Adonis Diaries

Archive for the ‘religion/history’ Category

Deal of the Century Adds “New” to the Four Thousand Year Old Name “Palestine”

The apartheid regime we know as “Israel” was built on the very ruins of Palestine and imposed a brutal regime on those who still live in their country. Millions of Palestinians still languish in refugee camps in and around Palestine, yet Israel and its allies around the world celebrate “Israeli independence.”

JERUSALEM, PALESTINE — Nakba Day — the day when Palestinians commemorate the destruction of their country and the mass killing and forced eviction of their people — is coming up, and with each passing day, another disturbing story unfolds.

Perhaps the most disturbing story so far is the plan to present Palestine with a new name, “New Palestine.” (How imaginative)

This, according to a rumored leak, is what Donald Trump and Jared Kushner are going to present to an anticipating world as part of the so-called “Deal of the Century.”

Also according to the leak, aside from a demand for Palestinians to accept a new name as part of the “Deal of the Century” — forgoing the name “Palestine,” which has been used to describe their land since the Bronze Age — the Palestinian people will have to accept that their heritage and their history will be erased and their land will be taken away for good.

In other words, what Palestinians are going to receive, according to the leak, is a new name but no country, and they will be expected to accept this or else they will be denied access to foreign aid, not only from the U.S. but other countries as well.

From elections to Gaza to Independence Day

Things move fast on the Israeli side of occupied Palestine.

Israel recently held elections, then — within a few weeks and before a new government was even formed — Israel lashed out with a deadly attack on Gaza.

Then, Israel recognized a few solemn days, the first one Holocaust Remembrance Day and the second, a day to commemorate Israeli soldiers who had fallen in battle. Then Israelis were off to celebrate “Israeli Independence.”

On the Palestinian side, no sooner does one tragedy end than a second one follows, no time for the fresh blood on the ground to dry before more is spilled.

The lovely face of 16-year-old Fatima Hijazi, shot by an Israeli sniper, is still fresh in people’s hearts when more, even younger casualties are reported. Palestinians go from mourning to mourning with no end in sight.

Over the past several years, a new phenomenon has risen, a joint memorial service where Israelis and Palestinians join together to commemorate their fallen loved ones.

While the idea of such an event may seem appealing to some, the moral equivalency it tries to create between the victims of the violence and those who lost their lives while perpetuating the violence is troubling.

However, in the political climate that now exists among Israelis, this is considered progressive. While this event was permitted to proceed, right-wing gangs came by to protest the initiative and lashed out with obscenities at the participants: “Sons of whores, may God take all of you stinking lefties! Death to Arabs!” and on and on.

Celebrating independence

A custom that can only be described as insensitive, if not outright cruel, and which has been in place since Palestine was destroyed, is the celebration of Israeli independence. Just as Israeli elections were held on the day that Palestinians commemorate the massacre at Deir Yassin, Israel callously celebrates a day of independence at the same time as Palestinians mourn the loss of their country.

The apartheid regime we know as “Israel” was built on the very ruins of Palestine and imposed a brutal regime on those who still live in their country. Millions of Palestinians still languish in refugee camps in and around Palestine, yet Israel and its allies around the world celebrate.

Israel Memorial Day

A young Israeli girl plays on a tank during an Israeli Memorial Day ceremony in Latrun, Israel, May 8, 2019. Oded Balilty | AP

Israelis are not the indigenous people of Palestine. What we know today as “Israelis” are people who came to colonize mostly during the time of the British Mandate in Palestine, and they did so largely with the assistance of the British government.

The British mandate over Palestine, which was, in reality, an occupation of the country, facilitated the creation of the Zionist apartheid regime in Palestine. The Jews who came to colonize and settle in Palestine were never oppressed or occupied; in fact, they were privileged. The Jewish settlements in Palestine had services like running water and electricity long before many of the Palestinian communities did, and they were assisted by the British in every possible way.

The biblical Zionist narrative

The name “New Palestine” becomes even more absurd in light of the fact that the name Palestine was, “first documented in the late Bronze Age, about 3,200 years ago.”

