LAND DAY IN PALESTINE ~~ THE ONGOING PROCESS

Israel continues to steal land from Palestinians and to displace them in every part of historic Palestine from the north, to the occupied West Bank, to the Naqab (Negev) in the south.

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What is Palestine’s Land Day?

Palestinians display a map of historic Palestine during a rally in the northern Gaza Strip to mark Land Day, on 30 March 2014. (Ashraf Amra / APA images)

On this day in 1976, thousands of Palestinians marched in towns and villages across theGalilee region, in the north of present-day Israel, to protest Israel’s expropriation of vast tracts of land as part of its openly declared policy to “Judaize” the area at the expense of the indigenous population.

No Zionism without “evacuation” and “confiscation”

“Following the Zionist tenets, Israel has systematically and callously followed an intricate and continuous process of Arab land expropriation through the promulgation of new laws, the circumvention of existing laws, harassment and duplicity. Recognizing the naked truth, Y. Ben-Porat, a known ‘hawk’ wrote ‘One truth is that there is no Zionism, no settlement, no Jewish state without evacuation of the Arabs and confiscation and enclosure of their land,’” anthropologist Khalil Nakhleh wrote in The Journal of Palestine Studies in 1976.

Frustration and anger at Israel’s land theft from, and discrmination against, Palestinian citizens of Israel had been mounting for years.

Nakhleh adds: “To protest against the essence of this process and orders for new expropriations, the Arab population declared a general strike for 30 March 1976. In an effort to preempt the strike, army and border police, including armored units, were dispatched to the most affected Arab villages. Violent confrontations ensued, and left behind six Arabs killed, tens wounded and hundreds arrested. March 30 was commemorated as Yawm al-Ard or the Day of the Land.”

Israeli violence

“On that day, quiet demonstrations in the villages of Sakhnin, Arabeh and Dir Hanna were confronted by an aggressive police and army presence which later turned on them in violent confrontations,” historian Ilan Pappe writes in his book The Forgotten Palestinians.

Already, on 28 March, “the Minister of Police declared that his forces were ‘ready to break into the Arab villages’ – he used the Hebrew word ‘lifroz,’ which is usually employed to describe assaults on enemy lines and bases,” Pappe explains.

Pappe gives the names of those killed as Khayr Muhammad Yasin from Arabeh, Raja Hussein Abu Riya, Khader Abd Khalil and Khadija Juhayna from Sakhnin, Muhammad Yusuf Taha from Kafr Kana and Rafat Zuhairi from Nur Shams refugee camp, who was shot in Taybeh.

Turning point

The Day of the Land – or Land Day – marked a turning point as the first mass mobilization by Palestinians within Israel against internal colonialism and land theft.

Its commemoration is a reaffirmation that the Palestinians who remained in the areas on which Israel was declared in 1948 are an inseparable part of the Palestinian people and their struggle.

Land Day continues to resonate with Palestinians everywhere because it does not just mark a past historical event, but draws attention to Israel’s ongoing violent, settler-colonial process of “Judaization.”

Israel continues to steal land from Palestinians and to displace them in every part of historic Palestine from the north, to the occupied West Bank, to the Naqab (Negev) in the south.

Resources

To mark Land Day, The Journal of Palestine Studies has made available several articles from past issues, including Khalil Nakhleh’s, quoted above.

These articles recall the history of Land Day, how it was seen in the context of the Palestinian reality in its time and in the decades since.

Written FOR

ABBAS’ VICTORIOUS FAILURE

As Abbas celebrates what he sees as a victory for his people, the truth is that Netanyahu has other plans …

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Netanyahu’s map of ‘Israel’ annexes West Bank, leaves out Gaza

Phil Weiss and Alex Kane FOR
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Netanyahu promotionof Israel

Netanyahu promotion of Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announced a video celebrating the accomplishments of his first year in office on his twitter feed on March 18

So what have we been up to? the frantic narrator asks. Mostly civil and economic improvements.

It’s all a big joke to Bibi ….. worthy of a cartoon

 

But a couple of times in the video the illustrator makes an image of one state of Israel and Palestine, in which the West Bank is annexed and Gaza is purposely cut out. First at :23. The screenshot above is from 1:40 or so. No Green Line. A divot where Gaza used to be. What’s he telling us?

And in all the feverish description of accomplishments, not a word about peace talks or Palestinians. The usual fearful talk about Iran and the borders.

AT LEAST ONE PA OFFICIAL FINALLY SEES THE LIGHT

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

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Eirekat lashed out at Israel for deciding on Sunday to annex large parts of the Jordan valley, (which makes up 25% of the West Bank), calling the Israeli measure “the ultimate antithesis of peace.”
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Eirekat’s belated admission
From Khalid Amayreh in Occupied Palestine
 

With frustration and anger clear in the tone of his voice, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Eirekat admitted on Monday that “peace talks” with Israel were going nowhere due to  “Israel’s recalcitrant  refusal” to end her military occupation that started in 1967.  Speaking in Ramallah, a visibly disillusioned Eirekat said the Palestinian Authority (PA) should immediately resume efforts to join international organizations and obtain recognition of a Palestinian state based on the 1967-borders. 

Under American pressure, the PA leadership agreed in September to suspend a diplomatic drive to gain recognition and obtain membership at various world bodies.

Eirekat lashed out at Israel for deciding on Sunday to annex large parts of the Jordan valley, (which makes up 25% of the West Bank), calling the Israeli measure “the ultimate antithesis of peace.”

“Israel is proving to everyone that it is absolutely unconcerned for reaching the two-state solution. Moreover, this government of Binyamin Netanyahu is simply transforming its repulsive occupation into annexation”

Israel, under the rubric of peace talks with the PA, seized large parts of the West Bank. 

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Similarly, Israel has been speeding up construction of Jewish colonies, which most pundits believe has effectively decapitated any remaining chance for the establishment of a viable and territorially-contiguous Palestinian state worthy of the name.

Hamas and other Palestinian political factions as well as non-conformist Fatah leaders had warned the PA leadership against entering in open-ended talks with Israel in the absence of real guarantees, especially from Israel’s guardian-ally, the United States.

However, the PA, which depends for its financial survival on politically-driven aid by western powers and oil-rich Arab sheikhdoms in the Arabian Gulf, refused to say “No” to the Americans.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to arrive in Occupied Palestine later this week to push the seemingly futile talks forward.

However, with the extreme right-wing government of Benyamin Netanyahu in power, and with the Israeli Jewish society drifting to religious fanaticism and national jingoism, it seems the American official has a little chance of making any real breakthrough.

Added to this is the ever-dwindling American ability to exert any meaningful pressure on Israel due to the powerful influence of the American Jewish lobby on American political life and institutions, especially Congress.

The increasingly apparent failure and possible collapse of the peace process in Palestine is likely to force many Palestinians to demand the “one-state solution” whereby they conceivably would acquire citizenship in a bi-national state extending from the Mediterranean to the River Jordan.

However, Israel is utterly unlikely to accept this scenario as its Jewish Zionist identity would be seriously compromised with the inclusion of more than five million non-Jews to Israel’s population.

It is widely believed that the Arab population west of the river Jordan already exceeds the number of Jews, although Israeli officials wouldn’t admit that. 
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to arrive in Occupied Palestine later this week to push the seemingly futile talks forward.

However, with the extreme right-wing government of Benyamin Netanyahu in power, and with the Israeli Jewish society drifting to religious fanaticism and national jingoism, it seems the American official has a little chance of making any real breakthrough.

