Falasteen Habibti

by David Rovics

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    Falasteen, Habibti ("Palestine, My Love") is a collection of songs related to the Palestinian struggle that I wrote between 2000-2014. The songs from different CDs were expertly remastered for this CD by Billy Oskay at Big Red Studio in Corbett, Oregon.

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This is a compilation album of songs about Palestine.

What you've got here are 19 songs and 2 poems that represent everything I'd care to mention that I've written (aside from essays) on the broad subject of Palestine. I've arranged the songs from track 1 to 21 in such a way that I think they flow well musically as well as thematically.

Track 1, “Gaza,” was written during the massive Israeli bombardment of July, 2014. But it's actually a song about how daily life was for Palestinians in Gaza in the decade or so preceding that.

Track 2, “Occupation,” is about the central contradiction of the whole Israel-Palestine question. It is not a religious conflict, nor is it mainly a problem having to do with communication between peoples. It is an occupation of one people and their land by another people, overwhelmingly foreigners from Europe and North America.

Track 3, “Israeli Geography 101,” refers to one of the many elephants in the living room when it comes to Israel/Palestine. Israeli leaders are constantly bemoaning the idea that Hamas refuses to acknowledge Israel's “right to exist.” But neither they nor the western media will explain that one of the reasons Hamas and others are reticent about this “acknowledgement” is that the government of Israel refuses to acknowledge where its own national borders begin and end.

Track 4, “Bubbling Up,” is about Scarlet Johansson taking on the role of spokeswoman for the Sodastream Corporation, whose main manufacturing facility is on an illegal West Bank settlement.

Track 5, “What Do You Call It,” makes the very important (and very controversial) comparison between Nazi Germany and the Israeli regime. It is impossible for anyone with a knowledge of twentieth-century history not to make this comparison. It is a nation of holocaust survivors that have displaced and are imposing daily collective punishment on another people, including doing things like bombing a walled-in ghetto that they have created.

Track 6, “Holy Land Five,” is about the trials and ultimate conviction of the founders of the Holy Land Foundation. They were sentenced to between 15 and 65 years for the crime of sending food and medicine to Palestinians, but doing it through the wrong channels, making them “terrorists.”

Track 7, “Lebanon, 2006,” is mainly about the many war crimes committed by the IDF in the course of their invasion of Lebanon that year, during which they bombed a UN compound full of women and children, almost ten years to the day after bombing the same UN compound, also full of women and children, in 1996.

Track 8, “Song for the Mavi Marmara,” gives some background on the history of refugees in Gaza, and the efforts of Turkish activists and others from the US, Canada, Ireland and many other countries to break the siege of Gaza in 2010 by attempting to sail humanitarian aid ships directly to Gaza, without Israeli interference. Instead of a successful aid shipment, the effort ended in an Israeli massacre.

Track 9, “They're Building A Wall,” is about the ongoing siege of the West Bank, where Israel began construction in 2004 of a massive wall snaking through that occupied territory, dividing Palestinian society from itself even further, making life for Palestinians in the West Bank immeasurably worse in myriad ways.

Track 10, “Christmas Eve in Bethlehem,” is also about the wall, describing a typical Christmas Eve in Bethlehem since the wall was built.

Track 11, “Khader Adnan, Bobby Sands” talks about the Israeli policy of indefinite detention without trial of Palestinians. A similar policy on the part of the British occupation authorities in Northern Ireland was a major element in what fueled the growth of the IRA in the early 1970's. Many Palestinian and Irish activists are acutely aware of these parallels, as was Khader Adnan, who refused food almost until death, when Israel agreed to release him. For 66 days he didn't eat – which is exactly how long Bobby Stands was on hunger strike, leading to his early death.

I wrote track 12, “Jenin,” after the IDF destroyed much of that city in 2002. I predicted the response, which wasn't hard. The response actually came while I was writing the song, sitting by a river in Canterbury, England, of all places. Then I walked into a cafe and heard the news. There was a study that found that 93% of suicide bombers are motivated by personal loss, rather than by religion or anything else.

Track 13, “Vanunu,” is about Moroccan-Israeli scientist Mordechai Vanunu, who exposed the secret Israeli nuclear weapons program in 1986 after fleeing the country. For all the hype about Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, Iran, Syria and elsewhere, there is a country in the Middle East known to have a massive arsenal of the deadliest weapons in the history of the world. Those weapons are nuclear weapons, and that nation is Israel.

Tracks 14, 15 and 16 (“Palestine,” “I Wanna Go Home” and “The Key”) all explore the theme of refugees who want to return to their homes, which have been forcibly taken from them by Israel.

“Palestine” is about a survivor of the massacre of thousands of civilians in a refugee camp in Lebanon which was facilitated by the IDF. “I Wanna Go Home” is about the desire to return to the home from which you were exiled. “The Key” is about one of many old Palestinian women in the refugee diaspora who still has the key to the home she once lived in.

