Palestine and the ‘Parallel states’

Posted on May 30, 2011 by rehmat1|

In the past I wrote my thoughts on three ‘options’ to resolve the Zonist-Palestinian conflict based on the One State, Two-State and Helen Thomas’ Third option. The recent showdown between the leader of world’s sole military power, Barack Obama and Benji Netanyahu, the leader of world’s sole money power (which Benji won) on the former’s vision of One State option introduced me to a fourth option of Parallel States, Palestine and Israel sharing the same land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River.

The ‘Parallel States’ project was conducted within the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Lund University. It was funded by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Swedish Research Council. It submitted its report in September 2010. The idea which gave birth to the project was; One secular-democratic state solution will never be acceptable Israeli Jews and the so-called ‘Two state’ has no chance to materialize unless it’s based on Israeli ‘wish list’.

I tends to agree with the theory that Obama-Benji conflicting rhetoric were pre-planned to sabotage Hamas-Fatah unity government’s threat to declare a Palestinian State.

In reality, both the ‘Two states’ and the ‘Parallel states’ options are to legitimize the Jewish occupation of Palestine. The current verbal-shooting between the US and Israel is more of a tactical controversy than a strategic one. The reason behind this latest Obama-Benji charade is to hijack the Hamas-Fatah unity government’s possible move to ask United Nations General Assembly to recognize an independent sovereign Palestine based on 1967 borders. The request is sure to be approved by a majority vote – but UN membership will certainly get Washington’s veto at the UN Security Council.
On May 28, 2011 – the pro-Israel Al-Jazeera (English), published an article entitled ‘Parallel states: A new vision for peece’. The ‘vision’ came from two Jewish scholars, professor Mark LeVine (University of California) and Mathias Mossberg, a former Swedish Ambassador. They compared their vision of a Jewish Israel sharing the same land with Native Muslim and Christian Palestinian state in parallel – with European Union (EU).

Within our research, the most useful example of how various levels of jurisdiction can be shared is the European Union, where the rapid integration of the member states has transferred traditionally national legislative and judicial powers to supranational bodies, diminishing the importance of national boundaries and territorial sovereignty for the benefit of the exercise of transnational freedoms and rights for citizens within the Union,” wrote authors.

I wonder if the authors know that all EU members are Judeo-Christian majority nations which have maintained their original Armed Forces and some are nuclear powers. Each EU member has its own standards of human rights (most persecute Muslim and Gypsy minorities) and even maintain trade relations with some countries (Iran, Lebanon, Serbia, etc.) sanctioned by the EU.

The EU was originally established to ease trade and tourism among the European countries. Later it was politicized to counter the threat of United States’ economic domination of Europe. EU created its own euro currency against US dollar. However, when it comes to wars and colonization of foreign lands – EU has always been an American ally. The EU has resisted the inclusion of Muslim-majority Turkey’s wish to join it for the last 20 years.

What is clear is that the Oslo era two-state solution was born out of a twentieth century notion of sovereignty that, at least in the case of Israel/Palestine is neither viable nor particularly desirable in the “New Middle East” Oslo’s architects imagined their peace process heralded. Almost two decades later, the region has finally moved towards a new era, but led by ordinary people rather than leaders who more often than not have frustrated rather than helped to realise the legitimate political, economic and cultural aspirations of their peoples,” wrote the authors.

The Oslo Accord signed on September 13, 1993 between PLO leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin – was nothing but a diversion to pre-empt the Islamic Resistance groups taking over the leadership from the discredited secularists leadership. Israelis killed the agreement even before the ink dried.

In the context of the Arab Spring, a parallel states process might just hold the key to helping Israelis and Palestinians join the region-wide push towards peace, democracy and justice in the fullest, and fairest, way possible,” wrote the authors.

Pity, both the US and Israel have been irked by the ‘Arab Spring’ – because both fear that ‘democracy and justice’ will give power to Islamist groups which will side with Palestinians and Iran against Israel. After watching its puppet-regimes falling in Egypt, Tunisia and Lebanon – Obama has already started his counter-revolution through its Arab proxy, Saudi Arabia.

These changes have been followed by demonstrations against US domination and Zionism. They politically benefit the ‘Axis of Resistance’, comprised of Iran, Syria at the state level and at the non-state level by Hezbullah and Hamas. To lead the counter-revolution in this region, Washington and Tel-Aviv have relied on their best support: the Sudairi clan which embodies despotism at the service of imperialism unlike any other,” wrote Thierry Meyssan, a French intellectual, author and columnist.

