I just came back from a short trip to Palestine and Israel. It felt good going home to Ramallah where I grew up and lived the first (and best) 17 years of my life. I also visited my extended family in Ramleh who stayed after 1948. The last time I was back was in 2003 in the midst of the 2nd intifada to see my grandmother for the last time. Things have changed since then. There are now fewer checkpoints but more security surrounding them. There is of course the eight meter separation wall built around towns and villages, cutting through streets, neighbourhoods and olive groves. Settlements surrounding Palestinian towns and villages are dotted all around the West Bank in full view. There are roads only used by settlers to reach their settlements and bypass Palestinian towns and villages. Palestinian homes now get water once or twice a week – I was very surprised that people run out of water and have to pay money to buy it.
Going back home brought back memories of the occupation while growing up in the 1970’s and 1980’s in Ramallah – the army Jeeps streaming through the streets, announcing curfews through the speakers, bloody demonstrations, smell of burning tyres, young boys dragged into the army Jeeps and the bizarre behaviour (that’s what I used to think anyway) by the soldiers when they see the Palestinian flag being raised at demonstrations (The good news that after 25 years the Palestinian flag is now flying on every building, street lights, inside cars and people’s homes. We now have progress. At least the demonstrations achieved something!)
Despite the insecurity, life with family and friends and living in a close community was beautiful. I was fortunate to have loyal and loving family, friends and neighbours. Everyone looked out for each other and despite the hardship of the surrounding occupation, we were relatively happy despite the international news that portrayed otherwise. My big family – my parents and 5 children – lived together in a small 2br apartment, five siblings slept in one small room on a double bed, and we ate and shared from the same plate on a small table in the kitchen that we also used to study on. We didn’t have the comforts of everything but we were happy and made sure we looked out for each other.
As a young girl I was not aware of why we had demonstrations and curfews all the time. My family made sure we didn’t talk about politics and I grew up illiterate about the Israel/Palestine conflict (except my grandmothers 1948 stories of course). My parents wanted us to know that Israelis were normal just like us and made sure that we visited my dad’s many Jewish friends in West Jerusalem and my mum made them Palestinian food (stuffed chicken with rice mince and pine nuts – very yummy – kobbe, tabouli, stuffed zucchini and eggplant) every time they came to Ramallah to visit on Saturdays. I knew the soldiers were the same as my dad’s friends but back then could never reconcile how they could be the same guys beating young boys and taking them away in their Jeeps.
My family packed up and left in 1986 to Australia due to the constant occupation and lack of future opportunities for five bright and talented children. It took me some time to adjust to a quiet and at times “boring” life without the constant curfews and demonstrations. My curiosity to understand what is happening in Palestine started then and I devoured books that explained the conflict. The books I read were more political and historical in nature of course.
But a chance encounter with an Israeli woman in 1996 at a personal development course in Sydney changed the way I thought about the political conflict. Batsheva heard me speak and asked me where I came from, I said “Palestine”. She stared at me for a while. I realised that she was Israeli because of her accent. I was concerned that she was going to scream or swear at me. But then she came close to me and said “I am sorry for what my people did to your people”. The long hug and cathartic cries followed. I could not let go of her. She became my second mum and we became good friends. Inviting her over my place for a taste of Palestinian food was a sign that she became family.
The experience made a difference in how I viewed the conflict. Political and historical narratives are dwarfed when people see each other as human beings. I was still young then to understand the importance of this chance encounter. Batsheva was on my mind last week as I was going through the streets of Bethlehem surrounded by the separation wall; as I was going through Kalandia checkpoint waiting my turn to get through the turnstiles to be scanned and asked why I was going to Jerusalem; as I saw the settlements surrounding Palestinian towns and wondering whether its inhabitants were just like Batsheva.
Batsheva is not your average person but she is like every other human being. We all have the capacity to open our hearts to see and hear each other’s narrative and source of suffering. Once we do, the separation wall will surely fall and the checkpoints will melt and disappear. That’s when Israel and Palestine will deserve to be called the “Holy Land”. Maybe then we will let go of labels, flags, checkpoints and borders. Who needs them when their neighbour is just like Batsheva?
Sami Jamil Jadallah, 2 June 2011
Jerusalem, the city of the faithful, is too important to be left to the present Israeli and Palestinian leadership. A united, open Jerusalem for All is a must. A city central to the believes of billions of Jews, Christians and Muslims must not be held hostage to the political agenda of few millions of die hard Evangelical Christian Zionists and Zionist Jews.
For over 63 years ever since the founding of Israel, Jerusalem was administered first by Jordan until the 67 War with the resulting transfer of the entire city of Jerusalem, East and West under the total control of Israel.
It is true that there was a separation wall between East and West along the armistice line of 48 and it is true that Israelis were not permitted to visit and worship at the Wailing Wall; however Jordan never planned and carried out anything that will erase Jewish history in Jerusalem. Unlike Israel, which is making sure that its 67 War never stops and its assault on Jerusalem never stopped, making sure that it erases all Muslim and Christian presence in the Holy City.
The Palestinians especially under Arafat PLO and even Mahmoud Abbas’ PA, never gave Jerusalem any importance. When Arafat and the PLO had tens of billions in its coffers, the PLO never took any concrete steps to help the Arabs, Christians and Muslims of East Jerusalem and the surrounding areas to withstand the on going assault on their presence in Jerusalem and never had a well funded plans to offset the well organized ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem of its Muslims and Christians citizens, which culminated in the ethnic cleansing of more than 100,000 Arab citizens who were forced to leave the city where they lived for centuries to allow room for new immigrants with suspected Jewish origin to move in and take their place. Arafat was too much of a coward to lead his people on a peaceful march toward Jerusalem.
Neither the PLO nor the PA took any steps to give Jerusalem the importance and the priorities needed to offset the Evangelical Christian-Zionist, American Zionist Jews and Israeli government efforts to make the city “Jewish” at the exclusions of Arab Christians and Muslims. With the very limited support Arafat gave to the late Faisal Hussaini, there was never the kind of financial support to offset the billions being spent by Israel. Arafat later on withdrew the carpet from underneath Faisal Hussaini when he sensed Husssaini might be a potential and competitive leader.
Jerusalem as a city does not belong to the Palestinians only and it will be a fatal mistake for the city if the present leadership of both Fatah and Hamas took total control and manage the affairs of East Jerusalem. Both organizations and based on their experience of managing liberation not to mention garbage collections are simply unfit, and unqualified to look after and represent the world interest in the City of Jerusalem.
