Suheir Hammad Quote

“Occupation, curfew, settlements, closed military zone, administrative detention, siege, preventive strike, terrorist infrastructure, transfer. Their WAR destroys language. Speaks genocide with the words of a quiet technician. Occupation means that you cannot trust the OPEN SKY, or any open street near to the gates of snipers tower. It means that you cannot trust the future or have faith that the past will always be there. Occupation means you live out your live under military rule, and the constant threat of death, a quick death from a snipers bullet or a rocket attack from an M16. A crushing, suffocating death, a slow bleeding death in an ambulance stopped for hours at a checkpoint. A dark death, at a torture table in an Israeli prison: just a random arbitrary death. A cold calculated death: from a curable disease. A thousand small deaths while you watch your family dying around you. Occupation means that every day you die, and the world watches in silence. As if your death was nothing, as if you were a stone falling in the earth, water falling over water. And if you face all of this death and indifference and keep your humanity, and your love and your dignity and YOU refuse to surrender to their terror, then you know something of the courage that is Palestine.”

~ Suheir Hammad

Ratings and Comments

Mike, Norwalk

On trips to Israel, I traveled with a very politically connected Palestinian. I met with Palestinian mayors and others. Most of what is said here in this quote has a thread of truth that runs through it. Though Israel has made it difficult to build out of poverty conditions, the vast majority of violence perpetrated on Palestinians is generated from radical Palestinians. Peace loving Palestinians that would live a normal day to day life, for they and their family, have far more to fear from radical Palestinians than they do from Israel. Like I said, the quote some what fits Israel but, far more accurately describes the Palestinian vs. Palestinian situation. Amerika's, training, financing, arming and agitating is the greatest villain in the mix.

Jimi Bigbear, Libertyville, IA

Kudos to Eric at Liberty Quotes for having the courage to print this. Norwalk Mike's pallid apology for what a recent French foreign minister called "that shitty little country" - Israel, notwithstanding (Palestinians are occupying their own country?!?!?! GMAFB!) Hammad gives us a glimpse into the IzRawHell of Occupied Palestine that the admittedly Jew owned/controlled media (96% of it at least) in the US never allows.

Palestinians didn't erect the 50' apartheid walls with the sniper towers that Hammad wrote of; Palestinians never ran over Rachel Corrie with an armored bulldozer when she was trying to stop it from destroying a Palestinian home ( ); Palestinians don't rain down white phosphorous and cluster bombs on their fellow Palestinians; Palestinians didn't build roads through occupied Palestine that they could then not travel on - IT WAS JEWS!

Jimi Bigbear, Libertyville, IA

and the Jews did it with your tax dollars

Rusty, Frostbite Falls

"... a rocket attack from an M16."


Mike, Norwalk

Jimi Bigbear, there was no apology on my part, pallid or otherwise (simple observation - I have no dog in that fight). After talking to Gaza Mayors and other religious leaders, I didn't get your nazi slanted perspective from interested third parties with agendas; I got fears from the people them selves. The majority of Palestinians feared more the radical factions than they did Israel. But of course you won't get that on CNN. The Mayors and other leaders I spoke with did not know exactly where the arms, radicals or money was coming from that continued to escalate the hostilities. They were afraid and were intimidated - die or go along. As I tried to explain, Israel needs taking responsibility for criminal acts while the quote is a misdirection for those seeking hate justification. The people of Israel, from my experience, were not the moral religionists or the noble house of Israel returning home, of which the Biblical west thinks is going on there. There is plenty of blame to go around on both sides but most aggression is from the Palestinian side. The radicals pouring into the area would rather escalate hostilities than use the same level of energy and where-with-all to build prosperity in the land.

Wally, Philadelphia

That's NOT a quote; that's an obviously biased rant!

Peter, Massachusetts

Must of the quotes on this site have to do with universal ideas of liberty, applicable to all. This quote is not universal, as talks of the condition to one group in a horrific situation that they refuse to accept any responsibility for. If they would recognize the basic rights of life, liberty and the right to the political sovereignty of Israel it would begin the process of healing for all.

George Formby, Toronto


I think that Suheir Hammad's diatribe is way off base.I notice he does not refer to the drenching blood-bath now going on daily in Syria where only Arabs are involved! His screeching reflects an Arab and Palestinian tendency to deny and distort reality. But not all Arabs are so myopic. I recommend to those who wish to read a more rational,sensible and honest perspective on the Middle East to tune to 'Arab News' and read the columns of Abdulateef Mulhim.

Fred Ingley, Havana, FL

With the Islamic Terrorist indiscriminately sending rockets into Israel while placing their launchers in residential areas,schools, hospitals, etc. I find it difficult to blame Israel/IDF for any Palestinian Civilian deaths.

