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  • Poet Dareen Tatour participating in a protest.

    Poet Dareen Tatour participating in a protest. | Photo: Facebook / @dareen.tatour

Published 31 July 2018

The Palestinian poet was sentenced for a poem titled Resist, My People, Resist Them.

Palestinian-Israeli poet Dareen Tatour was sentenced to five months in prison Tuesday after having served nearly three years under house arrest for “incitement to violence” and “supporting terror” through social media posts.

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In May, Tatour was convicted by a Nazareth district court. On that occasion, Tatour warned "the whole world will hear my story. The whole world will hear what Israel's democracy is. A democracy for Jews only.”

Among the posts cited by the Israeli court was a poem titled Resist, My People, Resist Them, a news story from Islamic Jihad calling for “a continuation of the Intifada,” and two pictures: one of an Israeli-Palestinian woman who was murdered by Israeli occupation forces after wielding a knife and another of Ali Dawabsheh and Muhammad Abu Khdeir, Palestinian children killed by Jewish extremists in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

According to the court, the most controversial line in Tatour’s poem is "I will not succumb to the 'peaceful solution' / Never lower my flags / Until I evict them from my land."

Her case has spurred criticism within and outside of Israel from Jewish and non-Jewish activists who argue Israel is violating her right to free speech. United States-based group Jewish Voice for Peace denounced the prison sentence, saying “#PoetryIsNotACrime but in Israel, they will put you in prison for it.”    

"I expected prison, and that's what happened. I didn't expect justice. The prosecution was political, to begin with, because I'm Palestinian because it's about free speech," Tatour said after receiving her sentence.

Tatour’s sentence was announced only two days after Israel released 17-year old Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi, imprisoned for almost eight months for slapping a soldier in full gear.

Israeli authorities are not only targeting Palestinians but also Israeli and U.S. Jews who criticize the ongoing occupation of Palestinian land like members of the Jewish Voices for Peace group and Breaking the Silence.

This is the English translation of Tatour's poem Resist, My People, Resist Them :

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.


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