Confessions of a Human Bomb from Palestine
by Hujayra al Arabi
30 July 2005
Dedicated to my brothers and sisters in Resistance in Iraq and in the Arab Nation
I do not want to die. I am not in love with death. I am not even 'half in love with easeful death' like the English poet. I want to live. I want to have a home filled with children, and I still want to be a doctor. From the age of about six, I dreamed of becoming a doctor, of being able to save lives. I wanted to do something real that would save the lives of my people.
And yet, I see now that there are many ways of saving lives and that taking lives can be a part of the process of saving lives. That is where I am now, preparing to take lives in order to save my people.
The enemy tries to say that human bombs are cowards, that we want to die, that we do this in order to go to a paradise where virgins will fulfil our every wish. Well, for a start, I can prove them wrong on the virgin issue. I am a woman, and I have no interest whatsoever in being pleasured by other virgins, thank you very much. The fact of the matter is that this is nothing more than stupid propaganda, like so many of the enemy's lies. The young men who become martyrs for our cause are not doing so in order to win virgins in the hereafter. Nor do we do this out of hatred for the enemy, although the hatred is a thousand times deserved. We do it for love of the homeland and for love of our people.
The Prophet Isa, Peace be upon him, said that there is no greater love than the love of a shepherd who is willing to lay down his life for his sheep. I agree that this is a very great act of love, and this is the act of love committed by every human bomb. We give our lives for our people, for our future, to try to turn a tide of destruction that threatens to sweep away not only our identity and heritage, but our very future. Sometimes engineers will use a bomb to attempt to change the course of a waterway. That is what the human bomb is doing, using a bomb to try to change the course of a terrible flood that day by day continues to sweep away our homes, our families and our hopes for any future. If we can make any impression at all upon this flood, if little by little, we can slow down its progress, force it into a different path and ultimately stop its flow completely, then we will have succeeded in a very great act of love.
One human bomb may be no more than a voice crying in the wilderness, but many human bombs can change the course of history, strip it of a hundred years of lies and deceit and bring the vision of a future back to Palestine.
Those who listen to the enemy propaganda should ask themselves one question: what does it take to make an ordinary boy or girl into a human bomb? In a different life, in ordinary circumstances, all of us could have been quite ordinary boys and girls. Do not mistake the human bomb for anything other than an ordinary human being forced by circumstance to act in an extraordinary fashion.
It is not easy to become a human bomb. When there is a choice between the high road and the low road, most will opt for the easier of the two. It is often easier for human nature to make excuses for betrayal and collaboration with the enemy than to face reality and know that integrity often requires the ultimate sacrifice.
It is a sad fact that the Zionists continue to be successful in hunting down the leaders of our resistance only because they are betrayed by our own people, by people whose vision is limited to the immediate situation or threat that confronts them. Even though some collaborators may be no more than people who fear for the safety of their families, or who are desperate for food and a safe shelter, collaboration is the ugliest and most despicable crime against our people. To aid the enemy, whether out of fear or greed is to BECOME the enemy. Furthermore, collaborators and those who do nothing whatsoever, trying to maintain a low profile in order to remain 'safe', must realise that there is no safe shelter as long as the enemy triumphs in our land. I will say it again: the crime of trading the life of your brother or sister for your own illusive safety is one of the worst, whatever its motivation. The man or woman who betrays a freedom fighter for gold or to save his or her skin deserves the punishment of death, for he or she has more power to harm our cause than our avowed enemy.
Cowards and collaborators must learn that it is far better to take the high road and meet death on our own terms than to cower in the shadows until the enemy drags us out to to the slaughter. The result, in physical terms, is the same, but how different the result in its effects upon others and upon the future!
My fiancé used to quote an old Roman saying: 'Media tutissimus ibis', which means that the middle way is best. He believed it as well and lived according to that belief. He saw good in all people and wanted to believe that, at the end of the day, NO MATTER WHAT, good would have to triumph against evil. He was willing to wait patiently for that day. In that sense, he embodied the old myth of 'oriental fatalism' which the Westerners loved to pretend gave them carte blanche to tear down cultures and civilisations throughout the world and superimpose their visions of glory upon the fabric of the universe.
