The Nakba – Let’s Support The Campaign Against Antisemitism

December 01, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

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Say No to Antisemitism!

The 1948 Nakba (catastrophe) occurred when more than 700,000  indigenous  Palestinians (semites) were ethnically cleansed from their land, homes, villages and cities by the newly born Jewish State.

During the Nakba, many Palestinian villages were massacred. Between 400 and 600 Palestinian villages were wiped out while urban Palestine was almost entirely extinguished.  The Nakba was fuelled by a crude racist agenda, namely Zionism.

Seven decades later millions of Palestinians are living in refugee camps in Palestine, Gaza, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.

 

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Fmr Bibi Adviser: Saudis «Don’t Care» About Palestinians, Want «Israel’» Help with Iran

Fmr Bibi Adviser: Saudis «Don’t Care» About Palestinians, Want «Israel’» Help with Iran

Fmr Bibi Adviser: Saudis «Don’t Care» About Palestinians, Want «Israel’» Help with Iran

27-11-2017 | 15:15

Riyadh, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in particular, would approve any kind of “Israeli”-Palestinian deal to finally get rid of this “PR obstacle” and unite with Tel Aviv against Tehran, a former security advisor to Benjamin Netanyahu believes.

While officially the “Israeli” entity and Saudi Arabia do not have diplomatic relations, more than a decade ago Riyadh proposed an initiative which would see the normalization of relations between Arab nations and the entity. Among its demands, the Arab Peace Initiative, endorsed by the Arab League, calls on the entity to withdraw from the occupied territories, including East al-Quds [Jerusalem], and achieve “a just solution to the Palestinian Refugee problem.”

Despite the reinstatement of pre-1967 borders still being the primary reference point in any discussions for a peaceful settlement between the “Israeli” entity and the Palestinians, Saudi Arabia will likely accept any kind of deal between the rivals, believes Brig. Gen. Yaakov Nagel, who served as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s national security director from January 2016 until May 2017.

“Everyone knows that the Arab Peace Initiative doesn’t have any meaning. There are things inside that don’t hold water,” Nagel said this week. “They [Saudis] just have to say there’s an agreement between Israel and Palestine. They don’t care; they don’t give a damn what will be the agreement.”

But Saudi Arabia will face a PR problem if it seeks closer ties with “Israel”, so it is ready to endorse any piece of paper as a legitimate deal to claim that the Palestinian issue is resolved and it is time to move on, believes Nagel.

“They don’t like [the Palestinians] more than us or less than us. They need to say that there is an agreement in order to take next steps [toward normalization]. So this is still an obstacle,” Nagel said, adding that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is leading the country in the right direction.

Relations between the “Israeli” entity and Saudi Arabia have witnessed a seeming rapprochement this month, after Saudi Arabia accused Iran and its regional Lebanese ally, Hezbollah, of meddling in Middle Eastern affairs and arming the Ansarullah revolutionaries in Yemen. “Israel” has long viewed Iran and Hezbollah along the same lines, and a threat to its own existence.

Just this week, “Israeli” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed that the entity is covertly cooperating with some Arab nations. Ties with the Arab world, including Saudi Arabia, were also confirmed recently by so-called Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz. Earlier in November, the “Israeli” Occupation Force [IOF] Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Gadi Eizenkot, told Saudi Arabia’s Elaph newspaper that his country was ready to share “intelligence information” with Riyadh on Tehran.

However, despite such unprecedented developments Saudi Arabia firmly rejects reports that it is working with Israel. “The Arab conditions are clear – two states with a Palestinian state whose capital is East Jerusalem [al-Quds]. As for other issues, they can be worked out between Israelis and Palestinians. Arab nations’ position has always supported the Palestinian brothers. That remains the Arab position,” Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told Egypt’s CBC television on Monday.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

 

وثيقة سرية من عادل الجبير الى محمد بن سلمان :مشروع الصلح السعودي ـ الإسرائيلي

الصلح مع إسرائيل والغاء حق العودة وتدويل القدس

حل النزاع الفلسطيني ــ الإسرائيلي سيفتح المجال أمام التعاون الأمني والتجاري بين العرب واسرائيل (أرشيف)

لندن ـ الأخبار
حصلت «الاخبار» من مصادر خاصة على وثيقة سرية صادرة عن وزارة الخارجية السعودية، هي عبارة عن رسالة موجهة من وزير الخارجية عادل الجبير إلى ولي العهد محمد بن سلمان. وفيها خلاصة مباحثات وتوصيات حول مشروع إقامة علاقات بين السعودية وإسرائيل، استناداً إلى ما أسماه اتفاق الشراكة الاستراتيجية مع الولايات المتحدة.