Fleet Ott, Mandeville

I support Israel in the current troubles brought about by Palestinian factions. They (Palestinians) started it and now want the world to sympathize because Israel defends itself, Netanyahu said something to the effect that "If the Palestinians laid down their arms there would be no war. If Israel laid down her arms there would be no Israel". You know it's true...

  • Reply
    RD, US    7/28/14

    I never thought I'd see the day this site turns on Israel for a false terrorist state aka "Palestine" created by Arabs to destroy Israel, and call Israelthe terrorists. Shame on you.

    RD, US
    • Reply
    RD, US    7/28/14

    Really sad day you calling Israel the terrorists. You've sold out the real liberty fighters.

    david, baton rouge

    If your radical neighbor constantly threatened you with death threats and hurled rocks (rockets?) at you every time you went outdoors in a lawless part of town....what would you do?

    CB, Möbius Strip

    The Palestinians used the food, money, steel & concrete not to build roads, dwellings and infrastructure, but to build tunnels with which to kidnap & kill Israelis. The "occupation" which Suheir complains about is due to her own making.

    Michelle, Texas

    Who's raining missiles on who? If Israel laid down their weapons, THEY would be slaughtered. If ALL others would lay down their weapons, there would be PEACE. ALL the region wants Israel annihilated. Isreal just wants to be left alone.

    E Archer, NYC

    Hear, hear! My compliments to the Editor for posting this.

    Why is an excerpt of a poem by a person whose family has been kicked out of their native Palestine (when Israel declared themselves 'independent') recounting her feelings about the very real occupation of Palestine by Israel Defense Forces considered a 'diatribe'?

    How is the treatment of Palestinians -- true Semites mind you -- by Israeli's any different than South African apartheid or the Nazi 'ethnic-cleansing' of the Jews? Israel has been at war ever since it declared itself 'independent' in 1948 -- unlike the American colonists however Jews made up only a small percentage of the population and owned around 5% of the land -- what of the Palestinians already living in their own country for millennia? How is Israel representative of Liberty?

    There are a LOT of American Jews who are not happy with how Israel is treating Palestinians, and financial support is dwindling. Why don't American Christians believe the Palestinians have every natural born right as an immigrant Jew?

    The Israeli military occupation over the last 50+ years has resulted in the rise in fundamentalist Islam -- Israel has declared a religious war right in the middle of the Arab world. Is it really any surprise that an opposition religious force would result against them?

    The solution is simple: recognize the rights of ALL citizens of Israel-Palestine and the equal protection of rights and property of ALL citizens. Tear down the walls! Racism against Palestinians has gone on TOO long.

    Zeke, Minnesota

    I see this sentiment in the major media and from the rioters in Paris every day. If your neighbor had sworn to wipe you off the face of the earth, how would YOU contain the threat?

    E Archer, NYC

    Most of the thumbs-downers above ought to learn the history of Israel -- and of Palestine for that matter. The Palestinians have been squeezed into smaller and smaller enclaves -- many are not permitted outside tiny Gaza or the West Bank. They have no rights, can be shot on the spot by military without cause. Their houses confiscated whenever convenient.

    The thing is, the Zionists are the invaders and the aggressors, not the Palestinians. @Michelle, if the Zionists had established Israel in Texas and then declared independence, wouldn't Texans and surrounding States fight the Zionists? And if the Texans would just 'lay down their arms' then there would be peace, right? (It's safe to say that Israel would NEVER lay down its arms.) But if the Texans did not recognize the new Israel, and the Israelis laid down their arms, yes, there would be no more Israel -- because Texans said NO!

    And every agreement to Palestinian borders has been broken by Israel. Just what do you want the Palestinians to do?! Surrender themselves as perpetual 3rd class citizens? It has been made clear over and over by Israeli leaders: the Palestinians are to be squeezed out or destroyed. And that is why Israel's neighbors want the destruction of Israel.

    And don't give me any crap about how in the Koran it says to destroy all non-Muslims -- it says the same thing in the Torah, Talmud to destroy/enslave all non-Jews. And the Christians have had their fair share of wiping out the unbelievers as well

    Hey liberals where is your 'equality' in Israel? Hey conservatives where is 'liberty and justice' for all in Israel? Where is Israel's Bill of Rights? How many more years and millions of lives (and trillions of dollars!) are to be spent on these religious wars? The cradle of civilization has become a living Hell.

    And why should the rest of us who do not share the fundamentalist beliefs of Christians, Jews, and Muslims have to pay for and endure generations of war?