Added to this is the ever-dwindling American ability to exert any meaningful pressure on Israel due to the powerful influence of the American Jewish lobby on American political life and institutions, especially Congress.

The increasingly apparent failure and possible collapse of the peace process in Palestine is likely to force many Palestinians to demand the “one-state solution” whereby they conceivably would acquire citizenship in a bi-national state extending from the Mediterranean to the River Jordan.

However, Israel is utterly unlikely to accept this scenario as its Jewish Zionist identity would be seriously compromised with the inclusion of more than five million non-Jews to Israel’s population.

It is widely believed that the Arab population west of the river Jordan already exceeds the number of Jews, although Israeli officials wouldn’t admit that.

‘IN CASE OF PEACE’, THERE WILL BE NO PALESTINE

Slowly but surely ….. the land theft continues .

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“There is no divide between settlement and security. The Jordan Valley is consensus for the citizens of Israel. Never mind – let them know the Jordan Valley will be Israeli under any final agreement.”

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Ministerial committee approves annexing Jordan Valley

Eight ministers support bill proposing that Israel annex Jordan Valley, so that it remains within Israeli sovereignty even if peace accord is reached with Palestinians. Several ministers appeal, say will block legislative process

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The Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved Sunday a bill, proposed by MK Miri Regev, to annex the Jordan Valley, thereby ensuring that the region remains within Israeli sovereignty even if an agreement is reached with the Palestinians.

The bill was supported by eight ministers from the Likud, Yisrael Beitenu, and Habayit Hayehudi.

Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar said: “There is no divide between settlement and security. The Jordan Valley is consensus for the citizens of Israel. Never mind – let them know the Jordan Valley will be Israeli under any final agreement.”

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Finance Minister Yair Lapid, and Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri have appealed the bill, which therefore might not undergo legislation.

Minister Livni said during the meeting: “I have no respect for the proposal and its backers who are weakening themselves. By supporting this bill you are essentially giving up on the government’s authority to make decisions on important issues.”

The justice minister added she was surprised that bills regarding tax benefits are postponed to allow further debates, and “a proposal that is meant to harm Israeli interests” is approved so quickly.

“The government is tying its hands and the hands of the prime minister,” she said. “A profound debate must be held on such issues. You can’t ratify such populist proposals… which cause great damage to the State ofIsrael and render it isolated in the world.”

Minister Peri said that the bill was provocative and “proposed in order to gain publicity, and nothing else.”

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that the approval of the bill is destroying US Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to advance the peace process.

Source

CAUGHT ON VIDEO ~~ ISRAELI SOLDIERS TAKE AIM AT PALESTINIAN VILLAGERS

This video shows Israeli occupation forces shooting Palestinian woman Manal Tamimi with a rubber-coated steel bullet at close range.
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Video: Israeli soldier fires at Palestinian woman at close range

JUST WHAT IS THE PRAWER PLAN AND WHY ALL THE FUSS AGAINST IT?

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The UN has declared the year 2014 as the Year of Solidarity with Palestine. Israel has declared it as the Year to Erase What Is Left of Palestine …
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The full, translated text of Israel’s Prawer Plan (Click)

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CANADIAN PM TO HONOUR ‘ARMY OF ISRAELI TREES’

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“In light of the fact that KKL is active in the Negev we see in JNF’s trees are soldiers in the Zionist army of occupation.”
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Palestinians to protest JNF event: Trees are soldiers in occupation

JNF-KKL event honoring Canadian prime minister expected to attract 1,000 strong Palestinian protest against Bedouin resettlement bill. ‘JNF’s trees are soldiers in Zionist army of occupation’

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Canadian police forces are currently preparing for a Palestinian protest against Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper who is expected to participate in a Jewish National Fund of Canada event.

The event is a dinner being held in the prime minister’s honor and the protest is expected to be attract at least 1,000 people. According to the protest’s organizers, the demonstration is being held in wake of the Praver Plan to resettle Bedouins.

“In light of the fact that KKL is active in the Negev we see in JNF’s trees are soldiers in the Zionist army of occupation,” a Palestinian told Ynet.

Harper is considered pro-Israeli and he is a staunch supporter of Israel, despite ongoing pressure from Muslim groups. Harper was one of the first world leaders to express his support of Israel’s campaign against the nuclear deal reached with Iran in Geneva.

“Canada’s foreign policy has embraced Israel during his Harper’s tenure,” Efi Stenzler head of KKL-JNF said, adding that “this is not something that can be taken for granted.”

More than 4,500 Jews and pro-Israeli Christians will take part in the event with some evening paying $100,000 for a place at the table – with all revenues to be donated to Israel.

Harper, it is worth noting, will not only participate in the event but has requested to make a private and personal donation of his own which will go to Hula Valley center. Efi Stenzler will represent the State of Israel at the event and plans to announce that the center will be named for Harper.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to congratulate the Canadian leader in a video message.

Source

PALTOONS BY LATUFF // DAYS OF RAGE AND SOLIDARITY WITH PALESTINE

All Images ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
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UN declares 2014 the ‘Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People’

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Buy Gifts From Palestine ~~ List of Online Stores Selling Palestinian Products
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Shop in Palestine Palestine – Ships Internationally Clothing, jewelry, music, videos, books, ceramics, food, artwork, embroidery, and soaps made in Jerusalem and the West Bank. PayPal Verified. Ships globally. www.shopinpalestine.com
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Palestine Shop Palestine – Ships Internationally A small family business located in Palestine, selling products globally to support the Palestinian cause, to provide fundamental support for hundreds of women and families, and to introduce the Palestinian culture and folklore into homes world wide. PayPal. Ships globally. http://palestine-shop.net/shop/
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Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children – Online Botique Palestine – Ships Internationally (Express shipping only) Unique hand-crafted products made by deaf women and men in the Gaza Strip. Your purchases on our secure web site will help to provide jobs and much needed hope for hundreds of needy deaf persons and their families. http://www.atfaluna.net/crafts/index.php
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Canaan Fair Trade Palestine – Ships to US & Canada (All items by the case only) A social entrepreneurship firm dedicated to artisan quality products based in Jenin, Palestine. The company sources its agricultural food products from a network of 49 cooperatives organized in the Palestine Fair Trade Association with the membership of over 1700 farm families. https://www.canaanusa.com/shop/ http://www.canaanfairtrade.com/
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Sunbula Palestine – Ships Internationally (Express shipping only) A nonprofit Fair Trade organization that supports Palestinian craft producers — women‘s groups, artisan cooperatives and disabled people‘s organizations. http://www.sunbula.org/
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Palestinian Pottery Palestine – Ships Globally (email for prices and ordering info) Original and authentic Palestinian Pottery is sold only at our factory and retail outlet on 14 Nablus Rd. East Jerusalem( and now on our web site). http://palestinianpottery.com/
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Gifts to Palestine Palestine – Delivers to all West Bank cities and villages including Jerusalem, Ramallah, Bethlehem and Nablus. Gifts to Palestine only deals with Palestinians vendors located in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Our mission is to support Palestinian merchants and products, and we try to incorporate as many local-made items as possible. http://www.giftstopalestine.com/
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‘NEVER AGAIN’ MEANS JUST THAT!

