A Dictionary of (Palestinian) Silence

A Dictionary of (Palestinian) Silence


After UN ambassador for Palestine, Riyad Mansour, held back tears at the international court of justice hearing on Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories

Note (to another Poem of Barbarism)

In a world now flooded with the deafening noise of war and where there are few safe havens left for far too many people, a world suddenly filled with the exclamations of death,  it feels at times there are also few words left among us that have not been infected, twisted, defaced, taken hostage, and almost rendered useless, or meaningless, just now, as we are forced to witness our “fellow humans”, as they are bombed, buried-both-alive-&-dead-under-rubble, assassinated, murdered, killed, executed, slaughtered, massacred, starved, “cleansed” ethnically and exterminated…all in the name of “security” “the right to self defense”, or worse…

Surely in amidst the terror  – that can barely be imagined – there is also another struggle for language to be reclaimed like another territory held by a hostile (and murderous) tribe or if not – then, at least – to be indicted for the lies it is forced to give birth to in the name of power or profit or from fear of speaking a truth that would make us more, not less, “human”..?

While those of us in our own ghettos and prisons here in the now-shameless, deluded, still-patronising, greedy (for the profits of the arms dealers) and heartless ‘West” witness the unbearable suffering of the people in Gaza, and other war-zones, the struggle to reclaim this language in service to the idea or the living presence of truth, justice and, ultimately, “humanity” must now, surely, become, once again, a struggle in its own right?


This is my question.

 And now, here, Ambassador Mansour,  is our translation of these tears you shared on behalf of your people under siege:

Ambassador Riyad Mansour: “…after more than 75 years of Nakba… 56 years of belligerent occupation… 17 years of blockade… and nearly 140 days of vindictive punitive Siege and massacres perpetrated by Israel in Gaza which is a genocide…

what crimes has Israel not committed..?



“In the beginning was the Word…”

(“…and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John said)




is the snipers bullet




these small children i see on my TV screen.




these same children, as each new day begins.


“And the light shines in darkness;

 and the darkness

comprehended it not.”

(John also said).




the bodies unearthed in plastic bags

in a Gazan schoolyard.


Another wordless “poem of

blasphemy” (Mosab Abu Toha)

where both life and death dance

their last desperate embrace.




Where this chorus of angels hides out

with implacable patience waiting

for the criminals to say

we were just following orders”!




a bloody gift from the “Old World” to future generations


that which:

“…has made life a living hell for the Palestinian people

 appealing for an immediate and complete end

to this illegal colonial occupation and apartheid regime

the root cause of all the ills our people are suffering

 including this genocidal War …”


a message given to Israel by “the West”

so that its soldiers “can get away

with murder…”

or the:

“… reason why ethnic cleansing was possible in Palestine, why apartheid  was possible in Palestine,  why genocide side was possible in Palestine

(it is the certainty of the perpetrators that they will never be held accountable...” Riyad Mansour)




an Israeli-Zionist word for another anti-Semitic plot

by “Hamas supporters, Nazi sympathisers and holocaust deniers”?



Anti Semite:

anyone who disagrees with the Zionist



Fake News:

the label fake news (in Russian,“information terrorism”)  assigns to any news they don’t like to have shared among people in search of truth and justice




An Israeli-Zionist word for the lies told to Zionist settlers

in the Occupied West Bank

who are reclaiming “their ancestral homes”

(fields, houses, chickens, goats) from the “thieves”

who stole them

a few thousand years ago




all over this weary world,

this wretched world,

we meet each other as strangers.

Each one carries this passport called Hope

Each one must see themselves

in the Other’s pain…




After the dead lie cold and forgotten

this cheap-mealy-mouthed-poisoned-and-poisonous sludge

that comes from the mouths of foolish

politicians and presidents…


US President J. Biden:

I never really thought that I would see and have confirmed pictures of terrorists beheading children.




Not the murderers of an estimated 12,000 children

but those bereft of  “friends in high places”


Paulo said:

“Never in history has violence been initiated by the oppressed. How could they be the initiators, if they themselves are the result of violence? How could they be the sponsors of something whose objective inauguration called forth their existence as oppressed? There would be no oppressed had there been no prior situation of violence to establish their subjugation.

Violence is initiated by those who oppress, who exploit, who fail to recognize others as persons—not by those who are oppressed, exploited, and unrecognized.”


Franz also said:

“Europe has taken over leadership of the world with fervor, cynicism, and violence. And look how the shadow of its monuments spreads and multiplies. …Europe has denied itself not only humility and modesty but also solicitude and tenderness. Its only show of miserliness has been toward man, only toward man has it shown itself to be niggardly and murderously carnivorous.”


Ghassan Kanafani said (on talks with Israel)

“…that’s (the) kind of conversation between the sword and the neck…”




a Living Hell for the people

(Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour)


…is also

Palestinian poet Mosab Abu Toha’s

waking each morning

across the border

believing he is still in Gaza

(being beaten by Israeli soldiers)


…but now, realising, all his friends,

instead, are dead..




a Land of Exile & Hatred for

both Jews and Palestinians, Armenians, Kurds,

Rohingya…the list is endless.


