Adonis Diaries

Archive for the ‘cities/geography’ Category

Obsessed with Time? Applicable to every Palestinian living under Israel occupation

Ramallah, occupied West Bank – Palestinian author Raja Shehadeh has used his pen to delicately trace the contours of Palestinian history and landscapes, bringing readers into the harsh and complicated realities that shape daily life in the West Bank, where some two and a half million Palestinians have remained under an Israeli military occupation for more than half a century.

Jaclynn Ashly, Nov. 20, 2018

Shehadeh, who also practices law, wrote his first book in 1982, titled The Third Way: A Journal of Life in the West Bank, which painted a nuanced portrait of life in the occupied territory and created the ideological foundation for his future books.

“[The book] started when I went to the United States for the first time,” the 67-year-old told me at his office in Ramallah city, where shelves of legal books and documents line the white walls.

“I met a close friend of mine, who, although he is Palestinian and follows things here, he really had no idea what life was like here,” he explained.

“When I returned [to the West Bank] I wrote him lengthy letters trying to explain how it is day to day. And it wasn’t a dramatic thing. It was little harassment and difficulties that people outside could not imagine happening at all.” (The daily frequency of these harassment is the main culprit of apartheid practices) 

“I realized there was a need for such writing, and I expanded it into a book,” he said.

The book consists of stories and journal entries written by Shehadeh. Its title is derived from a saying among inmates at the Treblinka extermination camp in Nazi occupied Poland during the Holocaust: “Faced with two alternatives, always choose the third.” (Not applicable for Palestinians in colonial Israel which has endured over 7 decades and worsening)

In Palestine, he uses this saying to explore the options Palestinians have under Israel’s occupation: to either face “exile or submissive capitulation” or “blind, consuming hate.”

The third way is sumud, or steadfastness, a word used by Palestinians to articulate the act of staying on the land, regardless of the difficulties in doing so, in order to resist Israel’s ultimate goal of expelling Palestinians from their lands.

Shehadeh has since written 10 books, his most popular being Palestinian Walks: Notes on a Vanishing Landscape, which explores his changing relationship with the landscape of the West Bank owing to Israel’s settler colonial project.

He has a new book set to be released next year, titled Going Home.

Although Shehadeh did not want to speak at length about the focus of the book, he said it explores aging and the changing perceptions of time as “you become closer to the end.”

“I’ve become rather obsessed with time,” Shehadeh said. “Maybe that’s why it bothered me so much that you showed up late.” He smiled and chuckled – the first sign of warmth he showed me since I had agitated him by arriving a half hour late. (I had used the wrong café as a reference point to his office.)

Shehadeh lives a simple life in Ramallah city, gardening, reading, listening to classical music and, of course, writing. Shehadeh has kept a sometimes daily — sometimes weekly – private journal for decades, allowing him to revisit old events, feelings and perspectives, transforming blank pages into literary works that have earned him international acclaim.

“I have a practice of always carrying around a small piece of paper or notebook and jotting things down,” Shehadeh told me. “It’s not a journal that I make myself write. I write when I need to in order to explain things to myself, or when I’m coming to terms with things.” (I take notes when I read books)

From law to literature

Shehadeh, one of the founders of the Palestinian human rights group al-Haq, had always wanted to be a writer. However, after the publication of his first book, “I realized there was a lot of work to be done in the legal aspects and the human aspects [in the occupied West Bank],” he said.

He instead dedicated most of his time to challenging Israel’s occupation and human rights violations through international legal frameworks.

“The biggest asset for Palestinians is the law,” Shehadeh told Mondoweiss. “Because the law is on our side. To some extent [at the time] there was more interest and shame among the international community regarding international law.”

(There are 2 parallel law codes in Israel)

Shehadeh served as the legal adviser for Palestinians during the Madrid peace negotiations in 1991, but left over disagreements with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)’s focus and priorities, which the writer said valued political expediency and the return of exiled leaders over issues facing Palestinians on the ground.

“The PLO agreed to terms that, from the beginning, I thought were too restrictive,” Shehadeh said. “It would have taken great effort to bring in issues that are so relevant to us [Palestinians] here, such as [Israeli] settlements and the land.”

He sipped from a cup of coffee an assistant had brought, and then went on: “It was only about creating a self-government for Palestinians. In my mind, [the negotiations] were leading to Israel unilaterally confirming and consolidating what was already happening. I decided it was futile and left.”

Years later, the Oslo agreements were signed in secret between the PLO and the Israeli government, dramatically altering life in the occupied Palestinian territory.

The agreements broke up the land in the occupied West Bank into Areas A, B, and C, leaving more than 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli military control, while the newly established Palestinian Authority (PA) was permitted to govern just 18 percent of the land.

“I was very disappointed [after Oslo],” Shehadeh said calmly, his hands clasped together and resting on his knee. “It made a difference in my whole life, because until then I was giving up everything I could to the legal aspect of the struggle.”

“My life really changed. I felt that my work had amounted to very little in terms of political effectiveness […]

Since Oslo, the Palestinian leadership has been excusing its failures and holding onto this deal, which they are bound to hold onto because they have no power to get out of it. And it has been downhill ever since.”

It was Shehadeh’s frustrations with Oslo that spurred him to leave al-Haq and direct his energy towards writing.

‘My father would feel very disappointed’

While Shehadeh always wrote on the side, even as he did legal work documenting Israel’s violations in the Palestinian territory, the first book he was able to dedicate a significant amount of time to was Strangers in the House: Coming of Age in Occupied Palestine, which he wrote when he was in his late 30s.

The memoir explores Shehadeh’s complicated relationship with his father Aziz, an accomplished lawyer who was stabbed and left to bleed to death near his home in Ramallah in 1985.

Israeli authorities were accused of harboring political motives and not investigating the murder properly, and the case has since remained unsolved.

His father had, and continues to have, a profound influence on Shehadeh, and to this day the book was the most challenging for him to write, he tells Mondoweiss.

“Parents are extremely important and the perceptions and relationships change when one changes in time,” he said. “Whenever I tried to write something else, I would get back to that subject in my mind. So it was important and difficult to write.”

Since then, he has explored his relationship with his father in many of his books.

His father Aziz was one of the first Palestinians to promote a two-state solution and recognition of an Israeli state.

In 1953, his father won a case against Barclays bank that allowed Palestinian refugees to access their accounts after Israel had seized them in 1948, when Israel was established upon the expulsion of some 750,000 Palestinians from their lands.

“I think my father would feel very disappointed [by the current state of the Palestinian territory],” Shehadeh said, without hesitation. “He realized early on, before many others, that we have to make a peace deal with Israel.”

However, Aziz was unique in his ability to see the potential positives in making a peace deal, Shehadeh noted.

“His father thought that Israelis and Palestinians working together would bring about a much better people, for both of us,” the writer explained. “We complement each other and we can do great things together.”

Shehadeh says that he has also inherited parts of his father’s vision.

Like Shehadeh, Aziz understood the importance of Palestinians staying on the land. “My father would do everything possible to help Palestinians stay here. Every new person staying here was a gain.”

However, unlike his father, Shehadeh does not support a two-state or one-state solution to the decades-old conflict, noting that these discussions were “irrelevant.”

