‘No Monopoly on Grief’: How Antisemitism is Used to Normalize Israeli Racism

February 7, 2023

Protest against the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of Antisemitism in London. (Photo: Video Grab)
– Jamal Kanj is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America, and other books. He writes frequently on Arab world issues for various national and international commentaries. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle

By Jamal Kanj

Imagine in post-apartheid South Africa if blacks practiced racism against whites, and then African American rights groups defended those policies under the pretext of slavery and past oppression of Africans.

There’s no need to imagine, that is exactly what major Jewish rights organizations, such as the Anti -Defamation League (ADL) had done to normalize Israel’s depopulation of Palestine since 1948, and continue to defend Israel’s apartheid practices against Palestinians, today. Not because of Jewish historical grievances against Palestinians, Arabs, or Muslims, but rather for the maltreatment of Jews in Europe.

To ensure the hegemony of the Zionist narratives, ADL, American Jewish Committee, Jewish Congress, AIPAC, etc., used the antisemitism label as an intellectual terror tool to silence critics of Israel equating them with Jewish haters. To the point where Jewish rights organizations’ adherence to the political Zionist project, Israel, is evident in their willingness to whitewash anti-Jewish tropes so long as the Jewish hater is inexplicably a friend of Israel. Conversely, they’d eagerly defile proven anti-racist civil rights pundits, including Jews, and international rights organizations if they dare to challenge Israeli policies.

The term, anti-Jewish hatred, is applied here instead of the sweeping antisemite political label so as not to clump Jewish haters with well-established Israeli and international rights groups such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, B’Tselem, …etc. This is particularly important when supposed Jewish rights organizations purposefully convolute Jewish hate with fact-based political criticism of Israel.

Furthermore, the term Semite is often misused when ascribed to Jews with no proven genetic connections to the original Semites of Mesopotamia, and with an implicit racist intent to exclude non-Jewish Semitic people.

I’m cognizant of the sensitivity when comparing political Zionism to supremacist groups like the Nazis. However, as a Palestinian victim of the Zionist political project, who grew up in a refugee camp, and the son of parents who were refused the right of return to their own homes, simply because they were not Jewish, I understand the ills of dehumanization just like European Jews who suffered under the Nazi program.

To contextualize my proposition, I watched with disgust the appointment of the Jewish racist, Bezalel Smotrich, as a minister in the current Israeli government. The Ukrainian Jewish descendant once addressed a native Palestinian (Israeli) lawmaker stating: “You’re here by accident because (David) Ben-Gurion didn’t finish the job.”

The “job” the most likely Khazar Jewish convert refers to is Ben-Gurion’s order to forcefully evict my parents, along with 780,000 other Palestinians from their homes in 1948, and razing more than 500 villages to the ground. The Palestinian (Israeli) lawmaker was an offspring of the 150,000 natives who managed to stay under the newly imposed state.

In juxtaposing the quintessential racist nature of the maligned oppressors, I am in no way comparing historical Jewish suffering to Palestinians’ pain. Just as I wouldn’t draw any comparison between the slavery of Africans and the ordeal of Aboriginals in the new world. Rather than competing on the scale of grief and victimhood, it would be more productive for all of us to acknowledge that pain is distinctive, individualistic, and real.

Equally, and in order to draw the appropriate conclusions, those experiences should be introduced within a contemporary context. For example, within roughly 15 years, WWII crimes against Jews were recognized, the new Germany acknowledged the harrowing atrocities of the Nazis, compensated victims or their progeny, and restituted their right to go back to their homes.

In contrast, 75 years later, the people of Palestine continue to endure Israeli apartheid occupation, and the expelled population or their descendants are refused the right of return to their original homes.

According to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), when I demand justice for my expelled parents or when I contrast the sins of the Nazi attempts to depopulate Europe of Jews, and the Zionist depopulation of Palestine, IHRA characterizes this as “Anti-Semite.”

ADL, IHRA and others use the “antisemitic” political label as a blanket defense to censor public discourse, more so when they fail to argue facts and deeds regarding indefensible Israeli malevolent policies. For them, Israel is a sacred cow, and unlike other political entities they’d give themselves the right to criticize, Israel is untouchable, and above all, is immune from reproach by a Jew or gentile.

Additionally, they fail to provide empirical evidence that criticizing Israeli policies leads to Jewish hatred, nor is there any validation that revering Israel―the Anglicans and Trump’s veneration are just examples―curbs the rise of hate. To the contrary, there are reasons to believe that observed spikes of anti-Jewish incidents are linked to Jewish rights groups’ efforts to conflate Jewish values with Israel’s immoral policies more than anything else.

ADL, IHRA et al. have no monopoly on grief. Having been a victim of past injustice does not exonerate any group from inflecting future injustice. To quote the prominent Palestinian scholar, Edward Said, in his book Culture and Resistance, “there is a great difference between acknowledging Jewish oppression and using that as a cover for the oppression of another people.”

Exploiting the “antisemite” political label to blackmail critics of Israel is a cover for oppression, and it does not advance the fight against Jewish hatred. Instead, it exposes the hypocrisy of the tribal organizations, such as the ADL, and normalizes Israeli (Jewish) apartheid practices against Palestinians.

Imagining Palestine: Cultures of Exile and National Identity – Book Review

January 13, 2023

Imagining Palestine: Cultures of Exile and National Identity, by Tahrir Hamdi. (Photo: Book Cover)

By Jim Miles

– Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and a regular contributor/columnist of opinion pieces and book reviews to Palestine Chronicles.  His interest in this topic stems originally from an environmental perspective, which encompasses the militarization and economic subjugation of the global community and its commodification by corporate governance and by the American government.

(Imagining Palestine – Cultures of Exile and National Identity.  Tahrir Hamdi. I. B. Taurus, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, London, 2023.)

In her recent work, “Imagining Palestine”, Tahrir Hamdi has made an intriguing, thought-provoking, and challenging discussion on the idea and reality of Palestine. Imagining Palestine is the ongoing process of remembering and living the ongoing tragedies of the nakba – and keeping alive the culture, geography, and ideals of the Palestinian people. There are two main themes that stand out throughout the ‘imagining’ process: the ideas of exile and the necessity of violent resistance.


Throughout the discussions of the various Palestinian writers and artists is the recurring theme of exile. Two other terms are used frequently – dispossession and of dispersion. This refers to the physical/geographical displacement of the refugees, internal and external, in the many refugee camps in Israel, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan as well as the refugees living farther abroad in many countries around the world. Internal exile includes the many apartheid bantustans, the hundreds of checkpoints, the ‘wall’, and all other Israeli initiatives to limit travel of any kind – medical or agricultural or family – within occupied Palestine (being the whole).

Exile also includes the culture and ideas creating a Palestinian narrative – the attempt by the colonial settler Zionists to eliminate the elements of Palestinian life ranging from the destruction of libraries, and the expropriation of agriculture, to the destruction of the olive trees. Many of the latter are over one thousand years old and represent family, the past, and the future; they highlight both ecological and cultural violence against the Palestinians – a bitter leaf with life-giving properties.

Behind the idea of exile is of course the right of return,

The United Nations General Assembly adopts Resolution 194 (III), resolving that “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.”

The symbols of Palestinians’ right of return are characterized by the deeds to land and the keys to houses stolen or destroyed by the Israeli military during the 1948 nakba. Until all Palestinians are free to return home, those few that do, as discussed by Tahrir, are not truly returnees, but remain in exile within their homeland.

Violent Resistance

As recognized by the writers reviewed in Imagining Palestine, the idea of resistance is paramount, “the colonized must liberate themselves by ‘use of all means, and that of force first and foremost.’”. International law allows for an occupied people/territory to legally resist the occupying/colonizing power. For those imagining Palestine, culture comes first then the resistance struggle – signifying a unity of purpose, an inclusiveness and not a mixture of individualized ideals.

In other words, by dividing the Palestinian people into apartheid regions, into different ‘terrorist’ organizations, into different levels of control superseded by the Palestinian Authority acting as security police for Israel, the Israelis – and factions within Palestine itself – preclude an organizing, organic whole necessary for successful resistance against an occupying force. A “collective national identity” is necessary first before a resistance can be successfully implemented.

As expressed by Tahrir,

“The living heritage of Palestine has been focussed and repurposed for the aim of creating a culture of resistance. To imagine Palestine does not mean to contrive something that was not there, but rather to make possible the very idea of resistance, victory, and liberation…an enabling idea.”


Several other themes occur through Tahrir’s analysis of those Imagining Palestine.

The complicity of Arab regimes is reiterated frequently and although not dwelt upon, it is recognition that the ‘regime’, the leaders of the Arab countries, are more concerned about their own survival than the problems faced by the Palestinians. Platitudes are made, peace treaties are made, official recognition of Israel is given, and still, the Palestinians are ignored. Except….

Except as shown by the recent Football World Cup in Qatar (after the publication of this book), the Arab street is still very much aligned with the Palestinians regardless of their separate governments’ attitudes and actions. Farther abroad from Ireland and Scotland to Argentina and others, solidarity with Palestine is strong at the level of international football – not the organizers, but the fans and the players.

Another subtheme, related to all above, is the vast amount of US support for the Israeli government as well as the influence the US carries over many of the Arab states. Capitalism thrives in this environment: three companies “and others thrive on the ‘always war’ policy of the world capitalist system, which gave birth to slavery and the colonialist enterprise.” A strong (im)moral component enters into this support as well with the combination of the evangelical right wishing for the end times and the antiterrorist rhetoric used mainly to reinforce US attempts at global hegemony (via military support for the US $).

Indigenous rights is another subtheme mentioned throughout the book. In particular, the rights of Indigenous North Americans and South Africans are used in comparison to their similarities to the colonial settler regime in Israel. African Americans, while not ‘colonized’ in the strictest sense, are a product of the capitalist-colonial mindset where the ‘other’ is, at best, property to be bought and sold, and when not useful, to be eliminated in one fashion or another.


The recreation and remembering of Palestinian culture in all its forms, and the bringing together of a collective national identity, a living heritage creates an imagined future Palestine as a unitary democratic and peaceful society. The will to resist is alive in many forms and an Imagined Palestine exists, anticipating its liberation as a free, independent country.

The Nakba Day Triumph: How the UN Is Correcting a Historical Wrong

December 14, 2022

Gaza’s Great March of Return. (Photo: Abdullah Aljamal, Palestine Chronicle)

The next Nakba Day will be officially commemorated by the United Nations General Assembly on May 15, 2023. The decision by the world’s largest democratic institution is significant, if not a game changer.

For nearly 75 years, the Palestinian Nakba, the ‘Catastrophe’ wrought by the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by Zionist militias in 1947-48, has served as the epicenter of the Palestinian tragedy as well as the collective Palestinian struggle for freedom.