Furthermore, according to a new book by historian Nur Masalha, “the name Palestine is the conventional name used between 450 B.C. and 1948 A.D. to describe the geographical region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.” These quotes are from Masalha’s Palestine, A Four Thousand Year History, published by Zed Books in 2018.

Palestine: A Four Thousand Year HistoryMasalha — professor of history at the London University School of Oriental and African Studies, or SOAS — takes on the difficult task of seriously, scientifically, and one may add successfully, challenging the prevailing narrative regarding Palestine.

This is clearly no simple feat but it is one in which the historian Masalha succeeds in a manner that is both admirable and convincing. (Just peruse the old pictures of Palestinians and Palestine before and after British mandated power)

Unfortunately, odds are neither Jared Kushner or Benjamin Netanyahu — the two men who are most likely to be behind the “New Palestine” and the “Deal of the Century” — will ever read this important history book.

Revealing aspects of Palestinian history that Zionists would prefer remain in the dark, Masalha’s book is essential reading. Until the history of Palestine is told and the cruel reality in which Palestinians live today is exposed, Palestine will never be free.

Miko Peled is an author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. He is the author of “The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”

Note: I posted many articles on Palestine and Palestinians on my blog adonis49@wordpress.com

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What is it: Religious freedom?

Religious freedom is Not about “religious comfort” in the way you want to practice your world view.

If government should protect my right to practice my religion, it does Not follow it is society’s obligation to make that practice easy or carefree.

If a State separate religion from civil laws, it means that the State is Not permitting its civil servants to actively support religious political parties during election periods.

If you cannot swallow the fact that civil laws are prime in your society, we also cannot swallow you insistence on practicing religious laws that are out of date and disturbing the cohesion in a society.

If your faith prevents you from sitting on an airplane next to a woman who isn’t your wife, then move to another seat.

If your faith tells you you can’t go to the same bathroom with some people, then figure out how to order your life so that you use the bathroom in a place that seems appropriate for you.

If your faith tells you you can’t sell wedding cakes to certain people, don’t go into the business of selling wedding cakes.

If you want to enforce your women in the house to wear the veil outside, don’t make them wear suffocating dresses in hot weather or wear dangerous swim suit for swimming.

If you fast during Ramadan, you don’t have to lambaste anyone else for refraining from fasting.

Practice your religious belief in the confinement of your house and no need to preach the practices of your religious sect.

You are Not a physically handicapped person and we are Not obligated to satisfy your mental handicaps

A question Mr. Islamic Moufti

💢 *يا سيدي المفتي سؤال..*

📝 بقلم الناشطة الأردنية “لارا الشميساني”

🔻يا سيدي المفتي سؤال..

🔻إذا دخل في حلق “الفلسطيني” دم من إصابته بالرصاص.. هل يفطر ؟

🔻إذا دخل غبار بيت “السوري” المقصوف بعبوة إرهابية في حلقه.. هل يفطر؟

🔻إذا غسّلوا أشلاء “العراقي” بإنفجار حزام ناسف ارتداه وحش في سوق… وصبوا الماء على وجهه المحطم ودخلت قطرات ماء في فمه.. هل يفطر؟

🔻إذا امتلأت رئة “اليمني” وعينه بالغاز المدمي القاتل وهطل عليه مطر القنابل المحرمة دولياً وأذاب جسده.. هل يفطر؟

🔻إذا لامست الدماء المتطايرة من صدر ليبي شفاه أخيه الليبي الذي طعنه في ظهره.. هل يفطر؟

🔻إذا اشتم ”البورمي” رائحة شواء لحمه حياً.. هل يفطر؟

🔻إذا اعتصر طفل صومالي ثدي أمه وسال دمها جفافاً وجوعاً.. هل تفطر؟

🔻إذا تجرع سجين الحق البحريني علقم الذل والتعذيب.. هل يفطر؟

🔻إذا انحرف منشار سياف سعودي على رقبة مجاهد كلمة حق سعودي فلم يقطع الوريد بالوريد وتركه كشاةٍ يتلوى ألماً.. هل يفطر؟

