Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Nakba

Tidbits and Notes. Part 282

in “israel” will be held on day (transfer of Palestinians in 1948, about 700,000 refugees) over the ruins of a village razed by Zionist criminal and apartheid “Israel” in 1948.

Pourquoi écrire si on se croit supérieur aux romans qu’on écrit?

Someone told me: “I feel they are acting out of jealousy. They breezed through their diploma, while you worked hard to earn your degrees. Even at 40, you decided to go for a PhD in the hardest of engineering disciplines. You worked 4 jobs to pay for tuition with no family support during the grueling years…” I can live without jealousy. If I could secure a semblance of basic respect, it would do for me.

After a spate of high-profile cases of sexual misconduct and hazing deaths, some say the “Fraternity” organizations No longer have a place in college life, as they were encouraged to view “masculinity”

The late astronaut John Young believed “dust is the number one concern for returning to the moon.” That’s because lunar dust particles are ultra-fine and have no wind or water to smooth them out, meaning they’re also sharp, jagged, and sticky

In 1808, the US outlawed the importation of slaves, but the practice continued for years. Indeed it wasn’t until 1860 that the last known ship carrying enslaved Africans to the US set sail. I guess because of the civil war that blocked all ships. The same is true for “liberating” negro slaves that endured for another century, and robbing them of their human rights as citizens.

Ben Steverman profiles the influential economist (paywall), who estimates that the top 1% of taxpayers control 39% of US wealth.

Millions of Europeans will vote this weekend on the kind of future they envision for the EU, in the largest transnational democratic contest in the world. The major test is the rate of voting , for a parliament that Europeans view as an abstract concept, run by bureaucrats that is intent on running their lives. If the rate is over 40% that would be a vote of confidence in the EU

Iran with Iraqi Jaish Sha3bi defeated Da3esh in Iraq. Iran with Syria army defeated ISIS in Syria. Iran with Lebanon Hezbollah defeated Israe. Iran with Yemenis defeated Saudi Kingdom and tits hired mercenaries. Who USA has to defeat Iran?

Good turnout for EU parliament 50.5%. An expression of greater political debate and a better trend to remain in EU.

Next EU parliament must restrict the invasive agro-multinationals to improve local peasants prices and allow greater local jobs.

EU allocations need to target districts instead of entire country: this policy will encourage higher participation in the EU discussions for targeted funding

The great joker: Trump would like to defend Iran, as it defends Saudi Kingdom, if it desist from contemplating developing the Bomb. In return, Trump also want $billions from Iran.

During the Flu calamity in the USA after WWI, Dan Tonkel recalled, “We were actually almost afraid to breathe...You were afraid even to go out…The fear was so great people were actually afraid to leave their homes…afraid to talk to one another.”

Israeli company Archimedes Group spent more than $800,000 running Facebook ads and their accounts had almost 3 million followers, Facebook announced the removals Thursday. It disseminated faked accounts targeting Africa elections.

Archimedes Group used fake accounts and “represented themselves as locals, including local news organizations, and published allegedly leaked information about politicians,” Facebook said.
The company primarily targeted Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Angola, Niger and Tunisia but also had some activity targeting Latin America and Southeast Asia, according to Facebook.
“The tactics employed by Israel Archimedes Group, a “private” company, closely resemble the types of information warfare tactics often used by governments, and the Kremlin in particular,” the lab said in a report.

My Speech for London Rally in Support of Palestinians’ Rights to Exist, Resist and Return

My name is Shahd Abusalama and I’m a 3rd generation Palestinian refugee, born and raised in Jabalia Refugee Camp, northern Gaza.

I’m standing here with so many Palestinians, born in Palestine and exile, to tell the founding Zionists of Israel who assumed that the old will die and the young will forget, that we will not forget Palestine, and we will never surrender our fundamental rights to exist, resist and return.

We stand representative of many indigenous communities who faced various forms of oppression across the history of European colonialism and imperialism, to remind the world that settler colonialism is not a culture of the past, but a current reality that we have lived and defied from America, Australia and Ireland to Palestine.

My grandmother described a peaceful childhood in green fields of citrus and olive trees in our village Beit-Jirja. This life, the tastes, the sounds and the smells remained fixated only in her memories as Beit Jirja was dismantled alongside other 530 villages and towns that were depopulated and destroyed by Zionist thugs in 1948.

