Saturday, 15 May 2010

ME mourning Israel occupation

   

Sat, 15 May 2010 13:07:47 GMT



A Palestinian girl attends a rally in the Gaza Strip, marking the 62nd anniversary of the 1948 Israeli occupation. Reuters photo

Marches continue across the Middle East to mark the Israeli seizure of the Palestinian lands as well as its expulsion and killing of hundreds of Palestinians.

The thousands-strong rallies entered their second day on Saturday. Marchers gathered in the Gaza Strip, the occupied West Bank and Lebanon, marking the 62nd anniversary of the May 15, 1948 Nakba Day or 'the day of the catastrophe,' the Palestinian Ma'an news agency reported.

The Israeli war forced more than 800,000 out of 1.4 million Palestinians "out of their homeland to the West Bank and Gaza Strip, neighboring Arab countries and the remaining countries of the world," said the Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics in a demographic report.

Last year records by the United Nations revealed that currently some 4.7 million Palestinians, less than half of their entire population, lived in refugee camps at home or abroad.

The Saturday demos are also expected to condemn Israel's occupation of the West Bank, al-Quds (East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip in 1967.



River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Salah, Prayer, If Only You Could Hear‏

BY Nahida

Listen …
The dignified roses
Extending out their hands
Calling you to pray
Come and join the crowd
God is The Greatest
Most Gracious, Most Kind

If Only You Could Hear 


If you can
Just sit for a moment
And listen …
To the birds
Singing songs of praise

Listen …
To the breeze
Whispering to the trees
“Would you pray with me tonight?”
“Yes, with all my heart,
Love, joy and delight”
The trees replied

Listen …
Can you hear the rhythm
Of the stone’s heartbeat?
"I love you God"
Their words with every beat

Listen …
Can you hear the silence
In the tranquil summer night
Deep … deep .. silence
Is the language of the heart

Listen …
Rain drops tap-dancing
Tip-top … drip-drop
Tiny, elegant steps
A never-ending story
Proclaiming God’s wonders
And His majestic glory


Listen …
Can you feel the serenity
And graceful prayer
Of golden wheat grains
While bowing down their heads
Giving mother earth
A great big kiss

Listen …
Can you hear the rainbow
Stretching up and down
Reaching out to heaven
Then bending like a clown
Amazing colours
Almost divine



Listen …
The dignified roses
Extending out their hands
Calling you to pray
Come and join the crowd
God is The Greatest
Most Gracious, Most Kind

Listen …
Atoms are dancing
Going round and round
Joyful in their orbits
What an awesome band
Praising their creator
Joining hand in hand


Listen …
Numbers are standing
Magnificent is the sign
Starting from the zero
Infinite is the line
Unique in their performance
United through design
Praying in adoration
Humbly kneeling down

Listen …
Galaxies are twirling
Wrapped up in cosmic light
Wearing magical dresses
Glowing through the night
All shapes colours and sizes
 amazing is the sight
Glorifying their Designer
The source of peace
And essence of delight

--
nahida

Margaret Atwood believes in dialogue, unless she is criticized, and she likes submissive natives as well

Source

My previous post, Novelistic Scabs, criticizing Atwood and Ghosh, didn't get approved in the comments to her posting of the two's "acceptance speech" for the Dan David prize on Atwood's blog. It was deleted twice.

She does allow critical views. My post wasn't more critical than other comments she let through. It was more detailed, and rather than merely challenging them on moral grounds, it also paid close attention to how poor the logic of their arguments was. I guess that was just too painful. So much for openness to views not her own, that she so pretentiously described as her trademark and the reason for accepting the prize!

But half a million dollars can sooth a lot of wounds to a writer's ego.

Oh, by the way, she went to the West Bank. If you're interested in how one can make literary experiments, nouveau roman and poliphonic turds out of apartheid, go and read her collection of "Israelis said, Palestinians said" cliches.

There, in the Occupied West Bank, Atwood had an amazing discovery:

Nor was there an avoidance of the situation: on the contrary, people really wanted to talk about it. These people were from many areas, but self-selected, of course. (That is: There are a lot of people from extremes and semi-extremes who would not have talked to me, and certainly not freely).
Some people didn't avoid talking about the situation with a visitor who tours the West Bank and meets them in the process of explicitly pretending to be interested in the situation. Can you imagine? But what about those "from the extreme and semi-extremes." who wouldn't talk to her? Why not call them extremists, given that this is what she wants to say? How did Atwood realize that some people don't care whether she understands them? Did they refuse to meet with her? Or is it simply her projection? She doesn't say. What exactly does she mean by saying that people "from the extreme and semi-extremes" would not be speaking "freely"? What opposition between freedom and lack of it is being presented?

People from the semi-extremes are people who shun conversation, or make preconditions, or if they speak, they do not speak "freely." Presumably, their "extreme" politics gets in a way of providing Atwood with decontextualized shreds of discourse. That is, presumably, people from "extremes and semi-extremes" tend to maintain their right to speak in their own voice, to make sense and present a coherent speech rather than to become formelss material for someone's else discourse. That means they do not speak "freely." To speak freely consists on providing Atwood with cliches such as

'A war of the strong against the weak will always fail.’ ” “There are no stereotypes that fit.” “It’s like a roll that’s stuck in your throat: you can’t swallow it, you can’t cough it up.”
That is, "freedom," for Atwood, is willingness to submit, to be someone else's raw material, not to make sense but to be the object one makes sense of. To speak freely is to speak like one speaks to a therapist, hesitantly at first, but with increasing openness once one realizes "the other" is a blank stare, without any identity or content, the ideal, apolitical, neutral listener:

there was some initial tentativeness about me—where did I stand, did I have preconceptions? Being neither an Israeli, nor Jewish, nor Muslim, nor Christian, nor American, was probably facilitating.
Free speech is therefore the opposition of politics, that is of speech that is engaged in the demand of freedom. Free speech is speech free from the constraints imposed by a concern for freedom. Lack of freedom is the condition of those who insist of a measure of control of their position in the conversation. They are constrained by, made "unfree", presumably, by their claim to speak as one who is free, or as one who wants to be free; they might not even speak to her. The main opposition that structures Atwood's impression of the native is thus the one between "speaking freely" and speaking as a political Subject who demands freedom. That is, what Atwood's calls the freedom of the native, is in fact the freedom of the ethnographic visitor to control the representation of the native.

I assume that a quite a few Palestinians told her not to bother dropping by, given that she accepted a prize at Tel-Aviv University that violated the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. Painful! But again, half a million dollars can sooth a lot of wounds to a writer's ego.
Posted by Gabriel @ 10:52 AM

Margaret Atwood Cashes In

Pulse

By Jennifer Matsui

Children in Gaza sit next to the empty desks of fellow students whose lives were snuffed out by Israeli terror

Novelist Margaret Atwood’s decision to travel to Tel Aviv to share a literary prize worth a million dollars has ignited a controversy in which the septuagenarian author and vice-president of the literary human rights organization PEN International has come under fire by Palestinian rights activists. Ms Atwood’s acceptance of the Dan David Prize, whose previous laureates include Al Gore and Tony Blair, is viewed by Ms Atwood’s critics as a betrayal to the ideals she supposedly represents, and an unwitting endorsement of Israel’s race exclusive policies.

The Canadian author’s insistence that refusing the blood-spattered trophy would be tantamount to “censorship” rings as false as her commitments to justice as an anti-apartheid activist, and as a writer who has made tyranny and oppression recurring themes in her novels, elevating her from fiction writer to public intellectual. “False” because “justice for some” is hardly an ethical stance with any merit, and certainly not one that will maintain her status as an “oppositional intellectual”. Sadly, this “intellectual” has made no effort to research the subject of Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land and its unyielding, systematic oppression of the Palestinian people (as many Jewish and Israeli scholars and activists themselves have bravely condemned). Otherwise, she would use the occasion of the invitation to denounce an increasingly murderous regime and call upon its people to support sanctions, boycotts and divestments until their government accepted the rule of International law and reversed its policy of displacement and expulsion of Arab people from their ancestral lands. Instead the once outspoken author has chosen to put monetary interests ahead of the principled moral stances she has taken in the past, in order to lay claim to a tainted prize given each year to fame-hungry “artists” looking to boost sagging sales of their product while making all the appropriate noises to the press about free speech.

Ms Atwood’s blandly centrist posturing is symptomatic of a malady particular to the cosseted and fossilized members of a wealthy nation’s cultural elite, for whom “free speech” is a largely unexamined term that by default, advocates the right of establishment opinion makers laboring for the warlord and robber baron class to set the agenda of public discourse. Thus the multi-billion dollar media conglomerate behind South Park and its wealthy creators are portrayed as underdog champions of free speech, bravely confronting an encroaching Islamic Goliath, just as the Canadian author’s flaccid, self-serving justifications for fence-sitting is spun into a battle against “censorship”. It’s hard to pinpoint Ms Atwood’s definition of the word “censorship” unless it means, “Can I just enjoy my windfall without having to listen to a howling mob of Debby Downers”?

On the surface, Ms Atwood’s Tel Aviv itinerary seems a worthy endeavor undertaken by an energetic senior citizen who has put aside her basket of knitting to embark on a fact finding mission devoted to sniffing out the roots of a decades-long conflict, while indulging her recent interest in issues related to water scarcity. How she will gather facts on the ground from a plush Tel Aviv hotel suite surrounded by her sycophantic handlers remains to be seen. Her new friends in Tel Aviv will likely remind her that “Jews made the desert bloom”, omitting the part about how Israel diverts water supplies from the Palestinians to nourish the soil beneath its illegal settlements. Unlike Ms Atwood, I am no poet. However, I can’t help but indulge the thought that so much spilled blood must have had a hand in making Israel’s ill-gained desert outposts a shimmering oasis of well-watered lawns, swimming pools and flower beds on one side, and a parched, barren human cattle pen on the other.

