Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The American Evangalical Zionists gearing up for their Last Crusade!

I was not surprised to read in the New York Times Magazine of March 23, 2008 that the “migaminister” of Cornerstone Church of San Antonio, Texas the Reverend John Hagee donated millions of dollars to fly in 25,000 Russian “Jewish” immigrant to Israel to take their place and settle in the Palestinian territory and of course the join the largest Jewish terrorist organization in the world, the IDF.

The Reverend John Hagee is one of the main leaders of the American Zionist Evangelical movement that formed a strong alliance with Likudist within the American Jewish community and the Bush –Cheney Administration and of course forged an alliance with the Zionist NeoCons, who organized and funded the Taliban’s and Ben Laden in the first place, who then went on to get us in the war on Iraq only to walk away having made sure that the blood of our boys and girls are spilled every day in Iraq, so that they can feel good about their own agenda, which is not an American agenda.

Such an alliance has been talking hold for sometimes and goes back to the days of the Jewish terrorist, Menachem Begin when he was the prime minister of Israel and was solidified with the coming of the Likudist Benyamin Netanyahu as prime minister of Israel.

On July 19, 2006 over 3,400 Evangelical Zionist Christians descended on Washington, as the First Summit of Christians United for Israel, to lobby for and on behalf of Israel (as if Israel needs more lobbies) not Israel at peace with its neighbor and at peace with the Palestinians but a country with over 45 years of the one most curliest of all occupations. And unlike any military occupation in history, the Israeli Occupation is designed to” ethnically cleanse and transfer” the Palestinians cohabitant and original owner from the their land and country of Palestine. Having already succeeded in driving out millions of Palestinians from the area that became modern day Israel.

John Hagee like millions of Evangelical Christian Zionists believe that it is the duty of all Christians to support a strong, racist and powerful Israel, and believe that Arabs have no place in the land covenanted by G-d to the Jews and exclusively to the Jews. These groups are actively in engaged in the American political process and have very strong influence on a congress that is already under the “spell” of the Zionist and well financed and powerful AIPAC in its support of Israeli’s worst crimes. (Read more on the issue in Michelle Goldberg Book “Kingdom Coming: the Rise of Christian Nationalism”.

The rise of modern day Christian Nationalism is an extension of and revival of the ancient Crusade where hordes of Cross carrying bands slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Muslim, Jews and Arab Christians in their quest to liberate the Holy Land form the Muslim and Arab “Infidels”. The same Christian Nationalism responsible for colonial activities resulting in the murder and death of hundreds of millions of people around the globe from South America, to Africa, Middle East, Asia and of course not mention the Pogroms of Czarist Russia and East Europe culminating in the death and murder of 6 million Jews in the Holocaust. And the killing machine is on going now.

Christian Zionism has strong support within the Protestant Fundamentalism, Southern Baptists and the Charismatic Pentecostal Church. These groups take the literal view of the Bible, and believe in the Second coming of Christ and the final battle between Evil and Good in the Palestinians city of Megiddo (Armageddon) and believer in the theological system called “ Premillinial Dispensationalist” The Israeli author and writer Gershon Gorenberg in his book “ End of Days” describe “Dispensationalist as “essentially a Four Act play, where we as Jews disappear in the Fourth Act just prior to the return of Jesus” and of course the redemptions of all Christians having succeeded either to convert the Jews or succeeded in killing them all.

One has to wonder how can American Jews let alone Israeli Jews forge such an alliance with such people. The answer is very simple, it is politics stupid. The Zionist NewCons and the Likudist within the American Jewish community find the Evangelical Christians very useful in getting to the Congress and administration and push very hard for what Israel wants and needs to keep the Occupation going and well funded. The Evangelical Christians are under the hope that these hapless Jews will one day see the daylight and become born again Christians expediting the coming of Christ.

No one should under estimate this unholy alliance. In May of 2002 in a rally billed as Washington Rally for Israel more than 100,000 well -healed Zionist Jews and Christian Zionists and other hypocrites rallied in Washington. Among the names appearing at the rally where the likes of the number one hypocrites in the world, Elie Wiesel, and Bibi Netanyahu, Paul Wolfowitz, Arlen Spector, Barbara Mikulski, Richard Gephardt, Dick Armey, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and an array of leaders of Right wing Zionist Jews and leaders of Christian Zionists movement.

Among top names within this movement is whose how in Right Wing Christian movement, the likes of Pat Robertson of the 700 Club, Ralph Reed of the Christian Coalition, Jerry Falwell and Brandt Gustafson of the National Religious Broadcast, Don Argue of the National Associations of Evangelicals Ed McAteeer of the Religious Roundtable, William Crystal of the Weekly Standard, Richard Perl, Douglas Feith, both senior Pentagon officials with strong commitment and allegiance to Israel. Of course not mention, Eliot Abrams of the infamous Contra Affairs, Willian Safire and Charles Krauthammer, columnists for the New York Times and the Washington Post, Gary Bauer and William Franklin Grahm.

Of course this alliance wants and so far partly succeeded in having and organizing the Last Crusade to cleanse the Holy Land and the land of Israel from Muslims and Arabs, the conversion or execution of Jews and the redemption of Christians. I am sure if Jesus Christ where here he will wonder what went wrong with his people, from people who are taught to love thy neighbors to a bunch of religious nationalists not so unlike the Social Nationalist of Germany.

Only the Fools in Ramallah do not see it. Israel and the US are working on a Two State Solution, One is Israel, the Other is the Jewish Settler State

It seems every time US Secretary of State Rice visits the Middle East, especially Israel, some things very standard happens. One of three things happens. Israel undertake a very wide and aggressive military campaign targeting fighters and civilians alike and resulting in scores of death and tens, perhaps hundreds of injuries and resulting in wide destructions of properties and homes. The other action Israel takes is a large-scale arrest of Palestinians nationalist under the pretext of preemptive security. The third thing is the announcement of large-scale construction of settlements making sure there is never a room for a Palestinian state within the Jewish State on the West Bank. Condi Rice and as expected makes a sympathetic statement to Israel’s need for security and peace while giving the Palestinians a ‘drug fix” to proceed with the negotiations, as if nothing is happening on the ground to make life more miserable for the Palestinians and to proceed with negotiations that are going nowhere except keeping the leadership busy and in business of managing for the Jewish Occupation.

Both Israel and the US know and are working in coordination and in concert not for a Palestinian State in the Occupied West Bank but a Jewish Settler State in Judea and Samaria. The only ones that do not know this or failed to see this are the fools in Ramallah.

The late Arafat failed to see this since day one of the 67 occupation. He continued to bet on demographic counting on the ever-increasing number of Palestinians while forgetting the very basic issue and conflict with Israel, which is the land, real estate. Forgetting it is so easy to exiles and ethnically cleanses hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in no time.

This stupid failure on the part of Arafat led him to negotiate for himself and his organization the PLO a management contract with Israel whereby the PLO and PA and directly Fatah became the administrators of the Israeli Occupation for and on behalf of Israel. This stupid failure to see the reality allowed Arafat, Abbas and Qurai to commit an unforgivable and criminal act of negotiating Oslo without making sure that the Jewish settlements in the West Bank stops completely, once and for all.

Rather than insisting on a complete stop and halt of ALL Jewish settlement activities, the Palestinian Troika negotiated an archaic system of dividing the Occupied Areas into three categories A, B and C. While the Israeli negotiators have the benefits of a professional legal team and the benefits of maps and aerial views of the area and other experts, the Palestinians had the benefits of the brilliance and wit of someone like Ahmed Qurai and hence the loss of more than 60% of the area to Jewish settlements and Jewish Roads and Jewish military areas, Jewish restricted areas etc. While the Jewish negotiators bet on the land, the brilliant Palestinians Trio of Arafat, Abbas and Qurai bet on the US to deliver Israel to the Palestinians. It should have been the other way around, the Palestinians should have bet on Israel to deliver the US. It is very doubtful if the Palestinian leadership fully understood and appreciated the division of the Occupied Areas to three separate areas with each having its own legal status. I do not think their brain allowed for such understanding.

This very stupid, reckless and unforgivable failure and mistake allowed both the US and Israel to make good use of the Palestinian stupidity to work toward the creation of a Jewish Settler State in Judea and Samaria over 60% of the Occupied land, leaving the Palestinians with the every day need to face confiscations of land, destruction of homes and farms, targeted assassinations, mass and large scale arrests, ever expanding network of security checks, more land for the Apartheid Wall not to mention the outright theft of all underground water and of course the large scale ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the ever expanding boundaries of Jerusalem.

Every one know, except the fools in Ramallah, what is going on and every one know that the US, is a partner in the crimes of the continued military and Jewish Occupation of the West Bank, and every knows that both the US and Israel, since 67 have been working together for the eventual creation of a Jewish Settler State in Judea and Samaria next to Israel. The evolving US position on the status of Jewish Settlements can only confirm what is going on the ground. It does not take lots of brains to see what is going on.

Though Abbas, the PA, PLO and Fatah think they are in charge as administrators and agents of the Jewish Occupation, a deranged mentally retarded Jewish Settler from Brooklyn have more power and authority in the West Bank than the combined force of some 250,000 functionaries and security officers that form the Palestinian Authority. Forget about the guys in Gaza, they are another story.

King Abdullah’s Call for an Interfaith Dialogue is a Bold Step Forward Toward Reconciliation.

It is true and for the last decades there has been a number of organizations and steps taken to establish an “interfaith” dialogue especially between Muslims and Jews to augment the ongoing dialogue with the Christian community.

A quick “Google” search one can see scores of organizations that have been sponsoring such a dialogue between Muslims and Jews. With some organizations going to the texts of the Holy Quran and the Torah to show the commonality between the faiths rather than the difference. The “Beliefenet Community” is but one of those organizations.

The cold blooded murder of Daniel Pearl, the American journalist of the Jews faith at the hands of terrorists in Pakistan sparked much interest in the needs for a Muslim/Jewish dialogue especially within Pakistan, a country that has and continue today to be the breeding ground for terrorists who also happens to claim to be Muslims.

