Nahida Izzat interviewed by Gilad Atzmon
The outspoken Palestinian poet Nahida Izzat has been an inspiration for a growing number of people. This fact has been a great concern for both Zionists and the so-called ‘anti.’ I have been witnessing the campaign against Nahida for over 10 years. In recent days the desperate attempts to silence Nahida have intensified. I spoke with Nahida about her life and her battle for truth. I urge you to listen to the spectacularly lucid voice of an heroic exiled poet.
Gilad Atzmon: Recently FB has both suspended you at least once a day and then lifted your suspension a few hours later after reviewing your appeal. It seems that someone is desperate to silence you. What are your feelings about this, and why do you think it's happening?
Nahida Izzat: That is true, Gilad. In the past, my account was suspended and my posts/comments deleted. To have my account reinstated, FB asked me to provide documentation (A copy of 2 of these items: Passport, Birth Certificate, Driver’s License, or Bank Account) to prove my identity and that my account is not a fake.
This time around, I have been subjected to harassment on an almost daily basis, receiving notice that a post of mine "goes against FB Community Standards" of "Hate Speech". I have protested immediately each time and requested a review, a few hours later I receive an apology from FB for their mistake in suspending my account and they have lifted the ban.
Whoever is reporting me recently has been trying desperately to find an excuse to silence me for being one of the most outspoken Palestinian voices in the West, daring to step outside the red line and break the "boundaries" as defined to us by the self-appointed gatekeepers in the Palestinian support movement.
Some years ago, and like yourself, I experienced some real harassment and attempted censorship by no other than the Jewish anti-Zionist ‘supporters' in the movement, those to whom I had given my trust after working closely with them for many years. They did this to me because I dared delve into the ‘forbidden’ topics they deemed taboo, and I stepped out of the boundaries they set as they claimed that anything beyond their boundaries was not ‘permissible’ in the discourse of the Palestinian struggle. They used the same accusation they use now of "antisemitism" to stop me from writing and to stop my writing from being published online.
Some years ago, I identified some of the subjects they deem impermissible, including:
The doctrine of Jewish supremacy, (chosenness) and its role in Palestine Struggle and the ramifications it has had on Palestinian lives and on their destruction;
The global Jewish Zionist network which functions as the international blood line that has enabled the continuous survival of the Jewish state;
The veneration of the holocaust as an article of faith rather than a chapter in history, and the implications of that for the Palestinian struggle for liberation; and
The concealment of False Flag operations perpetrated by Mossad and the intentions and role of both the concealment and the operations themselves in the destruction of much of the Middle East.
All efforts to silence my roaring Palestinian voice have come to naught. In fact, such efforts had the opposite effect. Instead of my having a voice that faintly echoes from a small city in the UK, their attempts to silence me have helped me raise the volume, so that my voice is propelled far and wide.
I see what is happening on FB now as deja vu, once again one or more people are out there desperately trying to smother an authentic, free and untamed Palestinian voice and to incarcerate an independent thinking mind by clutching a straw, building a castle on quicksand or throwing a handkerchief in people's eyes to stop daylight from breaking through.
GA: While in the early days it seemed as if it was Zionists and Israeli stooges who were interfering with our intellectual work, now it is established that Anti Zionist Jews are way more active on that front. What is your explanation?
NI: Zionist hawks are not interested in playing in a mind field, they prefer to play with bombs, bullets and minefields. Their interest is in totally eliminating their enemy. By contrast, anti-Zionist ‘doves’ wave the banners of morality and universal values, it isn’t befitting to their moralist role to play with guns, so they focus on the mind field. But their arguments are feeble and cannot stand the heat of truth, the goals of their game evolve into working to spin and conceal truth for as long as possible, hoping that in their end game they can bury truth forever in the dungeon of "hate speech" locking it with the "antisemitism" and "holocaust denial" keys.
What these poor souls fail to see is that truth has an innate irrepressible light that can never be extinguished by their blows.
GA: What should be the role of anti Zionist Jews?
NI: If anti Zionist Jews are to be truthful with Palestinians, with our supporters and with themselves, all their energy, all their sincerity and all their might must turn inside out. They will have to turn over and look within. They should focus on diagnosing the root causes of the problem not, as they have insisted upon, merely describing the symptoms. Looking within is a huge undertaking, it requires a long and agonising journey within the self. I dare to suggest as a first step in this monumental task, that they approach it with honesty and sincerity not the avoidance and concealment we have seen.