"… About as close to zero as you can imagine"

Via FLC

“… Although he said Israel would be “very generous on the size of a future Palestinian state,” Netanyahu was uncompromising about just whose land he was talking about. As he put it, “In Judea and Samaria the Jewish people are not foreign occupiers. We are not the British in India. We are not the Belgians in the Congo.”

‘So, as I was saying, this fellow Obama does not understand you & us!’

Netanyahu also demanded that Abbas immediately “tear up” his recent unity agreement with Hamas, a movement he said was “the Palestinian version of al Qaeda.” However vague, these are not terms that any Palestinian leader concerned for his political survival can accept, and indeed, Abbas’s side was quick to reject them in no uncertain terms. (One Palestinian official said Netanyahu’s speech was “a declaration of war on Palestine.”) … … the Palestinians will plow ahead with their statehood drive at the United Nations, a move that both Obama and Netanyahu vigorously oppose. Given how recent U.N. votes have gone, the United States will stand alone as the rest of the world denounces the Israeli occupation and embraces a Palestinian state. It may not change any facts on the ground, but it will further illustrate just how isolated America and Israel are becoming. And this may even be an optimistic scenario — a third intifada may well break out, possibly leading to another round of destabilizing violence. Any shred of hard-won credibility the United States has regained in the Arab world as a result of the “Arab Spring” will be gone.

So is there any hope? … About as close to zero as you can imagine.”

Posted by G, M, Z, or B at 5:24 PM

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Qasem: Occupation wants reconciliation tailored to its liking

[ 22/05/2011 – 10:01 PM ] 
RAMALLAH, (PIC)– Dr. Abedl-Sattar Qasem, political science professor at al-Najah university in Nablus, said that the occupation wants a reconciliation tailored to its liking and which is based on resisting the resistance, but not a reconciliation that unites Palestinians and props up resistance.

Qasem said, in a press statement on Sunday, that the Palestinian national reconciliation is still not being felt on the ground and the people want to see its fruits quickly.

On Obama’s speech he said that anyone who counts on Obama is walking towards a mirage as the Palestinian state that Obama and Netanyahu want to see is a Palestinian state that looks after the security of Israeli and as such it is not a state.

He commented on Obama’s call for Hamas to recognise the occupation state by saying that if Hamas was to do that it would lose its raison d’etre and would become like the PA and this will not happen.

He finally stressed that any proposed solution or initiative that does not recognise the right of return in a practical manner will fail at the end pointing out that the Arab popular revolutions will support Palestinian rights and that refugees in the camps will not rest until they return to their homes.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Unity is Not Compromise: Towards a Real Palestinian Strategy

“Fatah should not interpret unity as a mandate to carry on with its failed policy of the past. And Hamas should take care not to repeat the kind of text-book mistakes Palestinians have repeatedly committed, even if the reward might be greater legitimacy or inconsequential recognitions.”
By Ramzy Baroud

As the Palestine Papers demonstrated, the major obstacle to a real, lasting and just peace in Palestine is the Israeli leadership’s unwillingness to accept anything less than full domination over the Palestinians. Not only do Israeli leaders refuse to partake in any serious peace talks, they also refuse to agree on universally accepted notions, for example, the law.

On 13 November 2007, then Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni told chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Ereikat that she despised the very notion of law. According to the Palestine Papers, published by Al-Jazeera and the Guardian, Livni said: “I was the Minister of Justice. I am a lawyer… But I am against law — international law in particular. Law in general.”
Livni is often contrasted with current rightwing Israeli leader Binyamin Netanyahu, and has been described as a “dove” when compared to him. This unfounded reputation caused many broken hearts when Netanyahu became prime minister of Israel in March 2009, as chances for real peace supposedly diminished.
Such Israeli obduracy was a prime reason for Palestinians to unify their ranks. The signing of the Hamas-Fatah unity agreement in Cairo on 27 April was indeed a fitting response to Israel’s incessant attempts at dividing the Palestinians.
Palestinian unity must not be co-opted into the peace charade, however. It should not become a condition Palestinians are required to fulfil in order to demonstrate their worthiness for Israeli-US-styled peace. Such a rationale, now gleefully argued by many, would not explain why ordinary Palestinians celebrated throughout the occupied territories.

