Who suffers more World seems to disagree

In one of Jean-Luc Godard’s last films, Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish speaks with great depth and wisdom. This week Darwish is expected to arrive in his homeland for the first time in years. In his interview, and I am not quoting him verbatim, he says the Palestinians only interest the world because of the Jews.

Basically, he says, we Jews provide public relations services to the Palestinian people.

Darwish is an extraordinary poet. He is bitter, often hateful, has a sense of humor, tremendous wisdom and hints that the Palestinians don’t really interest the world.

Those who actually do interest the world are the “bad” Jews and their treatment of the Palestinians. And who on earth really takes an interest in the Arabs of Bahrain or the suffering of the Arabs of Saudi Arabia, where women’s repression and religious fanaticism is rife? Who takes an interest in the Sudanese, who are currently killing more people a day than the number of Palestinians killed in a year?

Had it not been for Israel, even the Syrians would not have known that their government threw live people out of planes. And when Jordan massacred thousands of Palestinians in what was termed Black September, the matter didn’t spark much international interest either.

If Darwish’s interpretations are correct, then the Israeli-Palestinian covenant is a blood covenant and the bloodshed turns the two peoples into one inseparable chunk. Perhaps one day we will join forces against the world and they won’t be liked either. I am not talking about who is more right.

The late Israeli-Palestinian author Emile Habibi maintained that what really preoccupies us is who is suffering more. I once attended an Israeli-German-Palestinian meeting in Germany. A poet, or perhaps a Palestinian author, said passionately that “you, the Jews don’t know what suffering is.” Ida Fink, the great Jewish Polish author who attended the meeting, said that we do, in fact, know a little about suffering.

This is not a political article. The political aspects of the conflict have been discussed at length. If there is any chance for peace, I for one cannot see it. But when I look at Darwish (we once argued from afar about some trivial matter related to a film), I feel the weight of his humanity.

Although I do not regard myself as a man of morals, and I don’t really believe there is any justice in history or politics, I sense and honor Darwish’s harsh justness.

Perhaps now, after the passing of so many years, he understands that the Jews haven’t been particularly liked over the past 2,000 years — and that because of them, the Palestinians are now liked a little more. After all, overseas news broadcasts are headed by two Palestinians shot by Israelis.

Perhaps the Palestinians are fortunate; if they are now liked so much worldwide, they should allow us to keep acting brutally, insensitively and cruelly in our 100-year war.

And perhaps they will get lucky and win. Perhaps then we’ll throw them into the sea.

There is so much self hate among us that it’s hard to believe that our just attempt at Zionism will succeed in the long run. And when we lose our faith in our justness, and we shall no longer be around, they will become the victors and they will be less liked, and we perhaps will be liked a little more. And the party suffering more will once again be us, not them — even though when we were being murdered no one took an interest in us.

The Jews, Palestinians and Germans are three peoples who really want to be loved. Perhaps love shouldn’t be so completely coveted.

Yoram Kaniuk is an Israeli writer and the author of “Adam Resurrected.” This article previously appeared on ynetnews.com.