Rewriting history: Poetry video says Israel has been Palestinian homeland for a million years

Posted in Israel / Palestine | 30-Jul-04 | Author: Itamar Marcus and Barbara Croo| Source: Palestinian Media Watch


Denying Israel's right to exist by claiming the Jews have no historical roots in Israel is a backbone of Palestinian Authority (PA) cultural education, as is the attempt to reinforce Palestinian claims to the land by creating an ancient Palestinian history in Israel.

A new poetry video called You and Us, broadcast on PA TV almost every day in recent weeks, uses both tactics.

As shots of Israelis appear on the screen, an announcer's grave voice reads the poem's opening line: You are phantoms in my land. The juxtaposition of text and visuals also portrays Israelis as conquerors. The text of the poem states that the land has been Palestinian homeland for a million years, since the dawn of man's creation, and that no one occupied the land before the Palestinians' arrival. Scenes of Yasser Arafat accompany the repeated phrase, This is the beginning, and the poem's final line refers to revolution as the PA flag appears on the screen.

The following is the text of the poem, with a description of the accompanying visuals:

You are phantoms on my land [visuals of Israelis] And our roots in her are deep [scenes of land] For a million years it is our homeland May the conquerors exploit as they will [war scenes] We came - the dawn of man's creation in the world And our arrival - the beginning and time Before us no foot had strode through her [scenes of land] And calls were not heard Ours are the caves of her mountains Ours are her rivers Ours are her plants, vineyards, the fields And a waterway there is, faced with fields And the bones of our fathers that lived on the ground And under it they died... This is the beginning [scenes of Yasser Arafat] This is the beginning And every beginning is followed by an end [scenes of Al-Aqsa Mosque] The days are long [war scenes] The days have always been long And the course of history - revolution [PA flag flying] .