What compelled the celebrations was a common understanding that political unity was necessary to confront that very Israeli intransigence, and that the use of democratic and truly representative political institutions could achieve such goals as liberation, sovereignty and the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

Following the official signing of the unity deal, Daniel Levy wrote in the Guardian : “It makes sense to speculate that a course correction by Israel’s leaders towards greater realism, pragmatism and compromise might emerge in response to a more challenging, strategic and — one would hope — non- violent Palestinian adversary.”

Others have made similar points, arguing that Palestinian political unity will force Israel to compromise. Hamas and Fatah could together prevent Netanyahu’s government from expanding settlements, and also prevent further exploitation of disunity by challenging the idea that Israel has no peace partner with which an agreement can be reached and honoured.

This argument, as thoughtful or well-intended as it may be, actually seems to ignore recurring historical events. Israel’s colonial programme underway in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank has never been affected by Palestinian discord or unity. The real problem lies in Israel’s entrenched belief that only absolute military domination over the Palestinians could guarantee Israel’s position in what Livni described as a “rough neighbourhood”.

However, Palestinian leaders, especially in the two main parties, Hamas and Fatah, already know this. Fatah has been through nearly 20 years of frivolous negotiations, and Hamas has, all this time, watched Fatah concede, both politically and territorially, without gaining any significant peace dividends in return. Thus, it’s a foretold conclusion that giving Israel yet another break to change its ways, as proposed by Hamas’s politburo chief Khaled Meshaal, will bring nothing new to the table.

To avoid being viewed as compromising, Meshaal made his remarks in the form of a threat. During a meeting with young leaders of the Egyptian revolution on 10 May, Meshaal stated that Hamas was “willing to give Israel a one- year extension on recognising a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital.” If Israel failed to do this, the movement would be forced to bring additional “cards to the pack of resistance”. The Hamas leader made it clear, however, that the additional cards wouldn’t necessarily indicate a declaration a war on Israel.

Giving Israel another year — enough time to confiscate more Palestinian land and to build thousands of new illegal housing units in its ever expanding settlements — is hardly the political strategy that Palestinians expect from the Hamas-Fatah unity.

In fact, neither Hamas nor Fatah have a political mandate to make such sweeping political compromises, especially as Palestinians are very familiar with Israel’s lack of tendency to reciprocate. In fact, Israel is likely to escalate, both politically and militarily, to counter whatever strategy Hamas and Fatah have in mind.

Palestinian leaders need to use caution before making such offerings, especially as the next phase in the Palestinian struggle for freedom and rights is likely to be a very challenging one. The Arab revolution is sounding the alarms in Tel Aviv that Israel’s rough neighbourhood is getting even rougher. Israel’s political contingency is at an all-time high, as united Palestinian parties will be pushing for international recognition of an independent state at the United Nations next September. More, the US is likely to curtail its omnipresent role as the propeller of the peace process, following the resignation of the Obama administration’s special envoy for Middle East peace.

The announcement of former Senator George Mitchell’s resignation after two years of fruitless talks, in conjunction with the mobilisation of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington, suggest that the coming months will see much arm-twisting, if not outright coercion, of the Palestinian leadership.

Fatah should not interpret unity as a mandate to carry on with its failed policy of the past. And Hamas should take care not to repeat the kind of text-book mistakes Palestinians have repeatedly committed, even if the reward might be greater legitimacy or inconsequential recognitions.

Palestinians didn’t celebrate unity out of love for Hamas or Fatah. Rather they were eager to see a sound Palestinian strategy that could revitalise Palestinian energies everywhere towards one common goal: freedom. The freedom Palestinians want is based on Palestinian political constants, enshrined in international law. Any deviation from such understanding for limited political and factional gains will turn the prevailing sense of joy into grief, and celebrations into protests.

– Ramzy Baroud (www.ramzybaroud.net) is an internationally-syndicated columnist and the editor of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story (Pluto Press, London), available on Amazon.com.

Unity is Not Compromise: Towards a Real Palestinian Strategy

“Fatah should not interpret unity as a mandate to carry on with its failed policy of the past. And Hamas should take care not to repeat the kind of text-book mistakes Palestinians have repeatedly committed, even if the reward might be greater legitimacy or inconsequential recognitions.”

