By KHALED ABU TOAMEH, GATESTONE—
The Palestinians feel that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is not listening to what they have to say about his efforts to achieve peace in the middle East.
That Is why they have decided to express their views through a new song that is dedicated to Kerry personally.
A video of the song, by Qassem Najjar, was posted on YouTube and other social media outlets on the eve of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s visit to Washington for talks with President Barack Obama on the peace process with Israel.
While heaping praise on Abbas, the singer mocks Kerry and accuses him of presenting a “Zionist plan” with the intention of eliminating the Palestinian cause.
Najjar decided to publish his new song after he and other Palestinians were left with the impression that Kerry is not accurately hearing their position regarding his ideas for a “framework agreement” with Israel.
The words of the song, which is entitled, “The Palestinian People’s Message to Kerry,” express the negative attitude that many Palestinians and Arabs have toward his ideas.
But Najjar is also hoping that his song will send a warning to the Palestinian Authority leadership. “My message to the Palestinian Authority leadership is that as long as you are committed to the Palestinian rights, we are with you,” the singer said. “But if you make any concession, the people and I will take to the street to chant against you and demand that you go away.”
The Palestinian Authority has endorsed the anti-Kerry song by allowing many of its news websites to publish it. A senior Palestinian Authority official in Ramallah explained that the new song is “100% accurate and honestly sums up the whole Palestinian position toward peace.”
Najjar is hoping that the song’s message will reach Kerry and Obama before they meet with Abbas in Washington. He wants Washington to understand that even if Abbas is forced — under U.S. pressure and threats — to make concessions, the Palestinians will not “relinquish their rights.”
The song also reflects growing Palestinian suspicion toward Kerry’s motives and accuses him of seeking to deceive the Palestinians through his ideas. Addressing Kerry, the singer warns the top US diplomat, “Go tell Obama and America that my land is not a piece of cake for you to share.”
Referring to the explosive issue of Palestinian refugees, Najjar sends the following message to Kerry, “We will not compromise the right of return; my homeland flag will be high. Listen John Kerry.”
Noting that the Arabs will not allow Kerry’s plan to pass, the singer goes on to warn Kerry, “in the name of the martyrs, prisoners, homeland and revolution, Jerusalem is our free capital and will always be.”
After repeating Palestinian accusations against Israel over settlements and the “Judaization” of Jerusalem, Najjar cautions Kerry that he must “stop playing games because all your games have been exposed by President Abbas.”
Echoing previous statements by some of Abbas’s advisors, the singer denounces Kerry’s proposed agreement as a “Zionist scheme designed to liquidate the Palestinian cause.”
He also denounces as “racist” the demand for recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. This too is the official position of the Palestinian Authority and Abbas is once again expected to voice his opposition to this demand during his meeting with Obama. Another theme of the song that also reflects the official stance of the Palestinian Authority is the refusal to accept any Israeli presence in the West Bank after the signing of a peace agreement. In the words of the singer, “We do not accept Jews within our borders.”
It is no coincidence that the song was released on the eve of Abbas’s visit to Washington. Abbas will use it to show Obama and Kerry why he can not make concessions to Israel. He will also use it to scare the Americans and show them how much Palestinians despise Obama and Kerry.