Track 17, “The Death of Rachel Corrie” is about the young woman from Olympia, Washington who was in Gaza, trying to protect the home of a Palestinian family from being demolished by the IDF when the soldier in the bulldozer ran her over as she sat in front of it, in a brightly-colored orange vest.

Track 18, “Song the Songbird Sings,” is about one of many children shot dead by Israeli snipers for the crime of catching songbirds too close to the wall in Gaza.

Track 19, “Children of Jerusalem,” was the first song I wrote on the subject, after the massacre carried out by the IDF outside the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, when Ariel Sharon, legendary butcher of Shatila, on the anniversary of the Shatila massacre, paid a visit to the mosque. Writing this song began my musical exploration of the subject in September, 2000. It's gotten me many gigs canceled, and it's brought me closer to many wonderful people within the Palestinian diaspora and supporters of Palestinian self-determination around the world, for which I'm forever grateful.

Track 20, “In One World,” is a song based on a story I read in the early days of the Second Intifada, about how life was back in the 70's, when it was comparatively easy for a Palestinian refugee living in the West Bank to pay a visit to their ancestral home in Eretz Israel, or what the Palestinians call '48.

Many people ask why people like me have such a keen interest in the plight of the Palestinians in particular, as opposed to other peoples around the world who have suffered terribly at the hands of one or another oppressor. One crucial reason for the obsession is that it's all very personal. These are my relatives, many of them with the same Brooklyn accents I grew up with, survivors or descendents of survivors of the Nazi Holocaust, doing the awful things they're doing to the people in the land they invaded, called Palestine. The last track, “Return,” explores that feeling a bit.


released July 30, 2014

Falasteen Habibti is a compilation recording, drawing on material from many different studio sessions and live concerts from 2001-2014. All the songs were remastered at Big Red Studio for the purposes of making this recording hang together sonically as an album.

Track 1, “Gaza,” was recorded solo acoustic at Big Red Studio.

“Occupation,” “Palestine,” “The Key,” “The Death of Rachel Corrie,” and “Return” were recorded in 2003 in Boston, Massachusetts with Sean Staples producing and playing various instruments, along with Dave Westner and others. From the CD, Return (2003).

“Israeli Geography 101” and “Holy Land Five” are from the CD, Meanwhile In Afghanistan (2012), recorded at Big Red Studio in Corbett, Oregon with Billy Oskay and I producing, featuring Nick Angelo on electric guitar and Asher Fulero on keyboards.

“Bubbling Up” is from All the News That's Fit to Sing (2014), a digital album available on Bandcamp (and via www.davidrovics.com). It's a very acoustic album, just solo guitar and vocals.

“What Do You Call It,” “Khader Adnan, Bobby Sands,” and “Vanunu” come from another Bandcamp-only album, Everything Can Change (2013), featuring Jun Bustamante and Alejandro Arenas of St. Petersburg, Florida on all sorts of instruments. (My parts were recorded at Big Red Studio.)

“Lebanon, 2006” originally appeared on the CD, Ten Thousand Miles Away (2010), recorded at Big Red Studio.

“Song for the Mavi Marmara” is from the CD, Big Red Sessions (2011), recorded at Big Red Studio.

The version of “They're Building A Wall” here is from the live CD, The Commons (2008), recorded at Club Passim in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with Eric Royer on banjo and Allie Rosenblatt on harmony vocals.

The version of “I Wanna Go Home” on this album come from the CD, For the Moment (2005). My guitar and vocals recorded at Sugar Hill in Houston, Texas. Extra instrumentation by Sean Staples and Dave Westner in Massachusetts.

“Christmas Eve in Bethlehem” is from the solo acoustic Bandcamp album, Spies Are Reading My Blog (2013), recorded at Big Red Studio.

“Jenin” and “In One World” are from the CD, Hang a Flag in the Window (2002). Acoustic album recorded at Melville Park Studio in Massachusetts.

“Song the Songbird Sings” is from the solo acoustic CD, Songs for Mahmud (2004), recorded at Sugar Hill.

“Children of Jerusalem” was recorded live at Caffe Lena in upstate New York in late September, 2001.