Last year Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami defended his decision to accept the Jerusalem Prize in a rambling, incoherent public statement to his detractors that ultimately demonstrated his worthiness to be be recipient to this dubious honor. As this year’s winner of the Dan David Prize, Ms Atwood is Israel’s most recent stooge-laureate of a cynically motivated, prize-giving institution that lures artists from overseas to be unwitting apologists for its government’s long standing system of ethnic cleansing. Sadly, Ms Atwood has fallen into the same trap, and like her Japanese prize-coveting counterpart, has released a factually deficient statement accusing her critics of being intolerant, politically motivated advocates of censorship, while she, the feisty Grande Dame of capital ‘L’ literature rises above her host nation’s open-air prisons where the view on the ground reveals deficiencies on both sides of the conflict. Something tells me the feminist author would take a less even-handed approach to the subject of domestic violence.

It’s from this lofty perch that Ms Atwood declares herself an ‘artist’ (emphasis on the last syllable) and more importantly, an “individual”. Unlike her more earthbound detractors, this ethereal entity insists, by virtue of her divinely held privileges, that she is a “neutral observer”, and as such, more intellectually equipped to grasp the situation on the ground, while hovering celestially above the rest of humanity. She might want to consider the possibility that those pretty cloud-like bursts of white phosphorous dumped on civilians fleeing from relentless ground and air assaults are anything but neutral – as are the well-heeled and carefully vetted representatives of Tel Aviv’s cultural elite with whom she will have lively discussions over tea and crumpets about scarce water resources, global warming and the burdens of being the Mid-East’s only “democracy” (sic). Throw in a Palestinian bird enthusiast and score valuable PR points for demonstrating your nation’s “diversity”. (“See? We don’t discriminate against our non-Jewish (non) citizens. We grant special privileges to a handful of them, allow them access to water, even sparing them the cattle prods when they wander without permits into our cocktail parties”.) While ‘bird enthusiasm’ is a noble and worthy career choice, you have to wonder why Palestinians engaged in fields closer to Atwood’s own were not on the guest list. Maybe it’s because (as the Open Letter from Gaza students states):
In the Gaza concentration camp, students who have been awarded scholarships to universities abroad are prevented every year from pursuing their hard-earned opportunity for academic achievement. Within the Gaza Strip, those seeking an education are limited by increasing poverty rates and a scarcity of fuel for transportation, both of which are direct results of Israel’s medieval siege. What is Tel Aviv University’s position vis-a-vis this form of illegal collective punishment, described by Richard Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, as a “prelude to genocide?” Not a single word of condemnation has been heard from any Israeli academic institution!
Ms Atwood, whose scholarly credentials on the subject of conflict in the Middle East has so far been limited to glancing at the op-ed columns in her daily newspaper, repeats the same half-truths, obfuscations and outright lies that are routinely and mechanically recited in the establishment media – namely, that the crisis currently playing out in the Middle East is the result of two warring powers of roughly equal stature, stubbornly rejecting compromise.
I sympathize with the very bad conditions the people of Gaza are living through due to the blockade, the military actions, and the Egyptian and Israeli walls. Everyone in the world hopes that the two sides involved will give up their inflexible positions and sit down at the negotiating table immediately and work out a settlement that would help the ordinary people who are suffering. The world wants to see fair play and humane behaviour, and it wants that more the longer the present situation continues and the worse the conditions become.
According to this cursory, lackluster analysis, the people imprisoned within the occupied territories have had a hand in creating the intolerable conditions they live under despite the fact their free and fair elections have been overturned by Israeli authorities, their leaders routinely imprisoned or targeted for assassination, or installed as paid stooges to carry out Israel’s security operations. By Ms Atwood’s lazy reckoning, the Palestinians themselves are somehow complicit in their own misery. Never mind that one side has no military, no air defenses, only limited and largely illusory political autonomy, and whose already scant institutions and infrastructure lie in a still smoldering pile of rubble. Meanwhile this deliberately starved population only survives on the meager, “diet”-inducing rations their Israeli occupiers call “humanitarian assistance”. Inflexible indeed. Israel’s long standing commitment to derailing every attempt to negotiate a peace settlement by refusing to halt or dismantle settlements is yet another inconvenient fact Ms Atwood prefers to overlook in a statement that reads more like a hastily signed condolence card than confirmation of a principled, well-reasoned stance.

Ms Atwood’s powers of keen and relentlessly fine-tuned observations – the hallmark of her deservedly lauded fiction – are nowhere in evidence outside the rarefied air of her novel writing efforts. When it comes to facts (Israel is guilty of war crimes and is in violation of countless UN resolutions, not to mention its Apartheid style of governance that grants democracy for a few and apartheid for the many) the Canadian novelist has a tin ear, playing mostly deaf to the chorus of condemnation that has dogged her since accepting the prize. Antoine Raffoul, a London based architect and founder of ’1948: Lest We Forget’ – a Palestinian rights organization publicly addressed her (and co-laureate Amitov Ghosh) in an open letter, politely pleading the case that their presence in Tel Aviv was in opposition to the values that the two authors presumably uphold as human rights advocates.

“We writers belong to a space one can call ‘Republic of writers’ and do not do cultural boycotts,” Atwood sniffed in response, conveniently overlooking her support of sanctions and cultural boycotts of Apartheid-era South Africa.

More recently, the author pulled out of the fledgling Emirates Airline international festival of literature to protest the organizers’ decision to withdraw their invitation to an author whose book was considered too controversial. Curiously, the free speech advocate couldn’t spare a similar show of solidarity with the blacklisted Palestinian writers she is unlikely to meet in Israel.

According to Atwood, “writers” are members of that elite, oft-awarded coterie of establishment liberals who lend their support to fashionable causes while attending cocktail receptions in their honor; a term that in other words doesn’t apply to rabble like Mr Raffoul, or the group of Palestinian students whose passionately articulated open letter to the author was greeted with a dismissive acknowledgment of having received it. Not surprisingly, The Republic of Writers, like its warm ally Israel, doesn’t grant citizenship to its Palestinian members, or anyone outside the highly fortified, well-appointed compound where Queen Margaret reigns as self-crowned head of state.

The prickly monarch goes on to dismiss criticism of her decision to accept half of a million dollar prize from a foundation run by a photo booth tycoon with ties to Zionist organizations. Dan David, the billionaire philanthropist for whom the prize is named, was overruled by his foundation’s board of trustees when early on in his philanthropic career he nominated Muslim-bashing Italian xenophobe Oriana Fallaci a prize for journalism. Clearly, the choice of Margaret Atwood as blood money beneficiary for her “moderate” (but no less ideological) brand of selective advocacy for human rights is meant to thwart unwanted scrutiny on this generous endowment at the hands of a right wing entrepreneur who conceals his zealotry behind a blandly institutional cloak of high culture. Mr David’s critics allege the tycoon is aiding and abetting his government’s propaganda efforts by dipping into his own personal slush fund to launch a charm offensive aimed at silencing Israel’s critics.

Ms Atwood’s disingenuous claims that the prize is “is a cultural event” and not “as has been erroneously stated, an “Israeli” prize from the State of Israel, nor is it a prize “from Tel Aviv University, but one founded and funded by an individual” proves she is either woefully unskilled at using a search engine, or that she has deliberately overlooked her billionaire benefactor’s unsavory, or at least questionable business and political ties in order to claim a cash prize. With its lucrative ties to the Israeli defense industry, Tel Aviv University is hardly a benign institution, nor one that is unaffiliated with Mr David’s philanthropic enterprises. Laureates are required to donate ten percent of their prize money to the university. Ms Atwood and her co-laureate Amitov Ghosh, whether they realize it or not, are not only aiding Israel’s propaganda efforts, but helping to directly fund its war machine.

It’s probably too late to hope that Ms Atwood’s atrophied powers of reasoning and compassion will compel her to recognize the ironies inherent in her host nation’s insistence that “Never Again” means business-as-usual when applying Nazi methodology to rid one’s country of a despised ethnic group. Based on her own reasoning, Ms Atwood might consider attending the next conference Iranian president Ahmadinejad hosts, where invited dignitaries debate the existence of the Holocaust. After all, how is this Iranian led peanut gallery aimed at burnishing its president’s standing among anti-US allies any different from the political stage craft Israel is orchestrating to shore up international support for its own beleaguered leadership? By her own admission, there is no topic off-limits to “dialogues across borders”, so why draw the line at holocaust denial? Or for that matter, Dubai book festivals?

Jennifer Matsui is a freelance writer living in Tokyo, Japan. This piece was contributed to PULSE by the author.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Russia: other members of the Quartet have contacts with Hamas

[ 14/05/2010 - 10:47 PM ]

MOSCOW, (PIC)-- The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed on Thursday that international communication had been opened with Hamas explaining that Moscow views Hamas as a movement that retains the confidence, sympathy and trust of a large segment of the Palestinian people.

Andre Neterenko, spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said in a statement that "Moscow does not consider Hamas an artificial organisation; rather it considers it one which relies on the confidence of a large portion of the Palestinian people who sympathise with it." He went on to highlight that "it is well known that Hamas won the majority of votes during the parliamentary elections held in the Palestinian territories in 2006 and which the international community deemed free and fair."

