Unbeliever in the Impossible

  • Dalya Cohen-Mor


This chapter examines the implications of the most celebrated love story between a Palestinian man and an Israeli-Jewish woman in recent history. What does it reveal about Darwish’s self-definition and his attitude toward the Israeli other? I argue that although Darwish came to be known as a poet of resistance, he had always advocated dialogue with Israelis and embraced the Israeli component in his Palestinian identity. The personal story of these star-crossed lovers illustrates the tragedy of two neighboring communities that have the potential to develop close and enriching ties but are instead embroiled in a century-long conflict. Darwish’s resonant words, “We are both unbelievers in the impossible,” offer a message of hope for a future resolution of this conflict.


Mahmoud Darwish—self-definition Mahmoud Darwish—attitude toward the Israeli other Mahmoud Darwish and Rita—star-crossed lovers—metaphor for Arab-Jewish relations 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dalya Cohen-Mor
    • 1
  1. 1.PotomacUSA

Personalised recommendations