Future forums on Jerusalem must take into considerations that this city is not a Palestinian or an Israeli city; it is a city of the world. It is city for the Jews, for the Christians and for the Muslims and the world’s interest is not limited to holy and historical building but goes beyond toward the city and its unique culture and civilizations.
Jerusalem for All must not be left to the Israelis to make the decisions that affect other communities, and the world must never allow Israel to continue with its ethnic cleansing and exclusions of all non-Jews from the city. In the same time, the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah and Gaza lacks the vision and credibility to represent the interests of all citizens of Jerusalem, Jews, Christians and Muslims.
Jerusalem for All is too important to be left to the Lieberman and the Netanyahu of the Jews and too important to left to the like of Marion (Pat) Robertson, Reverend John Hagee and US Christian -Zionists and too important to be left to the like of Abbas and Erekat. What Jerusalem need more than any other times, is an international leadership that has the qualifications and competence to represent and look after the interest of ALL the people of Jerusalem, Jews, Muslims and Christians.
In May 2008, Israel announced that both former presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush would lead the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the foundation of Israel. Of course both presidents celebrated the 60th anniversary of a country that continues to be at war with all of its neighbors, they are celebrating a state that until now does not have declared borders and believe that its borders should be decided by its army.
Both former presidents celebrated Israel that hosted more than a million Palestinians in its jails during the last 43 years. Both presidents celebrated a state that dropped more than one million cluster bombs on civilians’ targets in Lebanon and the forced exiles of more than 5 million Palestinians. This is a country that forbids (Arab) Muslims and Christians of a certain age from entering the city and continues to ethnically cleanse Christians and Muslims from the city.
Both presidents celebrated the birth of country that builds Apartheid Wall separating Palestinians from their homes, families and farms and schools. They celebrated a country with a policy of destroying Palestinian homes as a matter of standard public policy. They celebrated a nation whose legislative body in the middle of the night passes legislation depriving East Jerusalem Palestinians of their rights to their property in the city. This is a nation that ethnically cleans the city of its Arab citizens and then passes legislations to take over their properties under the laws of Absentee Ownership.
Jerusalem of All is too important to be left to Palestinian and Israel leadership to decide the future of such city. What the Israelis, the Palestinians, the Jews, the Muslims and the Christians need is to gather more than one million person in Washington, yes, Washington, to demonstrate and demand a Jerusalem for All, to take place and coincide with Israel celebration of its 64th anniversary.
A million world citizens and leaders will be a good message for the American administration and Congress both if which are the political and financial sponsor of Israeli Occupation of Jerusalem and a strong message that the people of the world will not accept any thing less than a Jerusalem for All. An open, united city for Jews, Christians and Muslims and a city for the world.
Sami Jamil Jadallah is an international legal and business consultant and is the founder and director of Palestine Agency and Palestine Documentation Center www.palestineagency.com and founder and owner of several business in technology and services. Sami also runs an online website (Jefferson Corner). His articles are also featured on PalestineNote and Veterans Today.
Articles on RamallahOnline by Sami Jamil Jadallah
Kourosh Ziabari, 14 April 2011
Naseer Aruri is Chancellor Professor (emeritus) of Political Science, University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. He is president of Trans-Arab Research Institute in Boston. Prof. Aruri is the a contributor to the book “Iraq Under Siege: The Deadly Impact of Sanctions and War” by the South End Press and the author of the book “Palestinian Refugees: The Right of Return” published by the University of British Columbia Press in 2001. Prof. Aruri is on the Advisory Board of the Council for Palestinian Restitution and Repatriation.
Aruri has also written the book “The Obstruction of Peace: The U.S., Israel and the Palestinians.” Amazon.com has described this book “a Palestinian perspective on the peace process in his Middle Eastern region which provides a different view for the reasons behind Palestinian-Israeli impasses.”
According to Wikipedia, Aruri contributed to the foundation of the Arab Organization for Human Rights (AOHR) in 1983. From 1984-1990, Aruri was elected to three consecutive terms on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International, USA, and served on the Board of Directors of Human Rights Watch/Middle East from 1990 to 1992.
What follows is the complete text of my exclusive interview with Prof. Naseer Aruri in which we discussed a variety of topics including the prospect of Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the role of the United States in the solving the crisis in Palestine and the performance of PLO as the defacto representative of the Palestinian nation in the international level.
Kourosh Ziabari: Dear Prof. Aruri; there are various interpretations regarding the truth behind the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Both sides of the conflict cite claims over the land which is known as the Land of Israel. So, from an impartial and objective point of view, which side is the righteous? Which of them tells the truth?
Naseer Aruri: This is not a conflict between two equal claims. The Palestinian population is the indigenous party living on the land since the days of the Cananites. Their presence as the dominant party was interrupted by the Crusades but it was restored by the Islamic conquest of the 7th century A.D. When the Zionists received the Balfour Declaration from Britain in 1917 the Jewish population constituted less than 7% of the population. It was an unauthorized promise made by an imperial power to a colonial settler movement at the expense of the Majority (the indigenous Palestinians). By World War II the Jewish population had increased to one-third mainly as a result of colonial settlement. This minority was in possession of less than 6% of the land. Today it controls all of historic Palestine through the force of arms, an illegal phenomenon under international law.
Kourosh Ziabari: You’re said to be an outspoken critic of the Oslo Accords and described it a cover for territorial conquest. Would you please explain for us the reasons you oppose Oslo Peace Process? Given that the Declaration called for the withdrawal of Israel Defense Forces from parts of Gaza Strip and West Bank and facilitated the creation of a Palestinian National Authority, what are your reasons for contesting the Oslo Accords?
Naseer Aruri: The Oslo Accords constituted an act of surrender by Yaser Arafat, whose movement was facing economic, diplomatic and leadership crises, and having recognized Israel in 1988, it took the easy way out by concluding an unauthorized deal with Israel in 1993 in which Israel did not cede any bit of sovereignty whatsoever not only in historic Palestine but even in the West Bank, which constitutes 22% of historic Palestine. The phrase “external security” was the corner stone of the document and it served as a euphemism for sovereignty, which remained in the hands of Israel. Oslo has also negated the culture of the Intifada, which was based on voluntary maxims and associational values In brief, Oslo created a facade of equality when Israel was an occupant within the meaning of International law, while the Palestinians were occupied rather than co-equal. Under such a cover, Israel was given license to expand its territorial conquest even farther and this added territory was acquired under presumed “peaceful conditions.” Colonial settlements in the occupied territories have more than doubled since 1993 and they continue to constitute the single most intractable obstacle to a diplomatic settlement until this day. Technically, Oslo was an agreement to reach agreement, but better yet, an agreement to obfuscate an equal settlement and an honorable and principled compromise.
