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Sunday, December 2, 2012

The REAL Al-Aqsa Mosque

Many people don't know what Al-Aqsa mosque is because of the media; incorrectly identifying Al-Aqsa mosque with the Dome of the Rock and vice versa. Please do read this, and teach it to your sons and daughters.

Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Blessed: It must be emphasized that the whole area enclosed by the wall, including both The dome of the Rock and The Qibly prayer hall.

Al-Aqsa mosque is the name for the whole area enclosed by the wall in southeast Old Jerusalem. It houses nearly 200 archaeological buildings, foremost among which are the Dome of the Rock (with the golden dome) at its heart, and Al-Qibly Prayer Hall (with the lead dome) at its southernmost part, nearer to the Qiblah at Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Other buildings include minor prayer halls, domes, mihrabs (=chambers for prayer), schools, corridors, mastabas (=slightly raised grounds constructed for several uses including education), fountains, trees, minbars (=pulpits), gates, wells, libraries, among other buildings, in addition to the open yards enclosed by the wall.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is a semi rectangle of 144 donums (=144,000 square meters); that is about 1/6 of the walled old city of Jerusalem. Its western wall is 491 meters long, its eastern wall is 462m, its northern wall is 310m, and its southern wall is 281m.

*Information was taken from Activists around the world for Palestine (facebook page). You can visit their page here:*

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Myths Debunked about Hamas Rockets

Things you should know about rockets from Gaza:

  • They are homemade. No, really. They cost about $800 to make, which makes them incredibly primitive. They do not use any advanced technology and cannot be guided, directed, or controlled. They are largely ineffective and have a very limited range (up to a maximum of 20 km/12.4 mi). See this video from Current TV for a demonstration of how they are made.
  • In the past 9 years, about 6,000 homemade Qassam rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel by various groups. Of those, over 90% landed in uninhabited areas, causing no injuries or damage. Seriously. Did I mention these things are really ineffective?
  • Israel’s missile/rocket defense system, called the Iron Dome, is set up to intercept rockets/missiles fired into Israel, primarily from Gaza and Lebanon. They don’t stop every projectile that crosses the border—only those that, according to trajectory models calculated by sophisticated computer programs using data from radar, are likely to land in populated areas (or, more specifically, militarily significant areas). If a rocket is projected to land in a populated area, a $40,000, highly sophisticated guided-missile is launched to intercept and destroy said $800 Qassam rocket. If the rocket is projected to land in an uninhabited area, the system does not respond and the rocket completes it path, landing in the middle of nowhere and hurting no one. This means that very few rockets from Gaza ever land in civilian populated areas, and thus rarely cause any lasting damage. (Source)
  • Qassam rockets fired from Gaza have resulted in fewer than 25 deaths in the last 9 years, including the most recent rocket attacks. (Note: Qassams do not account for all deaths on the Israeli side. Over the last nine years, another 20-25 were killed by mortar fire, and 2 were killed by anti-tank missiles. See B’Tselem for more). For comparison, the IDF killed nearly 1,400 Palestinians in less than one month during Operation Cast Lead in 2008/2009. More than half of the dead were deemed to have taken no part in the conflict. Another 5,300 Palestinians were wounded in these attacks. More than 3,500 residential dwellings were destroyed and more than 20,000 people were left homeless. And all of this was done over the span of a single month. (For more, read this).
  • Groups in Gaza that rely on Qassam rockets do so because they are the only available options. They do not have access to $40,000 guided missiles like the IDF. They use crudely made, ineffective, and unreliable homemade rockets because that is simply all they have access to.
  • The fact that Hamas has killed fewer Israelis than the IDF has killed Palestinians does not reflect a moral superiority on the part of Hamas. If they had more effective and deadly weapons, they would use them. The death toll difference is more a reflection of the grave disparity in resources and technology, not a difference of morality. That being said, nothing can justify Israel’s clearly disproportionate response. No matter how you look at it, the IDF is still clearly in violation of both the Geneva Conventions and Just War Theory. They are recklessly targeting civilian populated areas and, as a result, killing civilians. They are relying on extra-judicial executions. They are using unnecessary and disproportionate force. And they are attacking an occupied population. What the IDF is doing could very easily be argued to amount to genocide.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Nakba: That's not fair