الوثيقة التي يُكشف النقاب عنها للمرة الأولى، تثبت كل ما سرّب ويجري التداول فيه منذ زيارة الرئيس دونالد ترامب إلى السعودية في أيار الماضي، حول انطلاق مساع أميركية لتوقيع معاهدة صلح بين السعودية وإسرائيل. وما تلى ذلك، أيضاً، من معلومات عن تبادل زيارات بين الرياض وتل أبيب، وأهمها زيارة ولي العهد السعودي الى الكيان الصهيوني.
الوثيقة تكشف حجم التنازلات التي تنوي الرياض تقديمها في سياق تصفية القضية الفلسطينية، وهاجسها الحصول في المقابل على عناصر قوة ضد إيران والمقاومة وعلى رأسها حزب الله.

وفي ما يأتي نص الوثيقة:

«المملكة العربية السعودية
وزارة الخارجية
عاجل جداً .. وسري للغاية
صاحب السمو الملكي ولي العهد الأمير محمد بن سلمان ــــ حفطه الله

أتشرف بأن أرفع إلى سموكم مشروع إقامة العلاقات بين المملكة ودولة إسرائيل استناداً إلى اتفاق الشراكة الإستراتيجية مع الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية، والذي تمت مناقشته مع وزير خارجية الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية بناءً على توجيهكم السامي الكريم:
إن المملكة العربية السعودية هي مهبط وحي الإسلام، وأرض الحرمين الشريفين، ويتّجه أكثر من 1,6 مليار مسلم نحو مكة المكرمة خمس مرات في اليوم في صلواتهم، ولها تأثير كبير وقوة ديبلوماسية تضفي المصداقية للمساعي نحو السلام.

إن تقارب المملكة العربية السعودية مع إسرائيل يتضمن مخاطرة من قبل المملكة تجاه الشعوب الإسلامية، لما تمثله القضية الفلسطينية من مكانة روحية وإرث تاريخي وديني. ولن تُقدم المملكة على هذه المخاطرة إلا إذا شعرت بتوجه الولايات المتحدة الصادق ضد إيران، التي تقوم بزعزعة استقرار المنطقة من خلال رعايتها للارهاب، وسياساتها الطائفية، وتدخلها في شؤون الغير، وخصوصا ان هذا السلوك الإيراني قد أدانه العالم الإسلامي بالإجماع بشكل رسمي خلال مؤتمر منظمة التعاون الإسلامي الذي عقد في مدينة اسطنبول في شهر ابريل 2016.
وبناء على ذلك، فإن مشروع السلام الذي تقترحه المملكة يقوم على الآتي:
أولاً: إن أي تقارب بين المملكة وإسرائيل مرهون بتكافؤ العلاقة بين البلدين، فعلى المستوى العسكري تعتبر إسرائيل الدولة الوحيدة التي تمتلك السلاح النووي في منطقة الشرق الأوسط مما يمنحها عامل التفوق في توازن القوى إقليمياً، وبناء على ذلك فإنه ينبغي السماح للمملكة امتلاك مثل هذه المقومات الردعية أو تجريد إسرائيل منها.

ثانياً: ستسخر المملكة العربية السعودية قدراتها الدبلوماسية وعلاقاتها السياسية مع السلطة الفلسطينية ومع الدول العربية والاسلامية لتسهيل إيجاد الحلول المعقولة والمقبولة والمبتكرة بشأن القضايا المختلف عليها في البنود المتضمنة في المبادرة العربية للسلام التي تقدمت بها المملكة العربية السعودية، ومن خلال تبني الولايات المتحدة للمبادرة بطرح الحلول الإبداعية للمسألتين الرئيستين، وهما مدينة القدس، واللاجئين الفلسطينيين، كالآتي:

2 ــــ أما عن قضية اللاجئين الفلسطينيين فتؤكد السعودية سعيها لتوطينهم حيث هم، فمن الممكن للمملكة الاسهام بدور إيجابي إضافي في حل قضية اللاجئين من خلال دعم اقتراحات مبتكرة وجريئة مثل:

ــــ إلغاء توصية جامعة الدول العربية الذي لايزال سارياً منذ خمسينيات القرن الماضي، والداعية بعدم تجنيس الفلسطينيين بجنسية أي بلد عربي.
ــــ بذل الجهود لتوزيع اللاجئين الفلسطينيين على البلدان العربية واعطائهم جنسياتها وتوطينهم فيها.