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Six months before I was born, the French government of the time passed laws excluding Jews from the civil service, education, the media and other professions. They repealed the law against anti-Semitism and started a massive anti-Jewish hate campaign. Large numbers of Jews were rounded up and put in concentration camps.
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Solidarity saved me from the Nazis; that’s why I fight Israeli apartheid

Suzanne Weiss*
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Palestinian women shout during a demonstration

“Never again for humankind” means supporting Palestinian resistance to Israel’s Prawer Plan.

(Oren Ziv / ActiveStills)

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We hear disturbing reports this year from southern Israel. The Israeli government proposes to relocate some 70,000 Palestinian Bedouins from their present homes to government-approved townships. This is called the Prawer Plan, and Israel’s parliament approved it by a three-vote majority in June.

The Prawer Plan would destroy 35 Bedouin villages in the Naqab (Negev) region and extinguish Bedouin claims to land seized from them after the foundation of Israel. The government denies basic services to these villages. Right beside them, in many cases, are new, modern, fully serviced communities for Jewish settlers.

Supporters of the Prawer Plan say that it will compensate the Bedouin for their lost lands and improve their economic status. Unconvinced, the European Parliament has condemned the plan and demanded its withdrawal. So has the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the UN Office for Human Rights and Human Rights Watch.

This plan has not been negotiated with the Bedouins and does not have their agreement. It is to be imposed on them. Many have called it ethnic cleansing.

Ethnic cleansing has been defined by the UN Security Council as the forcible removal by one ethnic or religious group of another such group in a geographic area. When I think of ethnic cleansing, I recall my own experience in France under Nazi occupation during the Second World War.

Slaughter

Six months before I was born, the French government of the time passed laws excluding Jews from the civil service, education, the media and other professions. They repealed the law against anti-Semitism and started a massive anti-Jewish hate campaign. Large numbers of Jews were rounded up and put in concentration camps.

Much of France was then under Nazi occupation, but the Nazis didn’t ask for these measures. The French authorities volunteered and did it on their own. But soon the Nazis got into the act. They had a vast project — to clear 10 million Jews out of all European countries — not to deport but to exterminate them.

Ethnic cleansing on a grand scale.

The French police handed over to the Nazis tens of thousands of Jews and other French people to be sent to Auschwitz, the Nazi death camp in Poland, where they were almost all slaughtered. French authorities tore children from the arms of their mothers, and handed over the mothers to be exterminated.

Then, weeks later, the children were packed into a death train and sent to Auschwitz to also to die there. Among the adult victims was my mother, killed in Auschwitz in 1943.

The Nazis’ goal was to round up, deport and massacre all the Jews in France — as was being done across Europe. The Nazis documented the names, date of birth, country and towns of origin. I know the date and number of the convoy that took my mother to Auschwitz and the day she died there. It was as though they collected human trophies.

Wave of revulsion

But amid this terrible slaughter, an inspiring thing happened. There was a wave of revulsion in France against the treatment of the Jews. Both spontaneously and through organizations, French people made arrangements to protect them.

Altogether, three-quarters of the French Jews escaped the Holocaust. Some 10,000 Jewish children left their families and were hidden. I was among them.

In 1943, a resistance organization took charge of my care and placed me with a peasant family in Auvergne, a farming region in south-central France.

Last month I went back to Auvergne to learn how it was that I had been saved.

I spoke to many people who remembered those years. Auvergne at that time was a land of refuge, a poor region, but one where there was food and much work to be done.

It welcomed refugees from Italy, from Spain, from German-occupied regions. It welcomed French young men, who the government was trying to round up and ship to Germany to do forced labor.

Emma, one of my new friends in Auvergne, told me there were a dozen Muslim refugees from the Soviet Union in her village, conscripted into the Nazi army, and sent to France. They had deserted to join the anti-Nazi resistance.

There were the Roma — the French police rounded up and interned thousands of them. And there were thousands of Jewish refugees in Auvergne, old and young, seeking safety from arrest by French and German authorities.

I met a man who led his community in providing refuge. His name is Robert; he is now 91 years old. When he was 20 years old, he helped hide and protect 130 Jewish persons who had come to seek safety in his little town, Malzieu.

He was ready to lay down his life for them. He showed me an immense wooden wardrobe that he had pushed against a door, behind which there were Jews in hiding.

Spirit of solidarity

“How many of the Jews were denounced to the police?” I asked.

“None,” he said.

“So did everyone in Malzieu want the Jews to be there?”

“Not at all,” he said. “Some were anti-Jewish.”

“Why didn’t they denounce the Jews, then?” I asked.

“They may have had resentful thoughts, but they didn’t act on them. They would not act against the feelings of their community.”

So even the anti-Semites, through their silence, aided the resistance.

Recently, the Israeli government offered Robert the medal of the “righteous,” honoring Christians and others who saved many Jewish people. But Robert refused it. “I did nothing special,” he said, “Just the minimum that was my duty. And what we achieved, we did together, as a community.”

Robert exemplifies the tradition of universalism — a spirit of solidarity with all humanity. This is a proud Jewish tradition — the tradition of my family. In terms of Hitler’s Holocaust, its meaning is “never again” — but not just with regard to Jews. It means “never again for humankind.”

After the war, I was an orphan. I left France while still a child and crossed the ocean. Now I am a Canadian, proud of my new life here.

But Canada is now the world’s number one apologist for the Israeli government and its oppression of the Palestinians. What does the Holocaust tell me about the status of Palestine today — and the Prawer Plan?

Pattern of dispossession

The sinister Prawer Plan to extinguish Bedouin land rights fits into a pattern of Palestinian dispossession over the last century. It is only the latest step in a process of land theft that has been grinding on for seven decades.

When my parents were born, Palestine was a successful, diverse and tolerant society of Muslims, Christians and Jews. Meanwhile, eastern Europe — tsarist Russia in particular — was wracked by violence against Jews. Many fled the region, and some moved to Palestine.

Among them were my father, when he was a young boy, and his family. But guided by the Zionist movement, these refugees came not as immigrants, to enrich Palestinian society, but as colonial settlers, to displace it: a colonial project of ethnic cleansing.

This was not to my father’s liking, and he moved as a young man to France. Both he and my mother, and most of their Jewish generation in Europe, were skeptical of the Palestine settler project, and sought safety for Jews through social progress in Europe itself.

Step by step, the Zionist project took Palestinian lands, evicting and dispossessing the residents. Then Hitler’s war and Holocaust destroyed forever the Jewish homeland in Poland and neighboring countries. The Jewish survivors searched for a new homeland.

The Canadian government, with the support of many well-intentioned people, thought it proper to grant them a state in Palestine. It seemed only fair, given what the Jews had suffered.

Callously brushed aside

As for the Palestinians, they were callously brushed aside. Indeed the lie was spread that they did not even exist — Palestine was called “a land without people.”

Dispossessing and persecuting Palestinians became a way to atone for Hitler’s crimes. And so we had the Nakba, in 1948, when 750,000 indigenous Palestinians were expelled from their homeland, victims of a new and terrible ethnic cleansing.

The process continues even today. Jewish settlements are imposed on the remaining fragments of Palestinian lands on the West Bank.

The Gaza Strip is cruelly blockaded. Palestinians in Israel suffer legal discrimination.

Palestinian refugees continue to endure forced exile. Israel wages repeated aggressive wars.

And the Prawer Plan targets remaining Bedouin lands.

Monstrosity

And still, today, Israeli oppression of the Palestinians is often justified as necessary to prevent a “second Holocaust” against the Jews. What a lie! The very idea is a monstrosity.