Instead, the writer says his “dream” is “one region,” reminiscent of a Greater Syria, and believes this will inevitably become the future. (So far, Israel is the existential enemy of the One Syrian people)

“It will come one day. But it’s a dream, just like the one-state solution is a dream,” he said. “It’s futile for us to dream now. I think we should focus on calling for the end of the occupation, and then we can find ways that we can live together. The question is how do we relate these two nations — Palestinians and Israelis together?”

The most pressing issue for Shehadeh is the right of return for Palestinian refugees — upheld by United Nations resolution 194 — who were expelled from their homes and lands during the Zionist takeover of historic Palestine in 1948.

“The right of return is a fundamental matter for Israel, because Israel bases its state mythology on the lack of a presence or existence of a Palestinian nation,” Shehadeh explained.

“So to recognize that there was a Palestinian nation living in what became Israel means Israel has to readjust its identity. And this is essential if there’s ever going to be peace”

‘To dehumanize them, you reduce your own humanity’

His latest book, Where the Line Is Drawn: A Tale of Crossings, Friendships, and Fifty Years of Occupation in Israel-Palestine, published last year, documents Shehadeh’s shifting perspectives and relationships with several Israeli friends throughout Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territory.

“I’ve been rather obsessed with the fact that when I go to a place, let’s say a checkpoint or a certain landscape that was changed, I see it both in the way it was and the way it is now,” Shehadeh explained to me.

“These two realities are in my mind all the time […] But it’s only because of my age and experience that I can see it in this way. But anybody who is an adult now, even in their 20s or 30s, will only know about how it is now. They will have no perception or imagining of how it was before.”

These thoughts created the framework for the book, exploring various “crossings” that have changed throughout the occupation.

He said that he explores “how different relationships existed between Palestinians and Israelis at various levels, the relationship and continuity of the land, the way that it was open at one point, and how the crossings into Israel have changed.”

Shehadeh’s book, which in part focused on his relationship with his Israeli friend Henry and included personal letters exchanged between the two friends, examines these relationships in a humanistic, thoughtful and honest way.

In a land where even the most mundane aspects of Palestinian life are shaped by Israel’s occupation, it can be a personal struggle not to become bitter and resentful toward Israelis as a whole.

But Shehadeh has been able to transcend these feelings. “To dehumanize them [Israelis], you reduce your own humanity,” he said.

“I’ve passed through stages,” Shehadeh added. “The first intifada was one, when I would be so angry and so full of hate, and therefore feel myself reduced by the hate. I realized it doesn’t do any good. It doesn’t provide me a service and it doesn’t give my cause a service.”

“It doesn’t help me in my life or my understandings. So I got over it, and I never succumbed to it again.” (And now he is succumbing to what? The laws of the occupiers?)

Continuing Sumud

Much has changed throughout the decades Shehadeh has been writing.

He remembers when it was difficult to get away with even mentioning Palestine in his books. When he did write that controversial 9-letter word, his books were often taken from public library shelves and torn apart.

“I remember going to Barnes and Noble, and noticing that one of my books — When the Birds Stopped Singing: Life in Ramallah Under Siege — was placed in the military history section,” he said, noting that he believes someone had placed it there so that no one would see it.

However, “now there are many books and intellectuals who are critical of Israel, which was not the case before.”

Meanwhile, he said, Israel has shifted farther to the right, with US President Donald Trump “allowing Israel to do whatever it wants.” Shehadeh believes that this is in fact bad for Israel.

“It is destroying the country,” he told Mondoweiss. “They are becoming fascists.” (They have been acting fascists since they were created and planned their terrorist activities as fascists before their “independence” from mandated Britain)

For the daily life of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, Shehadeh believes that it has become more complex. “I think in the past it used to be a lot simpler because we all understood occupation and we all thought it would end soon. But as time went on we realized that’s not the case,” he said. (As he understood Britain mandated occupation?)

“But it was clear where we were moving and the situation wasn’t confusing,”’ he continued. “At the same time, daily life was much more difficult and obstructed.”

However, now in the occupied West Bank, he says, there are more opportunities and possibilities for Palestinians. Particularly in cities like Ramallah, which boomed after 1997 becoming the de-facto capital of the West Bank, Palestinians have more access to economic ventures or other projects than they did before. (An economy that is extension to Israel economy?)

According to Shehadeh, this is all part of the continuing sumud, and represents developments that have made it easier for Palestinians to remain here.

“If you think about Ramallah, as bad as the government [Palestinian Authority] is, they’ve managed to make it possible for people to lead their lives with clean streets and cafes.” (Great, while settlers dump their sewage in Palestinian schools?)

Ramallah’s active cultural scene, consisting of everything from visual arts, poetry and theater to hip hop and underground music, is an important element of sumud. “The assertion of the self is an important part of the resistance,” Shehadeh says.

“People are staying, and that’s very important. There is power in the fact that despite everything Israel has tried to do we are still staying,” he said, highlighting that the population of Palestinians and Israelis within Israel-Palestine is almost equal.

“That’s a great achievement considering how much Israel has tried to prevent it.”

Shehadeh politely glanced at his watch to check the time. We had been speaking for about two hours, and I thought it was best to finally end the interview.

The acclaimed writer walked me out. “Thank you for your time,” I said, and his reply was brief. “Yes, thank you. Good bye.” His eyes lowered to the ground as he gently closed the door in front of him.

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A comparison: How welcomed and treated are the pilgrims (haj) in Iraq and Mecca

The Road of “Mishayat” (walking the distance of 90 km between Al Najaf and Karbalaa2) of the Shia pilgrims. For a week, millions walk the walk, many bare-feet.
For a week, the Iraqis along the road offer free treatments to every pilgrims: free food, free drinks, free washing with hot water, free shoe shining, free dwelling., free massaging feet….Just to get the blessing of their beloved Imam Hussein.
Pilgrims in Mecca barely are offered a cup of water. Prices of any thing is so exorbitant that many faint from famine and thirst.
Iraqis are angels to all the pilgrims who pay visit to their Imam Al Hussein

كتبت الكاتبة السعودية نداء آل سيف : لقد آن الأوان أن يسحب خَدَمَة زوار الإمام الحسين (ع) في كربلاء البساط من تحت أقدام حاتم الطائي وغيره ممن اشتهروا بالكرم عبر التاريخ .

فلطالما كان أسم حاتم الطائي مقرونا بالكرم و الجود و العطاء بلا حدود . بيد أن بوصلة التاريخ لابد أن تتغير اليوم والأمثال لابد لها أن تتحول . فعطاء حاتم يتوارى أمام عطاء أهالي العراق لزوار الأربعين .

ما دفعني لكتابة هذه المقالة في الحقيقة ، هي صدمة المقارنة ، بين الكرم والسخاء اللامتناهي الذي يلقاه زائرو كربلاء ماديا ونفسيا ، وبين ما يجري في بلادنا من جفاء لحجاج بيت الله الحرام . فقد حظيت خلال العشر سنوات الماضية بخدمة الحجاج في أكثر من حملة للحجيج ،

إلا أنه وعلى النقيض من كل الخدمات المجانية التي يلقاها الزائر الماشي على قدميه بين النجف وكربلاء على مدى ثلاثة أيام أو أكثر والتي تبدأ من الغذاء والسكن والخدمات الصحية ،

ولا تنتهي بخدمة تدليك الأقدام وتلميع الأحذية ،

لم أجد في مكة المكرمة أكثر من علبة ماء تلقيتها ذات مرة على طريق منى !. الفرق شاسع ولا مجال أصلا للمقارنة ، بين ما يلقاه زائرو كربلاء وزائرو مكة ،

في الأولى يستجديك الناس طمعا بالتشرف في خدمتك مجانا ، أما الثانية فما عليك إلا أن تحمد ربك كي لا تضطر للاستجداء نتيجة الأسعار المتصاعدة صاروخيا عاما بعد عام في السكن والغذاء والنقل .