For Palestinians, the Nakba was never a one-off event that happened in 1948.

Israeli colonial oppression has never stopped and many Palestinian communities within Israel, including the people of Khan Al-Ahmar, are still fighting against their ethnic cleansing as we stand here.

My grandparents are present today more than ever as we mark the 71st anniversary of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, for what happened then is why I was born in Jabalia with a gun pointed at my head.

During my mother’s labour, Israeli soldiers disrupted her way to Jabalia UNRWA Clinic as they forced a curfew that indoctrinated to shoot any moving being. Shooting to kill was common in the 1st Intifada when I came to life, and is a common practice now.

We saw it in the shooting and maiming of Gaza’s Great Return March protesters who stood with their bare chests against Israeli snipers to claim their humanity and to bring their right of return, an issue that Israel firmly rejected across the past 7 decades on racist grounds, to the centre of political debate.

Their cries for justice come amidst US-Israeli attempts to push the right of return and Jerusalem “off the table”. It is time that we call those world leaders what they are: racist trolls. It is time to stand firm in our support of the Palestinian right of return, as without justice, there will be no meaningful peace.

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip just survived another a 3-day deadly Israeli attack last weekend, which claimed 25 lives, including two pregnant women, two toddlers and a 12 year old child.

While world news was quick to move on after the truce was announced, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip returned to a daily struggle for survival while more deadly violence is expected at any moment.

That’s how my family welcomed Ramadan. Following the truce, I heard my parents calling relatives and friends and saying, “glad you survived” before continuing “Ramadan Kareem”.

Imagine living in an open-air prison where there is constant presence of death, and fear of walls falling inwards. This fear of being uncertain about anything, including your own life, even while in your home, is terrifying.

This is what 2 million people faced last weekend as they are besieged by Israeli weaponry from air, land and sea, turning Gaza into a laboratory for its lethal arms, which Israel markets as ‘battle-tested’ in notorious arms fairs around the world, such as DSEI which London is hosting again this year.

It is not a coincidence that Gaza comes under attack during Israeli elections over and over again.

Those elections are led by criminals using Palestinian children’s blood to win popular support.

Meanwhile, the world is about to celebrate Eurovision in Apartheid Israeli on top of an ethnically-cleansed Palestinian land, a show whose whole purpose is to expose Israel’s ‘prettier face’ while deflecting global attention from its daily crimes against the Palestinians.

Shame on all contestant countries, all the participants and audiences if they still support Eurovision in Israel while our victims’ blood haven’t dried.

This is nothing new. This is our decades-long lived experience that is normalised by a dominant media discourse that finds it comfortable to avoid addressing the power imbalance between the occupier and the occupied, to remove the context of settler colonialism and reduce it to conflict, effectively demonizing Palestinians and their legitimate struggle against their systematic dehumanization.

Our injustice is also normalized by tax payers whose money is paid as military ‘aid’ for Israel, by politicians who suddenly fall short on words of condemnation once the perpetrator is Israel.

And by international institutions doing business with Israel or corporations that enable Israeli crimes, by Muslims of the world who normalise relations with Israel and buy Israeli dates merged with our pains of loss and dispossession, by Zionist Jews and Evangelical Christians who support the uninterrupted process of ethnic cleansing against the native people of the ‘promised land’ in the name of God.

The best response to such brutality and normalisation is active solidarity!

We have a beautiful demonstration of solidarity today with thousands uniting from different races, religions, genders, professions and cities, to say: we’re not turning our back to the Palestinian people. We know too well that whether Palestine on news headlines or not, Israel is perpetrating violence uninterruptedly.

Every minute, innocent souls are buried, (as if it should be a common occurrence when Israel does the killing)

And building that took a lifetime to build are flattened. It is urgent that people of conscience all over the world join in solidarity and resist the collusion of their governments and institutions in this long-standing crime against humanity.

Note 1: Do you know that 80,000 Evangelical preacher/pastors main duty is to disseminate world Zionism ideology?

Note 2: Do you know that this bogus “Deal of Century” was Not discussed with the Palestinians?

The crimes of 1948: Jewish fighters speak out

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


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).