It is the Palestinians who suffer mistreatment, often reminiscent of what Hitler imposed on the Jews. The real threat to Israel’s Jewish population comes from their own government’s cruelty, its apartheid policies, its land grabs, its theft of resources, its long-term drive for ethnic cleansing.

If we have learned one thing from Hitler’s crimes against the Jews, it is that ethnic cleansing, ethnic slaughter and genocide must be opposed today wherever it occurs — and above all in Palestine. To be true to the memory of the victims of the Jewish Holocaust and of all Hitler’s victims, we must defend the Palestinians.

Make Israel accountable

We are building a united world campaign to get out the truth about Palestine. Palestinians must have the right to speak up. The media, manipulated by the elite who control Canada, pervasively confront us with a wall of silence. We face continual challenges to the rights granted to us by Canada’s Charter of Rights, free speech and assembly.

Defending the right to speak, discuss and voice an opinion is central to our efforts to defend the Palestinians.

During my trip to Auvergne last month, I was struck by the magical power of human solidarity, expressed in a varied and resourceful resistance movement that saved the lives of 10,000 Jewish children, including me. Let that same spirit of solidarity inspire us today in supporting victims of oppression here and worldwide, beginning in Palestine.

As a Jew, I say the Israeli government’s actions are not in my name. As Canadians, we must now tell the government of Stephen Harper that his support for Israeli apartheid is not in our name.

Stand up for the Palestinians. Demand that their right to return to their homelands is upheld; demand that they have equal rights in Israel; demand an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.

Join the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel — BDS. It is a nonviolent and democratic way to unite and make Israel accountable for its crimes against the Palestinians.

Let us call for an end to the Prawer campaign and the dispossession of the Palestinians. Palestine will be free!

*Suzanne Weiss is a Holocaust survivor and a Palestinian solidarity activist based in Toronto. This article is an excerpt from a talk given to a student meeting in London, Ontario, on 20 November.

 

Written FOR

AS THE PRISON GATES OPEN THE SETTLEMENTS EXPAND

prison gates open
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Israel announced plans on Wednesday to build hundreds of new settlement homes, hours after it released a group of Palestinian prisoners from its jails.
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Who is the criminal??
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Israel pushes for additional 1,500 units in Ramat Shlomo

Hours after Palestinian prisoners’ release, Interior Ministry announces plans to add housing units in Jerusalem neighborhood, establish national park in Mount Scopus

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Palestinians celebrate prisoner release in Ramallah (Photo: Reuters)


Palestinians celebrate prisoner release in Ramallah (Photo: Reuters)

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Israel announced plans on Wednesday to build hundreds of new settlement homes, hours after it released a group of Palestinian prisoners from its jails.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar recently agreed to advance four construction plans in different parts of Jerusalem. One of the plans will see an additional 1,500 housing units built in the city’s Ramat Shlomo neighborhood.

It was also agreed to advance the establishment of a tourist and archeological center near the City of David and a national park on the eastern side of the Hebrew University campus in Mount Scopus.

The Housing Ministry, however, said it was not aware of these specific plans.

On Tuesday night, Israel released 26 Palestinian prisoners and moved them to the West Bank and Gaza, as part of peace talks.

The prisoners who arrived in Ramallah were welcomed by some 2,000 people, including Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who vowed to continue his efforts to ensure that all prisoners are released, and that he will not sign any agreement with Israel until all prisoners are released.

“There will not be an agreement with Israel even if one prisoner remains behind bars,” he said.

Source

WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE IF ALL PALESTINIANS EXERCISED THEIR RIGHT OF RETURN? ~~ VIDEO

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

right-of-return

 

As Amal Obeidi, a young woman from the ethnically-cleansed Palestinian village of Lifta says, “borders are sometimes psychological, imposed on us by the occupation as if we will never return.”

The first step on the road is to shatter those psychological borders. This thought-provoking video helps to do just that.

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Turning the Palestinian right of return into a practical reality – video

 Ali Abunimah
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Palestinians have fiercely defended their right to return to the lands and villages they were forced to leave between 1947 and 1949 as Israel was created.

This video by refugee rights group BadilIntroduction to Practicalities of Return features interviews with refugees and experts and scenes of the lands from which Palestinians are exiled.

In the video, Eitan Bronstein of Zochrot – an Israeli group that supports the right of return for Palestinians – observes that expulsion was only one part of the Nakba – the ongoing violent dispossession of the Palestinians. The other key element has been Israel’s prevention of return.

Therefore ending the Nakba requires creative and practical thinking and planning for return.

Attempts to return

In the early years after their expulsion Palestinian refugees made many attempts to return home, often just to recover personal property. Many were shot and killed by Israeli forces.

In May 2011, thousands of Palestinian refugees marched toward the borders of their homeland from Lebanon and Syria in a dramatic reassertion of their commitment to return. Then, too, they were met with lethal Israeli fire.

Today, Palestinian refugees and their descendants number 7 million. Israel continues to deny their right to go home solely on the racist basis that these Palestinians are not Jews and thus constitute a “demographic threat” to Jewish political and numerical domination of the country.

But the right of return is recognized by international law.

New movement

Palestinian youths within present-day Israel are leading a renewed movement for return to their parents’ and grandparents’ villages in the Galilee, including Iqrit and Kufr Birim.

A number of Palestinians have now set up permanent camps in the villages.

In the video Nahida Zahra talks about the history of this movement and explains, “The idea was supported by all the families of Kufr Birim, many of us believed in it.

“The idea was that we would return to our village and we didn’t need to wait for a legal decision or political agreement.”

Israel has reacted to this action, handing a demolition order to the return camp.

“This time we are not leaving here,” Zahra says, recalling earlier temporary attempts to come back to the village.

Make return real

To make return a reality for many more people, there’s a need to create and disseminate practical ideas. Part of this process is joint planning between refugees and architects to imagine what rebuilt communities towns would look like.

This is already happening, says BADIL’s Terry Rempel, and it is vital to challenge the idea that return is impossible because homes have been destroyed.

Rempel points to the double standards of international organizations and governments that have actively promoted the right of return for refugees from other countries such as Bosnia, while arguing that it is impractical only in the case of Palestinians.

Yet the approaches taken in Bosnia can also offer practical solutions for restoring Palestinian refugee rights while protecting all stakeholders, Rempel says.

Thinking about return, several speakers argue, must go hand in hand with a process decolonization and de-Zionization.

This, they say, lays the ground for a just and inclusive political solution based on equality and nondiscrimination for all who live in historic Palestine.

As Amal Obeidi, a young woman from the ethnically-cleansed Palestinian village of Lifta says, “borders are sometimes psychological, imposed on us by the occupation as if we will never return.”

The first step on the road is to shatter those psychological borders. This thought-provoking video helps to do just that.

For more information from Badil, visit their website: badil.org

Written FOR

‘DISAPPEARING PALESTINE’ AD DISAPPEARS IN TORONTO

The ads are both fair and accurate. Israel’s building of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories indeed does clearly violate the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and UN Security Council Resolution 465 (1980). All of these laws forbid occupying powers, such as Israel, to transfer their civilians to the territories that they militarily occupy. Why are TTC staff denying that this is the case?
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poster_image_-_schoolgirl_and_rubble

“Disappearing Palestine” ad banned by Toronto Transit Commission.