David Rovics Portland, Oregon

"Absolutely brilliant. David Rovics says exactly what needs to be said."
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Track Name: Gaza

One point eight million people surrounded on all sides
Refugees since '48, since '67, occupied
The only reason they're not starving is down to the UN
Most have never left there, stuck in the lion's den
The most crowded place on Earth, and there they'll stay
They can't visit friends or cousins a half hour's drive away
Drones overhead constantly
Who will die tomorrow, a daily mystery
In Gaza

The settlers moved out, fighter jets moved in
In Gaza there's just no way you can win
You can't take out a copter with an antiquated gun
You're just a target sitting in the sun
Waiting for your death to come raining from the sky
Where the end really is nigh
You can hear a sonic boom and see a flashing light
Every hour of the day, every hour of the night
In Gaza

There are no shelters, nowhere you can hide
Life is nothing like it is on the other side
There's nothing post about the traumatic stress
There's never more, usually less
And still some people wonder, they insist on asking why
Anyone would be so mad as to reply
So mad as to think that it might make sense
To lob some missiles over the fence
From Gaza
Track Name: Occupation

You ask me how it is that I dare to take a side
You say I loathe myself for pointing out that you have lied
You say it's tribal warfare but I disagree
For the dynamics of the situation are not difficult to see
On one side is the fighter jet, on the other side the stone
On one side is the slave, on the other is the throne
For the many there are checkpoints while foreign soldiers rule the street
For one side there is victory but the people don't accept defeat

The word you need to know is occupation
The very definition of a land without a nation
And if peace is what you're after then let us not deceive
It will come on the day the tanks return to Tel Aviv

On one side there is hunger and bulldozed olive trees
On the other is the Army, ruling by decrees
Caterpillars maul the streets, destroy entire city blocks
While children swallow shrapnel for the crime of throwing rocks
Fences are erected around the towns they flatten
And Herzl's own fanatics sleep on sheets of satin
And they water their plantations, drilling ever-deeper wells
While the displaced children of the hopeless are filled with bullet shells

The word you need to know is occupation
The very definition of a land without a nation
And if peace is what you're after then let us not deceive
It will come on the day the settlers return to Tel Aviv

On one side there is the Mossad rounding up the men
Thrown in jail with no trial being tortured once again
On the other there is rage, helplessness and fear
And a growing realization that another holocaust is near
On the outside there are prisons – inside detainees
Being stripped of their humanity, beaten naked to their knees
Outside ghetto prison walls, stormtroopers all around
While inside the hungry people yearn for liberated ground

The word you need to know is occupation
The very definition of a land without a nation
And if peace is what you're after then let us not deceive
It will come on the day the jailguards return to Tel Aviv

All across the world you can hear the people say
The children of Jerusalem will be free one day
In overcrowded camps, amidst the stench of death and flies
To the suburbs of Detroit, you can hear the anguished cries
While in the land of Israel with God ever on their side
Walls and fences are constructed, papers are denied
People fight for their existence while the world turns a blinded eye
And those who should know better Insist on asking why

The word you need to know is occupation
The very definition of a land without a nation
And if peace is what you're after then let us not deceive
It will come on the day the refugees return to Tel Aviv
Track Name: Israeli Geography 101
Israeli Geography 101

Netanyahu is in a tizzy, his eyes are filled with hate
He said the problem with those Arabs is they won't recognize a Jewish state
He said those Palestinians just won't come around
To accepting Jewish rule on their holy ground
He said the Arabs don't accept their new neighbors in the 'hood
Those ungrateful regimes don't respect us as they should
Well I don't want to upset anyone or to unduly take to task
But if a state wants recognition it seems reasonable to ask

Where are your borders?

I heard him speaking to the Congress, getting his 29th standing o
He said we need our security from those terrorists, don't you know
If you want security, I wonder if you'd say it's true
That the Palestinians should have security too
'Cause if you want security it seems only fair
That you should also grant it to the people over there
And maybe you could answer, though the question is a sin
Just where your country ends and your neighbors' lands begin

Where are your borders?

He said we're the only democracy in the Middle East
Or actually, he said, the only viable one at least
The PA isn't viable 'cause they didn't vote Abbas
They voted for those terrorists that they call Hamas
So we can't recognize them -- though we wish they would agree
That we stole their land quite fairly here by the Mediterranean Sea
We stole it fair and square -- we stole it just like you
If you don't like you're an anti-Semite -- whether you're a Muslim or a Jew

OK, right. But tell me --
Where are your borders?
Track Name: Bubbling Up
Bubbling Up

There's a Hollywood star, there's the company
There's the Superbowl, there's lots of money
There's the stolen land, there's the minimum wage
There's international law, there's the world stage
There's the ambassador, there's the rubbish bin
There's the big contract, there's which one wins
There's the settlements, there's a great big wall
There's the political prisoners, there's the ivory halls

There's the sugary water hat fills your cup
But the truth keeps bubbling up

There's Captain America saving the day
There's the American starlet joining the fray
There's the bulldozed homes, there's the tanks in the streets
There's the little children covered in sheets


There's the rivers of blood, there's the manicured hands
There's the fighter jets, there's the Baby Grands
There's the ancient trees, there's the stolen farms
There's the peaceful protests, there's the force of arms


There's the ever-expanding Zionist state
There's the facts on the ground, there's the sealed fate
There's the kitchen appliance, there's the boycott
There's the haves, there's the have-nots