“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.

Israel’s occupation mindset and lust to kill has to be ended

Activists stage a rally condemning the Israeli violence at the Gaza Strip’s eastern border in Brooklyn, New York, United States on 14 May, 2018 [Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency]

Activists stage a rally condemning the Israeli violence at the Gaza Strip’s eastern border in New York, US on 14 May, 2018 [Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency

The history of the Palestinian cause since the 1948 Nakba has been linked to a lengthy list of legal and moral violations against innocent people; a lot of their blood has been spilt.

This has produced the greatest level of human suffering of modern times, to which the international powers have contributed by harnessing the law in favour of rogue terrorist gangs.

Having such powers behind them, those gangs were able to establish a country upon the remnants of a peaceful population of an ancient civilisation reflected in their land, identity and culture.

The rest of the indigenous people (Palestinians) were driven off the land at gunpoint, in a stark example of what we now call ethnic cleansing.

This is the first time in modern politics that we have ever witnessed such a “surrogate” state, which uprooted the existing population and has sought ever since to eradicate their existence and history.

Israel has lived up to its stated intent to be an “outpost of [Western] civilisation against barbarism” having been planted in a region which shares the faiths, language and general culture of the Palestinians.

In order to accomplish the international conspiracy and criminal intent of this “surrogate” state, the process has been carried out regardless of the history and culture of the land in which it was established, against the wishes of the indigenous population it must be said. Since taking over 78 per cent of historic Palestine, the occupation state has shredded the remaining land, “in a way that prevents the achievement of its unity, and the construction of its independent political entity.”

READ: Reporters Without Borders asks ICC to investigate Israel war crimes against journalists

Israel was built upon the terrorism of Zionist militias who held no red lines as sacred and proceeded to kill, displace and plunder the people and their resources.

For the past 70 years, Israeli governments have continued in the same vein, preventing — by force when deemed necessary — the Palestinians from leading a peaceful and dignified life in their own land.

In doing so, the occupation authorities have trampled on international laws and conventions, claiming an unprecedented degree of exceptionalism that allows Israel to act with impunity. Its war crimes and crimes against humanity continue to go unpunished; in this, its international backers in Washington, London and other Western capitals are complicit.

The 70th anniversary of the Nakba – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

The establishment of the State of Israel was accompanied by systematic massacres in order to empty the land of its existing inhabitants.

The massacre of Balad Al-Shaykh in 1948, for example, saw 600 Palestinians killed, most of them women and children; their corpses were found in their homes.

The well-known massacre of Deir Yassin, also in 1948, reflected the extent to which the sanctity of human life was disregarded by the Zionist terrorists, and demonstrated their criminality and inherent hatred for the local people.

Estimates differ of the number of casualties, but the International Red Cross reported that 150 corpses were found in one cistern alone, apart from the bodies on the streets, some of which had been badly mutilated.

As was the case across Palestine, when the people were killed or driven out of their homes, whole villages were then demolished and wiped off the map.

Massacres by Israeli troops continued throughout 1948 and beyond. The village of Abu Shusha was “depopulated” the day before Israel was created, while Tantura was attacked by the nascent Israel Defence Forces (IDF) 10 days later, with dozens of the local people killed and hundreds more forced out of their homes. Similar attacks on Palestinians took place in Qabiya in 1953, and Qalqilya, Kafr Qasim and Khan Yunus in 1956, to name but a few.

The whole history of Israel’s occupation of Palestine is filled with massacres of the Palestinian people. In part, this is because the state ideology, Zionism, requires as much of the land to be taken as possible, with as few Arabs on it as possible, so that Jewish settlers can be moved in to colonise the occupied territories.

Those Palestinians who stayed behind and refused to move off their land have faced systematic attacks over the decades, by the forces of the state as well as illegal settlers.

In 1990, a Jewish group calling itself the Temple Mount Faithful went to lay a cornerstone in the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa, where the group hopes one day to build a temple on the ruins of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock Mosque. Protected — as such incursions continue to be — by Israeli security forces, the settlers were met by Palestinian worshippers, 20 of whom were killed in the confrontation, with 150 more wounded.