Akbar Ahmed and Judea Pearl have been conducting and for several years town hall meetings and dialogue between Muslims and Jews in eleven cities in the US, Canada and the UK, convinced that such a dialogue is a “necessary steps toward easing world tension” Two interesting sites to visit; www.commonground.com and www.jewishmuslimdialogue.org.

Other prominent organizations that have been in the vanguard promoting Jewish-Muslim dialogues is the Commission on Interreligious Affairs of Reform Judaism of Washington, DC www.interreligious@urj.org. The organization is promoting such dialogue under the slogan of “Children of Abraham, Jews and Muslims in Conversation” with a detailed guide on Muslim Jewish Dialogue. Rabbi Eric Yoffie, President of the Union For Reform Judaism is spearheading such commendable efforts and has been very vocal and critical of the alliance with Christian Evangelical Zionism movement with over 70 million born again Christians who appose any peace or reconciliation between Israel and the Palestinians and who have been lobbying the Bush-Cheney Administration and Congress against any efforts toward peace. The Group of Zionist Christians formed an alliance with Likudists within the leadership of the American Jewish Community the majority of whom are the brain behind the War on Iraq and who made sure there are no meaningful negotiations toward peace, since they are in charge of the US policy in the Middle East.

Rabbi Eric Yoffie expresses what we all share with each other “ Interconnected since the time of Abraham, we Jews and Muslims share much in common: ancient monotheistic faiths, cultural similarities and, as minority religions in North America, experiences with assimilation and discrimination. Having said that, there also exist profound ignorance between Jews and Muslims. Jews are well educated about Islam, and Muslims are not well educated about Judaism”. Rabbi Yoffie is so right. Lots of Muslims get their message from some criminals and murderers like Osama Bin Laden and Aymen Al-Dhawahri and lots of Jews get their views of Muslims from Fox News and the deranged Rabbis of the Israeli Settlers Movements who promote and gave “Jewish Fatwas” to the Israeli Defense Forces to kill and murder innocent civilians and who promote such terrorist ideologies in the hundreds of Yeshivas in Israel and in the US.

Of course many universities across the US have many centers and institutes dedicated to Christian-Muslim and interreligious dialogue. Among the leading universities in the US are Georgetown and Hartford Seminary. There are also many centers and institutes around the world such Center for the Study of Islam and Christianity-Muslim Relations in Birmingham, UK and Stiftelsen Abrahams barn: a foundation for multicultural education; focus on Judaism, Christianity, Islam of Stockholm, Sweden and the Chrisrtian-Islamische Gessellshaft, a German Christian-Muslim Association. While Europe seems to have more open mind about such dialogues, the biggest problem and obstacle for dialogue and reconciliation between Muslims and Jews and Muslims and Christians is the hostility toward Islam of the more than 70 million Christian Evangelical Zionists who teamed with right wing leaders of the American Jewish Community and the Likud Party. I doubt if there is a chance of a meaningful dialogue with these die hard Christian Crusaders who are gearing up for their last Crusade against the Infidel Muslim to liberate the Holy Land from the Arabs and with active political and financial support to Israel as it proceed to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians from Jerusalem. The agenda of these Christian Zealots and Jesus Armies is to wage a 100-year war with Muslims and they are gaining lots of grounds in the US.

The importance of King Abdullah interfaith dialogue between Jews, Christians and Muslims lies in the fact that the calls came from the Custodian Of the Two Holy Mosques who for all practical and realistic purpose is the head of the Muslim faith due to his position as Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in Saudi Arabia and to his position of prominence and leadership with the Muslim and Arab world. When he talks others listen and when he calls for such a dialogue his call is taken seriously with expected results. From the feed back I read in Haaretz, the Israeli news paper, even the most die hard Zionists took notice of King Abdullah’s call for Muslim-Jewish Dialogue and with many readers supporting such an initiative (by the way if one is to judge the opinions of Jews in Israel and the Diaspora one has to read the readers feed back. With such feed back no wonder there is no dialogue and certainly no peace).

Such dialogues should take place in a number of major cities within Europe, the US, in the Far East in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, and certainly in all major Arab cities such as Rabat, Algiers, Tunis, Tripoli, Cairo, Amman, Damascus, Beirut, Riyadh, Kuwait, Doha and Dubai. My advice to the leaders of the Muslim community is to read and understand Judaism and Christianity before coming to the Dialogue. Rabbis and Christian clergymen know more about Islam, the Holy Quran and Sharia with many international scholars. That is not the same for Muslim clergymen where few bother to read the Torah and the Bible thinking is a major sin, blasphemy to read such books. since reading the Bible and the Torah is not part of their education. As for the US, I am not so sure if the hundreds of millions of dollars of chairs and institutions funded by rich Arab businessmen and politicians made any difference. I simply do not see it. The US is becoming more and more hostile to Muslims and Islam. Just follow up the Evangelical Christian network of radio and TV to see that. Yes, King Abdullah’s step may make a difference and put the discussions on the right course.

What did the Palestinians learn 60 years later? Not much!

In few weeks Israel will celebrate 60 years since its creation and establishment in Palestine. Over the last 60 years, the Jewish nation became the 4th largest and most powerful military force in the world and number one military and economic nation in the region.

Celebration events are planned all over the world, with so many leading political, civil, media, arts, music personalities participating in this celebration. Israelis and Jews have every reason to celebrate. Palestinians are still waiting not for a state, but an end to the Israeli-Jewish Occupation. One would think the Palestinians will hold gathering and meetings all over the world to see what went wrong. No such hope it will happen.

In less than 70 years from the Holocaust where more than 6 millions innocent Jews were murdered simply because they were Jews, and from the ashes of Auschwitz rose a nation and people to become perhaps the most powerful nation and people on earth. Yes, powerful around the world with political, financial, and media influence never seen at any time. Israel is powerful because its own Zionist loyalist in every government and nation around the world.

Yes, one has to give recognition to the vision, creative minds and relentless commitment and loyalty of the Zionist movement and its leadership to the creation of the State of Israel. Mobilizing the world Jewish community and leading nations of the world to support not only the creation and founding of Israel, its policies of expansion, ethnic cleansing, Apartheid and continued occupation of what is left of Palestine.

While the world Jewish community, the West and especially the US celebrate the founding of Israel. Those celebrating the founding of Israel choose to ignore that Israel was not created in a vacuum, by a simple act of God, a Big Bang. Israel was created over decades with deliberate plans to force the exiles of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes using all methods including terrorism. Terrorist leaders such as Shamir and Begin became prime ministers. Israel continued to expand beyond its borders of 47 with the occupation of Sinai, West Bank, Golan Heights and South Lebanon.

Israel had the benefits of leadership and unwavering commitment, loyalty and support by the Jewish community and the West, securing over a trillion dollars in grants and compensations from the US and Germany alone ,added to that billions in arms including nuclear weapon technologies that enabled Israel to have some 150 war heads. Not to mention over $ 300 Billions from the Jewish community around the world.

In contrast, the Palestinians not only lacked a competent leadership but had corrupt, inept leadership for the last 100 years. There is absolutely nothing to be proud of with a leadership of the likes of Hajj Amin Al-Hussaini, or the late Yasser Arafat or the present leadership of Mahmoud Abbas, Ahmed Qurai or Farouk Alqadomi, let alone Ismaail Haniyah or Khalid Mishal. All have failed the people and the nation.

While the Israeli leadership enlisted the support of the best and brightest to contribute to the building of the new nation, the Palestinian leadership could not go beyond its limited mental and intellectual capacity and narrow selfish interest. The Hussaini and Nashashibi families, the leading “notable” families of Jerusalem at the time, where more interested in promoting their own family interest and feuding with each other over leadership than of leading a people under siege and immanent danger. Every thing from organizing the resistance to managing the politics was done without much thought and without any plans or a vision for the future, even without realizing the real and imminent threat of exile.

Then came the late Yasser Arafat, learning from mistakes of his previous predecessor Ahmed Shuquari who did not have absolute control of finance and funding, Arafat made sure he alone control the purse and with that he went ahead to manipulate and castrate the PLO and the Palestinian National Congress “PNC” and beyond it corrupt intellectuals and businessmen. While the Jewish leadership was dedicated to Israel, the Palestinian leadership was obsessed with its selfish interest, power and money, becoming the richest ‘liberation” leadership in the world. While the Israelis and Jewish community held the leadership accountable, the Palestinians leadership held the people accountable and hostage to its own failure and demanded absolute and blind allegiance and ran the PLO and PNC as it wished. Ruthless raw power and threats of death, members of the PLO and PNC never dared debate let alone hold the leadership accountable for many of its failures in Jordan, in Lebanon, in Kuwait. The absence of free and democratic institutions and raw and brutal power lead Arafat & Company to conclude Oslo as a security and management contract for the continued Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

Unlike Israel, the Palestinian cause lacked the independence and free thinking of intellectuals and businessmen, certainly smart and dedicated and “clean” leadership. More troubling was the total corruption of intellectuals and business community. Two groups one would expect would be the one that demand accountability and transparency form the leadership and within all Palestinian ‘institutions”. Both group colluded with the leadership resulting in the kind of leadership the Palestinians have for the last 45 years. All key players, the leadership, intellectuals and business community and so called ‘representatives” of the people, all colluded together to fail the people and nation.

While it took the Jewish leadership few years to found the nation out of the ashes of the concentration camps, the Palestinians leadership in over 45 years with tens of billions,, not only failed to liberate what it set out to do Palestine of 48, it failed to liberate what was left of Palestine and failed to end the Occupation that started in 67. The PLO and Fatah and all those “fasael” forming the PLO were so inept and unprepared for building a new nation, they could not come up with a management plan to manage traffic in Manara Square in Ramallah. The PLO came back to Occupied Palestine not as liberator but as sub-contractor for the Israeli Occupation, with no plans for the future. Arafat & Company where only interested in self preservation securing funding and jobs for the leaderships and several thousand functionaries, who failed to liberate and with the Palestinians Authority becoming the Civil Administration for the Israeli Military Occupation.