Track Name: What Do You Call It
What Do You Call It

What do you call it when a movement takes up arms
And seizes power by the barrel of a gun
Moves into the homes of those they've dispossessed
And says this whole country is ours now that we've won
What do you call a government that forces families from their homes
And turns them into refugees
All the while complaining of these dirty tent-dwellers
That it's they who want to drive us into the sea

What do you call a government that builds walls around the ghettos
And only looks at you through sniper sights
Who uses your cheap labor to build those very walls
While they tell the world how they believe in human rights
What do you call a government that makes war upon their neighbors
Who annexes land for living room
Who conducts a foreign policy based on threats and bombing raids
Whose opponents often end up in a prison or a tomb

What do you call a government who talks of enemies within
And seals off the camps to make sure they cannot eat
Who keeps their prisoners on diets to guarantee an early death
With their mantra, history cannot repeat
What do you call a government that puts numbers on the arms
Of the people that they torture and arrest
Whose soldiers commit war crimes systematically
While they proclaim their conduct is superior at best

What do you call a government that bombs its starving subjects
After taking from them everything they had
Whose citizens are soldiers, brainwashed to believe
Their opponents are fanatics, terrorists or mad
What do you call it when a movement takes up arms
And seizes power by the barrel of a gun
Moves into the homes of those they've dispossessed
And says this whole country is ours now that we've won
Track Name: Holy Land Five
Holy Land 5

They grew up among the bombs of the occupation
Bulldozed houses, that was the situation
Refugee camps, Khan Yunus and Shatila
Children gunned down in the Intifada
Poverty and hunger, a place to slowly die
These five men decided at least they had to try
From their homes in Texas to the stateless nation
They started up the Holy Land Foundation
They sent food and medicine, that's all they ever did
Aside from sending toys for little kids
Feed the hungry, they say that's a good deed
But apparently it all depends on who you want to feed
If they're living in the ghettos under IDF command
If they think they don't deserve to starve in their homeland
If Sharon says all that's theirs is mine
If they're from a place called Palestine

The Holy Land is crying out
Leaving little room for doubt
From ruined homes the kids ask you
What in the world will you do?

They sent money to the Zakat Committees
The same ones funded by USAID
But these were Arabs aiding Palestinians
They opposed the occupation and they were Muslims
Their phones were tapped for years but nothing could be found
So with an executive order Bush shut them down
Freezing all their funds, taking food from kids
That's exactly what the US government did
These men supports Hamas, the government proclaimed
Although they couldn't find a cent sent in their name
But they had evidence, for the first time in a court
An anonymous Israeli would submit his report
Behind a veil with no rights to cross-examination
He could smell Hamas, this was his explanation
First the jury hung, so they tried them again
And for feeding hungry people they were sent to prison


Now five men are in cells, no one knows what for
Every Muslim an unindicted co-conspirator
Be careful what you say, be wary what you hear
Or end up in a CMU for 65 years
Cut off from the world, held in a little box
Back home kids are getting shot for throwing rocks
No one stops the charities sending money for tanks
For illegal settlements all over the West Bank
This is justice in America, if you didn't know it now you do
And a retrial was denied, I should mention that, too
A retrial was denied and who knows who's next to go
To be tortured in a Little Guantanamo
The Constitution's suspended, they just haven't let us know
It's easier that way, just say it isn't so
The Holy Land Foundation, you know it's true
They did what all of us should do

Track Name: Lebanon, 2006
Lebanon 2006

Two soldiers had been captured, they’d crossed to the other side
Two soldiers taken prisoner, several others died
This is how it started, so said the Jewish state
Forget about ’96, ‘82, ’67, ‘48
Two soldiers taken hostage and by the Sea of Galilee
We must defend our borders wherever they may be
We must defend our soldiers wherever they’re deployed
Two of them are captured, one country is destroyed

Somewhere in Tel Aviv, generals drawing battle lines
For the town where Jesus turned water into wine
On the ten-year anniversary of a massacre of children
They thought it was a good idea to massacre some children
Anyone in the south, I heard Ehud Olmert say
Everyone’s a target and may be killed today
And if your home has turned to rubble it may be pulverized some more
‘Cause two soldiers have been captured and we gotta settle up the score

A hundred thousand homes leveled to the ground
Every olive branch on offer burned where it was found
Every chance at dialogue, rejected right on cue
If you’re gonna burn your bridges you might as well bomb them, too
They even bombed the prison where they used to torture fighters
Where they had the dogs and leashes, cigarettes and lighters
Where they were kept shackled, not allowed to stand
Where they torched the forests, turned them into sand

The entire world watches, a few thousand demonstrate
Governments take action, al too little or too late
All the telephones are ringing in case you couldn’t read the signs
This is the IDF and you’re in the firing line
Condoleeza came to visit for about an hour
She thought it was a party, some kind of baby shower
She said these were the birth pangs of a brand new morn
But in the hospitals today all the babies were stillborn