أسئلة كثيرة دارت بداخلي وتمنيت لو يجيبني عليها أحدا، ألسنا أولى بهذا الخدمات ونحن أغنى من العراق بأضعاف مضاعفة ؟

أليس الحج هو الفريضة التي أوجبها الله على المسلمين، فكان من الأجدى بنا أن نتفانى في خدمة الحجاج . 

وكمواطنة ، أنتمى لبلاد الحرمين أتمنى فعلا أن يكون هناك مشاركة مجتمعية من الأهالي والحكومة في خدمة الحجاج وأن تتاح الفرصة لتقديم العطاء لهم، عساها تكون خير فرصة لتغير صورتنا التي بدأت تتلوث بسواد العنف والتعصب.


بعد رحلتي على طريق المشاية بين النجف وكربلاء ، لا أتردد في القول مرة أخرى لحاتم الطائي ، بأن لا مكان لك اليوم أمام ما رأيناه على طريق “المشاية”، من عطاء وكرم وأخلاق العراقيين خَدَمَة زوار الإمام الحسين ، فقد فاقوا كرمك بما لا يحويه الوصف .


اﻻ يستحق منا ان نطلق على هذه اﻻيام (الصفريه) ايام للسلام العالمي وندعوا المنظمات الدولية لحضور هذه التظاهرة السلمية والخدمية والكتابة عنها ومشاهدتها حضوريآ ..
#شارك المنشور على حب الحسين

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مصطفى فواز

شعب العراق ملائكة

تغريدات شاب مصري (عضو مركز دراسات) في عام 2016 لطريق المشاية بين النجف الأشرف وكربلاء المقدّسة في زيارة الأربعين ، قام بكتابتها في حسابه على تويتر ..

■ غسيل ملابس .. إصلاح أحذية .. ماء ساخن للاستحمام في برد الصحراء القارص .. مضافات للنوم على جانبي الطريق .

ليسوا بشراً شعب العراق ملائكة

■ وجود ملايين البشر في شوارع أي دولة إذا تخطى الـ ٢٤ ساعة هو كابوس على كل المستويات أمنياً واقتصادياً واجتماعياً وتموينياً وبيئياً ..

■ تخيلي يا نسرين .. نزول ملايين البشر من داخل العراق وخارجه من مختلف الجنسيات والأعراق واحتلالهم للشوارع لمدة أسابيع أو أكثر !!

■ شيء مرعب :
ملايين الأرغفة
ملايين الوجبات اليومية
مليارات من غالونات الماء 
ملايين الاسرّة للجنسين
ملايين ساعات العمل
ضيافة ؟!

■ بالضبط لو كان هناك مؤسسة أو نظام سياسي لقلنا إن هناك تفسيراً .. الحديث يدور عن شعب بفقرائه وأثريائه ..
من كلفهم ؟ من نظمهم ؟ كيف !

■ العدوى أصابت شركات أجنبية تعمل في العراق وقرر موظفيها إقامة محطات ضيافة للوافدين على العراق لن تستفيد الشركات من رضاهم عنها !

■ ٩٠ كيلو متر تقريباً تفصل مرقد سيدنا علي﴿ع﴾عن ضريح سيد شباب أهل الجنة وفي كل متر من هذه المسافة زرع شعب العراق دليل رجاء وأملاً بالإنسانية .

■ شكراً جزيلاً .. روايتي عن المسار الذي سلكناه فقط من أطراف النجف إلى أطراف كربلاء وعلى من سلك مسالك أخرى أن يشهد لهذا الشعب العظيم .

■ بديهيات العراق هذه .. أساطير لاتصدق في بلاد أخرى ..
ولايجوز كتمان شهادة عن شعب يجترح معجزات إنسانية لانظير لها ولامثيل .

■ ملاحظة : إكرام “ضيف” زارك لأيام واجب .. إكرام ملايين الضيوف لأسابيع من فقراء العراق قبل أثريائه معجزة إنسانية كبرى .

■ عفواً من شعوب الأرض جميعاً ولكن شعب العراق ليس له نظير ولاشبيه ولايدانيه بكرمه وذوقه وإنسانيته أحد ..
عدت من العراق وليتني لم أعد ..

■ في شوارع العراق وقف أطفال في عمر الزهور لايملكون لتكريم الضيوف إلا رشهم بالعطور !! يشتري واحدهم زجاجة عطر ويقف لساعات لتعطير الزوار !

■ شاب لا أساوي الحذاء الذي يرتديه يوقفني راجياً أن أسمح له بتلميع حذائي ! حسبي الله ونعم الوكيل ..

■ شباب العراق يقفون على امتداد ٩٠ كيلو متر بالطعام والفواكه والعصائر .. وبعضهم وقف متأهباً بآلات يدوية لتدليك أقدام زوار تشنجت من المشي !

في العراق وعلى امتداد ٩٠ كيلو من المشاهدات العينية يتسابق فقراء وبسطاء الناس على “خطف” الضيوف من الشوارع وتأمين ألف خدمة وخدمة لهم .

■ ٩٠ كيلومتر زرعها شعب العراق بملائكة ليسوا من جنس البشر .. تركوا أعمالهم وعائلاتهم وعرضوا أنفسهم لخطر الموت أسابيع لتوفير الراحة للزوار .

■ ٩٠ كيلومتر طول طريق مهددة بالسيارات المفخخة والأحزمة الناسفة والقصف الصاروخي لم تمنع شعب العراق من تحويله إلى أكبر مضافة في التأريخ

■ شباب وكهول ورجال وأطفال يجللهم الفقر النظيف أو الستر انتشروا على امتداد ٩٠ كيلو متر لتكريم زوار العراق وخدمتهم برموش العيون في يوم حشر ..

Story of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. Part 2

Sami, the bedouin

One can’t understand the Palestinian/Zionist conflict (an existential case of an implanted colonial State in our midst) without bringing the whole geopolitical context that happened for a century (and even beyond that) before the actual ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948,(or the creation of this colonial implanted State in the Near-East)

Seeing that their (buy and sell) project wouldn’t work, The zionist colonizers needed and did an extreme violent path that can be summarized in two things as Ilan Pappe illustrates:

Palestinian Nakba

1. A detailed information about the local Palestinian inhabitants which (he Jewish National Fund JNF was asked to compile)

…. the JNF Arab village (Palestinian) a inventory that was a blueprint completed by the late 1930s that included the topographic location of each village with detailed information including husbandry, cultivated land, number of trees, quality of fruit, average amount of land per family, number of cars, shop owners, Palestinian clans and their political affiliation, descriptions of village mosques and names of their imams, civil servants and more.

The final inventory update was finished in 1947 with lists of “wanted” persons in each village targeted in 1948 for search-and-arrest operations with those seized summarily shot on the spot in cold blood.

2. to create several terrorist gang groups like LehiIrgun and Stern which started operating as early as 1920s by assassinating the Palestinians that posed an obstacle to the zionist colonization project.