Three decades ago, namely after the signing of the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestinian leadership in 1993, the Nakba practically ceased to exist as a relevant political variable. Palestinians were urged to move past that date, and to invest their energies and political capital in an alternative and more ‘practical’ goal, a return to the 1967 borders.

In June 1967, Israel occupied the rest of historic Palestine – East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza – igniting yet another wave of ethnic cleansing.

Based on these two dates, Western cheerleaders of Oslo divided Palestinians into two camps: the ‘extremists’ who insisted on the centrality of the 1948 Nakba, and the ‘moderates’ who agreed to shift the center of gravity of Palestinian history and politics to 1967.

Such historical revisionism impacted every aspect of the Palestinian struggle: it splintered Palestinians ideologically and politically; relegated the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees, which is enshrined in UN Resolution 194; spared Israel the legal and moral accountability of its violent establishment on the ruins of Palestine, and more.

Leading Palestinian Nakba historian, Salman Abu Sitta, explained in an interview a few years ago the difference between the so-called pragmatic politics of Oslo and the collective struggle of Palestinians as the difference between ‘aims’ and ‘rights’. Palestinians “don’t have ‘aims’ … (but) rights,” he said. “… These rights are inalienable, they represent the bottom red line beyond which no concession is possible. Because doing so will destroy their life.”

Indeed, shifting the historical centrality of the narrative away from the Nakba was equivalent to the very destruction of the lives of Palestinian refugees as it has been tragically apparent in Gaza, Lebanon and Syria in recent years.

While politicians from all relevant sides continued to bemoan the ‘stagnant’ or even ‘dead’ peace process – often blaming one another for that supposed calamity – a different kind of conflict was taking place. On the one hand, ordinary Palestinians along with their historians and intellectuals fought to reassert the importance of the Nakba, while Israelis continued to almost completely ignore the earth-shattering event, as if it is of no consequence to the equally tragic present.

Gaza’s ‘Great March of Return‘ (2018-2019) was possibly the most significant collective and sustainable Palestinian action that attempted to reorient the new generation around the starting date of the Palestinian tragedy.

Over 300 people, mostly from third or fourth post-Nakba generations, were killed by Israeli snipers at the Gaza fence for demanding their Right of Return. The bloody events of those years were enough to tell us that Palestinians have not forgotten the roots of their struggle, as it also illustrated Israel’s fear of Palestinian memory.

The work of Rosemary Sayigh on the exclusion of the Nakba from the trauma genre, and also that of Samah Sabawi, demonstrate, not only the complexity of the Nakba’s impact on the Palestinian collective awareness, but also the ongoing denial – if not erasure – of the Nakba from academic and historical discourses.

“The most significant traumatic event in Palestinian history is absent from the ‘trauma genre’,” Sabawi wrote in the recently-published volume, Our Vision for Liberation.

Sayigh argued that “the loss of recognition of (the Palestinian refugees’) rights to people- and state- hood created by the Nakba has led to an exceptional vulnerability to violence,” with Syria being the latest example.

Israel was always aware of this. When Israeli leaders agreed to the Oslo political paradigm, they understood that removing the Nakba from the political discourse of the Palestinian leadership constituted a major victory for the Israeli narrative.

Thanks to ordinary Palestinians, those who have held on to the keys and deeds to their original homes and land in historic Palestine, history is finally being rewritten, back to its original and accurate form.

By passing Resolution A/77/L.24, which declared May 15, 2023, as ‘Nakba Day’, the UNGA has corrected a historical wrong.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, rightly understood the UN’s decision as a major step towards the delegitimization of Israel as a military occupier of Palestine. “Try to imagine the international community commemorating your country’s Independence Day by calling it a disaster. What a disgrace,” he said.

Absent from Erdan’s remarks and other responses by the Israeli officials is the mere hint of political or even moral accountability for the ethnic cleansing of over 530 Palestinian towns and villages, and the expulsion of over 750,000 Palestinians, whose descendants are now numbered in millions of refugees.

Not only did Israel invest decades in canceling and erasing the Nakba, it also criminalized it by passing what is now known as the Nakba Law of 2011.

But the more Israel engages in this form of historical negationism, the harder Palestinians fight to reclaim their historical rights.

May 15, 2023, UN Nakba Day represents the triumph of the Palestinian narrative over that of Israeli negationists. This means that the blood spilled during Gaza’s March of Return was not in vain, as the Nakba and the Right of Return are now back at the center of the Palestinian story.

On Palestinian Sumoud and Resilience During a Time of Ongoing Repression and Resistance

October 28, 2022

Palestinians organized a rally in support of Palestinian Resistance in West Bank (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

– Benay Blend earned her doctorate in American Studies from the University of New Mexico. Her scholarly works include Douglas Vakoch and Sam Mickey, Eds. (2017), “’Neither Homeland Nor Exile are Words’: ‘Situated Knowledge’ in the Works of Palestinian and Native American Writers”. She contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

By Benay Blend

On October 24, 2022, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network international coordinator, Charlotte Kates, and one of the founders of the Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement (Masar Badil), Khaled Barakat, arrived in Amsterdam to participate in the Week of Action for Return and Liberation of Palestine. No sooner had they arrived at Amsterdam Schiphol airport than immigration service, operated by Dutch military police, detained them for questioning.

After being interrogated about their political views–about Samidoun, about Masar Badil, and the week of action for liberation and return–they were denied entry and deported back to Canada where they will continue organizing and speaking out against Zionist repression of Palestinians. While saddened by this action, activists immediately spoke out, vowing to channel their anger into making the March even stronger despite efforts to quash the movement.

Calling on Palestinians to be “purveyors of consciousness not victimhood,” journalist Ramzy Baroud suggests that, while understanding that the reach of Zionist repression is important, communicating a sense of “collective victimhood” denies human agency to those who are oppressed.

When Samidoun issued a statement declaring that “our response to this attack on our organizing must be to make an even bigger, stronger, louder and more powerful stand with the Palestinian people, their resistance, and the liberation of Palestine,” they are answering Baroud’s request that Palestinians convey strength and fortitude in the face of Zionist oppression.

“The Palestinian struggle cannot be reduced to a conversation about poverty or the horrors of war,” Baroud continues, “but must be expanded to include the wider political contexts that led to the current tragedies in the first place.” Activists are doing this as well, calling attention to the history of repression against Barakat and Kates by the European state.

In their statement, Samidoun recalls the past history of repression against Barakat and Kates. In 2019, Barakat received a political ban due to his organizing among Palestinians living in Berlin, Germany at the time. After leaving Germany, Barakat and Kates, who are also a married couple, were banned from re-entry for many years. This was the cause cited as the reason for their denial of entry into the Schengen zone, though their ban did not extend to this region.

Indeed, there has been an established policy in Germany, the Netherlands and the European Union of attacking the Palestine solidarity movement. From banning Nakba commemorations to condemning organizations that are in solidarity with Palestinian liberation, these officials have a long history of repression not only in the diaspora but also of supporting the Zionist colonization of Palestine since Israel’s founding.

Significantly, Kates’ and Barakat’s most recent ban occurs as Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte was travelling to the settler colonial Zionist state for talks during a time of escalating colonial violence and repression. Rutte’s trip serves to link repression of Palestinian activism in the diaspora to increasing Israeli violence towards Palestinians in their own country.

From Charlotte Kates came a statement that voiced this link quite clearly: “The European Union always talks about human rights, but ignores them when it comes to Palestine. Palestine activists in all EU countries face repression. This deportation is therefore not just an attack on Khaled and me, but on the Palestinian movement as a whole.”

As in the diaspora, escalating Zionist violence in Palestine has fueled the rise of resistance groups, including the “Lions’ Den” and Jenin Brigades, which includes groups of people regardless of political affiliation across the West Bank. According to Hani Al-Masri, what distinguishes this movement is that it unites armed struggle with other forms of popular resistance, such as a general strike held recently in the West Bank.

In Gaza, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine organized a rally to support Palestinian resistance in the West Bank and Occupied Jerusalem. Saleh Nasser, a member of the Political Bureau of the Democratic Front in the Gaza Strip, stressed that Palestinians much chose between a variety of resistance strategies to confront the Israeli Occupation.

“What [Israel] fail[s] to understand,” writes Ramzy Baroud, “is that the growing rebellion in the West Bank is not generated by a few fighters in Nablus and a few more in Jenin, but is the outcome of a truly popular sentiment.” This unity can also be seen in solidarity around the world, most recently in the quick response to European efforts to weaken the March in Brussels.

In response to the banning of Kates and Barakat, activists at Schiphol Airport held the Palestinian flag along with signs that read “long live the Palestinian Struggle.” Others presented a statement of solidarity with Kates and Barakat to the military police who detained and interrogated the movement’s leaders.

From a wide array of Palestine solidarity groups around the world came a quick response to the injustice, showing again a commitment to unity across many different lines. For example, the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBIurged activists to stand in solidarity with Kates and Barakat by supporting and/or organizing their own protests in conjunction with the March.

Al-Awda—The Palestine Right to Return Coalition called on supporters to defend the right to organize for the right of return for Palestinian people, and accentuated that “our response to this attack on our organizing must be to make an even bigger, stronger, louder and more powerful stand with the Palestinian people, their resistance, and the liberation of Palestine.”

“For the Palestinian narrative to be truly relevant,” Baroud writes, “Palestinians must assume the role of the Gramscian intellectual, as purveyors of consciousness, and abandon the role of the victim intellectual altogether.” Given rising resistance in Palestine and growing solidarity around the world, his words are bearing fruit.

Reports back from the March also paint a clear picture of carrying on with strength and dignity despite the ban. Despite efforts to the contrary—the Israeli ambassador in Brussels demanded the cancellation of the March—all attempts to quash the spirit of participants have failed.

The week began with standing room only for the first events which focused on the struggle of Palestinian prisoners. These workshops followed a 1,000-strong demonstration and march to the prison in Lannemezan, France, where Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, the Lebanese struggler for Palestine, has been jailed for the past 39 years.

As the movement becomes stronger, there will be more efforts to silence Palestinian voices. “Let us be clear,” stated the organizers of the March,

“all of these show just why it is so urgent that our demonstration on Saturday 29 October be very loud, clear and massive, demanding accountability from European colonialism and imperialist powers for their ongoing crimes against the Palestinian people. Join us on Saturday, 29 October at Lumumba Square in Brussels at 2 pm, to march to the European Parliament in the March for Return and Liberation.”

Explaining why “Israel is Afraid of the Lions’ Den,” Baroud concludes that that Palestinians are “simply fed up with the Israeli occupation and with their collaborating leadership.” They are ready to put “it all on the line,” because, he predicts, the coming months are going to be critical for all Palestinians.

