MAPA Voices: “Tools of Palestinian Terrorists” by Bruce Taub

Peace Advocate December 2023

Tools of Palestinian Terrorists

by Bruce Taub

The Palestinian terrorists

Offer us food until we are full

And then offer more

In order to explode us

Serving us tea, coffee, juice, soda, milk, water

Until we are sprouting

Force us to say things

Only people being tortured say,

Like please, I can’t take any more, I will tell you anything

Only please stop forcing such kindness and hospitality on me

Please, no more meats, greens, rice, falafel

No more olives, lemons, grapefruit,

Or four different kinds of oranges we must learn to distinguish the tastes of

The bitter, the sweet, the Spanish, the French collaborationist

The zatar, the hummus, homemade cheeses, bread

Admiring pictures of our grandchildren

As if such caring will cause us to drop our guard

Quoting Wordsworth to make us cry

Introducing us to their daughters

The teachers and the poetesses

Their grandchildren

The artists and the singers

Their son in laws

The professors and the engineers

Who must go through four checkpoints

To get to work

A twenty minute trip

That takes two hours

Their entire family

Terrorists all

Offering us a bed, a roof, a song

A drive on the tractor to their occupied fields

To plant olive trees with us on a hillside.

“And why are you not afraid?”

Asks the distracted Israeli soldier

At the wall and the gate to our fields

His fingers tracing absently over his machine gun

“They are terrorists.

They kill people.”

And you say nothing

Having noticed well

Who holds the power

And who the real terrorists are.

While our hosts tell us tales from Byzantine days

And sing to us, all of them, in English,

“We Shall Overcome.”

(c) BRTaub