The Ibrahimi Mosque was attacked by a lone gunman wearing his IDF uniform in February 1994; settler Baruch Goldstein shot and killed 29 Palestinians as they prayed in the mosque and injured dozens more. In 2002, the IDF surrounded the Jenin Refugee Camp before attacking the inhabitants. More than 50 Palestinians were killed, along with a number of Israel soldiers. Early claims put the number of those killed in the hundreds.

These massacres are well known, but are not the only Israeli crimes. What has been called “Jewish terrorism” was killing Palestinians (and British Mandate personnel, by the way) in the decade before the establishment of the state of Israel. Terrorist groups such as the Irgun and Stern Gang are infamous for their crimes. An estimated 7,000 Palestinians are believed to have been killed by such gangs.

Explained: The Nakba 70 years on

Furthermore, Israel has not been content with attacking and killing Palestinians in the occupied territories alone. Its armed forces and agents have killed Palestinian individuals around the world, and facilitated the massacre of civilians in the Sabra and Shatila Refugee Camps in Beirut in 1982.

Up to 3,500 Palestinian women, children and elderly people were slaughtered by a Lebanese Christian militia let into the camps by the IDF. Israeli soldiers actually lit the scene with flares and stood by while the massacre ensued. The victims lay in the streets for several days because the killers closed the entrances of the camps until they finished their crime. As on other occasions, bodies were mutilated and personal belongings were stolen.

The Israeli mindset appears to be one of territorial conquest and bloodlust. The IDF shows no mercy, even when the Palestinians protest against their virtual imprisonment by the occupation.

In 1987, when the First Intifada (Uprising) erupted, stone-throwing youths were met with live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets; if caught, they often had their arms and legs broken by the Israeli troops. When the Second Intifada broke out in 2000 in response to Israel’s assassination of key Palestinian individuals and other violations, the occupation security forces shed the blood of more than 4,000 people; a further 38,000 were wounded.

Nakba journey - Palestinians fleeing during the Nakba in 1948
More than 1 million Palestinians were displaced in 1948
Relive the journey of Nakba refugees

The Third Intifada began as a wave of protests by Palestinian youths in response to the criminal acts of the occupation authorities and extremist settler groups, the most notorious of which was the 2015 Duma arson attack against the house of the Dawabsheh family in Nablus. Most of the family were burnt alive, including an 18-month-old baby, Ali. A year earlier, in July 2014, 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir was burnt alive by Jewish settlers in Jerusalem.

11-year-old Gazaian Abdurrahman Nevfel (R), who lost his leg after Israeli soldiers opened fire on "Great March of Returns" demonstrations at Gaza Strip, is seen with his crutch in Gaza City, Gaza on 12 May, 2018 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

11-year-old Gazaian Abdurrahman Nevfel (R), who lost his leg after Israeli soldiers opened fire on “Great March of Returns” demonstrations at Gaza Strip, is seen with his crutch in Gaza City, Gaza on 12 May, 2018 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

CCTV and the cameras of human rights groups have recorded the cold-blooded killing of young Palestinians on the pretext that they were trying to stab soldiers and police officers. The evidence in many of the cases, though, suggests that these claims were false and the victims were actually unarmed. In one case, the victim was already seriously wounded and motionless on the ground when a soldier approached and shot

him in the head, killing him instantly. The soldier in question served just nine months in prison for manslaughter.

Since 2008, Israel has launched three major military offensives on the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, killing thousands in the process, including hundreds of children. Military incursions occur on a regular basis, often for no reason other than that the IDF can do what it wants to do, when it wants to do it. Israel has also imposed an immoral and illegal siege on Gaza for 12 years, an act of collective punishment that is a crime against humanity.

Human rights organisations agree that these are acts of genocide, with whole families wiped out and buried in the rubble of their homes.

Gaza’s infrastructure was already weakened by the siege when the Israeli offensives destroyed much of it altogether. The IDF killing machine did not distinguish between combatants and civilians. The statistics collated by international organisations confirm that the majority of the victims in Israel’s 2008/9, 2012 and 2014 offensives were civilians including elderly people, children and women.

READ: Gaza death toll rises to 61

Israel’s contempt for international law and human life has been witnessed again this week, with snipers shooting dead more than 60 Palestinians demonstrating for their legitimate right to return to their land within Israel. Since the Great March of Return protest started last month, more than 100 Palestinians have been killed by the Israelis — many of them shot in the back, hundreds of metres from the border fence and posing no risk to anyone — while thousands more have been wounded, often in life-changing ways.