ثالثاً: اقترحت المملكة في اتفاق الشراكة مع الرئيس ترامب أن السعودية والولايات المتحدّة يحتاجان للتوصّل إلى اتفاق حول المبادئ الرئيسية للحل النهائي، ويتبع ذلك لقاء بين وزراء الخارجية في المنطقة بدعوة من الولايات المتحدّة بهدف الوصول للقبول من الأطراف حول هذه المبادئ. يدعو الرئيس ترامب بعد ذلك قادة من المنطقة لتبني هذه المبادئ، وتبدأ المفاوضات بعد ذلك على الاتفاق النهائي.

رابعاً: إن الدور الأكثر فاعلية للسعودية هو أن تدعم وتحشد الآخرين نحو حل يحقق عصراً جديداً من السلام والازدهار بين إسرائيل ودول العالم العربي والاسلامي.

وفي مستهلّ تطبيع العلاقات مع إسرائيل، لن يكون التطبيع مقبولاً للرأي العام في العالم العربي. لكن السعودية ترى أن انسجام التقنيات الإسرائيلية مع القدرات الاقتصادية لدول الخليج وحجم أسواقها، والطاقة البشرية العربية، سيطلق القدرات الكامنة للشرق الأوسط ويحقق الازدهار، والاستقرار، والسلام.

خامساً: إن الصراع الإسرائيلي ــــ الفلسطيني هو أطول صراع في المنطقة، وقد استخدمه المتطرفون لتبرير أفعالهم. كما شتّت انتباه الأطراف الفاعلة في المنطقة من التركيز على الخطر الرئيسي على المنطقة وهو إيران. إن حل هذا النزاع سيفتح المجال أمام التعاون الأمني، والتجاري، والاستثماري، وتعاون أكثر فاعلية في التصدّي لإيران. وعليه فالطرفان السعودي والإسرائيلي متفقان على الآتي:

1 ــــ المساهمة في التصدّي لأي نشاطات تخدم السياسات العدوانية لإيران في الشرق الأوسط.

 ــــ زيادة العقوبات الأمريكية والدولية المتعلّقة بالصواريخ الباليستية الإيرانيّة.
3 ــــ زيادة العقوبات المتعلّقة بالرعاية الإيرانية للارهاب حول العالم.
4 ــــ إعادة نظر مجموعة (خمسة + 1) في الاتفاق النووي مع إيران لضمان تنفيذ شروطه حرفياً وبشكل صارم.
5 ــــ الحدّ من وصول إيران إلى أرصدتها المجمّدة، واستغلال الحالة الاقتصاديّة المترديّة لإيران وتسويقها لرفع درجة الضغط على النظام الإيراني من الداخل.
6 ــــ التعاون الاستخباري المكثّف في محاربة الجريمة المنظمة وتهريب المخدرّات المدعوم من إيران وحزب الله.

أطال الله بقاءكم وأدام عزكم.
عادل الجبير
وزير الخارجية»

Balfour Declaration, History and Concealment (video)

November 11, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

In this talk Atzmon elaborates on that which the historicity of Balfour is set to conceal — a century of Jewish political hegemony in Britain and beyond.

Keep Talking, London 7.11.2017

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The Balfour Declaration – One Hundred Years Of (Goyim) Solitude

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A talk given at Keep Talking gathering in London,  7 November 2017

 By Gilad Atzmon

In Heidegger and the Jews, the French philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard points out that history claims to narrate the past but, in practice, what it does is conceal our collective shame. The Americans conceal slavery and imperial genocidal aggression, the Brits conceal their colonial blunders, the Jews turn their eyes away from anything that may have contributed to turning  Jewish history into an extended shoah. The real historian, claims Lyotard, is there to unveil the shame. This week marks 100 years since the Balfour declaration and today I will try to touch upon your shame, my shame, our shame. We will try to figure out what the history of the so-called  Balfour ‘Declaration’ is there to conceal.