All the more reason for organizers of the March to call for “a clear demonstration that the Palestinian people will accept nothing less than return and liberation, from the river to the sea, and will hold Europe accountable for the colonial crimes and ongoing imperialist exploitation.”

Joining the March or organizing local activities for return and liberation, they conclude, is a step towards making this possible.


‘Watani’: A Kanafanian Song in the Time of National Crisis (VIDEO)

July 13, 2022

Late Palestinian intellectual Ghassan Kanafani. (Photo: via as-Safir)

By Haidar Eid

Bodies fall, but not the idea. (Ghassan Kanafani)

The 50th anniversary of the assassination of Ghassan Kanafani coincides with the passing of 15 years of the Fatah-Hamas rift, instigated by the Bush administration in 2007 and which has led to the formation of two local, opposing administrations by the two parties in the 1967 occupied territories.

The clashes between the two parties created a new reality on the ground, the brunt of which has been paid, mainly, by the 2.4 million residents of the besieged Gaza Strip, and has led to one of the worst national crises Palestinians have had since the emergence of the contemporary Palestinian revolution and the formation of the PLO.

What would Ghassan Kanafani have said?! This song is an attempt to address this question.

The song is written and performed by Haidar Eid.

Nai: Ismail Harazeen

Oud: Mohammed Oukasha

Graphic Design: Alaa Samir



Patience and steadfastness

And forgiveness for what we have done


You are the throbbing heart

You are the throbbing HEART

You are the soul

The soul


And the soul is dear (to the heart)


Interim Israeli PM to use pre-Nakba villa as official residence

The villa was built by wealthy Palestinian businessman Hanna Salameh in the 1930s, who was forced to leave Palestine after Israel was created

July 11 2022

(Photo credit: Times of Israel)

ByNews Desk-

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh demanded this month that interim Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid hand over a villa built prior to the Palestinian catastrophe, or Nakba, of 1948.

Shtayyeh gave the order when it was revealed that the Israeli caretaker prime minister was planning on living there temporarily.

The Villa Salameh, as engraved on one of the walls, was built in the 1930s by Palestinian businessman Hanna Salameh.

Salameh was expelled from Palestine in 1948 upon the formation of the state of Israel, and lived in exile in Lebanon.

The luxurious home is located in the Talbieh neighborhood of West Jerusalem, which was built a century ago and was home to several residences built by wealthy Palestinian elites.

After the formation of Israel and the resulting Nakba, the dispossessed residents of the Talbieh neighborhood were forced out of Palestine by Israeli forces.

Two years later, the villa, along with many Palestinian homes in the area, was seized by Tel Aviv under the Absentee Property Law.

The Absentee Property Law was passed by the Israeli government in 1950, allowing it to seize the homes of Palestinians who were forced to both abandon their properties and leave their country.

Reportedly, Lapid has temporarily occupied the villa, as the official prime ministerial residence on Balfour Street in occupied West Jerusalem, which is near the villa, undergoes renovation.

On 4 July, during a meeting in Ramallah, Shtayyeh strongly condemned Israel’s continued violation of homes left behind by refugees, and called for the right of return for all Palestinians to their homeland under UN Resolution 194.

The takeover by the Israeli prime minister of a historic Palestinian home aligns with Tel Aviv’s official policy of seizing or destroying Palestinian homes, and forcibly evicting their residents.

In March this year, the Jerusalem Municipality declared its intention to annex 800 Palestinian homes in the neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukaber, in order to raze them and build a commercial center as well as 500 settlement units for Jewish residents.

On 12 June, a report by Land Research Center of the Arab Studies revealed that Israeli forces demolished at least 1,032 Palestinian buildings and homes in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in 2021.


JUNE 16TH, 2022


While it is true that Zionism is a modern political ideology that has exploited religion to achieve specific colonial objectives in Palestine, prophecies continue to be a critical component of Israel’s perception of itself, and of the state’s relationship to other groups, especially Christian messianic groups in the United States and worldwide.

The subject of religious prophecies and their centrality to Israel’s political thought was once more highlighted following remarks by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, in a recent interview with the Hebrew-language newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth. Barak, perceived to be a ‘progressive’ politician, who was once the leader of Israel’s Labor Party, expressed fears that Israel will “disintegrate” before the 80th anniversary of its 1948 establishment.

“Throughout the Jewish history, the Jews did not rule for more than eighty years, except in the two kingdoms of David and the Hasmonean dynasty and, in both periods, their disintegration began in the eighth decade,” Barak said.

Based on pseudo-historical analysis, Barak’s prophecy seemed to conflate historical facts with typical messianic Israeli thinking, reminiscent of statements made by Israel’s former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2017.

Like Barak, Netanyahu’s comments were expressed in the form of fear over the future of Israel, and the looming ‘existential threat’, the cornerstone of Israeli hasbara throughout the years. At a Bible study session in his house in Jerusalem, Netanyahu had then warned that the Hasmonean kingdom – also known as the Maccabees – had merely survived for 80 years before it was conquered by the Romans in 63 B.C.E.

The “Hasmonean state lasted only 80 years, and we needed to exceed this,” Netanyahu was quoted by one of the attendees as saying, the Israeli Haaretz newspaper reported.

But, even according to Netanyahu’s purported determination to exceed that number, he had reportedly vowed to ensure Israel will surpass the Maccabees’ 80 years, and survive for 100 years. That is merely 20 years more.

The difference between Barak and Netanyahu’s statements is quite negligible: the former’s views are supposedly ‘historical’ and the latter’s are biblical. Worth noting, however, is that both leaders, though they subscribe to two different political schools, have converged on similar meeting points: Israel’s survival is at stake; the existential threat is real and the end of Israel is only a matter of time.

But the pessimism in Israel is hardly confined to political leaders, who are known to exaggerate and manipulate facts to instill fear and to rile up their political camps, especially Israel’s powerful messianic constituencies. Although this is true, predictions regarding Israel’s grim future are not confined to the country’s political elites.

In an interview with Haaretz in 2019, one of Israel’s most respected mainstream historians, Benny Morris, had much to say about the future of his country. Unlike Barak and Netanyahu, Morris was not sending warning signals but stating what, to him, seemed an unavoidable outcome of the country’s political and demographic evolution.

“I don’t see how we get out of it,” Morris said, adding: “Already, today there are more Arabs than Jews between the (Mediterranean) Sea and the Jordan (River). The whole territory is unavoidably becoming one state with an Arab majority. Israel still calls itself a Jewish state, but a situation in which we rule an occupied people that has no rights cannot persist in the 21st century.”

Morris’ predictions, while remaining committed to the racial fantasy of a Jewish majority, were far more articulate and also realistic if compared to those of Barak, Netanyahu and others. The man who once regretted that Israel’s founder, David Ben Gurion, did not expel all of Palestine’s native population in 1947-48, spoke with resignation that, in a matter of a generation, Israel will cease to exist in its current form.

Particularly notable about his comments is the accurate perception that “the Palestinians look at everything from a broad, long-term perspective,” and that the Palestinians will continue to “demand the return of the refugees.” But who were the “Palestinians” Morris was referring to? Certainly not the Palestinian Authority, whose leaders have already marginalized the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees, and most certainly have no “broad, long-term perspective”. Morris’ ‘Palestinians’ are, of course, the Palestinian people themselves, generations of whom have served, and continue to serve, as the vanguards of Palestinian rights despite all of the setbacks, defeats and political ‘compromises’.

Actually, prophecies regarding Palestine and Israel are not a new phenomenon. Palestine was colonized by Zionists with the help of Britain, also based on biblical frames of reference. It was populated by Zionist settlers based on biblical references dedicated to the restoration of ancient kingdoms and the ‘return’ of ancient peoples to their supposedly rightful ‘promised land’. Though Israel took on many different meanings throughout the years – perceived to be a ‘socialist’ utopia at times, a liberal, democratic haven at others – it was always preoccupied with religious meanings, spiritual visions and inundated with prophecies. The most sinister expression of this truth is the fact that the current support of Israel by millions of Christian fundamentalists in the West is largely driven by messianic, end-of-the-world prophecies.

The latest predictions about Israel’s uncertain future are based on a different logic. Since Israel has always defined itself as a Jewish State, its future is mostly linked to its ability to maintain a Jewish majority in historic Palestine. By the admission of Morris and others, this pipedream is now crumbling as the ‘demographic war’ is clearly and quickly being lost.

Of course, co-existence in a single democratic state will always be a possibility. Alas, for Israel’s Zionist ideologues, such a state will hardly meet the minimum expectations of the country’s founders, since it would no longer exist in the form of a Jewish, Zionist state. For co-existence to take place, the Zionist ideology would have to be scrapped altogether.

Barak, Netanyahu and Morris are all right: Israel will not exist as a ‘Jewish state’ for much longer. Speaking strictly in terms of demographics, Israel is no longer a Jewish-majority state. History has taught us that Muslims, Christians and Jews can peacefully coexist and collectively thrive, as they have done throughout the Middle East and the Iberian Peninsula for millennia. Indeed, this is a prediction, even a prophecy, that is worth striving for.

Feature photo | A Palestinian boy faces an Israeli tank on the outskirts of Gaza City, Oct. 29, 2000. Laurent Rebours | AP

Dr. Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

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

74 Years of Historical Injustice: The Creation of “Israel”

18 May 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Hussam AbdelKareem 

The British colonialists viewed the Zionist movement as a tool for their imperial designs and hence the Balfour Declaration was issued in 1917.

74 Years of Historical Injustice: The Creation of “Israel”

“Al-Nakba” is the Arabic term used to commemorate the creation of the “State of Israel” on May 15, 1948. “Al Nakba” literally means “catastrophe”, which best describes how Arab peoples feel about the creation of the Hebrew “state” in Palestine at the expense of its legitimate owners; the Palestinian Arabs.

In 1948, the principles of right and justice were, literally, butchered at the hands of the Zionist gangs and militias known as Haganah, which later turned into the “Israeli Army”. The Jewish Zionists in Palestine, who emigrated mainly from Eastern Europe, were preparing for this day for decades. The Zionists knew very well that they were not welcomed in Palestine and will never be accepted by Arab nations, so conquering the land by force was their sole path to achieving their goals in Palestine. War with the Arabs, in the Zionists’ eyes, was inevitable. Extensive military planning and preparations were undertaken by the Zionists in Palestine since their early arrivals at the beginning of the 20th century and particularly after Great Britain took over Palestine at the end of World War I.