Arafat & Company while outside of Palestine never looked to those under Occupation and were satisfied with building “institutions” that served the very personal interest of the leadership and never the community under occupation. The opposite happened when Arafat & Company returned to take over and manage the Israeli Occupation. The leadership never looked back at the Diaspora Palestinians who contributed tens of thousands of “martyrs” and who made the PLO one of the richest “liberation” organizations in the world. Arafat & Company simply walked away from community in exile. Post mortem criminal charges should be brought against Arafat for all of the crimes he committed against the Palestinian people. He and the PLO are responsible for the total destruction of the Palestinian community in Kuwait. What happened in Kuwait was no less of a crime than what happened in 1948 and the Nakkba.

60 years later, what the Palestinians hope to achieve with the leadership they have? Not much. Oslo set the stage for Israel to keep 80 % of the Occupied West Bank for Jewish settlements, Jewish roads and the Apartheid Wall. The Palestinians at best can hope for is a limited administrative role of collecting garbage, paying militias to protect the leadership, the Palestinian Authority, certainly the Occupation. Contrary to what we read in newspaper of denials by the leadership, the PLO and the PA are negotiating an “interim solutions” with Israel as demanded by the US and was well known for many years. With “Jewish facts” on the ground, there is simply no way the Palestinians will ever have a Palestinian nation on the area occupied in 67 including Jerusalem.

Israel and the US are enticing the leadership and the PA with money to fund militias and keep Fatah functionaries on the payroll while solidifying the Jewish Occupation. The PA in over 13 years of negotiations failed to remove one road blockade. In fact it signed an agreement that put the City of Hebron and its people under virtual curfew day in and day out under the constant threats, humiliations and criminal abuse by the criminal thugs that makes the Jewish community in Hebron. Let us not put all the blames on the leadership. Let us also put the blame on a nation and people that remained and most likely will remain silent with no sense of dignity or empowerment to take charge and make a difference. Perhaps the Palestinians after all are not worthy of a free and independent state. Accepting the status quo and all the failures of the last 100 years and failing to do something about it does not speak well of the Palestinians as people or nation. Perhaps the best and only options is for the people to sue and become second-class citizen in the State of Israel, rather live under a Palestinian Authority that is part of the Occupation.

Jewish Rabbis; their message is no different from that of Muslim Jihadists. It is time to put these Jewish Rabbis on the lists of international terror

I am a daily reader of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. The newspaper dare publish articles and opinions no American newspaper dare publish. What readers will read in the following article that is published by Al-Aharam should make all of us wonder why opinions and “fatwas” of Jewish Rabbis are not well published and well know around the world and why countries such as the US, France, UK, Germany among others do not list these Rabbis as “terrorists” since they advocate and entice followers to go out kill and commit murder just like the Islamic Al-Qaeda Jihadists . Calling for the death and destruction of every thing that is “Arab” is a dangerous message since these Jewish Rabbis advocates the murder of Arabs, the killings of their animals and the burning of their homes and farms and uprooting of their trees. These acts are committed as a matter of due course by Jewish Settlers. Perhaps it is time to list these Jewish Rabbis on the international terrorists list since their message is no different from Islamic clergymen who advocate the same against Jews and Christians and who are listed as terrorists. Editor.

10 - 16 April 2008
Issue No. 892
Genocide announced

Bombs would fall under other circumstances, but when influential rabbis call for the total annihilation of the Palestinians the world watches without blinking, writes Saleh Al-Naami
“All of the Palestinians must be killed; men, women, infants, and even their beasts.” This was the religious opinion issued one week ago by Rabbi Yisrael Rosen, director of the Tsomet Institute, a long-established religious institute attended by students and soldiers in the Israeli settlements of the West Bank. In an article published by numerous religious Israeli newspapers two weeks ago and run by the liberal Haaretz on 26 March, Rosen asserted that there is evidence in the Torah to justify this stand. Rosen, an authority able to issue religious opinions for Jews, wrote that Palestinians are like the nation of Amalekites that attacked the Israelite tribes on their way to Jerusalem after they had fled from Egypt under the leadership of Moses. He wrote that the Lord sent down in the Torah a ruling that allowed the Jews to kill the Amalekites, and that this ruling is known in Jewish jurisprudence.

Rosen’s article, which created a lot of noise in Israel, included the text of the ruling in the Torah: “Annihilate the Amalekites from the beginning to the end. Kill them and wrest them from their possessions. Show them no mercy. Kill continuously, one after the other. Leave no child, plant, or tree. Kill their beasts, from camels to donkeys.” Rosen adds that the Amalekites are not a particular race or religion, but rather all those who hate the Jews for religious or national motives. Rosen goes as far as saying that the “Amalekites will remain as long as there are Jews. In every age Amalekites will surface from other races to attack the Jews, and thus the war against them must be global.” He urges application of the “Amalekites ruling” and says that the Jews must undertake to implement it in all eras because it is a “divine commandment”.

Rosen does not hesitate to define the “Amalekites of this age” as the Palestinians. He writes, “those who kill students as they recite the Torah, and fire missiles on the city of Siderot, spread terror in the hearts of men and women. Those who dance over blood are the Amalekites, and we must respond with counter-hatred. We must uproot any trace of humanitarianism in dealing with them so that we emerge victorious.”

The true outrage is that most of those authorised to issue Jewish religious opinions support the view of Rabbi Rosen, as confirmed by Haaretz newspaper. At the head of those supporting his opinion is Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, the leading religious authority in Israel’s religious national current, and former chief Eastern rabbi for Israel. Rosen’s opinion also has the support of Rabbi Dov Lior, president of the Council of Rabbis of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), and Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the chief rabbi of Safed and a candidate for the post of chief rabbi of Israel. A number of political leaders in Israel have also shown enthusiasm for the opinion, including Ori Lubiansky, head of the Jerusalem municipality.

There is no dispute among observers in Israel that the shooting in Jerusalem three weeks ago that killed eight Jewish students in a religious school was pivotal for Jewish authorities issuing religious opinions of a racist, hateful nature. The day following the Jerusalem incident, a number of rabbis led by Daniel Satobsky issued a religious opinion calling on Jewish youth and “all those who believe in the Torah” to take revenge on the Palestinians as hastily as possible. A week following the operation, a group of leading rabbis issued an unprecedented religious opinion permitting the Israeli army to bomb Palestinian civilian areas. The opinion is issued by the “Association of Rabbis of the Land of Israel” and states that Jewish religious law permits the bombing of Palestinian civilian residential areas if they are a source of attacks on Jewish residential areas. It reads, “when the residents of cities bordering settlements and Jewish centres fire shells at Jewish settlements with the aim of death and destruction, the Torah permits for shells to be fired on the sources of firing even if civilian residents are present there.”

The opinion adds that sometimes it is necessary to respond with shelling to sources of fire immediately, without granting the Palestinian public prior warning. A week ago, Rabbi Eliyahu Kinvinsky, the second most senior authority in the Orthodox religious current, issued a religious opinion prohibiting the employment of Arabs, particularly in religious schools. This religious opinion followed another that had been issued by Rabbi Lior prohibiting the employment of Arabs and the renting of residential apartments to them in Jewish neighbourhoods. In order to provide a climate that allows Jewish extremist organisations to continue attacking Palestinian citizens, Rabbi Israel Ariel, one of the most prominent rabbis in the West Bank settlement complex, recently issued a religious opinion prohibiting religious Jews involved in attacks against Palestinians to appear before Israeli civil courts. According to this opinion, they must instead demand to appear before Torah courts that rule by Jewish religious law.

Haaretz newspaper noted that what Rabbi Ariel was trying to achieve through this religious opinion has in fact already taken place. The first instance of such a court in Kfar Saba ordered the release of a young Jewish woman called Tsevia Teshrael who attacked a Palestinian farmer in the middle of the West Bank. And there are Jewish religious authorities that glorify killing and praise terrorists, such as Rabbi Yitzhaq Ginsburg, a top rabbi in Israel who published a book entitled Baruch the Hero in memoriam of Baruch Goldstein, who committed the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre in 1994 when he opened fire and killed 29 Palestinians as they were performing the dawn prayer in Hebron in the southern West Bank. Ginsburg considers his act “honourable and glorious”.

The danger of these religious opinions lies in the fact that the religious authorities issuing them have wide respect among religious Jewish youth. And while only 28 per cent of Israel’s population is religious, more than 50 per cent of Israelis define themselves as conservative and grant major significance to opinions issued by Jewish religious authorities. According to a study conducted by the Social Sciences Department of Bar Elon University, more than 90 per cent of those who identify as religious believe that if state laws and government orders are incongruous with the content of religious opinions issued by rabbis, they must overlook the former and act in accordance with the latter.

What grants the racist religious opinions a deeper and far-reaching impact is the fact that for the last decade followers of the Zionist religious current, who form nearly 10 per cent of the population, have been seeking to take control of the army and security institutions. They are doing so through volunteering for service in special combat units. The spokesperson’s office in the Israeli army says that although the percentage of followers of this current is low in the state’s demographic makeup, they form more than 50 per cent of the officers in the Israeli army and more than 60 per cent of its special unit commanders. According to an opinion poll of religious officers and soldiers supervised by the Interdisciplinary Centre Herzliya and published last year, more than 95 per cent of religious soldiers and officers say that they will execute orders from the elected government and their leaders in the army only if they are in harmony with the religious opinions issued by leading rabbis and religious authorities.

Wasil Taha, Arab Knesset member from the Tajammu Party led by Azmi Bishara, says that these religious opinions lead to the committal of crimes. He mentions religious opinions issued by a number of rabbis in mid-1995 that led to the assassination of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin at that time. “If that’s what happens when religious opinions urge attacks against Jewish leaders such as Rabin, what will the situation be like when they urge attacks against Palestinian leaders and the Palestinian public?” he asks. “We, as Arab leaders, have begun to feel a lack of security following this flood of religious opinions, and we realise that the matter requires a great deal of caution in our movements as we are certain that there are those who seek to implement these opinions,” he told Al-Ahram Weekly.