Kourosh Ziabari: Although the Palestine Liberation Organization has recognized Israel’s right to exist, accepted UNSC resolutions 242 and 338 and made several concessions during its interactions with the State of Israel, the United States still considers it a terrorist organization. What’s your viewpoint regarding the performance of PLO? Has it succeeded in representing the Palestinian people and defending their demands? Recently leaked documents show that the PLO under Mahmoud Abbas had agreed to Israel’s sovereignty over nearly all Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem. What’s your take on that?
Naseer Aruri:: I think that the answer to your question is embedded in the question itself. Moreover, the PLO should have never accepted the stipulation that it is a terrorist organization which must “renounce” and not “denounce” as Arafat had attempted unsuccessfully and reminded about the crucial difference between the two concepts. The assumption that the US was a judge and jury while at the same time a chief armed supplier, bank roller, and diplomatic backer was unfortunately accepted by the PLO leadership since the 1980s and should not have been a surprise when the so-called Palestine papers were released and leaked out quite recently. Under both Arafat and Abbas, the PLO concessions were bottomless and these concessions had only encouraged Israel to throw more obstacles to peace and to encourage Washington to act as a “Dishonest Broker.”
Kourosh Ziabari: Some commentators refer to Israel as an artificial state and believe that it was created through the efforts of politicians and leaders who wanted to sympathize with and satisfy the expansionistic demands of the Zionists in Europe; however, there are a group of thinkers who believe that to the extent that Israel is an artificial state, countries such as United Arab Emirates or Kosovo should be considered artificial as well, because they lack a historical background as independent nations. What’s your estimation of these viewpoints?
Naseer Aruri: It serves no useful purpose to debate the moot issue of whether Israel, UAE, and Kosovo are artificial states. The important thing is that they are defacto states which through admission to the UN become de jure states. Irrespective of who wins the argument, Israel is a state, but the important thing is what kind of a state? A state of its own citizens? a state of all Jews in the world? A state of the Jewish people in historic Palestine? What are the boundaries of this state? Is it not an apartheid state as it exists at the present? These questions are far more important than whether Israel is artificial or natural?
Kourosh Ziabari: The Stance of President Bush Sr. on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had convinced many international observers that the pro-Israeli era of Ronald Reagan was over. On May 22, 1989, Secretary of State James Baker had told an AIPAC audience that Israel should abandon its expansionist policies. On his part, George H. Bush had indicated that he was under the pressure of Zionist lobby by saying to reporters on the sidelines of an AIPAC summit that “I’m one lonely little guy” up against “some powerful political forces” made up of “a thousand lobbyists on the Hill.” He was forced to apologize consequently; however, he was opposed to grant a $10 billion loan guarantee to Israel as long as Israel continued building homes on the Palestinian lands. What’s your viewpoint regarding Bush’s Israel policy? Why did his son adopt a totally opposing stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict compared with that of his father?
Naseer Aruri: True, there is a vast difference between the policies of the two Bushes. Bush senior had a major conflict with Israel and its Zionist lobby in Washington. He and his Secretary of State James Baker challenged Israel’s settlement building in occupied territory, particularly Jerusalem and its environs. Israel and its minions in the U.S. such as former Senator George Mitchell objected to the assumption that Jerusalem is “occupied” territory. Perhaps Bush, Sr’s Iraq policy illustrates the major differences between the father and son. If one looks at the Israeli press during the summer of 1990 when U.S. forces were in Saudi Arabia while Saddam Hussein’s army was occupying Kuwait, one finds an important reality: Bush was in effect telling Israel that, we the U.S., as the sole super power, are in charge of security in the [Persian] Gulf region and in the whole Middle East.. Consequently, Israel has nothing to worry about and it must come to terms on the Palestine question knowing that Washington is in charge of security. That was probably the closest that the U.S. had ever come to the concept of an imposed settlement in which Israel must abide by Washington’s will based on its national interest as a super power.
But the plan did not come into fruition particularly when Bush was defeated in the presidential elections by Bill Clinton, who derailed Bush’s diplomatic train and diverted it to Oslo instead, hence the end of Bush, Sr’s designs.
When Bush the son came to the White House, the neo-conservatives had managed to secure a position of power and station themselves strategically around the New President who had to shoulder the whole issue of “terrorism” after September 11. These developments hastened the penetration of Bush’s policies by neo-conservatives, hence the difference between the two Bushes.
Kourosh Ziabari: Upon taking office, the Presidents of the United States conventionally make trips to Israel and pay homage to the Israelis by saying that they are committed to the security of Israel and that they will try their best to serve the interests of the Jewish regime. Is the Zionist lobby so influential to prevent from coming to power a President who has an anti-Zionist mindset? Is it ever possible for an anti-Zionist politician to rise to power in the United States?
Naseer Aruri: The answers to both questions are yes and yes. No politician with an “anti-Zionist mindset” could ever dream of living in the White House. The American political system has institutional and constitutional barriers against anti-Zionists winning the U.S. presidency. Take for example the Electoral College by which Americans elect their presidents. The EC stipulates that a candidate to the presidency must gain plurality and the winner takes all. These two factors (plurality and winner takes all) tend to polarize the system and promote the two party system. In that setting, there is no place for a minority, which is likely to be the anti-Zionist mindset. Rather, the system would promote two polarities and avoids the diffusion of power. In the US minorities which are cohesive and disciplined can easily develop factions such as Afro-Americans or Zionists who would give their votes to their co-nationals and insure the victory of disciplined, single-minded, and organized constituencies. In such a political system, anti-Zionists could never aspire to win a senatorial or even a lower House position, let alone win the Presidency. That is an impossible task.
Kourosh Ziabari: What’s in your view, the source of Zionist lobby’s enormous power and wealth? You may admit that the majority of mainstream media in the United States are being run by the well-off Jews and that the Zionist lobby plays a central role in the decision which the U.S. congress makes. What is the source of this power and influence?