 (CJPME)

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Toronto transit bans “Disappearing Palestine” ad claiming risk of anti-Jewish violence

 Ali Abunimah
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The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has rejected a group’s bus ad showing Israel’s expropriation of Palestinian land over time, claiming the ad could incite anti-Jewish discrimination and violence.

The ad, sponsored by Canadians for a Just Peace in the Middle East (CJPME), is similar to others that have appeared in cities all over North America – including Vancouver.

CJPME has said it is ready to appeal the censorship of the ad all the way to Canada’s Supreme Court.

The centerpiece is a series of four maps that show the loss of control of Palestinian land to the Zionist movement and Israel between 1946 and the present.

The ad also states: “This is unfair. It is also illegal under international law.”

It includes an image of a Palestinian schoolgirl standing amid rubble resulting from an Israeli air attack in Gaza.

The copy of the ad shown above was provided to The Electronic Intifada by CJPME.

“Could advocate for violence.”

But TTC spokesman Brad Ross said that the transit body did not accept that Israel’s confiscation of Palestinian land was either “unfair” or “illegal.”

“Making that statement may cause some … to then target Israelis and/or Jewish people. Some may view it as discriminatory, [and] could advocate for violence or hatred against Israel or the Jewish people,” Ross told The Toronto Star.

“There is no finding in our legal opinion of illegality around loss of land under international law … no court, no tribunal has ruled on loss of land being illegal,” Ross added.

Censors rejoice

B’Nai Brith, one of Canada’s most prominent anti-Palestinian organizations, issued a statement “congratulating” TTC for banning the ad.

Echoing the language used by the TTC itself, B’Nai Brith claimed that the ad was “misleading and inaccurate and could lead to hatred or violence against supporters of Israel and the Jewish community in particular.”

By conflating criticism of Israel and its policies with criticism of Jews, TTC seems perhaps unwittingly to be promoting anti-Semitic canards that Jews are collectively responsible for Israel’s actions.

B’Nai Brith has a history of censorship and supporting intolerance.

Last summer, Canada’s leading LGBTQ publication Daily Xtra revealed that B’Nai Brith had teamed up with Charles McVety, one of Canada’s most outspoken anti-LGBTQ campaigners, in an effort to persuade the city to defund Toronto Pride.

B’Nai Brith was incensed that Toronto Pride had not banned Queers Against Israeli Apartheid from marching in the parade.

CJPME responds

CJPME has issued an action alert saying that the group “is ready to appeal this decision to the highest levels – including the Supreme Court.”

It urged the public to contact the TTC and send a message protesting the ban of the “Disappearing Palestine” ad:

The ads are both fair and accurate. Israel’s building of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories indeed does clearly violate the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and UN Security Council Resolution 465 (1980). All of these laws forbid occupying powers, such as Israel, to transfer their civilians to the territories that they militarily occupy. Why are TTC staff denying that this is the case?

Ads “lost”

CJPME also alleged that it has faced obstruction and discrmination in trying to place the ads.

According to its website, it sent proposed designs of the ads to two transit authorities in June.

“Sadly, through various strategies over the summer, the transit companies and ad agencies have tried to prevent the ads from being posted. Designs were ‘lost,’ employees told to ‘drop the ads,’ emails and calls ignored.” 

CJPME said that in September its lawyer “sent a letter to the TTC demanding that the transit authority respect CJPME’s constitutional rights to post the ads,” but instead it was notified on 21 October that the ad was rejected.

Illegal and ongoing land confiscation

TTC’s extraordinary finding runs wholly against international law, and even the nominal policies of Canada’s extremely pro-Israel Conservative government.

It also seems to go far beyond the organization’s remit of providing public transport to Toronto.

Numerous UN Security Council Resolutions, including, for example, Resolution 465, state clearly that Israel’s annexation and colonization of Palestinian land occupied since 1967 is illegal.

In 2004, the International Court of Justice in the Hague found that the wall Israel has built in the occupied West Bank and its associated regime of land confiscation, is illegal and must be removed.

Moreover, when Israel was established in 1948, it conquered about twice the amount of land allocated to a putative Jewish state under UN resolution 181, a resolution which was never lawfully implemented.

The property rights and right of return of Palestinian refugees who were expelled or fled in 1948, and their descendants, have been reaffirmed by overwhelming majorities in the UN General Assembly annually.

The Canadian government states that “Canada does not recognize Israel’s unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem.”

The government also reaffirms its support for Resolution 465, among others, confirming the illegality of Israeli colonization and settlement.

Forced displacement

Recently, more than ninety Canadian writers took a public position against Israel’s ongoing evictions of Bedouins from their lands in the south of present-day Israel.

In August, Human Rights Watch called on Israel to halt the forced displacement of Bedouins which is carried out “based on discriminatory laws and rules, and without respect for the Bedouins’ dignity or the country’s human rights obligations.”

Some 40,000 more Bedouins, nominally citizens of Israel, currently face expulsion under Israel’s Prawer Plan to ethnically cleanse and “Judaize” their traditional lands.

These are facts, but they are ones Toronto’s transit authorities do not want riders to know.

 

Written FOR

FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WALL ~~ A PALESTINIAN TEEN LOOKS AT THE SETTLEMENTS (VIDEO)

art_wall
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Today, Municipal Elections are being held in Jerusalem. None of the players vow to change the present situation …. a situation that
 Americans refuse to see ….
What the EU and the rest of the world refuses to see ….
Perhaps these videos of a Palestinian teenager will open some of their eyes ….
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My Neighbourhood: a Palestinian boy’s view of Israeli settlements – video

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My Neighbourhood (directed by Julia Bacha and Rebekah Wingert-Jabi) tells the story of Mohammed El Kurd, a Palestinian teenager growing up in the heart of East Jerusalem. When Mohammed’s family is forced to give up a part of their home to Israeli settlers, local residents begin peaceful protests, and in a surprising turn, are quickly joined by scores of Israeli supporters. Mohammed comes of age in the face of unrelenting tension with his neighbours and unexpected co-operation with Israeli allies in his backyard. My Neighbourhood is latest short film by Just Vision, an organisation that uses film and media to increase the power and legitimacy of Palestinians and Israelis working to end the occupation and resolve the conflict nonviolently. Learn more about Just Vision at www.justvision.org
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From
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The same lad a few months earlier ….
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CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR ASKS WHAT ‘INQUIRING MINDS NEED TO KNOW’ ABOUT ISRAELI SETTLEMENT EXPANSION

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Christian Science Monitor asks, ‘Why do Israeli settlements expand during peace talks?’
 Annie Robbins

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Why do Israeli settlements expand during peace talks? Image 1  (The Christian Science Monitor, Research: Allison Terry, Christa Case Bryant; Graphic: Jake Turcotte)

Why do Israeli settlements expand during peace talks? is an impressive 10 page series of info-graphics published by The Christian Science Monitor. While they never actually answer the question why Israel settlements expand more during peace talks, the series walks the viewer, step by step, through Israel’s settlement expansion during Oslo, Camp David, Sharm el Sheikh, Annapolis, right up to present day…and then some. We’ve compiled just a few from the series here and recommend checking out the rest. Impressive and disturbing.

Research by Allison Terry and Christa Case Bryant, and graphics by Jake Turcotte.

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Why do Israeli settlements expand during peace talks? Image 2                                               (The Christian Science Monitor, Research: Allison Terry, Christa Case Bryant; Graphic: Jake Turcotte)

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4 of 10

See the entire series here.