Apartheid is a country where some people are banished to because, like “terrorists”  they do not have powerful friends in influential places..?




where words fail and

all that is left is another

Poem of Barbarism?


Also a nickname for a

foolish US President:

“Genocide Joe”


Also something that never happened

(and is not happening now):

in  Namibia, in Turkey, Bosnia, Rwanda, Cambodia

or now, in Palestine…

the list is endless.



UN Security Council:

once there was a world where words had  a meaning

in the human dictionary of dreams.

Now this place is a more-like a chicken

hanging by its neck

still trying to speak the truth

to an Empire drowning in its blood.



International Law?

The mop unable to absorb

rivers of blood?


Thin sheets of paper

unable to absorb

rivers of hypocrisy?




United Nations Relief Agency: in Israeli not a humanitarian organisation to feed a starving brutalised people but an elaborate front for 12 genocidal Islamic killers who behead babies, etc. etc.




Veto (.com):

is now an American word for about 12,000 dead children,

murdered in their flight for safety.

There will never be a word in any language

for their suffering nor for this mother or father,

sister or brother, who holds their lost and bloodied body.



Mathematics – On March 8, the Gaza Health Ministry defined

Math as

Dead: 30,878

Injured: another 72,402

Missing: countless

In Fear & Flight: 1.7 million people (over 75 per cent of the population)




past its use-by date

for about 1.3 million Palestinian

waiting in Rafah for the Zionist axe to fall




Knesset Minister of Social Equality & Women’s Advancement,

Ms. May Golan (of the Likud Party),  who, during a Knesset hearing said:

“I am personally proud of the ruins of Gaza,

and that every baby, even 80 years from now,

will tell their grandchildren what the Jews did.”



“What the Jews did:

  1. Haifa Massacre 1937
  2. Jerusalem Massacre 1937
  3. Haifa Massacre 1938
  4. Balad al-Sheikh Massacre 1939
  5. Haifa Massacre 1939
  6. Haifa Massacre 1947
  7. Abbasiya Massacre 1947
  8. Al-Khisas Massacre 1947
  9. Bab al-Amud Massacre 1947
  10. Jerusalem Massacre 1947
  11. Sheikh Bureik Massacre 1947

12.Tantura Massacre 1948

  1. Jaffa Massacre 1948
  2. Khan Yunis Massacre 1956
  3. Jerusalem Massacre 1967
  4. Sabra and Shatila Massacre 1982
  5. Al-Aqsa Massacre 1990
  6. Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre 1994
  7. Jenin Refugee Camp April 2002
  8. Gaza Massacre 2008-09
  9. Gaza Massacre 2012
  10. Gaza Massacre 2014
  11. Gaza Massacre 2018-19
  12. Gaza Massacre 2021
  13. Gaza Genocide 2023 – still ongoing”



Surely not “Jews” but “Zionists”?


Also (Horror):

This pen we are forced

to write with




something only terrorists or “poor people” do: a crime…

(probably a “crime” not powerful or big enough to be

a “crime against humanity” which, of course,

is a word without any meaning, anymore.)



Crimes against humanity:

an anti-Semitic plot,  another Protocol (of the Elders),  etc.

Its Contents?

(Itemised by South Africa at The International Court of Justice

and articulated by UN Ambassador Ryiad Mansour:

“what crimes has Israel not committed yet?”)



Colonist, Settler Colonist:

Another name for thief and murderer

whose judgment is postponed to a time in the far-future

when ”humans” will re-appear in a devastated landscape:

(e.g. Native Americans, Aborigines, the Hereros and Namas of Namibia, Kurds, Armenians, Palestinians, etc. etc.

(The list is endless)



Self defense:

the Zionist word now for murder,

(genocide, massacre, slaughter, extermination, etc. etc.)




A word, displaced now

no one can understand

wandering barefoot among

those fleeing in search of safety

in a history condemned to darkness.


30      The end.

“He (John) said,

I am the voice of one

crying in the wilderness…”


A Place – Beyond this Time of Barbarism

where the whole world shares the ambassador’s tears

and there will no linger be a need

for translation?


Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador to the UN:

“The state of Palestine appeals to this court to guide the International Community in upholding international law ending injustice and achieving a just and lasting peace…


…to guide us towards a future in which Palestinian children are treated as children not as a demographic threat in which the identity of the group to which we belong does not diminish the human rights to which we are all entitled…


the future in which no Palestinian and no Israelis is killed; a future in which two states live side by side in peace and security…”


séamas carraher

21 february – 11 march, 2024



Posted by Muhammad Smiry  (@MuhammadSmiry)

“Israeli soldiers – kill our children – then take photos with their toys”

Posted on Twitter/X (“fair-use”)


NOTES (to Tet)


Introduction – See

The forms and places of unsuspected subversion” (Sergio Segio)

Global Rights Magazine – 2016 (Download)

“Only imagining and desiring another world, other social systems and relationships, in fact, the change becomes concrete. Only by recovering forgotten and subtracted vocabularies, by rebuilding proper syntax and new

grammars, subversion becomes viable.”