By Ramzy Baroud

As the Palestine Papers demonstrated, the major obstacle to a real, lasting and just peace in Palestine is the Israeli leadership’s unwillingness to accept anything less than full domination over the Palestinians. Not only do Israeli leaders refuse to partake in any serious peace talks, they also refuse to agree on universally accepted notions, for example, the law.

On 13 November 2007, then Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni told chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Ereikat that she despised the very notion of law. According to the Palestine Papers, published by Al-Jazeera and the Guardian, Livni said: “I was the Minister of Justice. I am a lawyer… But I am against law — international law in particular. Law in general.”
Livni is often contrasted with current rightwing Israeli leader Binyamin Netanyahu, and has been described as a “dove” when compared to him. This unfounded reputation caused many broken hearts when Netanyahu became prime minister of Israel in March 2009, as chances for real peace supposedly diminished.

Such Israeli obduracy was a prime reason for Palestinians to unify their ranks. The signing of the Hamas-Fatah unity agreement in Cairo on 27 April was indeed a fitting response to Israel’s incessant attempts at dividing the Palestinians.

Palestinian unity must not be co-opted into the peace charade, however. It should not become a condition Palestinians are required to fulfil in order to demonstrate their worthiness for Israeli-US-styled peace. Such a rationale, now gleefully argued by many, would not explain why ordinary Palestinians celebrated throughout the occupied territories.

What compelled the celebrations was a common understanding that political unity was necessary to confront that very Israeli intransigence, and that the use of democratic and truly representative political institutions could achieve such goals as liberation, sovereignty and the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

Following the official signing of the unity deal, Daniel Levy wrote in the Guardian : “It makes sense to speculate that a course correction by Israel’s leaders towards greater realism, pragmatism and compromise might emerge in response to a more challenging, strategic and — one would hope — non- violent Palestinian adversary.”

Others have made similar points, arguing that Palestinian political unity will force Israel to compromise. Hamas and Fatah could together prevent Netanyahu’s government from expanding settlements, and also prevent further exploitation of disunity by challenging the idea that Israel has no peace partner with which an agreement can be reached and honoured.

This argument, as thoughtful or well-intended as it may be, actually seems to ignore recurring historical events. Israel’s colonial programme underway in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank has never been affected by Palestinian discord or unity. The real problem lies in Israel’s entrenched belief that only absolute military domination over the Palestinians could guarantee Israel’s position in what Livni described as a “rough neighbourhood”.

However, Palestinian leaders, especially in the two main parties, Hamas and Fatah, already know this. Fatah has been through nearly 20 years of frivolous negotiations, and Hamas has, all this time, watched Fatah concede, both politically and territorially, without gaining any significant peace dividends in return. Thus, it’s a foretold conclusion that giving Israel yet another break to change its ways, as proposed by Hamas’s politburo chief Khaled Meshaal, will bring nothing new to the table.

To avoid being viewed as compromising, Meshaal made his remarks in the form of a threat. During a meeting with young leaders of the Egyptian revolution on 10 May, Meshaal stated that Hamas was “willing to give Israel a one- year extension on recognising a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital.” If Israel failed to do this, the movement would be forced to bring additional “cards to the pack of resistance”. The Hamas leader made it clear, however, that the additional cards wouldn’t necessarily indicate a declaration a war on Israel.

Giving Israel another year — enough time to confiscate more Palestinian land and to build thousands of new illegal housing units in its ever expanding settlements — is hardly the political strategy that Palestinians expect from the Hamas-Fatah unity.

In fact, neither Hamas nor Fatah have a political mandate to make such sweeping political compromises, especially as Palestinians are very familiar with Israel’s lack of tendency to reciprocate. In fact, Israel is likely to escalate, both politically and militarily, to counter whatever strategy Hamas and Fatah have in mind.

Palestinian leaders need to use caution before making such offerings, especially as the next phase in the Palestinian struggle for freedom and rights is likely to be a very challenging one. The Arab revolution is sounding the alarms in Tel Aviv that Israel’s rough neighbourhood is getting even rougher. Israel’s political contingency is at an all-time high, as united Palestinian parties will be pushing for international recognition of an independent state at the United Nations next September. More, the US is likely to curtail its omnipresent role as the propeller of the peace process, following the resignation of the Obama administration’s special envoy for Middle East peace.