(Hat tip Karen Platt)   and Mondoweiss

‘AD WAR’ ERUPTS IN VANCOUVER OVER PALESTINIAN LEGITIMACY

The ads in question
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This one cannot be disputed ….
transitad
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But this one can!
w-jewishloss-1013131
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zionism cannot exist without lies, the truth is its biggest enemy. This was proven in Vancouver, Canada this week when an ‘ad war’ erupted over loss of land ….. Palestinian or Jewish. The following report, direct from the ‘war zone’ deals with the situation. 
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In Vancouver ad war, Israel fights Palestine for legitimacy

StandWithUs advocacy group launches campaign in response to anti-Israel ads on buses and light rail stations.

By JTA
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An Israel advocacy group has launched a transit campaign in opposition to anti-Israel ads on Vancouver buses and light rail stations.

StandWithUs, a right-leaning Israel advocacy group, began running two advertisements on Monday meant to combat the ads put up by the Palestine Awareness Committee.

The pro-Israel ads include one series of three maps purporting to show “Jewish Loss of Land” and are dated from 1000 BCE until “Today.” Another depicts smiling Israeli and Canadian children with the statement “Shared Values & Freedom.”

The anti-Israel ads depict “Disappearing Palestine” on a series of four maps dated 1946-2012 that illustrate Palestine shrinking over the years.

“The anti-Israel ads distort facts,” StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein said in a statement. “They presume there once was an Arab country called ‘Palestine’ when in fact no such country ever existed,” he added.

When the Palestine Awareness Committee ads originally went up earlier in the fall, the Jewish community in Vancouver threatened legal action and attempted, unsuccessfully, to have TransLink, the local transit agency, reject the ads.

While the Palestine Awareness Committee has announced plans to run its ads in other Canadian cities, Meryle Kates, executive director of StandWithUs-Canada, said StandWithUs has no plans to expand its campaign.

The StandWithUs ads will run through the middle of November. The organization has previously responded to ads it views as critical of Israel in other North American cities.

Source

Related

HOLIDAYS IN ISRAEL ~~ A TIME TO LOVE OR TO HATE

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Preparations are underway to usher in a week long holiday in Israel. It is called Succot, or The Feast of the Tabernacles. We eat all of our meals in little booths and the ceilings are usually made of tree branches, allowing the sky to be visible. It is a reminder of the 40 years we roamed in the desert and dwelled in such structures. It is actually quite a fun holiday and a very community oriented one, it is one of my favourites.
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A non Jewish visitor to Jerusalem this week might get the impression that the entire city stands in solidarity with the homeless Palestinians illegally evicted from their homes by settlers. Nothing could be further from the truth.
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Tents have appeared (actually booths) in preparation of the Festival
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Family homes were STOLEN, many families have been living in makeshift tents for over three years…. and neither the Municipality of Jerusalem nor the Palestinian Authority gives a damn. As winter approaches, a new meaning is given to the term ‘settlement freeze’ as these homeless literally freeze in their abodes.
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I had some flashbacks this morning to my Succot celebrations in Brooklyn as a child, they were much different than here. Here there is a Jewish community and an Arab community. In the neighbourhood I grew up in, there was a Eastern European Jewish Community (Ashkenazi) and a community made up of Spanish Jews and Jews from Northern Africa (Sephardi). Both communities had their own traditions and practices, but basically both were members of the same religion. One of the major differences between the two communities at the time were language, the Ashkenazi Jews spoke Yiddish; a language with Germanic roots, while the Sephardi Jews spoke a language called Ladino; a mixture of Hebrew and Spanish.
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What I remembered this morning was the following;The Synagogue of the Sephardi community was situated very close to the home of my grandparents. They used to build a large enough booth to accommodate their entire congregation. As a child, I used to help them with the preparations. I remembered my grandmother screaming at me from her window to get away from them, not to play with their kids…. I could never understand why. It seemed that part of her ghetto mentality was to distrust anyone that was in any way different. These people were different than we were, as mentioned; they spoke a different language and, for the most part, had darker skins than the Ashkenazi Jews. The younger generation, like myself did not see these differences as our common language was English and skin colour was never an issue with me or my immediate family. I therefore could never understand my grandmother’s logic, or lack of…. So I secretly maintained my friendships with the kids there.
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Today, I started thinking about prejudice, why it exists, how to overcome it…. It seems to exist because of ignorance and fear, two very real factors. How to overcome it? Learn about each other and the fear factor will be eliminated. Very simple! It worked in my case.Things are different today, in Israel at least. The Jewish community celebrates together. We have a common language, Hebrew. There are still some remnants of the old world prejudice, but for the most part it’s gone. Now to overcome the prejudices between the Jewish and Arab communities here. My way is to open my booth, as well as my home, to ALL members of the community, both Arab and Jew.  It’s the only way to guarantee an end to the hatred… live together! So, instead of fearing the differences of the others, my philosophy is to say
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VIVA LA DIFFERENCE!
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Let us all live together as neighbours and brothers.Shalom-Salaam!

REVISITING AND RELIVING THE NAKBA

 Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
nakba-day-2013 (1)
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As Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims, our problem is not with Jews who believe in “live and let live” but is rather with this diabolical, fanatical and genocidal Zionism which has drenched this part of the world with blood, hatred and inequity.
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The Nakba revisited
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By Khalid Amayreh
 

Today marks the 65th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, the violent usurpation and occupation of Palestine by Zionist Jewish invaders coming from around the world. The seizure of Palestine can be considered as one of the greatest acts of theft in the history of mankind. Israel itself therefore is a gigantic war crime and a crime against humanity.

Thanks to the infamous Balfour declaration of 1917, Palestine, an Arab country since the seventh century, was given by another country (Britain) to a third people (the Jews) without even consulting the native people of the country.

According to the British Philosopher Bertrand Russell:” The tragedy of the people of Palestine is that their country was ‘given’ by a foreign power to another people for the creation of a new state.”

In fact, it can be safely argued that the West, particularly Britain, committed the original sin by envisaging, planning and implanting Israel in the heart of the Arab world in order to protect its colonial and imperialistic interests.

In 1905, Britain’s Prime Minister Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman invited the Western Imperial powers for conference which continued until 1907.

The conference of the thieves recommended the establishment of ” a state on the lands of Palestine, to serve as an advanced base for the covetous colonialists, and protect their interests, implement their plans and schemes and ensure the outflow of natural resources from the region, as well as the import of their goods and products into the markets of the region.”

The American Jewish writer Noam Chomsky described this evilness committed by these European powers, especially Britain:

“When a man brings a snake and puts it in the bed of a child and it stings the child, the man is responsible for the child’s death, not the snake,”.

The person who brings the snake into the child’s bed is the real criminal, not the snake. This person cannot claim innocence and say ‘I did not know that the snake is so poisonous!’”

The famous British historian Arnold Toynbee, in his book “A Study of History” said that “while the direct responsibility for the calamity that overtook the Palestinian Arabs in A.D. 1948 was on the heads of the Zionist Jews who seized a lebensraum for themselves in Palestine by force of arms in that year, a heavy load of indirect, yet irrefutable, responsibility was on the heads of the people of the United Kingdom.

But the “snake” (Israel) has acquired a life of its own, and it no longer depends on its erstwhile western benefactors for its survival and continuity.”

None the less, there is no guarantee, historical, moral or religious that the “snake” will have an extended life, e.g. live longer than a century.

