Normalize This!


Normalize This!
by Soosan Khanoom

Nothing is normal about occupation
nothing normal about apartheid
ethnic cleansing, siege, blockade
settler only roads, bombing water wells
schools, mosques & UN buildings
nothing normal about putting
a civilian population on a diet
paying non-indigenous foreigners
to occupy land that is already populated
rewriting the Nakba with each stolen childhood
trying to desensitize the puncture wounds
and claw marks put into the bodies of
Bassem Abu Rahme & Rachel Corrie

No, I don’t want to normalize with you
I don’t want to hug, have coffee, talk it out
break bread, sit around the campfire, eat S’mores
and gush about how we are all the same

I don’t want to share the stage
co-write a poem, submit to your anthology
talk about how art, instead of justice
can forge a better path
I don’t want to indulge your amnesia
about a glorious past
have a therapy session
on 2 sides with equal grievances
the only thing barren
is your moral capacity
blooming a settler colonial state
with appropriated culture

I will not fight for your privilege
nor will I seek to normalize it
your dialogue group
is a breeding crowd for injustice
just look at the board members
and the ZOA sponsorship

Zionism is the real demographic threat
infecting the minds of millions with racism
blaming the victim ideology
they were hooded in the South
pushing darker nations into Bantustans
jailing young men in H Blocks in Northern Ireland

in case you missed the hint
I don’t want to pretend all is ok
or that bombs dropped on Gaza
don’t have a manufacturer
the pilot doesn’t have a nationality
and Shimon Peres is any better
than Avigdor Lieberman

it’s not just the occupation stupid
it’s the right of return
equality for all Palestinians
it’s the transformation
from a racist, exclusivist
supremacist state
to a nation for all of its citizens

you deserve nothing
more than equality
which means more than African refugees
are provided in South Tel Aviv
you are the shining light
on a settlement hill
reminding the world that racism
often comes in nice packaging

we don’t give the Sudan
3 billion a year in military aid
don’t have preferential trade agreements
with North Korea
don’t call Iran a democracy

you are a proxy for empire
a 1950s ethnocracy
in 21st century clothing
Yes, you are singled out
with aid, weapons, and UN vetoes
in your favor

did I hurt your feelings?
should we hug after the show?
do these words
hurt more than bombs
dropped on Gaza
white phosphorous
eating the flesh of children

I am not the bad guy
you are defending the bad system
your words and actions have consequences
you are either with oppression or against it
I didn’t write history
and didn’t choose for you
to stand on the wrong side of it

your system of oppression is coming to an end
and whether you recognize it or not yet
it will be liberating for you too

by Remi Kanazi / November 13th, 2012


more from Soosan Khanoom
Soosan Khanoom

15,000 march for Gaza in London: report, video, pictures

by Soosan Khanoom on

The calling of a ceasefire and atrocious weather did not deter 10-15,000 protesters from marching to show their solidarity for Gaza on Saturday, as Lindsey German, national convenor of Stop the War, reports below. For a video and pictures of the demonstration, see:  //


The march from Downing Street to the Israeli embassy in Kensington was a marvellous display of solidarity with the people of Gaza.

After eight days of brutal bombardment, which left 160 Palestinians dead, around 40 of them children -- our commitment to show Gaza that it was not alone was not dampened by the ceasefire called two days ago.

Nor did the incessant and gloomy rain stop the determination of 10-15,000 protesters from marching through London to show the British government that the green light it gave to Israel's assault was not in our name.

The crowd was very diverse, with lots of young people and students and Anonymous masks mixing happily with hijabs and Palestinian scarves.

We chanted, waved banners and placards and were a constantly vibrant presence as we passed through some of the most affluent parts of London to the Israeli embassy gates, where we were greeted by Tony Benn, president of Stop the War Coalition, the first of the speakers to express solidarity with Gaza.

Other speakers included delegates from the Palestinian town of Jenin, the Egyptian novelist Adhaf Soueif, the Palestinian ambassador to the UK Manuel Hassassian, MPs Jeremy Corbyn and Andy Slaughter, speakers from the trade unions, and a representative from the SOAS students who occupied their university in solidarity with Gaza.

Very well received was journalist Seumas Milne, repeating what he wrote in his Guardian column last week, that Palestinians have every right to defend themselves.

Renowned film director and long time supporter of the Palestinian cause, Ken Loach, was one of those not able to be there but who sent a message of solidarity. 