The British colonialists viewed the Zionist movement as a tool for their imperial designs and hence the Balfour Declaration was issued in 1917, confirming Great Britain’s commitment to establishing a “Jewish homeland” in Palestine. The Zionists were receiving full support from the colonial power, which was true to its pledge. Waves of Jewish immigrants arrived from Europe to strengthen the Zionist project in Palestine, and by 1947, when the Palestine partition plan was passed at the UN, the Zionists had a 75,000 semi-army force, which was further aided by another 20,000 Jewish militants in the following year when they waged their war on the Arabs in Palestine in 1948. When the British withdrew their forces from Palestine in 1948, they handed their military installations, camps, and equipment to the Haganah, thus leaving behind them a fully armed and well-trained Jewish army ready to fight the Arabs in Palestine who were practically deprived of weapons and even the slightest means of defense.

The Zionists, who were owning a mere 6% of the land in Palestine in 1948, launched their “war of independence” against the Arabs, which ended in declaring their Jewish “state of Israel” after conquering about 80% of historical Palestine by force and bloodshed. The war was brutal, and the Zionists exhibited utmost forms of savagery and cruelty. Many massacres against civilian Arabs were committed in several cities and villages in Palestine. In one of the most horrible massacres, 254 civilian villagers, including women and children, were killed in cold blood at the hands of Zionist terrorists in the town of Der Yassin, near Jerusalem. Other brutal crimes were also committed in Haifa, Tantura, and Lydd, and the Zionist terror campaign resulted in about 800,000 Palestinian Arabs fleeing their homes and lands and becoming refugees in neighboring Arab countries, namely Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt. Total destruction was inflicted by the Haganah on 531 Arab villages all over Palestine. About 85% of the Arabs who lived within the borders of the to-be “State of Israel” were forcefully expelled. It was ethnic cleansing in its ugliest forms.  

The world was watching while these Zionist crimes were happening in Palestine and did practically nothing except some relief efforts and humanitarian aid. Even when “Israel” officially decided to confiscate the Palestinian refugees’ homes, lands, and properties in 1949, the UN did not bother to intervene. Actually, it was no surprise, as the UN was under the domination of the Great Powers of the post-World War II era, particularly the UK and USA, both supporting the new Jewish “state” which was planted in the heart of the Arab world.

After the 1948 war ended, “Israel’ firmly refused to allow the Palestinian refugees to return to their country and demanded they be settled permanently in the other Arab countries. Furthermore, “Israel” refused to admit to the crimes committed by its troops and even declined to acknowledge its responsibility for uprooting the Palestinian Arabs and turning most of them into stateless refugees in miserable camps. The Israeli narrative about the Palestinian refugee problem is that they “voluntarily” left their homes and lands! And “Israel” refused to pay any financial compensation to the refugees whose properties were illegally confiscated and taken over by Jewish settlers. In 1967, another wave of displaced Palestinian refugees was added to the 1948 one to make the problem even worse. Again, the world did nothing apart from some expressions of sorrow for the humanitarian suffering of the refugees. With the help of its patron, the US, “Israel” escaped any accountability for its crimes and actions.

Seven decades have passed, with successive generations, and the status of the Palestinian refugees is still the same; not allowed to return to their historical homeland, not compensated, and not recognized as victims of historical injustice!

“Al-Nakba” will remain the term to be used to describe what happened on May 15, 1948, as long as the Palestinian suffering at the hands of the Israeli occupation continues. It’s a shame that the world allows such a tragedy to go on this long. It’s a shame that “Israel” is left without accountability.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Will Shireen Abu Akleh’s Murder Mark a Turning Point in the Liberation of Palestine?

May 14th, 2022

Feature photo | Protesters hold candles and a photo of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Haifa, Israel, May 11, 2022. Ariel Schalit | AP

This particular targeted killing of a journalist – not the first and sadly, probably not the last – touched us all. And the response of the Zionist establishment in occupied Jerusalem, as well as in Washington, is cold and full of excuses.

By Miko Peled

JERUSALEM – As I write these words, the world is trying to make sense of the brutal assassination of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was targeted by Israeli forces while covering yet another Israeli assault on Jenin. Furthermore, Israeli forces have now attacked the funeral procession leading Shireen to her final resting place. One wonders why is anyone surprised.

How often have we seen innocent lives taken? How often have we seen the Israeli military attack funeral processions? And yet, for reasons that perhaps cannot be explained, awe, sadness, and despair have descended upon the world with this particular killing. This particular targeted killing of a journalist – not the first and sadly, probably not the last – touched us all. And the response of the Zionist establishment in occupied Jerusalem, as well as in Washington, is cold and full of excuses.

Israeli police attacks mourners carrying the casket of Shireen Abu Akleh during her funeral, May 13, 2022. Maya Levin | AP

On the same day the funeral procession of Shireen was taking place in Jerusalem, a memorial procession was taking place in the ancient city of Lyd. This procession was to commemorate the murder of Musa Hassuna.  It was a year ago in Lyd, as settler gangs were assaulting Palestinians in Lyd, that Musa Hassuna was murdered. This procession, besides being a memorial to the killing, was also a reminder that the Israeli authorities decided to close the case against the only suspects who were on the scene and who fired their weapons at the same place and the same time as Musa was killed. Sources in Lyd say that the Israeli minister of interior called the local DA to demand that they close the case on grounds of self-defense.

Of course, we are all well aware that Musa and Shireen, who were murdered one year apart, were not the only victims of Zionist violence. They are joined by countless others who, without cause or trial, were taken from their loved ones, from their people, and turned into martyrs for the cause. Sure enough, once again we are forced to look at reality in the face and accept that no one will save Palestine but us. No one else can free Palestine, no one can save Palestinians from the long, violent, heartless arm of the Zionist apartheid regime. Only a unity of purpose and an uncompromising pro-Palestinian, pro-justice, pro-liberation agenda can save Palestine and its people from bloodshed and destruction.

As it happens, I had just witnessed precisely such unity, albeit on a small scale. Anyone looking for an agenda on Palestine that is both progressive and unifying should have been in New York City in early May of 2022. Al-Awda New York held its “Rising to Return” conference at the People’s Forum in New York City on Mother’s Day weekend this year. The energy, the speakers, the volunteers, and even the vendors all provided an atmosphere of unity of purpose and unity of cause – the cause being the liberation of Palestine as well as the total rejection of Zionism and the Zionist apartheid state.

Signs of unity

Sitting side by side under posters displaying Che Guevara and T-shirts displaying the image of Thomas Sankara, as well as other fighters for justice, were Palestinians, American Jews, communists, secular and religious people, women wearing hijab, and ultra-orthodox rabbis. All were there to speak and listen but mostly to demonstrate support for the liberation of Palestine and the end to the apartheid regime in Palestine.

Shireen Abu Akleh

Mourners gather at the hospital where the body Shireen Abu Akleh was taken to her final resting place, May 13, 2022. Mahmoud Illean | AP

Contrary to the common misconception regarding the pro-Palestinian camp, a clear and uncompromising message regarding Palestine does have the capacity to unite people of different backgrounds, faiths, and even political affiliations. One is hard-pressed to think of any other issue on which all of these groups could find common ground. Yet Al-Awda New York – with its message of a free, decolonized Palestine – managed to do just that.

The misconception is that in order to present the Palestinian case, in order to achieve the goals of those of seek to free Palestine, we must go slow. “We must first crawl before we walk and run,” we are told. In other words, in order to achieve the liberation of Palestine, we must tread lightly so as not to upset anyone. This was never true and it is not true today.

Who is a Jew?

Too many people think that Jewish people who are orthodox and dress as ultra-orthodox are associated with settlers and right-wing Israeli politics. However, at the Al-Awda conference and in many, many other pro-Palestinian spaces we see ultra-orthodox Jewish people carrying Palestinian flags and calling for the “peaceful dismantlement of the Zionist state.” So the question that needs to be asked is which one of these groups – the racist, violent Settlers or the peace- and tolerance-promoting Jews – represents Judaism?

Revered rabbis from Jerusalem, London and New York have for decades demanded an end to the Zionist state and the liberation of Palestine and the Palestinian people. Young Yeshiva students in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Me’a Sha’arim, as well as in cities around the world, proudly carry the Palestinian flag as they march side by side with Palestinians.

So, clearly, the Zionist Jewish settlers may dress as orthodox Jews but in fact, they are violating the most sacred tenets of the Jewish faith.


The opposition to the cause of justice has always been fierce and, in the case of Palestine, the Zionists have learned from other oppressors and refined their methods. This means that the struggle for justice and liberation in Palestine is challenging and demanding, and we who stand on the side of justice and liberation have to work harder and smarter than those who had to fight in other arenas.

We need to reclaim Palestine by teaching the world that what they wrongly refer to as Israel is Occupied Palestine. And that a glorious history was cut out from the curriculum and therefore they don’t know about the long impressive history of this land, which sits at a crucial crossroads uniting Asia, Africa, and Europe.

 Shireen Abu Akleh

Palestinians carry pictures of Shireen Abu Akleh in the West Bank city of Ramallah, May 11, 2022. Nasser Nasser | AP

We need to teach the world that whatever the Zionists had told them was a lie, and then we must be there and in no uncertain terms provide the truth. I was asked once in an interview what I miss about Israel. “This is not Israel,” I replied, “It is Palestine.” The interviewer was astonished: “How can you say that?” he asked me. “It was Palestine, it is Palestine and it will always be Palestine,” I responded. If we act without compromise it will be liberated.

Miko Peled is MintPress News contributing writer, published author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. His latest books are”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.

Zionism in Ukraine Allied with Nazism


In this deep dive with historian and author Matt Ehret we examine the history of Zionism in Ukraine and the origin of many of the Zionist ultra nationalist groups now occupying Palestinian territory since the Nakba (ethnic cleansing of Palestine) in 1948.

We look at the emergence of the Chabad Lubavitch sect that was established before Zionism came into existence and has its origins in Ukraine – now with 10,000 emissaries in 100 countries at the cutting edge of Zionist expansionism. This group is believed to be responsible for the majority of the price tag attacks in occupied Palestine, denies the right to return for all Palestinians and leads the ideological war against non adherents of Judaism.

We make the link between this secular ultra nationalist ideology and consider how it is mutually inclusive of the Ukrainian far right and Nazi elements that now dominate Ukrainian politics, military and police. Matt analyses the Oligarchical power base behind these cults and how it ties into the Great Reset/WEF agenda that is threatening Humanity.

Palestine’s Land Day: In 2018 mass protests, in 2022 armed struggle

March 30 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Robert Inlakesh 

This 30th of March may more symbolically represent something very different for the youths of Palestine today than it did for those of past generations.

Land Day, first started in the 1948 territories of occupied Palestine, was revived again in 2018 and has shaped the way Palestinian youths are today opposing the occupation of their lands. Whilst mass demonstrations were used a few years ago, today we see a shift towards the use of armed struggle in order to oppose “Israel’s” settler colonialism.