This lust for killing is appalling, and has been condemned by the international community, although to their shame the US and others have sought to shift the blame onto the Palestinians themselves. The sight of Israeli soldiers and civilians celebrating and cheering whenever another Palestinian fell to the ground mortally wounded is sickening. Such behaviour can only be fuelled by their racism and hatred of all things Palestinian, Arab, Islamic and Christian.

Such is the demonic nature of the Zionist mindset, which rejects the Other, especially when that Other is a Palestinian standing up for his or her rights. The tyranny of the Israeli occupation of Palestine is unacceptable in the 21st Century and should be both condemned and ended by right-minded people the world over.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

In my Palestinian grandfather’s story, I find reasons to endure

Like all refugees, Ahmad Badawi Mustafa Ayoub left the world unmourned.

His memories rent from the land that made them. But his story, like Palestine’s itself, will matter well beyond the next negotiation. No empire, no flag, or sovereign can change that.

Ahmad Badawi Mustafa Ayoub with his family. (Courtesy of Samer Badawi)

Ahmad Badawi Mustafa Ayoub with his family. (Courtesy of Samer Badawi)

The Government of Palestine’s Directorate of Education, from its Samaria branch in Nablus, informed Ahmad Badawi Mustafa Ayoub that his teaching duties had been re-assigned on December 8, 1936.

The 35-year-old had 11 days to report to a new school in Deir el-Ghusoun, a village that, according to a 1931 British census, was home to some 450 households, all of them Muslim.

It was in this boys-only school that the third eldest of my five aunts learned to read and write.

While the other village parents kept their young daughters at home, my Palestinian grandfather, the teacher from Samaria, sat his at the classroom’s helm, where the lords of the British Empire held no rein.

In this post-peace era, palls cast over our long negotiation with Israel, these little histories can seem too quaint.

After all, with so many threats against our identity, so many of our people stripped of agency, we Palestinians must spar with an awful present. But in this fight, our family chronicles make for more than wistful conversation. They give us more reasons to endure.

I was reminded of this while scrolling through an archive of my grandfather’s papers, struggling to draw some perspective from the rush of eulogies for Oslo’s ninth life.

What I discovered — in his Ottoman birth certificate, his British teaching credentials, his various letters from this or that Jordanian directorate — was evidence of a life more resolute than the three sovereigns that defined it.

A letter addressed to Ahmad Badawi Mustafa Ayoub from the Deir Ballut District British Inspector. (Courtesy of Samer Badawi)

A letter addressed to Ahmad Badawi Mustafa Ayoub from the Deir Ballut District British Inspector. (Courtesy of Samer Badawi)

Ahmad was born in 1901 to Al-Haj Mustafa Ayoub, a Sufi poet from the village of Majdal Sadeq and was a subject of the vast and waning Ottoman Empire, which had by then ruled Palestine for some 400 years.

When his son was barely out of infancy, Ayoub (Arabic for “Job” the prophet) moved his family to Shweikeh, just outside the northern Palestinian town of Tulkarem. There, Ahmad completed his early schooling before enrolling in Jerusalem’s Rashidiya School.

According to a biography written by another of his grandsons, the day of Ahmad’s departure was a festive one, with neighbors and their children gathering to see the young pupil off. Back then, it seems, it was a sight to behold: a village boy bound for Jerusalem, where only a select few attended its finest institutions.

Rashidiya counts among its alumni the Palestinian nationalist poet Ibrahim Touqan, whose signature work from the 1936 “Arab” Revolt or Palestinian Intifada, (Civil disobedience that lasted 3 years and Britain had to dispatch 100,000 troop to control it) the longest sustained nationalist Palestinian uprising against British Mandatory control, eventually became the lyric to Iraq’s national anthem.

Although Ahmad completed his higher-level teaching certificate there, a British administrator ordered him back to the plains of Tulkarem, where he was to open new schools in the then-distant villages of northern Palestine.

And so he did. In nearly four decades of service to the Palestine he knew, my grandfather helped rear two generations of would-be citizens.