🔻هل يا سيدي المفتي إذا تطايرت الأشلاء وانتثرت الدماء ولم نجد للوضوء ماء ، هل نتوضأ بدمنا أم نتيمم بأشلائنا؟

🔻هل يا سيدي المفتي إذا اغتصبت النساء وسبيت الحرائر وبيعت بسوق النخاسة هل وجب اغتسال الجنابة؟

🔻هل يا سيدي المفتي إن بيعت الاوطان وسرقت المقدرات وارتهنت السيادة هل ندفع عنها نصاب الزكاة؟

🔻هل يا سيدي المفتي أخرج عن ديني إن ألقيتُ تحيةً على أخي إن ثلّث الشهادة؟

🔻ولكن تمهل سيدي المفتي
قبل أن تجيب على أسئلتي
عليك ان تسأل عن مذهبي
فأنا في كتبك التيمية الوهابية ومراجعك الفتنوية
مكفرٌ مذهبي
محاربةٌ ملتي
مهدورٌ دمي
مسبيٌ شرفي
مهتوكٌ عرضي
مغدورٌ ولدي
ملعونٌ والدي
مسلوبٌ مالي
ولا دولارات معي أستفتيك فيها
ولا جمال أقدمه لمُلك يمينك هدية
ولا منصب أهبك إياه ولا أملك لك عطية

🔻واعلم يا سيدي المفتي
أني لن أجد فتوى لأسئلتي
فقد اعتادت أمتي
على فتاويك الشهوانية
ونكاح حورية
وزواج قاصرة
و وطئ عورة
وإشباع غريزة
وفتاوي القتل الارهابية

🔻سيدي المفتي
لا بارك الله جمعتك إن أباحت أحدٌ دموي
ولا تقبل الله صيامك إن جاع طفل بصيام قصري
ولا سمع الله دعائك إن كان ضد أخي والعدو في قدسي

🔻يا سيدي المفتي قل لي بربك هل يفطر من خالف إرهاب الوهابية !!!

وإني يا سيدي المفتي استفتي قلبي وإن افتيتني

لارا الشميساني
2019-‎05-‎03

Israel hiding 300,000 documents about massacres carried out against Palestinians

Israeli Jewish journalist Asaf Shalev, who lives in California, has said that Israel had been hiding 300,000 documents about crimes carried out against the Palestinians, thousands of them date back to 1800s, +972 Magazine reported early this week.

Shalev was reported saying to the magazine that Israel’s State Archives declassified secret documents last summer including documents which are more than a century old; however, he said, 300,000 documents which predate the creation of Israel remained classified.

The very existence of the 300,000 classified files—their names, dates, and origin within the state bureaucracy—had been kept a secret, until now, he was reported saying by +972 Magazine, noting that one-fifth of the files, deemed too sensitive still by the government, were excluded from the disclosure.

Palestinian archives: A reflection of a rich history 

“There were many people who were concerned about the opening of this catalog,” +972 Magazinereported Israel’s State Archivist Yaacov Lozowick writing in a statement accompanying the release.

Shalev noted that the oldest of these documents, which remained classified, titled “Parker Report dates back to 1821. In addition, there are 125 classified documents dating back to the 19th century and about 2,000 documents from before the Nakba of 1948.

He added, according to +972 Magazine, we cannot access the files so that it is impossible to say why they are still classified over 70, and in some cases, nearly 200 years later.

Amongst the documents are files on Deir Yassin and Kfar Qasim, the two most notorious massacres carried out by Israeli forces.

A lawsuit against Allah in Syria in 2005

The 40-year Syrian Abed Razaak Abed Allah filed a lawsuit against Allah in 2005 for failing to deliver on his promises in many verses of the Koran.

When the judge asked him why he waited so long to file his lawsuit Abed Razaak replied: All judges were scared of Allah, but you seem to be a level-headed judge.