The Russian official emphasised that "contacts between us and Hamas are maintained regularly; just as it is well known that other members of the international Quartet on the Middle East have contact with Hamas in one way or another. However, for some incomprehensible reason, they shy away from admitting so publicly."

An earlier meeting between Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, and the leader of Hamas' political bureau, Khaled Meshaal was met with disappointment and condemnation from Israel which has unleashed its anger on Medvedev. Israel's foreign minister has also rejected the invitation by Medvedev and Turkish Prime Minister, Abdullah Gul, to involve Hamas in the peace process.


Hamdan asks world community to amend its stands

[ 15/05/2010 - 07:24 AM ]

BEIRUT, (PIC)-- Osama Hamdan, the representative of Hamas in Lebanon, has called on the world community to amend its stands toward Hamas following the meeting in Damascus between Russian president Dmitry Medvedev and Hamas supreme leader Khaled Mishaal.

Hamdan told Al-Jazeera TV network on Friday that what Medvedev had said about not ignoring Hamas constituted a step forward and an opportunity before the world to amend its stands regarding Hamas.

He said that the Israeli dismay at the Medvedev-Mishaal meeting reflected Israel's concern following its recent crisis with the USA, noting that Europe was also disturbed by Israel's practices, which together with Russia and the UN constitute the international quartet committee on the Middle East.

Medvedev expressed keenness on the release of the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit but he also expressed understanding at the movement's demand for the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, Hamdan said, noting that Hamas told the Russian head of state that it was interested in concluding the prisoners' exchange deal and that Israel was the one impeding it.

Zahhar: Hamas to brief European countries on its stands



River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Netanyahu will be pleased. Now UK has an upper-class coalition “fagging” for Israel

Netanyahu will be pleased. Now UK has an upper-class coalition “fagging” for Israel


By Stuart Littlewood

15 May 2010

Stuart Littlewood views the Zionist roots of Britain’s senior coalition party, the Conservatives, especially its leader David Cameron and the foreign secretary, William Hague, both self-confessed Israel stooges. He asks whether Nick Clegg, leader of the junior coalition partner, the Liberal Democrats, will have the guts to neutralize the Conservatives’ Zionism and uphold his party’s position on Gaza and war crimes.

“I am proud not just to be a Conservative, but a Conservative Friend of Israel; and I am proud of the key role CFI plays within our Party.” – David Cameron, UK Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader

Conservative leader David "I'm-a-Zionist" Cameron didn't win the election but has managed to seize power by slipping between the sheets with Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg. This distasteful union should give them enough votes to survive in Parliament for the five years they have set themselves.

The glamour-boy duo, Cameron and Clegg, come from similar privileged backgrounds – top public schools and “Oxbridge”. Cameron is a product of Eton, the infamous Bullingdon Club and Oxford; Clegg arrived via Westminster and Cambridge.

Cameron, of course, is the boss of the coalition. Clegg is merely deputy prime minister, a post usually regarded as a non-job. “Birds of a feather: Cameron hires a new fag,” quipped one blogger.


"The spectacle we are more likely to be treated to is Cameron and his trusty lieutenant William Hague, fagging for the US and Israel."

For those unfamiliar with the peculiar practices of the English public school (public here meaning expensively private for the upper-class), “fagging” is where junior boys do menial tasks and act as a general dogsbody for senior boys such as lazy prefects eager to practice their bullying techniques and hone their cruel streak in preparation for later life.

I suspect Clegg is too rebellious to make a useful fag.  The spectacle we are more likely to be treated to is Cameron and his trusty lieutenant William Hague, fagging for the US and Israel. Within hours of taking office Britain’s new Foreign Secretary Hague was summoned by Washington to receive instruction on polishing Obama’s shoes and ironing Clinton’s slip.

No doubt he’ll soon be in Tel Aviv pressing Netanyahu’s suits, dusting his mantlepiece and filling the coal scuttle.

Cameron’s “new era” politics

In agreeing to support the most pro-Israel party in Britain Clegg said nothing about Middle East policy while Cameron promised a "new era" in British politics.

As everyone knows, Cameron and most of his party voted for the Iraq war. They, in my view, are not fit to govern. They say they "were misled". Ordinary citizens, however, were not misled and found ample information freely available to contradict the lies the warmongers were telling them. The truth is that the Conservatives, like the Labour government at the time, failed to exercise due diligence and go the extra mile to make sure of the facts before taking this country into a war we could ill afford against people who posed no threat. Or, you might suppose, they obeyed orders from a foreign power.

Either way, a few did their duty to Britain, the majority didn't.

What is even more disgusting is the way Cameron's Conservatives constantly preach family values while happy, apparently, for innocent families elsewhere – in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine - to be vapourised, blown to smithereens and terribly maimed in their countless thousands, or terrorized and starved into submission by sanctions and blockades.


"Cameron is ... more concerned about the security and prosperity of Israel's murdering land-grabbers than the plight of their victims, the Christian communities in the Holy Land and their Muslim neighbours."

Now, incredibly, they are considering inflicting the same collective punishment on Iranians for developing a domestic nuclear programme which they are perfectly entitled to.

Furthermore, Cameron has failed to clean up his party, and I don't mean the scandalous expense-fiddling. Thanks in large part to the Channel 4 TV’s “Dispatches” programme we know that the Conservative Party, like Labour, has its palm greased by the Israel lobby.  Cameron is a self-declared Zionist pledged to defend the state of Israel come what may. It seems he's more concerned about the security and prosperity of Israel's murdering land-grabbers than the plight of their victims, the Christian communities in the Holy Land and their Muslim neighbours.

He’s a very confused fag.

An organization called the Conservative Friends of Israel claims it "works to promote its twin aims of supporting Israel and promoting Conservatism. With close to 2,000 activists as members – alongside 80 per cent of Tory MPs – CFI is active at every level of the party." Cameron endorses it enthusiastically: “I am proud not just to be a Conservative, but a Conservative Friend of Israel; and I am proud of the key role CFI plays within our Party.”

Back in 2006 The Jewish Chronicle reported on the backers bankrolling Cameron's bid for power. That report was sent to the Committee on Standards in Public Life as an example of how the pro-Israel lobby infiltrates government and undermines the very principles for which the committee, as the nation’s watchdog, had been established to uphold. The committee ignored it. Corruption runs deeper than you think here.

It is bad news all round that Hague is the new foreign secretary. He is, in his own words, "a longstanding friend of Israel and someone who joined Conservative Friends of Israel at the age of 15". He once said: “The unbroken thread of Conservative Party support for Israel that has run for nearly a century from the Balfour Declaration to the present day will continue."

Hague’s appearance bears a startling resemblance to a neo-con skinhead, so he must fit into the Washington scene nicely. He said in an interview during the election campaign that the most urgent issue facing him, should he find himself in the Foreign Office, would be the Iranian nuclear programme. "We have consistently been the party arguing for tough sanctions and a strong European approach over the last few years, and are very frustrated that this hasn't emerged strongly enough." He wants Britain to give Iranians a good kicking by adopting the same sanctions regime against Iranian financial institutions as the United States and seeking European agreement on blocking investment in Iran's vast oil and gas fields.

So why isn’t he just as eager to put the boot in against Israel on account of its massive nuclear weapons stockpile, which is a grave threat the region and even Europe, and the regime’s refusal to sign the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (which Iran has signed)?

He’s a very confused skinhead.

Another thing. All states which are party to the Geneva Conventions are obliged to seek out and either prosecute or extradite those suspected of having committed grave breaches of the conventions and bring them, regardless of nationality, to court.  
 
"Grave breaches" means willful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, and other serious violations of the laws of war – the sort of atrocities that are committed wholesale by Israel in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

But in order to protect the unsavoury foreign prefects they fag for, the Conservatives, like Labour, are planning to abandon our solemn obligations under international law. Their shadow attorney-general said, before the election, that the Conservatives “will change the law if this government [i.e. Labour] doesn't... There is support for this from David Cameron and William Hague downwards."

In short, Cameron and Hague hope to create a safe haven here in the UK for all psychopaths and bloodthirsty guttersnipes wanted for war crimes, especially Israel's top brass.

On the all-important foreign affairs front Nick Clegg, therefore, will have an almost impossible task trying to keep the Cameron-Hague wing of the coalition in check and focused on Britain’s best interests.

Is there a silver lining?

I’m sorry to be the bringer of such gloomy news. However, there may yet be a glimmer of hope beneath this unremitting black cloud.


"... without the Liberal Democrats, Cameron's Conservatives are doomed. So it will be interesting to see how far Clegg's lads can go in neutralizing the Zionist Tendency that stains our politics."

The Liberal Democrats' stated policy on Gaza is

  • to prosecute and compel the appearance of witnesses to investigate war crimes arising out of Israel’s attack on Gaza, whether by Israel, Hamas or any other party;
  • the existing EU-Israel Association Agreement should be suspended since Israel has continued its illegal blockade of Gaza;
  • the update for Israel’s Association Agreement with the EU should also continue to be suspended;
  • the EU should review whether Israel is in enduring breach of Article 2 of the Association Agreement; and
  • there should be an arms embargo on Israel by Britain and the EU.

What's more, Nick Clegg wrote a punchy article "Lift the Gaza blockade" last December in The Guardian. In it he said:

What has the British government and the international community done to lift the blockade? Next to nothing. Tough-sounding declarations are issued at regular intervals but little real pressure is applied. It is a scandal that the international community has sat on its hands in the face of this unfolding crisis…

The EU has huge economic influence over Israel, and it believes the blockade must be lifted. At the same time as exercising leverage over Hamas, it should make clear that the web of preferential agreements which now exists between the EU and Israel – from Israeli access to EU research and development funds to recently improved access for Israeli agricultural products – will be brought into question if there is no rapid progress…

Gordon Brown and the international community must urgently declare that enough is enough. The blockade must end.