Taha dismisses those who ask about the role of the government and Israeli political cadre in confronting these extremist religious opinions. “The ministers in the Israeli government and the Knesset members compete to incite against the Palestinian public and don’t hesitate to threaten expulsion of the Palestinians who live on their land in Israel and carry Israeli citizenship outside of Israel’s borders, just as former deputy premier Avigdor Lieberman and representative Evi Etam did,” Taha said. He notes that Palestinian citizens within Israel have begun to take extreme precautionary measures since the issue of these religious opinions, including security measures around mosques and public institutions and informing officials of public demonstrations so that members of Jewish terrorist organisations can be prevented from attacking participants. Taha holds that the sectors of the Palestinian population most likely to be harmed by these religious opinions are those living in the various cities populated by both Jews and Palestinians, such as Haifa, Jaffa, Lod, Ramleh and Jerusalem.

Palestinian writer and researcher Abdul-Hakim Mufid, from the city Um Fahem, holds that the religious opinions of rabbis have gained major significance due to the harmony between official rhetoric and that of the rabbis. Mufid notes that official Israeli establishments have not tried to confront the “fascist” rhetoric expressed in these religious opinions even though they are capable of doing so. “Most of the rabbis who issue tyrannical religious opinions are official employees in state institutions and receive salaries from them. And the state has not held these rabbis accountable or sought to prohibit the issue of such opinions,” he told the Weekly.

Mufid points out that when the official political institution is in a crisis, the Zionist consensus behind these religious opinions grows more intense, and offers as an example the religious opinions relied upon by Rabbi Meir Kahane in the early 1980s to justify his call to forcefully expel the Palestinians. Mufid adds that Israel in practice encourages all those who kill Palestinians, and points to the way that the Israeli government dealt with the recommendations of the Orr Commission that investigated the Israeli police’s killing of 13 Palestinians with Israeli citizenship in October of 2000. The government closed the file even though the commission confirmed that the police had acted aggressively towards the Palestinian citizens. Mufid suggests that what makes the racist rhetoric the rabbis insist upon influential is the silence of leftist and liberal voices, and the lack of any direct mobilisation against it.

© Copyright Al-Ahram Weekly. All rights reserved

I Was Born to Demolish Palestinian Homes

Dear Readers. Unlike the US where journalists are silenced either by their editors or by the owners of the newspapers and media. When it comes to Israel and the Israeli Occupation, there is a whole lot of courage to challenge the status quo than any where in the Western World. Israel and for so many years have been the destinations of many frustrated Jewish immigrants who somehow are very unhappy of being “Jewish” in their native countries and once they come to Israel they join the Israel Defense Forces ( the largest terrorist organization in the world” and they turn to violence, drugs and the wish to kill and destroy. Editor.

“…we were accosted by a slim, blond Border Policeman, probably of Russian origin. “I was born to demolish Palestinian homes,” he informed us mockingly, a big smile on his face, a swagger in his movements. “I love demolishing homes. I wake up in the morning hungry to demolish homes.”

Born to Demolish
Jeff Halper
Friday, April 11, 2008

It was another of those routine tragedies that are never publicized. At eight in the morning we at ICAHD (the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions) received a call that the Border Police, Israeli police and Jerusalem Municipality bulldozers were massing below the Palestinian village of Anata, poised to begin another day of home demolitions. We never know of demolitions ahead of time. The Israeli authorities responsible for demolishing Palestinian homes – the municipality and the Ministry of Interior in Jerusalem, the “Civil” Administration in the West Bank and the army – do not provide advanced warning to us or, indeed, to the families themselves. Tens of thousands of Palestinian families live with demolition orders on their homes, some 22,000 in East Jerusalem alone, where fully a third of Palestinian homes face demolition at any time. When we received word of preparations for a demolition that morning, however, we knew precisely which home would be targeted first: that of the Hamdan family, the elderly parents their married son and daughter-in-law with their five children, and an unmarried son. It was a home we had rebuilt for the second time in last summer’s ICAHD work camp, when Israeli and international peace activists joined with local Palestinians to rebuild as an act of political resistance to the Occupation.

In fact, we had been present at the original demolition two and a half years before, a report of which, entitled “The Miserable Occupation on a Miserable Morning,” appeared on our website. At that time, 6:30 on a very cold and rainy morning in late November, 2005, ICAHD staff, volunteers and activists had rushed to Anata to witness, document and resist the demolition of the Hamdan family home – and subsequently of their next door neighbor. By the time we arrived the area had already been blocked off by the Israeli Border Police, so we had been unable to approach the houses. We watched from afar as a bulldozer systematically demolished the homes, leaving a pile of rubble and the shattered families standing amidst their belongings in the freezing rain, wondering where to go, where they would sleep that night, how to survive without a home and any financial resources. Later that day we learned that another five Palestinian homes had been demolished: three in Beit Hanina, one in Isawia and another one in A-Tur. The home of yet another family suffered an even more grotesque fate. In a “compromise” with the court, the family is to demolish half its house with its own hands, while the other half will be sealed while the family attempts to obtain a building permit.

Only one small but devastating incident distinguished the Hamdan demolition this past week from the normal routine. As Shaadi Hamdan and I were standing in front of the home, we were accosted by a slim, blond Border Policeman, probably of Russian origin. “I was born to demolish Palestinian homes,” he informed us mockingly, a big smile on his face, a swagger in his movements. “I love demolishing homes. I wake up in the morning hungry to demolish homes.” With that he walked away. I can’t convey the mixture of anguish, anger, bewilderment and resignation that crossed Shaadi’s face at that moment. He simply stood aside as his home was demolished for the second time.

I could not stand aside. Sensing that the forcible removal of the family’s possessions (or most of them) was about to cease and the demolition begin, I seized the moment and rushed into the home, planting myself in a corner of what had been the kitchen before the surprised Border Police could react. The head of the police unit rushed up to me sitting on the floor and ordered me to leave. My conscience as an Israeli, a Jew and a human being forbids me to permit this illegal and immoral act of demolition from taking place, I told him. In fact, I informed him, I am placing you under citizen’s arrest for violating the Fourth Geneva Convention (Article 53), which prohibits the demolishing of homes in occupied territories. I thereby asked the accompanying policemen to arrest him. Sputtering, furious, he placed plastic handcuffs on me and had me forcibly thrown out of the house.

Lying on the ground as the bulldozer commenced its evil work, I noted what I often see at demolitions: police and soldiers standing around laughing among themselves, eating sandwiches, swapping the latest sports news. Taking advantage of their being distracted from the demolition itself, I suddenly sprang up and made a run for the bulldozer. The police chased me and wrestled me to the ground. Furious at this additional challenge to his authority, the policeman in charge had me put in tight metal handcuffs and, since I refused to walk, dragged down the mountainside to an awaiting paddy wagon.

Nothing, of course, happened to me, besides a few bruises. The Border Policeman “born to demolish” paraded around me repeating his delight at the day’s events, all of which ICAHD activists recorded on film. But we Israeli Jews enjoy a privileged position. We know the police or soldiers will not shoot us, will not beat us, will not detain us for long, and so we exploit that privilege in ways that Palestinians can’t. Shaadi would have been shot for doing what I did. We also know another sad fact: that unless an Israeli like me performs such a dramatic act, no one will notice the demolitions that take place almost daily in Jerusalem, the West Bank and, yes, Gaza. The news spread quickly throughout the world. I was interviewed that day, my hands still in handcuffs, by radio stations from South Africa to Norway. I tried, of course, to put my action in context, to stress that my experience paled next to the crime that had been perpetrated upon the Hamdan family by the Israeli authorities. But I knew the truth: only the arrest of an Israeli makes the news; Palestinian suffering, as their very claim for justice, is ignored. Still, resistance is necessary.

The Hamdan family is now in serious debt and without a home of their own. The three family units have been scattered amongst their relatives. We have offered to rebuild the home, but Shaadi says he has no more stomach for the unending cycle of building and demolishing. He doesn’t see the point of it, neither as an act of political resistance about which no one seems to care nor as a solution to his personal problems. Unable or unwilling to leave the country, which is what Israel’s policy of house demolitions is all about, he will sink into the woodwork, managing to survive out of sight as do millions of other Palestinians. Overwhelmed by the scope of demolitions, it is unlikely we will stay in close touch with him as well. With 18,000 homes demolished in the Occupied Territories since 1967 and thousands more targeted, we will do our best to resist those demolitions we can reach. We have rebuilt about 150 homes in the past eleven years, a drop in the bucket in terms of those needing to be rebuilt but significant in terms of acts of political resistance. Shaadi might not see it, and the Palestinian Authority does not pursue it, but ICAHD has succeeded in raising the issue of house demolitions among both governments and civil society in countries around the world. Ending house demolitions is in the first phase of the all-but-defunct Road Map.

Still, the demolition of the Hamdan home reminds us that Israel continues to strengthen and expand its Occupation daily, through the demolition of Palestinian homes, the expropriation of their land, massive settlement construction, the building of a massive highway system that separates Israeli from Palestinian traffic, the continued construction of the Wall and in a hundred other ways that escape public attention – all in violation of the so-called Road Map to which the US and Europe claim to be so committed.

Our struggles against the Occupation must continue, of course, even if no solution is apparent. Many of us in the critical Israeli peace movement believe that the two-state solution has been eliminated by Israel’s settlement policies (unless we accept the notion of a Palestinian Bantustan, which we do not), but we doubt that a one-state solution will garner the support needed to become a practical program. Many Palestinians like Shaadi feel isolated and even defeated; they persevere, but are in desperate need of international support and protection until a solution – or the will to impose a solution – emerges. We must redouble our opposition to the Occupation in order to show Shaadi that, in fact, the rebuilding his home is part of an effective political movement that will achieve Palestinian national rights and a just peace. We can begin with a minimalist demand that Rice, Blair, Ban and the other international decision-makers should have insisted upon years ago: that Israel end the demolishing of Palestinian homes NOW.

Jeff Halper is the Coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD).

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Should the United States Worry About “Zionists” as Fifth Column? Yes.

Last week calls by candidate Hillary Clinton to obliterate Iran for and on behalf of Israel and her willingness to commit to nuclear war causing the lives of hundreds of millions of people for and on behalf of a state that since its inception has been at war with all of its close and distant neighbor is a grave warning to Americans of the danger of Zionism on America and the world.

In few weeks President George Bush will lead a delegation of “Whose Who” in politics, government, business, media and arts and head east to Tel-Aviv to their “Mecca” to celebrate and give allegiance to the State of Israel on its 60th anniversary. Europeans will be celebrating for having gotten rid of the majority of Jews within Europe.