Note: If Allah exists, all those who speak in the name of Allah to justify their behaviors and bad actions, Hell was reserved for them

هذا ما حصل في سورية سنة 2005

« دعوى قضائية ضد الله »

، تقدم مواطن سوري يدعى عبد الرزاق عبدالله سنة ٢٠٠٥ بدعوى قضائية إلى المحكمة ضد الله طلب فيها دعوة المدعى عليه للمحاكمة وإلزامه من حيث النتيجة بتسليمه الرزق الذي خصصه به الله وقد جاء في حيثيات الدعوى كما رواها أحدهم وكان حاضراً عندما تقدم عبد الرزاق بدعواه المذكورة إلى قاضي المحكمة:

المدعي : عبد الرزاق عبدالله.المدعى عليه : الله.موضوع

الدعوى : لقد خلقني المدعى عليه الله قبل أربعين عاماً من والدين فقيرين ماتا قبل أن أبلغ العاشرة من عمري، فنشأت وتربيت يتيماً وفقيراً لا مال عندي ولا بيت، وكان الله قد منع اهلي من قتلي بسبب الفقر عندما قال “لاتقتلوا اولادكم من إملاق (الأنعام)/ خشية إملاق ( الإسراء)، نحن نرزقكم وإياهم”، وبذلك اغواهم وخلف وعده..

ولما كان المدعى عليه الله هو الذي خلقني فهو مكلف بتأمين رزقي وإعالتي بدليل قوله في كتابه الكريم: ” نحن خلقناكم ونحن نرزقكم ” ، إلا أن المدعى عليه ورغم مضي أربعين عاماً على ولادتي لم يكفل لي الحد الأدنى للمعيشة، مما اضطرني إلى حاجة الناس حتى ركبني الدين.ولما كان المدعى عليه قد أكد في القرآن الكريم وعلى لسان نبيه الأمين:” رزقكم في السماء وما توعدون ”

في حين احتفظ المدعى عليه بهذا الرزق المخصص لي بموجب ذلك النص بدون وجه حق، ولم يسلمني إياه رغم المطالبة المستمرة له مع الدعاء له كل يوم وكل ساعة.ولما كان المدعى عليه “الله” قد أعطى غيري من الرزق الكثير بما يفوق حاجته، بحيث ترى أن هناك من يملك الملايين والكثير من العقارات والسيارات ويتذوق يومياً ما لذ وطاب من المأكل والمشرب ، بينما أدوخ أنا مع الكثيرين من الجوع والعطش.

وبما أن إسمي هو عبد الرزاق وعبد الله فمعنى ذلك أنني من عبيد المدعى عليه وبالتالي فهو مكلف بإعالتي، لأن العبد وما ملكت يداه لسيده.لهذه الأسباب وغيرها فإنني أطلب:

١- دعوة المدعى عليه للمحاكمة.
٢- إلزامه بإيداع رزقي الموجود لديه في السماء إلى أقرب بنك.
٣- تضمينه الرسوم والمصاريف.

قرأ القاضي استدعاء الدعوى، وقد بدا عليه الإندهاش والغرابة من مضمون هذه الدعوى الأولى من نوعها في العالم ، ثم قال للمدعي هذه الدعوى ساقطة بالتقادم القصير والطويل، فلماذا انتظرت كل هذه المدة لتتقدم بهذه الدعوى؟

فرد عليه المدعي على الفور :” لا لم تسقط هذه الدعوى بالتقادم يا سيدي لأن التزام المدعى عليه هو التزام مستمر ويتجدد يومياً .دُهش القاضي لهذا الجواب ،

ثم سأل المدعي لكن لماذا لم تتقدم بهذه الدعوى من قبل إلى القضاة الذين كانوا قبلي في هذه المحكمة؟

أجاب المدعي: يا سيدي إن القضاة الذين سبقوك كانوا يخافون من المدعى عليه،أما سيادتكم فلم يثبت لدينا ذلك.

Why the Islamic and “Arabic” culture is unable to sustain voicing the truth?

“نحو خطاب ديني جديد “

Toward a new religious rhetoric

The poet Adonis claim that we need a new Islamic religious rhetoric or discourse that separate religion from civil administration, governance and civic life.