The announcement of former Senator George Mitchell’s resignation after two years of fruitless talks, in conjunction with the mobilisation of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington, suggest that the coming months will see much arm-twisting, if not outright coercion, of the Palestinian leadership.

Fatah should not interpret unity as a mandate to carry on with its failed policy of the past. And Hamas should take care not to repeat the kind of text-book mistakes Palestinians have repeatedly committed, even if the reward might be greater legitimacy or inconsequential recognitions.

Palestinians didn’t celebrate unity out of love for Hamas or Fatah. Rather they were eager to see a sound Palestinian strategy that could revitalise Palestinian energies everywhere towards one common goal: freedom. The freedom Palestinians want is based on Palestinian political constants, enshrined in international law. Any deviation from such understanding for limited political and factional gains will turn the prevailing sense of joy into grief, and celebrations into protests.

– Ramzy Baroud (www.ramzybaroud.net) is an internationally-syndicated columnist and the editor of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story (Pluto Press, London), available on Amazon.com.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Despite reconciliation deal Fatah security forces still detain citizens, targets Islamic Jihad men, arrests youth, summons others

“They sell you in the name of “unity” and say: the Palestinian people want a unity …
And the Palestinian people want a unity … but a different kind of unity …


The Palestinian people want a unity that places Palestine above all personal interests…
The Palestinian people want a unity that safeguards the Palestinian constants…
The Palestinian people want a unity that embodies their aspirations …
The Palestinian people want a unity that leads the way to liberation…
The Palestinian people want a unity; a unity that brings an end to collaboration, to concessions in the form of negotiations, to concessions in the name of “peace”, in the name of a tiny prison called “state”…

The Palestinian people want a unity that will unite the Palestinian people, in the homeland and in the Diaspora, unite them in one goal: total liberation.” reham alhelsi

Fatah security forces still detain citizens despite reconciliation deal

[ 18/05/2011 – 08:30 PM ]

WEST BANK, (PIC)– Despite the Palestinian reconciliation deal that was signed lately by the Palestinian factions in Cairo, the Fatah-affiliated security apparatuses in the West Bank still kidnap and summon dozens of citizens everyday.

According to local sources on Wednesday, the Palestinian authority intelligence apparatus have been detaining a young man called Mahmoud Abyat for 10 days. The young man used to work for lawmakers in their office in Bethlehem city

In Nablus city, the security forces also kidnapped another young man called Adel Katlouni from a restaurant in the city and released him on condition that he should return later for further interrogation.

The young man is the son of Husam Katlouni, a member of the municipal council in Nablus.

For his part, Amran Madlum, a student at the university of Birzeit refused to go to the intelligence headquarters after he was summoned for interrogation. This has been the third summons since his release from Israeli jails about 20 days ago.

A Palestinian family, for its part, said its son, Wafa Al-Hutari from Qalqiliya city, went on hunger strike in protest of his detention without any reason for several months in a PA jail.

Islamic Jihad confirms West Bank security still targeting its men

[ 18/05/2011 – 08:40 PM ]

JENIN, (PIC)– The Islamic Jihad movement has renewed accusations that the West Bank security agencies have continued targeting its members after the signing of the historic unity deal between factions ruling the Palestinian territories.

Harassment of the Islamic Jihad by West Bank security agencies has actually spiked since the signing of the unity deal ”in an attempt by some to disturb the reconciliation atmosphere and unity between resistance factions,” said an Islamic Jihad official in a press statement on Wednesday.

The agencies arrested ten Islamic Jihad men, including one who was crippled, during raids amid Nakba Day events in Jenin and Al-Khalil.

Separately, a Palestinian university student from Dora has declared her refusal to respond to summonses by the West Bank security agencies.

She was called to appear before security headquarters for questioning on May 18. But after discussing the matter with her family she decided not to appear.

She had already been questioned inside her university over her ties with students in the Islamic bloc as well as her friends and participation in the May 15 events.

Fatah official Hussam Khadir has criticized the recent string of arrests and summonses, especially those targeting elements from the Islamic Jihad, calling the situation a “violation of the Palestinian reconciliation agreement signed in Cairo two weeks back.

He confirmed that Fatah chief and de facto Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas is to blame.

He said that there are parties in every Palestinian institution that are not pleased with the unity deal, which stipulates the release of all political prisoners in both sides of the country.

