Resist, My People, Resist Them, Nothing But...

 

Resist, my people, resist them.

Nothing but your fierce hounding us, explains it.

If you turned us into beasts of prey,

And with furious cruelty

We drank your blood mercilessly,

If the whole nation has awoken and risen

And proclaimed: revenge!


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.


By the tortures of hell, the torments of Hades,

Such as you have meted out to us,

You were breeding a single wild beast

And have nourished it with our blood.

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.


For a long time it groaned silently in the cage,

And impotent rage made its blood boil,

But now it has yelled from tremendous pain—

And woe to you when revenge arises.

Resist the colonialist’s onslaught.


You—with chariots and riders,

Pay no mind to his agents among us

You—with horses and elephants;

Who chain us with the peaceful illusion.

We—with only a few desperate men—

Do not fear doubtful tongues;

But they are sons of the Maccabees!

The truth in your heart is stronger,

Our army—the zeal of the nation raised it,

As long as you resist in a land

And with hellish hate led it into battle,

That has lived through raids and victory.

Fury whetted our flashing sword,

So Ali called from his grave:

And destined you for the day of slaughter,

Resist, my rebellious people.


The cup is full! And our arm

Of which you said: We’ve disarmed it!”

Has been strengthened again by our wrath,

Write me as prose on the agarwood;

It has girded us with might—

My remains have you as a response.

And God’s is the victory!


Resist, my people, resist them.

Resist, my people, resist them.



-Dareen Tatour--Arrested for writing half of this poem in Oct 2015, still under house arrest in Nazareth as of Dec 2017--Translated by Tariq al Haydar

-Chaim Nachman Bialik --Not arrested for writing the other half of this poem in Czarist Russia--Translated by Meir Gertner


Allusions:

  1. Hadil al Haslamon, a Palestinian teen who attacked Israeli soldiers with a kitchen knife and was shot dead.

  2. Maccabees, a Jewish group of fighters from the Hanukkah story who, though outnumbered, allegedly secured victory through guerrilla warfare and divine providence.

  3. Ali Kosba, a Palestinian teen who threw rocks at an Israeli military jeep and was shot dead.

  4. Agarwood, the damaged but more valuable form of Aquilaria; a difficult to grow, expensive incense that was traditionally used to purify women in Palestine.