He claim that every monarch and dictator in the Islamic world considers himself a Calif.

If you can read Arabic that’s fine. Otherwise, I need to extend my own opinion of religion, all religion.

All intellectuals and secular forces would state : Religion has nothing to do with civil government of people, especially Islam. They are lying with every fiber of their body: they don’t want to say that religion was indeed created to govern the societies.

If religion was Not meant to govern the people, then why did every religion created a sophisticated hierarchy of clergy and invested most of its energy at opening locations for gathering, preaching and “praying”?

Even Communist Russia and China, who supposedly “eradicated” religious institutions, didn’t dare to test the influence of religion by once conducting a single “democratic” election for all the population?

Did any “democratic” State, with laws that separate religious institutions from civil institutions, tested and evaluated the influence of religious votes in elections? How many oppose any “ideal civil program” simply on the basis of religious belief systems, disseminated and tacitly supported by the clergies.

تحرير الثقافة العربية من الوظيفية :
أدونيس يفتح النار على الثقافة العربية والإسلامية
ويقول إنها لا تعلّم سوى الكذب والنفاق والرياء :

في قاعة ضاقت على حضورها بما رحبت في العاصمة المصرية القاهرة صبّ الشاعر السوري أدونيس جام غضبه على حال الثقافة العربية والإسلامية في الوقت الراهن..
واصفا إياها بأنها ثقافة القرون الوسطى..

مؤكدا أنها ثقافة لا تعلّم سوى الرياء والنفاق والكذب..
ولا تستطيع أن تجهر بالحق وليست حرة…
ومشيرا الى أن الرقابة هي جزء عضوي في الثقافة العربية، ليس فقط من أهل السلطة..
وإنما توجد الرقابة الاجتماعية والسياسية.

وتابع أدونيس:
أنا نفسي لا أستطيع أن أقول ما أفكر فيه بصراحة. ..
وأضاف أدونيس في ندوته بعنوان “نحو خطاب ديني جديد “
أنه لا يجرؤ على وصف الصورة التي يوصف بها الإسلام في العالم الآن، مشيرا أن الحرب العربية العربية لم تتوقف منذ 14 قرنا...

فضلا عن الإقصاء الذي مارسه العرب والمسلمون على الآخر.. موضحا أن الإرهاب الحالي ليس سوى تنويع على إيقاع إرهاب قديم…

وانتقد أدونيس الأنظمة العربية بلا استثناء..
مشيرا إلى أنه لا همّ لها سوى الحفاظ على سلطتهم…
ولا يعنيهم من قريب أو بعيد الإنسان العربي الفرد…
وموضحا أننا كعرب ومسلمين لا نعير الفرد أي اعتبار…
وإن كل اهتمامنا بالعشيرة والقبيلة….

ووصف أدونيس الشعوب العربية بأنها :
شعوب تعيش على ما يقوله السلف..
موضحا أننا شعوب منشطرة الشخصية….

ووصف أدونيس المثقفين بأنهم موظفون…
لا دور لهم على الإطلاق…
مشيرا إلى أنه لو كان للمثقف دور..!!!
لكان أدى هذا الدور عظماء مثل طه حسين
وعلى عبد الرازق وزكي نجيب محمود”
واعتذر أدونيس عن نسيان أسماء أخرى”.

وقال الشاعر السوري إن الثورة الحقيقية هي:
أن نثور على أنفسنا… مشيرا إلى أن أعظم معلّم للإنسان
هو نفسه إذا كان صادقا معها….

ودعا أدونيس إلى إحداث قطيعة معرفية مع الماضي…
بب مشيرا إلى أن أول قطيعة يجب أن تكون :
مع القراءة السائدة للدين.

