خلافات الفلسطينيين وقود التطبيع العربي ـ «الإسرائيلي»

د. عدنان منصور

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منذ توقيع اتفاقية كامب دايفيد عام 1978، بدأ تراجع الدور العربي وانحداره، ليأتي بعد ذلك اتفاق أوسلو عام 1993، واتفاق وادي عربة عام 1994.

إنّ اتفاق أوسلو جاء بكلّ تأكيد، ليطوّب هذا التراجع، ويؤكد على الانحدار الذي تمّ في ليلة ظلماء، على يد أصحاب القضية المركزية الفلسطينية، والذي أفسح المجال دون أدنى شكّ، للوصول الى حالة التراجع والتفكك والضعف، التي يعيشها الفلسطينيون والعرب منذ ثلاثة عقود وحتى اليوم. وبما أنّ صاحب القضية الأول، وللأسف الشديد، قد فتح بابه على مصراعيه أمام العدو وكيانه الصهيوني، دون ضوابط أو حذر أو عواقب وخيمة، واعترف بكيانه وبوجوده، فإنّ الموقف الفلسطيني والعربي، والقيّمين على المقدسات الإسلامية والمسيحية، أصبح موقفاً هزيلاً، ضعيفاً، منقسماً على نفسه. إذ كيف يمكن للقيادة الفلسطينية التي اعترفت بالعدو، أن يكون دورها وموقفها قوياً، مؤثراً، جامعاً، حازماً، حاسماً، عندما تطالب الآخرين في العالم العربي وخارجه بعدم التطبيع! لأنّ من يجب عليه أن يحافظ على القضية الفلسطينية بالدرجة الأولى، ورفض الاعتراف بالعدو الصهيوني، هم الفلسطينيون أنفسهم، قبل غيرهم. لأنّ الآخر لن يكون ملكياً أكثر من الملك، ولن يكون فلسطينياً أكثر من الفلسطينيين أنفسهم، بحكم الواقع والمنطق والمصالح والتحالفات.

إنّ انقسام الفلسطينيين على بعضهم البعض لسنوات طويلة، وتضييع العديد منهم بوصلة النضال، باعتمادهم الحوار والمفاوضات السلمية والوسائل الدبلوماسية، والتعويل على القوى الخارجية التي وقفت دائماً ضدّ مصالح الأمة وحقوق شعوبها، وعلى الرهان على أنظمة، ما كانت إلا في خدمة هذه القوى، ما بدّد آمالهم في تحقيق أهدافهم، لإقامة دولتهم الفلسطينية المستقلة. تعويل ورهان، جعل العدو وحلفاءه في العالم والمنطقة، ان يستغلوا الفرص، وينتهزوا النوايا “الطيبة” لرئيس السلطة الفلسطينية وقادتها، وكلّ من سار في فلكها، مستغلين ضعفها، وخلافاتها، وتنافسها، وتفككها. سلطة فلسطينية ارتكبت بحق فلسطين وشعبها خطيئة كبيرة فظيعة لا تغتفر، عندما لزمت وأناطت حلّ قضية فلسطين للعراب الأميركي ووثقت به، ليفعل ما فعله باتجاه التطبيع، دون أن تتعلم من دروس التاريخ ووقائعه شيئاً، وتأخذ العبرة من سياسات وأفعال المتآمرين على حقوق شعوب أمتنا، ناكثي العهود، من مارك سايكس الى فرنسوا جورج بيكو، مروراً بالانتداب البريطاني، وصولاً الى أشنع مؤامرة قذرة، قامت بريطانيا بحياكتها وتنفيذها بحق فلسطين وشعبها، قبيل وأثناء إعلان الكيان الصهيوني عام 1948.

إنّ التنديد، والإدانة والاستهجان، والرفض، لا ينفع. ما ينفع أولاً وأخيراً، هو توحّد الفلسطينيين حول هدف واحد، ونضال ومقاومة واحدة، ومن ثم العمل الجدي على استنهاض صحوة شعبية عارمة على مستوى الشعب الفلسطيني والأمة كلها، وتحريك الأطياف والحركات، والفعاليات الشعبية والرسمية للقوى المناضلة القومية، وذلك باستخدام السبل كافة لتصحيح المسار، وبث روح المقاومة والانتفاضة من جديد في جسد الأمة، وانتشالها من المستنقع الذي وضعها فيه العدو، ومعه قوى الهيمنة والمتواطئون على قضايانا الوطنية والقومية على السواء.

أحوج ما تكون إليه شعوبنا اليوم، ليس البكاء على الأطلال، والتحسّر على هضاب فلسطين، ورفض التطبيع مع العدو، ونظم أشعار التنديد والهجاء، وإبداء مشاعر الحنين، وعدم الرضوخ للأمر الواقع، إنما التحرك السريع لوقف الانهيار والتدهور والانقسام الحاصل داخل الصف الفلسطيني والعربي، جراء التخبّط الرهيب، وتباين الأفكار والرؤى والانتماء والولاء، الذي قلب العمل والنضال الفلسطيني المقاوم رأساً على عقب. إنّ خطورة المرحلة الحالية تحتم على الفلسطينيين، كلّ الفلسطينيين، سلطة وحركات مقاومة، وفعاليات وتنظيمات شعبية، العمل فوراً على إعادة تجميع قواها الوطنية والقومية من جديد. إذ أنّ خلافات أهل البيت الواحد شجعت العدو وحلفاءه، على التمادي في قراراتهم، والانتقال من الدفاع الى الهجوم، حيث نتحمّل الجزء الأكبر من المسؤولية، بسبب أخطائنا، وتهوّرنا، وتشتتنا، وتبعثرنا، وخلافاتنا، وانشقاقاتنا، وعداواتنا، وأنانياتنا، وتذبذبنا في مواقفنا مع طرف ضدّ آخر، ورهاننا على المكان الخطأ ثم العودة عنه. كلّ ذلك أدّى إلى هذا التدهور والانحراف، وتضييع البوصلة، وصولاً إلى التصدّع، والانهيار، والتفكّك، والانفصام في الموقف العربي الواحد.

لا بدّ من محاسبة الذات قبل محاسبة الآخرين، وهذا ما يستدعي مراجعة كاملة للحسابات، والرهانات، والتحالفات، وتقييم المواقف والأداء من جديد، وتحديد من هم أصدقاء القضية الفلسطينية الحقيقيون ومن هم أعداؤها، وتحديد من هم العابثون بحقوق الشعب الفلسطيني بشكل قاطع وحاسم، أكانوا فلسطينيين أم عرباً أم أجانب، دون أيّ تردّد، أو مواربة، أو خوف، أو مراوغة، أو مجاملة، وفرز أصحاب القضية، المقاومين الحقيقيين، المناضلين في الداخل الفلسطيني، عن الانتهازيين المزيّفين، بائعي القضية وتجارها، اللاهثين وراء السلطة، والمال، والمناصب، والمكاسب، وما أكثرهم، وهم الذين آثروا دائماً على بيعها في بازار المصالح الشخصية والسياسات الدولية!

وحدهم الفلسطينيون الشرفاء، أصحاب القضية دون منازع، الذين يستطيعون حماية قضيتهم من الضياع، والحفاظ عليها، وانتشالها من المستنقع، ومنع طي صفحتها ودفنها، وجرّها الى عالم النسيان.

اننا أمام نكبة ثانية جديدة متمثلة بالتطبيع، وهي أخطر من النكبة الأولى. لأنّ النكبة الأولى ولدت صحوة ووعياً قومياً عربياً، وجيلاً جديداً مقاوماً رافضاً للكيان، متمسكاً بأرضه وحقوقه. أما التطبيع فيأتي ليشرع ويؤكد على وجود الكيان الغاصب، ويعمل على إخماد الصحوة والرفض، ومن ثم القضاء على المقاومة، وإلغاء فلسطين من الخارطة التاريخية، والجغرافية، والقومية، والوجودية، شعباً وأرضاً ودولة.

لا مجال للانتظار، لأنّ الأمة كلها، وجودها ومستقبلها وأمنها القومي على المحكّ، وأمام الاختبار. فإما المواجهة والمقاومة، وإما الاستسلام والسقوط والانهيار.

*وزير الخارجية والمغتربين الأسبق

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Normalization between some Arab governments and ‘Israel’: Facts and figures

By Khalid Qaddoumi

September 14, 2020 – 16:3

The term itself says that something is not “normal”. It needs to be normalized, or something that was a taboo is converted into permissible. This is the situation of the relations between Arabs and “Israel” since the Palestinians’ catastrophe (Nakba) in 1948 when the “Israeli” occupation started. Hence, no doubt this topic is controversial and paradoxical.

A few ideas on the subject is given below:

(1) Where has the normalization process reached after 42 years of the first attempt at Camp David 1978?

In 1978 the Egyptian government forged its official diplomatic relations with “Israel” brokered by the United States government. On the 20th of January 2000, The Economist published an article titled “Israelis whom Egyptians love to hate.” The article endorsed the negative “Israeli” character portrayed by the cinema producers in Egypt. “Their women are sluttish schemers. Their men scowling thugs, prone to blood-spilling and to strange guttural barking,” the Economist said. Irrespective of decades of relations, the Egyptians still have their “unwelcoming” attitude to the newly imposed and alien “friend.”

In 2016 another study was published where Dr. Abdulaleem, the senior advisor to the Center of Pyramids for political and strategic studies, said, “Egyptians are least interested in any sort of normalization with “Israel”. The paper mentioned that such a relationship is only at the security apparatus level and few desks at the Egyptian Foreign Ministry. It is a “cold peace,” it wrote.

Alzaytouna’s study center conducted an opinion poll in 2019 about the popularity of the relations with “Israel” among some Muslim countries. The poll concluded that only 3% of Egyptians, 4% of Pakistanis, 6% of Turkish, and 15% of Indonesians may welcome some sort of relations with “Israel”. Many conditioned it after a just solution for the Palestinians.

The study stated that such a process has nothing to do with any fair demands of the Arab nations nor brought any benefit for peace attempts or any economic interests for the nations that the politicians tried to market their causes.

After Israel protested over a contract to sell American F35 jets to the Emirates, the former chief of the “Israeli” army Gadi Eizenkot told “Israel Hayom”: “in the Middle East (West Asia) your new friends may turn to be your enemy. Hence, the “Israeli” surpassing quality power (over the Arabs) is highly essential.”

An obvious “Israeli” skeptical mentality and policy towards Arabs prevents any type of so-called normalization.

(2) Money talks, or something else?

If we agree to the mentioned pragmatic notion, one may expect some economic boost even at the bilateral level between the Emirates and “Israel.” On the 8th of September 2020, the Minister of “Intelligence” of “Israel”, Eli Cohen, said that “In three to five years the balance of trade between the Emirates and us may reach four billion dollars.”

 First, why should a minister of “Intelligence” announce such economic news?

 Second, let us compare this balance of trade with the balance of trade between the Emirates and a neighboring country like Iran. In that case, the figure may exceed 13.5 billion dollars. Here one may say that something else other than “Money talks.”

 Many analysts refer to such a process as an intense and vital need for the current leaders in “Israel” and the U.S. to get re-elected.

 Netanyahu is facing corruption trials, and many riots and rallies are being held against him that may qualify the situation for a fourth election. On the other hand, Trump faces a series of fiascoes at different levels; his government’s disastrous approach to the COVID- 19 pandemic that infected millions, the racial discrimination, and the people in the streets protesting the police behavior against the civilians.

Bibi and Trump initiated such a process to safeguard their own endangered political future. In conclusion, one cannot bet on the viability of such a deal.

Other analysts see this deal to jeopardize the security and stability of the region.
Some “Israeli” commentators have accused Netanyahu of forging new relations with “countries that have no geopolitical importance like Bahrain and the Emirates but at the same time are neighbors to Iran,” which may lead to more escalation and expected violence in the region.

(3) Finally, what such normalization can benefit the Palestinians as the victims who are supposed to wait for the fruits of peace out of this deal? On the contrary, all the Palestinians, irrespective of their political affiliations, have refused and denounced this deal.

Even those who tried to reach a peace with Israel based on the 1993 Oslo accords, unequivocally rejected the deal to the extent that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party describing the process as “betrayal.” 

Other Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, who gathered lately in Beirut, announced their utmost discontent against the deal and consider it as a “reward for the “Israeli” criminals on their crimes.” 

The secretaries General of all Palestinian parties who convened in Beirut protested against the deal and called upon the Arab League to denounce it. 

In conclusion, the so-called “just solution” to the Palestinian issue cannot be achieved through such shortcuts of normalizations between Arabs and “Israel”. The Palestinians are the only side to decide their own destiny and no one else.
 

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“أستمرُ عبر حنظلة”.. ناجي العلي الذي لم يصالح

83 عاماً على ولادة الفنان الفلسطيني ناجي العلي الذي استشرف برسومه بداية عصر التطبيع العربي مع “إسرئيل”.

المصدر: الميادين نت

29 اب

“وُلدت في 5 حزيران 1967، اسم أبي مش مهم. أمي اسمها نكبة، وأختي اسمها فاطمة، نمرة رجلي ما بعرف لأني دايماً حافي، أنا مش فلسطيني ولا أردني، مش كويتي ولا لبناني ولا مصري، أنا عربي”، هذا ما يقوله حنظلة فتى الفنان الفلسطيني ناجي العلي، الذي ساهم بموهبته صنع هوية الفلسطيني المستاء من بقائه لاجئاً، والعازم على إخفاء وجهه ما دامت فلسطين محتجبة عن عينيه.  

هو ناجي سليم حسين العلي، الفلسطيني الذي توقف به العمر في سن العاشرة حين بلغها عام 1947، ووجد نفسه مضطراً لأن يترك أرضه ويصير لاجئاً في مخيم عين الحلوة، جنوب بيروت. ثم أخذ يكبر فيما فتاه المبتكر حنظلة المولود في يوم “النكسة”، ظلّ على عمره -أي في العاشرة- ففي “تلك السن غادرتُ الوطن، وحين يعود حنظلة سيكون بعد في العاشرة، ثم سيأخذ في الكبر بعد ذلك، قوانين الطبيعة المعروفة لا تنطبق عليه” يقول ناجي العلي معرّفاً بحنظلة.

بأكثر من 40 ألف رسم كاريكاتيري، و30 عاماً من العمل، رسم الفنان الصاعد من أزقة المخيم، الطريق إلى “كامل التراب الفلسطيني” كما تقول إحدى لوحاته، وذلك بلاءات ثلاث “لا صلح، لا مفاوضات، لا اعتراف” لا تقود إلا إلى هدف واحد آمن به طوال حياته وهو “الكفاح المسلح”.

 

ناجي
لاءات ثلاث آمن بها ناجي علي كما باقي أبناء المخيمات

كرّس العلي رسوماته لمحاربة دعاية الاستسلام والاعتراف بـ”إسرائيل”، ووجه سهام نقده اللاذع للأنظمة والمثقفين الذين رضوا أن يفاوضوا على القضية الفلسطينية أو يهادنوا عليها. وسخرت رسومه من الزعماء العرب وشرّحت السياسات الإسرائيلية، التي عرف عام 1973 أن هدفها سيكون الاستدراج للمصافحة.

كان العام 1973 الذي انتهت مفاعيل الحرب العربية-الإسرائيلية فيه عام 1978 بتوقع الرئيس المصري أنور السادات ورئيس الوزراء الإسرائيلي مناحيم بيغن اتفاق “كامب ديفيد”، عاماً لنكسة جديدة ورفض جديد في تاريخ حنظلة ناجي العلي: “بعد حرب تشرين الأول 1973 كتفتُ حنظلة باكراً، لأن المنطقة ستشهد عملية تطويع وتطبيع مبكرة قبل رحلة السادات…. من هنا كان التعبير العفوي لتكتيف الطفل هو رفضه وعدم استعداده للمشاركة في هذه الحلول”، يقول العلي.

لم يجزّء رئيس رابطة الكاريكاتير العربي القضايا، فقد آمن بالنقد وسلية لردع رجال السياسة العرب عن احتكار الحكم، ومهمة لتحفيز الجمهور ودفعه للتمسك بقاضاياه المحقة، وبالعدالة الاجتماعية كهدف لا ينبغي فصله عن معركة التحرر. 

ورغم إيمانه بالعروبة، لم يهادن العلي العرب الذين مدوا أياديهم لـ”إسرائيل”، وحولوا نفطهم الأسواد لمادة استرضاء أميركا. كل سلام مع “إسرائيل” ما كان ليمر إلا في صدور الفلسطينيين كما يرى العلي.. هو طعنة من خلف. هو حرب على فلسطين وإن كان تحت مسمى السلام. 

ناجي
السلام مع “إسرائيل” يمر عبر صدور الفلسطينيين

اشتغل ناجي العلي على صناعة وعي جديد، أساسه أن التطبيع والاعتراف لن يفيد العرب بشيء (فهو يصوّر السلام مع “إسرائيل” في إحدى رسوماته، بالعظمة التي لا يتمكن المطبّع من أن يطالها)، وأن المقاومة هي السبيل الوحيد أمام العرب لاستعادة ما خسروه، هذا في وقت كانت القوات الإسرائيلة لا تزال محتلة لغزة وجنوب لبنان وباقي الأراضي الفلسطينية. 

اليوم، وفيما القوات الإسرائيلية تهدد بأنها سترد على أي هجمة يشنها حزب الله، فيما جنودها يختبئون في آلياتهم ويزرعون رجلاً آلياً كطعم لعناصر المقاومة كي يجنبهم قتل بعض جنوده، تسارع الإمارات العربية للإعداد لـ”اتفاق السلام” مع “إسرائيل” في البيت الأبيض، في دليل واضح على صدق ما آمن به العلي قبل عقود، أن الهزيمة والانتصار ليسا متوقفين على قدرة العدو، وإنما على الإيمان بالنصر وبالاخلاص للمبادئ الوطنية.

33 عاماً مرّ على استشهاد العلي في أحد شوارع لندن، بفعل مسدس وكاتم صوت مجهول. كثير من الأمور تغيرت منذ ذالك الحين، لكن حنظلة لا يزال رمزاً راهناً يشفُّ عن روح العلي المتمردة، هذه نبؤة أخرى صادقة للفنان المقتول غيلة: “لن ينتهي حنظلة من بعدي، وربما لا أبالغ إذا قلت أني قد أستمر به بعد موتي”.    

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‘Ordinary’ Israelis Don’t Perceive Themselves as Ordinary People

By Rima Najjar

Global Research, June 28, 2020

On reading the enduring horrific daily news coming out of Palestine/Israel relating to the ongoing Jewish-state Nakba, I invariably feel a strong desire to discuss what is often the elephant in the room. It’s an issue constantly on the minds of Israelis and Palestinians alike, while at the same time being difficult to discuss frankly and directly in polite society.

The issue is Jewish supremacy as it manifests itself in the Zionist settler-colonial state of Israel and beyond. (See my blog post, What is Jewish supremacy and how is it different from White supremacy?). I say “beyond”, because there is a strong existing connection to Israel by ‘ordinary’ Jews outside of Israel/Palestine, whose Jewish communities, in Europe and America, feed Israel. Even at a mature age they go there, either to visit or to stay (which is a support and confirmation for the state), but more often to serve in the military which is the most militant of brainwashing in Jewish supremacy.