Let’s first examine the document. Most noticeably the so-called ‘declaration’ is not printed on official British government letterhead. It is not signed by the British cabinet either. It is, instead, a letter from a sleazy British politician  (Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour) to a very rich Jew (Lord Walter Rothschild). As such, the Balfour ‘declaration’ is actually a statement  with somewhat limited significance.  What it does is  “declare[s] sympathy with Zionist aspirations.”

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Yet, we must admit that the Jewish world has managed to squeeze quite a few drops of juice out of this watery statement. The Jewish world interprets this ‘sympathetic declaration’ as a commitment to their Zionist, racist and expansionist project namely the ‘Jewish State’. They claim to regard the vague statement as a license to ethnically cleanse the entire indigenous people of the land, i.e., the Palestinians. And, as if this is not enough, the British PM Theresa May has evidently bought into the most radical Zionist interpretation of the declaration.

May announced last week that she was “proud of our pioneering role in the creation of the state of Israel.”

Let me share some of the awkward history of the Balfour Declaration with you. The ‘declaration,’ as we now understand, was actually drafted and approved by British Jews before it was sent to Lord Rothschild.

The National Library of Israel reveals the flowing:

   “Before the declaration was officially presented to Lord Rothschild by Lord Balfour, the draft was presented to Jewish leaders of every political stripe, both Zionist and non-Zionist. One of these leaders was Sir Philip Magnus, a Reform rabbi and British politician whose opinion on the declaration was sought.” (http://web.nli.org.il/sites/NLI/English/library/reading_corner/Pages/balfour.aspx)

Herbert Samuel, the British first High Commissioner of Palestine who served between 1920 and 1925  was an avid Zionist Jew and a close acquaintance of Chaim Weizmann, the leading pragmatic Zionist, the spirit behind the ‘declaration’ and later the first Israeli president.   How did the Zionists managed to plant a Zionist Jew in such a crucial and sensitive position? The answer is devastatingly simple. They were running the show.  We are talking here about Jewish domination of the relevant British foreign affairs as early as the beginning of the 20th century.

But was it really ‘The Jews,’ Moshe, Yaakov, Sarah who dominated British  Middle East affairs? Unlikely. It is more reasonable to assume that the fate of the empire and its decisions were in the hands of just a very few powerful Jews,  people like Lord Rothschild to whom Balfour actually addressed the declaration.

This tale of Jewish political domination extends well beyond the borders of Britain. In his invaluable book, The Pity of it All, Israeli historian Amos Elon suggests that the 1917 Balfour Declaration was at least partially motivated by the British government’s desire to win the support of pro-German Jewish- American bankers so that they would help push the USA into the war.

Elon argues that at the beginning of the war,  German- American Jewish financiers sided with the Germans and rejected possible alliances between the USA and England.  “Jacob H. Schiff, head of Kuhn, Loeb—at the time the largest private bank in the United States after J. P. Morgan—declared that he could no more disavow his loyalty to Germany than he could renounce his own parents. Schiff prayed for Germany’s victory. In a statement to the New York Times on November 22, 1914, he charged the British and the French with attempting to destroy Germany for reasons of trade.” (The Pity Of It All, pg. 455)

According to Elon, the Brits had encountered a Jewish problem with  American Jews. “The British government took these developments very seriously. In a fit of paranoia, the British ambassador in Washington even suspected the existence of a veritable German Jewish conspiracy in the United States directed at Britain.” (Ibid)

Thanks to the Balfour declaration German Jewish bankers in the US flipped sides. Seems that they betrayed their fatherland, no more were they German patriots. Elon’s conclusion is that: “The 1917 Balfour Declaration, calling for the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine, was at least partly motivated by the British government’s desire to win support among pro-German American Jews.” (ibid)

The take home message is rather devastating. For some time our universe has been dominated by tribal interests that are foreign to most of us. And for some reason we cannot really explore the conditions that shape our reality and dictate our doomed future.