Naseer Aruri: The sources of Zionist power in the US stem from superior organization, good finance, a ready-made “defense” of their cause such as “anti-Semitism,” which serves as a sort of black-mail and a barrier against valid criticism of policies. While the public can criticize Obama and his policy and expect no retribution, that same public cannot criticize Israel in the same way. Look at what happened to Helen Thomas, the dean of the White House journalists since the 1950s when she dared to express her opinion on the Israeli theft of Palestinian land, ongoing since the 1940s. Senators and Congress people have been dumped by the Lobby upon the first sign of dissent and deviation from the delivered wisdom and accepted orthodoxy on Israel. In short, the Zionist lobby is fortified by a shield which enables it to suppress dissent in a democratic nation.
Kourosh Ziabari: As my final question, I would like to ask you to propose your solution for drawing an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Do you champion a two-state solution? Do you believe that the Jews should be returned to their original homelands in Europe? What’s your viewpoint in this regard?
Naseer Aruri: As for the ideal solution, I am afraid no just and lasting solution seems to be on the horizon at the present time. Israel and its supporters have stood firmly during the past four decades against the global consensus which demanded withdrawal from occupied territories and a just resolution of the refugees problem in accordance with UN resolutions and the general principles of international law– a resolution based on the principles of equal justice, equal protection of the law, and an end to apartheid, which now prevails throughout historic Palestine pre and post 1948. As for the two-state solution, there is no such a thing. It is already too late for that, as the entire spectrum of Israeli politics allows no sovereignty on any piece of land lying between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. That leaves one just solution: a single state in which Muslims, Christians and Jews can live together on the basis of equal justice and equal protection of the law.
He has interviewed political commentator and linguist Noam Chomsky, member of New Zealand parliament Keith Locke, Australian politician Ian Cohen, member of German Parliament Ruprecht Polenz, former Mexican President Vicente Fox, former U.S. National Security Council advisor Peter D. Feaver, Nobel Prize laureate in Physics Wolfgang Ketterle, Nobel Prize laureate in Chemistry Kurt Wüthrich, Nobel Prize laureate in biology Robin Warren, famous German political prisoner Ernst Zündel, Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff, American author Stephen Kinzer, syndicated journalist Eric Margolis, former assistant of the U.S. Department of the Treasury Paul Craig Roberts, American-Palestinian journalist Ramzy Baroud, former President of the American Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Sid Ganis, American international relations scholar Stephen Zunes, American singer and songwriter David Rovics, American political scientist and anthropologist William Beeman, British journalist Andy Worthington, Australian author and blogger Antony Loewenstein, Iranian geopolitics expert Pirouz Mojtahedzadeh, American historian and author Michael A. Hoffman II and Israeli musician Gilad Atzmon.
Ramzy Baroud,Palestine Chronicle, 8 April 2011
Palestinian citizens of Israel must have been proud of the fact that their collective tenacity always proved stronger than any Israeli attempt at dislocating them from their rightful historical narrative. Now, they are being told to cease and desist from commemorating al-Nakba, the Catastrophe of 1948, which saw the brutal seizure and depopulation of most of Palestine in order to construct the Israeli ‘miracle’.
Currently estimated at a fifth of the population of today’s Israel, Palestinians with Israeli citizenship have endured appalling treatment for decades. As Muslims and Christians, they have been regarded as an anomaly in what was meant to be a perfect Jewish utopia governed by the laws of democracy. This is the quandary that Israel has never mastered, as the non-Jewish citizens of Israel have represented a major obstacle to that vision.
The question of what to do with Palestinian citizens of Israel has long haunted Israeli politicians. Discriminatory laws, unlawful seizure of land and even violence have all failed to deter Palestinians from demanding equality and exposing the moral inconsistency of Israel’s selective democracy and dubious history. More, all attempts at fragmenting Palestinian national identity – through different sets of laws for Palestinians in Israel, East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza and millions in Diaspora – were hardly enough to disfigure the innate sense of solidarity and belonging that Palestinian communities felt towards one another. When Palestinian activists gather in Jerusalem, Algiers or London, one fails to trace borderlines, the details of identity cards, or any other desperate forms of classification used by Israel. When Palestinians meet, Israel’s divisive laws prove frivolous.
Israeli politicians have “lost sight of a basic concept in democracy,” claimed the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) in a recent statement, as cited by the BBC. The statement was a response to the Israeli parliament’s approval of a bill that “allows courts to revoke the citizenship of anyone convicted of spying, treason or aiding its enemies.” Like scores of other bills introduced to the Knesset, many of which have been approved, the most recent amendment of the Citizenship Law of 1952 targets the Palestinian population of Israel.
The bill, passed on March 28, was sponsored by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party, the proud sponsor of nearly two dozen other discriminatory bills. Liberman’s 2009 campaign was largely based on the slogan: “no loyalty, no citizenship.” The latest bill is another manifestation of this idea.
But it was hardly the only bill targeting Palestinian citizens of Israel. Another had been passed only a few days earlier. The “Nakba Bill” passed its final reading on March 22 and was sponsored by Alex Miller (Yisrael Beiteinu). This bill can be understood as a war on the collective memory of Palestinians, as it targets those who mark and commemorate the Catastrophe of 1948.
“We are ready to go to jail,” was the response of MK Jamal Zahalka, of Balad party, who warned of “civil rebellion” against recent bills. “Nakba law won’t stop Arabs – we’ll just increase our protests.”
Haneen Zoabi, also of the Balad party, told The Electronic Intifada: “This is a kind of law to control our memory, to control our collective memory. It’s a very stupid law which punishes our feelings. It seems that the history of the victim is threatening the Zionist state.”
A stupid law maybe, but one rooted in Israel’s historical fear of Palestinian memory. Indeed, the war on memory has its own convincing, albeit cruel logic. From Vladimir Jabotinsky’s ‘Iron Wall’ of 1923 – aimed largely at sidelining the ‘native population’ from the ‘Zionist colonization’ of Palestine – to Uri Lubrani’s desire to “reduce the Arab population to a community of woodcutters and waiters”, attempts at forcefully removing or reducing the Palestinian population is the cornerstone of Zionist reasoning. The reasoning, which was essentially predicated on presenting Palestine as a “land without people”, is often challenged by the fact that the Palestinian people are too stubborn to terminate their historical, intellectual and very personal relationship to their land. Their persistence has made a mockery of Israel’s first Prime Minister Ben Gurion’s faulty prediction in 1948 that “the old will die and the young will forget.”
