The Dos and Don’ts of Palestine

By Remi Kanazi

don’t call it genocide
we don’t want to offend anyone
if we offend them
they’ll never listen to us
we have to be reasonable

1,400 is just a number
no names
no death
we want peace and negotiations

don’t mention Zionism
if you mention Zionism
they’ll call you anti-Semitic
and people will believe them

don’t cite Palestinian sources
no one will believe you
I won’t believe you
trust Israeli sources

don’t ever be angry
if you’re angry
they’ll call you angry
if they’re angry
everyone will call them
understandably emotional

we have to be pragmatic
pragmatism is not a euphemism
for concessions
although it may feel that way

don’t mention Allah or martyrs
it reminds them of Al Qaeda and 9/11
it’s not your job to fix their ignorance

don’t talk about refugees
boycott
or a one-state solution
if we want to win
we have to compromise
the road to peace is just ahead

don’t make analogies that include
the Holocaust, Nazis, or the Warsaw Ghetto
only Israelis are allowed to do this
when discussing wars on
Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran

don’t mention Yaffa, Haifa, Safad
or where your family is from
but if you do
nod when random people say they love Israel
it doesn’t matter where you came from
you can’t go back

don’t
just don’t
and that will lead to doing.

– Remi Kanazi is a Palestinian-American poet, writer, and activist living in New York City. He is the editor of Poets For Palestine and the author of the newly released collection of poetry and CD, Poetic Injustice: Writings on Resistance and Palestine. The collection is available today on www.PoeticInjustice.net. He contributed this poem to PalestineChronicle.com.

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