Hearing for Persecuted Palestinian Poet Postponed

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January 2, 2018

Hearing for Persecuted Palestinian Poet Postponed

 By Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)

Arab Israeli poet Dareen Tatour was imprisoned multiple times for criticizing repressive Israeli policies.

Most recently, she’s been alternatively imprisoned and held under house arrest since 2015 for the duration of her trial – accused for the crime of poetry, daring to criticize Israeli repression.

From “A Poet Behind Bars,” she wrote her “poem stands accused, my poem morphs into a crime. In the land of freedom, the artist’s fate is prison.”

It was translated into 10 languages explaining Israeli injustice, the cross she bears “from (her) toes to the top of (her) head.”

She’s a “poet in prison” for writing impassioned words, one of countless Palestinian victims of Israeli ruthlessness, punished for the power of her words – on phony charges of “incitement to violence” and “support for a terrorist organization.”

Her scheduled court hearing was postponed until January, her case attracting worldwide attention from other poets and authors.

She’s charged but convicted of nothing, Israel delaying proceedings to keep her silenced.

Attorney Abed Fahoum said he’s “seen the prosecution as obstinate as it has been in Dareen’s case,” adding:

“I believe that they aim to use her to intimidate and silence all Palestinians.”

During her April 2016 court hearing, a witness to the proceedings said the following:

“The prosecution started to rest her case by bringing the policemen that translated the ‘Qawem’ poem to Hebrew.”

“The scene was completely surrealistic. Poems, by their very nature, are contradictory to the concept of ‘proven beyond reasonable doubt’ that stands at the heart of the criminal law.”

A policeman “witness was struggling with the ambiguities of the poem’s words, supplying his intuitive interpretation to the phrases.”

“We were torn between the urge to laugh loudly and bewilderment at the knowledge that the freedom of our dear Dareen depends on this nonsense.”

“He testified breezily that his competence was based on studying literature at high school and his love for the Arab language.”

“They are confident they can rob Dareen of her freedom according to an interpretation of her poem without even caring to bring a proper translator!”

Charges against her are from one of her impassioned poems, urging an intifada to support free access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque for all Muslims, and calling a Palestinian woman shot by Israeli police “the next martyr” – her remarks posted online.

PEN America (part of PEN International) took up her case last year. The organization “stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide,” its web site states, adding:

“We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.”

In defense of Dareer, it said the following:

Her “prosecution…is of particular concern, as it not only threatens principles of free expression for Palestinian authors, but also represents more broadly an attempt by the Israeli government to litigate the meaning of a piece of literature.”

“The government has based their case primarily on Tatour’s use of the word shahid, both within her poem and in an October 9, 2015, Facebook post of a photograph of Isra’a Abed, an Arab-Israeli woman shot by security officers.”

Israel remains hostile toward “solidarity efforts” supporting Dareer. “Artists outside Israel and Palestine have…been coordinating support for” her.

Thousands signed a petition calling for her immediate release. In summer 2016, she hoped “public pressure (would) force the Israeli authorities to reconsider the persecution of Palestinian artists, writers and young activists just because they express their rejection of oppression.”

Ziofascists running Israel are unrelenting. Dareen’s persecution continues.

Here’s the poem translated into English, resulting in one of the charges against her:

“Resist, My People, Resist Them

In Jerusalem, I dressed my wounds and breathed my sorrows

And carried the soul in my palm

For an Arab Palestine.

I will not succumb to the “peaceful solution,”

Never lower my flags

Until I evict them from my land.

I cast them aside for a coming time.

Resist, my people, resist them.

Resist the settler’s robbery

And follow the caravan of martyrs.

Shred the disgraceful constitution

Which imposed degradation and humiliation

And deterred us from restoring justice.

They burned blameless children;

As for Hadil, they sniped her in public,

Killed her in broad daylight.

Resist, my people, resist them.

Resist the colonialist’s onslaught.

Pay no mind to his agents among us

Who chain us with the peaceful illusion.

Do not fear doubtful tongues;

The truth in your heart is stronger,

As long as you resist in a land

That has lived through raids and victory.

So Ali called from his grave:

Resist, my rebellious people.

Write me as prose on the agarwood;

My remains have you as a response.

Resist, my people, resist them.

Resist, my people, resist them.”

Like Marwan Barghouti, Amed Saadat, Ahed Tamimi and other courageous Palestinian figures, Dareen Tatour is persecuted for championing the rights of her people.

Their liberating struggle continues against a vicious occupying power.

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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”



Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.