Ben Gorion
Stated 11 years before the actual ethnic cleansing

Now, having done so .. the zionist needed a systematic plan for the actual ethnic cleansing which started way before 1948:

President Franklin D. Roosevelt (enough time before the actual cleansing of Palestine) put it in December 1942 , “I actually would put a barbed wire around Palestine, and I would begin to move the Arabs out of Palestine…. Each time we move out an Arab we would bring in another Jewish family…” And this was exactly what happened with planned massacres !!

The plan was set:

“Red House” in Tel-Aviv that became headquarters for the Hagana, the dominant Zionist underground paramilitary militia during the British Mandate period in Palestine between 1920 and 1948 when the Jewish state came into being.

He details how David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, met with leading Zionists and young Jewish military officers on March 10, 1948 to finalize plans to ethnically cleanse Palestine that unfolded in the months that followed including “large-scale (deadly serious) intimidation; laying siege to and bombarding villages and population centres; setting fire to homes, properties and goods; expulsion; demolition; and finally, planting mines among the rubble to prevent any of the expelled inhabitants from returning.”

Nakba 2

During the ethnic cleansing of the native Palestinians some 70 documented massacres ( Israeli Massacres on Palestinians ) were perpetrated by the Zionist terrorist groups in a systematic way to terrorize the natives out of their homes and villages:

Once the ethnic cleansing begun, the whole ugly business took six months to complete. It expelled about 800,000 people, killed many others, and destroyed 531 villages and 11 urban neighborhoods in cities like Tel-Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem.

The action was a clear case of ethnic cleansing that international law today calls a crime against humanity for which convicted Nazis at Nuremberg were hanged. So far Israelis have always remained immune from international law even though names of guilty leaders and those charged with implementing their orders are known as well as the crimes they committed.

ethnic

Terrorist zionist Haganah (later IDF) expelling Arab natives from their land, Haifa, 1948.

It should be noticed that:

1. Ethnically cleansing Palestine and creating “israel” is a European colonization project that was done by European jews. There has never been hatred or enmity between the Arabs/Palestinian-Muslims and the jews over history and it should be noticed that the jews had their ONLY jewish Golden Age under the Muslim rule and run out of Spain along with the Arabs fearing the European pogrom.

In addition, in the modern history, while the jews were persecuted and massacred throughout Europe, they had a safe haven among the Arabs and in the Muslim countries.

2. The Arabs and Muslims didn’t kick the jews out of their homes from the Arab countries but it was the European zionist jews who had done the dirty job and MOST of the jews in the Arab-Muslim countries didnt migrate willingly to occupy Palestine but AFTER the creation of the zionist “jewish state” …. I would cite here exactly what my jewish Iraqi brother wrote after discovering the criminal zionist techniques:

” I write this article for the same reason I wrote my book: to tell the American people, and especially American Jews, that Jews from Islamic lands did not emigrate willingly to Israel; that, to force them to leave, Jews killed Jews; and that, to buy time to confiscate ever more Arab lands, Jews on numerous occasions rejected genuine peace initiatives from their Arab neighbors. I write about what the first prime minister of Israel called “cruel Zionism.” I write about it because I was part of it.”

3. You should know the fact that the zionist settlers systematically and deliberately ethnically cleansed Palestine from its natives both Muslims and Christians as they expelled over 750,000 Palestinians among them over 100,000 Christians and razed 540 native villages among them over 80 ancient Christian villages along with their ancient churches that stood since Jesus, for the zionists to come and invent their “jewish state”

Baram

So … the whole fight is NOT between the “the Arabs-Muslims and the jews” as the zionist lie again, it is between European zionist occupiers (who ethnically cleansed the native Palestinians in the name of Judaism) and the natives of Palestine (both Muslims and Christians) who unjustifiably were massacred out of their homes and their villages were erased.

Sami, the bedouin.

Sami, The bedouin is a Palestinian writer and blogger. He is originally ethnically cleansed from Ashdod/ Occupied Palestine, but living as a refugee in the West Bank/ Occupied Palestine.

As an activist for Palestine, he has been arrested several times and spent some years in the zionist jails for resisting the Israel occupation. He’s been blogging exclusively about Palestine in different sites and in his blog @ http://www.samibedouin.wordpress.com 

Old Beirut is lost: the soul of Lebanon was crushed by new comprador developers

I am walking the streets of what was Old Beirut and called “The World Lady” and I feel sad and sorry for the loss of its soul and dynamic social fabric.

Maria Ghoussoub posted on FB . October 12, 2017 at 1:56 PM

أمشي في شوارع المدينة , وأخرج من هذه الشّوارع وفي نفسي أسفٌ وخشوع . إنّ عظمة بيروت ما هي الآن إلا فخامة بلا مجد !

لا أخرج من سوليدير مبهوتاً بالهندسة والنّقوش , ويا لها من نقوش مرتّبة على قياس وفارغة من كلّ معنىً وجمال .

أخرج وفي قلبي أسفٌ على شعبي الّذي لم يعرف السّعادة ,

وجيلي الّذي تلاشى في عالم الطّائفيّة والأباطيل .

أسافر غداً إلى فرنسا

ولكنّني أقف اليوم آخر مرّة بين هذه الشّوارع , متأمّلا في ما كان بالماضي مقام النّاس الطيّبين وهو الآن مقام الحيوانات الزّاحفة !

لا أرى في هذه المدينة الّتي يطلقون عليها لقب “ستّ الدّنيا” شيئاً يناجي القلب الحيّ بسوى دلائل الزّوال !!!

ستّ الدنيا أصبحت البرهان العظيم لحقارة البقاء , أشعر بأنني واقف على شفير الموت كما وقفت هي أثناء الحرب , وهي الآن ما بينها وبين الزّوال إلا وقت قريب , يجب أن أرحل إلى باريس قبل هذا الوقت .

بيروت العتيقة الّتي يتكلّم عنها والدي قد حبسوها الأشرار في صور الأرشيف ,

صور الأسود والأبيض والألوان الباهتة , صور أصبحوا يستعملونها لكي يروّجوا للمصارف ولكي يستغلّوا الحنين إلى الماضي على طريقتهم الرأسماليّة .

جلست على البنك الأخضر أمام الحمّامات الرومانيّة , ورجلي ترتجف على الأرض ,

لقد تركوا هذه الحمّامات , هل سيستحمّون بها في يوم من الأيّام ؟؟؟

أمام هذه الحمّامات جلست أرى ظلمة يوم تنسدل على ظلام قرون !

في هذه السّاعة , ساعة الغروب , يتدلّى الظّلام من السّماء على الأرض ليُسكت صوت الطّمع ,

في هذه السّاعة كنت واقفاً في سوليدير , ولكنني رأيت بيروت , بيروت الشّبيهة بنور الأمل الأبدي , الأمل الّذي ينير القلوب المؤمنة.

ديعانيك يا بيروت العتيقة , أقف أمامك معلّقاً بك أبصاري , فأنسى لدى نورك هذه الخرائب الّتي تعلن الفناء الدّائم للفكر المظلم, سوف أعود يوماً وأذكر أنّ وراء هذه الضّخامة المنهدمة , حنين ثابت لا يزول !

Story of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine

Sami, the bedouin

One can’t understand the Palestinian/Zionist conflict (an existential case of an implanted colonial State in our midst) without bringing the whole geopolitical context that happened for a century (and even beyond that) before the actual ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948,(or the creation of this colonial implanted State in the Near-East):

First, Palestine was inhabited by the native Palestinians (regardless of their religion) for Thousands of years before the zionist thought to build their “jewish state” in Palestine.