Most activists skirt the issue of Jewish supremacy and some deny it outright in a way they would not dream of doing with White supremacy. The only safe place to discuss the issue of Jewish supremacy, it sometimes appears, is within the confines of Mondoweiss.

But even there, we are more likely to read forceful critiques debunking the Zionist idea of a ‘Jewish nation’ as sold to the world by the world Zionist movement. A necessary exercise. Nevertheless, I often wonder, what about the concomitant fact of the religious Jewish character of the state as expressed in its Basic Law? What about the self-professed Jewish identity of millions of Jews, in Israel and outside Israel — not to mention Palestinian perceptions of them — as Jews first, and Zionist second?

It therefore seems at times that, in order to liberate Palestine from the Zionist settler-colonial regime, Palestinians must first undertake the impossible task of convincing the world that those who espouse the Zionist settler-colonial regime are less Jewish than Zionist, which of course strips them of their self-identified Jewish identity and is unacceptable to them.

More and more Jews worldwide today are saying “not in our name”, in reference to Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people. However, they too, don’t have the power to rename Israeli Jews as something else. This brings to mind Israel’s chief rabbi’s statement that “some Jews are more Jewish than others.”

When we talk about Israel, we can discuss apartheid, demographics, settler-colonialism, but we are often silenced when the issue is Jewish supremacy and the Jewish nature of the state — issues that are central to Israeli society as well as to the current and future dynamics of Palestinian-Israeli relations.

If the goal of all the analysis about Israel is to find realistic solutions for an impossible status quo, we ought not to dismiss this very real and troubling issue. It doesn’t make sense to do so.

In a 2015 article published online and titled ‘Palestine‒Israel: Decolonization Now, Peace Later’, Alaa Tartir (researcher at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland and a policy advisor at Al-Shabaka) lists a number of basic but fundamental obstacles to any future lasting peace in Israel/Palestine. Among them is the following characterization of Israeli society:

Another dominant observation that I noticed in my small, random and unrepresentative sample is the sense of superiority [among Israeli Jews]. liberal, leftist, fundamentalists, secular, religious and progressive voices, from different generations living in different cities, shared the feature of superiority, which is problematic at the very personal and human level, before it extends to politics. Statements like ‘we are God’s chosen nation’, ‘we don’t care about international law’, ‘we help those poor Palestinians to end the occupation’, ‘we offer Palestinians jobs and they work for us’, ‘Gaza is irrelevant’, ‘I have Palestinian friends but would never trust them’ characterized the discussions. Therefore, unless ‘ordinary’ Israelis perceive themselves as ordinary people and not superior to other nations it is impossible to imagine how a one-state or two-state solution could work.

Tartir goes on to say,

Just as the Palestinian people and leadership need to engage in a serious process of reforming their strategies, so do the Israelis. The Israelis need to reconcile internally a number of issues mainly related to the apartheid structures, Jewish supremacy, the Jewish nature of the state, the demographic phobia and the return of the Palestinian refugees from exile.

When we are forced to ignore the perceptions of Israelis and their set of values and beliefs (which are the root manifestation of the Zionist Jewish state in Palestine), when we are unable to confront them candidly, we Palestinians will never be able to achieve justice and equality.

Lena, a former Israeli, writes:

Many Jews, even if not overtly Zionist, share this basic belief that in order to prevent another extermination, they must become DOMINANT and exercise superiority, because “this is how the world works, either you dominate or be exterminated”. Although nobody ever has persecuted or offended these young Jews, they share the view of Goyim as a bunch of people who inherently want to erase Jews from this planet. I honestly do not know how to combat a basic belief that the world is based on domination, that whoever does not dominate will be subjugated or killed, that Jews must forever fight against an inherent existential threat, therefore not letting them dominate is the same as wanting them all dead.

Lena describes the mindset of any group of people who have been conditioned to see the world through us vs. them.

“Confronting the occupier, colonizer or oppressor is the main lesson from the history of liberation movements across the world,” writes Tartir. We must confront Israelis on the issue of Jewish supremacy, as on all others.

*

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Rima Najjar is a Palestinian whose father’s side of the family comes from the forcibly depopulated village of Lifta on the western outskirts of Jerusalem and whose mother’s side of the family is from Ijzim, south of Haifa. She is an activist, researcher and retired professor of English literature, Al-Quds University, occupied West Bank. She is a frequent contributor to Global Research.The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Rima Najjar, Global Research, 2020

ازالة «إسرائيل» واجب شرعيّ وإنسانيّ نقطة أول السطر..

محمد صادق الحسيني

انه يوم القدس العالمي، يوم ان تكون القدس عاصمة لكلّ العرب ولكلّ المسلمين ولكلّ أحرار العالم‏، ولا غير…!

في هذا اليوم التاريخي العظيم الذي يلخص ملحمة الإنسانية في الدفاع عن الحق والحقيقة لا بدّ من اليقظة والانتباه جيداً لما قد يُعدّه العدو لنا…!

حذار ثم حذار ثم حذار ‏من الوقوع في فخ الصهاينة من جديد..!

‏تثير الصهيونية العالمية بين الفينة والأخرى موجة مضللة من الدعاية لحفظ كيانها الغاصب القائم على الظلم والتضليل والزيف والخداع والمخاتلة والاختباء وراء مشهديات مزيفة..!

‏والعنوان دائماً: ‏العداء لليهوديّة!

‏حذار من هذا الفخّ، فلسطين تمّ غصبها في تاريخ معيّن، عنوة وغيلة وغدراً، ويجب أن تعود الآن لأهلها والسلام… ولا علاقة لهذا بأيّ أمر آخر، من أمور الخداع والزيف والتضليل بأي مظلة تستر او تحتها اختبأ هذا الغاصب والمحتلّ..!

وإنّ محاولة الصهاينة إثارة بعض المغالطات هنا او هناك بهدف كسب تعاطف دولي مزوّر وغير مشروع، لن يغيّر من حقيقة صارخة ألا وهي:

أن فلسطين الجغرافيا والسكان والحقوق والتاريخ والثقافة والهوية قد تمّ غصبها ومصادرتها عنوة على يد المستعمر الغربي وبرعاية الصهيونية العالمية في غفلة من تاريخ عالمنا العربي والإسلامي…

وأن يكون الحاكم الغاصب الفعلي آنذاك او الآن محسوباً على الديانة اليهودية حقاً أو كذباً وزوراً لا يغيّر من الأمر شيئاً قطعاً..!

حتى لو أعلن حكام تل ابيب إسلامهم الآن مثلاً… لن يغيّر من الأمر شيئاً، عندها سيكونون في أحسن أحوالهم مثل صهاينة الداخل المتغطين بعروبة كاذبة او بإسلام كاذب، وهم المعروفون تاريخياً بالرجعية العربية، والذين هم من جنسهم ومن معسكرهم المعادي أصلاً لنضال الشعوب والأمم الحرة منذ النشأة بل منذ النطفة…!

وأمر تفكيك وإزالة هذا الكيان الغاصب سلماً او حرباً هو واجب وطني وقومي وديني وثقافي وإنساني، تحقيقاً للعدالة الكونية عند كلّ الأحرار وعند المتديّنين منهم تحقيقاً لمقولة الأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر. وهو أمر لا يتغيّر مع مرور الزمن بل هو من ثوابت الفكر الإنساني عامةً…

انها لحظة وعي إنساني تقترب من نضجها ولا بدّ للسنن الكونية والحتمية التاريخية أن تفعل فعلها وفلسطين يجب أن تصبح وستصبح قريباً حرة مستقلة عربية وجزءاً لا يتجزأ من أمة مشرقية وعربية قوية وعزيزة وجزءاً من محور عربي وإسلامي مقاوم وقويّ في إطار محور عالمي مضادّ للاستكبار العالمي والاستعمار والإمبريالية والأحادية الأميركية الهيمنية الجائرة…!

ولا مهرب من هذه الحقيقة التي باتت أوضح من الشمس في رابعة النهار ولا يمكن تغطيتها بالغربال …!

فلسطين عائدة لأهلها، وأهلها عائدون إليها، هذا حق لن يتغيّر مع تقادم الزمن، بل يترسّخ ويتعزّز مع استعادة الأمة وعيها وقوتها.

سنصلّي في القدس.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

في ذكرى النكبة!!! يا صهاينة الداخل العربيّ: فلسطين اغتُصَبت ولم تُبَعْ!!!

د.عدنان منصور

خلال الأشهر الأخيرة، روّجت بشكل مثير ومدروس، حملة واسعة، صدرت عن شخصيات سياسية مسؤولة وغير مسؤولة، وعن جهات إعلامية، وفنية، وجامعية، ودينية، وغيرها، في أنحاء عديدة من العالم العربي، تهدف الى تشويه القضية الفلسطينية من اساسها، وتسيء مباشرة وبالصميم، إلى قضية وسمعة ونضال ومقاومة الشعب الفلسطيني، وتجميل وتظريف صورة الصهاينة المحتلين، وقلب الحقائق التاريخية، رأساً على عقب، وإظهار اليهود على أنهم المغبونون والمعتدى عليهم، ويجب الاعتراف بحقهم في امتلاك فلسطين..

.. يأتي هذا، مع ما يرافق من إساءة متعمدة للفلسطينيين ولأمتهم كلها وقضيتهم، من خلال اتهامهم زوراً، من انهم باعوا ارضهم الفلسطينية الى اليهود، وبالتالي لا يحق لمن يبيع أرضه، ان يسترجعها من جديد !!!!

صهاينة وعربان الداخل العربي، أصبحوا اليوم، حماة الصهيونية و”اسرائيل”، والناطقين باسمها، والمدافعين عن احتلالها ووجودها، على حساب أبناء جلدتهم وامتهم، والواقفين في وجه المقاومين من اجل استرداد ارضهم وحقوقهم المشروعة.

هو الرابع عشر من أيار، يدون ويحدث عن نفسه. ويؤرّخ عما قبله وبعده، علّ الخونة والمرتدّين، والعملاء والمطبعين، من صهاينة الداخل، يزيلوا الغشاوة عن بصيرتهم النائمة المحنطة، ويعوا حقيقة ما جرى من احداث، ومجازر، وعمليات إبادة جماعية، وقتل ونهب، لم ينكرها الصهاينة، ولا المؤرخون الجدد، امثال ايلان باب Ilan Pappe، وبني موريس وغيرهما.

إن قرار تقسيم فلسطين عام 1947، رمى الى تأسيس دولة يهودية مساحتها 14100 كلم2، وتضم 558000 يهودي، بالإضافة الى 405000 عربي فلسطيني. ودولة عربية مساحتها 11500 كلم2 تضم 80 الف عربي، وعشرة آلاف يهودي. كما حدد القرار منطقة دولية، تضم الاماكن المقدسة، كالقدس وبين لحم، وفيها 105000 عربي، بالإضافة الى مئة الف يهودي.

قرار التقسيم هذا، تبعته اعمال إرهابية، وجرائم ومجازر رهيبة، ارتكبتها العصابات الإرهابية الصهيونية، في أنحاء عديدة من فلسطين، قبيل اعلان الدولة الاسرائيلية. اذ شنت عصابات شتيرن العسكرية، والارغون تسفاي ليومي، حملات منظمة على القرى العربية، بغية ترويع اهلها، وإجبارهم على تركها بالقوة، والتخلي عنها لليهود.

لقد رسمت المنظمات اليهودية الإرهابية، خطة محكمة، وقامت بتنفيذها بنجاح وبدقة متناهية، حتى إذا حلّ منتصف أيار 1948، وهو تاريخ اعلان قيام دولة الاحتلال الاسرائيلية، كان نصف مليون من العرب الفلسطينيين، الهاربين من المجازر والمذابح، يلجأون الى البلدان العربية المجاورة. صحيفة Hamashkif الناطقة باسم المنظمة الإرهابية شتيرن، والتي كان يقودها مناحيم بغين، كشفت عن خطة المذابح التي نفذت، حيث ذكرت ان خطط المنظمة عرضت على القيادة العسكرية اليهودية، وحظيت بموافقتها..

كانت قرية دير ياسين، بداية حلقة المجازر الرهيبة، حيث حصدت الدبابات العشرات من المدنيين، وقام الإرهابيون ببقر بطون الحوامل، وتقطيع الاطفال امام أعين آبائهم. وحول هذه المجزرة الفظيعة، نشرت الجريدة الناطقة باسم منظمة شتيرن، افتتاحية جاء فيها: “إن كل امرئ يعرف ان الهجوم على دير ياسين هو الذي ألقى الرعب في قلوب الجماعات العربية، وأدى الى فرارها المذعور.. هو المعجزة المباركة التي قوت عزائمنا، وأنزلت بالعدو ضربة اعظم بكثير، مما كان يمكن لحكمة جميع قادة الهاجانا مجتمعة أن تصنعه… ونحن نرجو ان لا تُذرف دموع التماسيح بعد اليوم على فظائع دير ياسين!!!

مناحيم بغين زعيم المنظمة الإرهابية الارغون، الذي اصبح في ما بعد رئيساً للوزراء، وحاملا جائزة نويل للسلام(!!!!) صرح معقباً على مجزرة دير ياسين: “إن هذه المجزرة لم تكن مبررة فقط، بل ودون النصر في دير ياسين، لما كانت هناك دولة اسرائيل”!!! وقال ايضاً: “انتم الاسرائيليون، عليكم ان لا تبدوا تسامحاً، وان لا تشعروا بأي شفقة، طالما لم نقض تماماً على ما يسمّى بالثقافة العربية… إن قوة التقدم في تاريخ العالم، هي للسيف. نحن نحارب، إذن نحن نكون.

قبيل إعلان دولة “اسرائيل” في 14 أيار 1948، قامت العصابات الصهيونية بطرد العرب الفلسطينيين من قراهم وبلداتهم، وكانت تحل مكانهم المستوطنين الجدد. وعند اعلان الدولة، اعتبرت “اسرائيل”، ان كل فلسطيني ترك منزله قبل الاول من ٱب 1948، يعتبر بحكم الغائب. وبموجب هذا القرار، صادرت “اسرائيل” ثلثي الأراضي التي كانت للفلسطينيين.

المؤرخ الإسرائيلي ايلان باب، تناول بوضوح في كتابه “التطهير العرقي لفلسطين» Le nettoyage ethnique de la Palestine، حيث ذكر انه في 11 آذار 1948 وقبل شهرين من اعلان الدولة الاسرائيلية، وضع مخطط داليت Daleth، حيث تم بموجبه، تهجير ثلاثمئة ألف فلسطيني، اي نصف السكان الأصليين من بيوتهم واراضيهم… كما تم تدمير531 قرية وإخلاء 11 منطقة من سكانها.

كان الفلسطينيون يمتلكون 92 بالمئة من مساحة “اسرائيل” اليوم. كما ان سكان المدن والقرى المهجورة، كانوا يمثلون 85 بالمئة من مجموع السكان الموجودين في الأراضي التي هجّروا منها. وعند تأسيس الدولة، لم يصمد سوى 92 قرية، ومئة وخمسين ألف فلسطيني بقوا تحت نير دولة الاحتلال.

استمرت العمليات العسكرية بعد 14 أيار 1948، اذ نفذت “اسرائيل” حملة عسكرية واسعة، عرفت بعملية “داني”، ادت الى احتلال اللد والرملة وإخلائها من السكان العرب. كما نفذت عمليات عسكرية اخرى، أسفرت عن احتلال بئر السبع واشدود، وإفراغها بالكامل من السكان العرب.

اما عملية حيرام، فقد أدت الى اجتياح منطقة الجليل، وتهجير ستين الف فلسطيني، تركوا ديارهم متوجهين الى لبنان. ولم يبق في جيب الجليل، سوى 12 ألف فلسطيني، غالبيتهم من الدروز والشركس والمسيحيين.

لم تتوقف عمليات التطهير عند هذا الحد، بل قامت القوات الصهيونية بتنفيذ عملية تطهير على حدود دولة الاحتلال، حيث جرت حوادث عنيفة، ما دفع بـ”إسرائيل” الى مسح عدد من القرى العربية الواقعة ضمن شريط حدودي، يتراوح عرضه بين 5 و 15 كلم، من أجل إقامة منطقة خالية من السكان العرب. وبناء على ذلك، قامت القوات الإسرائيلية بتهجير سكان هذه القرى، الذين لجأوا الى الداخل اللبناني ومن هذه القرى، ترشيحا ومعليا في الجليل الأعلى، والجاعونة والخصاص والقبطية، في محافظة صفد.

هكذا تأسست دولة الاحتلال الاسرائيلية، على حساب شعب فلسطين وأرضه. المؤرخ الإسرائيلي بني موريس، في كتابه “ولادة مشكلة اللاجئين الفلسطينيين” الصادر عام 1987، ومعه السياسي الإسرائيلي، اسرائيل شاحاك، يؤكدان أن عدد المدن والقرى العربية التي دمرتها القوات الصهيونية، بلغ بين 350 و 383 مدينة وقرية. اما المؤرخ سلمان أبو سته، وبعد دراسة مستفيضة وموثقة، والتي تعتبر من اهم الدراسات المعمقة في هذا المجال، فيؤكد أن عدد المدن والقرى الفلسطينية المدمرة بلغ 566 قرية ومدينة.

وماذا بعد؟!!!!

في 14 أيار 2020، نقول بصوت عالٍ، لكل الخونة والعملاء والمأجورين، والمتصهينين، والمهرولين باتجاه العدو الغاصب، القاتل المحتل، ولكل منافق متخاذل أفاك… للسياسي المسؤول وغير المسؤول، الملوث بفكره المنحرف… للإعلامي المرتزق المروّج للتطبيع والمدافع عنه…. للفنان الانتهازي الذي ابتعد عن قضيته، من اجل حفنة من المال والشهرة… للأستاذ الجامعي المشبع بالكراهية والحقد تجاه فلسطين والفلسطينيين… “ “للمحلل الاستراتيجي “الفذ”، المرتهن للعدو وأولياء نعمته…. “للمفكر” المدعي اللاهث وراء المنافع والمكرمات… للحزبي المتقلب المتذبذب الذي يميل مع كل ريح… لرجال الدين الذين باعوا دينهم بالمنصب والدينار، من اجل تبخير الحاكم والمسؤول، والدفاع عن سياساته التطبيعية مع العدو، بفتاوى رخيصة مقززة بعيدة كل البعد عن الدين والايمان والشرف والضمير والكرامة…. الى كل هؤلاء وغيرهم مَن هم على شاكلتهم، نصرخ في وجوههم القذرة ونقول: فلسطين لم ولن تباع… ولم يبعْها شعبها… واذا كانت العصابات الصهيونية المسلحة، قد هجرت الشعب العربي الفلسطيني، ودمّرت مدنه وقراه، واستولت على ارضه، فإن الاحتلال لن يقضي على عروبة فلسطين، ولن ينال من مقاومة شعبها، ومقاومة الأحرار في منطقتها، ولن يقضي على عزيمته في استرجاع أرضه وحقوقه المشروعة، مهما طال الزمن، وأن وقف بجانب المحتل الإسرائيلي، شذاذ الآفاق من الخوارج والمنحرفين عن قضية فلسطين، صهاينة الداخل العربي!!