PA security arrests youth, summons others

[ 19/05/2011 – 04:06 PM ]

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– The PA intelligence in Al-Khalil city arrested a Palestinian young man and summoned a number of Hamas supporters in Yatta village, south of Al-Khalil, on Thursday in absolute disregard of the reconciliation agreement.

Local sources said that the intelligence detained Tamer Al-Natshe after summoning him to the intelligence headquarters in the city, noting that he was released from Israeli occupation jails only six months ago after eight years of imprisonment. He was also released only two weeks from the PA intelligence jail.

In Nablus, the PA intelligence summoned Abdurahman Hindiya for the second time but he said that he would not go, calling on all West Bank MPs to say something in face of the continued summonses despite the signing of the reconciliation agreement.

He urged West Bank youth not to obey security summonses.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Solidarity with Palestine

Ahead of May 15 Nakba commemorations, massive crowds assembled in Cairo’s Tahrir (Liberation) Square in solidarity. They displayed banners, proclaiming, “The People want the Rafah Crossing opened,” and “Palestine is a Arab state.”

They also waved Palestinian flags, chanting “Solidarity with the Palestinian Intifada” and “National Unity” ahead of a planned weekend march to Gaza. More on that below.

Domestic issues were also addressed, including ending recent sectarian violence and concerns about popular unaddressed issues under military junta rule. After Friday prayers, Sheikh Safwat Hegazy addressed the crowd, saying:

“(Appointed prime minister) Essam Sharaf: this is not your government. This is the revolution’s government. You should kick out the six former (NDP ruling party) ministers from the cabinet. We won’t accept (deputy prime minister) Yehia El-Gamal who’s part of the former regime….”
In response, crowds chanted, “Down, down Yehia El-Gamal.” One participant, identified only as Mohammad, spoke for others, saying:
Sharaf’s government is taking the same path as the former government. They have the same double standards, secrecy and authoritarian policy-making in internal (and) external affairs.”
Though Egypt’s spring hasn’t bloomed, its spirit pervades Tahrir, suggesting perhaps renewed uprisings ahead. For now, however, Egyptians head for Gaza in solidarity with Palestinian liberation, a goal millions around the world support, as well as a Third Intifada to achieve it.

Surprisingly, however, despite MENA region (Middle East/North Africa) Morocco to Oman to Syria uprisings, Palestinians haven’t yet reacted, except for regular small-scale demonstrations far short of large masses throughout Egypt and neighboring countries, posing challenges for ruling authorities.

Yet nowhere is regional abuse more extreme, including occupation, isolation, land theft, mass arrests, torture, targeted assassinations, daily terror, and at times war, causing thousands of casualties and widespread destruction.

Perhaps Egypt’s solidarity march will inspire what hasn’t yet occurred, under the slogan, “Cairo’s liberation will not be complete without the liberation of Al-Quds (Jerusalem).”

According to Justice and Freedom Youth Movement’s Ahmed Doma:

“We are organizing this event as part of the Arab Internet call for a third Palestinian Intifada, and as part of what has been termed ‘the Arab mass march.’ “

Facebook was used, urging that regional Arabs march en masse to Egyptian, Lebanese, Syrian, and Jordanian/Israeli borders, demanding what Palestinians have long sought, including liberation, ending occupation, the right of return, and East Jerusalem as its capital.

Participating Egyptians also want:

— Rafah’s border crossing permanently open, permitting free movement of people and goods;

— halting Egypt’s sale of gas to Israel;

— ending all “humiliating agreements with the Zionist state;” and

— immediate release of all Palestinians in Egyptian prisons.

On May 14 at noon Cairo time, marchers headed for Gaza, expecting to arrive that evening ahead of planned May 15 Nakba day rallies. At the same time, protesters demonstrated in front of Israel’s Giza embassy and its ambassador’s Maadi residence.

We are All Resistance member Arwa said “other convoys heading to Palestine are moving from Alexandria, Suez, Damietta and North Sinai. People will also join convoys from Gharbiya, Beni Suef, Assiut, Qena and Sohag” in a mass show of solidarity.