Since its inception in the late 18th century Europe, the Zionist movement worked so hard to transform All Jewish communities within the West in its own image and tried and have succeed to great extent to transform these US and European Jewry to loyal followers and Israeli loyalists resurrecting the feelings of alienations among world Jewry to there own countries and of course reigniting again the horrible seeds of Anti-Semitism. The measure of success of the Zionist enterprise is its ability to disfranchise old established Jewish communities in their native countries an countries of birth and citizenship and give them their “choice” of immigrating to Israel, the only place “where Jews can feel Jews”.

To this extend trillions of dollars of “Jewish” money and from citizens tax payers from around the world were committed to Israel building its new infrastructure based on defense, armament and Spartan siege mentality. Unlike the claims of Zionists of having making the desert bloom, Palestine was a thriving community with well know products around the world such as Jaffa Oranges. With Trillions of dollars pouring into Israel and with an already thriving Palestinian community, one can make the “moon bloom”. Hence the Zionist myth of making the “desert bloom” we did that in Arizona and we are not Zionists.

The Zionist ideology based on “Jewish Nationalism” fed on and in reaction to European and Western/Christian Anti-Semitism, Pogroms and the Holocaust, succeeds for the most part in converting and transforming Jewish loyalties to “their” Jewish state Israel and the Zionist movement. If the Catholic Church and Islam tried to convert and shift loyalties of community of believer and faithful from that of their national state to loyalty to Rome and Mecca, I am sure that Zionists will cry foul and will charge Rome and Mecca with inciting “treason” among citizens of the world. Zionism as a form of racism did succeed in making transformation of Judaism from a religion of faith to one “religious nationalism” with the Israel being the “nation” and central to Jewish life and succeeded in making the Jews feel the needs for “separate” and shifting loyalties from their native countries to that of Israel. This new Zionist ideology is not different from that of the Communist ideology which demanded shifting of loyalties from ones country to that of the Soviet Union and Moscow. If Islamists are loyal to a foreign agenda could not been trusted or entrusted with the interests of the United States claims often raised by the likes of Steve Emerson, Daniel Pipes, Charles Krauthhammer then the same can be said of Zionists within the United States, they too could not never be trusted with the interests of the United States since they too are loyal to a foreign agenda, Israel.

Not only did the Zionist movement demand Jewish loyalties to Zionism and Israel it also sought to recruit Christian Evangelical Movements and transformed them to Christian Zionists with shifting loyalties to Israel from than of their own country especially in the United States. This unholy alliance came about as an alliance between Israel’s Likud Party and Right Wing Republicans during the Reagan Administration where each was supporting the other for their own domestic and international agenda, especially in oppositions toward peace between Israel and the Arabs. Of course we all know the agenda of Evangelical Zionists which is the ultimate conversion of Jews or putting them to death in fulfillment of Biblical prophecies. Such is the unholy alliance.

In the hey days of the Soviet Union, it succeeded to a limited extent in having a”fifth” column within the government of the United States. The Zionists went even further, they made sure that committed and loyal Zionists are in every branch of the US government and in key positions, in the White House, Justice Department, Home Land Security, State, Defense, CIA, NSC and other key security agencies, especially in US Congress where key decision makers, staffers are loyal Zionists. However it was not enough for the Zionists to have such a army of Israeli loyalists in the tens of thousands in government, it made sure that it also spread its tentacles to the media, art and culture and of course in business, hence the danger to Western democracies and to the world in general.

The arrest two week ago of the 84 years old American Jew, Ben-Ami Kadish on charges of spying for Israel is but a tip of the iceberg where committed Zionists with loyalties to Zionism and Israel are in the tens of thousands within the different branches of government especially the State and other security agencies, with many security agencies employing dual nationals (Israelis and US) and employing former members of Mossad in key positions with US security agencies. Hence the danger that Hillary Clinton or George Bush or John McCain or Barack Obama do not realize yet!

This commitment and loyalty to Israel was and is the driving force behind many the very dangerous acts and decisions taken by officials within the different US administration and even within the public sectors. The Ben-Ami Kadish case is but on case, to be added to the Pollard case and many other cases the government simply refuse to bring out to the open.

One has to keep in mind the many incidents where Zionists put the interests of Israel first. The case of the missing/stolen 100 kilogram of uranium 235 missing from the Apollo plant in Pennsylvania is but one of those incidents where the managing director of the plants having strong ties to Israel. The same is true of the case the missing nine kilogram of weapon grade uranium found missing from Erwin, Tennessee. The case of the missing two tons of uranium missing during a trip between Antwerp to Genoa but an added storey to Zionists loyalty to Israel where the owner of the ship was identified by the Norwegian as an Israeli secret agent.

In the United States, the Zionists tentacles are found every where. Lyndon Johnson as president under the influence of his “Zionist “ national security advisor Walter Rastow made sure that nuclear capabilities of the F-4 Phantoms delivered to Israel where left intact in violation of the US export regulation, even refusing to fully investigate the case of the missing nuclear fuel from the Apollo Plant.

More dangerous was Johnson total disregards of the lives of US sailors killed in cold blood by Israeli jets and torpedo boats on the USS Liberty with Johnson Jewish national security agency director snuffing out any resolutions and finding Israel responsible for the cold blooded murder. Admiral McCain (father of John McCain) as Commander of US Sixth Fleet denied help to the attacked ship and its dead and injured crew on orders from the Zionists within the White House. In the 73 War, Kissinger a die hard Zionists almost caused a nuclear war between the US and the Soviet Union in his attempt to save Israel in the first few days of the October War, stripping the US army of its tanks and missiles in Europe and flying military equipment directly to the battle field in an added attempt to save Israel while putting the US and its armed forces in Europe at risk. However Kissinger committed to Israel did not stop here. He made sure he got rid of all “Arabists” within the State Department for fear that they may be hostile to Israel. Kissinger decisions again, where based on his Zionist ideology and not based on the US national security interest.

Zionists with the State and Defense Departments where the driving force behind Cheney-Bush War on Iraq. It is their Zionism and loyalty to Israel, that was the driving force for getting the US committed to war. Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perl, Douglas Feith, Elliot Abrams and William Kristol are all Zionists with loyalties to the Zionist agenda and Israel, are fully responsible for the death of more than 4,000 US soldiers, responsible for the more than 40,000 combat injuries, more than a million Iraqis dead and of course the more than $ 600,000 Billions the cost so far, of the War on Iraq. All of that for and on behalf of Israel. These Zionists and their loyalties to Israel as similar to Communists and their loyalties to Moscow. However the George Bush administration is not the only administration to put Zionists in charge of the US policies in the Middle East. Bill Clinton entrusted US policies in the Middle East to key staffer who came directly from Israeli/Zionist work shop. Dennis Ross and Martin Indyke where and are committed Zionists and Israeli loyalists.

In the old days when the US was very leery of having “Communists” in key positions, the US should be worried now with having “Zionists” in key positions in government where loyalty to ideology and Zionist cause are overpowering and can put the true interest of the US at greater risk. Having Zionists formulating decisions and implementing policies for the United States in the Middle East is no less dangerous than having “Communists” formulating decisions and implementing US policies toward the old Soviet Union. Perhaps Presidential candidates John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama should think twice before making loyalty to Israel and Zionism the central theme of their presidential campaign. How about putting America first for a change?

Desperate to meet its daily quotas, IDF starts arresting horses, next it will arrest donkeys

It seems the Israel and its army is so desperate in Jennin, it started to arrest horses. You got me right. MAAN news agency showed pictures of members of the Israeli Defense Forces arresting 3 horses in Jennin for unknown reasons.

That is not unusual for Israel and its army. Israel has gone beyond any sense of imaginations on doing what it does best. Murder and terrorism on national scales not seen since Nazi Germany and murderous Serbia in the Bosnia.

In over 41 years of military and armed Jewish occupation, Israel have arrested and jailed more than 700,000 Palestinians at one time or another, almost one third of all of Arab resident were guests of the Israeli jail system. Of course the majority never brought to trial. Israel simply arrest them, try to enlist them as traitors and informers, at times arrest them and jail them because some Jewish Settlers want their homes or land, other times simply to humiliate and simply punish just for the hell of it.

Never in the history of an occupation where a country and people can commit such crimes. The crimes started some 100 years when the Zionist movement decided there is an urgent need to remove and transfer Jews from their native countries in Europe especially in Poland and Russia given their long history of Anti-Semitism and Programs. While the idea finding a safe haven for European Jewry is very understandable, and became more urgent with the Holocaust and the murder of some 6 million Jews and the expropriations of their properties, the Zionist movement went beyond simply having a need for a safe haven, it that massive expulsions of Palestinians from their native country a priority. Expulsion and massive exodus was necessity for the Zionist agenda even if that means initiating wars where Palestinians will have good reasons to escape war and Jewish terror and where Israel will use any means to make sure Palestinians have every reason to leave. Hundreds of villages where attacked and their population simply expelled and ethnically cleanses just like that we witness in Bosnia.

That strategy did succeed in 1946, 1947, and 1948 and to some extent in 67 when hundreds of thousands had no choice but leave and escape the Jewish terror surrounding them. However Israeli plans to force the expulsion of the rest of the Arabs did not work well either in Gaza or in the West Bank. Israel was able to ethnically cleans hundreds of thousands of Jerusalem Arabs. However and working closely with Arafat and the PLO, Israel was able to divide the West Bank into three areas, A, B and C with Israel having either total or partial control over two areas and as such was able to expropriate lands for Jewish Settlements, army posts, security zones, even going further by using ethnic cleansing to expel Palestinians from their homes and using security reasons to demolish Palestinian homes. Leaving the PA small areas to manage for and on behalf of the Israeli and Jewish Settlers Occupation.

