Photo Credit: testing
A Palestinian Authority Arab girl recites a poem about Jews on official Palestinian Authority TV, May 29, 2015: "Oh Sons of Zion, oh most evil among creations. Oh barbaric monkeys..."

{Originally posted to the author’s website}

Deconstruction is a literary term indicating “a critique of the relationship between text and meaning “.

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I found this poem, “Everything in Our World Did Not Seem to Fit” by Naomi Shihab Nye here.  It is an example of “new Palestinian poetry”.  Excuse me, “Arab Palestinian poetry”. Ms. Nye’s family roots are in Sinjil, just down the road from Shiloh where I live.

I realized that here poem is a literal work of deconstruction – of history, of Jewish national identity, of politics and of simple rational logic.

The poem:

Once they started invading us.
Taking our houses and trees, drawing lines,
pushing us into tiny places.
It wasn’t a bargain or deal or even a real war.
To this day they pretend it was.
But it was something else.
We were sorry what happened to them but
we had nothing to do with it.
You don’t think what a little plot of land means
till someone takes it and you can’t go back.
Your feet still want to walk there.
Now you are drifting worse
than homeless dust, very lost feeling.
I cried even to think of our hallway,
cool stone passage inside the door.
Nothing would fit for years.
They came with guns, uniforms, declarations.
LIFE magazine said,
“It was surprising to find some Arabs still in their houses.”
Surprising? Where else would we be?
Up in the hillsides?
Conversing with mint and sheep, digging in dirt?
Why was someone else’s need for a home
greater than our own need for our own homes
we were already living in? No one has ever been able
to explain this sufficiently. But they find
a lot of other things to talk about.

Let’s deconstruct that literary work.

Once they started invading us.

Actually, the Arabs invaded Eretz-Yisrael in 638 CE. Moreover, despite the loss of political independence, Jews continued to reside in the Land of Israel, if in small numbers depending on the conditions and crcumstances of the various occupiers.

Taking our houses and trees, drawing lines,
pushing us into tiny places.

Throughout the Zionist resettlement enterprise, almost all the land was purchased from its owners.

It wasn’t a bargain or deal or even a real war.

The Arab terror war against Jews in 1920, 1921, 1929, 1936-1939 and the 1947 war was real as were the fedyeen and the PLO’s launching in 1964.

To this day they pretend it was.

No. Arabs pretend.

But it was something else.
We were sorry what happened to them but
we had nothing to do with it.

If you mean the Holocaust, your leader, Haj Amin Al-Husseini surely did.

You don’t think what a little plot of land means
till someone takes it and you can’t go back.
Your feet still want to walk there.

You mean what was done to the Jews of Hebron, Gaza, Jerusalem’s Old City and neighborhoods like Shimon HaTzaddik, Atarot or Gush Etzion?  What was a campaign of ethnic cleansing.

Now you are drifting worse
than homeless dust, very lost feeling.
I cried even to think of our hallway,
cool stone passage inside the door.
Nothing would fit for years.
They came with guns, uniforms, declarations.

We wouldn’t have arrived if King Hussein had not fired artillery shells into Israel or invaded its territory in Jerusalem.

LIFE magazine said,
“It was surprising to find some Arabs still in their houses.”
Surprising? Where else would we be?
Up in the hillsides?
Conversing with mint and sheep, digging in dirt?
Why was someone else’s need for a home
greater than our own need for our own homes
we were already living in? No one has ever been able
to explain this sufficiently. But they find
a lot of other things to talk about.

We had no ‘need for a home’. It was the Arabs who decided we Jews should have no home.

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