chocolate on their hands?

I had the good fortune to meet a colleague today who stumbled upon my blog. I had been given his name by a rafiq, but I haven’t really had the time to make contacts with new people in Nablus as of yet. I was so happy to find someone on my campus who is active in the boycott movement here in at An Najah University. He sent me links to his blogs and also a website dedicated to his mother, who became a martyr almost six years ago. One of the many martyrs of Nablus. One of the many innocent victims of Israeli aggression. We met up in the university cafeteria and had a long, lovely chat about life, politics, academics, poetry. In the course of our conversation we talked about the problem of Palestinian political prisoners. One of us–I can’t recall–bemoaned the fact that the Israeli media loves to use the phrase “blood on their hands” whenever discussing Palestinian political prisoners or resistance fighters. Just do a search on Ynet and you’ll find over 365 hits for this phrase of late. So he mentioned that perhaps we should write something about Israeli Aggressive Forces (IAF) having “chocolate on their hands” (sorry Rania, I know this may taint your favorite treat a bit…). The idea being that the IAF murders so many Palestinian children and the chocolate can be a metaphor for this. Just look at the most recent statistics of the death and imprisonment of Palestinian children:

It seems like an interesting prospect however for some sort of writing or political project. Certainly it is a title that would get people thinking about what it might mean and do so in an unusual way.

I spent the rest of the day doing research and writing for a chapter of my book. I found, however, that there are some limitations to this using the internet at my university. For instance, if you click on the above link for the Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and you are on my campus you will get this message:

Your page is blocked due to a security policy that prohibits access to category
Hate Speech.

I’m not sure what about boycotting Israelis constitutes “Hate Speech.” But the same thing happened when I was trying to catch up on one of my favorite blogs, the Angry Indian. Apparently indigenous people fighting for their rights whether in the U.S. or in Palestine constitutes “Hate Speech.” Interestingly, I had a similar kind of message when trying to go to Palestinian film director Annemarie Jacir’s website today as well. This seems to be a university issue and not a problem off campus, but one must wonder what sort of a filter they are running here if I cannot access websites related to legitimate Palestinian or Native American literature, art, culture, news, politics. I got this same message one final time when researching an allusion in a poem; I was trying to read more about Um Kalthoum and musical resistance. I found an article on a German website, but again same message. Access denied.


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