لست متدينا ولكن

وقال أدونيس إنه ليس متدينا..
ولكنه أحرص الناس على الدفاع عن المتدينين
شريطة ألا يفرضوا آراءهم بالقوة على الآخر.
الاسلام دين لا دولة

وقال أدونيس إنه يؤمن تماما بأن الاسلام رسالة روحية..
وليس دولة..
مشيرا إلى أن من معاني الدولة أن تحمل معنى العنف، مستنكرا أن يتحول الدين من رسالة روحية إلى قمع وعنف، وموضحا أن الرسالات السماوية لم تنزل لتقييد البشر ..
ولكن لتحريرهم .

وأكد أدونيس أنه لا يوجد نص سواء من القرآن أو السنة يقول إن الاسلام دولة..
داعيا الى مدنية علمانية على المستوى العربي..
وتحرير الثقافة العربية من الوظيفية…
واتجاهها الى النضال من أجل الحرية وفتح الآفاق ….

ودعا أدونيس إلى الديمقراطية بمعناها الحقيقي..
حيث الحرية والمساواة ..
مؤكدا أن علمنة الدول هو :
أحد أهم الأشياء التي يجب النضال من أجلها .

ووصف أدونيس الحكام العرب بأنهم خلفاء …!!
مشيرا إلى أن الدولة الوحيدة التي قام فيها ثورة حقيقية نظام الحكم فيها أشبه بالخليفة وهي الجزائر..
متسائلا : فكيف الحال بباقي الدول العربية.

وخلص أدونيس الى استحالة قيام ديمقراطية عربية في ظل الأوضاع الراهنة .

The crimes of 1948: Jewish fighters speak out

“The most ferocious Jewish terrorists on Palestinian civilians were those who had escaped the Nazi camps”.

#Nakba

Thomas Vescovi. Thursday 28 June 2018 13:08 UTC

More than 60 years after these events, the combatants express little remorse: the territory needed to be liberated to found the Jewish state and there was no room for “Arabs” (Meaning Palestinians)

For the Israelis, 1948 represents the high point of the Zionist project, a major chapter in the Israeli national narrative when the Jews became masters of their own fate and, above all, succeeded in realising the utopia formulated 50 years earlier by Theodor Herzl – the construction, in Palestine, of a state of refuge for the “Jewish people”.

(This utopia was the concept of the USA “Christian” Evangelists, 50 years prior to Herzl ideology: They believed the Second Coming will take place only when the Jews occupy Jerusalem)

For the Palestinians, 1948 symbolises the advent of the colonial process that dispossessed them of their land and their right to sovereignty – known as the “Nakba” (catastrophe, in Arabic).

In theory, Israeli and Palestinian populations disagree over the events of 1948 that drove 805,000 Palestinians into forced exile. However, in practice, Jewish fighters testified early on to the crimes of which they perhaps played accomplice, or even perpetrator.

Dissonant voices

Through various channels, a number of Israelis would testify to the events of the day, as early as 1948.

At the time of the conflict, a number of Zionist leaders questioned the movement’s authorities on the treatment of Arab populations in Palestine, which they considered unworthy of the values the Jewish fighters claimed to defend. Others took notes hoping to testify once the violence had stopped.

Yosef Nahmani, a senior officer of the Haganah, the armed force of the Jewish Agency that would become the Army of Defense for Israel, wrote in his diary on 6 November 1948:

“In Safsaf, after the inhabitants had hoisted the white flag, [the soldiers] gathered the men and women into separate groups, bound the hands of fifty or sixty villagers, shot them, then buried them all in the same pit. They also raped several women from the village. Where did they learn such behaviour, as cruel as that of the Nazis? […] One officer told me that the most ferocious were those who had escaped the camps.”

During the conflict, a number of Zionist leaders questioned the movement’s authorities on the treatment of Arab populations in Palestine, which they considered unworthy of the values the Jewish fighters claimed to defend

The truth is, once the war was over, the narrative of the victors alone was heard, with Israeli civil society facing a number of far more urgent challenges than that of the plight of the Palestinian refugees. People who wanted to recount the events of the day had to turn to fiction and literature.