Well, my dear Muhammad, you waited patiently as Zionist metal entered your eye and lung and leg. You waited patiently for the time when you would be allowed through the chequepoint to hospital... a time that did not come, while the wounds festered and finally rotted your flesh with gangrene. Your death was anything but clean. It was a death that is sadly typical of those who allow themselves to become the victims of oppressors.
Patience may be a virtue, but it has to be patience coupled with determination to win this war. Without that determination, we will cease to exist. It is as simple as that. We can wait patiently while they pick us off one by one, or we can go out to meet them.
I choose to go out to meet them. That is what being a human bomb is about. It is the last resort of those who have exhausted all other avenues. Justice is on our side. The law is on our side. Why then are we victims still? The fact is that the world has not listened to the voice of justice, nor to the voice of international law. It has not listened to the voice of compassion nor to any pleas for humanity. So finally we come to the voice that cannot be ignored: the voice of Immediate Death. The human bomb targets both the lives and the pocketbook of the enemy. The enemy has proven that it will remain deaf to us unless we threaten loss of their lives and loss of their profits.
I do not volunteer for this action to avenge my Muhammad. I do not do this to avenge any of our people who have suffered or died at the hands of the enemy. I do not do this for myself either. As I write this, I can see a letter written by my aunt in England, offering me a home and financial support for a chance to study medicine there. Unlike too many of my Palestinian brothers and sisters, my life is not restricted to the walls of the refugee camp. I have other options. In a way, it is precisely because I do have other options that I feel that my voice will be more emphatic when it explodes in the midst of the enemy. They cannot pretend that I have no reasons to live. They have not cornered me personally, but they have cornered us as a people and that is what counts at the end of the day.
Shall I go to England, to pursue my dream of saving the lives of some of our people, or should I stay here and pursue the reality of saving our future as a people? Being a Palestinian doctor is doing patchwork, darning and mending the rags of our existence over and over until, like all rags, they finally disintegrate and are thrown out onto the dustheap.
Our people must come to understand that the life of ANY individual must be subordinate to the cause of freedom from this Occupation. The value of any individual is not what is at issue; it is rather the value of our future as a people that must be supreme, overriding all other considerations in all of our hearts. What good is it to Palestine if any one of us prospers or survives if our people as a whole cease to exist? What good is the illusive freedom of one individual when the Palestinian people exist in conditions that are far worse than slavery? Unless we can act selflessly, for the good of the cause rather than pursuing individual goals and ambitions, our cause will fail.
The human bomb provides an example of that selflessness, demonstrating unequivocally that no life can be considered more valuable than the future of our people. The human bomb acts for all, not for himself or herself. 'Use me as a weapon of your will,' the human bomb declares. 'Let my life be sacrificed for the future of all our people.' This is emphatically not the act of some one committing suicide! Suicide is a selfish act, the act of some one who repudiates life and embraces death as a solution. The human bomb does not repudiate life at all. The human bomb embraces death as a comrade in arms, acting as a weapon for the cause of justice and freedom from Occupation.
Do I believe in the Hereafter? I honestly do not know what lies beyond this existence, because I am nothing more than a human being, whose understanding is limited to our life on this earth. I would like to believe. I do believe in God, and I believe that 'Inna lillahi wa inna illahi rajaoun' that we come from God and to God is our return, but as God is unknowable and unfathomable, so is His Will and any reality beyond this world is beyond my sight. As far as I am concerned, what counts most is what I do here and now. I want to perform the right action for the right reason, with honour and purity of intent. At this point in history, the best action is that taken by the human bomb.
Holy Qur'an states: 'Wa la taHsabanna alladhina qutillu fi Sabilillahi 'amwatan.' 'Do not think of those who are killed in the way of Allah as being dead.' To me, it is not of the hereafter alone that this verse speaks, but of the fact that the memory of a life sacrificed in the way of justice and truth never dies. It stands as an example to be followed, but more than that, it is an _expression of faith in our cause. If I and other human bombs are willing to die in this horrible fashion for our people, does that not prove that hope for our future cannot be lost?