The question is, does Clegg have enough leverage to shame his new work colleagues, Cameron and Hague, into taking the action Brown neglected to?

Of course, that would infuriate the nasty prefects. But without the Liberal Democrats, Cameron's Conservatives are doomed. So it will be interesting to see how far Clegg's lads can go in neutralizing the Zionist Tendency that stains our politics.

I assume Clegg has taken note of Israel’s threats to attack the Free Gaza flotilla, which soon sails to deliver humanitarian aid and break the evil blockade. Is it too much to ask that he insists Cameron orders the Royal Navy to provide an escort in order to guarantee the freedom of the seas and protect British and other nationals who are doing what he, Clegg, has been urging, what the world wants to see and what the contemptible international community should have done long ago?



Stuart Littlewood is author of the book Radio Free Palestine, which tells the plight of the Palestinians under occupation. For further information please visit www.radiofreepalestine.co.uk.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
May 15, 2010
No one can take away from me
My identity,
For it is mine.

Palestinian am I.
I am the river that flows
Through my land.
I am the mountain
Noble and magnificent
Rising up out of chaos and destruction.

I greet the morning sun
That shines down on my fertile valleys
And parches my barren desert.

I am the red poppy and yellow daffodil
That grow upon my bloodstained hills.
I am the battle cry of freedom
That echoes through my corridors
And every fiber of my being.

Palestinian am I.
I am the proud owner of
Orange orchards and lemon blossoms
And honey bees, wild and free.

I am the Palestinian
David child wielding a single stone
Against the Israeli Goliath.
I am not afraid,
For truth is with me and God is on my side.
If I die,
A choir of angels will honor me
And later, my parents will grasp my outstretched hand
And join me in Heaven.

I am the tears of
Mothers weeping for their dead sons.
I am the footsteps of ancient prophets
Who foretold of doom and destruction
To those who torture and oppress me.

My brethren are the doves, hummingbirds and seagulls
That fly unhindered above my sea.
I am Palestinian,
Therefore, I am.

No one can take my identity
Away from me,
Not tanks or guns or bombs
Meant to desecrate me and kill me.
My country lives in me.

I am the cry of liberty.
No matter what they take from me,
They can’t take away my identity
Or my dignity.
Palestinian am I.


- Written by: by E. Yaghi


River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

New weapons experimented in Gaza

New weapons experimented in Gaza:

population risks genetic mutations


Biopsies from 32 victims conducted at three universities: Rome (Italy), Chalmer (Sweden) and Beirut (Lebanon)

PRESS RELEASE

May 11th 2010

Toxic and carcinogenic metals, able to produce genetic mutations, have been found in the tissues of people wounded in Gaza during Israeli military operations of 2006 and 2009. The research has been carried out on biopsies from wounds provoked by weapons that do not leave fragments, a peculiarity of weapons utilized in Gaza that was pointed out repeatedly by doctors and that shows that weapons whose long term effects are still to be assessed were used.

The researchers compared the quantity in 32 elements present in the tissues through ICP/MS (a type of highly sensitive mass spectrometry). The job, carried out by laboratories in the Universities La Sapienza of Rome (Italy), Chalmer (Sweden) and Beirut (Lebanon), was coordinated by New Weapons Research Group (Nwrg), an independent committee of scientists and experts based in Italy, who is studying the use of unconventional weapons and their mid-term effects on the population of after-war areas.

The relevant presence of toxic and carcinogenic metals founds in the wound tissues points to direct risks for survivors, but also to the possibility of environmental contamination.

Biopsies of tissues were performed by doctors of Shifa hospital, in Gaza city, who selected and classified the type of wounds. Research was conducted on 16 tissue samples belonging to 13 victims. 4 biopsies were taken in june 2006, during operation “Summer Rains”, while the others were taken in the first week of january 2009, during operation “Cast Lead”. All tissues were appropriately preserved and then examined by each of the three universities.

Tissues belong to four types of wound: amputation (marked with “A” in the study), charred (C), burns (B), multiple piercing wounds by white phosphorus (M). The following elements were found in quantities well beyond normal:

* Alluminium, titanium, copper, strontium, barium, cobalt, mercury, vanadium, cesium and tin in samples of A and C wounds;
* Alluminium, titanium, copper, strontium, barium, cobalt and mercury in M wounds;
* Cobalt, mercury, cesium and tin in B wounds;
* Lead and uranium in all wound types;
* Barium, arsenic, manganese, rubidium, cadmium, chromium and zinc in all, but M, wounds;
* Nickel in A wounds.



Some of these elements are carcinogenic (mercury, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, nickel and uranium), others are potentially carcinogenic (cobalt and vanadium), others are also fetotoxic (alluminium, mercury, copper, barium, lead and manganese). The first ones can produce genetic mutations; the second ones can have the same effect on animals, but they are not proven to do the same on people; the third ones have toxic effects for people ad can affect either the embryo or the foetus in pregnant women. All metals found in amounts over the controls have pathogenic effects in human respiratory organs, kidney and skin and affect sexual and neurological development and functions

The combination of metals in each type of wound is referred to as a “metal signature”, illustrated in the following image:

Your browser may not support display of this image. Legend

Columns represent elements, rows represent wound type

Red cicles: very high amounts in all biopsies

Orange squares: very high amounts in some biopsies

Blue triangles: amounts similar to those found in normal derma

“Nobody – says professor Paola Manduca, spokesperson of the New Weapons Research Group, genetics teacher and researcher at the University of Genoa – had never conducted bioptic analysis on tissue samples from wounds. We concentrate the attention on wounds made by weapons that do not leave fragments, as these were pointed out several times by the doctors in Gaza, and because weapons which do not leave fragments were developed in recent years. We wanted to verify if metals were present which remained in the wound skin and derma. The use of metals in the weapons utilized in Gaza had been hypothesized, but never demonstrated before. To our surprise, beside finding the metal components of amputating weapons, even the burns provoked by white phosporus contain high amount of metals. Moreover, the presence of these metals in the weapons implies that they have been dispersed in the environment, in unknown amounts and range.; they have been inhaled by the victim and by bystanders, thus constituting a risk for survivors and for people that were not directly hit by the bombing.”

This research was preceded by two other studies conducted by Nwrg. The former was published on December 17th 2009 and reported the presence of toxic metals in areas of craters provoked by the Israeli bombing on the Gaza Strip. The second was published on March 17th 2010 and reported the presence of toxic metals in hair samples of Palestinian children of Gaza Strip area hit by Israeli bombings. Both point to the presence of environmental contamination, aggravated by the living conditions on the ground and often in shelters exposed to wind and dust, due to the impossibility to rebuild housing imposed by the Israeli blockade to the entrance of needed building materials and tools.


Biopsies: wound types examples from which tissue samples have been taken

A B C M


PRESS CONTACTS

Fabio De Ponte

Tel. +39-347-9422957

Email: info@newweapons.org

Sito: www.newweapons.org

Heartbreaking Palestinian Girl

Mabrouk Wadi Rahhal

Posted on: May 15, 2010 |

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International Solidarity Movement
15 May 2010
Wadi Rahhal held its first demonstration Friday
Wadi Rahhal held its first demonstration Friday

Today, Friday 14th May, the small farming village of Wadi Rahhal, just south of Bethlehem, held its first demonstration against the theft of its lands by the massive Israeli colony/settlement of Efrat. In particular, the villagers were objecting to the planned encroachment of the apartheid wall to within 30 metres of the village school. Regular incursions by armed settlers and Israeli troops have not previously brought forth this kind of response from the village.

It is in this central region that the cancerous growth of settlements is most noticeable. Lands annexed to various settlements have come close to splitting the West Bank in two, making a future, contiguous Palestinian state an impossibility. The Wall, both built and planned, completely ignores the “Green Line”, the previously accepted eastern border of the Israeli state.

Today’s demonstration was organised by the National Committee of Wadi Rahhal and is intended to become a regular event. It was supported by villagers from nearby Beit Ummar, together with a small group of Israeli activists and Australian, Canadian and United States supporters from the International Solidarity Movement and the Palestine Solidarity project. A notable feature was the number of school children marching alongside their elders.

Non-violent demonstrators were met with heavily-armed Israeli solders
Non-violent demonstrators were met with heavily-armed Israeli solders

The well-organised group of 70 to 80 demonstrators marched to within metres of Efrat’s present boundary, where they were met by a heavily-armed squad of Israeli Occupation Force soldiers. Leaders of the protest spoke in Arabic and Hebrew, announcing the peaceful and non-violent nature of the demonstration and appealing to the troops not to initiate a violent response. An international activist, speaking on behalf of the ISM, PSP and Israeli supporters present, affirmed their solidarity with the Palestinian people, who have endured 43 years of military occupation and called for three cheers for a Free Palestine. The demonstrators then dispersed, with no casualties suffered, ending a successful, peaceful and non-violent demonstration.
* “Mabrouk” is an Arabic term, meaning “Congratulations”.
Updated on May 14, 2010

Posted under: Reports

Tags: , , ,

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

The Ongoing Erasure of Palestine

By Naseer Aruri
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Naseer Aruri's ZSpace

            While many still entertain the idea of two sovereign states, Palestine and Israel, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, history, politics, and geography have made this solution unattainable for certain people -- whatever rhetorical changes in American foreign policy may emerge from the Obama Administration.

