For your information, it wasn’t Frank Sinatra who first sang “New York, New York.” Liza Minelli had recorded the song in 1977, two years earlier than Sinatra, as the theme for Martin Scorsese’s film, New York, New York. Now that I have set the record straight, let me refer to the following excerpt from the lyrics:
“If I can make it there
I’ll make it anywhere
It’s up to you
New York, New York”
I would like to tell both Liza and Frank that neither of them have tried to make it in Palestine! Not sure how to explain this; we’re neither actively at war, as Ukraine, nor a dysfunctional state, as – sadly – Somalia. In fact, we’re far better off socially and economically than many other countries around the world. We certainly don’t have famine. Yet, almost everyone is under intense pressure most of the time. You often hear statements like “Who among us is happy?” or “Tell me, who is doing well?” I don’t want to generalize and sound too negative, but it seems as though everyone here carries a heavy burden. I dare say that no one is really happy; even those who can afford to lead a comfortable life.
Yet, we see feisty people who are ready to defend their homes, their land, and their villages. Apart from Jenin, the capital of Palestinian resistance (along with Gaza, of course), the village of Beita has become an icon of resistance against Israeli settlers (squatters). The internal organization of the shabab as well as their discipline and their fervor are the main reasons for their success. Their improvisation in creating new methods of resistance has been simply amazing. Beita paid a heavy price for its resistance, but it stands strong and proud. For more uplifting stories, just go to TWiP’s April issue to read the many inspirational stories of our youth, in particular. They’ll lift your spirits.
As evident from the articles of this July 2022 issue of the magazine, Palestine is a beautiful country that has a lot to offer. But the truth is that it’s hard to live in Palestine. You never know when you’ll be stopped by an Israeli soldier (often much younger than you) who condescendingly asks for your identification. You never know when an ad hoc checkpoint will be erected, delaying you for hours and disrupting your plans. If you’re from the West Bank or Gaza, you need a permit to come to Al-Quds. Travelling abroad is not easy; our government is poor; salaries are low, and life is very expensive. The list is unfortunately long.
But Palestine is home and bears witness to a brave people who has unjustly suffered tremendously at the hands of people who have come from abroad. It is both our cross and our cherished cause.
I would like to end with the following quote from an article entitled “The Evidence Is in the Archives,” which we published in the June 2022 issue and which was taken from a 1925 report titled “The Colonisation of Palestine: Means and Methods,” by Zalman David Levontin:
“What medium should be employed to colonise a country on a large scale: should it be done by philanthropy or treated as a business proposition along strict business lines?” And you ask why we are unhappy?
Long live Palestine!
By Sani Meo