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Ghassan Kanafani

Ghassan Kanafani was a refugee, a journalist, an editor and a political activist. He was murdered in Beirut by a bomb planted in his car by Israel’s Mossad spy agency on 8 July 1972. He was 36 years old. At the time, he was the official spokesperson of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). And yet, first and foremost, he was a writer.

In this regard, his obituary in Lebanon’s Daily Star stated that he was “a commando who never fired a gun, whose weapon was a ball-point pen, and his arena the newspaper pages.”

Ghassan was very clear on his life’s purpose. And the following quote is an example to all of us who wish to combine our moral, artistic and political objectives.

 “I write well because I believe in a cause, in principles. The day I leave these principles, my stories will become empty; and the defence of principles is what finally leads to success in everything. The Palestinian cause is not a cause for Palestinians only, but a cause for every revolutionary… as a cause of the exploited and oppressed masses in our era.”

This poem was written by Allan Kolski Horwitz, from South African Jews for Peace, in commemoration of Ghassan Kanafani and of the Nakba.