This is, in fact, the precise meaning of Jewish power. Jewish power is the power that suppresses criticism of Jewish power. Some of the less sophisticated critics of Israel accuse Zionism and Israel of various conspiratorial doings. I, on the other hand, have said repeatedly that there are no Jewish conspiracies. All is done in the open. The Balfour ‘declaration’ that was written to a Jewish financier was quickly made public.  America was openly pushed into WWI for the sake of Zion.  The appointment of a Zionist Jew, Herbert Samuel, as the high commissioner of Palestine wasn’t a secret either. It was actually controversial at the time.

These events were as clear at the time as are contemporary Jewish lobby groups such as AIPAC, CRIF, CFI and LFI who push, in broad daylight, for Zio-driven immoral interventionist wars against Iraq, Syria, Iran and Libya. A century of constant abuse has  left us speechless. We do not know how to deal with this menace. And this is the core of our shame. This is what our history is there to conceal. This applies to you and me, but it also applies to Theresa May. To tell the truth about the Balfour Declaration is to publicly admit to 100 hundred years of Goyim solitude.

In the last few weeks, Palestinian solidarity enthusiasts have been creative in producing numerous proactive slogans. The one that grabbed my attention this week was “Balfour Declaration -100 years of ethnic cleansing.”  This week actually marks a century of Zionist domination of the Western civilisation.  But let me tell you, the real authentic Palestinians, those who live in Gaza and the West Bank may be slightly better off than the rest of us. While we are often overwhelmed by the sophistication of our masters in Tel Aviv, the Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and Lebanon know exactly who their enemies are; they meet them in roadblocks, they recognise the sounds of their drones.  Our enemy here, in the USA, in France and in Britain, is somehow elusive: is it Zionism, is it Israel, or maybe just the Lobby? Is it really  ‘the Jews,’ or even Judaism? Where exactly does Judaism end and Jewishness start? Let me try to open your eyes. It is none of the above, and yet it might as well be all of the above and beyond.  Zionism is a sophisticated matrix and it shifts rapidly.  Zionism like Jewish anti Zionism strives for your intellectual castration. It somehow defies your opposition even before you can utter it yourself. How is this done? It obliterates your ability to act ethically and rationally. It targets your survival skills. How? It eradicates your Athenian roots and replaces them with a rigid Jerusalemite regulatory system.

In my recent book Being in Time – a post Political Manifesto  I delve into the Straussian dichotomy between Athens and Jerusalem. Athens is where we think things through, Athens is where philosophy and essentialism are celebrated. Jerusalem is the city of revelation, where Torah, Mitzvoth and commandments are accepted blindly. Athens is where ethics is explored by means of judgment. Jerusalem, on the other hand, is where ethics is replaced by laws.

Zionism, my friends, can only operate within a Jerusalemite dominated universe. A world governed by a tyranny of correctness. Was it Herzl, Ben Gurion or Netanyahu who imposed such tyrannical conditions on us?  Not at all, this is the role of the New Left, the Identitarians, the cultural Marxists, the ‘progressives’ the people who adhere to ideological collectivism. The people who in the name of diversity silence the majority. Those who instead of uniting us around that which we all share, actually seek to divide us into infinitesimal particles of biological symptoms (skin colour, sex orientation, etc.).

I started this talk with a reference to Leyotard and his Heidegger and the Jews, I conclude with a reference to the teaching of the 20th century’s  greatest Athenian: Martin Heidegger.

In opposition to the Jerusalemites of the world who in the name of ‘correctness’ tell us what to say and what to think, Martin Heidegger, the Athenian, taught us that to educate is to teach others to think for themselves and how to refine the questions (as opposed to recycling answers).

Time is overdue for us to liberate ourselves from our shame. Time is ripe to call a spade a spade. Now is the time for Alethea ( truth – Ancient Greek) and Logos to prevail.  We must emancipate ourselves and find our true voice once again.  Emancipation is opposition to the Jerusalemite oppressive condition. It is the fight for the disclosure of human unity once again.

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     If they want to burn it, you want to read it!

Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto, Amazon.co.uk , Amazon.com and  here (gilad.co.uk).  

من المذبحة نبت مجد المقاومة

صابرين دياب

سبتمبر 18, 2017

هكذا دورات التاريخ، من حدث الموت يكون نبت الحياة، ربما تصحّ لنا قراءة مذبحة صبرا وشاتيلا بهذه الأداة التي ابتكرها الإنسان الفلسطيني لفهم الحياة وإنجاز الاستمرار وتخليد فلسطينيته بالعمل والإنتاج.

