The Human Rights Defender – A Poem

Palestinian popular resistance activists and human rights defenders are constantly under attack by Israeli forces. (Photo:

By Stephen Brackens Brinkley

It’s in the Charter, article one,
afforded to all or else its undone

To Self-Determine is a human right.
For it we struggle, for it, we fight.

The use of the name is not a cheap utility
It’s A badge of honor, brings much responsibility

In defending rights, there’s no pick and choose,
rights are for all, so let’s stop the ruse

For seventy years you’ve carried our sign
claiming our values but not Palestine

You’ve watched and stood frozen while so many died,
Your silence complicit in true genocide

You’ve screamed to the rooftops about worldly oppression
and in one mighty voice denounced all repression

All the while still carrying our sign
claiming our values but not Palestine

You’ve Abetted ethnic cleansing of an indigenous people,
robbed a land sacred to temple, mosque, and steeple

The Spoken TRUTH serves to refute your claim
If Palestine’s omitted please don’t use our name

A Human Rights Defender must walk a straight line,
claiming our values and yes Palestine

 – Rev. Stephens Brackens Brinkley is a San Diego-based advocate and human rights activist for unarmed civilians living under armed conflict. He contributed this poem to The Palestine Chronicle.

(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)
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