
I'm coming towards you, my enemy”‎

[Official PA TV, The Tune of the Homeland, Jan. 1 (twice), 2, 4 (twice), 5, 6 (twice), 2021]‎

Additional lyrics of the last song, which were not included in the sound bite at the ‎end of the quiz, explicitly mentions the weapons to be used against “the enemy”: ‎

‎“I'm coming towards you, my enemy, from every house, neighborhood ‎and street
We're going down from every house with cleavers and knives”‎

Another popular Palestinian song featured in the quiz encourages and glorifies ‎martyrdom-death: “Take my blood”: ‎

Lyrics: “The Palestinian people – a revolution
A revolution against Zionism
It has carried its weapons and begun its struggle
Take, O revolution, and give to me – ‎
Take my blood, and give me victories…”‎
Official PA TV narrator: “Who is the composer the song ‘The ‎Palestinian people – a revolution, A revolution against Zionism’?” ...‎
Lyrics: “I’m confronting you with my bullets
O my enemy, stop in front of me
and don’t cross”‎

[Official PA TV, The Tune of the Homeland, Jan. 9 (twice), 10 (twice), 11, 2021]‎

This song is not just an old national song, but very much part of 21st century’s ‎Palestinian culture. Abbas’ Fatah recently disseminated it through Facebook ‎together with other songs promoting death for “the struggle,” posting a video from a ‎Fatah anniversary rally in Gaza in 2020 at which a band performed a longer version ‎of this song in front of thousands of Palestinians:

Lyrics song 1: “Stand on the Martyr’s grave, make sounds of joy, and ‎read out verses of struggle
For Fatah does not forget the blood of its men”‎

Lyrics song 2: ”The Palestinian people – a revolution
A revolution against Zionism
It has carried its weapons and begun its struggle
Take, O revolution, and give to me – ‎
Take my blood, and give me victories …‎
I’m confronting you with my bullets
O my enemy, stop in front of me
and don’t cross ...‎
Make the stab, I’ll‏ ‏fire back
O my enemy, count your days
The revolution is behind you everywhere
None of us is sparing his blood
We have declared revolution …‎
There’s no reconciliation and no submission
We’ll liberate Palestine with our weapons”‎

Lyrics song 3:“We waved DP machine guns and RPGs  ‎
With our bullets we rushed to death
and did not fear
We carried out the operation (i.e., terror attack) and returned…‎
The Martyrs’ blood illuminates our path
And we are loyal to the vow, O comrades…‎
Our vow to the revolution‏:‏‎ We won’t relinquish our weapons.”‎

[Official Fatah Facebook page, Dec. 23, and Dec. 30, 2020]‎

Visual: A child dressed in military uniform and wearing a keffiyeh is holding what ‎appears to be a toy assault rifle. Member of Fatah’s Central Committee and Fatah ‎Commissioner of Mobilization and Organization in Gaza, Ahmed Helles, is standing ‎next to the boy.‎

The ideal of dying a ”Martyr” for “Palestine” and “the struggle” is also repeatedly ‎emphasized by the PA’s idolization of three Arab murderers who were sentenced to ‎death by the British Mandate in 1930 for murdering Jews during violent Arab riots in ‎‎1929. Still today, for the PA, murderers of Jews are heroes, so it is not surprising that ‎the PA’s new TV quiz included a song about them too:‎

Lyrics: “From Acre Prison went forth the funeral of Muhammad ‎Jamjoum and Fuad Hijazi,‎
Take revenge for them, my people”‎
Official PA TV narrator: “This is the chorus of the pain and suffering ‎from the torture of prison… which expresses the pride of the young ‎ones who presented the most wondrous things in the pages of the ‎‎[history of the] struggle against the invading occupiers. They are the ‎noble heroes of Palestine – Martyrs Muhammad Jamjoum, Ataa Al-Zir, ‎and Fuad Hijazi (i.e., murderers from the 1929 Arab Riots)... Our poet ‎was witness to the three becoming Martyrs, and his talent provided the ‎poem “The Ground Shook Under the Invaders’ Feet”:‎
They were three heroes
Who competed with each other who would die first
Their feet rose above the hangman’s neck
They became an example, O my friend
Throughout the length and width of the land
And from Acre Prison went forth the funeral.”‎

[Official PA TV, The Tune of the Homeland, Jan. 15 (twice), 16 (three times), and 17 (twice), 18 (twice), 2021]‎

Wanting to concretize their “Martyrdom,” the PA repeatedly falsely presents a photo ‎of three Syrian independence leaders hung by Turkish Ottoman forces in ‎‎1916 as the three “martyred” Arab murderers being hung by the British in 1930. ‎

Yet another song presented on the quiz Tune of the Homeland praised the fire of ‎the singing rifle: ‎

Lyrics:“The fire ignited and the rifle sang‎
O homeland, ask for the young people and have hope
The fire ignited from Acre to Tira (i.e., Israeli cities)‎
A handful of children who were raised on a mat
And they have grown up and not forgotten the land
The fire ignited slowly
The people is one, not families and tribes”‎

[Official PA TV, The Tune of the Homeland, Dec. 27, 2020]‎