,In 1949, the Israeli writer and politician, Yizhar Smilansky published the novella Khirbet Khizeh, in which he described the expulsion of an eponymous Arab village. But according to the author, there was no need to feel remorse about that particular chapter of history. The “dirty work” was as a necessary part of building the Jewish state. His testimony reflects, instead, a kind of atonement for past sins. By acknowledging wrongs and unveiling them, one is able to cast off the burden of guilt.

The novel became a bestseller and was made into a TV film in 1977. Its release provoked heated debate since it called into question the Israeli narrative claiming the Palestinian populations had left their lands voluntarily to avoid living alongside Jews.

A squad of Jewish fighters during the Nakba. Photo from the TV drama, Khirbet Khizeh, based on the eponymous novella (Wikipedia)

Other works were published but few as realistic as Netiva Ben-Yehuda’s trilogy, The Palmach Trilogy, published in 1984, recounting the events of a three-month period in 1948.

A commander in the Palmach, the elite fighting force of the Haganah, she evokes the abuses and acts of violence perpetrated against Arab inhabitants and provides details of the massacre at Ein al Zeitun, which took place around 1 May 1948.

The Deir Yassin massacre

On 4 April 1972, Colonel Meir Pilavski, a former Palmach fighter, was interviewed by Yediot Aharonot, one of Israel’s three largest daily papers, on the Deir Yassin massacre of 9 April 1948, in which nearly 120 civilians lost their lives.

His troops, he claims, were in the vicinity at the time of the attacks, but were advised to withdraw when it became clear the operations were being led by the extremist paramilitary forces, Irgun and Stern, which had broken away from the Haganah.

From then on, the debate would focus on the events at Deir Yassin, to the point of forgetting the nearly 70 other massacres of Arab civilians that took place. The stakes were high for the Zionist left: responsibility for the massacres would be placed on groups of ultras.

The debate would focus on the events of Deir Yassin, to the point of forgetting the nearly 70 other massacres of Arab civilians that took place

In 1987, when the first works of a group of historians known as the Israeli “new historians” appeared, including those of Ilan Pappé, a considerable part of the Jewish battalions of 1948 were called into question. For those who had remained silent in recent decades, the time had come to speak out.

Part of Israeli society seemed ready to listen as well. Within the context of the First Palestinian Intifada and the pre-Oslo negotiations, pacifist circles were ready to question Israeli society on its national narrative and its relationship to non-Jewish communities.

These attempts at dialogue ended suddenly with the outbreak of the Second Intifada, which was more militarised and took place in the aftermath of the failed Camp David talks and the breakdown of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. The Katz controversy would perfectly embody the new dynamic.

The Katz controversy

In 1985, a 60-year-old kibbutznik, Teddy Katz, decided to resume his studies and enrolled in a historical research programme under the direction of Ilan Pappé at the University of Haifa. He wanted to shed light on the events that took place in five Palestinian villages, deserted in 1948.

He conducted 135 interviews with Jewish fighters, 64 of which focused on the atrocity that allegedly took place in the village of Tantura, cleared of 1,200 inhabitants on 23 May 1948 by Palmach forces.

After two years of research, Katz states in his work that between 85 and 110 men were ruthlessly shot dead on Tantura beach, after digging their own graves. The massacre would then continue in the village, one house at a time, and a man hunt was played out in the streets.

The killing only stopped when Jewish inhabitants from the neighbouring village of Zikhron Yaakov intervened. More than 230 people were murdered.

Ilan Pappé: “The Nakba, the observation of a crime, ignored but not forgotten

In January 2000, a journalist from daily Maariv newspaper decided to talk to some of the witnesses mentioned by Katz. The main witness, Bentzion Fridan, a commander for the Palmach forces present in Tantura, denied the whole story point blank, then filed a complaint, along with other senior officers, against Katz, who found himself forced to face a dozen lawyers determined to defend the honour of the nation’s “heroes”.

Under pressure from the media – who were calling him a “collaborator” and were only covering his accusers’ version of the facts – and the courts, he agreed to sign a document acknowledging he had falsified their statements. Though he withdrew his acknowledgement a few hours later and had the backing of a university commission, the legal proceedings were over.