In the late 19th century, and due to the European persecution of the European jews, the European zionist “jews” started a European national political movement (The Arab jews were absent) calling for finding a separate homeland for the Jews. (An emulation of the colonial mentality to occupy lands and people and exercise their racist ideology)

They were given numerous proposals by the European governments, Argentina in South America, Uganda in Africa, and Palestine in the Arab world.

For Herzl, that was a sober, rational idea. No God involved, no holy scriptures, no romantic nonsense. Palestine did not enter his mind. Nor had he any interest in the religious fantasies of “Evangelical” Christian Zionists in Britain and the US, like Alfred Balfour.
“I can tell you everything about the ‘promised Land’ except its location”

Now, because that the jewish religion has ancient ties to Palestine they chose Palestine as a “homeland” to be established for the jews. (It was the suggestion and pressure of the colonial powers to divide the people in the Middle-East and prevent them from daily trade and communication)

The jews, just like any other nation that invaded Palestine, have never ever been the natives of Palestine but invaders:

1. Before the old jewish invasion of Palestine, the area was inhabited for thousands of years by the native Canaanites, Jebusites, plesheth in the south, and the Phoneticians in the north that BEFORE any jew imagined to create a “god” to promise him Palestine (actually, the Jews were, as many poorer classes in that land, who fled to higher plateau and the desert regions, away from the urban centers).

2. The old jews were Outside Palestine, a bunch of nomads roaming the Middle East, until they created their own “god” and made Him promise them a land that originally is not theirs (Jehova was their warrior God, and the Canaanites in Jerusalem built them a tiny temple so that they can be recruited in the wars as mercenaries) .

3. The old jews occupied and ruled parts of (but never all of) Palestine for only 77 years and they toppled the original Jebusite temple and built theirs on its rubble, before they were driven out by the Roman invaders.

4. The old jews were invaders and simply were kicked out very soon compared to the Muslim occupiers of Spain who occupied Spain for over 600 years… So, the Muslims have zero right in Spain just the same like both the old and modern jews had and have zero right in Palestine… unless you want to believe in their Talmudic heresies of the “promised land” which anybody can claim a land property anywhere lying at his invented “god”.

spain

……………………

After the European zionist jews decided to colonize Palestine in the modern time aided and encouraged by the European colonization powers who (just like God in the old ages) promised them Palestine by the British “God” Arthur Balfour.

So, in the old ages, the jews invented their “god” to promise them Palestine and nowadays they found the British “god” to promise them Palestine again !!

Soon after modern European jews had decided to colonize Palestine in their First conference held in Basle, Switzerland (1899), they created the Jewish National Fund (JNF) in order to start buying land properties in Palestine to pave the way for establishing the “jewish state”,

But this project didn’t work well for them (despite the huge capital the JNF collected worldwide for that purpose) as the Palestinians not only didn’t sell their land but fought against that policy.

And in 1947, (despite the British facilitation of the jewish activities in Palestine) the JNF couldn’t  buy more than 5.8% from Palestine (a place less than Te-Aviv city now).

(Actually, it were the Lebanese landlords in north Palestine who sold their lands and towns in order to create a political status in Lebanon, because they already considered Palestine a lost case for their investment)

Seeing that their (buy and sell) project wouldn’t work, The zionist colonizers needed and did an extreme violent path that can be summarized in two things as Ilan Pappe illustrates:

Palestinian Nakba

1. A detailed information about the local Palestinian inhabitants which (the JNF was asked to compile)

…. the JNF Arab village a inventory that was a blueprint completed by the late 1930s that included the topographic location of each village with detailed information including husbandry, cultivated land, number of trees, quality of fruit, average amount of land per family, number of cars, shop owners, Palestinian clans and their political affiliation, descriptions of village mosques and names of their imams, civil servants and more. The final inventory update was finished in 1947 with lists of “wanted” persons in each village targeted in 1948 for search-and-arrest operations with those seized summarily shot on the spot in cold blood.

2. to create several terrorist gang groups like LehiIrgun and Sternwhich started operating as early as 1920s by assassinating the Palestinians that posed an obstacle to the zionist colonization project.

Ben Gorion
11 years before the actual ethnic cleansing

Now, having done so .. the zionist needed a systematic plan for the actual ethnic cleansing which started way before 1948:

President Franklin D. Roosevelt (enough time before the actual cleansing of Palestine) put it in December 1942 , “I actually would put a barbed wire around Palestine, and I would begin to move the Arabs out of Palestine…. Each time we move out an Arab we would bring in another Jewish family…” And this was exactly what happened with planned massacres !!

The plan was set:

“Red House” in Tel-Aviv that became headquarters for the Hagana, the dominant Zionist underground paramilitary militia during the British Mandate period in Palestine between 1920 and 1948 when the Jewish state came into being. He details how David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, met with leading Zionists and young Jewish military officers on March 10, 1948 to finalize plans to ethnically cleanse Palestine that unfolded in the months that followed including “large-scale (deadly serious)intimidation; laying siege to and bombarding villages and population centres; setting fire to homes, properties and goods; expulsion; demolition; and finally, planting mines among the rubble to prevent any of the expelled inhabitants from returning.”

Nakba 2

During the ethnic cleansing of the native Palestinians some 70 documented massacres ( Israeli Massacres on Palestinians ) were perpetrated by the Zionist terrorist groups in a systematic way to terrorize the natives out of their homes and villages:

Once the ethnic cleansing begun, the whole ugly business took six months to complete. It expelled about 800,000 people, killed many others, and destroyed 531 villages and 11 urban neighborhoods in cities like Tel-Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem. The action was a clear case of ethnic cleansing that international law today calls a crime against humanity for which convicted Nazis at Nuremberg were hanged. So far Israelis have always remained immune from international law even though names of guilty leaders and those charged with implementing their orders are known as well as the crimes they committed.

ethnic

Terrorist zionist Haganah (later IDF) expelling Arab natives from their land, Haifa, 1948.

………………………………..

It should be noticed that:

1. Ethnically cleansing Palestine and creating “israel” is a European colonization project that was done by European jews. There has never been hatred or enmity between the Arabs-Muslims and the jews over history and it should be noticed that the jews had their ONLY jewish Golden Age under the Muslim rule and run out of Spain along with the Arabs fearing the European pogrom. In addition, in the modern history, while the jews were persecuted and massacred throughout Europe, they had a safe haven among the Arabs and in the Muslim countries.

2. The Arabs and Muslims didn’t kick the jews out of their homes from the Arab countries but it was the European zionist jews who had done the dirty job and MOST of the jews in the Arab-Muslim countries didnt migrate willingly to occupy Palestine but AFTER the creation of the zionist “jewish state” …. I would cite here exactly what my jewish Iraqi brother wrote after discovering the criminal zionist techniques:

” I write this article for the same reason I wrote my book: to tell the American people, and especially American Jews, that Jews from Islamic lands did not emigrate willingly to Israel; that, to force them to leave, Jews killed Jews; and that, to buy time to confiscate ever more Arab lands, Jews on numerous occasions rejected genuine peace initiatives from their Arab neighbors. I write about what the first prime minister of Israel called “cruel Zionism.” I write about it because I was part of it.”