Iran Calls for World’s Action against ‘Israeli’ Occupation of Palestine

Iran Calls for World’s Action against ‘Israeli’ Occupation of Palestine

By Staff, Agencies

The Islamic Republic of Iran reiterated full support for Palestinians against the Tel Aviv regime’s atrocities, calling on Muslim nations and the entire world community to take immediate and practical steps towards putting an end to the decades-long ‘Israeli’ occupation.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry released a statement on Thursday, on the eve of Nakba Day [Catastrophe], when back in 1948, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forcibly evicted from their homeland and the ‘Israeli’ regime proclaimed existence.

“72 years ago, on this day, the Zionist immigrants massacred people of the land of Palestine — including men, women, the youth, the elderly and innocent children — and forced them out of their homes while using deviant and racist ideas and thoughts as a pretext. [That is how] the Palestinian land and the entire West Asia were afflicted with Zionist Nakba,” the statement read.

Palestinians mark Nakba Day on May 15, a day after the occupying regime declared existence.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry described Nakba Day as the starting point of ‘Israeli’ crimes against the true owners of Palestine, including building settlements, further displacing Palestinians, desecrating the al-Aqsa Mosque, maintaining a crippling siege on Gaza, and annexing the occupied side of Syria’s Golan Heights.

The statement also censured new US-backed attempts by the ‘Israeli’ regime to annex more Palestinian land.

The ministry, relatively, expressed Iran’s “full solidarity” with the Palestinian cause, rejecting a “humiliating” peace plan drawn up by the administration of US President Donald Trump to end the ‘Israeli’-Palestinian conflict.

It also emphasized that international bodies, especially the United Nations, need to shoulder their responsibility and “set the stage for the return of Palestinian refugees to their homeland and a referendum joined by the true inhabitants of this land — including Muslims, Christians and Jews — so they can exercise the right to decide their own fate and form an independent Palestinian government with holy Quds as [the state’s] capital.”

Imagining Return: Palestinians in Jordan’s Sprawling Refugee Camps Still Yearn for Home

B Miko Peled

Source

Amman, Jordan — Abna’a Gaza (the Children of Gaza) is a status given to Palestinian refugees who fled from the Gaza Strip to Jordan in 1967. They fled during the 1967 war and consequent Israeli occupation of Gaza. Today, over five decades later, these Palestinians who originally fled to Gaza from their homes in greater Palestine in 1948 number 150,000. They remain mostly in camps, unable to leave, unable to work except for menial labor, with no access to healthcare and with no formal national identity.

The Larger Refugee Issue

Israel and the various other Zionist institutions have always claimed that the refugee problem has nothing to do with them. They offer all sorts of stories to explain the flight of close to one million Palestinians from their homes and land. Still, all the obfuscation in the world cannot change the fact that Zionist militias forced Palestinians out of Palestine in an attempt to establish a state with a clear – if not an absolute – Jewish majority.

In cities like Tabariya and Safad, in the north, in large stretches of land in the Naqab in the south, and in West Jerusalem, which became the capital city of Israel, the ethnic cleansing was so complete that not even one Palestinian family remained.

Now, over seven decades later, the Palestinian refugee population is estimated at around five million people. Banned from returning to their lands and homes, they live in squalor in refugee camps that quite often are only a few short miles from their original homes.

The Gaza Camp

Lying in Jordan’s rolling northern hills, Jerash is said to be one of the best kept ancient Roman cities outside of Italy. Much of the ancient ruins are still intact and they are an incredible sight to see. A few short miles from Jerash, however, lies the Palestinian refugee camp, Gaza Camp. It is an equally incredible sight to behold but for completely different reasons.

I visited the Gaza Camp for the first time in 2013 and then again in February 2020 and though some small changes were visible. By and large, the living conditions and the abject poverty remain the same. Forty thousand people live in this particular camp, which sits on about a quarter of a square mile.

Jerash Gaza refugee camp

The camp residents are all Abna’a Ghaza, an Arabic phrase meaning the sons of Gaza. All were turned into refugees in 1948 and sent to resettle in Gaza. Then, in 1967, they fled as Israeli forces occupied Gaza and were settled in this camp, where to this day they are forced to live this impossible reality.

During my visit to Gaza Camp, I visited the home of Umm Mohammed. She lives in a small house with several rooms with her children and grandchildren. The house is made of cinder block and tin and is freezing cold. The children run around barefoot and resources are scarce. The local camp school has six thousand students who attend in two shifts. The boys and girls take turns, each month switching shifts.

Umm Mohammad hails from a village near the city of Bir-a-Saba in the Naqab Desert. Today, the city is called Be’er Sheva and the desert has been renamed the Negev. Some say that in Jordan alone there are close to one million refugees from the city of Bir-a-Saba. Umm Mohamad was 13 in 1948 when Zionist forces expelled her family. “I was 13,” she recounted, “we left on a caravan of camels.” She went on to tell us that “the Jews committed a massacre, killing people in their sleep.”

Jerash Gaza refugee camp

Imagining Return

Zochrot means “remembering” in Hebrew. It is also the name of an NGO “working since 2002 to promote acknowledgment and accountability for the ongoing injustices of the Nakba, the Palestinian catastrophe of 1948 and the reconceptualization of the Return as the imperative redress of the Nakba and a chance for a better life for all the country’s inhabitants.”

Zochrot is dedicated to keeping the memories of destroyed Palestinian towns and villages alive by providing information, action on the ground and tours throughout historic Palestine. Zochrot also operates a website chock full of articles, studies, testimony and a wealth of other valuable information on all issues regarding historic Palestine.

The organization recently launched a campaign called “Choosing to remember – voting for return,” to encourage Israeli citizens to remember Palestinian refugee issues during the March 2 Israeli elections. A post made on Zochrot’s Facebook page to promote the campaign (accessible by clicking “see more” on the post’s caption) reads in part:

Tomorrow, Israel’s citizens will vote for the third time within a year. Once again, the most important and critical issues in our lives here are not part of the agenda or platforms of the Zionist parties. Recognizing the Nakba, including the crimes of 1948 and the ongoing Nakba, is not proposed by any party. Recognizing the right of return and a practical plan for the return of refugees are not even discussed.
The political system and society in Israel continue to deny and erase these issues.”

We choose to remember the crimes of the Nakba, remind Israeli society of them and make them visibly present everywhere, at every opportunity, and oppose their erasure. We vote for the return of Palestinian refugees and view this return as an opportunity to liberate ourselves of the colonialist mindset and practices that define Israeli politics.”

As Israel and the United States presented the latest version of a plan to bring Palestinians surrender, known colloquially as the Deal of the Century, the approach of Zochrot presents a real alternative. In the current political climate, discussing the Palestinian right of return in practical terms while demanding it on all political platforms will create the polarization needed to distance those who seek justice and peace from those who wish to continue to spill innocent blood.

Funding Crimes

Jordan’s Gaza camp is no more than an hour’s drive from the country’s border with Palestine. Most, if not all the inhabitants, came from the Naqab. In other words, these refugees could all be home, in their country and on their land in less than a three-hour drive. Israel, of course, would never allow that to happen.

Palestinian refugee camp

Walking through the camp, poverty is rampant. Small projects lie in various states of completion, donated by various NGOs here and there, one to pave a road, another to refurbish the school. One cannot help but think of the four billion dollars the United States gives Israel each year. Israel is a wealthy country and has no need for foreign aid, yet Palestinians in refugee camps are living in abject poverty. Yet the U.S., Germany and other countries constantly contribute to its wealth while ignoring and even perpetuating the poverty inflicted upon Palestinians.

A strong Israeli state has guaranteed that Palestinians remain poor and hopeless. Imagine reversing the roles. Imagine what three or four billion dollars per year could do to repatriate and compensate Palestinian refugees and ensure a better future for all who live in historic Palestine. As the Zochrot slogan says, “Imagine Return.”

Jared Kushner, here are 25 more books you should read about Palestine, Israel relations

Donald Trump’s senior advisor says he has looked at 25 books relating to the conflict – here are some more he might also want to consider
Jared Kushner, special adviser to US President Donald Trump, is regarded as a key figure in the US administration’s policy towards the Middle East

By 

Earlier this week, in the wake of the announcement of Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” for Israel and Palestine, Jared Kushner, its chief architect explained to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour just how much he had studied the region.

“I’ve been studying this now for three years,” Kuchner said. “I’ve read 25 books on it, I’ve spoken to every leader in the region, I’ve spoken to everyone who’s been involved in this.”

Most interest focused just on which 25 books Kuchner had read: some sleuthing by The Forward revealed several titles, including State of Failure and Hamas vs Fatah, by Jonathan Schanzer; and Thirteen Days in September, by journalist Lawrence Wright.

The impression from those few titles to emerge is that they are broadly written from a Washington perspective, and not necessarily that insightful about the lived experiences of Palestinians, who Kushner on Wednesday called “foolish” for rejecting his plan.

In the spirit of a geo-political book club, the editors and writers at Middle East Eye would like to offer Mr Kushner the following reading list to maybe deaden his echo chamber.

Our choices are, we suspect, more eclectic than those he has read so far, and include poetry, fiction and graphic novels amid geo-political analysis and discourse. The list, presented here in no particular order, is by no means exhaustive. We have restricted ourselves to books originally written in or translated into English.

But we hope that Mr Kushner and others engaged in securing the “deal of the century” might obtain a different perspective from the reading list below. Please let MEE know on Facebook and Twitter (@MiddleEastEye) which titles you think we have missed.

Twenty-five books, after all, barely scratches the surface when it comes to explaining what has become the Middle East’s most intractable problem.


1. The Question of Palestine
by Edward Said

"

For a long time, Edward Said was the most high-profile and internationally recognised of Palestinian intellectuals. His untimely death in 2003 was a blow for Palestinian advocacy, especially in the US, where few prominent Palestinian voices have been able to rise to prominence.

The Question of Palestine was published in 1979, a year after Said’s better-known volume Orientalism, and discusses the situation of the Palestinians, including the history of the Nakba, the dispossession and scattering of the Palestinian diaspora, and the misrepresentation of the Palestinian cause in the Western world.

Said also examines the development of Palestinian political movements, particularly the Palestine Liberation Organisation led by his then friend Yasser Arafat, and the changing perceptions of Palestinian groups towards the question of Jewish identity and Israeli statehood.

Towards the end of his life, Said espoused a humanist vision of a unified secular state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, based on equal rights and universal suffrage. The reality on the ground in Israel-Palestine suggests a one-state reality is already playing out. The result, more than ever, is that Said’s ideals need to be pushed to the fore.


2. The Gun and the Olive Branch
by David Hirst

"

Few volumes during the past half-century have been as contentious about the Israel-Palestine conflict as David Hirst’s The Gun and the Olive Branch. First published in 1977, it was initially savaged in the UK and ignored in the US (the first 14 pages of subsequent editions detail this).

Hirst’s narrative was the first of international note to question the pro-Israeli orthodoxy about the state’s creation as well as highlighting how Washington and other Western capitals had fuelled the conflict.

That Hirst, a reporter for The Guardian, had meticulously researched and presented his argument – the book comes in at more than 600 pages – only seemed to inflame his critics more.

But Hirst is even-handed in his coverage: he apportions blame to both sides, but is especially adept at examining the Israeli role in the conflict. Through this he pre-dated the later work of Israel’s New Historian revisionist school of academics, including Illan Pappe (below), who challenged the until-then accepted view of the state’s formation and past.

The most recent edition of The Gun and the Olive Branch was published in 2003, near two decades ago, during which so much has come to pass between Israel and Palestine. But Hirst’s work is still as relevant as ever: his analysis of the routes of the conflict, going back as far as the 1880s, are peerless and set the groundwork for what has come to pass since.


3. Palestine
by Joe Sacco

"

Palestineby Joe Sacco, is one of the best reads for a novice attempting to understand the situation in the land between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean – and not just because it is a graphic novel, a medium historically dismissed as juvenile by many.

Based on reporting by Sacco from Israel-Palestine during 1991 and 1992 (the tail end of the first Intifada and before the Oslo Accords), it goes into uncompromising detail about life in the occupied territories and the daily occupation and injustices faced by Palestinians.

Sacco doesn’t shy away from the personal: although a self-professed sympathiser with the Palestinian cause, he notes that a formative moment in his understanding of the conflict was the news in 1985 of the murder of Leon Klinghoffer. The 69-year old disabled Jewish-American was killed by the Palestinian Liberation Front after it hijacked a cruise liner, something which Sacco says angered and discomforted him.

Throughout, Sacco presents the lives of real people – both Palestinians and Israelis – with unflinching honesty, resorting to neither polemic nor hyperbole.


4. Palestine +100: Stories from a Century after the Nakba
edited by Basma Ghalayini

"

In the introduction to Palestine +100: Stories from a Century after the Nakba, a powerful collection of short stories in which 12 Palestinian writers imagine life in 2048, editor Basma Ghalayini considers why Palestinian writers in general eschew the genre of science fiction.

“The cruel present (and the traumatic past),” she writes, “have too firm a grip on Palestinian writers’ imaginations for fanciful ventures into possible futures.”

Palestine +100 is a collection informed by catastrophe – the forced expulsion of 700,000 Palestinian Arabs in 1948 to create the state of Israel – that triggered a refugee crisis, the consequences of which reverberate to this day.

The ideas are myriad and eclectic: they include Saleem Haddad’s Song of the Birds (the teen sister of an older brother who killed himself sees her world disintegrate – literally); Anwar Hamed’s The Key (Palestinian ghosts defy technology to torment the Israel of the future); and Ahmed Masoud’s Application 39 (Gaza City hosts the 2048 Olympic Games)

A worthy collection that excavates and probes, reacquainting the West with the horrors of Palestinian existence right now.


5. The Butterfly’s Burden
by Mahmoud Darwish, translated by Fady Joudah

"

The oeuvre of acclaimed poet Mahmoud Darwish is too large to simply select one collection over another. With more than 30 published books and poems translated into 35 languages, he is deservedly one of the Arab world’s most famous and prolific writers.

The Butterfly’s Burden pulls together three of his previously published collections: The Stranger’s Bed (1998); State of Siege (2002), his response to the second intifada; and Don’t Apologize for What You’ve Done (2003), all published in Arabic following his return to Ramallah after 26 years in exile.

In much of his work he mixed modern poetry with Arabic rhythmical meters: subjects included the Palestinian revolution of 1965-1993 and the mass exodus of 1948

The Butterfly’s Burden was awarded the Saif Ghobash-Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation in 2008, the same year that Darwish died.

It’s also worth tracking down Palestine as Metaphor, a collection of interviews with Darwish. Published last year, it includes an incisive piece with Israeli poet and magazine editor Helit Yeshurun which explores exile, memory, history and belonging through Darwish’s clear, just and poetic vision.


6. A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples
by Illan Pappe

"

During the 1980s and 1990s,  a new generation of Israeli historians sought to challenge long accepted narratives about the creation of the Israeli state and the nature of Zionism.

Arguably the most famous among these New Historians, as they are known, is Ilan Pappe, who more than anyone else broke with the establishment’s account of what happened to the native Arab population of Palestine in 1948 during Israel’s “independence war”.

He is one of the few Israeli voices to question the legitimacy of the Israeli state in its current form, for which he has earned much opprobrium from Israelis, while attracting also acclaim and support from activists, intellectuals and academics worldwide.

In A History of Modern Palestine, Pappe depicts a land which, rather than being made to flourish by intrepid pioneers, was subjected to ethnic cleansing and premised a project of demographic and cultural superiority. He rejects the viability of a two-state solution and instead offers a state where all the inhabitants of the land are on an equal footing.

Also see The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, where Pappe demonstrates how Zionist leaders planned the expulsion of Palestinians from March 1948 onwards through intimidation and destruction, challenging the official Israeli account currently accepted by many in Washington.


7. Returning to Haifa
by Ghassan Kanafani

"

Read Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” and one thing soon becomes very stark: the US administration has no conception of what Palestine means to Palestinians.

Washington has no idea why a return to their homes is such a core tenet of Palestinian identity today – even among the younger generations who have never been able to set foot on the lands of their elders.

Ghassan Kanafani’s short story Returning to Haifa, which features in his collection Palestine’s Children, sets this into perspective with its focus on a Palestinian couple coming back to the home from which they had to flee 20 years earlier

Its poignancy comes in how Kanafani demonstrates what Palestine means for refugees, including their grief for what has been lost and their steadfast determination of fighting for a future.

Also see Kanafani’s short fiction story The Land of the Sad Orange, which focuses on the journey of one Palestinian family from Jaffa, expelled from their homes during the Nakba, and the consequent strain on their mental health, not least how Palestinian children cease being children as they carry the weight of displacement.


8. The Palestinians
by Elias Sanbar, translated by John Tittensor, Nigel Palmer

"

Palestine is one of the most frequently photographed places in the world – yet, according to Sanbar, real life is almost always missing from photographs taken mainly by visitors, with their focus on conflict.

Sanbar’s avowed intention with The Palestinians is to reconstruct their history in a book which he titles a “private album”.

The result is an alternative and in-depth vision of Palestine over the course of two centuries, a highly symbolic place whose people have been both captured and abstracted by the camera.

The contents of the book include themes such as pilgrims and tourists, intermingled with coverage of everyday life and uprisings.

A 2015 winner of the Palestine Book Awards, The Palestinians offers what writer Amelia Smith called “an alternative way to look at Palestine, a glimpse beyond the headlines. But it also leaves you with a question: How do these “alternative” images come to be adopted as the “normal” lens through which the world views Palestine?”


"

9. Gate of the Sun
by Elias Khoury, translated by Humphrey Davies

Although a work of fiction by a Lebanese author, Gate of the Sun is informed by Elias Khoury’s extensive interviews and research with refugees, lending the novel its humanity and spiritual resonance.

A meandering journey alternating between the fate of Palestinians in their homeland post-Nakba, and those exiled in refugee camps in Lebanon, it is a moving testament to those who have suffered occupation and mass expulsion.

Indeed, no less than Edward Said described this epic and its 1,001 nights-style tapestry as giving “voice to rooted exiles and trapped refugees, to dissolving boundaries and changing identities, to radical demands and new languages”.

In the wake of the “deal of the century”, it makes for a moving testament to those who have suffered occupation and mass expulsion.


"

10. Palestinian Walks: Notes on a Vanishing Landscape
by Raja Shehadeh

It is impossible to address the Israel-Palestine conflict without considering land and the occupied West Bank’s changing landscape. Shehadeh addresses this through his love of “sarha” – walking or roaming in Arabic.

Through a series of seven hikes in the West Bank hills, which span 27 years, Shehadeh describes the wildness, abundance and beauty of Palestine.

But then there is the sadness, frustration and injustice of that land being snatched, severed and seized.

Palestinian Walks, which won the Orwell Prize in 2008, is also notable for the contemplations that Shehadeh weaves through his wanderings, from Oslo’s inherent failures to the growing realisation that two peoples must come to terms with one another.


"

11. My People Shall Live: The Autobiography of a Revolutionary
by Leila Khaled

Leila Khaled’s autobiography was published when she only 29, usually a premature age for someone wanting to document their life’s achievements. But by then Khaled, who gained notoriety as a plane hijacker and icon of Palestinian resistance, had already experienced more than most people manage during a lifetime.

Published in 1973, My People Shall Live details Khaled’s early years with her family fleeing the catastrophe that engulfed the Palestinians after the creation of Israel.