In the final analysis, Israel is an immoral and illegal being that will have to go. Yes, Israel is a regional superpower, has a prosperous economy, is technologically advanced and tightly controls the government, Congress and media of the United States .

But nations don’t live by modern fighter jets and nuclear bombs alone. The Soviet Union had a plenty of these.

In order to have a sustained existence nations must possess a moral justification. Justice, not military might, is what guarantees the longevity and continuity of states.

In 1948, Zionist leaders such as Ben Gurion thought that that the Palestinian people would go into oblivion, slowly but surely. Indeed, just as the genocidal invaders from Eastern Europe and elsewhere bulldozed and obliterated more than 500 Palestinian villages, Zionist elders thought that old Palestinians will die and young Palestinians will forget!

But to the Zionists’ chagrin, the Palestinian cause is still as vivid and relevant in the minds and hearts of the Palestinian people today as it was in 1948.

Thousands of Palestinians still retain the keys to their homes from which they were expelled at gunpoint when Israel was created 65 years ago. The trust is bequeathed by the older to younger generations.

Today, even the least patriotic Palestinians who would rather reach “a peace deal” with Israel by hook or by crook wouldn’t even dare suggest that they would sell out the right of return even in return for a state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

To be sure, Palestinians and Muslims in general have no problem living with Jews. Jews lived side by side with Arabs and Muslims for close to 1400 years. Jews had never revolted against their Muslim rulers or demanded a state of their own.

Indeed, the call for the return of Jews to Palestine did not come from Middle Eastern or Palestine Jews; it rather came from Western Jews.

When the Hungarian Jewish leader Herzl convened the first Zionist Congress in Basle in 1897, which was attended by 196 delegates. Only four of the 196 delegates were Jews from Palestine .

As Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims, our problem is not with Jews who believe in “live and let live” but is rather with this diabolical, fanatical and genocidal Zionism which has drenched this part of the world with blood, hatred and inequity.

Israel claims to be Jewish and following ancient Jewish ideals of justice. But this is a hollow claim, bordering on wishful thinking.

The truth of the matter is that Israel represents the antithesis of the prophetic ideals of the ancient Israeli prophets. What happened to “Thou shall not murder, thou shall not steal, and thou shall not lie”?

Even Abraham, the purported common forefather of the ancient Israelites and northern Arabs wouldn’t accept to obtain a burial place for his dead wife Sara free of charge in Hebron.

Today, one is really affronted by these fanatical Jewish settlers who terrorize and savage peaceable Palestinian villagers, poison and kill their livestock, burn down their fields and orchards.

And when the unprotected helpless Palestinians seek redress at Israeli courts, they are told by the Jewish judges that the settlers have a point because “your homes and land once belonged to the settlers’ ancestors some three thousand years ago.”!!!

Such a state where inequity and oppression are rampant can’t and will not live long, even if it possessed all the modern warplanes in the world.

They killed the two-state solution

Israel has already decapitated the two state solution. The intensive expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem , has really left no room for a viable and territorially contiguous Palestinian state.

The U.S., EU and the helpless Palestinian Authority (PA) pretend that there is still a chance for reviving the two-state solution strategy. But we who live here in the West Bank know better. We just can’t betray our eyes.

We also know rather well two other facts that further enforce our conviction that the chances for establishing a true Palestinian state have vanished rather irreversibly. The first fact is that the Israeli society is moving steadily toward Talmudic Jewish fascism, which makes it extremely unlikely that Israel would agree anytime in the predictable future to give up the spoils of the 1967 war, which would imply the inevitable dismantlement of hundreds of Jewish colonies built on the occupied Palestinian territory.

The second fact is that the United States, Israel’s guardian-ally, is utterly unable, even if willing, to exert any meaningful pressure on Israel, which would force or convince the Jewish state to end its occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. The reason for this is the tight Jewish stranglehold on the American decision-making process. Thus, the Israeli control of the White House, Congress and other American political institutions is too overwhelming to allow for any U.S. maneuver outside the Jewish dragnet.

The Demographic situation in Israel/Palestine

Apart from the historical rights and moral high-ground, the Palestinians also have a strategic advantage over Zionism, namely the demographic asset. According to the prominent Israeli demographer Della Pergula, there are already more non-Jews than Jews between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean.

“We have already reached the demographic critical mass, the establishment of a Palestinian state now is therefore more of an urgent Israeli need than a Palestinian need” But the possibility for establishing a viable Palestinian state no longer exists in light of the phenomenal expansion of Jewish settlements mentioned earlier. More to the point, the concept of a bi-national state is a kind of anathema for most Israelis as it would mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state. Hence, the problem.

There are millions of Israelis who would think or probably are already thinking of unthinkable scenarios such as expelling large number of Palestinians. But expulsion can’t really be carried out without some sort of a genocide. None the less, the Palestinians have thoroughly learned and imbibed the lessons of 1948 and would never ever leave their country. They would rather die in their own homes, towns and villages rather than give Zionists the joy of watching them repeat the Nakba scenario.

The Israeli Zionists have already committed huge and numerous crimes against the Palestinian people. Needless to say, committing still more crimes would be suicidal and fraught with grave consequences for Israel and Jews.

In the final analysis, the repetition of what happened in 1948 could speed up the process of Israel’s demise and extinction.

 

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Ongoing Nakba: Powerful infographic from Visualizing Palestine shows century of land theft, expulsion

 

(Visualizing Palestine)

Disappearing Palestine, a powerful new infographic from Visualizing Palestine (visualizingpalestine.org).

MOTHER PALESTINE MARKS 65 YEARS OF THE NAKBA

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
nakba-day-2013
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Sam Bahour سام بحّور – Refugees Waiting

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Sam Bahour is a Palestinian-American based in Al-Bireh/Ramallah, Palestine. He is a freelance business consultant operating as Applied Information Management (AIM), specializing in business development with a niche focus on the information technology sector and start-ups. Sam was instrumental in the establishment of the Palestine Telecommunications Company and the PLAZA Shopping Center and until recently served as a Board of Trustees member at Birzeit University. He is a Director at the Arab Islamic Bank and serves in various capacities in several community organizations. Sam writes frequently on Palestinian affairs and has been widely published. He is co-editor of HOMELAND: Oral History of Palestine and Palestinians. He blogs at http://www.epalestine.com. 

يحمل رجل الأعمال الفلسطيني سام بحور الجنسية الأميركية وهو يسكن في مدينة البيرة في رام الله، فلسطين. ويعمل بشكل مستقل كمستشار ومنسق مشاريع كما يملك شركة لإدارة المعلومات التطبيقية (إيم) وهي تختص في تطوير الأعمال والمشاريع مع تركيز على الشركات الناشئة. ولعب سام دوراً أساسياً في تأسيس شركة الإتصالات الفلسطينية (بالتل)، ومركز بلازا للتسوق. وأصبح مؤخراً عضو فاعل في مجلس الأمناء في جامعة بيرزيت. ويشغل حالياً منصب عضو مجلس إدارة في البنك الإسلامي العربي، كما يشغل عدة مناصب أخرى في منظمات المجتمع المدني. ويركز سام كثيراً في كتاباته على الشؤون الفلسطينية، فتنشر مقالاته على نطاق واسع. ساهم سام في تحرير كتاب “الوطن: التاريخ الشفوي لفلسطين والفلسطينيين” ويمكن معرفة المزيد عنه والاطلاع على مقالاته من خلال تصفح مدونته على الموقع الالكتروني التالي: www.epalestine.com

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During this tragic period of remembrance, just a reminder that NEVER AGAIN means something, TODAY!