In 1976 Palestinian demonstrations erupted in the Galilee, in addition to areas such as Wadi Ara and al-Naqab (the Negev). The protests inside the 1948 territories of Palestine came as a reaction to the Zionist entity’s expropriation of thousands of dunams of Palestinian land, resulting in Zionist forces killing 6 Palestinians and injuring of hundreds of others. Every year since, Palestinians have marked Land Day on the 30th of March, in order to remember the resistance of their people to “Israel’s” settler-colonial regime.

The 30th of March, however, may more symbolically represent something very different for the youths of Palestine today, than it did for those of past generations. This is also the date on which the ‘Great Return March’ was launched in 2018, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinian demonstrators in the Gaza Strip protested against the separation fence/wall between them and their lands from which over 70% of the population are originally from and are forbidden to return to. The Palestinian refugees and native Gazans hoisted up banners calling for the implementation of United Nations General Assembly resolution 194, which demanded the Palestinian right of return to their homelands. 

The Great Return March continued for over a year, it was overwhelmingly non-violent and resulted in no deaths of Israeli soldiers or settlers. Many international observers thought that this was it, the international community was finally going to be forced to break its silence and the blockade on Gaza would be put to an end. They were unfortunately wrong. The nonviolent protest movement, one of the largest in history – in terms of the percentage of the population in question – only gave Israeli snipers the opportunity for mass murder. Over 300 Palestinian civilians were massacred, more than 30,000 were injured. The international community remained silent, the Western media and governments defended “Israel”, barely even paying attention to the suffering of Gaza’s demonstrators. Women, children, infants, medical workers, journalists, disabled persons, and elderly were amongst the dead and injured, overwhelming Gaza’s already brittle health sector. 

The world sat by and did nothing as the Palestinian people did exactly what is always asked of them, nonviolent resistance, quoting international law, and asking for their rights. Not only did the world media sit by and underreport the demonstrations, when they did touch on the subject they described them as “clashes” and “border riots”. This was despite the fact that no such “border” exists between Gaza and “Israel”. As for the allegation that there were clashes; if so, where are the dead Israelis? Where are the injured Israelis? What really occurred is that a heavily militarized force sat behind mounds of dirt or military towers, behind layers of barbed wire, on top of militarized fences/walls, and shot at defenseless Palestinians like fish in a barrel, often with banned explosive bullets. This was not just the likes of Fox News that reported on the demonstrations like this, it was the BBCCNNThe New York Times, and just about every other mainstream Western news outlet you could think of.

Land Day in 2018 should have been, according to the liberal pundits who preach nonviolence for the Palestinians – but not for Ukrainians against Russia’s military of course – that ended all their oppression. Instead, it was the beginning of a massacre, a catastrophe. 

On this Land Day, the Palestinian people prepare for the month of Ramadan ahead of them, where fascist Israeli settler mobs threaten to raid Al-Aqsa Mosque, they do so in a very different environment than the one we saw in 2018. The world lied to the Palestinians when they told them they could take back their rights through nonviolent resistance, and saw last May, that the only time they can extract a win against their occupiers is through armed struggle. The younger generations are tired of the lies and a Palestinian Authority that collaborates with the Zionist occupier through security coordination, they see that there is no hope in waiting on the Oslo process. The armed struggle is now rising inside the 1948 territories, the West Bank, Al-Quds, and is no longer isolated to the ‘Joint Room’ of resistance factions in the Gaza Strip. 

The Palestinian armed struggle is undergoing a new revival and this time it will take more than empty promises to stop it. A United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) report, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch (HRW), B’Tselem, and many more have declared “Israel” an Apartheid regime and this system of injustice will be confronted by any means necessary.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

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“Israel” or the wolf disguised as a sheep

29 Mar 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

Mikhael Marzuqa 

“Israel” tried to disguise itself as an honest mediator between Russia and Ukraine, but honesty is a trait that is hard to come by once the occupation’s history is full of atrocities and war crimes.

Chile and other Latin-American countries that subscribe to the UN Charter and its resolutions, as well as international law organizations, including the ICJ, must commit themselves to their own actions

The Russian-Ukrainian conflict comes to revalue the need for the rule of International Law and a renewal of the commitment of the entire international community to subscribe to it.

The defense of the sovereignty of Ukraine revives the neglected relevance of promoting the sovereignty of Palestine based mainly on:

– The withdrawal of the Israeli army from the Palestinian territories declared in resolution 181 of the UN General Assembly of November 29, 1947, that “recommended” the partition of Palestine into two States, but without “Israel” allowing the consolidation of the Palestinian State.

– Allow the return of Palestinian refugees expelled from their homes by “Israel”, according to resolutions 194 of December 11, 1948, and 3236 of November 22, 1974, recognizing the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people.

– Israeli withdrawal from Occupied Palestine, including the Eastern part of occupied al-Quds, is based on Resolution 2334 of December 23, 2016, of the UN Security Council, which emanates from this body and is binding.

– End of colonialism and Israeli apartheid considered a form of racial discrimination according to Resolution 3379 of the UN General Assembly in 1975.

– End of the colonial expansion based on settlements of settlers brought from other nations to Palestine, based on Resolutions 446 of March 22, 1979 and 2334 of December 23, 2016 of the UN Security Council (both binding resolutions).

– Demolition of the Separation Wall or “Shame” that penetrates into Palestinian territory expropriating more territories, declared illegal by the International Court of Justice on July 9, 2004

Since 1948, and even before, with the action of the Zionist terrorist organizations, which later became the Israeli army, “Israel” has systematically invaded Palestine, expelling its original population, periodically bombing and committing crimes against the civilian population, selectively assassinating the political leaders of the Palestinian people including their former president Yasser Arafat, demolished their homes and farm fields, seized water sources, turned the West Bank into a huge concentration camp, violently expelled the residents of al-Quds and other Palestinian cities, changed the names and in general the legal status of the territory, prohibited free expression and the operation of NGOs for the defense of Human Rights, converted Gaza into the largest extermination camp and, ultimately, undermined the possibilities of installing a Free and democratic Palestinian state as declared by the national charter of the Organization for the Liberation of Palestine.

It is ironic to see how “Israel” first offered itself as the venue for negotiations between Russia and Ukraine and currently offers itself as a mediator since it is the state most condemned by the UN and international human rights organizations and one of the key suppliers of weapons to Ukraine. Therefore, ending this international hypocrisy is imperative today, since we run the risk of widening the lock gates of more flagrant inconsistencies and violations of the norms that regulate coexistence among peoples.

Chile and other Latin-American countries that subscribe to the UN Charter and its resolutions, as well as international law organizations, including the ICJ, must commit themselves to their own actions, as well as promote in the regional economic and political organizations of Latin America and The Caribbean, initiatives that lead to oblige “Israel” to cease its violations, respect international laws and adopt UN resolutions without conditions.

It is appropriate that those who have an international tradition to respect and promote international human rights. Along these lines, they are compelled to adhere to the reports of Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International and promote the existence of all the facilities for the investigation of the International Criminal Court on war crimes committed by “Israel”.
It is important that the Latin American countries deploy a diplomatic crusade at the international level so that the United States, Great Britain and the European Union, mainly, are consistent between their speech and their international action so that, just as they have deployed innumerable and forceful sanctions against Russia, similarly condemn and promote condemnation and similar sanctions against the Israeli regime so that it respects international law. It is pertinent that governments that set themselves up as defenders of democracy, do not jeopardize their declared values ​​of respect for peace, justice, sovereignty, and self-determination, that they assume the moral obligation of consequence between their words and actions and honor the reputation of the states those they represent so as not to be condemned by history as only defenders of interests of power and hegemony.

Promoting the peaceful and respectful coexistence of the legality that the international community has imposed on itself is today transcendent for the world that we are bequeathing to future generations.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

To Maintain Jewish Demographic Control, Israel Cloaks Family Unification Law in Security Concerns

February 25th, 2022

Amnesty International described “discriminatory laws and policies that disrupt family life” as “primarily guided by demographic – rather than security – considerations and aim[ing] to minimize Palestinian presence inside the Green Line to maintain a Jewish majority.”

By Jessica Buxbaum


OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM — A controversial law banning family unification between Israelis and Palestinians in the occupied territories expired last summer, but right-wing politicians are seeking to resurrect it with a vengeance. This month, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) approved, in the first of three votes, the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, preventing Palestinians married to Israeli citizens from receiving permits to enter into 1948-occupied Palestine (or modern-day Israel).

“It’s one of the most racist, apartheid laws that was ever passed in the world,” Adi Mansour, attorney with Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, told MintPress News. “There is no other law that’s even remotely close to this law in the effects … that it has on family lives.”

Known as the family unification ban, the bill passed in 2003 and has been renewed annually since its inception — until last year. In July, the law was defeated after former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party voted against it to disrupt the new coalition government.

Now, right-wing Knesset members are hoping to breathe new life into the legislation by adding more restrictive amendments to a law human rights organizations already deem deeply discriminatory.

Making a harsh law even harsher

Knesset member Simcha Rothman of the far-right Religious Zionism Party negotiated with Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked to add tougher amendments to the law and get it back on the agenda.

Rothman’s applied amendments include setting a maximum yearly quota for those eligible to receive Israeli citizenship from the occupied West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Iran, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, and requiring the Interior Ministry submit a monthly report on the number of permits granted. While this law is classified as a temporary order, the newest version also allows the government to extend its enforcement for longer than one year at a time, meaning it won’t need to be renewed annually.

“The amendment that was filed by the opposition brings to the surface the real intention of the law —  to prevent a supposed attack on the Jewish majority of the state,” Mansour said.  Rothman and the spokesperson for the Knesset did not respond to requests for comment.

Despite the law’s expiration, Shaked ordered the Population and Immigration Authority to apply the law to family unification requests. Israeli non-profit organizations HaMoked, Association for Civil Rights in Israel, and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, filed a joint petition to the Israeli Court of Administrative Affairs. The case made its way to the Supreme Court, which prompted the Interior Ministry to establish two temporary procedures. One of the procedures — HaMoked argues — simply “perpetuates the relevant provisions of the expired law, under a different name.”

More than just preventing the Palestinian right of return

HaMoked opposes the law, but Dani Shenhar, who heads HaMoked’s legal department, said that if it does pass, there are several amendments they are advocating to have attached to the bill in order to make it constitutional. These include: not applying the law to women over the age of 50, men over the age of 55, and minors; providing full government benefits to those given an entry permit; and giving permanent residency or citizenship to those applying on humanitarian grounds.

“When the law didn’t pass in July, many politicians said that it’s very important for keeping the demographics of Israel under control — not having Palestinians receive Israeli IDs,” Shenhar told MintPress. “This is the real concern of the state.”