 In fact, if the handling of the Goldstone report by Obama and his UN ambassador Susan Rice is an example, then the difference between Bush and Obama on Palestine/Israel is perhaps imaginary.

          The Zionist movement and the Israeli state are in the last stages of achieving effective sovereignty over all of historic Palestine. Jewish ownership of the entire land of Palestine has been the ideological sine qua non of the state and of its progenitor, Zionism, from the outset. This central goal has been consistently obfuscated by, among many other ploys, issues of "security"; eternal victimization, the Nazi Holocaust and demands of "recognition" both of the right of Israel to exist in general and specifically as a "Jewish State."

          The Israeli nomenclature, "Judaization" of the land, first entered general public discourse in 1976, during the massive land confiscations of the country's Palestinian citizens of the Galilee. We must acknowledge that we are witnessing the Judaization of what remains to Palestinians of historic Palestine (with the possible exception of the Gaza Strip).

          Failure to understand the process of Judaization, on the one hand, and the concomitant erasure of Palestinian WUJUD (existence), in all its forms, on the other hand, dooms all of us to continue granting Israel and its supporters the power to accomplish the process of negating Palestinian identity and nationhood. Israel continues to dispossess as many Palestinians as possible. Self-governance is a chimera. 'Legal' manipulations; confiscation; expulsion and brute force are the reality.

          It is my intention to avoid the old jargon and to underscore the reality we are facing, by: first, Examining and illuminating current Palestinian existence in historic Palestine; second, by candidly pursuing the historical process of the Judaization of the country; and, third, by exploring the roles available to people seeking justice for the Palestinian people.


          Therefore, we are not chasing headlines and trying to be "relevant"; real relevance must be reserved to the essence of Zionist aims and objectives no matter what Netanyahu chooses to say one day about the Palestinian state, or what Obama might say about Israel's construction of colonies. Almost six months ago, the new US president told Israel's leaders to put a freeze on building colonies. According to Ha'aretz, by the end of August (2009), the Obama administration agreed to Israel's request to remove East Jerusalem from negotiations on the "impending" settlement freeze. According to both Israeli officials and Western diplomats, U.S. envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell recognized the fact that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would not announce a settlement freeze in East Jerusalem. The officials said the U.S. would not endorse new construction there, but would not demand that Tel Aviv publicly announce a freeze.           The term freeze is not in the vocabulary of Netanyahu or that of his cabinet ministers; their program, whose cornerstone is colonial settlement and ethnic cleansing, precludes a territorial compromise. The land extending between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, they believe, has space for only one state -- Israel. Therefore, waiting for Obama to obtain Palestinians independence is an exercise in futility.

          This is indeed what we learn from reviewing contextual Zionist history before and after 1967. Israel's principal pursuits have been land, water, fertility, strategic locations, and the minimum number of native population in the interest of demographic "security." Again, a territorial compromise is not in the offing.

          Meanwhile, US policy will not be able to reconcile the pronounced ambitions of George Mitchell, seeking a negotiated settlement, and those of General Keith Dayton, who has been exacerbating the civil conflict between Hamas and Fateh and training Fateh militias as anti-resistance forces. The machinations of Elliot Abrams of the Iran Contra days have not been abandoned either with the change of personnel in the White House; General Dayton has seen to it that while Israel keeps expanding and the occupation becomes harsher and harsher, Palestinian resistance is being transformed into a quisling. The target of Dayton's and Mohammed Dahlan's militia is not the occupation; it is the resistance, and that is billed as law and order.

          With no inclinations towards a genuine peace settlement, Israel continues the land grab and the Palestinians continue to experience an ongoing Nakba. Some might prefer to call it a second Nakba. What was the first Nakba about after all? Was it not about Loss of land and water, ethnic cleansing, annexation and Judaization? This is exactly what is going on at present...a continuation of 1948. The colonization of Ras al-Amoud and Sheikh Jarrah which began in 2009 is not different from the colonization of Qatamoun, Jaffa Street, Talbiyeh and the rest of what became known as West Jerusalem after 1948.
During the last week of August 2009, Israeli authorities approved plans to build hundreds of settler units in the heart of Arab East Jerusalem. The planned new colonies in the heart of the densely populated Arab neighborhood of Ras Al-Amoud are bound to kill the possibility of East Jerusalem becoming the future capital of a prospective Palestinian state. Hence the relevance of 1948 and the need to study Israel's ongoing expansion in the context of al-Nakba. Nor has there been a serious improvement in the response of the self-appointed Palestinian leaders to this colonial settlement and ethnic cleansing. The present leadership's strategy is built on waiting for Washington to deliver independence and restrain Israeli territorial expansion. And yet, Israel continues to demand Arab normalization, which is worse than acquiescence and equal to collusion in a second Nakba.

          The two Palestinian meetings held in Bethlehem and Ramallah during the month of August 2009 were held under the watchful eyes of the occupation. Only Fateh members loyal to Mahmoud Abbas were allowed to enter the West Bank and participate in the election of delegates to the Fateh Revolutionary Council and Central Committee. Likewise, only loyalists were allowed to attend the hurriedly assembled Palestine National Council meeting in Ramallah held to fill vacancies with Abbas loyalists.

          With the two top Palestinian bodies secured under Abbas, with the implicit agreement of Netanyahu and Dayton, the transformation of the resistance is complete, and the second Nakba goes on. Today, not unlike 1948, Palestinian leadership is bungling; US imperialism and hegemony are on the rise. Israel is governed by Iron Wall adherents, and thus unrestrained. The Arab states, which were inept in 1948, are now down-right complicit. Egypt and Jordan not only enforce the Israeli siege on Gaza civilians, but they also provide training camps to the Fateh quislings, in order to enable them to do the job of the Israeli army, and camouflage the occupation. Palestinian cities in the Oslo-designated "A" areas convey a façade of normalcy under Dayton's military engineering, under Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's bureaucratic "reforms," and under Netanyahu's economic "peace."


          It is becoming increasingly clear that the long diplomatic paralysis and the impediments to a peaceful solution capable of yielding two independent and contiguous states, living side by side in the Middle East, are embedded in the "peace process" whose gridlock reveals no shortage of resolve, and in the Zionist consensus that pre-1948 Palestine from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea is a single state under exclusive Israeli sovereignty. As long as the termination of the Israeli occupation is not on the active Israeli agenda, and as long as the political forces in Israel are united in their rejection of a contiguous, viable and practicable Palestinian state, living side by side in peace with Israel, the longest occupation in history will continue unabated. Peace, therefore, will not be at hand as long as this ailing peace process fails to incorporate the essentials of the Palestine question: the 1948 Nakba is not recognized for what it is -- a form of ethnic cleansing, a colonial enterprise which covets the land without the people. Peace has also remained elusive as long as the 1967 occupation continues to be entrenched as a form of what the late Israeli sociologist Baruch Kimmerling called politicide (political genocide) in a book under that title. He defined it as "a "process that has as its ultimate goal the dissolution of the Palestinian people's existence as a legitimate national, social, and economic entity, which may also include partial or total ethnic cleansing."
          Politicide, which complements erasure, is a process that covers a wide range of social, political, military and bureaucratic activities whose goal is to destroy the political and national existence of a whole community of people, and thus deny it the possibility of self-determination. This is what Israel has been doing to the Palestinian people, persistently between 1948 and the present -- destroying the very fabric of the Palestinian nation and obliterating the Palestinian WUJOUD. Gary Zatzman uncovered a key difference between apartheid and Zionism in Dissident Voice (2005):


"For all its serious and undoubted evils and the numerous crimes against humanity committed in its name, including physical slaughters, South African white-racist apartheid was not premised on committing genocide. Zionism, on the other hand, has been committed to dissolving the social, cultural, political and economic integrity of the Palestinian people, i.e., genocide, from the outset, at least as early as Theodore Herzl's injunction in his diaries that the 'transfer' of the Palestinian 'penniless population' elsewhere be conducted 'discreetly and circumspectly.'"

The process is still ongoing, having included the invasions of 1967, 1976, 1982, 2002 (massacre of Jenin), 2006, and now the recent Gaza Massacre (2008/09). Over the three-week period, it was estimated that a million and a half tons of explosives were dropped on the Gaza Strip, home to 1.5 million people, making it the most densely crowded area in the world, where it is difficult to distinguish civilians from fighters.
 
          In the 22 days of relentless assault, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) put the Palestinian death toll at a total of 1,417 of which 926 were civilians, including 313 children and 116 women. Non-combatant police officers constituted 255, and 236 combatants were killed, representing 16.7% of the total deaths. The number of civilian fatalities included sixteen medics and four journalists. The number of wounded was approximately 5,500, of which two-thirds were civilians. Numerous schools, mosques, hospitals, residential and commercial buildings, and United Nations facilities were obliterated.

          In a major 49-page report on "Gaza's Unfinished Business," published on 23 April, 2009, the International Crisis Group warned that Gaza could once again reach the boiling point. Gaza, it says, is an explosion waiting to happen. It lists the toll from Israel's callous 22-day battering in December-January, 2009 as 1,430 Gazans killed, over 5,300 wounded, 90,000 made homeless, Gaza's seven main textile factories damaged and closed down, 22 of the 29 concrete factories devastated, whole industrial zones flattened, and 60 per cent of agricultural land near the border with Israel harmed, leading to a virtual halt of agribusiness.

          Israel's deliberately disproportionate response to Hamas' home-made rockets must be seen as an attempt to destroy the Palestinians' will to fight. If that was indeed the aim, it has not succeeded, but nor is Palestinian statehood any closer. What happened in Gaza in 2008/09 is nothing short of another Nakba. This time, however, it was granted a license from the biggest super power.