3. You should know the fact that the zionist settlers systematically and deliberately ethnically cleansed Palestine from its natives both Muslims and Christians as they expelled over 750,000 Palestinians among them over 100,000 Christians and razed 540 native villages among them over 80 ancient Christian villages along with their ancient churches that stood since Jesus, for the zionists to come and invent their “jewish state”

Baram

So … the whole fight is NOT between the “the Arabs-Muslims and the jews” as the zionist lie again, it is between European zionist occupiers (who ethnically cleansed the native Palestinians in the name of Judaism) and the natives of Palestine (both Muslims and Christians) who unjustifiably were massacred out of their homes and their villages were erased.

Sami, the bedouin.

Sami, The bedouin is a Palestinian writer and blogger. He is originally ethnically cleansed from Ashdod/ Occupied Palestine, but living as a refugee in the West Bank/ Occupied Palestine.

As an activist for Palestine, he has been arrested several times and spent some years in the zionist jails for resisting the Israel occupation. He’s been blogging exclusively about Palestine in different sites and in his blog @ http://www.samibedouin.wordpress.com 

Israel training mercenaries to capture the main port city of Hodeida in Yemen

By Whitney Webb 

TEL AVIV – A new report from the Emirati news website Al-Khaleej Online has revealed that many of the mercenaries leading the assault against the Yemeni port city of Hodeida were trained in Israel by Israeli soldiers, shedding light on Israel’s covert role in the war in Yemen. (Excellent news: that’s why these mercenaries are being defeated: trained by lousy soldiers who failed to advance even a mile in Lebanon in 33 days of the 2006 pre-emptive war)

According to U.S. officials close to the House Intelligence Committee with knowledge of the operation, hundreds of mercenaries from various nationalities that fight on behalf of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Yemen had recently received “instance combat training” at training camps in the Negev desert that were created through a secret agreement was reached between the UAE and Israel. Mercenaries at the camp were trained under the “personal supervision” of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

(And from where are these mercenaries? Mainly from Columbia Sudan. It cannot be true that Nepalese volunteered to fight in hot desert regions. Pakistan and Malaysia withdrew from this totally insane war)

The camp’s creation was spearheaded by UAE Security Adviser Mohammed Dahlan (a Palestinian traitor), who has personally overseen the recent hiring of a fresh force of foreign mercenaries, the majority of whom are Colombian or Nepalese, to fight on the UAE’s behalf in Yemen.

Dahlan, a Palestinian, was a central figure in the U.S.-backed plot funded by the United Arab Emirates to arm and train militias to overthrow Hamas after they won Gaza elections in 2007.

Dahlan has since lived in exile in the UAE where he has developed a close relationship to the Emirati royal family and now serves as one of their advisers. Dahlan also has close ties to Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. (You cannot win any victories when surrounded with traitors to their countries)

The report noted that Dahlan had personally visited the training camps in Israel on more than one occasion in order to supervise the training received by mercenaries from the IDF. Al-Khaleej’s sources also stated that Dahlan had chosen the Negev desert as the site for the camps due to the similarities the region shares with Yemen in terms of its climate, environment and tribal structure.

These mercenaries, trained at IDF-led camps in Israel and funded by the UAE, are now leading the renewed assault on the Yemeni port of Hodeida, which began earlier this week on Tuesday.

The UAE/Saudi Arabia coalition had previously launched an assault in Hodeida in June but that effort failed to make headway despite the coalition’s superior firepower (backed by France, England and USA)

The new assault was launched after the coalition recently succeeded in cutting off the main road between Hodeida and the Yemeni capital of Sana’a.

Over 90% of Yemen’s food is imported through Hodeida, prompting  the UN and several NGOs to warn that any disruption to food and fuel supplies coming through the Hodeida port “could cause starvation on an unprecedented scale” as the country’s humanitarian crisis – a direct consequence of the coalition’s actions – is now more dire than ever.

An Open Secret: Israel’s Covert Involvement in Yemen’s War

Notably, the revelation of the Israel-based UAE mercenary training camps is not the first indication of covert Israeli involvement in the Yemen conflict. Indeed, when the war first began in 2015, the coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE were known to use Israeli-made weapons.

(Actually, the colonial powers and Israel want total control of the Red Sea and Bab al-Mandab strait, and in the States of Eritrea and Djibouti facing Yemen. Wahhabi Saudi Kingdom is a stooge to the USA)

In addition, paperwork seized by the Saudi Embassy in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a that same year revealed that the U.S. was seeking to build a military base near Yemen’s Bab al-Mandab strait in order to “ensure the security of Israel,” suggesting a strong motive for the U.S.’ and Israel’s support for the coalition.

More recently, rumors about new Israel-Saudi weapons deals, including alleged plans to sell Saudi Arabia the Iron Dome missile defense system (which proved to be worthless), have received press attention, suggesting that the covert sale of Israeli weapons to the Saudi-led coalition continues to the present.

Al-Khaleej Online had previously reported that Israel had covertly sold weapons and ammunition to the Saudis, including internationally prohibited weapons that have since been used in the coalition’s brutal bombing campaign in Yemen that consistently targets civilian infrastructure. (Hospitals, schools, water facilities, power facilities…)

Just last month, 43% of the coalition’s targets were civilian structures, despite the fact that the U.S. now directly aids the coalition in choosing its strike targets as part of an alleged effort to reduce civilian casualties in the war.

While Israeli involvement in the war in Yemen has thus far been covert, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated last month that he would consider sending Israeli troops to Yemen to fight on behalf of the Saudi-led coalition if the Yemeni resistance gained control over the strategic Bab al-Mandab strait, which serves as a chokepoint on Saudi oil exports and other important Red Sea commerce. (That would be a great excuse for Iran to openly come to the rescue)

Given Israel’s support for countries involved in genocidal wars in the past and its own treatment of Palestinians, it is unlikely that Israel’s government would feel constrained by any moral dilemmas if it chose to formally join the coalition’s war in Yemen despite the humanitarian crisis that war has provoked.

The humanitarian crisis in Yemen, considered the worst in the world, has brought 17.8 million Yemenis to the brink of starvation including 5.2 million children.

In addition, 66,000 children in Yemen die annually from preventable diseases due to the coalition’s blockade of Yemen which has also allowed the worst cholera outbreak in history to proliferate.

Despite the huge death toll that has resulted from the coalition blockade and airstrikes, the “mastermind” of the conflict, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, has vowed to continue to target Yemeni civilians, including women and children, in order to “leave a big impact on the consciousness of Yemenis [for] generations.”

(Kind of Shock and Awe for a longer duration? A tactics that proved this “prince” totally insane and isolated in his residency for security reasons)

Top Photo | UAE has hired Colombian soldiers to fight its war in Yemen.

Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and a contributor to Ben Swann’s Truth in Media. Her work has appeared on Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others.

She has also made radio and TV appearances on RT and Sputnik. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.

Plan D? Zionism devised that plan in 1935 to cleanse the Palestinians from their lands and villages

Plan D or beginning of “war of conquest”.

Zionism had many plans to be executed as the political climate and timing were appropriate. In the 100 years since the implantation of first colonies in Palestine, many plans have been carried out to occupy all of Palestine for the only the Jews, coming from all corners of the world.

With respect to Haifa, IIan Pappé writes:

From the morning after the UN Partition Resolution was adopted in November 1947, the 75,000 Palestinians in the city were subjected to a campaign of terror jointly instigated by the Irgun and the Hagana.