Proponents of the law argue it’s necessary for security purposes, specifically claiming unified families are more likely to commit acts of terrorism. Shenhar explained, however, that Israel’s internal security service, the Shin Bet, said that from 2001 to 2016 only 104 individuals from families who obtained residency or citizenship through family reunification were involved in terrorist activity. From his perspective, these low numbers suggest there isn’t a security concern. “Security is an explanation used by the state because it’s easier for the court to give its green light to this law when there’s a security basis for it,” Shenhar said. “It’s more difficult to justify this kind of law on the basis of demographics or racial profiling.”

Even Minister of Interior Shaked suggested this law isn’t just for security purposes. In an interview with Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, Shaked admitted the law is meant to prevent the “creeping [Palestinian] right of return.” “The law wants to reduce the motivation for immigration to Israel. Primarily for security reasons, and then also for demographic reasons,” Shaked said.

Adalah’s Mansour argued that family reunification isn’t about the right of return. “We want the right of return, but still when we fall in love with a person, we do not think, ‘Let’s implement the right of return.’ This is not part of the rationality of love and relationships,” he said.

Instead, Mansour argues that the narrative that the law is about the right of return is merely strategic — to better persuade the Israeli media and public of the need for such a law. “The motive to prevent the right of return is not real,” he said, emphasizing the law’s agenda is Zionist and racist. “The real motive is preventing any demographic changes and preventing Palestinians from implementing their right to family life.”

“To basically build and sustain an apartheid regime,” Mansour added.

Denying the right to family life

Earlier this month Amensty International released a comprehensive report declaring Israel an apartheid state. The organization’s analysis highlighted the family reunification ban, calling it a “clear example of how Israel fragments and segregates Palestinians through a single system.”

Amnesty International described “discriminatory laws and policies that disrupt family life” as “primarily guided by demographic – rather than security – considerations and aim[ing] to minimize Palestinian presence inside the Green Line to maintain a Jewish majority.”

“By contrast, the 2003 law explicitly did not apply to residents of Jewish settlements in the West Bank wanting to marry and live with their spouse inside Israel, making it, and the ongoing policy underpinning it, blatantly discriminatory,” Amnesty wrote. The organization also noted that information from the Ministry of Interior indicated the rejection of about 43% of family unification applications from 2000-2013.

Families affected by the legislation were unable to speak on the record to MintPress, given that the bill is still being debated and voted on. However, Amnesty collected anonymous testimonies on how this law has disrupted families’ lives.

One spouse, who moved from the West Bank to 1948-occupied Palestine, applied for family reunification but while awaiting approval and without proper documentation, she lived in a perpetual state of anxiety. “There was a constant fear in my life. I was terrified of getting sick for example, because of this fear of having to go to the hospital without the necessary documents, getting caught [by Israeli authorities], and paying lots of money to cover for any kind of procedure or treatment,” she told Amnesty. She had married in 2003 when she was 18 but, according to the Citizenship Law, couldn’t apply for family reunification until she turned 25.

Another woman was rejected when trying to renew her permanent residency. She is now confined to Jerusalem in fear of arrest if she crosses Israeli checkpoints. She told Amnesty International how the law has impacted her life:

Since 2008, I have not been able to see my children as I please, because I cannot cross Israeli military checkpoints. I can only see my children and grandchildren through video calls. I have spent 12 years of my life trying to solve this, but the [Israeli] authorities keep stalling. I have spent half of my life either at the Ministry of Interior offices or gathering papers for them. This is exhausting.”

Adalah’s Mansour detailed the various cases he’s worked on regarding family reunification and called their experiences “devastating.” One example he offered:

During corona, a woman who was from Ramallah couldn’t leave Ramallah through the checkpoint because there was a lockdown. So she had to live for at least a month away from her kids and her family because they had citizenship and could go back to where her family lived, but she had to stay in Ramallah with her parents.”

In some situations, individuals could only get a driver’s license after 10 years. In other cases, individuals couldn’t find work in 1948-occupied Palestine because they didn’t have citizenship.

Often employers are unwilling to hire individuals with the family unification permit because, since it only lasts a year, their residency status is seen as unstable. Mansour summed it up:

People fall in love and they live together and they get married and they don’t think of the consequences. But eventually what happens is either you leave the country and live abroad, which is a decision that a lot of people don’t want to take because this is their homeland. On the other side, you have people who suffer every day from the consequences of not being able to unify their family.”

Adalah has been working with families on a potential upcoming petition against the legislation. In characterizing the bill, Mansour equated it to doctrines used by the German Nazi and Italian fascist regimes during World War II, in which governments would discriminate against people because of their nationalities. “It’s a law that attacks the very existence of Palestinians for being Palestinians,” he said.

لبنان والقرارات الأمميّة والورقة الخليجيّة

 ناصر قنديل

اختارت دول الخليج في الورقة التي قدمتها للحكومة اللبنانية ثلاثة قرارات أمميّة طالبت الدولة اللبنانية بتنفيذها وهي القرارات 1559 و1701 و1680، وهي تتناول شؤون لبنان في الصراع مع “إسرائيل”، أو تنظيم علاقة لبنان وسورية والعلاقة اللبنانية الفلسطينية، ففيها المطالبة بالانسحاب السوري وحل الميليشيات المسلحة، كما يقول القرار 1559، ودعم ترسيم الحدود اللبنانية السورية وتأكيد دعم سحب السلاح الفلسطيني خارج المخيمات كما يقول القرار 1680، الذي نبش عليه الوزراء العرب في الأرشيف الأمميّ، لأن قلة قد سمعوا بهذا القرار، وتنظيم الوضع في جنوب لبنان بعد الحرب الإسرائيلية في تموز 2006، وما يفهم منه من تقييد لسلاح المقاومة عادة.

الشؤون التي تناولتها القرارات تتضمن بنوداً متداخلة رغم أن نسبة السوء في هذه القرارات ليست واحدة، رغم أن أسوأها وهو القرار 1559 ليس كله سيئاً، ولكن يبدو أن الجانب الخليجي لم ينتبه لدعوتها جميعاً للانطلاق من قرار نسيه وزراء الخارجية الخليجيون هو القرار 425، الذي لم تطوَ ورقته بعد في الأمم المتحدة بعدما فشلت الضغوط الأميركية عام 2000 في انتزاع الموافقة اللبنانية على اعتباره منفذاً، مع بقاء مزارع شبعا وتلال كفرشوبا محتلة. وهذا من باب إنعاش الذاكرة، يوم وقف رئيس الجمهورية العماد اميل لحود بوجه وزيرة الخارجية الأميركية مادلين أولبرايت، رافضا تحذيراتها وإملاءاتها لاعتبار الانسحاب الإسرائيلي تاماً والقرار 425 منفذاً، وتم ابتكار الخط الأزرق القائم حتى الآن، لأن القرار 425 لم يُعتبر منفذاً بنصه على الانسحاب الإسرائيلي حتى الحدود الدولية، ولذلك جاء نص القرار 1559 بالدعوة لانسحاب جميع القوات الأجنبية، وبعد الانسحاب السوري لم يبق الا الاحتلال الإسرائيلي لمزارع شبعا وتلال كفرشوبا، وهو بالحد الأدنى يتقابل ويتوازن ويتعادل مع الدعوة لما يقصده الوزراء العرب بحل الميليشيات وسحب السلاح وهو سلاح المقاومة، لكن السؤال الأهم لماذا تجاهل الوزراء الخليجيّون من ورقتهم القرار 425 الذي تورده كل القرارات الأمميّة حول لبنان في مقدّمتها وتنطلق منه؟

الأمر ليس سهواً بالتأكيد، لكن الدعوة لتطبيق القرارات تريد التصرف خليجياً بمظهر الدعوة لتطبيق القانون، وهي تتبنى المقاربة الإسرائيلية للقرارات الأممية، ولذلك فإن لبنان مضطر للرد بالقانون، فطالما أن الخيار الخليجي تناول ما يتصل بعلاقات لبنان بالاحتلال الإسرائيلي وبكل من سورية والوجود الفلسطيني، فمن واجب لبنان ومن حقه استعادة القرارات المتصلة بهذه العناوين، وهي على الأقل بما يعني لبنان، تبدأ بالقرار  194 الخاص بعودة اللاجئين الفلسطينيين والمتضمن في أصل نص المبادرة العربية الصادرة عن قمة بيروت، مطالباً العرب بتطبيقه، لأنه الجواب على أصل المشكلة بضمان حق العودة للاجئين، ومثله القرارات 242 و338 و181 التي تتناول حلّ قضية الاحتلال الإسرائيلي وفقاً لمفهوم القانون الدولي. والأهم يبقى القرار 425، وتقارير الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة حول مزارع شبعا وربط “إسرائيل” للانسحاب منها بمصير الجولان المحتل المرتبط بالقرارين 242 و338، كحد أدنى. وعلى الوزراء العرب أن يجيبوا هل تراجعوا عن الدعوة لتطبيق هذه القرارات، أم لا يزالون يتمسكون بها؟ فإن تراجعوا فليتخذوا قراراً بإلغاء المبادرة العربية للسلام الصادرة عن قمة بيروت عام 2002 بصورة رسمية وعلنية.

لعل أبسط جواب لبناني هو يا أصحاب المعالي طبقوا ما عليكم لنطبق ما علينا، ويا دار ما دخلك شر، وإن تخلّيتم عما عليكم تخلّينا عما علينا، وقد تضمّنت قراراتكم التزاماً باعتبار القرارات الدولية، اساس أي تعامل عربي مع كل ما يتصل بالاحتلال الاسرائيلي وتداعياته، وإن نجحتم نجحنا وان فشلتم وتراجعتم فشلنا وتراجعنا، أفيدونا يرعاكم الله!

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هل ينكسر الإجماع اللبناني حول التوطين؟

ناصر قنديل

قد يبدو السؤال مستغرباً للكثيرين، مثلما كان مستغرباً السؤال قبل عشر سنوات حول الإجماع اللبناني حول التطبيع، فربما يكون التذكير ضرورياً بأن أشد اللبنانيين تطرفاً ضد المقاومة وسلاحها كان يؤكد صبحاً ومساء أن لبنان أشد المتضررين من التطبيع مع كيان الاحتلال، وأنه سيكون آخر المدافعين عن شروط المبادرة العربية للسلام التي أقرتها قمة بيروت عام 2002، وما تضمنته من تمسك بحق العودة للاجئين الفلسطينيين، إضافة للانسحاب الإسرائيلي الشامل من الأراضي المحتلة عام 67، وقيام دولة فلسطينية عاصمتها القدس، كشروط أي سلام، بينما يبدو لبنان السياسي والإعلامي اليوم كياناً رخوياً في موقفه من التطبيع، حيث يجري حشد آثار الأزمة الاقتصادية والمالية للقول إن لبنان أمانه أولوية واحدة هي كسب رضا الخارج الغربي والعربي الذي يملك الأموال اللازمة للخروج من الأزمة، وتحت هذا الشعار تتدحرج الكثير من الممنوعات اللبنانية ويرفع عنها الحظر.