          The United States has long opposed a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, consistent with the global consensus: total withdrawal to the 1967 borders, the establishment of a sovereign, contiguous, Palestinian state, endorsement of a non-rhetorical two-state solution, and the annulment of the annexation of Arab East Jerusalem. On the contrary, neither any Israeli government since 1967, nor any American Administration has ever pondered the issue of total withdrawal seriously or met the requisites of the global consensus.
          "A culture of impunity in the region has existed for too long," Goldstone told the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) when presenting his report. "The lack of accountability for war crimes and possible war crimes against humanity has reached a crisis point," he added. The Obama administration, the US media, and both leaderships of Congress are part of the problem; therefore, America has not been and will not be part of the solution.


 
Naseer Aruri is Chancellor Professor (Emeritus) University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He is the author of Dishonest Broker published by South End Press, Cambridge, MA.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

A4P: We are back on Line

AUSTRALIANS FOR PALESTINE WEBSITE
May 15, 2010



EDITOR’S NOTE: It has taken one week to get back online after our website was hacked and brought down.  We lost 24 hours of postings prior to the hacking of 7 May 2010 on top of the week in which we were unable to post any updates. We will endeavour to post articles and news released over that time, but our priority is to get the latest information up.  Unfortunately, we are likely to have lost a lot of visitors, so we hope that you will spread the news and let everyone know that we are continuing as robustly as before.

Our thanks go to all our supporters who have written in to tell us just how valuable they find the information provided in our “one-stop-shop” on Palestine.  We literally received hundreds of emails from around the world which means we must be doing something right.  Thanks also to bloggers and other websites that kept telling their followers about the status of our website.
We have been told that this is likely to happen again, but as virulent as the attacks might be, we are making sure that it will become harder and harder for them to succeed.  

One thing is certain, truth will not be silenced, and with or without our website, the myths and lies of the Zionist narrative will continue to be exposed by more and more people wanting to bring justice to the Palestinians. 

It is appropriate that our return to providing a voice for Palestine should coincide with the worldwide remembrances of the Nakba, the very real human catastrophe that happened 62 years ago and which is every bit as real today as it was then.

To all supporters of Israel who wish for an end to the Palestinian memory, we say that will never ever happen.  Hack us, attack us, close us down, you will not succeed.  

Always someone somewhere is keeping the Palestinian memory alive and none more fervently and steadfastly than the 9 million Palestinians in and around Israel.  To them we pay eternal tribute for what they are enduring under the yoke of Israel’s policies  – occupation, apartheid, siege, dispossession, displacement, ethnic cleansing.  

We will not give up the struggle.  Viva Palestina!

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

62 Years, 62 Messages: We have A Home and it’s Called Palestine

Contibuted by Michael at respect




Reham Alhelsi avoicefrompalestine, May 14, 2010
http://avoicefrompalestine.wordpress.com/2010/05/14/62-years-62-messages-we-have-a-home-and-it%E2%80%99s-called%C2%A0palestine/

Message 1: While playing one day, I found a beautiful wooden box stacked back in the cupboard. It was well-hidden and surrounded by several sheets as if to protect it from theft or damage. I quietly and carefully opened the box. Inside was only one item: an old iron key. I ran to my grandmother and asked her about the key. She held it close to her heart, looked at it for a while before holding my hand and placing the key in my palm. She had tears in her eyes when she looked me in the eyes and said: this is the key to our home, the home to which we shall return one day. Never lose it, never give up your right to your home and never forget that you have no other home.

Message 2: I am from the old city of Jerusalem. I was born in a beautiful old house that was built by my ancestors. Generations of our family lived in this house. I got married and started my own family. I still live in the same old house with my own little family, my parents, my siblings and their families. We are not allowed to add rooms, enlarge the house or renovate it, while Zionist colonists come from all over the world and occupy our homes. We are squeezed in our homes like sardines, while Zionists are allowed to build mansions on the ruins of Palestinians homes. They think when we are stacked like this in a small place that we will pack and leave and let Zionist colonists occupy our home. We will continue to live in this small old house, and our children and their children and grandchildren will grow up here. We won’t be forced out of our house for we have no other home.

Message 3: my mother married a Palestinian refugee living in Jordan and she moved to live there. After 1967 she wasn’t allowed into Palestine anymore. She wasn’t allowed to see her parents and siblings any more. Her parents died without having the chance to say goodbye to her. She died without having the chance to say goodbye to Palestine. She died dreaming of Palestine and hoping of the return to her home. I promised her to return to her home, my home, one day and I will keep that promise.

Message 4: I am a Palestinian from Gaza. I can’t visit Jerusalem and pray in Al-Aqsa. I was never in Akka, Haifa or Yafa. I can’t visit Bethlehem, Nablus or Ramallah. I am a Palestinian from Gaza. The Zionists occupy my homeland, desecrate my holy sites, and besiege me in my home. They are slowly killing me and my children, but we won’t surrender for this is our home and they are the aggressors.

Message 5: We used to wake up to the singing of the birds, watch the sun as it rises and as it sets, take a walk in the nearby fields. Today, we are surrounded by a Zionist wall. The birds don’t sing anymore because the fields were destroyed and the trees uprooted and the bird nests stepped on. The sun sets and rises behind the wall without saying good morning or goodbye. They can hide the sun, kill the trees, expel the birds, but they won’t kill us or expel us. We are steadfast here, on our land, in our homes.

Message 6: we never needed anything. We worked the land and it rewarded us. We were happy and content. We were rich with our land. During the Nakba, the Zionists attacked our villages, killed many of us, expelled the rest and destroyed our homes. They made refugees out of us. Today we have to wait for food rations from the UNRWA. We still dream of working our lands and the homes that wait for us to rebuild them.

Message 7: They demolished our home. They said we have 10 minutes to remove our belongings. I searched for my toys, my painting book and my feast dress. When the bulldozers started demolishing our home, my father cried. My father never cries. They said our home was built illegally. What about the houses with the red-brick that are built on our lands for Americans and Germans? Everyone in the news says they are illegal, so why aren’t they being demolished? Why do they only demolish our homes? These people in the red-brick houses can go back to USA and Germany, but we have only one place: our home Palestine.

Message 8: Every stone stands witness to the owners of the land. Every olive tree stands witness to the owners of the land. Every hill, every valley, every street and every alley stand witness to the owners of the land belongs. The land of Palestine belongs to us; the Palestinians.

Message 9: Every day I have to wait hours at the checkpoint on my way to work and back. Every day I watch how Zionist soldiers abuse and humiliate Palestinian women, children and elderly. Every day I stand in line at the checkpoint and wonder if one of the Zionist soldiers will again shoot and kill one of us for no reason. Every day I stand at the checkpoint, watch those Zionist soldiers with their machine guns and hand grenades and I think: You can’t hold us hostages forever, one day you will go back to the countries you came from because it is you who have no place here and you can’t imprison a whole nation hungry for freedom.

Message 10: my father’s last wish was to be buried in his village which was ethnically cleansed in 1948. He died saying: Take me back to my home, take me back to my home.

Message 11: one morning in 1967 Zionist soldiers entered our village Imwas. They surrounded the houses and ordered everyone out. They threatened that they will kill anyone who doesn’t leave or anyone who tries to come back. Then their bulldozers started demolishing our houses, one house after the other. Some people refused to leave and were buried under the rubble of their demolished homes. They did the same to the villages of Yalou and Beit Nouba. We walked for days, with nothing to eat or drink. We walked for days with only pain in our hearts for we have been expelled from our homes. Years later, the Zionists established a recreational park on where the 3 Palestinian villages once stood. We never forgot Imwas. We think, dream, plan and live only for the day when we return back to Imwas and rebuild our homes because this is the only home we have.

Message 12: The Israeli occupation army raided our home in search of children who threw little stones at tanks. We told them there was only us women in the house. They beat my grandmother, mother, my sisters and me. Then they turned the house upside down, threw the flour and the rice and the sugar on the ground, broke the doors and the cupboards and before leaving they threw a gas bomb in our living room. And you still wonder why we resist them with all the means we have?

Message 13: I was born in occupied Palestine. I was born in a refugee camp in the West Bank. The UN, Israel, US, EU, the Arabs and the so-called PA tried for decades to convince me that this is the only home I will ever have. This refugee camp is not my home. I have a home. It is called Jrash, Deir Aban, Beit I’tab, Allar, Al-Malha. I have a home and I will return to it one day because it is the only home I will ever have.

Message 14: my husband has a Bethlehem ID. Our children and I have a Jerusalem ID. My husband isn’t allowed into Jerusalem anymore. The Zionist entity that claims to be a "democracy" divides Palestinian parents from their children. It is either I lose my right to live in my city Jerusalem or I lose my family. My husband and I decided that we would rather suffer the separation than let them expel us from Jerusalem. Now, the family is divided but we have a home in Jerusalem so our children can grow up in their city and one day the family will be reunited in Jerusalem, in the only home we will ever have.

Message 15: We live in Tel Rumeida. Zionist colonists from the US and other places occupy the homes of many Palestinians here and only few of us are still steadfast. We are harassed by the Zionist colonists and the Israeli occupation soldiers day and night. Our children are often attacked by the Zionists on their way to school. My daughter was attacked and her arm was broken and the Israeli soldiers watched and as usual did nothing. My daughter often comes at night and asks if she can sleep in our room because she is afraid that the colonists will come after her again. One day I asked her if she is afraid, she said: yes. I asked her if she wished we lived somewhere else, she answered: No, this is our home.