Palestinian steadfastness cannot bend natural phenomena. Yes, the old will continue to die. But the young are far from forgetting. So how do you now exact forgetfulness from Palestinians? Israel has always enjoyed a broad definition of ‘democracy’, which purported to reconcile ethnic and religious exclusivity on the one hand, and the inclusive parameters of true democracy on the other. Outside Israel, those who dared question this wisdom were labeled anti-Semites. Palestinians in Israel, who fought against the iniquitous and dehumanizing definitions, were often labeled a ‘fifth column’ and were designated ‘enemies’ of the state. It is they who now risk losing their citizenship or being fined for the supposedly sinful act of remembering the tragedies that have befallen their people.
Although racist and discriminatory laws have defined the Israeli parliament for years, the unmistakably bigoted nature of these laws and the frequency at which they are being passed reflect the level of fear in the Zionist project. The major obstacle to this project remains a people who refuse to be defeated or to be relegated as “woodcutters or waiters.” Israel seems to be resolving its quandary of being a Jewish and democratic state, and it has decidedly chosen to be the former. There is nothing democratic about the most recent bills that have passed in the parliament. Israel is now officially an Apartheid state, and all the Hasbra in the world cannot resolve the moral crisis that is now at the core of Israeli politics.
Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported on March 2 that veteran diplomat Ilan Baruch had quit his post as he was no longer able to defend Israeli policy. It seems Mr Baruch made his decision in the nick of time, as it would be a truly arduous task now to try and justify Israel’s war on Palestinian memory.
- Ramzy Baroud (www.ramzybaroud.net) is an internationally-syndicated columnist and the editor of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story (Pluto Press, London), available on Amazon.com.
Sami Jamil Jadallah, 24 March 2011
One has to ask and wonder why the sudden escalation of violence between Israel and Gaza and why Jerusalem after calms and quite is witnessing its first “terrorist” acts in many years?
I always condemned “terrorist” acts committed by both Israelis and Palestinians and never deemed “suicide” bombings as acts of “martyrdom” but acts of cold-blooded murder. Targeting unarmed civilians whether Israelis or Palestinians, whether the methods of acts are suicide bombings or planting bombs in restaurants, supermarkets or buses or through bombs dropped from F-16s or Apaches are simple acts of terrorism. To the dead whether Israeli or Palestinian civilians the methods of murders do not changed the fact that a simple cold-blooded murder was committed.
The fact that Israeli terrorist acts are committed by uniformed Israeli soldiers or by armed Israeli settlers and directed at Palestinian civilians, or Palestinian terrorist acts committed by armed Palestinians groups and directed at Israeli civilians is simply wrong. Too bad the US and the West only condemn the killing and murder of Israelis killed at the hands of Palestinians but never condemn the cold blooded murder of Palestinians committed by Israel, its army and its armed thugs the settlers. Innocent people were killed in Gaza yesterday and innocent Israelis were killed today, yet, and as expected President Obama and Secretary Clinton chose to ignore Palestinian deaths and only recognized Israeli losses.
And as usual, Palestinian leadership are always called upon to condemn Israeli deaths while no one, specially the Palestinian leadership dare to call and make the same demands of Israeli leaders the cold blooded murder of Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli army. It clear and obvious that an Israeli/Jewish life is much more worthy than a Palestinian/Arab life. Palestinians are always guilty even when innocent, and Israelis are always innocent no matter the crimes committed. An Israeli life is worth recognizing and a Palestinian life is not worth mentioning.
Israel and for so many years have not only engaged in acts of terrorism inside the Occupied Territories directed at militant and civilians alike but engaged in targeted assassinations of Palestinians around the world. Of course no one talks of these acts of terrorism. Israel terrorist organizations even engaged in killing their own people.
Also and for a long time, Israel domestic security services the SHABAK have engaged in recruiting Palestinians specially in Gaza to do its biddings and support its targeted assassinations allowing Israeli on the ground agents to help through intelligence gathering and planting of tracking devices to kill and murder a number of Palestinian leaders and hundreds of innocent by standers.
In Gaza, Israel is so successful in recruiting so many Palestinians in the tens of thousands as informers and collaborators penetrating the highest echelons of Hamas and Islamic Jihad and their militias. No need to mention Fatah here.
While I do not have very specific intelligence information, I dare say that the recent spat of rockets attacks are not only promoted and facilitated by Israeli handlers but is promoted at the highest echelons of Israeli government.
I always wondered why would any one fire a ‘rocket” when this rocket is useless as those who manufacturer it and those who fires it? Hamas contrary to its claims of putting law and order is unable to manage these renegade Israeli collaborators and agents, within Gaza and is unable to counter SHABAK activities in Gaza.
One has to wonder, with an Apartheid Wall almost a mile wide if not a mile high, with more than 600 security checkpoints where not even a chicken can pass through, all of sudden someone plant a bomb on a bus in Jerusalem.
The Gaza rockets and the bombing of the bus in Jerusalem raise lots of questions not only of Israeli alleged terrorism fighting machines but raised questions of why now?
Bibi Netanyahu is soon traveling to the US, and he is scheduled to make a speech before a joint session of congress where the issue of “Palestinian Terrorism” will sure will be a topic of discussions and will be used by Netanyahu and his partners within the American administration to side step and avoid the issues of settlements and the “peace process”.
I even will go further to say that Israel is behind such acts of terrorism, through facilitating such the bombing of the bus in Jerusalem and of course the recent rockets attacks from Gaza.
The Palestinian people must make every effort to expunge their society of these Israeli agents and collaborators. Frankly only stupid reckless thugs can do such a thing, and commit these acts that put the people at great risk. Tens of thousands of these useless so called rockets where fired without making any significant damage and one has to see the damage caused by Israeli in Gaza. Time for the leadership of Hamas and Fatah to take their responsibility seriously. The Palestinian people could not afford so many collaborators and Israeli agents within their midst.