However to start arresting horses is a first in this occupation or any other occupation. Yes, it seems the Israeli army is so desperate to meet its daily quotas of arrests that it has to resort to arresting horses. Perhaps and with a very creative and imaginative legal system, the Israeli military and civilians courts will bring these horses to trial under its terrorism laws or perhaps jail them for aiding and abetting the enemy. Yes Israel, on your 60th anniversary we congratulate you on your sense of imagination. We know you did not like the hundreds of thousand of Olive Trees your bulldozers uprooted so you can make room for Jewish Settlements or simply to destroy whatever lively hood poor Palestinians have. We also know and appreciate your needs to steal water so that your swimming pools will be the play ground for your children and families and to keep your lawns green while Palestinians next doors are thirsty for water and their farms are dry dead. Yes, we do understand all the crazy and criminal things you do, but arresting horses is a first.

Celebrating Ethnic Cleansing: An Open Letter to Nadine Gordimer

Israel will celebrate its 60th birthday during the month of May. A month that also saw the forced exile and ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes and farms in Palestine. More than 500 villages where completely wipe out, totally destroyed. Thousands of years of history was destroyed so a new history of European Jewry can be written in a land not their own

Transmitted below is an open letter to the famous South African writer Nadine Gordimer which might set a useful precedent for letters to other notable personalities who are planning to participate in this month’s celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the Nakba, the massive, carefully planned first stage of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, particularly those who have also expressed moral qualms about attending the opening ceremony of the Olympics.

NOTE: An article published in HA’ARETZ on April 30 reported that a wide-ranging group of 175 American rabbis and “other prominent Jews” had signed and released a statement “urging Jews worldwide to boycott the Summer Olympics in Beijing, citing China’s troubling record on human rights and Tibet.” This is not a joke.

Nadine Gordimer on her decision to participate in ‘Israel at 60 Celebrations’

April 24, 2008 By Dr. Haidar Eid

Dr. Haidar Eid’s ZSpace Page

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Dear Ms. Gordimer,

I am a Palestinian lecturer in Cultural Studies living in Gaza. I happen to also have South African citizenship as a result of my marriage to a citizen of that beloved country. I spent more than five years in Johannesburg, the city in which I earned my Ph.D and lectured at both traditionally black and white universities. At Vista in Soweto, I taught your anti-apartheid novels My Son’s Story, July’s People and The Late Bourgeois World. I have been teaching the same novels, in addition to The Pick Up and Selected Stories, to my Palestinian students in Gaza at Al-Aqsa University. This course is called ‘Resistance, Anti-Racism and Xenophobia’. I deliberately chose to teach your novels because, as an anti-apartheid writer, you defied racial stereotypes by calling for resistance against all forms of oppression, be they racial or religious. Your support of sanctions against apartheid South Africa has, to say the least, impressed my Gazan students.

The news of your conscious decision to take part in the ‘Israel at 60′ celebrations has reached us, students and citizens of Gaza, as both a painful surprise, and a glaring example of a hypocritical intellectual double standard. My students, psychologically and emotionally traumatized and already showing early signs of malnutrition as a result of the genocidal policy of the country whose birth you intend celebrating, demand an explanation.

They wonder in amazement that you might have missed Archbishop Tutu’s contention that conditions in Israeli-occupied Palestine are worse than those under apartheid? They ask how you can ignore John Dugard’s dispassionate and insightful report on the dismal state of Human Rights in the Occupied Territories? Surely, you have not been unaware of Ronnie Kasrils’ writings following his latest visit to Gaza and the West Bank? Like you, these three men, all South Africans, were also active in the fight against racism and apartheid. Dugard’s words on Palestine are very significant: ‘I certainly have a sense of déjà vu… The sad thing is that Israel is unwilling to learn from the South African precedent.’ In an article titled, ’Israelis adopt what South Africa dropped,’ Dugard observed that the human rights situation in the occupied territories continues to deteriorate and called the conditions ‘intolerable, appalling, and tragic for ordinary Palestinians.’ Significantly, Dugard made shocking parallels between the situation in the Palestine and your country South Africa under apartheid: ‘Many aspects of Israel’s occupation surpass those of the apartheid regime. Israel’s large-scale destruction of Palestinian homes, leveling of agricultural lands, military incursions and targeted assassinations of Palestinians far exceed any similar practices in apartheid South Africa.’ Moreover, in its final declaration, the World Conference against Racism (WCAR) NGO forum, held in Durban in 2001, stated that: ‘We declare Israel as a racist, apartheid state in which Israel’s brand of apartheid as a crime against humanity has been characterized by separation and segregation, dispossession, restricted land access, denationalization, ?bantustanization’ and inhumane acts.’

You are no doubt aware of Israel’s deep ties with apartheid South Africa, during which Israel, breaking the international embargo, supplied South Africa with hundreds of millions of dollars of weapons. Apartheid South Africa relied on apartheid Israel to persuade Western governments to lift the embargo. How did you relate to Israel during that period and what was your position regarding countries and individuals that did not support the policy of isolating apartheid South Africa? You were surely critical of the infamous policy of ’constructive engagement’ led by Thatcher and Reagan at the height of the struggle in the 80s? And today, inexplicably, you have joined the ranks of sanctions busters.

The eminent Palestinian, Edward Said, who gave you his friendship, would have been dismayed by your decision. He named you as a model for what he called, ’oppositional intellectuals.’ It was his strong belief that, with regard to Israel, ‘[i]t only takes a few bold spirits to speak out and start challenging a status quo that gets worse and more dissembling each day.’ Little did he know that you would fail the oppressed in Palestine.

My cold and hungry students have divided themselves into two groups, with one group adamant that you, like many of your courageous characters, will reconsider your participation in an Israeli Festival that aims to celebrate the annihilation of Palestine and Palestinians. The other group believes that you have already crossed over to the side of the oppressor, negating every word you have ever written. We all wait for your next action.

Dr. Haidar Eid

Gaza, Palestine

Dr. Haidar Eid is an Associate Professor in the Department of English Literature, Al-Aqsa University, Gaza Strip, Palestine.

We’re not celebrating Israel’s anniversary (GUARDIAN)

The conflict in the Middle East is not between Arabs and Jews but between Arabs and Zionism and Zionist. In the month of May Israel and Jewish communities around the world will be celebrating Israel’s 60th birthday. Zionist simply refuse to admit that the birth of Israel was not a miracle birth where in one instant moment, there was Israel. It took the Zionists some 60 years of calculating planning and shear power and terror to create and found Israel. Tens of thousands of Palestinians were killed in the process and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians where forced out of their homes and farms, driven out by the Zionists terror. Famous terrorists like Begin and Shamir became Prime Minister. There are those courageous Jews who recognized the wronged done to the Palestinians and who see the needs for reconciliations and for righting the wrongs. Of course we have to note here the absence of one the most Jewish hypocrites in the world, Elie Wiesel who never, ever saw fit to even recognized the exiles of Palestinians. His denial of the Palestinian Nakkba is like that of those who are Holocaust denials. Thank you all for your courage and most of all for your humanity. When the rest of the world Jewish community and Israel recognized the Nakkba?

The statement transmitted below was signed by over 100 British Jews and published in the GUARDIAN.
Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/apr/30/israelandthepalestinians

In May, Jewish organisations will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel. This is understandable in the context of centuries of persecution culminating in the Holocaust. Nevertheless, we are Jews who will not be celebrating. Surely it is now time to acknowledge the narrative of the other, the price paid by another people for European anti-semitism and Hitler’s genocidal policies. As Edward Said emphasised, what the Holocaust is to the Jews, the Naqba is to the Palestinians.

In April 1948, the same month as the infamous massacre at Deir Yassin and the mortar attack on Palestinian civilians in Haifa’s market square, Plan Dalet was put into operation. This authorised the destruction of Palestinian villages and the expulsion of the indigenous population outside the borders of the state. We will not be celebrating.

In July 1948, 70,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes in Lydda and Ramleh in the heat of the summer with no food or water. Hundreds died. It was known as the Death March. We will not be celebrating.

In all, 750,000 Palestinians became refugees. Some 400 villages were wiped off the map. That did not end the ethnic cleansing. Thousands of Palestinians (Israeli citizens) were expelled from the Galilee in 1956. Many thousands more when Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza. Under international law and sanctioned by UN resolution 194, refugees from war have a right to return or compensation. Israel has never accepted that right. We will not be celebrating.

We cannot celebrate the birthday of a state founded on terrorism, massacres and the dispossession of another people from their land. We cannot celebrate the birthday of a state that even now engages in ethnic cleansing, that violates international law, that is inflicting a monstrous collective punishment on the civilian population of Gaza and that continues to deny to Palestinians their human rights and national aspirations.

We will celebrate when Arab and Jew live as equals in a peaceful Middle East.

Seymour Alexander
Ruth Appleton
Steve Arloff
Rica Bird
Jo Bird
Cllr Jonathan Bloch
Ilse Boas
Prof. Haim Bresheeth
Tanya Bronstein
Sheila Colman
Ruth Clark
Sylvia Cohen
Judith Cravitz
Mike Cushman
Angela Dale
Ivor Dembina
Dr. Linda Edmondson
Nancy Elan
Liz Elkind
Pia Feig
Colin Fine
Deborah Fink
Sylvia Finzi
Brian Fisher MBE
Frank Fisher
Bella Freud
Catherine Fried
Uri Fruchtmann
Stephen Fry
David Garfinkel
Carolyn Gelenter
Claire Glasman
Tony Greenstein
Heinz Grunewald
Michael Halpern
Abe Hayeem
Rosamine Hayeem
Anna Hellman
Amy Hordes
Joan Horrocks
Deborah Hyams
Selma James
Riva Joffe
Yael Oren Kahn
Michael Kalmanovitz
Paul Kaufman
Prof. Adah Kay
Yehudit Keshet
Prof. Eleonore Kofman
Rene Krayer
Stevie Krayer
Berry Kreel
Leah Levane
Les Levidow
Peter Levin
Louis Levy
Ros Levy
Prof. Yosefa Loshitzky
Catherine Lyons
Deborah Maccoby
Daniel Machover
Prof. Emeritus Moshe Machover
Miriam Margolyes OBE
Mike Marqusee
Laura Miller
Simon Natas
Hilda Meers
Martine Miel
Laura Miller
Arthur Neslen
Diana Neslen
Orna Neumann
Harold Pinter
Roland Rance
Frances Rivkin
Sheila Robin
Dr. Brian Robinson
Neil Rogall
Prof. Steven Rose
Mike Rosen
Prof. Jonathan Rosenhead
Leon Rosselson
Michael Sackin
Sabby Sagall
Ian Saville
Alexei Sayle
Anna Schuman
Sidney Schuman
Monika Schwartz
Amanda Sebestyen
Sam Semoff
Linda Shampan
Sybil Shine
Prof. Frances Stewart
Inbar Tamari
Ruth Tenne
Martin Toch
Tirza Waisel
Stanley Walinets
Martin White
Ruth Williams
Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi
Devra Wiseman
Gerry Wolff
Sherry Yanowitz

No one will forget

It is so difficult to understand the Zionists arguments and calls for Palestinian exiles simply to walk away and forget their homes and properties in what is now Israel.The Zionists claimed Palestine after some 2,500 years of a very short presence in Palestine. The Jews and rightly so claimed back their properties stolen and confiscated by the German Nazis. The Palestinians should have no lesser rights than to claim back their own properties stolen and confiscated in Palestine. How can they ask the Palestinians to forget about Palestine in mere 60 years? Editor
“We are prohibited from using our own land,” he said, standing in the former village of Lajoun, now a mix of overgrown scrub and pines surrounded by the fields of Kibbutz Megiddo. “They want to keep it available for Jews. My daughter makes no distinction between Jewish and Arab patients. Why should the state treat me differently?”

