Wim de Neuter died today, a martyr for Palestine and the oppressed in this world
Many of you would wonder: why is Wim a martyr when he died from a brain tumor?… My answer is that when you live your whole life to defend a cause, and when you sacrify your career to uphold a sense of justice in your work, and you die while still in the thick of the fight, you are a martyr. You are a martyr when you do not surrender to disease, nor to pain and when you keep writing and fighting and talking and making projects till your last breath is drawn, so that your last breath resembles your first, defying as ever and rebellious as ever. This was what Wim did, and this is what will remain and what will last.
I remember the first time I met Wim, I was reluctant to declare him an ally and I thought that the way I understand Zionism will never be the way he does. But I was wrong, Wim saw Zionism like I saw it and was against it like I am, relentless and uncompromising because he also knew that on some issues in this world, a compromise is nothing less than treason, since that day our paths crossed every now and then and always as allies.
I saw him for the last time in the conference of IUPFP [International Union of Parlementarians for Palestine] in Brussels last May, where he was a guest of honour to receive a symbolic tribute from deputies coming from all corners of the earth to commemorate 60 years of Al Nakba. He walked using a stick with heavy steps, but he was as fluent in his words and as composed in his attitude as always, he knew he was dying but he kept smiling, like if he was laughing at fate, with dignity. How can I thank him? how can we thank our martyrs? only in one way is that possible, and that is to renew the oath to walk on their steps till we fall in our turns one way or the other.
Wim De Neuter, thinker, writer, journalist and activist, fighter for Palestine, fighter for world justice and for socialism, you will never be forgotten, rest in peace my comrade!
(Uitpers, nr 103, 10de jg., november 2008)
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