To this day, some of his pupils from that era, all septuagenarians themselves, will recall how ustaz (teacher) Ahmad used to strike fear in the hearts of this or that peer, dissuading others who might foolishly be inclined to mischief.

I knew Sido (grandfather) as terse and forceful, too, but I found these qualities reassuring, like the relentless rhythms of a tightly formed qasidah (poem).

In a devastating elegy to his “suffocated generation,” the Damascene poet Nizar Qabbani counsels the children of the “Arab” nation: “You don’t win a war with a reed and a flute.”

But my grandfather, like so many of his comrades from the time, fought a different kind of war. He outlived Britain’s reign and the Ottomans’ before it, and when he retired, his end-of-service certificate, dated June 19, 1961, came stamped by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan’s Directorate of Education. In Nablus.

Ahmad Badawi Mustafa Ayoub and his wife, 1981. (Courtesy of Samer Badawi)

Ahmad Badawi Mustafa Ayoub and his wife, 1981. (Courtesy of Samer Badawi)

The last time I saw Sido, he was sitting on the edge of a bed in the basement of my aunt’s home in Amman. The day marked nothing in particular — no anniversary, no celebration, no birth or death.

Yet there he was, ever the school teacher, his kuffiyeh draped over a black suit jacket, now loose over an atrophied frame.

“May I enter, Sido?” I asked in my timid Arabic. He acknowledged my presence, without saying a word, and I walked in to sit beside him. There, seven decades between us, we sat shoulder to shoulder and let the silence have its say.

He would die soon after, at the age of 92, just as Bill Clinton’s “peace” ushered in a new era of displacement and loss.

Like all refugees, Ahmad Badawi Mustafa Ayoub left the world unmoorned, his memories rent from the land that made them. But his story, like Palestine’s itself, will matter well beyond the next negotiation.

No empire, no flag, or sovereign can change that.

Related stories

A world endeavor to impose national integration (Tawteen) of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan?

Lebanon is witnessing concentrated pressures from the USA and western colonial powers to integrate the Palestinian refugees since 1948 in its social fabric. The same pressures are being exercised on the fabricated monarchy in Jordan that has the highest concentration of Palestinian refugees and share 800 km border with the colonial Israeli implant in the Near East.

Economic and financial difficulties are imposed on Lebanon and Jordan, as well as accumulated sovereign debts that a third of the budgets are spent on satisfying the interest.

Sure, in Lebanon, this defunct political system run and ruled for 3 decades by civil war militia “leaders” is Not helping in any kinds of reforms or changes to confront the external pressures to impose their plans.

For example, after the newly elected Parliament under a twisted election law, Lebanon is unable to form a legitimate government. In the past 4 months, Lebanon is run by a government, supposed to be taking care of running business, but in fact hurrying up to loot the budget as fast as it can.

The Cedar 4 agreement to lend Lebanon about $10 bn for its infrastructure is being delayed until a government is in place. Most of these loans are actually meant to sustain the Syrian refugees in Lebanon and preventing them to return to their home State.

Lebanon is witnessing some kind of Palestinian camps security upheavals. And Jordan faced last month a serious mass disobedience connect to the IMF constraints of increasing taxes on bread and fuel.

Trump has already denied 5 million Palestinian refugees the UNRWA yearly allocation since 1948. Trump wants to recognize only 40,000 still alive Palestinians of the al “Nakba”

معلومات فلسطينية عن “سيناريو دولي” لفرض التوطين في لبنان

فيما يواجه لبنان تحديات سياسية كبرى، في تشكيل الحكومة العتيدة بعد مراوحة طويلة، ووضع خطة للنهوض بالاقتصاد، يتقدم الملفّ ال​فلسطين​ي في لبنان بعد انعقاد الجمعيّة العموميّة للأمم المتحدة في ​نيويورك​، حيث ألقى الرئيس الفلسطيني ​محمود عباس​ خطابا انقسم الشارع الفلسطيني إزاءه بين مؤيد ومعارض، فدخلت المخيّمات مجددا في مرحلة “انتظار قاتل” بين المخاوف من عودة الخلافات مجددا،

رغم التوافق على أهمية حمايتها من أي توتير أمني، يفتح الابواب الموصدة على الفتنة والاقتتال، وبين غياب الخطة الاستراتيجية الموحّدة لمواجهة التحديات المحدقة بقضية العودة ووكالة “الاونروا”.