    Bobble, Charlotte, VT

    I wish I felt as most do here that it's an easy situation to solve. My most recent and simplistic observation is, Hamas ( it's far too easy to disregard their part ) fires 1000 rockets, then counts 1000 deaths: a terribly stupid way to wage war, except for the world's sympathetic response at war deaths. Solutions, anyone ? I disagree with what I think I correctly recall the Nazis calling The Final Solution, whether Jew or Palestinian.

    joe s, MN
    • Reply
    joe s, MN    7/28/14

    If the terrorist Muslims stop shooting missiles into Israel, stop kidnapping and murdering Israeli children, stop terrorist bombs of buses and shopping malls, stop digging tunnels into Israel to kill main and destroy. Then join the human race stop cutting off heads, stop terrorism. They would have no fear from Israel. As long as they are butcher's, bombers, killers of children who hide behind women and children - they should be a disease to be cleansed from humanity. God protect Israel, God protect America from the muslim miscreants.

    Mark B, Oakland

    God forbid the Palestinians should ever be held responsible for their fate

    Jimi Bigbear, Libertyville, IA

    Hey E. Archer and Anonymous (first 5 stars) thanks! You're the only ones I've read who have a clue. Everyone else seems to be under the spell of either "I want to go to there" (formerly "the most trusted name in news") CNN (commie news network) or FauxSnooze (We decide, you abide) and the wackado Xtian Zionists. Is it any wonder we have a crackhead mulatto homo in the offal office? Until you unplug from ZioNews (all of it - see: ) you won't realize Jesus' Axiom - "the truth shall set you free" - or it's streetwise corollary "but first it will piss you off."

    Spend some time with Brother Nathanael -

    SCSURFR, La Mirada

    If tomorrow the Arab neighbors of Israel were all disarmed nothing would happen. If tomorrow the nation of Israel were disarmed there would be millions of dead Jews in a matter of hours. Muslim controlled nations open speak of the need to wipe Israel off the map. Israel is always in a defensive war fighting for its survival.

    E Archer, NYC

    @Mark, interesting, I would say the same: "God forbid the Israelis should ever be held responsible for their actions."

    Denise, Durango

    Pure, unadulterated crap. Obviously a Hamas devotee being careful to omit the FACT that these murderers set their artillery up in schools, hospitals, neighborhoods, so the murderers can't wag their fingers filled with the blood of their own people, at Israel! If this is the kind of propaganda this site will continue to post I'm done with it.

    Editor, Liberty Quotes

    I knew this quote would press a few buttons. Please bear in mind that this site is devoted to LIBERTY and the responsibility that goes with it. America was founded upon the declaration that all men are created equal -- what was Israel founded upon? Does Israel have a right to exist? Does Palestine? Hammad's quote above could be attributed to any people besieged by war -- only the last word was 'Palestine.' The quote is about oppression, war, courage, perseverance, and LIBERTY.

    David, Phoenix, AZ

    This is a bias rant, not poetry, not history, not a look at why the condition exists.

    If all of the cement that Hamas used to build tunnels was used to create buildings, Palestine would thrive and look like a city, not a slum.

    Don't start one
    all war is Hell
    Don't participate in one
    lest you want to go to Hell.

    Everyone should know what "Hell and gone" is all about - read history

    cal, lewisville, tx

    All these problems seem to me to be caused by United States interference and trying to imperialize the world.

    Ron w13, Or

    It takes a much broader overview to find reason. Though Gaza was given to Judah, as with the others in Joshua's time. The mingling of these peoples being the thorn in Israel's side. To look for hope of peace. " Brethren, My heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. To know that from the surrounding nations, children according to God's election of grace will be gathered. There is one catch, the rebuilding of the Temple. If God's hand is desired to conduct these affairs, One thing will be known among men , God is alive and well and in his garden. This fear will subdue all nations. There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer. This is not mere fantasy. Behold I law in Zion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.

    Jimi Bigbear, Libertyville, IA


    E Archer, NYC

    I think it is safe to say that Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip are 'biased' in their common belief that they are being persecuted by Israelis -- and are being rained down upon with bombs.

    In case people have forgotten, Israel is and has always been at war with Palestine and the Arab countries that came to Palestinians aid. Saying that Israel is defending itself from terrorism is like saying Custer was 'defending' America when he slaughtered the Indians for defending their native land.

    Do the Sioux thus have an ancient right to their ancestral homeland? What do you think would happen if they were armed to the teeth and were able to declare their independence, how would they fare against the US military? War is ever justified in the name of 'defense' -- and whenever the 'enemy' fights back, it is called 'terrorism.'

    Keep it up, and watch the US become even more militarized -- how do you think the rest of the world really sees the U.S.? The nation of Liberty is becoming a nation of Hypocrisy.

    Ron, BCM
    • Reply
    Ron, BCM    7/28/14

    Yea, We all know what great humanitarians the PLO - Homas - ISIS and more Terrorist Islamic groups is ... What a one sided bunch of BS this is. Did he get this straight out of the Bleeding Heart Liberal Dailey News or was it a copy of a Bloomburg report?

    snaketrapper, San Diego

    The problem in the Middle East is the hatred of Jews and other infidels by too many of the Islamic faith. Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind! Whining about it will not solve the problem.