TWENTY FIVE TENTS THAT ROCKED THE FOUNDATIONS OF ZION

The village of Bab Al Shams was established last Friday by Palestinian activists, on privately owned Palestinian lands, in an area between East Jerusalem and the settlement of Maaleh Adumim, which Israel refers to as E1.
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The Palestinians  may be moved physically, but Palestinian villages, old and new,  will never die so long as they remain alive in the hearts and minds of the Palestinian people and all their supporters worldwide…

Bab Alshams – We Shall Not Be Moved

 


250 men and women from across Palestine establish this morning
a new Palestinian village named “Bab Alshams” (Gate of the
Sun). Tents were built in what Israel refers to as area E1 and
equipment for long-term living was brought.

The group released the following statement:

We, the sons and daughters of Palestine from all throughout
the land, announce the establishment of Bab Alshams Village
(Gate of the Sun). We the people, without permits from the
occupation, without permission from anyone, sit here today
because this is our land and it is our right to inhabit it.

A few months ago the Israeli government announced its
intention to build about 4000 settlement housing units in the
area Israel refers to as E1. E1 block is an area of about 13
square km that falls on confiscated Palestinian land East of
Jerusalem between Ma’ale Adumim settlement, which lies on
occupied West Bank Palestinian land, and Jerusalem. We will
not remain silent as settlement expansion and confiscation of
our land continues. Therefore we hereby establish the village
of Bab Alshams to proclaim our faith in direct action and
popular resistance. We declare that the village will stand
steadfast until the owners of this land will get their right
to build on their land.

The village’s name is taken from the novel, “Bab Alshams,” by
Lebanese writer Elias Khoury. The book depicts the history of
Palestine through a love story between a Palestinian man,
Younis, and his wife Nahila. Younis leaves his wife to join
the Palestinian resistance in Lebanon while Nahila remains
steadfast in what remains of their village in the Galilee.
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Younis smuggles through
Lebanon and back to the Galilee to meet his wife in the “Bab
Alshams” cave, where she gives birth to their children. Younis
returns to the resistance in Lebanon as his wife remains in
Bab Al Shams.

Bab Alshams is the gate to our freedom and steadfastness. Bab
Alshams is our gate to Jerusalem. Bab Alshams is the gate to
our to our return.

For decades, Israel has established facts on the ground as the
International community remained silent in response to these
violations. The time has come now to change the rules of the
game, for us to establish facts on the ground – our own land.
This action involving women and men from the north to the
south is a form of popular resistance. In the coming days we
will hold various discussion groups, educational and artistic
presentations, as well as film screenings on the lands of this
village. The residents of Bab Al Shams invite all the sons and
daughters of our people to participate and join the village in
supporting our resilience.

 

This is what happened…

 

 

 

Although established on privately owned Palestinian lands, Israel forcefully expelled residents of the village in a pre-dawn raid this morning. Six required medical attention Shortly before 3 AM, hundreds of Israeli cops and soldiers staged a raid on the newly founded Palestinian village of Bab Al Shams (Gate of the Sun), violently evicting its 150 inhabitants. Use of police brutality is even more objectionable in light of the passive resistance offered by the residents. No arrests were made, and all persons detained were released shortly after.

In light of harsh international criticism over the plan to expand the Maaleh Adumim settlement, and in an attempt to draw away attention from the case, eviction took place early this morning. Following its arrival at the scene, a massive police force began by removing journalists from the residents’ immediate surroundings and proceeded to drag people away, beating some of them. Six Palestinians later required medical care at the Ramallah Hospital.

Following his release, Mohammed Khatib of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee said, “We will not remain silent as Israel continues to build Jewish-only colonies on our land. Bab Al Shams is no more, but during its short days it gave new life and energy to all who passed through it. Israel continues to act in violation of every imaginable law and human decency. In establishing Bab Al Shams we declare that we have had enough of demanding our rights from the occupier – from now on we shall seize them ourselves.”

Last night the state appealed to the High Court to withdraw an injunction prohibiting the eviction. The state argued, among other things, that the very existence of the village may occasion rioting, despite its remote and isolated location. The state further argued that the village was established by the Committees to Resist the Wall (a body which does not exist), also behind a blockade of Route 443 in October 2012. This claim, backed only by an affidavit signed by an Israeli police chief, has never been supported by any indictments or arrests for the questioning of individuals.

The village of Bab Al Shams was established last Friday by Palestinian activists, on privately owned Palestinian lands, in an area between East Jerusalem and the settlement of Maaleh Adumim, which Israel refers to as E1. After the acceptance of Palestine as a non-member state to the UN, Israel announced the approval of a plan to expand the Maaleh Adumim settlement by building some 4,000 residential units in this area. Such construction would effectively bisect the West Bank and effectively cutting it off from Jerusalem.**

 

 

 

PALESTINIANS ERECT ‘LEGAL SETTLEMENT’

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On THEIR land which is in the process of being stolen by the zionists, 200 Palestinians pitched tents in a nonviolent form of resistance that will surely be met by violence ….
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 Palestinians erect outpost in E1 zone

Group of 200 Palestinians pitch tents in disputed area connecting Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim. Organizer: Encampment part of non-violent resistance

A group of 200 Palestinians, backed by foreign activists, have been erecting an outpost in the disputed E1 zone, near Ma’aleh Adumim, since the early hours of Friday morning.

The Palestinian outpost, named Bab al-Shams (“Gate of the Sun”), contains 50 tents. Mahmoud Zawara of the Popular Palestinian Committees told Ynet the tent encampment was being set up as part of the Palestinian “struggle.”

He said “we chose this specific area because it is conquered Palestinian land and places a wedge between the northern and southern parts of the West Bank.”

בונים את באב אל-שמס (צילום: אוהד צויגנברג)

Building ‘Bab al-Shams’ (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)  

Zawara said the camp will be used by the Popular Palestinian Committees during activity in the Jordan Valley area in the coming days. “I hope the encampment will be permanent and remain in the E1 area,” he added.

Zawara said the Palestinians do not plan on confronting Israeli security forces, who have yet to arrive at the site. “We came here in the framework of non-violent resistance; we will not resort to any kind of violence,” he told Ynet.

200 פלסטינים ופעילי סולידריות הגיעו ל-E1 (צילום: אוהד צויגנברג)

‘Day without violence.’ Palestinians at camp (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)

“According to international law, and even Israeli law, the Israeli army cannot prevent us from pitching tents.”

"מקווים שהאוהל יהפוך לאוהל קבע" (צילום: אוהד צויגנברג)

‘Conquered Palestinian land’ (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)

Zawara said it was possible that IDF and Israel Police forces would eventually evacuate the Palestinians, but expressed hope that “today will be a day without violence.”

Bab al-Shams is the name of a novel by Elias Khoury about the life of Palestinian refugees inLebanon after theIndependence War of 1948.

A little more than a month ago the Israeli government approved plans to advance construction in the E1 zone, which connects Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim, as a response to the UN’s recognition of “Palestine” as a non-member observer state.

The move drew harsh criticism from the West, including the US, with European countries summoning Israeli ambassadors to express their condemnation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to move settlement construction ahead in E1. However, the Right has accused Netanyahu of postponing the construction plans.

Source

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