Message 16: My village is worth the whole world to me. Every stone in it is more valuable than diamonds. I wouldn’t exchange my home for the wealth of the world and I wouldn’t exchange my land for paradise because my land is my paradise.

Message 17: they built a park where my village once stood. Zionists play with their kids where once our cemetery stood and where my grandparents are buried. They make barbeque parties where once my home stood, where I was born. This is my home and it is my legitimate right to return to my home.

Message 18: I am one of the 80,000 Palestinians expelled from West Jerusalem and its villages in 1948. Our land and property was confiscated by the Zionist entity and given to Zionists who have no roots in Jerusalem. I live in a refugee camp and my village is a couple of hours ride away from where I live now, but I am not allowed to enter the Jerusalem area. I see pictures of my village on the internet, pictures taken by Israelis. I tell my children: this is your home, never forget this and never forget that one day we shall return.
Message 19: my little boy and his friends were stopped at an Israeli military checkpoint and were beaten by the soldiers. At night, he wets his bed and wakes up crying. He is afraid to go to school alone because he fears the soldiers at the checkpoint might beaten him again, so I have to accompany him to school and bring him back home every day. One day, the soldiers were harassing a group of pupils. I stepped forward to help the pupils. One Zionist soldier shouted: one day we will throw you all out of "Erez Israel"! My little boy shouted back at the soldier: this is our land and we won’t leave!

Message 20: On TV I saw an Israeli claim to be a peace activist. When asked where she lives, she answered: in Maale Adumim. She didn’t say in the illegal colony built on land stolen from Palestinians. To the Zionists I say: You want peace, then give me back my land and let my people return home.

Message 21: Right of Return, Right of Return, Right of Return, Right of Return, Right of Return, Right of Return, Right of Return, Right of Return, Right of Return, Right of Return, Right of Return, Right of Return.

Message 22: it was harvest time and the whole family was working in our olive fields. Zionist colonists came and demanded we leave, when we refused they started beating us with clubs. Israeli occupation soldiers came, stood watching until the colonists finished beating us, then they took our names and ID numbers and told us to come to the military camp the next day. We were accused of harassing the Zionist colonists while the colonists were escorted by the IOF to our fields to steal our harvest. They think they can frighten us into leaving this land, but we won’t leave because this land is our land.

Message 23: We were expelled from our home in Palestine during the Nakba. We lived first in Lebanon, then Syria, then for many years in Kuwait before being forced out of there. Now we live in Jordan. We don’t want to be Lebanese, or Syrian, or Kuwaiti or Jordanian. We have a nationality; we are Palestinians. We have a homeland; Palestine. We have a beautiful home in a small village and it is waiting for us to return to it.

Message 24: I am from a village to the east of occupied Jerusalem. The village is now divided by the wall into two. My house and the houses of my 3 brothers are now behind the wall. We were told that we will lose our residency right in Jerusalem so we all moved to our father’s house on the other side of the wall. Now 5 families share a small home. If we live or build in our land on the other side of the wall we lose our right to live in Jerusalem, but Zionists colonists from around the world are allowed to live wherever they want in occupied Palestine and can build on the land they stole from us. We will live in the family house in Jerusalem and will keep building on the land on the other side of the wall. This land on both sides of the wall is ours and will always be.

Message 25: I am from Rafah. The Israeli occupation army entered our neighborhood, killed tens of residents, demolished around 200 people and destroyed our fields. They claim they want peace. Is this how peace is done? No, this is Zionism: terror, land theft, racism, occupation and oppression. There will never be peace except when Zionism is defeated and all Palestinian refugees return to their homes.
Message 26: We searched in vain for an apartment in Yafa. We were told by a Zionist coming from Europe that we are not welcome in our city. My parents, grandparents and many generations of my family were born in Yafa, helped build the city and are buried in it. Today, I am told I am not welcome there by Germans, Russians and Americans occupying my city. I will live in a tent in Yafa, but you won’t force me out of my city, my only home.

Message 27: every Friday we protest the Israeli occupation and the Israeli wall that is eating our land. Palestinians, Israelis and internationals stand together against the occupation, against oppression and against apartheid. We are unarmed but the Israeli soldiers shoot live ammunition at us, throw gas and sound bombs. Several unarmed protests were killed by the IOF, but this won’t stop us. We will continue protesting the occupation until Palestine is free.

Message 28: Our grandparents and parents used to sing love songs in weddings when they were in Palestine. Today we sing about resistance and the struggle to free our homeland and to return to our villages.

Message 29: I am from Tabariya (Tiberias). I live in a refugee camp in Lebanon. Today, I learned a new song at the Kindergarten: My homeland is very beautiful…. my homeland is very beautiful … my homeland is called Palestine.

Message 30: The Israeli occupation army invaded our refugee camp. Israeli tanks and helicopters bombed our homes. Armored bulldozers were also used to demolish more houses to make way for the soldiers invading the refugee camp. Some houses were demolished over the heads of their residents. Many were killed or injured. They claimed we were the "terrorists". We are refugees forced to live in a refugee camp because we were expelled from our homes by these terrorists who invade us again and again and want us to disappear. Your tanks and helicopters don’t frighten us. Today we are steadfast in these refugee camps, tomorrow we will return to our villages and rebuild them.

Message 31: they claim we left "of our free will". What person leaves paradise freely? What person chooses to live as a refugee? What person chooses a life of displacement over the life in a homeland? We were expelled from our homes while the world watched and we continue to live as refugees while Zionists who have no roots in Palestine occupy our homes and lands. Palestine is our homeland and we shall return!

Message 32: as children we used to accompany my parents to the olive fields. My father, his father and his grandfather before him had each planted a new olive field. We used to spend weeks harvesting the trees. It was hard work but it was worthy. We loved our olive trees and they loved us in return. We cared for our olive trees and they provided us with a living. Then one day, armed Israeli soldiers came, surrounded our fields with barbed wires and left a plate saying that the land is a "closed area", no entrance allowed. The land has been confiscated to build more illegal colonies for Zionists coming from Russia, Europe and Mars. A couple of days later, we see a huge black cloud coming from the direction of the fields. We rush to see what has happened. It is too late, our beloved olive trees have been burned to ashes. They have been massacred, left to die a slow and a painful death like those who plant them and hold them sacred. We will continue planting olive trees, one row after the other, one field after the other. And one day, we will replant the fields they stole, we will replant the land they burnt, we will replant the land they destroyed. We will heal your wounds, Palestine.

Message 33: My family was expelled from Acca in 1948. We lived first in Syria then moved to the Gulf. I live and work there now. One of my European colleagues was recently in occupied Palestine. When he showed me the pictures he took in Acca I wanted to cry like a child and I wanted to shout out at the injustice of this world. Acca is my home and I will never give up my right to return to my home.

Message 34: we were awakened in the middle of the night by loud speakers. They ordered us to leave our homes, said anyone who doesn’t obey will regret it. Outside, we saw buses surrounded by Israeli occupation soldiers waiting to take us to the Allenby bridge. We didn’t want to go, but they started threatening and pushing us. Many were still in their sleeping attire, many had no shoes on, the children were crying. When the buses reached the bride, Israeli army airplanes bombarded it. They didn’t only want to expel us, they wanted to massacre us so none of us or our children would demand to return home. We will never give up our Right to Return to our homes and neither will our children.

Message 35: I am from the old city of Hebron. The Israeli occupation army expelled us from our homes and gave them to the fanatic Zionist colonists from the US. I want my home back and won’t stop fighting the occupation until I free my home from the colonists.

Message 36: fanatic Zionists planned to invade Al-Aqsa and conduct rituals in it. We all rushed to protect our holy sites. The Israeli army came in the thousands to protect the armed colonists and both started shooting at us. Many Palestinians were killed, hundreds were injured and others detained. Not one single fanatic colonist was detained. They repeat their invasions every couple of months, and every time we rush to protect Al-Aqsa. They attack our holy sites, desecrate them, say openly they want to destroy them and the whole world is silent. The world is coward, but we are not and will continue to defend our holy sites and our homeland with our bodies.

Message 37: They keep saying in the news that the residents of "Sderot" are under attack. Why don’t they mention that "Sderot" is a Zionist colony built on the ruins of the Palestinian village Najd? Why don’t they mention that Najd was ethnically cleansed and completely defaced by Zionist terrorists? Why don’t they mention that the land on which "Sderot" stands is Palestinian land occupied by Zionist colonists? Why don’t they mention that the land on which "Sderot" stands belongs to Palestinians who were made refugees, many of whom live in Gaza? Why don’t they mention that the refugees who were expelled from their homes insist on returning to these homes?

Message 38: the Israeli army besieged Bethlehem; the city of Jesus and the Nativity Church: the birthplace of Jesus. Israeli snipers shot at the people taking refugee inside, killing some, injuring some and damaging the church. The "western" world watched and said nothing. We, the people of Bethlehem, both Muslims and Christians, didn’t watch silently while the Zionists tried destroying the city of Jesus, we defended it and will continue to defend the city of Jesus from the Zionist aggressors.

Message 39: my cousin was on his way to visit friends. He was holding a cola can while waiting in the line at the checkpoint. When it was his turn, the soldiers didn’t ask any question, they just shot him several times. When ambulances came, the soldiers refused to let them save the boy. He bled to death. Later that day, the Israeli occupation army, that is equipped with the best observation equipment, claimed they thought the cola can was a bomb. You might believe a lie if it is told once, but not when it is repeated and told every time a Palestinian is murdered in cold blood at Israeli military checkpoints. To the Zionists I say: For every Palestinian you kill, hundred are born, and with every generation our return gets nearer.