The heart of the problem and the root cause of the Palestinian Nakba lies in the demon of ‘chosenness', i.e ideological Jewish supremacy as manifested in their innumerable texts that separate Jews from ‘gentiles' and puts them not merely miles apart, over and above the rest of mankind, but places them within a totally different paradigm, with different histories, terminology and perception of the world, themselves, and the outside world. Without an end to this separation there can never be a true solution in which we achieve a workable, egalitarian, fair and humanistic world with universal values that apply to all.
In order for their self-chosen, self imposed separation to end, they must take a hard and honest look at the core issue, the elephant in the room, that which no one dares to name, ‘chosenness.’
They must examine why they feel the need to conceal this issue.
They need to discover why they ‘freak out’ and behave irrationally at the mention of this word.
They need to ask themselves the difficult questions:
Why do they feel entitled to control the terminology that defines what is good for mankind and why do they believe no one else can?
Why do they feel that their narrative is the one and only possible narrative?
Why do they believe that their own suffering supersedes that of others?
What is it that terrifies them when they feel they have no control in making the rules?
How do they demand that Palestinians be thoughtful of Jewish sensitivities, Jewish security and the Jewish future all while the Palestinians are being maimed, tortured and slaughtered?
Why do they expect Palestinians to consider the welfare, security and future well being of the Jewish ‘Israelis’ who are slaughtering them and bombing their society to smithereens?
What is it that makes them feel entitled to expect Palestinians to give up on their inalienable rights of liberation, land ownership and sovereignty for the sake of the same people who have been robbing and destroying these rights for seven decades?
If they are able to manage a mile or two of honestly exploring these questions then they can move on to scrutinize and dissect the four boundaries that they have set for themselves and others that are listed above.
GA: Three days ago we were shocked to see an abusive and patronising post by the pro Palestinian Israeli activist Abigail Abarbanel. She has accused you of antisemitism and racism for publishing primary sources of Judaic texts. Abarbanel wrote of you that you "can be clumsy", "bitterness has always been there in Nahida's poetry, "she posted blatantly racist comments", " Nahida does not have good emotional regulation. She can be out of control and expresses incredibly racist views against Jews", "she seems unable to differentiate between her anger with the state of Israel/Zionism and what it has been doing to her people, and maligning the entire Jewish people for it", she "expresses racist views against Jews in general, not just share specific examples of Jewish racism..” etc. How does it feel when an Israeli who claims to be a supporter of your cause refers to you as ‘clumsy’ and ‘racist’?
NI: Ok, how it feels! Even though she has published some nasty stuff about me, I do not feel anger, hostility or hate toward her. I‘ve never met her personally, and on a human level I feel sorry for her, for her inability to empathise with others when her sensitivities are rubbed. I feel sorry for her inability to see beyond the bubble of tribalism she has chosen to dwell within. I feel sorry for her belief that she has mastered all there is to morality and humanity; when she goes out of her way to smear a fellow human being for the ‘sin’ of relying upon and quoting Jewish sources to provide evidence of ideological racism and supremacy and for asking her to challenge her own belief in supremacy.
I feel sorry for her for thinking she has healed the wounds of childhood abuse inflicted upon her by her family members and by her tribe even as they indulged in mass scale abuse of an entire people, although she is incapable of touching the infected core of the problem.
I am sorry to witness her fall as she swims out of her depth and lashes out at a concerned ‘outsider’ who has put a finger where it really hurts in the hope that if a correct diagnosis and attention to a cure is given, healing may occur.
On the collective humanist non-personal level, I experience deep pain from the ugliness of her betrayal of a people she claims to support. I grieve as a witness to her failure, watching as she faced a choice between blind loyalty to a tribe and the truth and made the wrong choice.
GA: Years ago both of us were portrayed as lone voices with marginal followings, nowadays things have turned around. All over Europe people are expressing fatigue with Zionist power over Western politics, culture, media, etc. We are facing a shift in mass consciousness. Does this change translate into hope?
As a witness to so many changes in the short time over the past decade, and as an observer of the grave upheaval raging all around, destabilising major political systems, shifting and shoveling global powers, one cannot fail to see the meaning of "everything is in flux!” Change is a law of the universe.
And watching Zionists and anti-Zionists alike, of all shades, colours and persuasions stuck in an ever shrinking narrowing field in the battle of ideas, with no weapons in their hands other than ad hominem attacks and laughable accusations of ‘antisemitism', I have no doubt that they are slowly but surely losing the battles of the mind and the soul.
As witness to all this, I feel resolve, confidence and resilience from within, filling me with all the hope, energy and fortitude needed to persist. As a person of faith, a believer in the existence of a Supreme Intelligence with Most High Principles, Ultimate Justice and Sublime Love, I feel this energy invigorating me and giving me even more power and the determination to continue roaring with passion for the sake of truth, justice and humanity.