US Hindered the Treatment & the Funeral of Palestinian Poet

The American Consulate in Jerusalem delayed giving a medical visa to the famous national Palestinian artist and Poet Mahoud Darwish, 67 years old. An official request and clarification was sent by PA prime minster Salam Fayyad to his American friends, the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and the US genocide coordinator in Palestine General Keith Dayton for hurrying the visa of Darwish for medical and humanitarian consideration. The American consulate in Jerusalem ignored the PA requests and the medical reports from the American hospital. Darwish health deteriorated during four month of waiting for the visa from the American consulate. He was in critical conditions. The US government is responsible for the deteriorated situation of the national famous Poet Mahmoud Darwish.

When Darwish arrived in the US Airport, he and his friend Akram Haniyeh, Editor in Chief of the Al-Ayyam newspaper passed through hard restriction and insulting measures by the airport “security” thugs who give a “special” treatment as terrorists to Arab visitors and to Arabs who have the US citizenship. The bad treatment of US security at the airport had a negative impact on the health of Darwish.

On Saturday 9, July 2008, Darwish died in Houston, Texas, following complications from an open heart surgery made on Wednesday 6th, 2008. The operation was made by the well known Iraqi surgeon at the American hospital, Dr. Hazem Safi. The results of Darwish operation would have been better if he had arrived at the hospital at the right time, without having been delayed four months.

The funeral ceremony of the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish was equally delayed four days by the US government. They restricted the transfer of Darwishs body to Ramallah. The deliberate delay on part of the USA regime is seen as a clear insult towards all Palestinians and the dignity of the poet even after his death. The delay was also understood as full ignorance on part of the PA and a clear disavowal of the US regime from its political promises to the PA.

Darwish was born on 13 March 1941 in the village of Barweh in the Galilee, near Haifa. His village Barweh was razed to the ground by the Zionists in 1948 in addition to the destruction of another 400 Palestinian towns. His family was forced to flee to Lebanon to escape the Zionists massacres. A year later, when Darwish was seven years old, his family return to their homeland. Their village of Barweh had been razed to the ground, and replaced with an illegal Zionist settlement “Achi Hod”, a village for the animals, which is in what is now called northern Israel.

The Darwish family settled temporarily in the Der Al-Asad village, and then they moved to settle in Al-Jadidah village near the destructed village of Barweh in the Galilee district near Haifa. Darwish was deeply impressed when he saw his village Barweh razed to ground, he changed his name to “a Palestinian Refugee in Palestine”, and he lived with his family as Arab citizens of the Jewish State; he experienced racism and discrimination and experienced life as a second-class citizen. He joined the Israeli Communist Party in their struggle for the basic rights of Arabs in the Jewish State. He worked for the Al-Ittihad Newspaper in Haifa.

Darwish was increasingly harassed and arrested by the Israeli authorities in 1961, 1965, and 1967 because of the new name which carried, “A Palestinian Refugee in Palestine” and also due to his political activities as a member of communist party. He was put under house arrest by the Israeli regime.

In 1972 Darwish moved to Cairo, and became a member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

In 1981 the Israeli Mossad assassinated Darwish’s friend Majed Abu Sharar in Rome with explosives planted under his bed. Darwish and Abu Sharar were taking part in the international conference of the Arab Journalists Union in support of Palestinian journalists. Darwish was deeply impressed the criminal murder of his friend Abu Sharar, and he wrote his poem “Friends don’t Die”.

In 1982 Darwish lived through the Israeli criminal war and siege against Lebanon, during which the former Prime Minister of Israel massacred hundreds of Lebanese in the refugee camp of Sabra and Shatila. His horrible experience inspired him to write the poem “Ode to Beirut.”

In 1988, Darwish wrote the symbolic Palestinian “Declaration of Independence” which was read by the former Palestinian President, Yasser Arafat, in Algeria. Darwish wrote and strong international poems. His poems were translated to over 20 languages.

Also in 1988, the Israeli war criminal, former President of Israel Yitzhak Shamir, incited the Israeli Parliament against the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. He read part of his poem “A’abiron fi Kalam Aber”, what means “Passing through Passing Words,” as an example of the “Palestinian unwillingness to live alongside Jews”. According to the distorted views of Shamir, the poem suggested that Darwish called for Jews to leave the region.

In 1993 Darwish resigned from the PLO executive committee as a protest against the Oslo Accords, which he saw as a big risk for all the Palestinians and Palestine. His resignation brought him personal problems. He was thrown out his apartment. His financial allowance was cut by the former Palestinian President Yasser Arafat. He lived under harder and harder conditions because of his political perspective. In 1996 Darwish moved to live in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

He had two previous heart surgeries, in 1984 and 1998. He died of complications from his third heart operation in Houston, Texas on Saturday 9 August 2008.

The Palestinians have mourned for three days the death of Mahmoud Darwish as a national poet and hero. In Ramallah Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared three days of national mourning for Darwish. The Palestinian admirers the poems of Darwish, they held lightened candles in the darkened streets of Ramallah, where Darwish’s poems were read aloud in front of the Palestinians who cried emotionally for Darwish’s death.

In Vienna the Palestinian community mourned the death of Darwish at the Palestinian Embassy. Ambassador Dr. Zuheir Al-Wazeer announced the death of Palestinian Poet Mahmoud Darwish and declared last Monday 11 August 2008 as an open mourning day for all people who wished to express their condolences for the death of poet Darwish. Tuesday 12 August 2008, Dr. Alwazeer declared a second open mourning day for all the diplomatic missions and ambassadors in Vienna. Dr. Gorge Nicola, a Palestinian political and peace activist, declared Wednesday 13 August 2008, as a third mourning day at the premises of the Palestinian community in Vienna.

On Wednesday 13 August 2008 Darwish was buried in Ramallah. Thousands of mourners attended the funeral of Darwish in the West Bank. President Mahmoud received the flower-strewn coffin at his Ramallah headquarters. According to Abbas in his speech during the funeral of Darwish, he was the most precious of men, who knew Palestine in all its facets, he was the commander who led the cultural front, he was the master of the word and wisdom, the symbol who expressed our national feeling, our human constitution, our declaration of independence.

In Israel, hundreds of Palestinians from the Arab youth and political activists took part in the symbolic burial and brought a coffin to Darwish’s homeland in Barweh, as the Israeli regime had forbidden Darwish to be buried at his place of birth. The coffin was covered with the Palestinian flag and with seven wheat spikes. Some earth from Barweh was spread on the symbolic coffin of Darwish.

3 comments to US Hindered the Treatment & the Funeral of Palestinian Poet

  • Archie1954

    Yes Americans are noted for doing everything possible to make sure the rest of the world hates their guts. this is just another example of their pastime. Evil reigns while the good die. Somewhere and sometime the U.S. will pay for its evil deeds and I don’t want to be anywhere near them when it happens.

  • American Citizen

    We don’t ALL agree with, -nor even have any power to affect a kinder, peaceful stlye of government here in the U.S.A. any more…we too have been taken over by the Industrial/Military complex that Eisenhower warned us in America about long ago as he left the office of PRESIDENT ! Pray that we TRUE peace loving citizens can somehow restore our self rule to govenance here in U.S.A.

    P.S. I appologize for any pain this criminal govt. has caused all the rest of the world in our name. -I pray we can regain control from this current regime, and restore good faith in America once again.

  • great diet plan…read about these atrocities and you lose all desire to eat…makes u sick to your stomach.

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