Message 40: We had olive fields and they were our living and sustenance. The Zionists confiscated our land to build a road for the Zionist colony nearby. It is our land but we are no longer allowed to work it or even walk on it. This is our land, our home, our life.

Message 41: I am a Palestinian from Sawahreh. I was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Jerusalem but today the wall separates me from my city. My village was divided by the Zionists, one part inside the wall and the other outside it. Our cemetery lies inside the wall. When someone dies, we have to apply for a permit for the dead so they can be buried. Sometimes, they only allow a couple of relatives to accompany the dead, sometimes they refuse so the body has to be handed over at the checkpoint. They can build walls, erect checkpoints everywhere but they will never be able to remove Jerusalem from our hearts and minds. We will remain steadfast here till the day when we destroy the wall and remove the checkpoints. This is destiny because this is our land, this is our home.

Message 42: We will never forget the names of those who sell out our rights and our blood. We will never forget the names of those who sell out our Right of Return, nor will we ever forgive them. It is our right, not theirs to do with as they please. If they don’t mind selling the homes of their ancestors in Yafa, Haifa or Jerusalem in return for a villa, a Mercedes and a fake throne in Ramallah, then they better remember that millions and millions of Palestinians around the world won’t ever give up their Right to their homes in Palestine, not even for a piece in paradise.

Message 43: despite the occupation, despite the attacks on school, despite the checkpoints, I go to school every day. I want to become an architect and rebuild all the houses the Zionists demolished. I want to rebuild the homes of the refugees when they return to their villages and towns.

Message 44: my wife was in labor. We were on our way to the hospital when we were stopped at an Israeli military checkpoint. The soldiers saw that my wife was in great pain, nevertheless they refused to let us pass. I told them her condition is critical, that she or the baby or both might die if we don’t reach a hospital quickly. But the soldiers pointed their guns at me and said to turn back. On the way back home my wife and our unborn baby died. They come from Europe, the US and Russia and hold us prisoners in our own homeland. But no matter what they do, we won’t leave because this is where our families and our roots are. This is our past, present and future.

Message 45: In the media we always hear about the Israelis suffering from "terror", but we hear nothing about our suffering and what the Israelis do to us. Like every nation, it is our legitimate right to defend ourselves from occupiers and to fight for our freedom. Israel ethnically cleansed our homeland and occupied it, it destroyed over 500 Palestinian villages, confiscates land, destroys homes and hold us hostages in ghettos and besieges us. They attack us while on our way to work, to school, while playing and while sleeping in our homes, and they are the victims? Would you please explain to me why the world that keeps talking about human rights and easing human suffering ignores our rights and our suffering? We are not the occupiers nor are we the oppressors. We are the Palestinians who were expelled from their homeland by Zionist terrorists and all we want is to return to our homes, rebuild our villages and towns in Palestine.

Message 46: I am from Palestine. The Zionists want to force me out of my home so they give my home and my land to Zionist colonists from Russia and Australia. But no massacres, no siege, no Markava and no F-16 will force me out. I am a Palestinian and this is my home. When you kill me my blood will water this land, my spirit will guard it and my body will become an olive tree clinging to the land, steadfast and forever an undividable.

Message 47: We woke up in the middle of the night to the sounds of shouting and shooting. Hundreds of Zionist colonists have attacked our village. They were shooting at the houses, burning the olive trees and the cars. My parents and older siblings told us kids to stay inside the house and they went out to defend our house. I looked through the window and saw thousands of our people, from our village and other villages come and stand up to the colonists and defend our village armed only with the stones against the machine guns of the Zionists. We don’t have your guns, nor your tanks nor your F-16s, but we have Palestine in our hearts and we have a just cause to fight for. We are stronger and the victory is ours.

Message 48: in 1948, fully armed Zionist terrorists came and told us to leave or else. How could they imagine that we would leave our Jerusalem? They came back and started shooting at whoever was still around. Our children started crying. We started crying. We feared for them, feared for our lives. No one was there to protect us. And so we were forced out of Jerusalem. We walked and walked. And we finally settled in the eastern part of Jerusalem. We made a home while still dreaming of our home in the western part of the city. We continued to live, but only for the day we return to our original home. We raised our children and told them of that home. Decades later, Zionist colonists coming from the US knocked on our door and demanded we leave, claiming the house is theirs. Their papers proved to be forgeries, but we were forced out of our home a second time. Now we live in a tent. We would rather die in Jerusalem than be expelled from it because it is the only home we have.

Message 49: at school we have to learn about the Nakba as the "Independence" day. We have to read how killing our people and ethnically cleansing our homeland is a cause for celebration. We have to carry the ID of an entity that denies us our rights and gives our land to colonists from Europe and Russia. They think we forgot who we are and what we are. We never did and never will: We are Palestinians and will continue fighting for our rights and for our lands.

Message 50: My father built a simple low stone wall around our land to protect it from Zionist colonists. The Israeli soldiers came the next day and destroyed the wall with their bulldozers. They build walls on our land, they imprison Palestinian villages, towns and refugees camps within walls and they divide Palestinian villages with walls and separate residents from their lands. We will protect our lands with our bodies, our bodies will be the walls surrounding our lands and protecting them, because there is nothing more precious than the land and this land is our home.

Message 51: I am from Safad. I live in a refugee camp, but only temporarily. The so-called PA doesn’t represent me and doesn’t have the right to speak in my name or decide on my behalf. Only those fighting for my Right to Return to my home represent me.

Message 52: during summer we often have no running water and we have to buy water from tanks for very high prices. The illegal Zionist colony nearby has swimming pools and a park that is watered every day. They drink, fill their pools and water the parks with our water. They build their colonies and parks on land that doesn’t belong to them. We are thirsty and our land is thirsty because the Zionist colonists steal our water. Our land is slowly dying, the Zionists are killing it. But we will water our land with our blood, will fight till we liberate it because our cause is a just cause and injustice never lasts.

Message 53: the Zionists terror gangs that bombarded our village, killed our families and expelled us from our homes in 1948 are the same terrorists who are today destroying Jerusalem, besieging Gaza and colonizing Palestine. These terrorists are now known as the "Israeli army". Injustice can never last, and one day these terrorists will be prosecuted for war crimes and one day we shall all return to our Palestine.
Message 54: I am from At-Taybeh. The Zionists want to expel us from Palestine. They confiscate our lands, deny us permits to build and demolish our houses. They claim they are a "democracy" while denying us our rights. We will remain steadfast on this land because it is ours and no Zionist from Europe can change that fact.

Message 55: the Israeli wall built to confiscate more Palestinian land separates us from our fields. We have to apply for a "permit" to be allowed in. Sometimes we have to wait for hours at the gates and sometimes we are sent back home by the IOF. They don’t allow us to enter our fields to work them, but they allow Zionist colonists to destroy Palestinian fields, uproot and burn Palestinian trees. We will go every day and wait at the gates and work the land because it is our land and the land of our ancestors and we promised them to pass it on to our children.

Message 56: my son was 20 years old when he needed urgent medical treatment. He died a slow and painful death because the Zionists who occupy our land and besiege us refused to let him out of Gaza. They claim they "left" Gaza, but they continue to besiege us, invade our neighborhoods and bombard our homes every day. They have turned Gaza into a concentration camp and they continue to lie and claim they "left" Gaza. One day, Gaza and all of Palestine will be free and I will pick poppies from Jerusalem, from Haifa and Bisan and place them on my son’s grave.

Message 57: The Israeli occupation army raided our house in the middle of the night. They beat me before handcuffing me and kidnapping me from my house for no reason. I was detained administratively for a couple of years. I was locked up behind bars without charge or a trial. They think when they detain all Palestinians that we will give up, that we will accept the occupation and wait our death in silence. Let me tell you; we will continue the fight to liberate Palestine, we will remain steadfast in Palestine. This is our home.

Message 58: The Zionists from the nearby colony come every now and then and cause havoc in our area. They drive through our village with loud sirens, they burn our fruit fields, they uproot our olive trees and they steal our land. And when we try to stop them and protect our land and homes and families, we are shot at and we are arrested for "attacking the settlers". All we are doing is defending our land, our home from the occupiers.

Message 59: the Zionists claim their entity is tolerant. They claim they respect all religions. I am a Palestinian Christian but I am not allowed to go and pray in Jerusalem. My neighbor is a Palestinian Muslim and he isn’t allowed to go and pray in Jerusalem. The Zionists have closed the city that had always been open to everyone and they claim they are tolerant. They have been ethnically cleansing the city of its original inhabitants since the Nakba and have made its western part Palestinian-free zone and are working on doing the same with the eastern part. The Zionists who claim tolerance are "Judaizing" the Jerusalem, and in the process, they are obliterating its features, defacing it with illegal colonies and are destroying it. Whatever they do, they will never be able to take us out of Jerusalem or take Jerusalem from us, because Jerusalem has and will always be the heart, the soul and the home of every Palestinian.

Message 60: I am a Palestinian from Palestine. My homeland gave me my name. You American, German, Russian, French, English, Canadian, Australian and Ethiopian Zionists have a home in the US, Germany, Russia, France, England, Canada, Australia and Ethiopia so go back to it, for you have no right to my homeland, nor to my land nor to my home. Injustice never lasts.

Message 61: We have only one home. Our home is called Palestine. Palestine extends from the River to the Sea and from Ras In-Naqoura to Im Ir-Rishrash.

Message 62: No Peace without Justice and no Justice without the Right to Return. The Right to Return is Inalienable.

 

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian