another attempt at making a list poem come to life

I’ve been working on various incarnations of this list poem for three years. The idea was good, but it’s been flat and flat and too long and even more too long. Then today, catching up on the activities of the amazing Israeli group Zochrot/Remembering I found a question that made me try again to breathe life as a poem into the spark of “something must be said.”

How Do We Say Nakba in Hebrew?
title of a Zochrot study guide


what we then said:
Canaanite
Ammonite
Moabite
Phoenician
Israelite

Israelite invaders
Assyrian invaders
Babylonian invaders
Persian invaders
Greek invaders
Roman invaders
Arab invaders
Christian invaders
Ottoman invaders
British invaders
Jewish invaders

Arab
Jew

what we now say:
Jew
Muslim
Christian
Arab
Palestinian
Israeli

what we must say:
Israeli Jew
Jewish Palestinian
Christian Arab
Israeli Christian
Palestinian Christian
Israeli Druze
Israeli Muslim
Palestinian Israeli
Palestinian Arab
Israeli Arab
Israeli Palestinian
Arab Druze
Palestinian Muslim
Jewish Arab
Muslim Arab
Arab Jew
Israeli Palestinian
Palestinian Jew

what we will say:
an olive tree
a lemon tree
from the river to the sea

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