لكن القناع الآخر المختلف للبشرية، أيّ القتل، قد واكب الجوهر الحقيقي للبشرية – وجه الإنسان – وبينهما كان وسيبقى التناقض، ولعلّ الفاشية اللبنانية، الكتائب ولفيفها، والصهيونية والسلطة الأميركية، خاصة المحافظين الجدد، هم التعبير الحقيقي عن القناع، في مواجهة وجه التاريخ.

شعبنا الفلسطيني وأحرار لبنان ومختلف الأمم، التي تعرّضت للمذبحة الممتدّة على مرّ تاريخ البشرية، وكانت مذبحة صبرا وشاتيلا المذبحة الشاهد الأشدّ وحشية على امتداد المذبحة ضدّ فلسطين، من دير ياسين والدوايمة والطنطورة وكفر قاسم والحرم الإبراهيمي، إلى العديد العديد، وهي التأسيس للفوضى الخلاقة في ثوب القاعدة وداعش والوهابية بالطبع، حيث فتح الوحش الغربي فكّيْه لتبيّن أنيابه الداعشية وتنغرس في بدن الأمة.

في صبرا وشاتيلا وقف الطفل الفلسطيني الأعزل والمرأة والشيخ، بين فيض دموع ترحيل الفدائيين، غيلة وغدراً ومساومة، وبين سكين شارون وعملائه، الممتدّة بطول المكان من البنتاغون وحتى الكنيست!

ورُوي للأجيال اللاحقة عن كثير من الكذب، حول التعاطف والعواطف! لم يبكِ على الفلسطيني أحد! الا أهلُه في الدم والإنسانية الصافية، فأيّ مشهد عجيب هذا؟ قبل المذبحة ويوم المذبحة وحتى اللحظة، مطلوب رأسك أيها الفلسطيني، لأنّ المطلوب أرضك! حتى اليوم بل اليوم، وهذا الأهمّ، يرتجف الصهيوني أمام هول المقاومة، فيأتيه الوهابي راكعاً طائعاً متطوّعاً، ليغدر بالقديس الذي نبت على أرض المذبحة!

غادرت المقاومة، وحبلت الأرض بالمقاومة، وجاء الجديد أعلى وأشدّ عزيمة من القديم، ولم يتغيّر شيء، لا يزال جعجع يبكي شارون، ويستورد أدواته للقتل، وقد اندمج كلاهما في شخص واحد، وحين لا تقوى يده النجسة على فعل القتل المباشر، يلجأ للغدر!

وفي النهاية، إنه لبنان الذي يضمّ بين جنباته أشدّ التناقضات تناحرية وحِدَّةً: سيد المقاومة وأداة المذبحة جعجع وأضرابه! لبنان أصغر بقعة جغرافية تتكثف فيها أشدّ التناقضات تناحراً، بقعة تتعايش فيها نقائض لا يُحيط بفهمها أعتى الفلاسفة، وجه وجوهر التاريخ الحياة مقاومة، وقناع التاريخ…

الفاشي لا يتعايش، بل يركع للقوة والحذر والوعي، يطعن في الإعلام المريض لأنه لا يقوى، وحين يقوى سيقتل، وبين كونه لا يقوى وحتى يقوى يلدغ، ولا بدّ أن يغدُر.

المجد لدماء صبرا وشاتيلا…

المجد للدم الفلسطيني الذي لن تشربه الأرض!

كاتبة وناشطة فلسطينية

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On the 35th Anniversary of Sabra and Shatila: The Forgotten Refugees

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By Dr. Swee Chai Ang | Arab America | September 13, 2017

This September will be the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Sabra-Shatila Massacre in West Beirut. Three thousand unarmed refugees were killed from 15-18 September 1982.

I was then a young orthopedic trainee who had resigned from St Thomas Hospital to join the Christian Aid Lebanon medical team to help those wounded by Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. That invasion, named “Peace for Galilee”, and launched on 6 June 1982, mercilessly bombarded Lebanon by air, sea, and land. Water, food, electricity, and medicines were blockaded. This resulted in untold wounded and deaths, with 100,000 made suddenly homeless.