The stars and stripes among the ruins say where they were made
In case anybody wonders about all that military aid
In case anybody wonders about the mines around the farms
Or why so many toddlers are missing legs and arms
Or why so many of them ask exactly what was meant
By wiping out our homes and then sending us a tent
Or why if you ask them who is Nasrallah
They’ll tell you he’s our leader and we all are Hezbollah
Track Name: Song for the Mavi Marmara
Song for the Mavi Marmara

In '48 they were driven out at the point of a machine gun
Families fled in fear to Jordan, Syria and Lebanon
They fled around the globe, firmly held in terror's grip
And about a million refugees ended up in the tiny Gaza Strip
In 1967 the IDF moved in and the refugees in Gaza became refugees again
Settlers took their farmland, soldiers took the ports
And the people were surrounded by military forts

In 2007 they cut it off completely
No access to the borders, no access to the sea
The world began to see this unavoidable stamp
The most crowded place on Earth was now a concentration camp
Israeli jet fighters bombed Gaza from the air
And they kept out the supplies needed to rebuild and repair
They kept out the convoys of humanitarian aid
Anemic children going hungry, crushed and burned in bombing raids

From around the world good people tried
To get across the border to the other side
Almost all of them were turned away
Deported back to Turkey, Jordan, France, the USA
They were barred from ever coming back
Adam and Huwaida decided on a different tack
They loaded up a boat and managed to get through
That's when activists in Istanbul decided what they had to do

Armed with food and wheelchairs
And prosthetic limbs for victims of the bombing raids to wear
They packed cement by the ton
They had a few kitchen knives but not a single gun
They were determined to reach the bay
To break the siege of Gaza and not be turned away
As they left Turkish waters everybody wished them well
As for what would happen, only the Apartheid state could tell

All aboard the Mavi Marmara
Sailing toward Goliath's kingdom armed with nothing but a stone
All aboard the Mavi Marmara
Tell the children of Jerusalem you are not alone

Seven hundred people on board this Turkish ferry
They were sixty miles from the shore out in the open sea
In international waters with no plans for turning back
That's when Netanyahu told his soldiers to attack
They came down from helicopters, fired guns from Zodiacs
They shot some people in their heads and shot others in their backs
The captain raised a white flag high into the air
The soldiers kept on shooting beneath the floodlight's glare

The soldiers kept on shooting, it was a free fire zone
So many dead and wounded, just how many isn't known
So many dead and wounded, blood flowing on the floor
The soldiers kept on shooting sixty miles from the shore
Medics tried to treat the wounded, all they could do was watch them bleed
The soldiers wouldn't let them get the urgent help they needed
Masked troopers held their hostages, the Navy towed the ship
Just for trying to sail to the Gaza Strip


They took every laptop, every camera and cell phone
This is what Goliath does to those who dare to throw a stone
The ghost of the Exodus is shouting at the sky
But Netanyahu isn't listening, he's just watching people die
For days nobody knew just what happened on that boat
Because everyone was held in jail and dead men do not float
All the world will remember what happened on that night
And to end the siege of Gaza more will go and join the fight

Track Name: They're Building A Wall
They're Building A Wall

They're building a wall – a wall between friends
A wall that justifies any means for their ends
A wall between Semites – rich and poor
Brothers and sisters from not so long before
Many feet thick and thirty feet high
No one can look through it and into the eye
Of a person you might know, to whom you might confide
Now just a stranger on the other side

They're building a wall between water and land
So we can eat fruit and they can eat sand
A wall to make sure that our orchards will grow
And our kids can get fat and not need to know
Of the cities in ruins and the children in fear
That your fathers and brothers in tanks might be near
A wall to keep quiet that which you fear most
So you don't have to listen to your grandfather's ghost

They're building a wall between future and past
A wall to keep separate the chambers of gas
From bulldozers, gunships, and the tears of a child
Dignity, love and all honor defiled
To remove reality from your facts on the ground
A wall to keep distant the terrible sound
Of the houses that crumble and the children that die
A wall to keep separate the truth from the lie

They're building a wall and at such a cost
Land, money and safety and all the lives lost
A wall made of brick, but bricks can be broken
When the people of Zion have finally awoken
And said no more walls, no more refugees
No more keeping people upon their knees
And then the history books will someday recall
Before apartheid was ended they were building a wall
Track Name: Christmas Eve in Bethlehem
Christmas Eve in Bethlehem

Church bells are ringing, families are wearing their Sunday best
Choirs are singing, red sun is setting in the west
A soldier is yelling, standing tall
Checkpoint is closing outside a giant wall
It's Christmas Eve in Bethlehem

Tourists are coming – birthplace of Jesus, a call to port
Now they are leaving, they say you should keep it short
Shop floors are empty, there's no one there
Checkpoint is closing to Manger Square
It's Christmas Eve in Bethlehem