To be killed 'fee Sabilillahi', 'in the way or path of Allah', is to die for selfless reasons, in my opinion. That is why the human bomb, along with our other heroic martyrs, is one who truly can be said to have been slain 'fee Sabilillahi', because he or she has been slain in the pursuit of justice and freedom from Occupation. Nor can it be considered suicide to launch oneself as a weapon AGAINST the enemy. The goal of the action of the human bomb is not his or her own death! The goal is to strike a resounding blow against the enemy. If our own deaths are required, then so be it, but we do not go out seeking our own deaths. Let that be very clear. The act of the human bomb is the ultimate act of protest against the extermination of our people.
If our people go to the slaughter without protest, we will cease to exist. Let the world look to the Zionist actions and see that, whatever fairytales they tell, their actions speak of the need to exterminate us, to wipe us off the face of the homeland. Their entire culture, religion and government is based upon a racist premise, that the Jew and only the Jew belongs on this land. Despite history, despite any reality that proves their premise unconscionable and unsupported by logic or reason, they do not falter in their goal. Look to it, World, for those who are not Jewish, be they Arab, Gentile or anything else, are not considered their equals and they are not by their morality or religion required to treat you as they do their fellow Jews. Until the Jew decides to join the human race, there can be no dealing of equal with equal. It is written in their Talmud.
Enough of them, though. I must prepare for the ultimate act of resistance against this Occupation and I will not go to my death with ugliness and brutality in my thoughts. I will think instead of the symphony of the sea beating against the rocks... of the perfume of wild thyme rising from sun-baked hills... of the olive tree heavy with fruit that my great grandfather planted but that exists now only in our memories... of my mother's smile, encompassing a world of hope veiled in tears... of the roses, vines and birds she embroidered on my thob... of the Tree of Life and mihrab door to heaven embroidered over my heart... the mystical homeland she created in red, white, green and black, the colours of our land Palestine.
They call us 'terrorists' but it is an absurdity to think that they, who hold the power of life and death over our entire people each and every day, could be terrorised by us. We have nothing but our determination and our willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice. Our bombs consist of a handful of nails propelled, along with our flesh and bones, by the crudest of explosives. They can and have shown that they are willing to reduce an entire city to rubble in a single day, and make thousands homeless. When they have all the technology that this new century holds, who is the real terrorist in Palestine or indeed, throughout the world?
Yet it is true that the enemy fears Death in a way that we do not fear it. After all, why should we fear to meet the One who created us? The Christians have a beautiful prayer: 'Hatta idha ajtaztu wadi dhilali al mawt, la akhafu suwan liannaka turafiquni.' God is the Comrade who never abandons us, even in the valley of the shadow of Death. It is not Death that I fear, but the silence of extinction. Death does not extinguish the flame of our existence. The crown of the Martyr by tradition is Immortality. It is not my own immortality that I seek but that of the cause of our people.
We are a strong people. We are steadfast. That is not enough to prevail against the machinery of Death that has been set in motion against us. The fact that we have survived a century of genocide speaks eloquently of our strength and steadfastness, but how much longer can we endure? Those who robbed us originally of our land die peacefully in their beds of old age, having spawned another two or three generations of robbers and thieves. Those offspring convince themselves that they bear no responsibility for the continuing deprivation of our people as they invite more robbers into our homeland, while herding more of our people over the bridge to exile. They will not listen to the voice of justice. They speak of 'peace' when they have made the word an obscenity.
Salaam is not simply peace. Salaam is peace with justice. When true peace exists, all is right with the world. When true peace exists, justice has been served and people do not live as slaves or on mere suffrance under an oppressive and foreign occupation. Do not speak to us of your counterfeit Peace.
Salaam is peace but it must be won now through sacrifice. I go now to win that Peace for Palestine.
HUJAYRA AL ARABI