With the collapse of the Oslo Accords, the return to power of the Likud, the failure of the Camp David Accords and the Taba Summit, the Second Intifada and the kamikaze attacks, Israeli pacifists were no longer interested in the Palestinian version of 1948. Indeed, most were too busy falling into rank to escape the repercussions of the country’s increasingly conservative social order.

Testifying for posterity

In 2005, the filmmaker Eyal Sivan and the Israeli NGO Zochrot developed the project Towards a Common Archive aiming to gather testimonies from the Jewish soldiers of 1948. More than 30 agreed to testify on the events of those days which had been subject to such conflicting accounts.

Why had fighters now agreed to testify, a mere few years later? According to Pappé, the scientific director of the project, for three reasons.

They did all agree on the necessity, in 1948, of forcing Arab populations into exile in order to build the State of Israel

First, most were approaching the end of their lives and were no longer afraid of speaking out.

Second, the former fighters had fought for an ideal that had deteriorated with the rise in Israel of religious circles and the far right, as well as the neoliberal electroshock imposed by Netanyahu during his successive mandates.

Third, they were convinced that sooner or later the younger generations would discover the truth of the Palestinian refugees, and they believed it was their duty to pass on the knowledge of the disturbing events.

The testimonies are Not identical across the board.

Some fighters went into great detail, whereas others did not wish to address certain topics. Nevertheless, they did all agree on the necessity, in 1948, of forcing Arab populations into exile in order to build the State of Israel, though their views differed at times on the usefulness of firing on civilians.

All claim to have received specific orders concerning the razing of Arab villages, however, to prevent the exiled populations’ return.

The villages were “cleaned out” methodically.

As they approached the site, soldiers would fire or launch grenades to frighten the local populations. In most cases, such actions were enough to drive the inhabitants away. Sometimes, a house or two had to be blown up at the entrance of a village to force the few recalcitrant inhabitants to flee.

As for the massacres, for some, the acts were merely part of the “cleansing” operations, since the leaders of the Zionist movement had authorised them to “cross this line”, in certain cases.

The “line” was systematically crossed when inhabitants refused to leave, put up resistance, or even fought back.

No remorse

In Lod, more than 100 people took refuge in the mosque, believing rumours that Jewish fighters would not attack places of worship. A rocket launcher destroyed their shelter, which collapsed on them. Their bodies were burned.

For others, the leaders Yigal Allon, of the Palmach, and David Ben Gurion, of the Jewish Agency, reportedly opposed the shooting of civilians, ordering forces to first let them go and then to destroy the homes.

The combatants also testify to a contrasting Palestinian response. In most cases, they seemed “frightened” and overwhelmed by the events, hastening to join the flow of refugees. Some Arabs begged the soldiers not to “do to them what they did in Deir Yassin”.

Other inhabitants seemed convinced they would be able to return home at the end of the fighting. One witness spoke of residents of the village of Bayt Naqquba who left the key to their houses with Jewish neighbours in the Kiryat-Avanim kibbutz, with whom they were on good terms, so the latter could ensure that nothing was looted.

Good Jewish-Arab relations come up regularly, and few witnesses speak of being on bad terms with their neighbours before the beginning of the war.

During an eviction around Beersheba, Palestinian peasants came to ask for help from the inhabitants of the neighbouring kibbutz, who did not hesitate to intervene and denounce the actions of Zionist soldiers.

More than 60 years after these events, the combatants expressed little or No remorse.

According to them, it was necessary to liberate the territory promised by the UN in order to found the Jewish state, and this meant there was no room for Arabs in the national landscape.

– Thomas Vescovi is a teacher and a researcher in contemporary history. He is the author of Bienvenue en Palestine (Kairos, 2014) and La Mémoire de la Nakba en Israël (L’Harmattan, 2015).

READ MORE ►

“Nakba’s harvest of sorrow: We will be back, grandmother 

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

Photo: On 12 May 1948, members of the Haganah escort Palestinians expelled from Haifa after Jewish forces took control of its port on 22 April (AFP).

This article originally appeared in French.


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