Its Not Over By Shukri Abu-Baker Unlike what presidential-hopeful Newt Gingrich has recently stated, the Palestinians are NOT an “invented” people. He is arrogantly ignorant on this. We, the Palestinians, dig back thousands of years in time, during which nothing had been able to destroy our spirit and nothing ever will. I am a proud Palestinian- American Muslim because I know where I came from and where I’m going with my life. Thus, in our struggle for peace and justice, we must always remain fixated on our mission and proud of our achievements. Never mind what some people, especially politicians and judges, may or may not be able to discern. They have a limited understanding of how the human spirit is organized around them. These people are mortals that drink and urinate, eat and defecate. They are NOT God, (and thank God they’re not God!). They err because they are vulnerable to human ills and whims and camouflaged desires that can adulterate the purity of justice. But Allah is impervious to it all. Err He does not. It is disappointing, but in reality it does not matter if some mortals have affirmed our conviction. This will only steepens the degree by which they are wrong and we are wronged. However, to give such judges the benefit of the doubt, perhaps like Gingrich, they too mistook us for an “invented” people of some sort, and thus no constitutional protection could be afforded to “invented” citizens in the “genuine” land of the free and home of the brave! After all, we, the “invented” people, can neither be free nor brave, can we? Although he was unidentifiable, “Avi” (an Israeli soldier sworn to kill, die and lie for his country’s occupation of the land of the “invented” people) perhaps was indeed more real than the five American men who were put on the so-called “fair” trial. Those fathers and husbands had “weird” sounding names with tongue-twisting “El’s” and “Abu’s” and “Abdul’s”; a cafeteria of “foreigners” with lots of facial hair, who worshipped a “fake God” of a “fake religion” all of which, when put together, came down like an abomination to the time-honored concept of the “melting pot”– even worse; a threat to the world’s peace and stability! Who knows what the judges were thinking, and who really cares? What matters is what I’m thinking, and that is: nothing is going to threaten my peace and make me forego the immortal for the mortal and the Everlasting for the transient. Nothing is going to make me second- guess the validity of the work we have done and the veracity of the pain we had alleviated among the children of forgotten nations. Unfortunately, to the loathing of their adversaries, some of these orphaned children happened to be “Palestinians” (sort of half-human, ” invented” creatures, or so we were told by their foes) and like it was with Oliver Twist, they were ” despised by all and pitied by none”, until we came along. Our charity gave the shushed and dying a strong voice for life and the impoverished a chance to to rebuild themselves from the gourd up. Charity does not kill or maim; rather it enlivens the spirit of mankind. It does not promote violence; rather it advances serenity into the hearts of the afflicted and the homes of the hurting. Charity sharpens the contrast between hate and love, and desperation and hope. It opens up human kindness and engenders equity and consolidates the dynamics of sound humanity. No one can persuade me otherwise, or dupe me into adopting a different version of the story because it is MY story. I was there and I saw it unfold. I touched the hot streaming tears of the deprived souls and held the bare footed babies in my arms. I also witnessed the sprouting of smiles on their faces and the sparkling of hope in their eyes and I heard the sighs of joy. No media or legal spin can rewrite the plot of the story; that one day there were “the dying” and on another day we made them among “the living”. Indeed, while there was not a single victim of our alleged crimes, there were countless beneficiaries; survivors who had made it from the jaws of death, and the brinks of famine, and the cliffs of helplessness, and the abysses of darkness all over the world- but most notably in the Holy Land of Palestine where real people with real souls and real aspirations have existed and still and will always exist. It is not over. Our struggle is far from over. I know that injustice is NOT irreversible and the reign of prejudice is NOT invincible. I also know that the promise of Allah is immutable. The waiting between the wee hours of the night and the break of daylight may be unjustly long, but it is not unbearable for those who believe. I will wait. We will wait because our faith is NOT “invented”- it is real. I promise.

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