Those Christians who stay here dream of sprouting wings
But they stubbornly stay near their long-lost kings
Relatives stranded far away
They have been branded terrorists – that's what the colonists say
It's Christmas Eve in Bethlehem
Track Name: Khader Adnan, Bobby Sands
Khader Adnan, Bobby Sands

Khader Adnan grew up near Jenin City
You could say he was a product of his time
Ever since he was a kid he'd get arrested
Though he was never charged with any crime
Spending half his life in prison
A life lived like so many of his friends
Arbitrary and indefinite detention
Never knowing if your jail time would end
Khader Adnan was arrested last December
Again he wasn't told the reason why
He was shackled, he was beaten, he was tortured
There beneath the Middle Eastern sky
Perhaps there was a moment when he realized
That right then, with his body, he'd say no
But from then on he refused to eat another meal
Like in Belfast not many years ago

Khader Adnan grew up in a war zone
But all the tanks and planes were only on one side
It was a type of war that they call occupation Settlement, removal, fratricide
And anyone who talked about resistance
Who thought they did not deserve to be a slave
Would be looking down the barrel of a gun
And often find themselves inside an early grave
Khader Adnan loves his wife and daughters
And he likes to eat his daily bread
But in prison he can't see his children
Or live life with the lady that he wed
So on behalf of all the children without fathers
He decided he had to strike a blow
He said I will have dignity or death
Like in Belfast not many years ago

Each time Khader Adnan was arrested
In prison he would learn a little more
And soon he became the teacher
And he'd talk about the times that came before
They talked about civil disobedience
They talked about the ballot and the gun
They talked about the Occupied Six Counties
And the H Blocks in 1981
Khader Adnan talked of perseverance
And how someday their people might be free
How someday they might hear their children laughing
Unafraid, how someday things could be
And then at 3:30 on one morning
The soldiers came, their rifles pointed low
And they took Khader Adnan from his family
Like in Belfast not many years ago

They say Khader Adnan is a terrorist
Just like they said of Bobby Sands
Because he dares speak out against injustice
Because he dares to make a stand
Because he dares believe that he is human
And he does not deserve to live this way
Because he dares to consider an alternative
Because he dares imagine a new day
Khader Adnan lost his liberty before he was born
To fight for life it's death he must embrace
But just like others come before him
There are others waiting to take his place
And even the great powers can lose interest
In supporting such a vicious status quo
Because you can't break a man who won't be broken
Like in Belfast not many years ago
Track Name: Jenin

Oh, child, what will you remember
When you recall your sixteenth year
The horrid sound of helicopter gunships
The rumble of the tanks as they drew near
As the world went about it's business
And I burned another tank of gasoline
The Dow Jones lost a couple points that day
While you were crying in the City of Jenin

Did they even give your parents warning
Before they blew the windows out with shells
While you hid inside the high school basement
Amidst the ringing of church bells
As you watched your teacher crumble by the doorway
And in England they were toasting to the Queen
You were so far from the thoughts of so many
Huddled in the City of Jenin

Were you thinking of the taunting of the soldiers
Or of the shit they smeared upon the walls
Were you thinking of your cousin after torture
Or Tel Aviv and it's glittering shopping malls
When the fat men in their mansions say that you don't want peace
Did you wonder what they mean
As you sat amidst the stench inside the darkness
In the shattered City of Jenin

What went through your mind on that day
At the site of your mother's vacant eyes
As she lay still among the rubble
Beneath the blue Middle Eastern skies
As you stood upon this bulldozed building
Beside the settlements and their hills so green
As your tears gave way to grim determination
Among the ruins of the City of Jenin

And why should anybody wonder
As you stepped on board
The crowded bus across the Green Line
And you reached inside your jacket for the cord
Were you thinking of your neighbors buried bodies
As you made the stage for this scene
As you set off the explosives that were strapped around your waist
Were you thinking of the City of Jenin
Track Name: Vanunu

I was born in Marakesh and I thought life was good
Then some visitors came from far away, convinced my parents that we should
Move from Marakesh to Israel, what they called the Promised Land
That's how we ended up in Beersheva by the Negev Desert sand
I turned 18 and joined the Army, that's what everybody did
I learned to blow up bridges just like every other kid
I learned how to fire weapons, I learned how to shoot to kill
Then I studied engineering and learned many other skills
I got a job, paid the rent, working just like you
I just did what I had to do

As the years went by I learned many things
And I wondered what to do with the burden knowledge brings
I learned about the massacres committed in my name
After Sabra and Shatila life could never be the same
But I got up every morning, worked til the day was through
I just did what I had to do

Working in the desert I did what I was told
Though I'd long ago rejected the bill of goods I had been sold
I was supposed to ask no questions but as the years passed by
I discovered what was going on there beneath the clear blue sky
I snuck a camera into work one day as my suspicions grew
I just did what I had to do