The following poem is by a Palestinian poet named Iqbal Tamimi

That's not fair

In 1917
A man by the name of Balfour
From a very far land called Britain
Offered total strangers
Across oceans and shores
My homeland as a gift
He was not the owner of my country
Nor they have the right to be there
That was not fair

He said they were oppressed in Europe
And were treated very bad
We had nothing to do with his claims
He did not offer them part of his country
Yet he gave them everything we had
That was not fair

While the Ottomans were leaving Palestine
The British arrived
We were told the British mandate is there
To make sure peace prevail
But the British turned a blind eye
To the Jewish gangsters horrors
They were offered training and arms
By which they massacred our families
Wiping our villages from all the maps
And those who escaped death
The Zionists terrorised them
Forcing them to flee
That was not fair

The United Nations did not ask us what we think
They claimed the intention is to solve the conflict
They segmented my country on a platter
They gave the owners of the land the breadcrumbs
And gave the occupiers the biggest share
That was not fair

We became refugees
In our own home land
Mine fields, barbed wire and road blocks split us apart
My home became a headquarter
For the Israeli police
Total strangers from as far as Poland and Russia
Occupied our homes
Stolen our water and fruits
And imprisoned those who dared to declare
That they are not going to leave
That was not fair

In 1967
We were enjoying a day out
On the other side of the Jordan River
The Israeli army invaded the West Bank
Occupying our homes again
Rearranging our destiny
We were denied the right to go back
Forced to became second time refugees
Carrying on our shoulders
Our plight and despair
That was not fair

The good USA sent its aid
To both sides across the sea
The Israeli occupiers received
Rockets, tankers, planes and bombs
While the Palestinian refugees’ share
Was tents, biscuits and canned sardines
That was not fair

The secular politicians of the democratic West
Suddenly turned religious
When the Palestinian plight was discussed
They endorsed a racist God
Who says some of his children are chosen
And better than the rest
He gave them permission
To kill, maim and steal from their brothers
And use an iron fist
That was not fair

I am one of five million dispersed
People eye them with disgust
Frequently asked:
“why don’t you go home?”
Well…what can I say?
Your government approved kicking me out of my homeland
And forced you
To share your loaf of bread with me
Your media calls the freedom fighters terrorists
And the racist state a democracy
Turning a blind eye to thousands of Palestinians
Rotting inside Israeli jails
Palestinians in Gaza
Were starved to death
While the apartheid wall
And the illegitimate settlements
Are not challenged by the International Community
We are the legitimate owners of the land
Yet we were forced to shelter
In refugee camps for 63 years
Watching across the borders savages
Uprooting our trees
That is not fair

When Mary is forced
To go through 16 check points
Between Nazerath and Bethlehem
And still gives birth on the side of the road
For fabricated reasons of security
While the soldiers stand and stare
That is not fair

When children at schools
Do not know where Palestine is
Because Google forged the facts
Deleting its name from the maps
That is not fair

When I’m denied access to my home
And forced to move 56 times
Carrying my memories in my head
Knowing that I will never sleep
In my own bed
Or hang family pictures on a wall
That I can call mine
That is not fair

When the number of suitcases
Outnumbers the relatives who remained alive
When the number of true facts circulated
Are much less than those of lies
That is not fair

Here I am in exile alone
Lost everything I had
No family weddings to attend
No feasts to celebrate
My belongings are not that much
A mirror
To watch the grey invade my hair
And shreds of newspapers
Attributing the victims of terror
That is not fair

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Committee on Jerusalem: The occupation forces are carrying out a new type of "Judaization"

The Committee on Jerusalem: the occupation forces are carrying out a new type of "Judaization"

Al-Quds (occupied Jerusalem) - The Muslim-Christian Committee for the defense of the holy places has warned that the Israeli occupation authorities are developing a new type of "Judaization" in occupied Jerusalem.

The commission, in press, has announced that the Israeli occupation is planning to build a cemetery of six floors, which can hold 35 thousand well-tombs in Jerusalem, adding that the intention part of the plan of "Judaization" of whole area.

