dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y

 

 

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1980s
STARS, THAT’S WHAT WE WERE

 

Japan, Norway, Düsseldorf, the United States, Holland—don’t be surprised if I count them up on my fingers—England, Belgium, Korea, Sweden, places we’d never even heard of and couldn’t find on the map—they all sent people to film us and photograph us and interview us. “Camera”, “in shot”, “tracking shot”, “voice off”—but gradually the fedayeen found themselves “out of shot” and learned that the visitors spoke “voice off”.
Whenever Europeans looked at us their eyes shone. Now I understand why. It was with desire, because their looking at us produced a reaction in our bodies before we realized it. Even with our backs turned we could feel your eyes drilling through the backs of our necks. We automatically adopted a heroic and therefore attractive pose. Legs, thighs, chest, neck—everything helped to work the charm. We weren’t aiming to attract anyone in particular, but since your eyes provoked us and you’d turned us into stars, we responded to your hopes and expectations.—“But you’d turned us into monsters, too. You called us terrorists!”
Israel calls everyone in the PLO terrorists, leaders and fedayeen alike. They show no sign of the admiration they must feel for you.—“As far as terrorism is concerned, we’re nothing compared to them. Or compared to the Americans and the Europeans. If the whole world’s a kingdom of terror we know whom to thank. But you terrorize by proxy. At least the terrorists I’m talking about risk their own skins. That’s the difference.”
—Jean Genet, Prisoner of Love1