وتؤكد أوساط فلسطينية بارزة لـ”النشرة”، ان أي توتير أمني يطال المخيمات يعتبر بشكل غير مباشر وجها سيئا جديدا لـ”صفقة القرن” الاميركية التي ترفضها كل القوى السياسية الوطنية والاسلامية وتعمل على التصدي لها، إذ يهدف الى إلهاء القوى في تطويق ذيوله دون التفرغ الى القضيّة الاساس الكبرى في حماية ​حق العودة​ الذي بات مستهدفا مباشرا بعد القرار الاميركي بشأن ​القدس​ ونقل السفارة اليها.

حتى الآن، اتخذت ​الولايات المتحدة الاميركية​ تسع قرارات متتالية منذ بداية العام 2018، ويتوقع أن تتخذ المزيد منها، بل وأخطرها إسقاط حق اللجوء بالوراثة، وهو ما اشار اليه الرئيس “أبو مازن” في خطابه في الامم المتحدة، بأن ​الادارة الاميركية​ تعتزم الاعتراف بنحو 40 الف لاجئ فقط، هم الذين ما زالوا على قيد الحياة من جيل النكبة وليس 5 ملايين كما هو متعارف عليه في قيود وكالة “الاونروا” والاحصاءات الفلسطينية الرسمية.

وترى المصادر الفلسطينية، ان كل الخطوات الاميركية لم تأتِ من فراغ، فهي مترابطة في سلسلة حلقاتها، منذ الاولى منها وهي الاعتراف بالقدس عاصمة لـ”اسرائيل”، وصولا الى إسقاط “صفة اللجوء” عن غالبية اللاجئين في الشتات، وما بينهما من قرارات اتخذت بهدف ممارسة الضغط على القيادة الفلسطينية والقوى السياسية لشطب الثابتين الرئيسيين: القدس عاصمة دولة فلسطين، وحق العودة من خلال انهاء عمل الاونروا” وفتح باب “التذويب الطوعي” عبر “اللجوء الانساني” أو فرض ​التوطين​.

*خطة موحدة*
ويعتبر لاجئو المخيمات في لبنان الاكثر تأثّرا بهذه القرارات الاميركية في ظل الواقع الهشّ على كافة المستويات السياسية والامنية والخدماتية، في الاولى يطلّ شبح الخلاف مجددا بعد الخطاب الرئاسي، وفي الثانية يترنح بعضها تحت وطأة “الامن الهش” وتحديدا ​عين الحلوة​ والقابل للاهتزاز عند أي حدث طارىء او اشكال،

وفي الثالثة في ظل حرمانهم من حقوقهم المدنية والانسانيّة والاجتماعيّة مع ارتفاع معدل البطالة وانتشار حالات اليأس والاحباط بشكل غير مسبوق.

وتشير المصادر، انه لكل هذه الاسباب، يجب وضع خطة مواجهة مزدوجة، فلسطينية تأخذ على عاتقها تناسي الخلافات السياسية والتأكيد على استثنائية الساحة في لبنان، وتفعيل الأطر المشتركة وتحصين أمن واستقرار المخيّمات بما يسدّ كل منافذ الفتنة والاستدراج الى اقتتال، وصولا الى اطلاق “مبادرة” جديدة تجمع بين هذه العناوين، وفلسطينية–لبنانية تقوم على ثنائية منح الحقوق الانسانية وتعزيز صمود ابناء المخيمات لابعاد شبح التوطين الذي يلوح في أفق لبنان من خلال الضغط على مسؤوليه.