The committee felt this decision would be the implementation of a new type of politics "Judaization" of Jerusalem, in addition to those already in place, and providing for the construction of numeroussynagogues and all around them, Jewish settlements.

The committee also highlighted the Israeli intention to build 11 new railroads in the West Bank, to ensure the connections between the various settlements scattered throughout the region.

It is therefore clear design pursued by Tel Aviv, which at first had expropriated thousands of acres of Palestinian land, then build the wall of annexation and settlements that now going to connect with new railroad.

The commission has therefore appealed to Islamic countries and the international community to become aware of such "crimes", also increasing rapidly.

February 2012: 145 Israeli attacks against Palestinian people and property

February 2012: 145 Israeli attacks against Palestinian people and property

Ramallah - InfoPal. A Palestinian report exposes 145 attacks by Israeli (occupation soldiers and settlers) which took place in February.

The attacks are meant to people and Palestinian property and Tala'at Ramiyah mentions the killing of 26 Palestinians and wounded.

The paper shows the extent of demolition and unilateral seizures of land scarred, Judaization of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), the attacks on demonstrators and the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements.

February 2012

54 demolition operations. Half of the building demolitions have invested al-Khalil (Hebron). Nablus followed with 12 demolitions and same amount was recorded in Jerusalem and Toubas (houses and stables). Three wells have been killed by Israelis in al-Khalil (Hebron) and one in Jenin.

88 Notification of demolition, including two against mosques and against a school (Hebron and Jenin).

Specifically, the demolitions have hit Hebron in 24 cases. Here are the 22 events in Jerusalem (Silwan, Sur Baher and Bethany), 17 in Bethlehem, 15 in Jenin, Salfit, and 2 to 8 in Qalqiliya.

The Palestinian land confiscated under these operations covers a total area of ​​4.931 hectares.

Trees uprooted: 1.169. The greatest damage has been made at Sourif and Beit Omar, and Tarmas'ia Mikhmas.

Judaization of Jerusalem.

The Judaization project is conducted without discrimination by institutions, the executive (police and army) and Israeli settlers and intends to disfigure, to destroy the historical-religious Arab Muslim and Christian of Palestine, through demolitions, expulsions, unsustainable tax burden the Palestinian community in Jerusalem.

In this regard, we list here some of the most striking facts dating back to February 2012:

- It covers about 4 thousand square meters an ambitious Israeli project that threatens the mosque of al-Aqsa. Israel plans to build here the Jewish center "Aliya Bet";

- 1.500 square feet will occupy the western side of the door-Mugaribah. On the north side a three-storey building will cover 3.722 square meters, with a plan to build underground excavations;

- The "center of the Past" in Wadi al-Helwe (Silwan) adjacent centers and car parks;

- Tunnels and underground tunnels in the basement of the Old City of Jerusalem.

Reactions to non-violent demonstrations. 

The repression has characterized, once again, the action of Israel against Palestinians and international riuscono a weekly protest against colonization and the Wall of Apartheid. The Palestinian villages of an-Nabi Saleh, Bil'in, Ni'lin, Kfar Qaddoum, Beit Omar, Qalandiya, 'Iraq Bourin and Kfar Deik suffered the injury of 22 demonstrators, five are journalists.

He then mentions the burning of the mosque an-Nabi Saleh (Ramallah) and the mosque Haloul an-Nabi Younes (Hebron).

Israeli settlements in Palestine: the projects. 

Extension and construction have also received approval in February the Israeli government.

- The colony of Shilo (between Ramallah and Nablus) will expand with 500 new housing units;

- The colony of Shevat Rachel (Nablus) will host 101 new housing units;

- Itamar (Nablus) will host a Jewish religious school;

- Settlement of Gush Etzion (Bethlehem). Here confisctaa confiscating Palestinian land to create military areas to protect the settlement;

- The outpost of Migron (Ramallah) extends even;

- 18 new colonial furniture units were placed between Ramallah and Nablus.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Feb 28- Ferwana: 4600 prisoners in the prisons of the occupation, including 309 administrative detainees

The following news (Ferwana : 4600 pri­son­niers dans les prisons de l’occupation, dont 309 détenus administratifs) was translated from French:

Ferwana: 4600 prisoners in the prisons of the occupation, including 309 administrative detainees

Bureau of Statistics Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners, Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Abdul-Nasser Ferwana, former prisoner, Director of the Bureau of Statistics, Ministry of prisoners in Palestinian National Authority has today published a report containing the latest statistics on prisoners held in prisons and detention centers of the Israeli occupation, and in accordance with what is documented has the information and data.