She then lives as a refugee in Lebanon and Kuwait, joins the left-wing Arab Nationalist Movement in Beirut at 15, and later becomes part of the Marxist-Leninist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestinian (PFLP).

Some of the strongest moments are the interaction between her life and that of her family, such as her mother’s disbelief when she is jailed for a hijacking: “I know my daughter … she’s not like they are saying, all this beauty!”

More than anything My People Shall Live depicts the events, tragedies and injustices that create a “terrorist” in the eyes of the Israeli government and its allies.


12. A Child in Palestine: The Cartoons of Naji al-Ali
by Naji al-Ali

"

If there was ever a book that Kushner needs to read then it’s A Child in Palestine, which beautifully presents Naji al-Ali’s illustrations of Handala, an innocent refugee boy who has become a symbol of Palestinian resistance.

For anyone who’s visited the Middle East, Handala is a common sight in souks and bazaars, his likeness adorning keychains, necklaces and T-shirts among other regalia. He’s also graffitied on the Separation Wall in Palestine, the pyramids of Cairo and the famed old city of Sanaa.

Shoeless and in tatters, Handala’s face is never shown to the audience. Like his creator Ali, who was also a refugee, Handala is forced to confront the tragedies of the region at a terribly young age.

Through his creation, Ali’s sharp and critical commentary on regional politics and the inhumanity of war has left an indelible mark, which few cartoonists have been able to replicate.

The book is short, with Ali’s cartoons filling up most of its 117 pages. But it resonates, along with the memory of Naji al-Ali: the brilliant cartoonist was gunned down in London in 1987, three years after fleeing Kuwait, where he had received death threats. His killers have never been caught.


"

13. Mornings in Jenin
by Susan Abulhawa

Susan Abulhawa’s novel is an angry and sad work that insists you see the Palestinian experience, from the 1948 Nakba to the Lebanese civil war, from a deeply personal perspective.

At the centre of the narrative is Amal, orphaned during the 1967 war and the victim of multiple displacements.

There are also her twin brothers, one brought up as an Israeli, the other a proud Palestinian embittered by tragedy.

The contrasting scenes of bucolic pre-Nakba village life and refugee camps in Jenin and Beirut are described in Mornings in Jenin in stark relief by Abdulhawa. And while Palestinian life and culture are enjoyed and treasured, they are eventually torn apart by Israeli attacks.


"

14. Teaching Plato in Palestine
by Carlos Fraenkel

Neo-conservatives are famously fond of the ancient Greek historian Thucydides –  but perhaps Kushner might find another fifth-century Athenian a better frame of reference when it comes to the Middle East.

Plato has, unfairly, a pretty poor reputation thanks to the philosopher Karl Popper. But in this essay, Carlos Fraenkel suggests several of the Greek thinker’s notions can help untangle the natural biases that each side has in Israel and Palestine.

Who decides what justice is? Have you truly examined the experience of another? Is non-violent resistance helpful in attracting support – or does it merely make you a doormat for more powerful forces?

Teaching Plato in Palestine posits these kinds of questions and others in the context of the occupation, post-classical Arab philosophers’ own reception of Plato, and how they relate to Islam and Judaism. Required reading for those wanting a different take on the conflict.


"

15. Shatila Stories

Shatila Stories is a collaborative novel written by nine Palestinian and Syrian refugees (names below) from Lebanon’s Shatila refugee camp, described here as “a prison without walls”.

Initially set up in 1949 to house Palestinian refugees, it has also come to house a recent influx of Syrian refugees from the conflict of the past decade.

Its population is now estimated to stand at more than 40,000 for a space that covers barely one square kilometre.

The authors are mostly novices, who use real life experiences – such as the very real risk of being killed by low-hanging electricity cables, which are tangled with water pipes – to inform their fiction. Through this they present a startling and vivid idea of life in the camp.

The co-authors are Omar Khaled Ahmad, Nibal Alalo, Safa Khaled Algharbawi, Omar Abdellatif Alndaf, Rayan Mohamad Sukkar, Safiya Badran, Fatima Omar Ghazawi, Samih Mahmoud, Hiba Marei, with translation by Nashwa Gowanlock.


"

16. Hamas Contained
by Tareq Baconi

You’d be forgiven, after reading the “deal of the century” proposal, for thinking Hamas is to blame for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza rather than, say, the Israel-imposed siege that has now lasted for more than 12 years.

In that case, read Hamas Contained: The Rise and Pacification of Palestinian Resistance, Tareq Baconi’s groundbreaking history based on interviews with leaders and the group’s own writings, for an informed and critical take on the movement and a deeper understanding of what has motivated it over the past 30 years.

Most people learning about Gaza from the mainstream media, Baconi argues, will either see it as a strip of land destroyed with unprecedented humanitarian suffering; or a haven run by an unruly organisation that has taken its people hostage in order to run a campaign of terror against Israel.

Both views are reductionist and unhelpful in understanding either the movement or why two million Palestinians are crammed into a land mass the size of Philadelphia today. Reading Baconi’s history is a perfect remedy.


"

17. The Woman from Tantoura
by Radwa Ashour, translated by Kay Heikkinen

Ruqayya is a young Palestinian girl, who somehow survives the ethnic cleansing of her small village, Tantoura. It shapes her life as she ultimately carries the weight of that experience into her old age.

With The Woman from Tantoura, Egyptian novelist Radwa Ashour has crafted a beautiful story that captures the essence of the Palestinian experience through Ruqayya’s existence.

The story takes as its focus the cross-border, multi-generational trauma to which Palestinians refuse to succumb in their relentless search for meaning.

The result is a haunting story about loss, survival, memory, identity, and the persistence to return home – no matter how long it takes.


"

18. I Saw Ramallah
by Mourid Barghouti, translated by Adhaf Soueif

In his forward to this memoir, Edward Said calls I Saw Ramallah “one of the finest existential accounts of Palestinian displacement that we now have”. There are few higher endorsements.

A renowned poet, Mourid Barghouti here tries his hand at prose, with natural poetic flourishes of course. Barghouti was locked out of his homeland by the 1967 war while studying in Egypt.

His memoir chronicles the strangeness of his return 30 years later: the diminished waters of the River Jordan he crosses, the absence of lost relatives and a people forever coming to terms with the violence that has cost them so much.

Ramallah, too, is a much-changed place. Barghouti finds some humour in this, but also there is an enduring melancholy that with so much time passed, home is not what it once was. Though he has returned, the poet will be eternally homeless.


"

19. Words Under the Words: Selected Poems
by Naomi Shihab Nye

Any of Nye’s books are a pleasurable and informative introduction to the Palestinian experience, but a good place to start is Words under the Words.

It’s a collection of selected poems from her previous books: Different Ways to Pray, Yellow Glove, and National Poetry Series winner Hugging the Jukebox.

Having grown up both in Palestine and the US, and travelling the world to deliver workshops and talks, Nye calls herself “the wandering poet”. She writes in English about subjects close to her heart, including her mixed heritage (she is the daughter of a Palestinian refugee father and an American mother) and being Arab American.

A Palestinian Might Say is as good a place as any to sample her work

A Palestinian Might Say
What?
You don’t feel at home in your country,
almost overnight?
All the simple things
you cared about,
maybe took for granted..
you feel
insulted, invisible?
Almost as if you’re not there?
But you’re there

Nye also writes for children and is a professor of Creative Writing at Texas State University.


"

20. Baddawi
by Leila Abdelrazaq

For younger Palestinians in the diaspora, much of their connection to their homeland and understanding of the traumatic events is understood through the recollections of their elders.

In the graphic novel Baddawi, Leila Abdelrazaq draws from her own father’s tales of childhood in the eponymous refugee camp in north Lebanon as well as his youth growing up in Beirut.

Somewhat controversially, Israeli and Lebanese aggressors are depicted only abstractly: this is a piece whose focus is very much on the Palestinian experience alone.

Threaded throughout this occasionally bleak work are patterns based on tatreez Palestinian embroidery, a poignant symbol of Palestine’s enduring folk culture.


"

21. The Sea Cloak & Other Stories
by Nayrouz Qarmout

The Sea Cloak & Other Stories is a deceptively short volume – but while the 11 stories initially appear easily digestible, they are likely to leave a sour taste.

Here Qarmout portrays daily life in Gaza, “the world’s largest prison” for a band of mostly female characters.

For anyone looking to experience what constitutes “normal life”, this collection is an introduction to what it feels like to come of age in this charged environment. There are the games played by children, such as “Arabs and Jews”, but also the traditions and heritage of a culture so often misrepresented.

A writer, journalist and women’s rights campaigner, Qarmout doesn’t portray her characters as victims: nor does she shy away from expressing the restrictive realities of her traditional upbringing either.


22. The Earth in the Attic
by Fady Joudah

"

And the sea, each time it reaches the shore,
Becomes a bird to see of the land
What it otherwise wouldn’t.
And the wind through the trees
Is the sea coming home.

The plight of Palestinian refugees, those who’ve inherited the intergenerational trauma of displacement, is often hard to articulate.

Poets like the great Mahmoud Darwish encapsulated the subtlety and pained beauty of exile, and of trying to retain the soil, both literal and metaphorical, carried by those forced to leave their homes in the Nakba of 1948 and subsequent migrations thereafter.

His work also gave birth to a second, a third and a fourth generation of Palestinians dreaming of return, and transforming that yearning into a romance of words.

Fady Joudah is one of those voices, and a powerful one. The Palestinian-American is the child of refugees and grew up between Libya and Saudi Arabia, before pursuing his career as a doctor in Texas.

His poetry – such as The Earth in the Attic – is adorned with references to his humanitarian missions, bringing him in contact with painful stories that mimic those of his own parents. Like Darwish, he leans on a connection with trees, birds and sea allowing them to speak on his behalf.

His painstaking translation of the great works of Darwish and Ghassan Zaqtan has earned him accolades, as well as a reputation for bridging the rooted tradition of Palestinian poetry-as-testament with a new audience who needs to hear and read it.


"

23. Dreaming of Freedom: Palestinian Child Prisoners Speak
edited by Norma Hashim, translated by Yousef M. Aljamal

The Israeli justice system has long been accused of being one-sided and unsympathetic to Palestinian citizens of Israel, with a conviction rate of between 85 and 93 percent.

In occupied Palestinian Territories however, the reality is grimmer. Palestinians arrested by Israeli forces in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem are mostly tried in military courts, with a conviction rate of close to 100 percent, according to Human Rights Watch.

Many of them are children, detained and charged with “security violations” that can include throwing rocks, waving Palestinian flags or simply protesting.

Once they’ve spent time in Israeli jails, these juveniles, and often their family members, are then denied work and travel visas, leaving them economically and politically vulnerable.

The story of Ahed Tamimi, the 16-year-old activist from Nabi Saleh sent to jail for attempting to stop Israeli soldiers from entering her home, shone a light on the systemic practice of child detentions.

Dreaming of Freedom: Palestinian Child Prisoners Speak, which includes a forward by Richard Falk, is a powerful collection of first-hand accounts from other Palestinian minors told from inside prisons in their own words.

Their harrowing stories of torture, humiliation and repeated incarceration tell of a generation confined within a punitive system that criminalises their existence. But there are also stories of hope, of the dreams only children can retain against often insurmountable odds.


"

24. Before Their Diaspora
by Walid Khalidi

Walid Khalidi, a Jerusalem-born Palestinian historian, takes the reader on a visual journey into the lives of Palestinians in their homeland before they were expelled in 1948.

Here he has carefully handpicked 500 photographs depicting different aspects of Palestinian society between the Ottoman rule of Palestine in 1876 until the end of the British mandate in May 1948. Their subjects include not only inhabitants of the region but also others among the diaspora in the UK and the US.

Each photograph, sourced from public or private collections, is accompanied with well-researched captions from Arabic, English and Hebrew sources.

There are few better volumes for a visual record of the rich history of the land and its people than Before Their Diaspora, from children in schools and farmers in their fields to busy city centres and acts of resistance. A must-read if you wish a better understanding of Palestinian heritage.


"

25. The Book of Disappearance
by Ibitisam Azem, translated by Sinan Antoon

For her novel The Book of Disappearance, Azem takes an interesting hypothesis: what if Israelis woke up one day to discover that all the Palestinians had disappeared?

Instead of instant celebration, what follows in her novel is initial chaos with no one left to drive the buses, deliver the newspapers or run the cafes. Palestinian prisoners are also no longer in their cells.

Azem’s narrative is a work of fantasy, but one which features historical context in the form of stories from 1948, as told to one of the protagonists by his grandmothers, which he then records in a notebook.

This record eventually lands in the hands of his Israeli friend and neighbour who then makes initially hesitant steps at usurping his disappeared friend’s home.

The Palestinians may be gone, and their houses claimed, one by one, by those who remain – but what The Book of Disappearance leaves the reader with is a sense of palpable eeriness of the ghosts and memories which do not go away.

Palestinians have only one option left: Stay and fight

Palestinians demonstrate in front of Israeli soldiers during a protest against Trump’s Middle East peace plan in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on 29 January (Reuters)

David Hearst 29 January 2020 13:13 UTC | 

A new wave of struggle has to start now for equal rights in one state on all of the land of historic Palestine


An elephant trap has for years now laid in the path of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s messianic plans to establish the state of Israel between the river and the sea.

It was the demographic fact that, in that space, there were more Palestinians than Jews. According to 2016 figures from the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) that were provided to the Israeli Knesset’s foreign affairs and defence committee, there were 6.5 million Muslims and 6.44 million Jews between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea, although those figures are out of date now. The committee referred to Muslims rather than Palestinians, thus excluding Palestinian Christians.

This means that Netanyahu’s annexation plan on its own cannot work. The huge concrete infrastructure with which Israel has cemented its occupation of the West Bank – settlements, walls, roads and tunnels – and its apartheid state as cruel and as complete as anything manufactured in South Africa, are all palliatives – medicines which reduce the pain to a Jewish majority state but not the cause.

Another Nakba

You can announce as many times as you like, as US President Donald Trump did yesterday, that Israel will take over the Jordan Valley and thus about 30 per cent of the West Bank, and establish Israeli law over the settlements. But without physically moving greater and greater numbers of Palestinians out of the expanded state of Israel, little changes. Annexation just becomes another form of occupation. 

Population transfer, mass population transfer, another Nakba or Catastrophe, therefore, lies at the heart of Trump’s and Netanyahu’s “vision” for peace. 

This is a peace of sorts. It’s the silence you hear in the Palestinian villages in 1948, in Beit Hanoun in 2014, when Israel bombed a UN school in northern Gaza crowded with hundreds of displaced civilians killing 15 and injuring 200 people, or in East Aleppo or Mosul, after each in turn have been bombed to a pulp. It’s the peace created in the total and complete defeat of the Palestinian struggle for a state built on their own land.

The hidden plan

So, for me, the heart of the apocalyptic vision lay not in the supremacist speeches of Trump or Netanyahu, in which both proclaimed “mission accomplished”, and the complete victory of the Zionist movement over the Palestinian people. It lay in a paragraph buried deep inside the 180-page document, the most detailed document Trump bragged that had ever been produced about this conflict. Precisely.

It’s the paragraph which says that land swaps by Israel could include both “populated and unpopulated areas”. The document is precise about the population it is referring to – the 1948 Palestinian population of the so-called northern triangle of Israel – Kafr Qara, Baqa-al-Gharbiyye, Umm al-Fahm, Qalansawe, Tayibe, Kafr Qasim, Tira, Kafr Bara and Jaljulia.

The document goes on: “The Vision contemplates the possibility, subject to agreement of the parties, that the borders of Israel will be redrawn such that the Triangle Communities become part of the State of Palestine. In this agreement, the civil rights of the residents of the triangle communities would be subject to the applicable laws and judicial rulings of the relevant authorities.”

This is the hidden and most dangerous part of this plan. The triangle is home to about 350,000 Palestinians – all of whom are Israeli citizens – perched beside the north western border of the West Bank. Umm al-Fahm, its main city, has been the home of some of the most active defenders of Al Aqsa.

Yousef Jabareen, a member of the Israeli Knesset from the Joint List, told me: “Umm al-Fahm is my hometown, Wadi Ara is my lifeblood. The Triangle is home to hundreds of thousands of Arab-Palestinian citizens living in their homeland. Trump and Netanyahu’s annexation and transfer programme remove us from our homeland and revoke our citizenship; an existential danger to all Arab minority citizens. Now is the time for Jews and Arabs who value democracy and equality, to stand and work together against this dangerous plan.”

Official ‘ethnic cleansing’

For years now the “static transfer” of this population out of Israel has been toyed with by Israeli leaders of the centre or the right. The idea of a population and land swap was alluded to by former prime ministers Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon. But it was only Avigdor Lieberman who took the expulsion of Palestinians up consistently as a cause. 

He advocated stripping a suggested 350,000 Palestinians in the Triangle of their Israeli citizenship and forcing the other 20 per cent of the Israeli population, who are non-Jews, to make a “loyalty oath” to Israel as a “Jewish Zionist state”, or face expulsion to a Palestinian state.

Two years ago, Netanyahu proposed to Trump that Israel should rid itself of the Triangle. Today these plans for ethnic cleansing have been sealed in an official White House document. 

As Palestinian member of the Knesset, Ayman Odeh, tweeted, Trump’s announcement was “a green light to revoke the citizenship of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arab citizens who live in northern Israel”.

Supporting Trump

The presence of the Emirati, Bahraini and Omani ambassadors in the audience was the other remarkable feature of the announcement in the White House on Tuesday. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the UAE welcomed the plan without reservation. Qatar did too, although it added that the Palestinian state should be negotiated on 1967 borders and Palestinians should retain their right of return.

Trump said he was amazed at the number of calls he received from world leaders in support of his plan. Not least from our very own British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Ditching four decades of British foreign policy on an equitable and just two-state solution, Johnson threw the UK’s weight behind the Trump plan. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also released a statement to say they “welcome” the deal. “This is clearly a serious proposal, reflecting extensive time and effort,” he said.

“I cannot believe the amount of support this morning has,” Trump bragged. “I have been called by leaders, Boris [Johnson] called; so many called. They’re all saying, ‘whatever we can do to help”.

There are some, however, who realise the danger of this plan. Senator Chris Murphy is one of them. He tweeted: “The unilateral annexation of the Jordan River valley and existing settlements, deemed illegal under US and international law, will set back the peace process decades. And it risks real violence and massive destabilization inside places like Jordan.”

Home alone

No-one should underestimate the historic nature of the declaration that has just taken place. The two-state solution or the idea that a viable, contiguous Palestinian state can be created alongside a Jewish majority state is dead. It was dead long before Oslo Accords. 

Arab peacemakers like King Hussein of Jordan was told in terms by both the Soviets – Yevgeny Primakov – and James Baker, then secretary of state, that an independent Palestinian state would never be achieved. This was even before the Madrid conference which preceded Oslo. The king did not need to attend the funeral of his friend Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated in 1995, to realise this. He knew it already. But it really is dead now. 

The US has now given its official imprimatur to the eastern borders of the state of Israel. The map Middle East Eye published says it all. The Palestinian state envisioned by the plan looks like an MRI scan of the brain of an Alzheimer’s victim. The Palestinian state has been entirely eaten away.

US President Donald Trump and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s on 28 January (Reuters)

The message of this map to Palestinians of whatever faction is now crystal clear. Forget your divisions, forget what happened between Fatah and Hamas in Gaza in 2007, cast aside claims of coups, and unite. Unite against an existential threat.

The Palestinians are truly alone. All of the staples of their negotiating position have gone. They have no Jerusalem, no right of return, no refugees to return, no Golan Heights and now no Jordan Valley. They have no Arab allies. Syria is wrecked, Iraq divided, Egypt and Saudi Arabia are now Israel’s playthings. The Palestinians have lost the support of the most populous Arab nation and its richest one.

They have nowhere to flee to. Europe is closed for any future mass migration. They have only one option: to stay and fight. United, they can undo Israel’s supremacist plans for ethnic cleansing. They have done this before and they can do this again.

A new struggle

Palestinians now have to face this reality. The PLO’s recognition of Israel, in 1993, has finally hit the dead end that this road was always going to lead to. The US, international law, UN resolutions were never going to come to their rescue, and in this sense alone, Trump’s brutal plan has done Palestinians a favour. It has blown away decades of fantasy.Trump’s ‘deal of the century’: A blessing in disguise?Read More »

What has to start now is a new wave of struggle for equal rights in one state on all of the land of historic Palestine. This will involve a huge fight. No-one should underestimate what will happen if the Palestinian people rise up again. But no-one should be in any doubt too, of the consequences of acquiescence.

This is the first time since 1948 that all Palestinians can join together to do this. They have to seize this opportunity or wither away as a footnote in history.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.David HearstDavid Hearst is the editor in chief of Middle East Eye. He left The Guardian as its chief foreign leader writer. In a career spanning 29 years, he covered the Brighton bomb, the miner’s strike, the loyalist backlash in the wake of the Anglo-Irish Agreement in Northern Ireland, the first conflicts in the breakup of the former Yugoslavia in Slovenia and Croatia, the end of the Soviet Union, Chechnya, and the bushfire wars that accompanied it. He charted Boris Yeltsin’s moral and physical decline and the conditions which created the rise of Putin. After Ireland, he was appointed Europe correspondent for Guardian Europe, then joined the Moscow bureau in 1992, before becoming bureau chief in 1994. He left Russia in 1997 to join the foreign desk, became European editor and then associate foreign editor. He joined The Guardian from The Scotsman, where he worked as education correspondent.

The Story of Daher Al-Umar Undermines Israel’s Own Origin Story

Daher Al-Umar Feature photo

Akka, Haifa, Tabaria, are all cities with a rich Arab history which Daher made into thriving towns, and yet little memory of him existents thanks to enormous efforts put forward by the state of Israel to control the historical narrative.

December 02nd, 2019

The history of Palestine, even its very recent history, has been all but forgotten. It was pushed out by a new version of history, a narrative that is based on faith and has very little to do with history. One striking example is that of the 18th-century Palestinian leader and unifier, Daher Al-Umar. For most people, neither the man or the period in which he ruled Palestine is known.

Here is what Palestinian author Ibrahim Nasrallah writes about Daher Al-Umar:

This matchless character has long been worthy of the attention of novelists and film and television producers, who could have made him a luminous part of our popular consciousness and the ongoing struggle of the people who populated and gave life to the land of Palestine.”

 

Time to Remember

In his forward to The Lanterns of the King of Galilee, a historical novel based on the life of Daher Al-Umar published in 2011 in Arabic, and in English in 2014, Nasrallah writes, “What saddens me now is that I didn’t come to know this great man earlier in my life.” The man to which he is referring is Daher Al-Umar Al-Zaidani, also known as The King of Galilee, whose remarkable life spanned from 1689 to 1775.

Daher Al-Umar governed most of historic Palestine and shaped its economy and politics as well as the life of its inhabitants for the better part of the 18th century. He established ties – economic and political – with European empires and created a boost in the economy and lives of the people of Palestine that was unprecedented. Palestine, under Daher, was the closest thing to an independent state one could achieve in 18th century Levant.

I had only heard of Daher Al-Umar from reading Nasrallah’s book, which shows that Nasrallah is correct as he continues to say in his forward, “Unfortunately many people are ignorant of what Daher achieved toward establishing an autonomous Arab homeland in Palestine.” However, what is astonishing is that Nasrallah himself admits that he only came across the figure of Daher in 1985 while working on his epic novel, Time of White Horses, published in Arabic in 2007 and in English in 2012.

 

A Challenging Narrative

In his forward, Nasrallah doesn’t shy away from stating the obvious, that his homeland, the country which Daher unified and ruled, namely Palestine, “fell prey to the Zionist onslaught that wrested it from its owners by means of myths, tanks and collusion.”

One might add that these myths used by the ZIonists were not just any myths, but perhaps the most powerful myths the world has ever known. In fact, even referring to these stories as “myth” will surely give rise to serious opposition as we are talking about none other than the Bible itself.

The Zionists based their claims to rights over Palestine using the toughest narrative to challenge. It is not one that is tough to challenge because it is rooted in historical facts, but because it is rooted in faith. In establishing their stake to Palestine, the Zionists built a foundation on three myths that operate as three pillars: The myth of the Jewish people, the myth of the homeland and the myth of history, and all three stem from the biblical narrative.

Jewish refugee Palestine

700 Jewish refugees aboard the S.S. Parita arrive in Palestine on Aug. 22, 1939. Photo | AP

The myth of Jewish people claims that Jews are a nation like all nations, unified by a common language, history and country. This myth is in direct opposition to the way observant, orthodox Jewish people define themselves, which is as a people unified by a common faith and observance to the Almighty. This definition allows for Jewish people to be Arabs and speak Arabic, to be Polish and speak Polish or Yiddish or to be citizens of any other country in the world and still remain Jewish, as they had done for two millennia.

The myth of the homeland claims that Palestine is the homeland of the Jewish people and that it has been empty for thousands of years. This myth stands in contrast to the fact that Jews have a home and land wherever they reside, and Palestine is and always was inhabited and thriving.

The myth of that history involves the secularization of the Old Testament. It treats the Old Testament as a historical document that describes the history of the Jewish people. According to this myth, the Bible has historical value, even though centuries of research prove otherwise. Furthermore, this myth ignores the fact that the bible is not a history book but rather a book of faith with little significant historical foundation.

It is in the face of these challenging myths that opponents of Zionism and supporters of the rights of Palestinians have to struggle. It is in this context that knowing about Daher Al-Umar is so crucial, and one must ask, why and how a figure of such stature, influence and importance was erased from memory.

 

Daher’s Palestine is Nasrallah’s Palestine

Nasrallah writes that his acquaintance with Daher had given him the ability to “trace the roots that go so deep into the land of Palestine.” He continues to describe this Palestine specifically as, “Arab Palestine, the Palestine of beauty, tolerance and the willingness to embrace the other.” People who know Palestine, particularly pre-ZIonist Palestine, will agree with Nasrallah when he goes even further, calling it, “the Palestine of cultural, spiritual and human richness; the Palestine that aspires to all that is free, lovely and good.”

Daher was known for his tolerance and the good relations he forged with Christian communities, Jewish communities and the Shia community of southern Lebanon. At his invitation, Jews from Izmir had come to come to Tabaria, or Tiberias and settled there during his reign. Sadly, as a result of the 1948 Zionist destruction and forced exile, little remains of the Arab Tabaria of Daher.

Tiberias Palestine 1936

Tiberias pictured circa 1936, prior to the 1948 Nakba. Source | Kahvedjian Collection

The mosque Daher built in the city still stands. It is a monument that under any other circumstances would have been venerated, cared for and used by the faithful. According to Zochrot and to what any visitor can witness, the mosque still stands, but it was desecrated and until recently used by the city as a storage space. Now it remains closed and neglected.

Akka, Haifa, Tabaria, are all cities with a rich Arab history which Daher made into thriving towns, and yet no memory of him exists. The onslaught of Zionist erasure of the history, names and monuments on the one hand and enormous efforts put forward by the new state of Israel to push forward a historical narrative that supports Israel’s existence has been devastating and incredibly difficult to challenge.

 

Erasing Memories

All of the cities that existed in Palestine prior to 1948 and were subjected to ethnic cleansing had their streets renamed. Most, if not all, have streets named after Ben-Gurion, Weizman, Hertzel, Balfour, and other major Zionist figures. Streets have been renamed after Israeli generals like Rabin, Dayan, Bar-Lev, etc., and still others are named after military units, replacing the historical names that used to exist. This process continues to this day and can be seen clearly, particularly in Jerusalem where the “Zionization” process is in full force.

Ibrahim Nasrallah ends his forward expressing the hope that, “those who read this novel will relive all the feelings I experienced in the course of writing it, and when that happens I’m sure they’ll sense how much better they’ve become.” Having read the book, I must agree.

Feature photo | A painting of Daher Al-Umar by Ziad Daher Zaydany circa 2010

Miko Peled is an author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. He is the author of “The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

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The Jewish Progressive Agenda according to Bernie Sanders

 

sanders final.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

In the 2016 Democratic primaries, Bernie Sanders presented himself as an American who happened to be Jewish.  Now, in a radical shift, Sanders identifies as “a proud Jewish American.” The progressive politician went from speaking in a universalist voice to defining himself as a 3rd category Jew, i.e., a person who identifies politically as a Jew (as opposed to identifying religiously:1st category, or ancestrally: 2nd category). In his new capacity as a proud Jew, Sanders has declared all out war on Anti Semitism on behalf of his people and in the name of what he describes as ‘multicultural progressive values’.

In his recent extended article titled How to Fight Antisemitism, published by the purportedly ‘Left’ Jewish Currents, Sanders takes up the same line you’d expect from an ADL spokesman, ticking every Hasbara box from the Jewish right of ‘self determination ‘to the primacy of Jewish suffering.

It is hard to miss the echo of Zionist propaganda in Sanders’ drivel. Understandably, Sanders doesn’t like Anti-Semitism. In that he isn’t alone. I would venture that no one, including antisemites, likes anti-Semitism. However, fighting anti Semitism is pretty simple. All it takes is self-reflection. This is exactly what early Zionists did and it was pretty effective. Early Zionism promised  to introduce a new Hebrew: civilized, proletarian, universalist and ethical. Some of the worst anti-Semites were impressed with the idea, for a while even Hitler supported that Jewish nationalist project. At the time, Zionists were so popular that they were largely forgiven their 1948 racist ethnic cleansing crimes. Their introspective project was perceived as genuine.

Now, Sanders informs us, “antisemitism is rising in this country. According to the FBI, hate crimes against Jews rose by more than a third in 2017 and accounted for 58% of all religion-based hate crimes in America.”  Does the ‘progressive’ presidential wannabe bother to ask himself why an ethnic group that comprises only 2% of the American population is subject to the vast majority of religion based hate crimes?

Sanders doesn’t advocate that Jews reflect on whether there is something they do that provokes such crimes,  he prefers to blame everyone else and White identitarians in particular. He argues that antisemites such as the Pittsburgh Synagogue murderer “acted on a twisted belief that Jews were part of a nefarious plot to undermine white America. This wave of violence is the result of a dangerous political ideology that targets Jews and anyone who does not fit a narrow vision of a whites-only America.”

Although I am a harsh critic all forms of identitarianism,  Sanders seems to want it both ways, he identifies himself as a “proud Jewish American” and yet he is hostile to those who identify as White and to their political and identitarian agenda. In reading Sanders’ piece, one can’t miss the fact that the so-called ‘progressive’ seems to support all forms of identitarianism except the White one. “This wave of violence” he writes, “is the result of a dangerous political ideology that targets Jews and anyone who does not fit a narrow vision of a whites-only America.”

Politicians who explore ideas in a manner that is ignorant, uneducated and clumsy are now a universal Western symptom. However, Sanders manages to form a category of his own. “The antisemites who marched in Charlottesville don’t just hate Jews. They hate the idea of multiracial democracy.”

What is multiracial democracy? Are we supposed to know or should we guess? Are there any voices that should be excluded from this type of diverse democracy?

 “They [presumably, the White Identitarians] hate the idea of political equality.”

Is this true? Perhaps ‘they,’ rightly or wrongly, just see themselves as among the oppressed and want their plight addressed?

“They hate immigrants, people of color, LGBTQ people, women, and anyone else who stands in the way of a whites-only America.”

Does Sanders understand that ‘hating people’ (women, migrants, people of color, LGBTQ etc,) is not the same as opposing the identity politics that divides nations into a manifold of discrete identities?

Sanders accuses the anti-Semites of being conspiratorial. “this is the conspiracy theory that drove the Pittsburgh murderer—that Jews are conspiring to bring immigrants into the country to “replace” Americans.”

I feel obliged to remind Mr. Sanders it is hardly conspiratorial to acknowledge the fact that Jewish politics in the West and in America in particular, is pro-immigration. It is well documented and is actually rational. As opposed to the Jewish State that performs some of the most brutal anti immigration policies, Diaspora Jews tend to prefer to live in a society that is made of an amalgam of many groups and ethnicities. Sanders who identifies himself as a ‘proud Jew’ should ask himself why he supports ‘multicultural democracy’ and what he means by that. Sanders ought to look into the work of HIAS and decide for himself how well it reflects his own political sentiments.

 Bernie Sanders sees anti-Semitism as “a conspiracy theory that a secretly powerful  (Jewish) minority exercises control over society.”

Someone should ask Sanders to explain the peculiar phenomenon at work when Israeli PM Netanyahu received  29 standing ovations during his hard line speech in Congress. Mr. Sanders, who believes that pointing at Jewish power arises from ‘conspiratorial’ inclinations may want to ask himself what drove him to declare war against anti Semitism instead of joining battle against all racism. Does Sanders plan to speak at AIPAC or J-Street as part of his presidential campaign or does he intend to deny himself the support of the most influential political lobbies in Washington?

Sanders writes that “like other forms of bigotry—racism, sexism, homophobia—antisemitism is used by the right to divide people from one another and prevent us from fighting together for a shared future of equality, peace, prosperity, and environmental justice.” But if Sanders is genuine here and his objective is ‘unity,’ why does he single out  White identitarians? Shouldn’t he invite the Whites to join his phantasmic identitarian ‘unity’ as equal partners? And more to the point, if “like other forms of bigotry—racism, sexism, homophobia—antisemitism is used by the right to divide people” why not simply oppose all racism and bigotry in a universal manner?

According to the “proud Jewish American” who wants to be the next  president, “opposing antisemitism is a core value of progressivism.” Is it?  I would have thought that progressivism is about opposing all forms of racism in the largest and least discriminatory manner.

To illustrate his alliance with what is currently the most racist state on the planet, Sanders delves into nostalgic memories of his Zionist youth. “I have a connection to Israel going back many years. In 1963, I lived on a kibbutz near Haifa. It was there that I saw and experienced for myself many of the progressive values upon which Israel was founded.”

Mr Sanders forgets to mention that Sha’ar Haamakim, the Kibbutz he briefly dwelled in, was founded on the land of a Palestinian village; Al Zubaidat that had been the home of 60 Palestinian families. In 1925 a Zionist organisation purchased the village land from a rich Beiruty family and beginning in 1931, the Jewish Agency struggled to evict the Palestinians of  El Zubeidat. A few years later, in 1935,  Kibbutz Sha’ar HaAmakim was founded by Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. In short, the place Sanders describes as embodying  ‘progressive values’ was in fact, part of the vile racially driven, Zionist ethnic cleansing project.

The intellectually compromised Sanders goes on to describe a criminal state with a very odd use of the term ‘progressive.’  “I think it is very important for everyone, but particularly for progressives, to acknowledge the enormous achievement of establishing a democratic homeland for the Jewish people after centuries of displacement and persecution.” I find this confusing.  Unless the words ‘progressive’ and ‘Jewish’ have morphed into synonyms, I do not understand what is ‘progressive’ about the process of violent racist ethnic cleansing.

I guess even Sanders must realise that his pro Israeli screed is easily ridiculed.

  “We must also be honest about this: The founding of Israel is understood by another people in the land of Palestine as the cause of their painful displacement.”

According to Sanders the Palestinian plight is simply a matter of a subjective perception, that  it was merely ‘understood’ by the Palestinians that the founding of Israel resulted in their own painful displacement.  Sanders dismisses reality, ignoring the chain of massacres of Palestinians in 1948, and the clear agenda of the Israeli military to cleanse the indigenous people of Palestine from their land. I can’t think of anything more disgusting and duplicitous than Sanders’ fake humanism.

 Sanders finds that “some criticism of Israel can cross the line into antisemitism, especially when it denies the right of self-determination to Jews…” I allow myself to assert that no one out there denies Jews or anyone else’s right of self-determination but self determination becomes a serious problem when executed at the expense of others, whether this takes place in Palestine, in North America or anywhere else.

Bernie Sanders, a declared non universalist ‘progressive,’ uses a Jewish outlet to vow to his people “I will direct the Justice Department to prioritize the fight against white nationalist violence. I will not wait two years to appoint a Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, as Trump did; I will appoint one immediately.”

If America intends, as it should, to fight racism and to heal its wounds it could be that Bernie Sanders is the worst possible candidate as he clearly expresses that what he cares about is the hatred of the one group that happens to be his own. Maybe president of  the ADL is the more fitting post for the pretentious self confessed “proud Jewish American.” Leading the American people and the world should be left to a proper universalist and a genuine ethical character assuming that such a person is available and willing to commit.


 My battle for truth and freedom involves some expensive legal and security services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me and others.

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Netanyahu Fooled his People to Get Re-Elected Using the Remnants of the IDF Terrorist Retrieved from Syria

 

Netanyahu lied- only half of the body of the IDF terrorist Baumel retrieved from Syria through Russia

When the news of Russian help extended to Netanyahu to win the elections went as far as extracting the remains of an IDF terrorist killed in Lebanon and buried in Yarmouk Camp graveyard south of Damascus back in April earlier this year, many Syrians, Palestinians, and other Arabs felt heart-broken and disappointed; it was more like a backstab to the Syrians and Palestinians by their Russian ally and a betray of trust, usually this would include releasing numerous Palestinians, Lebanese, and Syrian women, men, and most importantly children held in Israeli prisons.

Netanyahu needed any help to win the elections back in May to remain out of prison on charges of fraud, like all other Israeli officials, usual exchanges would include at least releasing a number of the children and women, and even men kidnapped by Israel and held in detention centers across occupied Palestine. But there was no exchange.

Liar Netanyahu shows fake emotions to family of IDF terrorist Baumel

At a later stage Netanyahu, possibly under pressure from Putin, released two prisoners, one of who is a Palestinian who didn’t want to go to Syria in the first place, whose his family are in the occupied Palestinian city of Al-Khalil (Zionists call it Hebron), and a drug dealer who has already spent his 11 years sentence in the Israeli prisons and was set to be released in a couple of months completing his sentence without any deal!

Thousands of children, women, and innocent men held with no justification by an occupation force and under the heinous silence of the United Nations and its many organs which are more focused to investigate bogus and fake news against Syria instead of focusing on real people held in miserable situations under the whole world’s watchful eyes.

That’s for the background of this story; what was revealed today should deliver a blow to the already embattled Netanyahu in regards with the snatching of the body of the IDF terrorist from Syria by Russia. Khalid Jibril, head of security and military in the PFLP-GC (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command), in an interview with Lebanese Al-Mayadeen news channel, revealed that what the Russians managed to extract was only the upper half of the remains of the body of the Israeli IDF terrorist and even that was missing its jaw.

In other words, not only did Netanyahu falsely claim he got the remains of the terrorist, he only got less than half after desecrating the remnants and fooling his family, and the public, just to get reelected.

Khalid Ahmad Jibril head of military and security PFLP-GC

Khalid Ahmad Jibril head of military and security PFLP-GC

Mr. Jibril challenged the Israeli leadership to deny this information, he added: ‘When they need to have these bodies back they need to pay the price for that which is releasing those in the (Israeli) occupation prisons, Syrians, Palestinians, or Arabs.’

The timing of this exposure is essential as the Israelis are preparing for the second round of elections and Netanyahu’s chances should grow slimmer with this news especially when used by his opponents.

In Case you missed it

Nakba II is Here

nakba II.jpg

Reported by Gilad Atzmon

 The Israeli media reported yesterday that the Jewish State is “actively pushing Palestinian emigration from Gaza.” A senior Israeli official confirmed that Jerusalem is looking for other countries to take in Gazans.

 Times of Israel reported that  “Israel is actively promoting the emigration of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, and is working to find other countries who may be willing to absorb them.” We are basically dealing here with a systematic forced removal of the indigenous population from a given territory by a powerful settler state. In Yiddish as well as English such an act  is called ethnic cleansing  and is considered a crime against humanity under the statutes of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

 In a similar fashion to the German (Nazi) Government at the time of the   Haavara agreement (1933) the Jewish State  is encouraging  Gazans to ‘willingly’ leave their land. The Israeli official confirmed that Israel “is ready to carry the costs of helping Gazans emigrate, and would even be willing to consider allowing them to use an Israeli air field close to Gaza to allow them to leave for their new host countries.”

 I guess that Jewish State is making a real effort to redefine the notion of Jewish ‘kindness.’

 According to the Israeli official “Israeli National Security Council has been spearheading the effort, with Netanyahu’s blessing, for about a year. The program has been discussed in the security cabinet several times.” However the official confirmed that despite the Israeli communication with  European leaders and even countries in the region, so far, no country has agreed to participate in the Israeli crime and absorb  the ethnically cleansed Gazans.

Maybe those reluctant  European leaders and countries in the region are waiting to see whether Israel is willing to absorb the many suspects involved with the current Epstein’s #pedogate as this scandal is quickly  unfolding  into a global  crime syndicate saga.

Israel’s Hands Spread Wide and Dig Deep

Image result for Israel’s Hands Spread Wide and Dig Deep
Brian Cloughley
August 6, 2019
© Photo: Flickr / Official Photo by Caleb Smith

In the US House of Representatives on 23 July there was an overwhelming vote condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement which has the objective of encouraging the government of Israel to meet “its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully comply with the precepts of international law by:

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;

2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.”

There is nothing morally or legally questionable in any of these aims.  But the United States Congress does not concern itself with morality or legality if these are inconsistent with its policy concerning Israel, which, as enunciated by Representative Lee Zeldin of New York, is based on the conviction that “Israel is our best ally in the Mid East; a beacon of hope, freedom & liberty, surrounded by existential threats.”  Fox News reported that the condemnatory resolution “has been pushed by AIPAC, the influential Israel lobby in Washington,” which explains a great deal, as AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is a very powerful organisation, with deep pockets and wide-spreading hands.

In February 2019 The Intercept noted  that “AIPAC, on its own website, recruits members to join its ‘Congressional Club,’ and commit to give at least $5,000 per election cycle.” In a film called The Lobby “Eric Gallagher, a top official at AIPAC from 2010 to 2015, tells an Al Jazeera reporter that AIPAC gets results.”  A secret recording revealed that “Getting $38 billion in security aid to Israel matters, which is what AIPAC just did. Everything AIPAC does is focused on influencing Congress.”

And AIPAC influences Congress and other agencies extremely efficiently, even to the extent of managing to have Al Jazeera refrain from broadcasting the US-focused version of The Lobby.The Director of Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit, Clayton Swisher, said that pressure included “pro-Israel lobbyists in Washington threatening to convince Congress to register the network as ‘foreign agents,’ and false accusations of anti-Semitism against the producers of the documentary.”  That’s all you need:  the mere mention of anti-Semitism makes everyone suck their teeth, roll their eyes, and leap out of the way.

It so happened that the day before Congress condemned an initiative aimed at having Israel recognise the rights of Palestinians and abide by international law, the Israelis carried out an operation of destruction that was specifically aimed against the rights of Palestinians and was contrary to international law.  As the BBC reported, it involved 200 Israeli soldiers and 700 police, weapons at the ready, deploying to the Palestinian village of Wadi Hummus at 4 in the morning of July 22, along with bulldozers and excavators that proceeded to destroy Palestinian homes.

There wasn’t a word of objection from the US Administration whose Tweeter-in-Chief had made his views on Israel crystal-clear on 16 July when he announced that the four non-white female Members of Congress whom he loathes to the point of psychosis are “a bunch of Communists [who] hate Israel.”  Moreover, they “talk about Israel like they’re a bunch of   thugs, not victims of the entire region.”  On the other hand, the European Union stated that “Israel’s settlement policy, including actions taken in that context, such as forced transfers, evictions, demolitions and confiscations of homes, is illegal under international law. In line with the EU’s long-standing position, we expect the Israeli authorities to immediately halt the ongoing demolitions.”  Fat chance of that — just as there is no possibility that the United states or the United Kingdom will support pursuit of international law when it is violated by Israel.

Britain is on its way out of the European Union, so has no say in EU policy, but in any case it wouldn’t agree about criticism of Israel because the governing Conservative Party fosters an organisation called ‘Conservative Friends of Israel’ (CFI) whose members constitute some eighty per cent of Conservative Members of Parliament.

Boris Johnson, Britain’s Trump-loving new prime minister, is a fervid supporter of CFI which supported him in his bid to be head of the Conservative party. On 23 July, after his selection to be leader and thus prime minister, the CFI’s Chairmen, Stephen Crabb MP and Lord Pickles, and Honorary President Lord Polak declared that “From his refusal to boycott Israeli goods in his time as Mayor of London through to his instrumental role as Foreign Secretary…  Boris has a long history of standing shoulder to shoulder with Israel and the Jewish community. Mr Johnson continued to display his resolute support… reiterating his deep support for Israel and pledging to be a champion for Jews in Britain and around the world.”

One of Johnson’s first ministerial appointments was of Ms Priti Patel to be Home Secretary. She had resigned from the Cabinet of PM Theresa May in November 2017 because it had been discovered that she had been telling lies, which wasn’t in itself unusual, but the circumstances were intriguing.  As the BBC headlined about the then head of International Development :  “Priti Patel quits cabinet over Israel meetings row” which involved her apologising to the prime minister “after unauthorised meetings in August with Israeli politicians — including prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu — came to light. But it later emerged she had two further meetings without government officials present in September.”  Not only that, but in a media interview “she gave the false impression that the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, and the Foreign Office knew about her meetings in Israel.”

It’s one of these irregular verbs which were met with much laughter during the marvellous BBC series ‘Yes Minister’ and ‘Yes, Prime Minister’ — ‘I make a misstatement;  she gives a false impression;  he is in prison for telling lies.’

And it was decidedly strange that the egregious Lord Polak, he of the statement that Boris Johnson stands “shoulder to shoulder with Israel” accompanied Patel at 13 of her 14 meetings with Israeli officials during August and September. What on earth could have been going on?

Of course she had no reason to worry about having to resign for telling lies, because at the time of her disgrace Boris Johnson told the BBC that “Priti Patel has been a very good colleague and friend for a long time and a first class secretary of state for international development. It’s been a real pleasure working with her and I’m sure she has a great future ahead of her.”  The man has the gift of prophecy.

Then Johnson appointed Michael Gove to his Cabinet as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, which is a weird appointment that gives a lot of power and very little responsibility. Gove had been demonstrably disloyal to Johnson during the first leadership struggle, in what the Daily Telegraph called a “spectacular act of treachery” but all was forgiven because, as recorded approvingly by the Conservative Friends of Israel he believes that anti-Zionism and antisemitism are “two sides of the same coin”, which means that anybody who criticises Israel’s nationalistic persecution of Palestinians is an anti-Semite. He believes that “the test for any civilised society is whether it stands with the Jewish people, and whether it stands with Israel. It is a pleasure to stand with the Jewish people. It is a duty to stand with Israel.”

The Palestinians are not going to get one tiny bit of support from either the United States or Britain when their houses are bulldozed to rubble.  They can expect no criticism from Washington or London when their children are killed in Gaza by Israeli soldiers.

The West Bank of the Jordan River, between Israel and Jordan, was captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war. Then it annexed East Jerusalem. Both areas are defined in international law as occupied territory.  Although this is ignored by the US and Britain it was intriguing that in a minor but telling legal finding in Canada on 30 July, a judge ruled that wines made in Jewish settlements in the West Bank should not carry labels that say “Product of Israel” because of course the settlements are built on Palestinian land.

But there’s no point in telling that to the Israeli-supporting wine connoisseur Donald Trump or the US Congress or any member of Britain’s governing Conservative party, because international law means nothing when there are other priorities.

حملة وزير القوات: «البعبع» الفلسطيني مجدداً

حملة وزير القوات: «البعبع» الفلسطيني مجدداً

الحريري تائه بين وزير حليف في حكومته، وموقف شارعه المتضامن مع الفلسطينيين (هيثم الموسوي)

فراس الشوفي

18 تموز 2019

بدا تردّد وزير العمل كميل بو سليمان، بعد اندلاع الاحتجاجات في المخيمات الفلسطينية، نابعاً من «قلة معرفة» بالواقع الفلسطيني ــ اللبناني، ومن إصرار قواتي على منافسة التيار الوطني الحر شعبياً. «العقلاء» تدخّلوا للملمة الأزمة، فيما يبقى ناقصاً تحويل خلاصات لجنة الحوار إلى قوانين

عندما قرّر وزير العمل كميل بو سليمان، أن «يطبّق القانون»، كما يقول، لم يكن لديه أدنى معرفة بديهية بالواقع الفلسطيني في لبنان. وهذا ليس تجنّياً، بل إن الوزير لم يخفِ الأمر عن عددٍ من المسؤولين اللبنانيين والفلسطينيين، في اللقاءات التي حصلت في الأيام الماضية. مثلاً، لم يكن يعرف أن الفلسطينيين في لبنان لديهم «خصوصية» تحديداً في موضوع العمل، ولا يمكن معاملتهم معاملة الأجانب! وهو، إن لم يكن يدري، تجاهل وجود لجنة الحوار اللبناني – الفلسطيني التابعة لرئاسة الحكومة، وفي عضويتها نواب ممثّلون للكتل النيابية، من بينها حزب القوات اللبنانية، ولم يكلّف نفسه عناء سؤالها عن رأيها. وبعيداً عن اطلاعه السياسي، غاب عن الوزير أن القوانين التي عُدِّلَت عام 2010، في ما يخصّ عمل الفلسطينيين، لم تتحوّل إلى مراسيم تطبيقية.

أما ما لم يكن يعرفه الوزير، أو تجاهله ربّما، فهو احتمالات ردود الفعل في المخيّمات الفلسطينية، أو كيف سيتصرّف آلاف العمّال الفلسطينيين، الذين لا تنافس غالبيتهم المطلقة العمال اللبنانيين، ولا المهن اللبنانية، حين تنقطع أرزاقهم فجأة؟ ماذا عن الوزير السابق طوني كرم، عضو لجنة الحوار، أو حتى المسؤول القواتي إيلي الهندي، وهو يتابع الملفّ الفلسطيني، ألا يعرفان؟

طبعاً، ليس من الموضوعية تحميل مسؤولية «الدعسة الناقصة» في ملفٍّ متفجّر من هذا النوع، لأبو سليمان وحده. مع أن وزير العمل تحديداً، في ظلّ هشاشة القوانين، لديه هامش واسع لإدارة عمل الفلسطينيين في لبنان. إلا أن الحملة التي أطلقها، جزء من توجّه حكومي، تحت مسمّى ضبط العمالة الأجنبية في لبنان، تستهدف أولاً ضبط العمالة السورية، وتصيب في طريقها العمالة الفلسطينية، من دون أدنى تقدير للنتائج، وللظروف السياسية الخطيرة التي تتركها تفاعلات ما يسمى «صفقة القرن». والدليل على قصر النظر الحكومي في معالجة أيٍّ من الملفّات، اللجوء والعمالة السورية، أو الفلسطيني، حالة الارتباك التي تعيشها الدولة والسلطة السياسية، ومحاولة لملمة «جنوح» الحملات الأخيرة بأقل الخسائر الممكنة، مع بدء التحركات الشعبية في المخيمات الفلسطينية، والاعتراض اللبناني الواسع من أصحاب المصالح.

مثلاً، لو رفع بو سليمان سمّاعة الهاتف، وسأل المدير العام للأمن العام اللواء عباس إبراهيم، أو المعنيين في استخبارات الجيش بالملف الفلسطيني، لسمع من مصدرين معنيين، تنبيهاً عن طفولية خطوة من هذا النوع وخطورتها.

لكن بو سليمان كان مستعجلاً. لم يعنه أن بعض المصالح الفلسطينية التي أقفلها، لديها عدد كبير من العمّال اللبنانيين. يريد تسجيل النّقاط لحساب جعجع، في سباق «ألعاب القوى»، الذي يخوضه الأخير مع وزير الخارجية جبران باسيل لاستنهاض العصبيات في الساحة المسيحية. هال جعجع أن يكسب باسيل معركة الشعبوية، رافعاً راية مواجهة النزوح السوري في لبنان (من بيروت!). ولأن رئيس القوات، الصديق الصدوق للسلطة الفلسطينية وحليف المحور الغربي – الخليجي (الذي يمنع عودة النازحين السوريين إلى ديارهم)، لن يستطيع الاستثمار في الملفّ السوري، جاءه الملفّ الفلسطيني على طبقٍ من فضّة. وهذا الاستنتاج، يمكن سماعه على لسان أبرز السياسيين والأمنيين في البلاد، وقادة الفصائل الفلسطينية. بعضهم يذهب أبعد من ذلك، فيقول إن وزير العمل عندما بدأ يتجاوب مع المتدخلين لوقف التدقيق على الفلسطينيين، كان يأتيه مرسال معراب، ليرفع من معنوياته ويشدّ أزره.

منذ أيام، والغليان يسود في المخيمات الفلسطينية، من البارد والبداوي في الشمال، إلى الرشيدية والبص في الجنوب. وللعلم، فإن هبّة الشارع الفلسطيني لا تحرّكها الفصائل. بل إن واقع الحال اليومي والمعاناة الفلسطينية المتواصلة منذ عقود طويلة، مع الحملات الأخيرة، كافية ليخرج الفلسطينيون العاديون عن صوابهم. وعلى العكس مما يحاول البعض تسويقه، فإن الفصائل من خلال تنسيقها مع الجيش اللبناني، تحاول قيادة التحركات الشعبية ومنع خروجها عن السيطرة. حتى إن إجراءات الجيش في الأيام الماضية، ومنعه الفلسطينيين من الخروج من المخيمات وتنفيذ اعتصاماتهم في المدن، لاقتها الفصائل بمحاولات تهدئة الفلسطينيين بالتوازي مع الاتصالات السياسية وتدخّلات «العقلاء» لإيجاد مخرج للأزمة.

القوات تريد تسجيل النقاط لحساب جعجع، في سباقه مع باسيل في الساحة المسيحية

ففي مقابل الغليان الفلسطيني، ينمو شارع لبناني مضاد، مستحضراً ذاكرة الحرب اللبنانية، وعصبيات لا تعنيها المعلومات والدراسات العلمية حول تأثير الوجود الفلسطيني على العمالة اللبنانية والاقتصاد. وعلى الهامش، يراقب المعنيون كيفية تفاعل اللاجئين السوريين مع الاحتجاجات الفلسطينية. يخشى هؤلاء أن تنتقل عدوى الشارع من المخيمات الفلسطينية إلى مخيمات النازحين السوريين في المناطق. إذا كان الفلسطينيون منضبطين إجمالاً في المخيمات بوجود قيادات سياسية يمكن أن تُسهم في ضبط التحركّات، فمن سيضبط تحركات النازحين السوريين؟ وعلى أي مساحة جغرافية؟ وهل هناك من يريد زجّ الجيش في مآزق مجانية؟

قد يبدو «العقلاء» في هذا المأزق، معدودين على الأصابع: حزب الله والرئيس نبيه برّي، وطبعاً الأجهزة الأمنية، وعلى رأسها الأمن العام والجيش، بانتظار الموقف «المتأخر» لرئيس الجمهورية العماد ميشال عون، الذي من المفترض أن يعلنه اليوم أو غداً، في ضوء المشاورات السياسية مع اللبنانيين والفلسطينيين، وعضو اللجنة المركزية في حركة فتح عزام الأحمد موفد الرئيس محمود عباس، الذي وصل ليل أمس إلى بيروت.

أما الرئيس سعد الحريري، فتائه هو الآخر. فهو لا يستطيع التعبير عن مواقف حادة معاكسة لوزير في حكومته يتبع حليفه القوات، بينما لا يستطيع القفز فوق المزاج الشعبي لشارعه الذي يتعاطف مع الفلسطينيين.

الآن، خيارات الحكومة باتت ضيّقة، ولا أحد يجرؤ على التراجع العلني. لذلك، يبدو حلّاً، الانكفاء التدريجي عن حفلة التسرّع تلك، عملاً بالرؤية شبه المشتركة التي نتجت من المشاورات مع بري والنائبة بهية الحريري ولقاء إبراهيم مع وفد رجال الأعمال الفلسطينيين. وهذا الحلّ يتضمن أوّلاً وقف التدقيق على الفلسطينيين وإعطاء مهلة ستة أشهر لتسوية الأوضاع القانونية، بالتوازي مع ترك لجنة الحوار اللبناني – الفلسطيني لإنجاز ورشتها، والشروع بإصدار المراسيم اللازمة لتنظيم عمل الفلسطينيين بأقرب وقتٍ ممكن. والأهم، وقف التعامل مع الفلسطيني كلاجئ مرة، وأجنبي أحياناً أخرى، ونزع هذه الورقة من يد وزير العمل وتنظيمها بالقانون

«انتفاضة» المخيمات «غير مفهومة» لوزير العمل!

الأخبار

الأربعاء 17 تموز 2019

خاض اللاجئون الفلسطينيّون أمس، جولة جديدة من الضغط على الحكومة اللبنانيّة ووزارة العمل للتراجع عن تطبيق خطّتها بشأن «مكافحة العمالة الأجنبيّة غير الشرعيّة». فيما «استغرب» وزير العمل كميل أبو سليمان ردة الفعل الفلسطينيّة «غير المفهومة» والتي «لا معنى لها».

«انتفاضة» المخيمات «غير مفهومة» لوزير العمل!

