Occupation

You ask me how it is
That I dare to take a side
You say I loathe myself
For pointing out that you have lied
You say it’s tribal warfare
But I disagree
For the dynamics of the situation
Are not difficult to see
On one side is the fighter jet
On the other side the stone
On one side is the slave
On the other is the throne
For the many there are checkpoints
While foreign soldiers rule the street
For one side there is victory
But the people don’t accept defeat

The word you need to know is occupation
The very definition of a land without a nation
And if peace is what you’re after then let us not deceive
It will come on the day the tanks return to Tel Aviv

On one side there is hunger
And bulldozed olive trees
On the other is the Army
Ruling by decrees
Caterpillars maul the streets
And destroy entire city blocks
While children swallow shrapnel
For the crime of throwing rocks
Fences are erected
Around the towns they flatten
And Herzl’s own fanatics
Sleep on sheets of satin
And they water their plantations
Drilling ever-deeper wells
While the displaced children of the hopeless
Are filled with bullet shells

The word you need to know is occupation
The very definition of a land without a nation
And if peace is what you’re after then let us not deceive
It will come on the day the settlers return to Tel Aviv

On one side there is the Mossad
Rounding up the men
Thrown in jail with no trial
Being tortured once again
On the other there is rage
Helplessness and fear
And a growing realization
That another holocaust is near
On the outside there are prisons
Inside detainees
Being stripped of their humanity
Beaten naked to their knees
Outside ghetto prison walls
There are stormtroopers all around
While inside the hungry people
Yearn for liberated ground

The word you need to know is occupation
The very definition of a land without a nation
And if peace is what you’re after then let us not deceive
It will come on the day the jailguards return to Tel Aviv

All across the world
You can hear the people say
The children of Jerusalem
Will be free one day
In overcrowded camps
Amidst the stench of death and flies
To the suburbs of Detroit
You can hear the anguished cries
While in the land of Israel
With God ever on their side
Walls and fences are constructed
And papers are denied
People fight for their existence
While the world turns a blinded eye
And those who should know better
Insist on asking why

The word you need to know is occupation
The very definition of a land without a nation
And if peace is what you’re after then let us not deceive
It will come on the day the refugees return to Tel Aviv

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“Occupation” appears on the 2003 CD, The Return, as well as on the Palestine-themed collection of Rovics songs on the subject, Falasteen, Habibti.

It’s the occupation, stupid — that could be the saying, but it isn’t.  Anyway, the brutal occupation of Palestine by the apartheid state of Israel is the root of the problem in the “Palestine-Israel Conflict.”  There is a conflict because settlers from Europe, North America and elsewhere (but mostly Europe and North America) stole Palestine from the Palestinians and declared themselves a state (called Israel).  Naturally, with 700,000 Palestinians becoming refugees, now with millions of descendants in the camps throughout the region and throughout the world, there’s been a conflict ever since.  And there always will be one, until there’s real justice, which is not going to happen without the US and Europe ending its racist, Islamaphobic support for this racist, Islamaphobic country called Israel.

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