Sami Jamil Jadallah is an international legal and business consultant and is the founder and director of Palestine Agency and Palestine Documentation Center www.palestineagency.com and founder and owner of several business in technology and services. Sami also runs an online website (Jefferson Corner)
Articles on RamallahOnline by Sami Jamil Jadallah
Omar Hajaj is a 45-year-old day laborer in Israel, living with his wife, three sons (ages one, five, and ten-years old) and his father’s wife in Al Walajah. Al Walajaha is a village of approximately 2000 inhabitants and lies just North of Bethlehem. Nowadays, this family is facing one of the most unique cases: the Israeli army wants to surround his home with an electronic fence, that if touched will send a signal to Israeli military authorities. The Israeli Ministry of Defense considers this house to be built on the wrong side of the road, which separates the Jerusalem District from the West Bank. Originally, the Ministry of Defense had ordered his house to be demolished, but the Israeli Court struck this down. In response, the Israeli Ministry of Defense has ordered the house to be surrounded with a fence and a special corridor with four gates leading Omar to the West Bank.
What follows is his story.
My family was living in the old village of Al-Walaja until 1948, until Israel ordered us to leave, demolished our houses and relocated the village to the other side of the valley. But we always hoped we would come back to the original village. So my parents built this small house in 1948, and progressively extended it as the family grew.
In 2000, we received an order from the Israeli authorities to demolish the house arguing it was built without permit. We were in the court for 6 years, and during that time the bulldozers stayed straight in front of the house, waiting the official order to raze our life. The army harassed and pressured my family; the soldiers would enter our house on a daily basis, sometimes twice a day, threatening us, claiming that we did not have the right to live there because we are from the West Bank whereas our house is built in the Jerusalem district. They used to take our ID and to lead us to the other side of the street, which is considered in the West Bank.
In 2006, we finally got the fruits of our struggle when the Israeli court of Jerusalem ruled that the demolition was not justified. I was so happy; I remember I went to the soldiers with the document and I told them they could not enter my house anymore, it was now “officially” my land. The soldiers were baffled; they called their commandant who confirmed with them that I had won the case. After that, they didn’t harass us for a while.
But unfortunately, they never really left us.
In early 2010, they started building the wall in Al Walajah. In May, I received an official visit of representatives from the Minister of Interior, the vice Minister of Defense and an engineer to explain to me they received an order that my house has to be surrounded with an electric fence built 10 meters along each side of my house. We will have to pass through four gates. We will of course have to wait to enter and exit the house.
Moreover, only my car will be allowed to enter my land i.e. to pass through the gates, and we could have guest for a very limited time but no one can sleep over except us. It means that anytime my children are back from school, anytime they want to play outside with their friends, anytime I forget to buy bread, anytime there is an emergency, we will have to pass through this “checkpoint”… I cannot even believe it and they even asked me to sign the paper allowing this! When my lawyer requested a map of the wall plan that will surround my house, the army refused to give it.
Three months ago, the Israeli High Court of Justice suspended construction of the wall. From now we work on opening personal cases. But many villagers are not motivated anymore. On 45 cases directly affected by the building of the Separation Wall, only 28 applied. I believe that we have to keep struggling. I was born here and my children were born here. I have spent my entire life here. I want for us all to be able to die on this land. I belong to this land. We are a nation that deserves a land. Even if I have to pass through 4 gates to exit my house, I will not leave.
Palestine Monitor 23 November 2010
In a small Palestinian village between the ancient cities of Bethlehem and Jerusalem, lies the village of Al Walaja.
In early 2010, the Israeli military entered the village to oversee the confiscation of Palestinian land for the construction of Israel’s separation barrier, in defiance of international law.
In the months that followed, the people of Al Walaja, with support from Israeli and international activists, began a spirited campaign of non-violent resistance to put a stop to the theft of their land.
Written, directed and produced by Aaron Fernandes.
Featuring in depth interviews with the people at the front of the struggle,”Against the Wall: the Battle for Al Walaja” offers a rare insight into the proud struggle of a small community against near impossible odds.
If Israel pushes ahead with the current plans for the wall’s construction, the village will be surrounded on all sides by concrete and barbed wire, forming an open air prison, with only one entry and exit point under military control.
As yet, both the wave of demonstrations and appeals to the Israeli Supreme Court have not stopped the construction, and several villagers have lost land whilst others have been arrested for demonstrating their opposition.
Yet despite the threat of intimidation and arrest and the ongoing construction which continues to date, the villagers are refusing to back down from their peaceful protests.
Excellent background and history. Watch peaceful demonstrators being savagely attacked by Israeli soldiers
Sources from Palestine Monitor
Palestine Monitor, 24 January 2011
While Israel’s planned fast train that connects Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in a quick 28 minutes will be welcomed by weary commuters, it spells further land confiscation from villages bordering the ever-irrelevant Green Line.
The website WhoProfits.org, has been focusing its pressure and attention on the Italian based construction company, Pizzarotti & Co. since they joined Israel’s development project to build a fast train connecting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, cutting through Palestinian land.
According a report published by whoprofits.org last year, the railway will lie on 6 kilometers of Palestinian land and have destructive consequences for three Palestinian communities that border the official—if not disregarded—boundary between the Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. While on the one hand the train further blurs the line between the two countries, on the other it reinforces the segregation between Israelis and Palestinians: the train will be exclusive for Israeli citizens.
As such, the train line is considered in direct violation of international law, as it crosses the Green Line, imposing on Palestinian agricultural land and resources while providing no benefit to the Occupied Territories. Under international law, an occupying power is not allowed to use the occupied territory for the sole benefit of its own citizens. The anticipated route would bring commuters and travelers to and from the two major metropolises in just 28 minutes.
Pizzarotti & Co. joins several other international corporations in the project, including two governmental companies, Deutsche Bahn and Moscow Metrostroy. According to the report, this is Israel’s first project of this size and technical difficulty, with the highest and longest bridge and tunnel ever constructed in the country. Due to the newness of this project, has needed to import international expertise and experience from international companies.
Pizzarotti & Co. were contracted to construct the tunnel in Section C, which is the longest section of the railway. The government of Israel had originally hired Austrian Alpine Blau, however after several delays in construction due to opposition from environmental organizations, Alpine terminated its involvement with the project. Preparation for the express train began in 1995, but has been dealt several delays from oppositional groups.
As of October 2010, construction on most of the route had begun and the anticipated date of completion of the train is now 2016-7, which is nearly 10 years later than originally planned.
The train route cuts into the OPT at two locations: the Latrun Enclave and the Cedars Valley, near Beit Surik and Beit Iksa. The Latrun Enclave represents three Palestinian villages that were completely destroyed and evacuated during the 1967 war. Completion of train route will complete the total enclosure of the Latrun Enclave between the Separation Wall and the railway, making a return to the area by its former residents living in neighboring villages nearly impossibility.