New Testament

Gospel of John – Wikipedia

Gospel of John


the bodies unearthed in plastic bags

in a Gazan schoolyard

Al Jazeera – January 31, 2024


Old World

I.E. The “West” (Wikipedia)


so that its soldiers “can get away

with murder…”

Palestinian UN Ambassador speech on US Veto (CTV News-February 20, 2024)


Al Jazeera – March 5, 2024


Zionist settlers in the Occupied West Bank who are reclaiming “their ancestral homes”

See Noam Chomsky – on Israel’s claims


US President J. Biden:  I never really thought that I would see and have confirmed pictures of terrorists beheading children.

The White House, apparently, later retracted the statement.

Al Jazeera – Fact Check


Paulo said – Paulo Freire in his “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”

 Wikipedia – Pedagogy_of_the_Oppressed

He went on:  “It is not the unloved who initiate disaffection, but those who cannot love because they love only themselves. It is not the helpless, subject to terror, who initiate terror, but the violent, who with their power create the concrete situation which begets the “rejects of life.” It is not the tyrannized who initiate despotism, but the tyrants. It is not the despised who initiate hatred, but those who despise. It is not those whose humanity is denied them who negate humankind, but those who denied that humanity (thus negating their own as well). Force is used not by those who have become weak under the preponderance of the strong, but by the strong who have emasculated them.”


Franz also said is from Frantz Fanon: “The Wretched of The Earth”

Wikipedia – The_Wretched_of_the_Earth


Ghassan Kanafani

“… you don’t mean exactly peace talks… you mean capitulation, surrendering

– why not just talk – to whom talk, to the Israeli leaders… that’s kind of

conversation between the sword and the neck you mean…”

Interview in Beirut in 1970


Genocide: where words fail

 “There are no more words to speak about what’s going on in Gaza”

 Swedish MEP Protest – Al Jazeera – February 28, 2024


Palestinian poet Mosab Abu Toha’s

Twitter/X Mosab Abu Toha

“Things You Find Hidden in my Ear”


Thin sheets of paper / unable to absorb / rivers of hypocrisy?

Biden’s Arms Sales – Democracy Now – 7 March 2024

Also: Washington Post – 6 March 2024


What the Jews did”

was posted online (Twitter/X) by @user-nr6qs9kh2x, 27 February, 2024


Wikipedia – List_of_killings_and_massacres_in_Mandatory_Palestine


Ms. May Golan (of the Likud Party),  who, during a Knesset hearing said:

“I am personally proud of the ruins of Gaza…”



Protocol (of the Elders)

Wikipedia – The_Protocols_of_the_Elders_of_Zion


Crimes against humanity: UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour

“what crimes has Israel not committed yet?”

Palestinian UN Ambassador – Al Jazeera – February 20, 2024


Colonist, Settler Colonist …when ”humans” will appear in a devastated landscape.

Al Jazeera – The Listening Post

(Is Germany’s other genocide being forgotten?)

or Chomsky on Colonialism

Noam Chomsky on Colonialism



Palestine’s UN ambassador holds back tears during appeal to world court

“At the international court of justice hearing on Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories, Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador to the UN, held back tears as he appealed to the judges to uphold international law in the Palestinian territories and help secure a two-state solution ‘in which the two-states live side by side in peace and security’.”

Guardian News – February 19, 2024


Palestinian UN ambassador slams U.S. veto on ceasefire | ‘Absolutely reckless’

CTV News – February 20, 2024


Postscript (to a Note on Barbarism) – “Health Warning” for a Struggle to Reclaim a Language able to Confront Barbarism


Ambassador Majed Bamya, Deputy Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the UN, New York recently posted this as a “health warning” relevant for our struggle to reclaim a language that capable of confronting this Barbarism:


“Our role as advocates, as storytellers, as megaphones relaying the reality on the ground means we actively pursue dissemination of information and often of our own statements and writings and interviews. There is a very thin line between genuine advocacy and self-promotion and there is a need to keep oneself in check not to believe that the narrator is somehow the hero of the story. Advocacy is crucial but we do it from the comfort of our homes and working places. The heroes are the ones on the ground, those facing death every day, those helping save lives and those risking their lives to share the stories. They are the voice that we try to echo. I have always been disturbed by the tendency to consider as the primary mark of leadership or courage the ability to deliver a great speech. I have received hundreds of messages commending my courage. What courage? Given what our people are enduring, speaking out and taking the risk of making some people upset does not really require courage.  I am not immune of these faults and write about them to remind myself before anybody else of not falling in such traps, not to allow such distraction, not to lower ourselves to such shameful ambition. Don’t inflate our egos. Gaza deserves better than to become our opportunity for glory. Gaza is a responsibility to do more, to do better, to be better. That responsibility is daunting and anyone of us who believes they have done enough are deeply mistaken. It will take years of engagement and hard work to try and start to uphold that responsibility.”





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