Cairo participating groups include:

— the National Front for Justice and Democracy;

— Cairo University’s Supporters of the Palestinian Revolution;

— the Justice and Freedom Youth Movement,

— Kifaya;

— We are All the Resistance Movement;

— Helwan University’s Resistance Movement;

— Ultras Ahlawy Ahly football club supporters;

— Zamalek club White Knights;

— Activists for Palestine;

— the Palestinian Women’s Coalition;

— the April 6 Movement;

— the Nasserist Party; and

— various independent activists.

In Tel Aviv, Israel’s Zochrot organization also shows support, defying the imposed ban on Nakba commemorations by posting a sign in German saying “we remember.” Other Israelis joined them in solidarity.

On its web site (zochrot.org), it:

“seeks to raise public awareness of the Palestinian Nakba, especially among Jews in Israel, who bear a special responsibility to remember and amend the legacy of 1948.”

Palestinians were victimized, losing “their entire world. But Jews in Israel also pay a price for their conquest,” living with the criminal legacy Palestinians and global supporters won’t forget. Zochrot’s goal is “recognition for injustice and new paths toward change and repair,” including the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland, saying:

“Return is fundamental to resolving the conflict and implementation of return need not cause injustice to Jewish people….in Israel.” It doesn’t mean expelling them. In fact, “the very opposite: The mutual existence of Palestinians and Jews in the country,” co-existing together peacefully. Return can thus free two societies from the destructive occupier/occupied relationship, ending a longstanding intolerable blight.

As a result, Zochrot will participate in March of Return activities, its site saying its members will visit Miska village, destroyed and ethnically cleaned by Israelis in 1948. They’ll then join the March of Return in al-Damun and al-Ruways villages, also demolished in 1948.

Ahead of May 15 demonstrations, Haaretz writers Anshel Pfeffer, Jack Khoury and Nir Hasson headlined, “Israeli – Palestinian tensions rise in Jerusalem, West Bank as Nabka Day nears,” explaining that:

Clashes erupted between IDF soldiers and Palestinians throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem Friday morning, including in Silwan, Isawiya and the Old City. Israeli police arrested 11 protesters. IDF soldiers used rubber bullets, tear gas, and heavy-handed thuggishness, assaulting nonviolent demonstrators.

Several injuries were reported, including an American and 17-year old Milad Said Ayyash, shot in the head Friday at close range with a high-velocity tear gas cannister and killed. At his Saturday funeral, two Palestinians were wounded. Others were arrested.

Further, Haaretz said “(t)ens of thousands of Palestinian refugees will converge in Maroun al-Ras, a village in southern Lebanon that was a major point of fighting between the IDF and Hezbollah during the 2006 Lebanon War. A parallel demonstration will also be held on the Israeli side of the Lebanon border in Avivim….where demonstrations will be staged concurrently with” a planned Maroun al-Ras rally.

The International Middle East Media Center also reported on May 13 IDF – Palestinian clashes, including:

— Israelis blocking roads, impeding weekly Bil’in anti-wall protesters from traveling to established sites;

— arresting 34 West Bank/East Jerusalem protesters; and

— wounding 22 Palestinians in Nabi Saleh near Ramallah, including photo-journalist Hilmi Tamimi.

Moreover, Italian and Malaysian activists arrived in Gaza, including friends of slain activist/journalist Vittorio Arrigoni. They’ll join growing numbers of others in solidarity for Palestinian liberation and justice.

However, according to Press TV on May 14, Egyptian authorities blocked access to Sinai, preventing activists from reaching Rafah. Also, buses to transport other supporters didn’t arrive. Nonetheless, “a convoy left Cairo’s Liberation square on Saturday,” hoping to show Palestinian solidarity on the Gaza/Rafah border.

A Final Comment

On May 12, a Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) report said Israeli soldiers and settlers killed 7,342 Palestinians from September 29, 2000 (start of the second Intifada) through December 31, 2010.

PCBS also said Israeli security forces “kidnapped” nearly 750,000 Palestinians since June 1967, including 12,000 women and many children, targeted for wanting freedom in their own land.

Occupation harshness continues daily throughout the West Bank, East Jerusalem and besieged Gaza. On May 15, regional solidarity will converge in Gaza, along Egyptian, Lebanese, Jordanian, and Syrian border areas, and perhaps other locations worldwide, commemorating Nakba day for what Palestinians have long sought – liberation on their own land in their own country. Long overdue, it can’t come a moment too soon.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.=

posted by Steve Lendman @ 1:23 AM

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