The second location where the route crosses into the OPT is near the villages of Beit Surik and Beit Iksa. The original route did not propose to cut into the Cedars Valley, but rather an Israeli town, Mevaseret Zion. However, residents of the town protested the route, claiming the inevitable noise pollution and visual obstruction the train route would cause a reduction in property value. The new route cuts into the agricultural lands of Beit Iksa and Beit Surik, despite it being a less direct route between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. This decision by the Israeli planning committee demonstrates their disregard for the land rights of the Palestinian villages.
Beit Surik and Beit Iksa in the Cedars Valley and the Latrun Enclave will be almost entirely cut off to the rest of the West Bank. Furthermore, the construction sites of the tunnel and all access roads will be based on private Palestinian land. For both the Beit Surik and the Beit Iksa communities, agriculture is an integral and necessary portion of their economy.
For these communities, the construction of the train is not the first assault on their lands from the Israeli army. Villages bordering the green line have already had swaths of land confiscated in the name of security or for the construction of the Separation Wall. Confiscating more land for the railway will have further impact on their farming.
Mazin Qumsiyeh, 24 Jan 2011
Dedicated to our friend Anna Aschenbach who died shortly after suffering a stroke while receiving an award from the International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) yesterday. Antizionist feminist and humanist from Connecticut.
Al-Jazeera just announced the release of 1600 internal and classified documents that reveal devastating information on the nature and scale of concessions offered by Palestinian negotiators. The Guardian reported that ” The overwhelming impression that emerges from the confidential records of a decade of Middle East peace talks is of the weakness and desperation of Palestinian leaders, the unyielding correctness of Israeli negotiators and the often contemptuous attitude towards the Palestinian side shown by US politicians and officials. ” I think that it spells the end of the peace process industry an 18 year sham that facilitated colonization and enriched a few individuals while destroying our lives.
Prime Minister Salam Fayyad maybe the guy salvaged from the process as he can claim only overseeing the institutions to serve the Palestinian population in the ghettos and concentration camps in the rest of the West Bank. The gates to areas like what remains of Bethlehem district (13%) are for now open (yes there are literal gates). The message sent over the past few years is that life is bad for those who resist, easier for quiet Palestinians, and very good for collaborating Palestinians. There are thousands of “general managers” and other office holders in the Palestinian authority. There are tens of thousands of uneducated individuals (selected for being uneducated and for passing security clearance by Israeli and American officials) who serve in the many security divisions of the Palestinian Authority. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer here but this still meant that on average the GDP is higher in the Palustans today than 8 years ago (though per capita not higher than 1999). In Gaza the situation is worse economically as the whole pie is smaller (mostly humanitarian aid and tunnel trade) and thus while the rich there are still rich and the poor poor, their poor are far poorer than our poor.
I as a Palestinian and millions of other fellow Palestinians are denied the right to enter Jerusalem whose character is being transformed as the talk about more talks goes on! I managed to enter Jerusalem many times like thousands of Palestinians do without seeking permission from the occupying army. Years ago, I taught high school in Jerusalem and I know the city very well. This youtube from a recent visit gives you a glimpse http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RbhpyDGIac I was both saddened and yet strangely energized by the visit. The relentless effort to transform the city to make it “Jewish” (whatever that means) involved relentless efforts at ethnic cleansing. Just in the past two years, over 10,000 Palestinians from East Jerusalem had their residency rights revoked. This is done under 101 pretexts ranging from marrying someone from outside the city to getting a job in another city or renting or buying a peace of real estate outside the city. The latest bizarre situation is ruling that four elected members of the Palestinian Legislative Council must renounce their election or face deportation. One was already deported (for not showing allegiance to the Jewish state that illegally occupied annexed, and colonized his city). Three others have spent 205 days now in a tent in the yard of the Red Cross Building in Silwan. Yes, as I saw the amazing popular resistance carried out by all natives of Jerusalem against the colonial occupiers, I was uplifted in my spirits. It is just sad that many world governments continue to be silent on this.
There is a clear diplomatic impasse here which will get exacerbated now that the papers on the negotiations have been revealed. Everyone had a “plan” before and the question is will these plans change:
1) The Zionist leaders have a plan to recognize Palestine as a state in so-called “provisional borders” which will become permanent borders but without recognizing any of the basic Palestinian rights (right to return, self determination, freedom etc). The discussion between extremists like Lieberman and more moderates like Kadima is what are the dimensions of the Palestinian population warehouses (as a friend calls them). This is intended to solve the demographic problem for the state of Israel and get the pressure off for Israel to take care of millions of unwanted non-Jews in the Jewish state. The size of these warehouses range from Lieberman’s 42% of the West Bank (itself with Gaza are 22% of historic Palestine) to 60% (Netanyahu’s maximum) to 92% (some Labor and Kadima ideas). In other words will the Bantustans end-up occupying 9% or 18% (at best) of historic Palestine? It will of course have no control over its borders or its air space or its natural resources or its tourism industry. But the right-wing racist government in Israel is ultimately self-destructive. The world is wising up.
2) Mr. Mahmoud Abbas plans to continue down the line of working with Western governments and Western-backed Arab leaders to maybe have them apply just a little bit of pressure on Israel to end its settlement activity. After dropping the ball on the International court of Justice ruling on the wall and dropping the ball on the Goldstone report, the leadership introduced via to the UN Security Council and the US may or may not veto it. Abbas says publicly that there may be more “initiatives” coming but ultimately he is tied by Oslo agreements and the maximum he could ask for is 1967 borders with some 3-5% territorial swap (which happen to be the best areas of the West Bank) and certainly he is not going to be allowed to demand the internationally recognized rights of refugees to return to their homes and lands. The leaked documents at best weaken that branch of Fatah led by Abbas that compromised basic Palestinian rights. They could even lead to the demise of this authority whose terms had expired anyway. Of course there is a remote possibility that Abbas will manage to avoid both assassination and irrelevancy by coming clean with his people and offering a new real innovative approach (like dissolve the PA and call for an anti-Apartheid struggle led by new leaders).
