The Communist Party of Israel (CPI) and Hadash (the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality) mourns the passing of author Salman Natour who died on Monday morning, February 15, after suffering a severe heart attack.
Natour was an Arab-Palestinian writer and novelist of Druze origin, and a member of the CPI and a Hadash activist. Born in Daliat al-Karmel, south of Haifa, in 1949, he graduated from high school in his home town, and went on to attain his higher education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and later at Haifa University. Natour was formerly director of the Emil Touma Institute for Palestinian and Israeli Studies in Haifa, and editor of the periodical Israeli Issues which is published in Ramallah. A journalist from 1968 to 1990, he was also formerly literary editor of Al-Ittihad, the daily Arabic-language newspaper of the CPI and the editor of the Al Jadid review.
Natour published numerous books and plays, writing in both Arabic and Hebrew. For over 30 years, he published stories based on the Palestinian collective memory. In his writings, regardless of whether the events actually took place or not, he convinces you that it actually could have happened, while relating his stories without any visual or oral effects.
His work tells the stories of two Palestinian generations: the first being, those who fought the first battle for independence and lost; the second, those who decided to remain neutral, losing as well, and ultimately decided to rise up against the oppression of their people. They are Palestinian narratives commemorating death and life, the past and the present, the homeland and the Diaspora, and depicting the simple people who, with their simplicity and sincere prayers, kindled the revolution.