يمكن رصد ثلاثة ظواهر بائنة لا يمكن إنكارها من جهة، ولا تفسيرها بغير نظرية تفكيك الثوابت تحت شعار الحاجة لاسترضاء مصادر الأموال، وكلها تأتي في سياق تحول لبنان إلى كيان رخوي سياسياً، بلا ضوابط ولا حدود ولا سقوف، الظاهرة الأولى هي الحملة المتعددة المصادر على سلاح المقاومة، من حد أدنى عنوانه الحديث عن الحياد وحصرية السلاح بيد الدولة، إلى حد أعلى يخاطب المقاومة بصفتها جالية إيرانية، وتحرك مرجعية روحية كبرى هي بكركي بينهما، وهي تمثل ما تمثل في السياسة الداخلية والعلاقات الخارجية، وتضاف إليها أصوات تجرأت في ظلال سقف بكركي، مهما كان حجمها صغيراً، للحديث عن احتلال إيراني، أو الحديث عن أن التطبيع وجهة نظر وليس موضع إجماع داخلي، وذريعة كل هذه الظاهرة هي الوضع المالي والإقتصادي، والتساؤل من أين نأتي بالأموال، ما دامت المقاومة قد تسببت بفقدان رضا أصحاب الأموال، وغالباً يقول، تسببت المقاومة بتخريب علاقات لبنان بمن يمكن التطلع إليهم لمساعدته.

الظاهرة الثانية هي تفكيك المناعة التقليدية التي كان الوسط السياسي والحقوقي والإعلامي يملك تجاهها حساسية خاصة، تجاه مسألة حرية التعبير، وقد شكلت ظاهرة الهجوم المتعدد الأطراف لدفع وزير الإعلام جورج قرداحي للاستقالة مؤشراً خطيراً على حجم التحول، حيث الجميع يؤكد يقينه أن الموقف السعودي المبني على التصريح المنسوب للوزير قرداحي قبل أن يصبح وزيراً، ظالم وغير منطقي وليس له أي أساس وفق معادلة الحق والقانون، وعندما قال وزير خارجية السعودية ادراكاً لضعف الحجة في الارتكاز إلى كلام الوزير قرداحي، لم يتغير الموقف الضاغط طلباً لاستقالة الوزير قرداحي تحت شعار يشبه دعوات تقديم قرابين الاسترضاء، بمسمى عصري هو الإقدام على خطوة حسن نية ترضي السعودية، ولم يرف جفن المسؤولين في الدولة والمجتمع وهم يطيحون بما كانوا يصفونه من قبل بإحدى أهم ميزات لبنان، وهي تنوعه وحرية الرأي فيه، ورفض مساءلة الدولة إلا عن مواقفها الرسمية، وبقيت الحملة تتدحرج حتى استقال الوزير الذي تحفظ الرئيس الفرنسي إيمانويل ماكرون على المطلبة باستقالته، وبقي يقول المطلوب خطوة من دون أن يحدد الاستقالة لأنه يخشى أن يسجل على رئيس فرنسا طلب استقالة وزير في دولة ذات سيادة لاسترضاء دولة أخرى، وأن السبب هو تصريح سابق لتولي الوزارة من هذا الوزير، فخجل ماكرون ولم يخجل لبنان، بل فتح عينيه على وسعهما، وقال لم لا، ننحر الحرية والسيادة كرمى لعيون صاحب المال.

الظاهرة الثالثة هي ما نشهده هذه الساعات مع قرار وزير الداخلية بترحيل معارضين بحرينيين، يتواجدون في لبنان بصفة قانونية، لأنهم عقدوا مؤتمراً صحافياً حقوقياً يعرض لانتهاكات حقوق الإنسان في بلدهم، ومشهود في العالم كله وفي منظمات الأمم المتحدة لمستوى اللياقة والدقة القانونية والسلمية والمستوى الحضاري لأداء المعارضة البحرينية، ومعلوم بالمقابل نوع المعارضين السوريين الذين فتحت أمامهم أبواب لبنان، ونوع العمل الذي كرسوا وجودهم في لبنان للقيام به، سواء من كان منهم متورطاً بأنشطة ارهابية، أو من كان يقدم الإسناد الإعلامي والمالي لهذه الأنشطة، لكن الفارق كبير بين حكومة البحرين التي تشكل أحد كيانات الخليج، ويندرج استغضابها ضمن مفهوم استرضاء صاحب المال، وحكومة سورية يشكل اغضابها استرضاء لصاحب المال، والتغير اللبناني تجاهها يجري على إيقاع تغير موقف صاحب المال الخليجي وليس تعبيراً عن قراءة مختلفة للمصلحة اللبنانية، ووفقاً لمراقبة سريعة يمكن ملاحظة حجم حضور المعارضة البحرينية في دول أوروبية كبريطانيا تقيم أفضل العلاقات بحكومة البحرين يترجمها وجود قاعدة عسكرية بريطانية في البحرين، كدليل على ثقافة الذل السياسي التي ينحدر إليها لبنان، ضارباً بعرض الحائط معادلة كان يتباهى بها بصفته ملجأ المعارضات العربية الديمقراطية، وفقاً لتوصيف شارل مالك قبل أكثر من نصف قرن، والذريعة هي فقط طلب رضا صاحب المال.

السؤال هو لماذا يستبعد البعض أن يكمل انحدار مشواره تحت ذات الاعتبارات، عندما يقال للبنان إن ثمن التوطين هو مئة مليار دولار على سبيل المثال، أي ما يكفي لسداد الديون وإعادة الودائع، وتحريك النظام المالي والمصرفي بأفضل مما كان عليه؟ والسؤال الموازي هو هل يمكن تصديق من يدعو لنزع سلاح المقاومة، كورقة قوة وحيدة بيد لبنان، عندما يقول إنه يرفض التوطين؟

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بين قرار وزير العمل والمعترض

التعليق السياسي

في كل نقاش يطال تنظيم أحوال الفلسطينيين في لبنان تدخل مفردة شائنة وقبيحة تربط كل تحسين إنساني لأوضاع الفلسطينيين بمزاعم رفض التوطين والتجنيس، وفقاً لمعادلة عنصرية تقول إن الفلسطيني سيتخلى عن حق العودة أو أن التوطين سيصبح أمراً واقعاً لمجرد أن يجد الفلسطيني بيتاً يسكنه أو مهنة يعيش منها، بدلاً من الخيمة والتشرد وتسول المساعدات، وأي نظرة على الواقع الفلسطيني في بلاد مثل كندا والدول الاسكندينافية تفيد أنه حيث تتاح للفلسطينيين أفضل شروط الحياة والاندماج بالمجتمعات المحلية والتقدم الاجتماعي، ترتفع أعلى الأصوات للتمسك بحق العودة، وتنطلق أشد حملات نصرة القضية الفلسطينية.

ثمة صعوبة استثنائية تصل حد الاستحالة لتقبل توجيه تهمة التشجيع على التوطين لطرف سياسي ينتمي لمقاومة لا تقبل أي تسوية للقضية الفلسطينية، يوجهها لها خصم أو حليف يجعل الحل السياسي مع الاحتلال سقفاً لموقفه ويعلن أن لا عداء إيدلوجي بينه وبين كيان الاحتلال، في ظل معرفة الجميع واعترافهم أن ألد عدو للتوطين هو حق العودة، وأن ألد أعداء حق العودة هو كيان الاحتلال ورعاته الدوليين، وأن أهم نقطة اشتباك بين المقاومة وكيان الاحتلال هي التصادم بين مشروعي حق العودة والتوطين.

ما ذكر لايعني إقفال باب النقاش حول قرار وزير العمل بفتح مجالات معينة للعمل أمام الفلسطينيين المولودين في لبنان، ولكن مع الدعوة لإبعاد المزايدات السياسية بالإعتراض من باب الحرص على رفض التوطين.

حق المعترضين بالمطالبة بتشاور وطني يسبق مثل هذا القرار في مسألة حساسة تثير العصبيات كان سيحظى بالاحترام لو حصرت به الاعتراضات.

حق المعترضين بمناقشة نص القرار قانونياً أو مهنياً أو إقتصادياً حق لا نقاش فيه، لكننا سمعنا نقيب الأطباء يعترض قبل أن يقرأ القرار الذي ينص على أن المهن المنظمة بقانون كالطب والهندسة والمحاماة لا تخضع للاستثناء الذي يتيح للفلسطينيين حق العمل.

القرار ككل قرار وزاري يقبل حق المراجعة أمام مجلس شورى الدولة، والمعترضون يملكون القدرة على مناقشة بنوده من قبل قانونيين بعد التفضل بقراءته أولاً، وتقديم طعونهم بكل هدوء، وعندها لا حاجة للضجيج السياسي والإعلامي والتحدي الطائفي، وحتى لو جاء القرار القضائي مجحفاً بحق قرار الوزير فليس أمام الوزير إلا الالتزام.

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الفلسطيني يرفض “تشليح” اللبناني – زاهر أبو حمدة



لا يُعرف لماذا اختار جبران باسيل، مصطلح “تشليح” لوصف قرار وزير العمل اللبناني مصطفى بيرم، في ما يخص عمل الفلسطينيين ومكتومي القيد. صحيح أن المصطلح معترف به في المعجم العربي، لكنه يفيد بخلع الملابس وتعرية الجسد. بتاتاً، لا يهدف الفلسطينيون إلى تعرية أي لبناني ولا سيما في هذه الأجواء الباردة. لكن “اللاوعي الباسيلي” اعتاد “تشليح” الناس انسانيتهم وإلباس بعضهم العنصرية بكل أشكالها المقزّزة والبالية.

ومن دون الخوض في السياسة اللبنانية الداخلية، يكفي معرفة أن من “شلّح” أموال المودعين في المصارف ليسوا فلسطينيين، لا بل احتجزت (إذا لم نقل سُرقت) أموال الفلسطينيين. وللمفارقة الغريبة أنه بحجة السرية المصرفية ترفض البنوك الإفصاح عن أرقام وقيمة مدّخرات المودعين الفلسطينيين، ممن فقدوا جنى عمرهم. لكن التقديرات تشير إلى أكثر من مليار دولار أميركي.