احتجاحات في مخيم برج البراجنة (هيثم الموسوي)

التحرّكات الشعبيّة، استمرّت متقدّمة بخطوة على اللقاءات السياسيّة التي تقوم بها قيادات الفصائل الفلسطينية في لبنان. إذ شهد أمس، تجمّعات عدة على مداخل المخيّمات الفلسطينيّة بالكوفية والعلم الفلسطيني وإحراق الإطارات المطاطيّة، فيما مُنعت تظاهرة دعا إليها «ائتلاف حق العمل للاجئين الفلسطينيين والمؤسسات والجمعيات العاملة بالوسط الفلسطيني في لبنان» من التوجّه إلى ساحة النجمة حيث كان المجلس النيابي يناقش مشروع الموازنة. اكتفى المتظاهرون بالتجمّع تحت جسر الكولا، بالرغم من إفادة ناشطين عن تضييق أمني منع كثيرين من الوصول إلى نقطة التجمّع.

على صعيد الحراك السياسي للفصائل الفلسطينيّة، وللجنة الحوار اللبناني – الفلسطيني، توصّلت النقاشات إلى موافقة مبدئيّة من وزير العمل كميل أبو سليمان على ما اقترحه الجانب الفلسطيني بشأن «فصل حصول العمال على إجازة عمل عن شرط إرفاقها بعقد عمل مع ربّ العمل يوقّع لدى كاتب بالعدل»، وتجديد تأكيده الموافقة على ما اقترح أول من أمس حيال «خفض المبلغ المتوجّب على صاحب المؤسسة الفلسطيني دفعه كمساهمة في رأس مال المؤسسة إلى ربع القيمة (من مئة مليون ليرة إلى 25 مليوناً)». هاتان الموافقتان المبدئيّتان لم تقترنا بقرار أو نص مكتوب من جانب الوزارة، لكنّهما ترافقتا مع رفض لاقتراح الجانب الفلسطيني «تمديد مهلة السماح إلى ستة أشهر يتمكّن خلالها العامل وربّ العمل الفلسطينيّان من ترتيب أوضاعهما، وإلى حين إصدار القرارات المطلوبة، كما المراسيم التنظيميّة الخاصّة بالقانونين 129 (تعديل قانون العمل) و128 (تعديل قانون الضمان الاجتماعي) التي أُقرّت عام 2010».

أبو سليمان اعتبر في سلسلة «تغريدات» أن «ردة الفعل الفلسطينيّة غير مفهومة ولا معنى لها، وأن الخطة لا تستهدف الفلسطينيين ولا علاقة لها بصفقة القرن ولا بنظرية المؤامرات»، معلناً أنه «من أصل 550 مخالفة لقانون العمل ضُبطت منذ الأربعاء الماضي، ثمة فقط مخالفتان تعودان لمؤسستين كبيرتين يملكهما فلسطينيّون». كما أعرب عن استعداده لإبداء «مرونة لمساعدة الإخوان الفلسطينيين على الحصول على إجازات عمل، يحصلون عليها مجاناً لأنهم معفيون من رسومها، وبشأن بعض المستندات المطلوبة للحصول عليها، فنحن مستعدّون لتسهيل الأمر ضمن القانون».

أبو سليمان: الخطة لا علاقة لها بصفقة القرن ولا بنظرية المؤامرات

السفير الفلسطيني في لبنان أشرف دبور، وجّه من جانبه رسالة إلى «أبناء الشعب الفلسطيني في لبنان»، متمنيّاً فيها «إفساح المجال أمام الحوار الهادئ والبنّاء، الذي تجريه القيادة السياسية الفلسطينية مع الجهات الرسمية اللبنانية لمعالجة التأثيرات السلبية على حقهم في العيش الكريم نتيجة قانون العمل للخروج بنتائج عملية وإيجابية سيتلمّسها أهلنا قريباً جداً».

وفي هذا السياق، أكدت النائبة بهيّة الحريري أن «الأجواء إيجابية والرئيس الحريري لديه كامل الثقة بالوزير كميل ابو سليمان»، بغياب أي موقف للرئيس سعد الحريري. وحضر ممثل عن «حركة أمل» في اللقاء الذي عقد أول من أمس في السفارة الفلسطينية في بيروت، فيما زار عضو مجلس قيادة الحزب التقدمي الاشتراكي بهاء أبو كروم مقرّ السفارة الفلسطينية والتقى دبور، معرباً عن «موقف الحزب الثابت تجاه حق اللاجئين في العمل، واتصالات تجريها قيادة الحزب ووزراؤه للمساعدة في احتواء التداعيات الأخيرة وإعطاء فرصة للحوار والمعالجات الهادئة».

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Israel’s Scheme to Bury the Nakba. “The Ethnic Cleansing oF Palestine”

July 10, 2019

Israel’s 1947-48 Nakba against the Palestinian people was and remains one of history’s great crimes — what Ilan Pappe called “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” in his book by this title.

Establishment of the Jewish state came at the expense of the Palestinian people, their descendants and refugee population.

The final master plan’s goal aimed to create a state with maximum Jews and minimum Arabs — by any means, including mass murder of defenseless people.

Around 800,000 Palestinians were forcibly driven from their homeland, many thousands slaughtered in cold blood.

The six-month campaign beginning in late 1947 destroyed 531 villages and 11 urban neighborhoods in cities like Tel-Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem.

According to Nuremberg Principles, ethnically cleansing people from their land is a high crime against humanity.

Israeli accountability was never forthcoming for mass-murder; destruction of homes, villages, crops and other property; countless atrocities; showing no mercy to defenseless men, women, children.

Nuremberg-level crimes were  expunged from official Israeli historiography, replaced by the myth that Palestinians left voluntarily, fearing harm from invading Arab armies.

A Palestinian shared memories of that nightmarish experience, saying the following:

“I cannot forget three horror-filled days in July of 1948. The pain sears my memory, and I cannot rid myself of it no matter how hard I try.”

“First, Israeli soldiers forced thousands of Palestinians from their homes near the Mediterranean coast, even though some families had lived in the same houses for centuries.”

“My family had been in the town of Lydda in Palestine at least 1,600 years. Then, without water, we stumbled into the hills and continued for three deadly days.”

“The Jewish soldiers followed, occasionally shooting over our heads to scare us and keep us moving. Terror filled my eleven-year-old mind as I wondered what would happen.”

“I remembered overhearing my father and his friends express alarm about recent massacres by Jewish terrorists. Would they kill us, too?”

“We did not know what to do, except to follow orders and stumble blindly up the rocky hills. I walked hand in hand with my grandfather, who carried our only remaining possessions-a small tin of sugar and some milk for my aunt’s two-year-old son, sick with typhoid.”

Survivors remember the horror of Deir Yassin. On April 9, 1948, soldiers representing the soon to be announced Israeli state entered the village violently. They machine-gunned houses randomly. Many inside were slaughtered.

Remaining villagers were assembled and murdered in cold blood. Among them were children, infants, the elderly and women, some raped before slaughtered. Estimates placed the death toll at up to 120.

An eyewitness recounted the horror as follows, saying:

“I was (there) when the Jews attacked…(They) closed on the village amid exchanges of fire with us.”

“Once they entered the village, fighting became very heavy in the eastern side and later it spread to other parts, to the quarry, to the village center until it reached the western edge.”

“The Jews used all sorts of automatic weapons, tanks, missiles, cannons. They enter(ed) houses and kill(ed) women and children indiscriminately. The (village) youths…fought bravely.”

Fighting killed dozens more. Many other villages met the same fate. It was well planned, systematic slaughter — a pattern Israel followed throughout its history with much more powerful and banned weapons.

According to a Haaretz investigative report, Israel’s ministry of war’s secretive security department (Malmab) has been tasked with making the Nabka disappear, saying:

Its teams have been scouring Israel’s archives and removing historic documents…conceal(ing) (them) as part of a systematic effort to hide evidence of the Nakba.”

Haaretz learned Malmab (a Hebrew acronym) “concealed testimony from IDF generals about” about mass slaughter of Palestinians and destruction of their towns and villages, as well as dispossession of Bedouins during Israel’s first 10 years of statehood.

Former security department head Yehiel Horev told Haaretz he began the project to erase Israel’s ugly past — even though detailed information about the Nakba has been published.

His aim and others involved was and continues to be an effort to reinvent history, a common practice in many countries with disturbing pasts authorities want expunged from the public record — notably burying the historical record of horrific mistreatment of Black African slaves and Native Americans by US ruling authorities.

Documents on Israel’s nuclear weapons development and hostile relations with regional countries, along with on the Nabka, are concealed in vaults.

Haaretz’s detailed account is titled “Burying the Nakba: How Israel Systematically Hides Evidence of 1948 Expulsion of Arabs” — historical documents concealed from public view.

Along with burying Israel’s ugly past, Malmab aims to undermine the credibility of published documents.

History the way it should be published and taught isn’t pretty. The truth is there for historians seeking it.

Pappe’s “Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine,” and Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” reveal the public record citizens of these countries, and everyone else, have a right to know.

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Note to readers: please click the share buttons below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Burying the Nakba: How Israel systematically hides evidence of 1948 expulsion of Arabs

By Hagar Shezaf

Since early last decade, Defense Ministry teams have scoured local archives and removed troves of historic documents to conceal proof of the Nakba

July 05, 2019 “Information Clearing House” –   Four years ago, historian Tamar Novick was jolted by a document she found in the file of Yosef Vashitz, from the Arab Department of the left-wing Mapam Party, in the Yad Yaari archive at Givat Haviva. The document, which seemed to describe events that took place during the 1948 war, began:

“Safsaf [former Palestinian village near Safed] – 52 men were caught, tied them to one another, dug a pit and shot them. 10 were still twitching. Women came, begged for mercy. Found bodies of 6 elderly men. There were 61 bodies. 3 cases of rape, one east of from Safed, girl of 14, 4 men shot and killed. From one they cut off his fingers with a knife to take the ring.”

The writer goes on to describe additional massacres, looting and abuse perpetrated by Israeli forces in Israel’s War of Independence. “There’s no name on the document and it’s not clear who’s behind it,” Dr. Novick tells Haaretz. “It also breaks off in the middle. I found it very disturbing. I knew that finding a document like this made me responsible for clarifying what happened.”

The Upper Galilee village of Safsaf was captured by the Israel Defense Forces in Operation Hiram toward the end of 1948. Moshav Safsufa was established on its ruins. Allegations were made over the years that the Seventh Brigade committed war crimes in the village. Those charges are supported by the document Novick found, which was not previously known to scholars. It could also constitute additional evidence that the Israeli top brass knew about what was going on in real time.

Novick decided to consult with other historians about the document. Benny Morris, whose books are basic texts in the study of the Nakba – the “calamity,” as the Palestinians refer to the mass emigration of Arabs from the country during the 1948 war – told her that he, too, had come across similar documentation in the past. He was referring to notes made by Mapam Central Committee member Aharon Cohen on the basis of a briefing given in November 1948 by Israel Galili, the former chief of staff of the Haganah militia, which became the IDF. Cohen’s notes in this instance, which Morris published, stated: “Safsaf 52 men tied with a rope. Dropped into a pit and shot. 10 were killed. Women pleaded for mercy. [There were] 3 cases of rape. Caught and released. A girl of 14 was raped. Another 4 were killed. Rings of knives.”

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Morris’ footnote (in his seminal “The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949”) states that this document was also found in the Yad Yaari Archive. But when Novick returned to examine the document, she was surprised to discover that it was no longer there.

“At first I thought that maybe Morris hadn’t been accurate in his footnote, that perhaps he had made a mistake,” Novick recalls. “It took me time to consider the possibility that the document had simply disappeared.” When she asked those in charge where the document was, she was told that it had been placed behind lock and key at Yad Yaari – by order of the Ministry of Defense.

Since the start of the last decade, Defense Ministry teams have been scouring Israel’s archives and removing historic documents. But it’s not just papers relating to Israel’s nuclear project or to the country’s foreign relations that are being transferred to vaults: Hundreds of documents have been concealed as part of a systematic effort to hide evidence of the Nakba.

The phenomenon was first detected by the Akevot Institute for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Research. According to a report drawn up by the institute, the operation is being spearheaded by Malmab, the Defense Ministry’s secretive security department (the name is a Hebrew acronym for “director of security of the defense establishment”), whose activities and budget are classified. The report asserts that Malmab removed historical documentation illegally and with no authority, and at least in some cases has sealed documents that had previously been cleared for publication by the military censor. Some of the documents that were placed in vaults had already been published.

An investigative report by Haaretz found that Malmab has concealed testimony from IDF generals about the killing of civilians and the demolition of villages, as well as documentation of the expulsion of Bedouin during the first decade of statehood. Conversations conducted by Haaretz with directors of public and private archives alike revealed that staff of the security department had treated the archives as their property, in some cases threatening the directors themselves.

Yehiel Horev, who headed Malmab for two decades, until 2007, acknowledged to Haaretz that he launched the project, which is still ongoing. He maintains that it makes sense to conceal the events of 1948, because uncovering them could generate unrest among the country’s Arab population. Asked what the point is of removing documents that have already been published, he explained that the objective is to undermine the credibility of studies about the history of the refugee problem. In Horev’s view, an allegation made by a researcher that’s backed up by an original document is not the same as an allegation that cannot be proved or refuted.

The document Novick was looking for might have reinforced Morris’ work. During the investigation, Haaretz was in fact able to find the Aharon Cohen memo, which sums up a meeting of Mapam’s Political Committee on the subject of massacres and expulsions in 1948. Participants in the meeting called for cooperation with a commission of inquiry that would investigate the events. One case the committee discussed concerned “grave actions” carried out in the village of Al-Dawayima, east of Kiryat Gat. One participant mentioned the then-disbanded Lehi underground militia in this connection. Acts of looting were also reported: “Lod and Ramle, Be’er Sheva, there isn’t [an Arab] store that hasn’t been broken into. 9th Brigade says 7, 7th Brigade says 8.”

“The party,” the document states near the end, “is against expulsion if there is no military necessity for it. There are different approaches concerning the evaluation of necessity. And further clarification is best. What happened in Galilee – those are Nazi acts! Every one of our members must report what he knows.”

The Israeli version

One of the most fascinating documents about the origin of the Palestinian refugee problem was written by an officer in Shai, the precursor to the Shin Bet security service. It discusses why the country was emptied of so many of its Arab inhabitants, dwelling on the circumstances of each village. Compiled in late June 1948, it was titled “The Emigration of the Arabs of Palestine.”

Read a translation of the document here

This document was the basis for an article that Benny Morris published in 1986. After the article appeared, the document was removed from the archive and rendered inaccessible to researchers. Years later, the Malmab team reexamined the document, and ordered that it remain classified. They could not have known that a few years later researchers from Akevot would find a copy of the text and run it past the military censors – who authorized its publication unconditionally. Now, after years of concealment, the gist of the document is being revealed here.

The 25-page document begins with an introduction that unabashedly approves of the evacuation of the Arab villages. According to the author, the month of April “excelled in an increase of emigration,” while May “was blessed with the evacuation of maximum places.” The report then addresses “the causes of the Arab emigration.” According to the Israeli narrative that was disseminated over the years, responsibility for the exodus from Israel rests with Arab politicians who encouraged the population to leave. However, according to the document, 70 percent of the Arabs left as a result of Jewish military operations.

The unnamed author of the text ranks the reasons for the Arabs’ departure in order of importance. The first reason: “Direct Jewish acts of hostility against Arab places of settlement.” The second reason was the impact of those actions on neighboring villages. Third in importance came “operations by the breakaways,” namely the Irgun and Lehi undergrounds. The fourth reason for the Arab exodus was orders issued by Arab institutions and “gangs” (as the document refers to all Arab fighting groups); fifth was “Jewish ‘whispering operations’ to induce the Arab inhabitants to flee”; and the sixth factor was “evacuation ultimatums.”

The author asserts that, “without a doubt, the hostile operations were the main cause of the movement of the population.” In addition, “Loudspeakers in the Arabic language proved their effectiveness on the occasions when they were utilized properly.” As for Irgun and Lehi operations, the report observes that “many in the villages of central Galilee started to flee following the abduction of the notables of Sheikh Muwannis [a village north of Tel Aviv]. The Arab learned that it is not enough to forge an agreement with the Haganah and that there are other Jews [i.e., the breakaway militias] to beware of.”

The author notes that ultimatums to leave were especially employed in central Galilee, less so in the Mount Gilboa region. “Naturally, the act of this ultimatum, like the effect of the ‘friendly advice,’ came after a certain preparing of the ground by means of hostile actions in the area.”

An appendix to the document describes the specific causes of the exodus from each of scores of Arab locales: Ein Zeitun – “our destruction of the village”; Qeitiya – “harassment, threat of action”; Almaniya – “our action, many killed”; Tira – “friendly Jewish advice”; Al’Amarir – “after robbery and murder carried out by the breakaways”; Sumsum – “our ultimatum”; Bir Salim – “attack on the orphanage”; and Zarnuga – “conquest and expulsion.”

Short fuse

In the early 2000s, the Yitzhak Rabin Center conducted a series of interviews with former public and military figures as part of a project to document their activity in the service of the state. The long arm of Malmab seized on these interviews, too. Haaretz, which obtained the original texts of several of the interviews, compared them to the versions that are now available to the public, after large swaths of them were declared classified.

These included, for example, sections of the testimony of Brig. Gen. (res.) Aryeh Shalev about the expulsion across the border of the residents of a village he called “Sabra.” Later in the interview, the following sentences were deleted: “There was a very serious problem in the valley. There were refugees who wanted to return to the valley, to the Triangle [a concentration of Arab towns and villages in eastern Israel]. We expelled them. I met with them to persuade them not to want that. I have papers about it.”

In another case, Malmab decided to conceal the following segment from an interview that historian Boaz Lev Tov conducted with Maj. Gen. (res.) Elad Peled:

Lev Tov: “We’re talking about a population – women and children?”

Peled: “All, all. Yes.”

Lev Tov: “Don’t you distinguish between them?”

Peled: “The problem is very simple. The war is between two populations. They come out of their home.”

Lev Tov: “If the home exists, they have somewhere to return to?”

Peled: “It’s not armies yet, it’s gangs. We’re also actually gangs. We come out of the house and return to the house. They come out of the house and return to the house. It’s either their house or our house.”

Lev Tov: “Qualms belong to the more recent generation?”

Peled: “Yes, today. When I sit in an armchair here and think about what happened, all kinds of thoughts come to mind.”

Lev Tov: “Wasn’t that the case then?”

Peled: “Look, let me tell you something even less nice and cruel, about the big raid in Sasa [Palestinian village in Upper Galilee]. The goal was actually to deter them, to tell them, ‘Dear friends, the Palmach [the Haganah “shock troops”] can reach every place, you are not immune.’ That was the heart of the Arab settlement. But what did we do? My platoon blew up 20 homes with everything that was there.”

Lev Tov: “While people were sleeping there?”

Peled: “I suppose so. What happened there, we came, we entered the village, planted a bomb next to every house, and afterward Homesh blew on a trumpet, because we didn’t have radios, and that was the signal [for our forces] to leave. We’re running in reverse, the sappers stay, they pull, it’s all primitive. They light the fuse or pull the detonator and all those houses are gone.”