3) Hamas has a plan to essentially hold on to Gaza and hope the now clear failure of the “peace process” gives them more popular support among Palestinians. By controlling the launch of home-made projectiles from Gaza, they could hold on for years waiting for change in powers. Iran and Hezbollah are also hoping the continued disregard for international law by the world powers validates the strategy of relying on military strength and “resisting” to get rights. Their arguments in the absence of meaningful enforcement of international law vis a vis Israel is difficult for others to refute. But many moderate and secular people here wonder what kind of a future will unfold under regimes that do not separate state power from religious authority. And even in Gaza, people would not vote for a party that will offer only vague notions about “Islam is the solution” without a clear strategy or vision for the future.
4) Left Parties have partial and unformulated plans. Many still cling to old rhetoric and old divisions and are not able to think innovatively to design a strategy to recapture their popular support that declined in the past few decades let alone articulate a clear unified vision for goals and ways to get to these goals.
5) The US (and by extension subservient EU) have a plan to support the compromising section of the Palestinian authority but only to the extent that the strong AIPAC (Israel lobby) approve of. The leaked documents show that the ceiling for the PA demands must always be continuously lowered to accommodate Israeli society’s increasingly fascist government demands. Recognizing Israel is not enough anymore, the PA must also recognize the racist NATURE of Israel (as a JEWISH ZIONIST state) and renounce internationally recognized rights like the right of refugees to return. If they do that, will they be then required to recognize that God is indeed a tribal God with his chosen people and that the Goyim are sub-human and not deserving of even the Bantustans that they are allowed now to live on?
6) The Civil Society around the world which supports human rights has a plan of Popular Resistance, Media work, boycotts, divestments, and sanctions to arrive at justice and ending apartheid. As the pressure builds to isolate the apartheid (aka Hafrada in Hebrew) regime, these activists believe more Israelis and others around the world will come around to see that giving back what was stolen is the only real road to peace (at least partial restorative justice). It is an uphill battle because of all the brainwashing that goes on by subservient media and essentially a populace around the world that is largely apathetic. But the vocal minority that always changes things is getting more vocal.
As I say in my lectures: collectively all humanity has a choice and it is not between one-state or two-states, colonialism or an Fundamentalist state structure (whether Islamic Jewish, or Christian). The choice is between having a set of International laws and human rights that apply to everyone (beginning with the 7 million Palestinian refugees and displaced people) OR a law of the jungle where “might makes right.” The latter choice is a lose-lose scenario since we are in an era where biological, nuclear and chemical weapons are easy to come by and can destroy civilization. The former choice requires we begin by educating our selves on our own civil society power. Simon Bolivar, the visionary revolutionary who pushed for independence and unity of countries in South America once said: “They have succeeded in dominating us more through ignorance, than through force”. Indeed. La Luta Continua.
Marian Houk, 14 Jan 2011
The hotel part of the Shepherd’s Hotel in Sheikh Jarrah is what was demolished on Sunday by Israeli heavy equipment hired by a settler organization. The only work done since the initial frenzied hours has been rubble removal.
The “palace” part is still standing.
That is, the part that is most historic, and most architecturally beautiful, with references to principles of great Islamic form and design, and that was built in the 1930s as a private home by Hajj Amin al-Husseini — though he never lived in it a day — is intact.
Only the (large) extension, added in the 1960s to turn the property into a hotel, has so far been crushed.
Are Israelis searching for a compromise? Is international pressure playing any part? Are any Muslim countries playing an important off-stage role? Is the settler organization that was given title to the hotel (and its backers in the current Jerusalem municipality and Israeli government) being prudent, as Husseini heirs wage multi-front last-ditch legal battles in the Israeli court system to stop construction of the first major Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem, a settlement so strategic that it could change, perhaps forever, the prospects for a peaceful sharing of the “Holy City”?
Hajj Amin Husseini, the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestinian nationalist leader exiled by British Mandate forces in 1937, is detested in Israeli and Jewish circles because of his efforts, as part of his struggle against British rule, to form an alliance with Hitler.
Hajj Amin cultivated Islamic ties and relations with leaders of Muslim countries that he met during pilgimages to Mecca and in travels throughout the Islamic world, as part of his mobilizing effort to throw off British rule and gain the independence that Palestinians hoped to achieve.
At the time, this meant opposing large-scale Jewish immigration into Palestine, which the League of Nations had not only endorsed, using the exact language of the 1917 Balfour Declaration, when the League’s Council formally awarded the Palestine Mandate to Britain in 1923 (though Britain had de facto administered it for the five previous years), but also (by British design and complicity) actually required the British Mandatory authorities to enforce. Britain had to report back annually to the Council of the League of Nations on how it implemented its obligation to assist Jewish immigration.
Triumphalist statements made by Israeli settler supporters at the beginning of the week about grinding down and crushing any remnant of Hajj Amin’s presence have not been borne out in fact.
Are wiser heads attempting to prevail?
Saying that would probably be going too … Haaretz reported today that “Right-wing activists also said they plan to turn the main part of the historic building – originally constructed by the mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini – into a synagogue commemorating the victims of the Holocaust. Activists see this move as all the more poignant as Husseini was known for his collaboration with the Nazis. However, contrary to some activists’ claims, the mufti never lived in the building himself, instead giving it to his personal secretary, George Antonius … ‘As we were forced to preserve the building, we will turn it into the neighborhood synagogue and dedicate it to the memory of the Holocaust victims’, said Jerusalem councilman Elisha Peleg (Likud ). ‘The synagogue will be doubly symbolic: It will replace the house of the mufti and it will mark the point where 78 physicians, nurses and patients were murdered on their way to Mount Scopus in 1948′. While the first phase of the project is getting underway, the settlers have also submitted a larger plan to the municipality, requesting to add another 50 housing units. All in all, the project intends to include 70 units meant for Jews. The sensitivity of the site, however, means the plan will likely be delayed for an extended period of time”… This Haaretz report is published here.
This, however, is not too far from an idea reportedly harbored by at least one member of the Husseini family, who is said to have entertained the idea of proposing to the financial backer of the settlement project, Irving Moskowitz, that the “palace” that Hajj Amin built be turned into some kind of joint Israeli-Palestinian museum for peace…
Marian Houk, a writer, reporter, journalist and analyst with long experience at the United Nations — in New York and in Geneva and more — as well as with the Middle East. She has reported on, and for a time also worked for, the United Nations. She is a former President of the United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) at UNHQ/NY (1986), and is currently based in Jerusalem.
Marian Houk is the Editor of UN-Truth news site.