Normalize This!

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

Remi Kanazi is the editor of Poets For Palestine. He will be touring the US and Canada this fall on the Poets For Palestine tour.He can be contacted at Read other articles by Remi, or visit Remi's website.