Once I left the country I could sit no longer on the fence
I met with a reporter and displayed the evidence
Of the secret nuclear arsenal which I had helped to make
I had to blow the whistle for humanity's sake
The world simply had to find out the things my commanders knew
I just did what I had to do

Mossad came to get me on the streets of Rome
Brought me in a boat back to my adopted home
After 18 years of torture in a tiny prison cell
On the streets some people ask me how I lived so long in hell
Each morning when I woke up I remembered it was true
I just did what I had to do
Track Name: Palestine

My daddy was an Arab from Beersheva, a situation so unkind
My momma was a refugee from Ramallah, had to leave her land behind
I grew up in this refugee camp in this unwelcome land
In this little parcel of Lebanon we were dealt a losing hand

Then one day the soldiers came, a tired old refrain
I'll try to tell you what happened next but there's no way to explain
The soldiers raped my mother, then they killed her dead
Along with the rest of the Shatila Camp while I hid beneath my bed

Now I'm a-wanderin', no place to call my home
Palestine – all around the world I roam

My aunt came over from Jordan, brought me there to live
And together we've moved to half the world, oh for peace what I would give
In Beirut, Greece and New York town I've watched the world churn
But my home is Palestine Someday I will return


Now here I am in Washington, heart of the empire
That sends the 'copters and bulldozers that turned Ramallah into a funeral pyre
Well you've heard my story and time will not allow
Soon my visa will expire – what will you do now

Track Name: I Wanna Go Home
I Wanna Go Home

I was born a refugee and I don't know if I'll ever see
The old farmhouse I've heard about
But it's where I belong, there is no doubt
'Cause my whole family is from that farm
And we never did nobody harm
And if you're confused by what you've heard
Let me boil it down to a single word

I wanna go home

And I have heard my grandpa say
That on the street most every day
The neighbors' kids would kick a ball
With my dad when he was small
We were Christians, they were Jews
But it was no big deal, religious views
So it was strange when at the point of a gun
Across the river we had to run

I wanna go home

We had dabkeh, we had songs
And we all knew where we belonged
We grew crops, life was good
There in the land where Jesus stood
Now we're scattered everywhere
But there's no peace anywhere
I'm just searching for some kind of sign
For some way back to Palestine

I wanna go home
Track Name: The Key
The Key

Let me tell you about a lady known as grandma to me
She died back in 1982
She liked to tell stories of how things used to be
Just like other old ladies do
She talked about her neighbors – Muslims and Christians
Arabs, Britons and Jews
They'd come over for dinner in her house in Jaffa
And they'd talk about business and news
We got along fine A long time ago
Before everything started to change
I never imagined back in those days
I'd end up here on this firing range

There on a string around her neck, dangling in front of her heart
The key to her home, the key to her people
The key to her world – blown apart

I recall the days well – 1948
The year of the Catastrophe
With machine guns and torches they drove us away
To the land of the refugee
We all thought it would pass but the decades dragged on
And my heart turned to flame
To those who live in my home
Where is your conscience, do you feel the remorse and the shame


Now after two generations I and her grandchildren say
The key is theirs and mine
And all over the world we cry for Al-Awda
Home in Palestine
Maybe we will prevail but come what may
As empires fall and rise
Nothing will change the memory
Of the tears in my grandmother's eyes

Track Name: The Death of Rachel Corrie
The Death of Rachel Corrie

When she sat down in the dirt in front of your machine
A lovely woman dressed in orange, you in military green
If you had met her in Jerusalem you might have asked her on a date
But here you were in Gaza rolling towards the gate

As your foot went to the floor did you recall her eyes
Did her gaze remind you that you've become what you despise
As you rolled on towards this woman and ignored all the shouts to stop
Did you feel a shred of doubt as you watched her body drop

And as your Caterpillar tracks upon her body pressed
With twenty tons of deadly force, crushed the bones within her chest
Could you feel the contours of her face as you took her life away
Did you serve your country well on that cool spring day

And when you went back across the Green Line – back to the open shore
Did you think that this was just another day in a dirty war
And when you looked out on the water did you feel an empty void
Or was it just one more life you've taken, one more home destroyed
Track Name: Song the Songbird Sings
Song the Songbird Sings

It was another Friday morning, I was among the olive trees
Out looking for birds to catch – my father, his friends and me
I had my string and net and a nimble eye
There beside the farmers' fields where the songbirds fly

When you're catching birds the world disappears
And a thousand songs of autumn are all that fills your ears
They sing their songs so brightly at the dawning of the day
They fly back and forth over the fence where we must stay away

You can see the birds beneath the clouds
Watch them spread their wings
You can listen to the wind
And the song the songbird sings

It's so good to come here so far from all the sound
Of all the shooting and the shouting and the tanks upon the ground
I just wish I could live here within this olive grove
Just me, my friends and family and a small wood-burning stove