    Annette,, Cincinnati, OH

    Just more left wing propaganda. I would have expected better. I know the site is billed as quotes only. However, truth should be included. Listen to what an Arab Zionist Jerusalem has to say:

    Rajah, Germantown, TN

    Thank you, Jimi Bigbear!

    Ron w13, Or

    Praise God and let his will be Done ? Who's God ? Please. liberty and Freedom and the doctrines thereof are for all. But man wishes to oppress ! Get a grip ! you want to fight ,Fight for freedom, salvation is of the Jews. Give me liberty or give me death ? What might Patrick Henry have been speaking of ? Archer you speak from a neutral naturalistic point, Having no faith in anything but man !! Mike has you nailed down. Just because Israel does not get it !! We Do !! This is for all !! Those that hold to any law of said God are fallen from grace. Grace the reveling of liberty and freedom. God does not care if you are from Gaza or Israel ! The Rock !

    Kevin, TN
    • Reply
    Kevin, TN    7/28/14

    What a waste of my time reading propaganda.

    sharon, singapore

    More a political piece than a quote.

    Joel B. Wulff, Bristol, CT

    A sad rant giving a one-sided view of the situation. Jews, Christians, and Muslims share the same God as I understand things. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Old Testament documents God calling Jews "The Chosen People, and leading them out of Egypt and into "The Land of Israel." Subsequently, the narrative changes and three paths emerge. The Jews still await the coming of the Messiah. The Christians accept Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah. I "think," as opposed to personally knowing, the Muslims consider Jesus Christ a Prophet. No where have I heard any claim that our God has removed the Jews from being "Chosen," nor has He taken Israel away from the Jews as their homeland. (This may be simplistic theology and/or betray my ignorance, but it is my understanding.) With the coming Jesus Christ, as set down in John 3:16, the opportunity for Eternal Life was vouched safe to all who believed in Jesus Christ as the Son of God; no ifs, ands, or buts! The challenge, as I see it, is one from our God to come together and live in peace with one another throughout the world. This should begin in this place that holds many sites that are sacred to all of us along side others that are unique for each of our heritages. I pray that Almighty God will open all of our eyes and lead us into His Peace which surpasses all understanding. Amen.

    Jimi Bigbear, Libertyville, IA

    The level of ignorance and thoroughness of conditioning/dumbing down/brainwashing I'm reading in MOST of these responses is staggering. Stupefyingly unbelievable.

    I'm leaving. Unsubscribing so I won't be tempted to waste more of my time. Rather than being king in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is stoned to death.

    I wish you all well,
    Liberty, Peace, Prosperity and Love

    E Archer, NYC

    I find it interesting that most of the comments about the quote have nothing to do with the message but with religion. It just seems to prove to me that religionists do not really care about Liberty -- after all, isn't religion just another set of 'laws' -- but from God ! And God says (so THEY say) to blow the trumpets and the walls of the heathen will fall so that we can utterly destroy them as the abominations they are (God said so). ;-) These people won't stop until Jerusalem goes up in a mushroom cloud -- just like the woman who stole the baby of another and King Solomon ordered to have the infant split in two when she says, 'fine go ahead'. She would rather NO ONE have it than the rightful mother.

    Donna Nissani, Farmington Hills, MI

    Thank you for posting this. I don't believe that anyone who has never lived with the terror and abasement that Palestinians (as well as many others throughout the world) suffer through daily, and for generations, can truly understand what she is talking about. Read this with an open heart--as it was written--and try to put yourself in her place. There are no falsehoods here--she is powerfully describing the reality of her world. We, as part of humanity, should be ashamed that we are allowing ONE person to feel such pain, such suffering. I am not clear what everyone is arguing about here. Shouldn't we all be looking inside ourselves and saying, "No one need be hungry or live in fear." That is what we should be focused on--how to end the misery this woman describes.

    Mark, Sacramento, ca

    Just acknowledge the right of is Israel to exist, stop firing missiles and rockets, give your own people life, liberty, ant the pursuit of happiness along with some respect for property rights and you can join the human race. In the meantime look no farther than your Hamas leadership for the source of your enslavement

    aebe, north powder

    As long as the 'palestinians' support their terrorist leaders , they need to be treated as a boil on the butt of humanity , instead of enabled to do more murder .

    Joel B. Wulff, Bristol

    I remain at odds with the "poor Palestinians" side of this exchange. I am unable to be at odds with God's grant of this land to the Jews. That is a matter of faith that remains intact with my Christian heritage. I have Jewish friends and I treasure our relationships. I have always found them to be compassionate. They have lived together with non-Jewish people in the lands they control and all have prospered and lived in peace! When a faction advocates the elimination of all Jews and a Jewish nation called Israel, one can only question and damn their ideology, and suggest that they rejoin the human race.


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