As they had only arrived in recent decades, the Jewish settlers had built their houses higher up the mountain. Thus, they lived topographically above the Arab neighbourhoods and could easily shell and snipe at them. They had started doing this frequently since early December.

They used other methods of intimidation as well: the Jewish troops rolled barrels full of explosives, and huge steel balls, down into the Arab residential areas, and poured oil mixed with fuel down the roads, which they then ignited.

The moment panic-stricken Palestinian residents came running out of their homes to try to extinguish these rivers of fire, they were sprayed with machine-gun fire.

In areas where the two communities still interacted, the Hagana brought cars to Palestinian garages to be repaired, loaded with explosives and detonating devices, and so wreaked death and chaos.

Prominent Israeli historian Ilan Pappé notes that, in Israel’s Plan Dalet (also known simply as Plan D), “veteran Zionist leaders” created “a plan for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.” They dispatched military orders in March 1948, Pappé explains:

“The orders came with a detailed description of the methods to be employed to forcibly evict the people: large-scale intimidation; laying siege to and bombarding villages and population centres; setting fire to homes, properties and goods; expulsion; demolition; and, finally, planting mines among the rubble to prevent any of the expelled inhabitants from returning.”

Plan D “spelled it out clearly and unambiguously: the Palestinians had to go,” writes Pappé.

“The aim of the plan was in fact the destruction of both the rural and urban areas of Palestine,” he adds, and it “contain[ed] a repertoire of cleansing methods that one by one fit the means the U.N. describes in its definition of ethnic cleansing.”

Morris is correct that Plan D did not explicitly call for “expelling as many Arabs as possible from the territory of the future Jewish state”, as Blatman suggests. But neither did it order that “neutral or friendly villages should be left untouched”, as Morris contends.

Under Plan D, brigade commanders were to use their own discretion in mounting operations against “enemy population centers”—meaning Palestinian towns and villages—by choosing between the following options:

—Destruction of villages (setting fire to, blowing up, and planting mines in the debris), especially those population centers which are difficult to control continuously.

—Mounting combing and control operations according to the following guidelines: encirclement of the village and conducting a search inside it. In the event of resistance, the armed force must be wiped out and the population must be expelled outside the borders of the state.[66]

Thus, while Plan D allowed for Arab inhabitants to remain as long as they did not resist the takeover of their villages by the Zionist forces, it did not order Haganah commanders to permit them to stay under such circumstances—as Morris falsely suggests in the second of his responses in Haaretz.

Nor is Morris incognizant of the critical distinction. In 1948, he explicitly notes that “brigade commanders were given the option” of destroying Arab villages (emphasis added)—which would obviously necessitate expelling their inhabitants—regardless of whether any of the villagers offered any resistance.

“The commanders were given discretion whether to evict the inhabitants of villages and urban neighborhoodssitting on vital access roads”, Morris writes (emphasis added). “The plan gave the brigades carte blanche to conquer the Arab villages and, in effect, to decide on each village’s fate—destruction and expulsion or occupation. The plan explicitly called for the destruction of resisting Arab villages and the expulsion of their inhabitants” (emphasis added).[67]

As Ilan Pappé expounds, “Villages were to be expelled in their entirety either because they were located in strategic spots or because they were expected to put up some sort of resistance. These orders were issued when it was clear that occupation would always provoke some resistance and that therefore no village would be immune, either because of its location or because it would not allow itself to be occupied.”[68]

By these means, by the time the war ended, the Zionist forces had expelled the inhabitants of and destroyed 531 villages and emptied eleven urban neighborhoods of their Arab residents.[69]

Pappé further notes how the facts on the ground at the time challenge Morris’s characterization of the Zionist’s operations as having been “defensive” prior to the implementation of Plan D:

The reality of the situation could not have been more different: the overall military, political and economic balance between the two communities was such that not only were the majority of Jews in no danger at all, but in addition, between the beginning of December 1947 and the end of March 1948, their army had been able to complete the first stage of the cleansing of Palestine, even before the master plan had been put into effect. If there were a turning point in April, it was the shift from sporadic attacks and counter-attacks on the Palestinian civilian population towards the systematic mega-operation of ethnic cleansing that now followed.[70]

In Haaretz, Morris adds that in the larger urban areas with mixed populations, under Plan D, the orders were for the Arabs “to be transferred to the Arab centers of those cities, like Haifa, not expelled from the country.” Morris also writes that the Zionists “left Arabs in place in Haifa”, and he cites it as an example of a place where Arabs “were ordered or encouraged by their leaders to flee”—as opposed to them being expelled by the Zionist forces.

But the details Morris provides in 1948 of what happened in Haifa tell an altogether different story.

By the end of March 1948, most of the wealthy and middle-class families had fled Haifa. Far from ordering this evacuation, the Arab leadership had blasted those who fled as “cowards” and tried to prevent them from leaving.[71]

Among the reasons for the flight were terrorist attacks by the Irgun that had sowed panic in Haifa and other cities. On the morning of December 30, 1947, for example, the Irgun threw “three bombs from a passing van into a crowd of casual Arab laborers at a bus stop outside the Haifa Oil Refinery, killing eleven and wounding dozens.”[72] (Ilan Pappé notes that “Throwing bombs into Arab crowds was the specialty of the Irgun, who had already done so before 1947.”[73]

And as Morris points out, Arab militias took note of the methods of the Irgun and Lehi and eventually started copying them: “The Arabs had noted the devastating effects of a few well-placed Jewish bombs in Jerusalem, Jaffa, and Haifa . . . .”[74]) Arab laborers inside the plant responded by turning against their Jewish coworkers, killing thirty-nine and wounding fifty (several Arab employees did try to protect their Jewish co-workers).[75]

The Haganah retaliated by targeted a nearby village that was home to many of the refinery workers. The orders were to spare the women and children, but to kill the men. “The raiders moved from house to house, pulling out men and executing them. Sometimes they threw grenades into houses and sprayed the interiors with automatic fire. There were several dozen dead, including some women and children.”

Ben-Gurion defended the attack by saying it was “impossible” to “discriminate” under the circumstances. “We’re at war. . . . There is an injustice in this, but otherwise we will not be able to hold out.”[76]

Marking “the start of the implementation of Plan D”, writes Morris, was Operation Nahshon in April 1948.[77] By this time, tens of thousands of Haifa’s seventy thousand Arabs had already fled.[78] The Haganah had been planning an operation in Haifa since mid-month, and when the British withdrew their troops from positions between Arab and Jewish neighborhoods on April 21, it provided the Haganah with the opportunity to put it into effect.[79]

The Haganah fired mortars indiscriminately into the lower city, and by noon “smoke rose above gutted buildings and mangled bodies littered the streets and alleyways.” The mortar and machine gun fire “precipitated mass flight toward the British-held port area”, where Arab civilians trampled each other to get to boats, many of which were capsized in the mad rush.[80]

The British high commissioner, Sir Alan Cunningham, described the Haganah’s tactics: “Recent Jewish military successes (if indeed operations based on the mortaring of terrified women and children can be classed as such) have aroused extravagant reactions in the Jewish press and among the Jews themselves a spirit of arrogance which blinds them to future difficulties. . . . Jewish broadcasts both in content and in manner of delivery, are remarkably like those of Nazi Germany.”[81]

It was under these circumstances that the local Arab leaders sought to negotiate a truce, and in a British-mediated meeting in the afternoon on April 22, the Jewish forces proposed a surrender agreement that “assured the Arab population a future ‘as equal and free citizens of Haifa.’”[82] But the Arab notables, after taking some time to consult before reconvening, informed that they were in no position to sign the truce since they had no control over the Arab combatants in Haifa and that the population was intent on evacuating. Jewish and British officials at the meeting tried to persuade them to sign the agreement, to no avail. In the days that followed, nearly all of Haifa’s remaining inhabitants fled, with only about 5,000 remaining.