Another passage that the Defense Ministry wanted to keep from the public came from Dr. Lev Tov’s conversation with Maj. Gen. Avraham Tamir:

Tamir: “I was under Chera [Maj. Gen. Tzvi Tzur, later IDF chief of staff], and I had excellent working relations with him. He gave me freedom of action – don’t ask – and I happened to be in charge of staff and operations work during two developments deriving from [Prime Minister David] Ben-Gurion’s policy. One development was when reports arrived about marches of refugees from Jordan toward the abandoned villages [in Israel]. And then Ben-Gurion lays down as policy that we have to demolish [the villages] so they won’t have anywhere to return to. That is, all the Arab villages, most of which were in [the area covered by] Central Command, most of them.”

Lev Tov: “The ones that were still standing?”

Tamir: “The ones that weren’t yet inhabited by Israelis. There were places where we had already settled Israelis, like Zakariyya and others. But most of them were still abandoned villages.”

Lev Tov: “That were standing?”

Tamir: “Standing. It was necessary for there to be no place for them to return to, so I mobilized all the engineering battalions of Central Command, and within 48 hours I knocked all those villages to the ground. Period. There’s no place to return to.”

Lev Tov: “Without hesitation, I imagine.”

Tamir: “Without hesitation. That was the policy. I mobilized, I carried it out and I did it.”

Crates in vaults

The vault of the Yad Yaari Research and Documentation Center is one floor below ground level. In the vault, which is actually a small, well-secured room, are stacks of crates containing classified documents. The archive houses the materials of the Hashomer Hatzair movement, the Kibbutz Ha’artzi kibbutz movement, Mapam, Meretz and other bodies, such as Peace Now.

The archive’s director is Dudu Amitai, who is also chairman of the Association of Israel Archivists. According to Amitai, Malmab personnel visited the archive regularly between 2009 and 2011. Staff of the archive relate that security department teams – two Defense Ministry retirees with no archival training – would show up two or three times a week. They searched for documents according to such keywords as “nuclear,” “security” and “censorship,” and also devoted considerable time to the War of Independence and the fate of the pre-1948 Arab villages.

“In the end, they submitted a summary to us, saying that they had located a few dozen sensitive documents,” Amitai says. “We don’t usually take apart files, so dozens of files, in their entirety, found their way into our vault and were removed from the public catalog.” A file might contain more than 100 documents.

One of the files that was sealed deals with the military government that controlled the lives of Israel’s Arab citizens from 1948 until 1966. For years, the documents were stored in the same vault, inaccessible to scholars. Recently, in the wake of a request by Prof. Gadi Algazi, a historian from Tel Aviv University, Amitai examined the file himself and ruled that there was no reason not to unseal it, Malmab’s opinion notwithstanding.

According to Algazi, there could be several reasons for Malmab’s decision to keep the file classified. One of them has to do with a secret annex it contains to a report by a committee that examined the operation of the military government. The report deals almost entirely with land-ownership battles between the state and Arab citizens, and barely touches on security matters.

Another possibility is a 1958 report by the ministerial committee that oversaw the military government. In one of the report’s secret appendixes, Col. Mishael Shaham, a senior officer in the military government, explains that one reason for not dismantling the martial law apparatus is the need to restrict Arab citizens’ access to the labor market and to prevent the reestablishment of destroyed villages.

A third possible explanation for hiding the file concerns previously unpublished historical testimony about the expulsion of Bedouin. On the eve of Israel’s establishment, nearly 100,000 Bedouin lived in the Negev. Three years later, their number was down to 13,000. In the years during and after the independence war, a number of expulsion operations were carried out in the country’s south. In one case, United Nations observers reported that Israel had expelled 400 Bedouin from the Azazma tribe and cited testimonies of tents being burned. The letter that appears in the classified file describes a similar expulsion carried out as late as 1956, as related by geologist Avraham Parnes:

“A month ago we toured Ramon [crater]. The Bedouin in the Mohila area came to us with their flocks and their families and asked us to break bread with them. I replied that we had a great deal of work to do and didn’t have time. In our visit this week, we headed toward Mohila again. Instead of the Bedouin and their flocks, there was deathly silence. Scores of camel carcasses were scattered in the area. We learned that three days earlier the IDF had ‘screwed’ the Bedouin, and their flocks were destroyed – the camels by shooting, the sheep with grenades. One of the Bedouin, who started to complain, was killed, the rest fled.”

The testimony continued, “Two weeks earlier, they’d been ordered to stay where they were for the time being, afterward they were ordered to leave, and to speed things up 500 head were slaughtered…. The expulsion was executed ‘efficiently.’” The letter goes on to quote what one of the soldiers said to Parnes, according to his testimony: “They won’t go unless we’ve screwed their flocks. A young girl of about 16 approached us. She had a beaded necklace of brass snakes. We tore the necklace and each of us took a bead for a souvenir.”

The letter was originally sent to MK Yaakov Uri, from Mapai (forerunner of Labor), who passed it on to Development Minister Mordechai Bentov (Mapam). “His letter shocked me,” Uri wrote Bentov. The latter circulated the letter among all the cabinet ministers, writing, “It is my opinion that the government cannot simply ignore the facts related in the letter.” Bentov added that, in light of the appalling contents of the letter, he asked security experts to check its credibility. They had confirmed that the contents “do in fact generally conform to the truth.”

Nuclear excuse

It was during the tenure of historian Tuvia Friling as Israel’s chief archivist, from 2001 to 2004, that Malmab carried out its first archival incursions. What began as an operation to prevent the leakage of nuclear secrets, he says, became, in time, a large-scale censorship project.

“I resigned after three years, and that was one of the reasons,” Prof. Friling says. “The classification placed on the document about the Arabs’ emigration in 1948 is precisely an example of what I was apprehensive about. The storage and archival system is not an arm of the state’s public relations. If there’s something you don’t like – well, that’s life. A healthy society also learns from its mistakes.”

Why did Friling allow the Defense Ministry to have access the archives? The reason, he says, was the intention to give the public access to archival material via the internet. In discussions about the implications of digitizing the material, concern was expressed that references in the documents to a “certain topic” would be made public by mistake. The topic, of course, is Israel’s nuclear project. Friling insists that the only authorization Malmab received was to search for documents on that subject.

But Malmab’s activity is only one example of a broader problem, Friling notes: “In 1998, the confidentiality of the [oldest documents in the] Shin Bet and Mossad archives expired. For years those two institutions disdained the chief archivist. When I took over, they requested that the confidentiality of all the material be extended [from 50] to 70 years, which is ridiculous – most of the material can be opened.”

In 2010, the confidentiality period was extended to 70 years; last February it was extended again, to 90 years, despite the opposition of the Supreme Council of Archives. “The state may impose confidentiality on some of its documentation,” Friling says. “The question is whether the issue of security doesn’t act as a kind of cover. In many cases, it’s already become a joke.”

In the view of Yad Yaari’s Dudu Amitai, the confidentiality imposed by the Defense Ministry must be challenged. In his period at the helm, he says, one of the documents placed in the vault was an order issued by an IDF general, during a truce in the War of Independence, for his troops to refrain from rape and looting. Amitai now intends to go over the documents that were deposited in the vault, especially 1948 documents, and open whatever is possible. “We’ll do it cautiously and responsibly, but recognizing that the State of Israel has to learn how to cope with the less pleasant aspects of its history.”

In contrast to Yad Yaari, where ministry personnel no longer visit, they are continuing to peruse documents at Yad Tabenkin, the research and documentation center of the United Kibbutz Movement. The director, Aharon Azati, reached an agreement with the Malmab teams under which documents will be transferred to the vault only if he is convinced that this is justified. But in Yad Tabenkin, too, Malmab has broadened its searches beyond the realm of nuclear project to encompass interviews conducted by archival staff with former members of the Palmach, and has even perused material about the history of the settlements in the occupied territories.

Malmab has, for example, shown interest in the Hebrew-language book “A Decade of Discretion: Settlement Policy in the Territories 1967-1977,” published by Yad Tabenkin in 1992, and written by Yehiel Admoni, director of the Jewish Agency’s Settlement Department during the decade he writes about. The book mentions a plan to settle Palestinian refugees in the Jordan Valley and to the uprooting of 1,540 Bedouin families from the Rafah area of the Gaza Strip in 1972, including an operation that included the sealing of wells by the IDF. Ironically, in the case of the Bedouin, Admoni quotes former Justice Minister Yaakov Shimshon Shapira as saying, “It is not necessary to stretch the security rationale too far. The whole Bedouin episode is not a glorious chapter of the State of Israel.”

According to Azati, “We are moving increasingly to a tightening of the ranks. Although this is an era of openness and transparency, there are apparently forces that are pulling in the opposite direction.”

Unauthorized secrecy

About a year ago, the legal adviser to the State Archives, attorney Naomi Aldouby, wrote an opinion titled “Files Closed Without Authorization in Public Archives.” According to her, the accessibility policy of public archives is the exclusive purview of the director of each institution.

Despite Aldouby’s opinion, however, in the vast majority of cases, archivists who encountered unreasonable decisions by Malmab did not raise objections – that is, until 2014, when Defense Ministry personnel arrived at the archive of the Harry S. Truman Research Institute at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. To the visitors’ surprise, their request to examine the archive – which contains collections of former minister and diplomat Abba Eban and Maj. Gen. (res.) Shlomo Gazit – was turned down by its then director, Menahem Blondheim.

According to Blondheim, “I told them that the documents in question were decades old, and that I could not imagine that there was any security problem that would warrant restricting their access to researchers. In response, they said, ‘And let’s say there is testimony here that wells were poisoned in the War of Independence?’ I replied, ‘Fine, those people should be brought to trial.’”

Blondheim’s refusal led to a meeting with a more senior ministry official, only this time the attitude he encountered was different and explicit threats were made. Finally the two sides reached an accommodation.

Benny Morris is not surprised at Malmab’s activity. “I knew about it,” he says “Not officially, no one informed me, but I encountered it when I discovered that documents I had seen in the past are now sealed. There were documents from the IDF Archive that I used for an article about Deir Yassin, and which are now sealed. When I came to the archive, I was no longer allowed to see the original, so I pointed out in a footnote [in the article] that the State Archive had denied access to documents that I had published 15 years earlier.”

The Malmab case is only one example of the battle being waged for access to archives in Israel. According to the executive director of the Akevot Institute, Lior Yavne, “The IDF Archive, which is the largest archive in Israel, is sealed almost hermetically. About 1 percent of the material is open. The Shin Bet archive, which contains materials of immense importance [to scholars], is totally closed apart from a handful of documents.”

A report written by Yaacov Lozowick, the previous chief archivist at the State Archives, upon his retirement, refers to the defense establishment’s grip on the country’s archival materials. In it, he writes, “A democracy must not conceal information because it is liable to embarrass the state. In practice, the security establishment in Israel, and to a certain extent that of foreign relations as well, are interfering with the [public] discussion.”

Advocates of concealment put forward several arguments, Lozowick notes: “The uncovering of the facts could provide our enemies with a battering ram against us and weaken the determination of our friends; it’s liable to stir up the Arab population; it could enfeeble the state’s arguments in courts of law; and what is revealed could be interpreted as Israeli war crimes.” However, he says, “All these arguments must be rejected. This is an attempt to hide part of the historical truth in order to construct a more convenient version.”

What Malmab says

Yehiel Horev was the keeper of the security establishment’s secrets for more than two decades. He headed the Defense Ministry’s security department from 1986 until 2007 and naturally kept out of the limelight. To his credit, he now agreed to talk forthrightly to Haaretz about the archives project.

“I don’t remember when it began,” Horev says, “but I do know that I started it. If I’m not mistaken, it started when people wanted to publish documents from the archives. We had to set up teams to examine all outgoing material.”

From conversations with archive directors, it’s clear that a good deal of the documents on which confidentiality was imposed relate to the War of Independence. Is concealing the events of 1948 part of the purpose of Malmab?

“What does ‘part of the purpose’ mean? The subject is examined based on an approach of whether it could harm Israel’s foreign relations and the defense establishment. Those are the criteria. I think it’s still relevant. There has not been peace since 1948. I may be wrong, but to the best of my knowledge the Arab-Israeli conflict has not been resolved. So yes, it could be that problematic subjects remain.”

Asked in what way such documents might be problematic, Horev speaks of the possibility of agitation among the country’s Arab citizens. From his point of view, every document must be perused and every case decided on its merits.

If the events of 1948 weren’t known, we could argue about whether this approach is the right one. That is not the case. Many testimonies and studies have appeared about the history of the refugee problem. What’s the point of hiding things?

“The question is whether it can do harm or not. It’s a very sensitive matter. Not everything has been published about the refugee issue, and there are all kinds of narratives. Some say there was no flight at all, only expulsion. Others say there was flight. It’s not black-and-white. There’s a difference between flight and those who say they were forcibly expelled. It’s a different picture. I can’t say now if it merits total confidentiality, but it’s a subject that definitely has to be discussed before a decision is made about what to publish.”

For years, the Defense Ministry has imposed confidentiality on a detailed document that describes the reasons for the departure of those who became refugees. Benny Morris has already written about the document, so what’s the logic of keeping it hidden?

“I don’t remember the document you’re referring to, but if he quoted from it and the document itself is not there [i.e., where Morris says it is], then his facts aren’t strong. If he says, ‘Yes, I have the document,’ I can’t argue with that. But if he says that it’s written there, that could be right and it could be wrong. If the document were already outside and were sealed in the archive, I would say that that’s folly. But if someone quoted from it – there’s a difference of day and night in terms of the validity of the evidence he cited.”

In this case, we’re talking about the most quoted scholar when it comes to the Palestinian refugees.

“The fact that you say ‘scholar’ makes no impression on me. I know people in academia who spout nonsense about subjects that I know from A to Z. When the state imposes confidentiality, the published work is weakened, because he doesn’t have the document.”

But isn’t concealing documents based on footnotes in books an attempt to lock the barn door after the horses have bolted?

“I gave you an example that this needn’t be the case. If someone writes that the horse is black, if the horse isn’t outside the barn, you can’t prove that it’s really black.”

There are legal opinions stating that Malmab’s activity in the archives is illegal and unauthorized.

“If I know that an archive contains classified material, I am empowered to tell the police to go there and confiscate the material. I can also utilize the courts. I don’t need the archivist’s authorization. If there is classified material, I have the authority to act. Look, there’s policy. Documents aren’t sealed for no reason. And despite it all, I won’t say to you that everything that’s sealed is 100 percent justified [in being sealed].”

The Defense Ministry refused to respond to specific questions regarding the findings of this investigative report and made do with the following response: “The director of security of the defense establishment operates by virtue of his responsibility to protect the state’s secrets and its security assets. The Malmab does not provide details about its mode of activity or its missions.”

Lee Rotbart assisted in providing visual research for this article.

This article was originally published by “Haaretz” –

Palestinians Proved it: ‘Nakba’ is Never a Day of Mourning, It’s Either Us or Them!

May 15, 2019

Islamic Jihad fighter

When every day in Palestinians lives is ‘Nakba’, resistance is the only way out.

By: Batoul Wehbe

Every year on May 15, Palestinians commemorate the Nakba (“catastrophe”) in 1948 when 1 million Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from their lands and over 500 Palestinian villages were destroyed or depopulated by Zionist terrorist militias to make way for the settler colonial so-called “state of Israel”.

May 15 is an annual occasion to mourn history, weep and recall the harsh scenes of massacres and bloodshed against thousands of Palestinians. It’s the date when Arab regimes humiliated themselves and accepted defeat.

Those Arabs who aborted all sparks of resistance that was launched in occupied Palestine against the Israeli occupation, starting with aborting the so-called “Salvation Army”, abandoning the idea of liberation, and striking the resistance led by heroic revolutionaries such as the Syrian officer Ihsan Kam al-Maz, Sheikh Izzidine al-Qassam and Abdul Qadir al-Husseini.

Image result for Abdul Qadir al-Husseini
Arab commander Abdul Qadir al-Husseini

Either We Come out of War Victorious, Or We All Die!

Al-Husseini, who was the leader of the Arab military force in Al-Quds area, had said on the eve of the war, just before he was martyred on the dawn of 1948: “It is inconceivable that Palestine will be for the Arabs and the Zionists together – it’s us or them. This is a war for life or death: Either we come out of the war victorious, or we all die.”

The irony is that while this Palestinian leader was having a tense discussion with Arab traitors, he concluded with an eternal statement that shall be recorded for life: “History will judge you for abandoning Palestine, you and those who are behind you, I hold you responsible. I will capture Qastel [village occupied by Zionists] and die, I and all my fighters, and history will record that you – criminals and traitors – abandoned the land.”

“Deal of the Century” Doomed to Fail

Indeed, those Arabs have sought with betrayal and direct conspiracies on resistance movements to undermine the Palestinian cause and turn it from an issue of existence to a border dispute, dwarfing it with successive decrees and agreements, gradually dividing and selling the land in bulk and retail, which paved a way for the Deal of the Century which Washington is betting on Saudi Arabia and Gulf Arabs to support and implement.

After 71 years on the Nakba, Palestine and its cause have become at the bottom of the concerns of the divided Arab regimes. It has become a poem and a repeated statement in the fragmented Arab conferences and leagues which have become opposing entities and parties looking for different means to strike the resistance and study possibilities of surrender rather than rejection options.

However, Palestinian people have never had surrender as an option. They have turned the table upside down on Arabs and Israelis by escalating the conflict with marching weekly and protesting against the Zionist criminal. The Great March of Return, which was launched on March 30, 2018, was initially planned to last for 6 weeks until Nakba Day on May 15. Over one year later, people in Gaza continue to march on the militarized border fence every single Friday, demanding their right to return and an end to the siege and blockade of Gaza. They have been marching for more than sixty consecutive weeks without boredom or fatigue despite the killing and wounding of thousands of youth, women and children as well.

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Gaza’s march of return

To make things worse, not long ago, Washington had recognized occupied Al-Quds as the capital of ‘Israel’, opened an embassy in it, and tightened the financial and economic siege on the Palestinians, while the occupation entity continues to commit crimes, attacks and daily arrests. The aim is to kneel down the Palestinians and force them to submit to the so-called deal with what it entails, from distortion of history to pushing towards the resettlement of Palestinian refugees in the land of the diaspora.

 

700 Rockets in Two Days Proved Zionist Fragility

The Nakba continues in various aspects and at a more difficult pace, but the Palestinian people, who did not settle down for more than a century, are creating everyday new means of resistance.

Without any exaggeration, there is no day that passes in the occupied Palestine without an act aimed at the occupation soldiers, its patrols and sites, by stabbing or running-on operations until the Palestinian cities and camps, especially the Gaza Strip, have become strongholds of resistance fighters and martyrdom bombers, dragging the enemy into a continuous state of depletion.

All this was evident in the Palestinian resistance confrontation to the latest Israeli aggression earlier this month on the Gaza Strip, where the enemy could not bear the continued firing of rockets for more than two days, seeking an international mediation and Arab cease-fire.

The Israeli enemy, today, is no longer able to face the Palestinian resistance alone, which has created a joint military effort and coordination (Joint Operations Room) to ‘make Israel pay a heavy price’. So, the firing of nearly 700 rockets within two days had questioned the effectiveness of the Zionist defensive means –which even Israeli sources said were futile- and expanded the circle of resistance targets beyond Beersheba and Tel Aviv and even deeper into the occupied territories.

The Palestinian resistance is echoing in its every day battle of existence the famous statement quoted by the hero Abdul Qadir al-Husseini back in 1948: “It’s either us or them.”

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