I was summoned to the Palestine Red Crescent Society to take charge of the orthopedic department in Gaza Hospital in Sabra- Shatila Palestinian refugee camp, West Beirut. I met Palestinian refugees in their bombed out homes and learned how they became refugees in one of the 12 Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. Before this encounter, I had never heard of Palestinians.

They recounted stories of being driven out of their homes in Palestine in 1948, often fleeing massacres at gunpoint. They fled with whatever possessions they could carry and found themselves in neighboring Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.

The United Nations put them in tents while the world promised they would return home soon. That expectation never materialized. Since then the 750,000 refugees, comprising half of the population of Palestine in 1948, continued to live in refugee camps in the neighboring countries. It was 69 years ago that this refugee crisis started. The initial 750,000 has since grown to 5 million. Palestine was erased from the map of the world and is now called Israel.

Soon after my arrival, the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organisation) evacuated. It was the price demanded by Israel to stop the further relentless bombardment of Lebanon and to lift the ten-week military blockade. Fourteen thousand able-bodied men and women from the PLO evacuated with the guarantee by Western powers that their families left behind would be protected by a multinational peacekeeping force.

Those leaving were soldiers, civil servants, doctors, nurses, lecturers, unionists, journalists, engineers, and technicians. The PLO was the Palestinians’ government in exile and the largest employer. Through evacuation, fourteen thousand Palestinian families lost their breadwinner, often the father or the eldest brother, in addition to those killed by the bombs.

That ceasefire lasted only three weeks. The multinational peacekeeping force, entrusted by the ceasefire agreement to protect the civilians left behind, abruptly withdrew. On September 15, several hundred Israeli tanks drove into West Beirut. Some of them ringed and sealed off Sabra-Shatila to prevent the inhabitants from fleeing. The Israelis sent their allies; a group of Christian militiamen trained and armed by them, into the camp. When the tanks withdrew from the perimeter of the camp on the 18 September, they left behind 3,000 dead civilians. Another seventeen thousand were abducted and disappeared.

On the 35th Anniversary of Sabra and Shatila: The Forgotten Refugees

Our hospital team, who had worked non-stop for 72 hours, was ordered to leave our patients at machine-gun point and marched out of the camp. As I emerged from the basement operating theatre, I learned the painful truth. While we were struggling to save a few dozen lives, people were being butchered by the thousands. Some of the bodies were already rotting in the hot Beirut sun. The images of the massacre are deeply seared into my memory: dead and mutilated bodies lining the camp alleys.

Only a few days before, they were human beings full of hope and life, rebuilding their homes, talking to me, trusting that they would be left in peace to raise their young ones after the evacuation of the PLO. These were people who welcomed me into their broken homes. They served me Arabic coffee and whatever food they found; simple fare but given with warmth and generosity. They shared their lives with me. They showed me faded photographs of their homes and families in Palestine before 1948 and the large house keys they still kept with them. The women showed me their beautiful embroidery, each with motifs of the villages they left behind. Many of these villages were destroyed after they left.

Some of these people became patients we failed to save. Others died on arrival. They left behind orphans and widows. A wounded mother begged us to take down the hospital’s last unit of blood from her to give to her child. She died shortly afterward. Children witnessed their mothers and sisters being raped and killed.

The terrified faces of families rounded up by gunmen while awaiting death; the desperate young mother who tried to give me her baby to take to safety; the stench of decaying bodies as mass graves continued to be uncovered will never leave me. The piercing cries of women who discovered the remains of their loved ones from bits of clothes, refugee identity cards, as more bodies were found continue to haunt me.

The people of Sabra Shatila returned to live in those very homes where their families and neighbors were massacred. They are a courageous people and there was nowhere else to go. Afterwards, other refugee camps were also blockaded, attacked and more people were killed. Today, Palestinian refugees are denied work permits in 30 professions and 40 artisan trades outside their camps. They have no passports. They are prohibited from owning and inheriting property. Denied the right of return to their homes in Palestine, they are not only born refugees, they will also die refugees and so will their children.

But for me, painful questions need to be answered. Not why they died, but why were they massacred as refugees? After 69 years, has the world already forgotten? How can we allow a situation where a person’s only claim to humanity is a refugee identity card? These questions have haunted me and they have yet to receive answers.

Dr. Swee Chai Ang is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and founder of Medical Aid for Palestinians. She is the author of: “From Beirut to Jerusalem,” published by The Other Press.

 

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