While in his Haaretz article, Morris attributed this flight solely to orders from the Arab leadership to leave the city, in 1948, he notes that other factors included psychological trauma from the violence—especially the Haganah’s

 

While in his Haaretz article, Morris attributed this flight solely to orders from the Arab leadership to leave the city, in 1948, he notes that other factors included psychological trauma from the violence—especially the Haganah’s mortaring of the lower city—and despair at the thought of living now as a minority under a people who had just inflicted that collective punishment upon them.

Furthermore, “The Jewish authorities almost immediately grasped that a city without a large (and actively or potentially hostile) Arab minority would be better for the emergent Jewish state, militarily and politically. Moreover, in the days after 22 April, Haganah units systematically swept the conquered neighborhoods for arms and irregulars; they often handled the population roughly; families were evicted temporarily from their homes; young males were arrested, some beaten. The Haganah troops broke into Arab shops and storage facilities and confiscated cars and food stocks. Looting was rife.”[83]

This, then, is the situation Morris is describing when he disingenuously writes in Haaretz that the Zionist forces “left Arabs in place in Haifa” and that Arabs fled Haifa because they were “ordered or encouraged by their leaders”.

We can also compare Morris’s account of how the village of Lifta came to be emptied of its Arab inhabitants with Ilan Pappé’s. 1984 contains only one mention of Lifta, a single sentence in which Morris characterizes it as another example of how Arabs fled upon the orders of their leadership: “For example, already on 3–4 December 1947 the inhabitants of Lifta, a village on the western edge of Jerusalem, were ordered to send away their women and children (partly in order to make room for incoming militiamen).”[84]

Pappé tells a remarkably different story, describing Lifta, with its population of 2,500, as “one of the very first to be ethnically cleansed”:

Social life in Lifta revolved around a small shipping centre, which included a club and two coffee houses. It attracted Jerusalemites as well, as no doubt it would today were it still there. One of the coffee houses was the target of the Hagana when it attacked on 28 December 1947. Armed with machine guns the Jews sprayed the coffee house, while members of the Stern Gang stopped a bus nearby and began firing into it randomly. This was the first Stern Gang operation in rural Palestine; prior to the attack, the gang had issued pamphlets to its activists: ‘Destroy Arab neighbourhoods and punish Arab villages.’

The involvement of the Stern Gang in the attack on Lifta may have been outside the overall scheme of the Hagana in Jerusalem, according to the Consultancy [i.e., Ben-Gurion and his close advisors], but once it had occurred it was incorporated into the plan. In a pattern that would repeat itself, creating faits accomplis became part of the overall strategy.

The Hagana High Command at first condemned the Stern Gang attack at the end of December, but when they realized that the assault had caused the villagers to flee, they ordered another operation against the same village on 11 January in order to complete the expulsion. The Hagana blew up most of the houses in the village and drove out all the people who were still there.[85]

The lesson learned was also applied in Jerusalem. On February 7, 1948, Ben-Gurion went to see Lifta for himself and that evening reported to a council of the Mapai party in Jerusalem:

When I come now to Jerusalem, I feel I am in a Jewish (Ivrit) city. This is a feeling I only had in Tel-Aviv or in an agricultural farm. It is true that not all of Jerusalem is Jewish, but it has in it already a huge Jewish bloc: when you enter the city through Lifta and Romema, through Mahaneh Yehuda, King George Street and Mea Shearim—there are no Arabs. One hundred percent Jews.

Ever since Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans—the city was not as Jewish as it is now. In many Arab neighbourhoods in the West you do not see even one Arab. I do not suppose it will change. And what happened in Jerusalem and in Haifa—can happen in large parts of the country. If we persist it is quite possible that in the next six or eight months there will be considerable changes in the country, very considerable, and to our advantage. There will certainly be considerable changes in the demographic composition of the country.[86]

Note that all of this happened well before explicit orders were given to destroy villages and expel their inhabitants if anyone resisted occupation by the Zionist forces. From mid-March onward, in Morris’s own words, “In line with Plan D, Arab villages were henceforward to be leveled to prevent their reinvestment by Arab forces; the implication was that their inhabitants were to be expelled and prevented from returning.”[87] The Haganah “embarked on a campaign of clearing areas of Arab inhabitants and militia forces and conquering and leveling villages”.[88] Plan D implemented a

“new policy, of permanently occupying and/or razing villages and of clearing whole areas of Arabs”.[89]

Morris’s contention that what happened wasn’t ethnic cleansing because most Palestinians fled, as opposed to being expelled by the Zionist forces, becomes a moot distinction in light of how, for example, a massacre that occurred in the Arab village of Deir Yassin in April was “amplified through radio broadcasts . . . to encourage a mass Arab exodus from the Jewish state-to-be.”[90]

David Ben-Gurion (center) with Yitzhak Rabin and Yigal Allon during the 1948 war (Israel Defense Forces/CC BY-NC 2.0)

David Ben-Gurion (center) with Yitzhak Rabin and Yigal Allon during the 1948 war (Israel Defense Forces/CC BY-NC 2.0)

In the Galilee, “the Arab inhabitants of the towns of Beit Shean (Beisan) and Safad had to be ‘harassed’ into flight”, according to a planned series of operations conceived in April (“in line with Plan D”, Morris notes). In charge of these operations was the commander of the Palmach, Yigal Allon.[91]

On May 1, two villages north of Safad were captured. Several dozen male prisoners were executed, and the Palmach “proceeded to blow up the two villages as Safad’s Arabs looked on. The bulk of the Third Battalion then moved into the town’s Jewish Quarter and mortared the Arab quarters”, prompting many of Safad’s Arab inhabitants to flee.[92]

After five days, the Arabs sought a truce, which Allon rejected. Even some of the local Jews “sought to negotiate a surrender and demanded that the Haganah leave town. But the Haganah commanders were unbending” and continued pounding Safad with mortars and its arsenal of 3-inch Davidka munitions.

The first of the Davidka bombs, according to Arab sources cited by a Haganah intelligence document, killed 13 Arabs, mostly children, which triggered a panic and further flight. This, of course, was precisely what was “intended by the Palmah commanders when unleashing the mortars against the Arab neighborhoods”—which, “literally overnight, turned into a ‘ghost town’”. In the weeks that followed, “the few remaining Arabs, most of them old and infirm or Christians, were expelled to Lebanon or transferred to Haifa.”[93]

Yigal Allon summed up the purpose of the Palmach’s operations: “We regarded it as imperative to cleanse the interior of the Galilee and create Jewish territorial continuity in the whole of Upper Galilee.” He boasted of how he devised a plan to rid the Galilee of tens of thousands of Arabs without having to actually use force to drive them out. His strategy, which “worked wonderfully”, was to plant rumors that additional reinforcements had arrived “and were about to clean out the villages of the Hula [Valley]”.

 


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