The New York Times
May 7, 2008
After 60 Years, Arabs in Israel Are Outsiders

JERUSALEM — As Israel toasts its 60th anniversary in the coming weeks, rejoicing in Jewish national rebirth and democratic values, the Arabs who make up 20 percent of its citizens will not be celebrating. Better off and better integrated than ever in their history, freer than a vast majority of other Arabs, Israel’s 1.3 million Arab citizens are still far less well off than Israeli Jews and feel increasingly unwanted.

On Thursday, which is Independence Day, thousands will gather in their former villages to protest what they have come to call the “nakba,” or catastrophe, meaning Israel’s birth. For most Israelis, Jewish identity is central to the nation, the reason they are proud to live here, the link they feel with history. But Israeli Arabs, including the most successfully integrated ones, say a new identity must be found for the country’s long-term survival.

“I am not a Jew,” protested Eman Kassem-Sliman, an Arab radio journalist with impeccable Hebrew, whose children attend a predominantly Jewish school in Jerusalem. “How can I belong to a Jewish state? If they define this as a Jewish state, they deny that I am here.”

The clash between the cherished heritage of the majority and the hopes of the minority is more than friction. Even more today than in the huge half-century festivities a decade ago, the left and the right increasingly see Israeli Arabs as one of the central challenges for Israel’s future — one intractably bound to the search for an overall settlement between Jews and Arabs. Jews fear ultimately losing the demographic battle to Arabs, both in Israel and in the larger territory it controls.

Most say that while an end to its Jewish identify means an end to Israel, equally, failure to instill in Arab citizens a sense of belonging is dangerous as Arabs promote the idea that, 60 years or no 60 years, Israel is a passing phenomenon.

“I want to convince the Jewish people that having a Jewish state is bad for them,” said Abir Kopty, an advocate for Israeli Arabs.

Land is an especially sore point. Across Israel, especially in the north, are the remains of dozens of partly unused Palestinian villages, scars on the landscape from the conflict that gave birth to the country in 1948.

Yet some original inhabitants and their descendants, all Israeli Arab citizens, live in packed towns and villages, often next to the old villages, and are barred from resettling them while Jewish communities around them are urged to expand.

One recent warm afternoon, Jamal Abdulhadi Mahameed drove past kibbutz fields of wheat and watermelon, up a dirt road surrounded by pine trees and cactuses, and climbed the worn remains of a set of stairs, declaring in the open air: “This was my house. This is where I was born.”

He said what he most wanted now, at 69, was to leave the crowded town next door, come to this piece of uncultivated land with the pomegranate bushes planted by his father and work it, as generations had before him. He has gone to court to get it.

He is no revolutionary and, by nearly any measure, is a solid and successful citizen. His children include a doctor, two lawyers and an engineer. Yet, as an Arab, his quest for a return to his land challenges a longstanding Israeli policy.

“We are prohibited from using our own land,” he said, standing in the former village of Lajoun, now a mix of overgrown scrub and pines surrounded by the fields of Kibbutz Megiddo. “They want to keep it available for Jews. My daughter makes no distinction between Jewish and Arab patients. Why should the state treat me differently?”

The answer has to do with the very essence of Zionism — the movement of Jewish rebirth and control over the land where Jewish statehood first flourished more than 2,000 years ago.

Maintaining a Haven

“Land is presence,” remarked Clinton Bailey, an Israeli scholar who has focused on Bedouin culture. “If you want to be present here, you have to have land. The country is not that big. What you cede to Arabs can no longer be used for Jews who may still want to come.”

A Palestinian state is widely seen as a potential solution to tensions with the Palestinians of Gaza and the West Bank, but any deep conflict with Israel’s own Arab citizens could prove much more complex.

Antagonism runs both ways. Many Israeli Arabs express solidarity with their Palestinian brethren under occupation, while others praise Hezbollah, the anti-Israel group in Lebanon, and some Arabs in Parliament routinely accuse Israel of Nazism.

Meanwhile, several right-wing rabbis have forbidden Jews from renting apartments to Arabs or employing them. And a majority of Jews, polls show, favor a transfer of Arabs out of Israel as part of a two-state solution, a view that a decade ago was thought extreme.

Arabs here reject that idea partly because they prefer the certainty of an imperfect Israeli democracy to whatever system may evolve in a shaky Palestinian state. That is part of the paradox of the Israeli Arabs. Their anger has grown, but so has their sense of belonging.

In fact, the anxious and recriminating talk on both sides may give a false impression of constant tension. There is a real level of Jewish-Arab coexistence in many places, and the government has recently committed itself to affirmative action for Arabs in education, infrastructure and government employment.

“We know that they need more land, that their children need a place to live,” said Raanan Dinur, director general of the prime minister’s office. “We are working on building a new Arab city in the north. Our main goal is to take what are today two economies and integrate them into one economy.”

Still, there is a concern that time is short.

Mr. Mahameed and his fellow villagers will arrive at the Supreme Court in July with the goal of obtaining 50 acres of their families’ former land that sits uncultivated except for pine trees planted by the Jewish National Fund.

Their story is part of a larger one: After the United Nations General Assembly voted in late 1947 for two states in Palestine, one Arab and one Jewish, local Arab militias and their regional supporters went on the offensive against Jewish settlements, in anger over the United Nations’ support for a Jewish state. Zionist forces counterattacked. Hundreds of Palestinian villages, including Lajoun, were evacuated and mostly destroyed.

Palestinian Arabs became refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Gaza, then under Egypt’s supervision. But some, like Mr. Mahameed, stayed in Israel. They were made citizens and were promised equality, but never got it.

Those who had left or had been expelled from their villages were not permitted back and have spent the past 60 years often a few miles away, watching their land farmed or built upon by newcomers, many of them refugees from Nazi oppression or Soviet anti-Semitism.

In 1953, the Israeli Parliament retroactively declared 300,000 acres of captured village land to be government property for settlement or security purposes.

Mr. Mahameed and his 200 fellow complainants live in the crowded town of Um el-Fahm near their former land.

“Our claim is that since the land has not been used all these years, there was no need to confiscate it,” said Suhad Bishara, a lawyer with Adalah, a Haifa-based group devoted to Israeli Arab rights.

She lost that argument in the district court, which agreed with the government that the pine trees and a water treatment plant in Lajoun constituted settlement. For her, the ruling is part of a long tradition of trickery by Israel’s legal and political systems that have nearly always come down against expanding Arab land use.

Ms. Bishara says Arabs occupy only a tiny percentage of Israel, despite making up one-fifth of its population. The government said it could not provide an estimate of the land use.

Still, it is not hard to detail the gap between Arabs and Jews in nearly every area — health, education, employment — and in government spending. Three times as many Arab families are below the poverty line as Jewish ones, and a government study five years ago called for removing “the stain of discrimination.”

Mr. Dinur of the prime minister’s office has taken an interest in the issue and has met several times with Arab leaders. He says it may be possible one day for some Arabs to return to their native villages, but only as part of a process of integration and regional reconciliation. Otherwise, he says, Israeli Jews will fear that the Arabs’ goal will be to take back all the territory lost in the 1948 war.

Regional Tensions

For many Israelis, the challenge posed by the Arabs cannot be separated from what they see as the risks in the region — the increased influence of Iran, the growth of Islamic radicalism, the concern that another war in Lebanon or Gaza is not far away.

Michael Oren, a senior fellow at the Shalem Institute, a research group in Jerusalem, said that when the army prepares for war, it includes in the plan how to handle the possibility of Israeli Arabs rising up against the state.

Many also believe — and here Jews and Arabs seem to agree — that without a solution to the Palestinian dispute over the West Bank and Gaza, internal tensions will not abate. And given the pessimism about the peace talks with the Palestinians, the forecast does not look bright.

For many Israeli Jews who long resisted the idea of a Palestinian state, it was the realization that they were losing the demographic battle to Palestinians that turned them around. But of course the population challenge also comes from Israel’s Arabs.

Israeli Arabs are aware of the contest. And some figure time is on their side.

“Israel is living within the Arab-Islamic circle,” Raed Salah, head of the Islamic Movement of Israel, said in an interview. “It is important to look at the Jewish percentage in that larger context over the long term.”

Abdulwahab Darawshe, a former member of Israel’s Parliament and the current head of the Arab Democratic Party, sat in his Nazareth office recently and said: “No matter what happens, we will not leave here again. That was a big mistake in 1948. Yet our identity is becoming more and more Palestinian. You cannot cut us from the Arab tree.”

Asked his plans for Israel’s Independence Day, he said, “I will take a shovel and work the land around my olive trees.”

Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

Jewish Voice For Peace should also meet a Palestinian Voice For Peace

There are so many Jews, including Israelis who share with many Palestinians the need to have historic reconciliations that can bring about an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Both side know the outline of such an agreement yet Israeli leaders and beyond them the Zionists within the American Administration are pushing for a solution based on a permanent Israeli Occupation with Palestinians living in “reservations” surrounded by settlements with access controlled by the Israeli army and armed Jewish settlers. Editor.

