LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Palestinian reflects upon recent events in Israel

Saleh Hijazi

Palestinians have been known for their heroism, sacrifice, courage, dedication, and above all, their loyalty to their homeland and to their identity as Palestinians. Surely there were exceptions to the rule, but we always felt proud and honored to declare our Palestinian and Arab identity. It is like associating oneself with the good traits that any man or woman likes to be associated with and described by. Our love for Palestine is a unique one. Our love for Palestine grows deeper with every drop of blood that mixes with the dust. Palestine grew to be the mother, the father, the brother, the sister, the child, and all the dear and loved ones who refused but to be a root for an olive tree in Palestine.

The world stood silent, while we urged for help. The world turned their heads, while we were being slaughtered.

Do you know what it is like:

To see your father being beaten to death?

To see your mother being raped?

To see your unborn child forced out of your wife’s tummy with a knife?

When you hold your child in pieces?

When a human is degraded out of his humanity?

To watch your life being shattered and being raped of your dreams?

To be oppressed and be deprived of your freedom?

I am sure you don’t…because if you did, you would have never called me a terrorist.

Are we terrorists because we said “NO MORE”? Or because we refused to be sub-human? Are we terrorists because we retaliated? Or are we terrorists because our love for Palestine is simply so deep?

To our martyrs—I salute you; I salute your courage; I salute your sacrifices; I salute the earth that mixed with your blood; and I salute the mothers who gave birth to men and women like you. I decorate you with the utmost honor that can only be carried by men and women like you. We are still on the same road, and we have not forgotten our oath.

The oath that we took upon ourselves with the first drop of blood that mixed with sweat and dust. Your sacrifices are not wasted. The bridge to Palestine is being built, and we are still marking the road to freedom.