Last week I caught three sparrows – it was quite a day
Now I'm bound for glory – that's what they say
I hear them talk about me, shedding tears upon a sack
Inside there lies a child with four bullets in his back

Track Name: Children of Jerusalem
Children of Jerusalem

Did you see them praying and the Army marching in
As they clubbed old women did you see the general grin
Watch the stones fly and the snipers taking aim
On Shatila's birthday, it's a calculated game
They're gunning down the children of Jerusalem

Did you hear the screaming, see the horror on his face
As he hid for cover in a tiny, unprotected space
Did you hear his father pleading, "There is a child here"
Trying to protect his son who yelled in terror and in fear
That they're gunning down the children of Jerusalem

Did you feel the wind blow from the helicopter blades
Did you smell the tear gas, see the demolition raids
Did you see the rockets and the dum-dum bullets fly
Did you feel the horror to watch one more young boy die
They're gunning down the children of Jerusalem

Did you see the roadblocks letting nobody go past
Watch the blood flow as time is running fast
See someone's brother taking his last breath
So close to the hospital but closer still to death
They're gunning down the children of Jerusalem

Did you hear the fatcats say “It's not what it appears
It's an armed uprising, a realization of our fears
Do you hear them chanting that this is their homeland
They want what's ours and we've got to make a stand
So we're gunning down the children of Jerusalem”

Some want power and it seems the world's theirs to give
Some just want peace and a decent place to live
Some talk of destiny and what their God has willed
And a mother weeps that her nine-year-old's been killed
They're gunning down the children of Jerusalem
Track Name: In One World
In One World

In 1948 I fled my village
The Stern Gang drove my family from the lands
We ran into the desert
Where I've spent these decades living by my hands
Life in Haifa wasn't easy
But so much better than this hellhole with the soldiers and barbed wire
And the closures, and the hunger
The humiliation and the checkpoints, the machine gun fire

And each day I wonder after Haifa
The home that we abandoned when the Zionists had won
Is there a family with a child
Does it's father love it as I loved my only son
Before the soldiers shot him down
Riddled him with bullets in his back and in his head
Home in Haifa, in my house
Does someone's father know the pain there is in an empty bed

In 1960 I fled my country
Left the Tigris River for this foreign place
I had to leave home, I didn't want to
But they were rounding up the leftists and the papers had my face
And my son, a student leader
On the streets of Baghdad was nowhere to be found
So I walked through the mountains
Just the shirt upon my back, knowing not where I was bound

Now here I am, this town of Haifa
In this little house, but at least I'm still alive
And each night I wonder how is Baghdad
Would I recognize my friends if any did indeed survive
It took a long time, but I made a home here
And I wished my son could be here in this town upon the shore
I was with my wife, it was the Sabbath
When an old Arab couple knocked upon our door

We asked them in, gave them tea
For that's what you do with strangers, and we could see they meant no harm
They told their story, we told ours
Us of our life in Baghdad, them of their family farm
And of this house, which they once lived in
Where once they raised a family, long before their hair turned grey
Of their son, and the troopers
And of ours, who we cry for every day

So much in common, so much gone bad
So much running, and never coming home
You can hear the cards falling down
See the faces of the children, forever forced to roam
And here we were, in this house
Fearing that tomorrow would be just like yesterday
So much resentment, so much at stake
And I really don't remember who was the first to say

In one world
In one village
In one home
Let us live together
Track Name: Return

i can't help it.
i don't care how far you think the analogy extends itself.
when i see you making that bus driver climb up and down
on and off the roof of his bus
for your amusement
for hours in the hot sun
i think of how we once had to dance and sing for them
while they shot our parents.

when i see you keep that woman
and her husband
at the checkpoint while she's in labor and you stand there
listening to her scream
watching as she gives birth
on the back seat of a taxi
i think of the walls around our own ghetto
and how we had to crawl through the sewers
looking for rats to eat
while we could hear their children playing
on the other side.
when i see you crush that house
and kill that woman
and her baby
with your armored bulldozer
because they didn't have a permit
i think of the way we were once forced to leave our homes
at the point of a gun.

and when i hear your general say
that in order to deal with the intifada
you must learn from the tactics of another general
one mr. stroop
in warsaw
i think of how they bombed our buildings
shot us as we fell from the roofs.

and i remember
how we wished we could kill their babies, too.

and i feel sick.
sick of your displaced anger
sick of your self-deception
sick of your attempts to deceive the rest of the world
sick of your accusations of anti-semitism
sick of your occupation
sick of your apartheid state sick of zionism.

because standing here
in auschwitz, birkenau and warsaw
i see jenin, jaffa and rafah.

and i think of our ancestors
the jewish palestinians
who spoke so eloquently
in their arabic language.
but the dead cannot speak.
and now i find myself
again behind the wall of a ghetto
standing with millions of other palestinians.
and i find myself shouting

thawra! thawra! hatta al-naser!
tomorrow in jerusalem!

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