The demonstrators were united in their determination not just to protest at this latest outrage by Israel but to call for an end to the siege of Gaza and to see the day -- after 65 years of occupation and brutal repression -- when justice will be achieved for all Palestinians.

The protesters were enthused by the sense that Israel had been forced to curtail its attack -- at least in part -- due to the changed balance of forces in the Middle East since the Arab revolutions, and in particular since the overthrow of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak.

The distorted media coverage, which has often seemed little more than an adjunct to the Israeli propaganda machine, came in for shouts of disapproval from the crowd -- not least when the BBC was mentioned.

That the motivation for Israel's attack may in part have been motivated by a plan to wage war next year against Iran -- as Britain's chief rabbi Jonathan Sachs revealed inadvertently on BBC radio -- brought roars of anger.

This particular Israeli attack may have ended, but there is no such thing as an Israeli ceasefire where Gaza or the West Bank are concerned.

Our campaign is but another step in the path to freedom for Palestine. Campaigning will go on -- for a boycott of Israeli goods and against any future wars in the Middle East. Stop the War will be at the heart of these campaigns because our anti-war activity has always been driven by an understanding that the issues of war and western imperialism are inextricably linked.

Soosan Khanoom

How to End the Tragedy in Gaza_ Ron Paul_ November 26, 2012

by Soosan Khanoom on


As of late Friday the ceasefire in Gaza seems to be holding, if tentatively. While we should be pleased that this round of fighting appears temporarily on hold, we must realize that without changes in US foreign policy it is only a matter of time before the killing begins again. 

It feels like 2009 all over again, which is the last time this kind of violence broke out in Gaza. At that time over 1,400 Palestinians were killed, of which just 235 were combatants. The Israelis lost 13 of which 10 were combatants.  At that time I said of then-President Bush’s role in the conflict:

“It's our money and our weapons. But I think we encouraged it. Certainly, the president has said nothing to diminish it. As a matter of fact, he justifies it on moral grounds, saying, oh, they have a right to do this, without ever mentioning the tragedy of Gaza…. To me, I look at it like a concentration camp.”

The US role has not changed under the Obama administration. The same mistakes continue. As journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote last week:

"For years now, US financial, military and diplomatic support of Israel has been the central enabling force driving this endless conflict. The bombs Israel drops on Gazans, and the planes they use to drop them, and the weapons they use to occupy the West Bank and protect settlements are paid for, in substantial part, by the US taxpayer…”

Last week, as the fighting raged, President Obama raced to express US support for the Israeli side, in a statement that perfectly exemplifies the tragic-comedy of US foreign policy. The US supported the Israeli side because, he said, "No country on Earth would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders.” Considering that this president rains down missiles on Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and numerous other countries on a daily basis, the statement was so hypocritical that it didn’t pass the laugh test. But it wasn’t funny.

US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton traveled to Tel Aviv to meet with Israeli prime minister Netanyahu, but she refused to meet with elected Palestinian leaders. Clintonsaid upon arrival in Israel, “America's commitment to Israel’s security is rock-solid and unwavering.” Does this sound like an honest broker?

At the same time Congress acted with similar ignobility when an unannounced resolution was brought to the House floor after the business of the week had been finished; and in less than 30 seconds the resolution was passed by unanimous consent, without debate and without most Representatives even having heard of it. The resolution, H Res 813, was so one-sided it is not surprising they didn’t want anyone to have the chance to read and vote on it. Surely at least a handful of my colleagues would have objected to language like, “The House of Representatives expresses unwavering commitment to the security of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders...”
US foreign policy being so one-sided actually results in more loss of life and of security on both sides. Surely Israelis do not enjoy the threat of missiles from Gaza nor do the Palestinians enjoy their Israel-imposed inhuman conditions in Gaza. But as long asIsrael can count on its destructive policies being underwritten by the US taxpayer it can continue to engage in reckless behavior. And as long as the Palestinians feel the one-sided US presence lined up against them they will continue to resort to more and more deadly and desperate measures. 

Continuing to rain down missiles on so many increasingly resentful nations, the US is undermining rather than furthering its security. We are on a collision course with much of the rest of the world if we do not right our foreign policy. Ending interventionism in the Middle East and replacing it with friendship and even-handedness would be a welcome first step.

iraj khan

"your system of oppression is coming to an end.."

by iraj khan on


Soosan Khanoom, thanks for posting it.


The Two In Peace, At Last!

by Demo on


With great many thanks for your blog.