وهناك احتمالان لموقف باسيل. الأول: أن فريقه لم يشرح له ماذا يعني قرار الوزير. هكذا ومن دون مقدمات اعتبر عمل الفلسطيني توطيناً مقنعاً وسرقة للوظائف من اللبنانيين. وهنا لا بد من توضيح الأمر، وهذا ما فعله بيرم لاحقاً. فالقرار ليس قانوناً وبالتالي لن يتغير الأمر وسيبقى الفلسطيني ممنوعاً من العمل في المهن الحرة وهي الأساسية. وهذا يحتاج تشريعاً في البرلمان وموافقة النقابات. أما الثاني: أنه يعرف التفاصيل كافة، واستغل الأمر لشد العصب المسيحي قبل الانتخابات والمزايدة على خصومه ورفع أسهمه السياسية والشعبية. وهنا، استغلال غير انساني لقضية إنسانية في المقام الأول. وفي الحالتين يخسر باسيل انسانيته مرة أخرى، فحقوق الانسان بغض النظر عن عرقه ودينه وأصله أهم من السجالات والمناكفات. ولذلك لا بد من سؤال باسيل: هل أنت انسان؟

وبالعودة إلى مسألة “التشليح”، وجب الذكر أن هذا الخطاب ليس جديداً، فهو مستمر منذ جيل النكبة الأول. وفي الخمسينيات، دفع تصاعد الحديث عن التأثيرات السلبية للوجود الفلسطيني في لبنان على الاقتصاد اللبناني، “اللجنة العربية العليا لفلسطين” بقيادة الحاج أمين الحسيني، إلى إصدار تقرير موثق بالأدلة بتاريخ 18 كانون الأول عام 1959 حول الأرصدة المالية الفلسطينية في لبنان. وذلك بهدف إقناع اللبنانيين أن الوجود الفلسطيني لا يشكل عبئاً على لبنان ولا يهدد اقتصاده ومصالحه، بل على العكس هو داعم حقيقي. يفيد التقرير بأن قيمة الأرصدة المالية الإجمالية المحولة لصالح الفلسطينيين في لبنان بلغت 195 مليون ليرة لبنانية، أي أعلى بثلاث مرات من موازنة الدولة اللبنانية أوائل الخمسينيات. استفاد لبنان من رؤوس الأموال والأصول اللاجئة، وتشكلت طبقة رجال الأعمال الفلسطينيين من ذوي الخبرة في التجارة والقطاع المصرفي والمالي والمحاسبة والسياحة والتأمين والهندسة والبناء والصناعة. ووفق بعض التقديرات لم تشكل هذه الطبقة أكثر من 5% من مجموع اللاجئين الفلسطينيين. أما اليوم، ووفقاً لأرقام منظمة العمل الدولية، فالحجم الاقصى للقوى العاملة الفلسطينية يقدر بنحو 45 ألف عامل فقط، يمثلون 3.5% من إجمالي قوة العمل في لبنان. وبالنسبة للمهن الحرة المنظمة بقوانين خاصة (المحامون والأطباء والمهندسون والصيادلة)، فإن عدد الفلسطينيين ذوي الاختصاص ليس كبيراً. ووفقاً لأحدث الدراسات الميدانية لمنظمة العمل الدولية الصادرة عام 2015، يبلغ عدد الأطباء الفلسطينيين 400 طبيب ينتسب نحو 239 منهم إلى الاتحاد الفلسطيني العام للأطباء والصيادلة ويعمل عدد لا بأس به منهم في عيادات الأونروا ومستشفيات جمعية “الهلال الأحمر الفلسطيني”، بينما يصل عدد المهندسين الفلسطينيين، إلى 1200 مهندس غالبيتهم يعملون خارج لبنان. هكذا أرقام لا يمكن أن تزاحم اللبناني، وبكل تأكيد لا يريد الفلسطيني المنافسة على الفرص إن سنحت له بقدر ما يتمنى بعض الإنسانية إذا توافرت.

Philadelphia Mayor Hosts Pro-Palestine Rally

1 Dec 2021

Mayor of Philadelphia Jim Kenney during pro-Palestinian rally

By Al Mayadeen

Source: Forward

The Philadelphia mayor has been criticized for hosting a pro-Palestinian rally.

Mayor of Philadelphia Jim Kenney hosted a rally on the UN’s Day of Solidarity with Palestinians, where organizers advocated for Palestinian’s right of return. 

In a speech to Jewish leaders, the mayor condemned hatred in general and defended his participation in the event.

During a “Shine a Light on Antisemitism” event hosted by some major Jewish group, the mayor boldly told leaders that any form of hate or discrimination must be condemned. 

He added that “It is up to us not to repeat the mistakes of the past.” 

In his speech, Kenney expressed zero support for “Israel”.

Outside the municipal headquarters on Monday, the mayor gave the organizers a proclamation honoring the UN’s international solidarity day with Palestinians and their history.

The mayor explained on Tuesday that Philadelphia’s “Office of Immigrant Affairs (OIA) and the Office of City Representative (OCR) have been in discussions with representatives of the local Palestinian community to host an event that recognizes their contributions to the city and region.” 

The mayor added that he participated in the event as he participated in many others to recognize Philadelphia’s ethnically and religiously diverse communities.

The 29th of November marks the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People that the UN celebrates every year.

It also coincides with the day the UN General Assembly adopted Partition Resolution No. (181) which called for the partition of Palestinian lands to accommodate the occupation’s expansionist goals, forcefully separating the land into “Arab and Jewish states”.

Kenney was urged not to participate in the pro-Palestinian rally by “Israel’s” consul general in New York and Pennsylvania, Asaf Zamir. His letter was left unanswered by the Mayor’s office.

Palestinian prisoners’ message to Samah Idriss: You are our comrade on the road to freedom

26 November 2021

Following message was written by Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli occupation prisons on the death of Samah Idriss, Lebanese Arab revolutionary intellectual. The editor-in-chief of Al-Adab magazine, Samah Idriss was the co-founder of the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of “Israel” in Lebanon. In his speech to the Masar Badil (Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path) conference in Beirut on 30 October of this year, he declared, “If we abandon Palestine, we abandon ourselves.”

We republish in full the letter from Palestinian prisoners:

The prisoners’ message in memory of Samah Idriss

It is an unusual morning, when the news of your departure comes to sink its teeth into the delicateness of love and emotion, the morning turns into sunset and your soul sets there, Samah. We remain in its shade as it flutters and fills the space on this exceptional morning. The news of the tragedy of your departure replaces for now our thoughts of liberation and freedom. Your absence keeps us transfixed in time, we look around us and remember you, and we still need your words and your committed, principled positions. We are still in the middle of the road to freedom, Samah.

Your news has traveled and reached us as the dew drops fade from the prison fences and bars. With it, our feelings crept in, and we felt the wound of losing you publicly. We want you to hear our last cry, you, who always spoke with our voice and our screams, or perhaps we want to bid you farewell with a whisper of screaming.

Our words will certainly reach you. We are in the prisons of the Zionist colonizer, and we wanted to meet you. You can see and, as you taught us, the journey is still long, and our lamp still needs a lot of oil, so why have you left now?!

Samah, we know that you have not left the mountain. You are as a mountain in your stances, and your steps are engraved in the path of this long journey. You are our beloved comrade, a companion on the hard path of struggle, a friend on the long road. Your body has left us, but your spirit will remain an inspiration to us. Your words and your positions are a beacon that we raise, debate and discuss as we walk. We will keep walking, comrade, until we get there.

From behind bars, behind walls, behind fences, in the clutches of the Zionists, we salute your family, your loved ones, your comrades and your companions. We mourn you with pride and admiration, and the highest commitment to the struggle. We mourn you as a writer, an intellectual, a comrade, and a fighter for the freedom for which you died. Sleep with clear eyes, and know that the road to freedom will never be cut off for free people.

Your comrades in the occupation prisons

26 November 2021

An Open Letter from Palestine to Miss South Africa

November 14, 2021

Lalela Mswane, Miss South Africa 2021. (Photo: video grab)

By Haidar Eid

Dear Ms. Lalela Mswane,

We don’t know each other. I only know that you are Miss South Africa and just heard of your name two days ago when the media reported that you will represent South Africa at the Miss Universe pageant on the ruins of the ethnically cleansed village of Um Al-Rashrash in apartheid Israel. I assume you don’t know enough about the suffering of the Palestinian people as a result of Israel’s occupation colonization and apartheid in Palestine. I myself spent six years in South Africa where I got my Ph.D. degree and even citizenship.

Even before the end of the apartheid system in 1994, we, Palestinians, wholeheartedly supported the struggle in South Africa and played a role in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that formed one of the major pillars of the struggle to bring apartheid down. Nelson Mandela made it absolutely clear on more than one occasion that without the support of the Palestine liberation organization, among other national liberation movements, the end of the racist regime would have been delayed.

I live in the Gaza concentration camp which has been under a medieval siege imposed by apartheid Israel since 2007. But even before that, Israel had occupied it since 1967. As a result of Israel’s racist policies, our children suffer from malnutrition; the 2 million people living in the strip do not have access to electricity, clean water, medicine, and hundreds of other items that Israel does not allow. Over the last decade, the country you are visiting has launched four massive wars on Gaza killing more than 4000 civilians, including hundreds of women and children, and destroying hundreds of buildings, factories, roads, and schools.

A UN fact-finding mission, headed by none other than your own Richard Goldstone, has labeled these massacres “war crimes and possible crimes against humanity.” And anti-apartheid activists, including the likes of Desmond Tutu and Ronnie Kasrils, have told us that what we are going through in Palestine is “far far worse than apartheid.” Moreover, two mainstream human rights organizations, Human Rights Watch and Israel’s most respected human rights organization, Btselem, issued two damning reports last year calling Israel an apartheid state that discriminates not only against the residents of Gaza and the West Bank but also against its own third-class Palestinian citizens.

Ms. Mswane, allow me to ask you this question. How would you have felt if a Palestinian woman decided to join a similar contest in South Africa in the 70s and ’80s of the last century? How would you have responded if a similar contest was held in Sofia town, for example? And how would the South African people have reacted to the participation of Palestinians in concerts and sports games in apartheid South Africa?

You must have heard of the tens of beautiful women incarcerated in Israeli dungeons without charge or trial, simply for the mere reason of speaking out against occupation and apartheid. Our women, like South African women before them, are at the receiving end of a multi-tiered system of oppression and expect solidarity from their Black sisters.

I am an associate professor of literature;  I teach hundreds of female students who come from refugee camps and whose parents and grandparents are also refugees. My students have one message when I told them that a South African woman is coming to apartheid Israel; they asked me to write this message and appeal to you to refrain from violating our BDS guidelines and stand on the right side of history. I am certain you will not disappoint them.

Nelson Mandela’s much-quoted sentiment that “(South African) freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians” is decorating the walls of refugee camps in the Gaza Strip where millions of refugees are waiting for the day of their return to the towns and villages which were ethnically cleansed in 1948 by racist gangs ruling the country you are visiting. We are only asking you to make the right decision that thousands of artists, writers and cultural figures–including Miss Malaysia and Miss Indonesia– have made – to stand against apartheid Israel.

Sincerely Yours,

Haidar Eid

Besieged Gaza, Occupied Palestine

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