*سيناريو دولي*
وفق ما يتداول في الأروقة الفلسطينية، فإن توحيد الموقف الفلسطيني–اللبناني، سيساهم ببدء تحركات سلميّة نحو الدول الفاعلة والمؤثرة في القرار العالمي لابعاد شبح التوطين وتمكين ​وكالة الاونروا​ من القيام بمهامها على أكمل وجه، حيث تملك بعض ​القوى الفلسطينية​ معلومات هامة أشبه بـ”سيناريو دولي”، بل “خارطة طريق” لشطب حق العودة والتوطين بعد التذويب،

ومنها انهاء عمل الوكالة المذكورة عبر وقف دعمها ماديا، ومنها عزم بعض الدول على فتح باب اللجوء الانساني ويتردد اسماء ثلاثة دول بارزة، ومنها اعادة الاف من الفلسطينيين الى اراضي ​السلطة الفلسطينية​ تحت عنوان “لمّ الشمل” ومعظم هؤلاء يملكون جوازات سفر صادرة عن السلطة او لهم اقارب او انتماء سياسي،

واخيرا فرض التوطين لمن يبقى في لبنان تحت شعار “انساني”، مقابل مبالغ ماليّة كبيرة تدفع للبنان وتسد العجز وتساهم في النهوض الاقتصادي من جديد… وهو ما يرفضه لبنان والقوى الفلسطينية معا.

*حراك للمواجهة*
وتؤكد المصادر، أن المطلوب اليوم اطلاق “مبادرة وطنية” جديدة تتماشى مع التطورات السياسية والامنية المتسارعة في المنطقة (كما جرى في العام 2014، حين أطلقت “المبادرة الوطنية الفلسطينية” لحماية ​المخيمات الفلسطينية​ والحفاظ على العلاقات الاخوية مع الجوار اللبناني وقد نجحت في تجاوز الكثير من القطوعات الامنية الخطيرة إبّان ​الاحداث السورية​)، تتضمن انشاء “خليّة ازمة” أو “طوارىء سياسيّة”، تدير الملفّ برمّته بموقف موحد، وبحراك سياسي شعبي يقوم على تناسي الخلافات وتعميم خطاب الوحدة من القيادة الى القاعدة،

تحصين أمن المخيمات واستقرارها، الدفاع عن بقاء “الاونروا” كشاهد حيّ على النكبة واللجوء، تنظيم تحركات احتجاجيّة سلميّة ترفع شعار “نختلف مع الاونروا ولا نختلف عليها”، خاصة بعد نجاح ادارتها في توفير المزيد من الدعم المالي بلغ 118 مليون دولار وآخرها من دولة الكويت 40 مليون دولار اميركي، لينخفض العجز المالي من 186 مليون دولار الى 68 مليون دولار اميركي فقط وهو مبلغ زهيد قياسا على موازنات الدول.

خلاصة القول، ان القرارات الاميركية ليست قدرا محتوما يجب الاستسلام لها، بل يمكن المواجهة والتصدّي لها، اذا جرى توحيد الموقف الفلسطيني واعداد خطة مشتركة فلسطينية لبنانية تأخذ على عاتقها الدفاع عن الحقوق المشروعة، وان اضاعة الوقت لم يعد لصالح أحد، وقبل فوات الاوان في افراغ المخيّمات من سكانها وتحديدا شبابها، واسقاط عنوانها الوطني كرمز للقضية الفلسطينية وحق العودة

“My Palestinian grandmother witnessed the following events:

Joanna Choukeir Hojeily. August 15, 2014 at 10:50 PM · Eltham, United Kingdom

A Palestinian living in New York: “My grandmother witnessed the following events:

– she lived during the British mandate of Palestine and its turmoil
– the 1948 war and nakba (catastrophe) 
– the 1956 Israeli invasion of Gaza
– the 1967 six days war and Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank
– the 1973 war

Then she moved with my grandfather to Lebanon to witness:
– the 1978 Israeli invasion of Lebanon
– the civil war
– the 1982 Israel massive invasion of Lebanon and entering its Capital Beirut

Then she returned to Gaza to witness:
– the 1987 first intifada
– the Oslo peace agreement
– the 2000 second intifada
– the 2006 operation
– cast lead 2008/2009
– pillar of cloud 2012
– protective edge 2014

Last time I called her she asked me to take care of myself and to focus on my studies- hoping for a better future.

My grandmother’a calendar is full of war and bloodshed. She is in Gaza now and I’m in New York unable to go see her or see my family and beloved ones.

Since 1948 when she hears the drums of war, she gets dressed and prepares her papers and precious stuff getting ready to become forth, fifth, or sixth time refugee in her country.

Freedom is precious guys, if you live in freedom and dignity you never need to complain….”




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