Palestinians mourn loss of homeland sixty years on
By Alistair Lyon, Special Correspondent Reuters
Wednesday, May 7, 2008

While Israel celebrates its 60th birthday, Palestinian refugees mourn the 1948 Nakba (catastrophe) when they lost their homeland. Often ignored in Middle East peace talks, they cling to a “right of return”.

Alia Shabati was 12 when she fled Jewish attacks on her village of Kabri, captured a few days after Israel’s creation.

Now a matron of 72, wearing a flowery blue dress and white headscarf, her memories of Kabri in today’s northern Israel are vividly intact, unlike the village, which was wiped off the map.

“We had houses and land,” Shabati said in the living room of her modest dwelling in the alleys of Beirut’s Burj al-Barajneh refugee camp. “We had olives, grapes, prickly pears and dates. We had orchards and fields. Now what do we have? Nothing.”

Her life story encapsulates the bitterness of dispossession and exile familiar to about 4.5 million Palestinian refugees and their descendants in squalid camps in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the occupied West Bank and Gaza, or in a wider diaspora.

For Shabati, who has lost three of her 11 children, her tale is unique. “What I tasted, no one has tasted,” she said.

Her father was killed by British forces during a Palestinian revolt in 1936, shortly after she was born.

Twelve years later, she fled Kabri with her mother, brother and grandmother, along with other women and children, after an attack by Jewish Haganah forces. Her uncle and several other relatives who stayed behind were among those killed.

Shabati recalls walking exhausted from one village to another, finding safety nowhere, until the Kabri survivors crossed the border into Lebanon and were taken to Syria.


The fate of Kabri was part of what Palestinians — and some Israeli scholars — say was systematic ethnic cleansing ordered by Zionist leaders to clear the way for the Jewish state.

Israel rejects this, saying the refugee problem resulted from a war launched by Palestinians opposed to the U.N. partition plan adopted on November 29, 1947, and by Arab states which invaded as soon as the British Mandate expired on May 15, 1948.

The upshot was that of the nearly 1.4 million Arabs who lived in Palestine in 1947 more than 700,000 had been displaced from their homes by 1949, according to a consensus view.

Before fighting began in late 1947, about a million Arabs and 600,000 Jews lived in what was to become Israel. Israel emerged with 78 percent of Mandate Palestine. The U.N. plan, rejected by the Arabs, would have given it 56 percent.

At 12, Shabati may have only dimly grasped the conflict over her homeland, but she soon felt what it was to be a refugee.

Among the hardships and humiliations along the way, she remembers how some Syrian villagers began picking brides from her bedraggled group, until a policeman scolded them for abusing their guests. “We felt as if knives were striking us,” she said.

After seven years in a refugee camp in Syria, Shabati got married and came to Burj al-Barajneh, on the edge of Beirut, where she raised a family with her husband, a yoghurt vendor.

Their 23-year-old son Mohammed was killed fighting Israeli troops who invaded Lebanon to drive out PLO guerrillas in 1982. His brother Ali, 24, was killed in 1985 when Lebanese Shi’ite Amal militiamen assaulted Palestinian camps in Beirut.

Shabati dreams of going back to Kabri, even if she had to live in a tent again. “I’d walk, as long as I could return,” she said, scorning a query on whether she would consider moving to an eventual Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.


Palestinians are treated worse in Lebanon than other Arab countries such as Jordan, where they have full citizenship, and Syria, where they enjoy civil but not political rights.

“They have had a particular history of subjection to violence and massacre, and of marginalization and exclusion by the Lebanese authorities through legal and other means,” said Yezid Sayigh, a Palestinian scholar at Cambridge University.

Shabati’s 35-year-old son Idriss said Lebanese laws that bar Palestinians from 70 professions had hit a raw nerve after he realized his son could not hope to become a lawyer or a doctor.

“You can’t live your life as a citizen here,” he complained.

Lebanese restrictions on refugees, slightly eased by the current government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, were designed to deter the mainly Sunni Muslim Palestinians from settling permanently and upsetting Lebanon’s sectarian balance.

Israel firmly opposes letting any refugees return to their original homes, on the grounds that this would effectively destroy the Jewish state by threatening its Jewish majority.

The PLO has accepted the conciliatory wording of an Arab League peace plan calling for a “just and agreed solution” in line with a U.N. resolution proposing return or compensation for refugees willing to live at peace with their neighbours.

“At the end of the day, everything is negotiable,” said Basel Aql, a founder of the Palestine Liberation Organization and former adviser to the late PLO leader Yasser Arafat.

Aql, whose family fled the coastal city of Jaffa in 1948, acknowledged that refugee interests had not been fully taken into account — “not because we willingly gave up our right to return, but the balance of power was such that the question of refugees did not have priority on any of the agendas”.


Refugees have rarely been consulted about their wishes and have had little say in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks over the past 15 years aiming for a two-state solution, Sayigh said.

“The tendency is to regard them as an actual or potential obstacle to peace,” he said, adding that this attitude was not confined to Israel or its staunch ally, the United States.

“A chunk of the Palestinian leadership has also treated them as potential trouble-makers, who might wreck a peace deal.”

For now a final peace agreement seems remote, but many Palestinians yearn for some Israeli admission of responsibility for what they see as the historic injustice done to them.

“You need to acknowledge what happened in 1948,” said Reem Kelani, a British-based singer who has recorded many traditional Palestinian songs. “If you don’t want to apologize, just acknowledge it, and then just maybe we could start something.”

Palestinians in the camps or the diaspora should mark this month’s anniversary by reaffirming their identity, she said. “To me, it’s celebrating the Palestinian cultural narrative before, during and after 1948. It’s not just about victimhood.”

In recent years, camp conditions have worsened everywhere as UNRWA, the cash-strapped agency that helps Palestinian refugees, becomes less able to provide adequate health and education.

“Palestinian refugees now, more than at any time in the last 60 years, face a serious decline in services,” said Sayigh.

“They are going to become once again the most vulnerable community by every indicator,” the Palestinian academic added. “We are looking at the re-emergence of a true under-class.”

(Edited by Sara Ledwith)

Remembering the Nakba during Israel’s 60th anniversary

Today, Jews around the world are celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel. These celebrations reflect the understandable joy of Jews who view Israel as the symbol of 60 years of freedom from centuries of persecution, culminating in the Holocaust. Nevertheless, not all Jews will be celebrating.
Download Fact Sheets Now

What was the Nakba? Who are the Mizrachi Jews? Was there a population exchange between Middle Eastern Jews and Palestinians? Find out the answers to these questions and more in our fact sheets written by Sephardic scholar Ilise Cohen. Go to our online Nakba resource center < http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=4AUOQN3P4L4AHCFoqkoMThjUey%2FgjktL> to get your fact sheets now.

While Israel provided a safe haven for countless Jewish refugees who had nowhere else to go, many of them members of our own families, the terrible fact is that over 700,000 Palestinians were made into refugees to make room for the future state of Israel. Sixty years and several generations later, that number has swelled to an estimated 7 million. Many live in 58 registered refugee camps dispersed throughout the Middle East, and some 4 million Palestinians in the Occupied Territories continue to endure reprehensible collective punishment to this day.

That is why the creation of the state of Israel, an occasion marking great celebrations for many Jews throughout the world, is known as the Nakba, or the Catastrophe, to Palestinians.

And that is why many of us will not be celebrating, for as long as Palestinians are still fighting for their fundamental human rights, we can not rejoice.

Any peaceful future depends on recognizing both the Palestinian and the Israeli narrative. And yet, just as the names of over 400 pre-1948 Palestinian towns and cities have been deliberately erased from maps, the history of the Palestinian Nakba itself has been all but erased from consciousness.

At Jewish Voice for Peace, we cannot participate in celebrations that erase both the history and modern-day injustices experienced by Palestinians. It is precisely this rendering invisible of Palestinian experience and claims for justice that makes reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians impossible. We choose instead to remember, to know, and to work towards justice and self-determination for both peoples. As Jews and Palestinians, our pasts are intertwined, and so too are our futures.

Today, because much of the world has forgotten, we remember that:

* In April, 1948, the same month as the infamous massacre at Deir Yassin, Plan Dalet was put into operation. It authorized the destruction of Palestinian villages and the expulsion of the indigenous population outside the borders of the state.
* On May 22, 1948, Jewish soldiers from the Alexandroni Brigade entered the house of Tantura residents killing between 110-230 Palestinian men.

* On October 28, 1948, in the village of Dawayameh, near Hebron, Battalion 89 of the 8th Brigade occupied the village. Israeli soldiers said of the massacre that babies… skulls were cracked open, women raped or burned alive in houses, men stabbed to death. 145 men, women and children were killed. Over 450 went missing, of which 170 were women.

Commemorate the Nakba: Mother’s Day Action

JVP has joined with Adalah-NY in this action asking mothers to sign this letter urging a Mother’s Day boycott of notorious illegal settlement builder and diamond dealer Lev Leviev.

Under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, every person “has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.” Israel has never accepted the legitimacy of this basic human right as a basis for peace negotiations, whether by return, compensation, or resettlement. Surely it is now time to acknowledge the narrative of the other, the price paid by another people for European anti-Semitism and Hitler’s genocide. As the late Palestinian intellectual Edward Said emphasized, “Like it or not, this is the historical reality. We must better understand them, and they must better understand us. We must make clear the link between the Shoah (the European Jewish Holocaust) and the Nakba (the Palestinian catastrophe of 1948). Neither experience is equal to the other, and neither should be minimized.”

Many of us will not celebrate as long as Israel continues to violate international law, inflicts a monstrous collective punishment on the civilian population of Gaza, and continues to deny to Palestinians their human rights and national aspirations.

We will celebrate when Arab and Jew live as equals in a peaceful Middle East.

* See Palestinian group BADIL for facts and figures on Palestinian refugees.

Jewish Voice for Peace has prepared a resource center and footnoted downloadable fact sheets about both the Nakba and the story of Jews of the Middle East. Please go here .