Ferwana Nasser has confirmed in its report that since 1967, until today nearly 750,000 apprehensions were recorded, including 12 000 women, among them four pregnant prisoners have given birth in difficult conditions and 10 000 children, and that these arrests were not limited to a specific category, but affect all levels of Palestinian society without exception.

He also said that the total number of Palestinian prisoners in prisons and detention centers of the Israeli occupation has now reached 4,600 prisoners, including eight women, 138 children, 309 administrative detainees and 27 elected members including Marwan Barghouti, Ahmad Saadat, Hassan Yousef, in addition to the two former ministers and a number of political leaders detained in 17 prisons and detention centers and dozens of Arab prisoners of various nationalities, especially Jordanians, Syrians and Egyptians. He added that 3410 prisoners forming 74.1% of prisoners serving sentences of imprisonment for various terms, including 533 prisoners sentenced to life twice or more, 456 prisoners has more than twenty years, and 1135 prisoners sentenced to more than 10 years but less than 20 years.

Of these, 881 prisoners representing a rate of 19.2% which are under arrest and awaiting trial, and 309 administrative detainees who represent 6.7% of the total number of prisoners.

Regarding the former prisoners, Ferwana talking about 57 "deans of prisoners", a term used for those held for more than twenty years in the prisons of the Israeli occupation, among them 23 prisoners have been held for more a quarter century. This is called "the generals of patience" with the Arab prisoner occupied Syrian Golan Sidqi Al-makt and Karim Younes, 48 ​​in the occupied territories, held since January 1983 and is considered the prisoner the oldest with more than 28 years in prison.

In his report, says Nasser Ferwana occupation forces arrested since the beginning of the Al Aqsa Intifada in September 2000, nearly 10 000 children, 138 children are still in detention, they represent 3% of total prisoners, among them 118 children aged 16 to 18 years and 20 children under 16 years. They are exposed to suffering, torture and unfair trials, thus violating their fundamental rights and their future in contravention of international law and the Convention of the Child.

Today eight Palestinian women are held in inappropriate places, regardless of their conditions of women and no respect for their fundamental rights stipulated by international conventions and humanitarian.

Lina Jarbuni 38 years of Arabeh Bathouf in the occupied territories in 1948, is the oldest inmate. She was arrested April 15, 2002 and is serving 17 years.

Wurud Maher Kasem 26 years of Al-Tireh in the occupied territories in 1948, was arrested on 4 October 2006 and is serving six years. The parole board decided to release her after she had served more than two thirds of his sentence. However, the prosecutor appealed the decision. On 21 November 2011, the regional court in Petah Tiqva accepted the appeal and revoked the release prematurely.

Saga Alalami 18 years of Beitunia Ramallah district, arrested Jan. 9, 2012
Alaa Juabi, a minor, of Hebron, arrested on 7 December 2011.
Salwa Hasan, of Hebron, arrested on 19 October 2011
Mufika Qawasme, of Hebron, arrested Feb. 15, 2012
Muna Abu Sanina, of Hebron, arrested Feb. 15, 2012
Hana Al-Shalabi, 28, of Jenin, released in October 2011 following the agreement Shalit, then arrested on 16 February 2012, she continues a hunger strike for 11 days to protest against his arrest and subsequent violence, and its arbitrary administrative detention.

Ferwana Nasser reported in his report in accordance with what is documented that the total number of martyrs of the movement of captivity since 1967 amounted to 202 martyrs. And among them 51 prisoners died due to medical negligence, 70 prisoners died under torture, 74 prisoners were killed intentionally after being arrested and killed seven other prisoners in their cells by the use of forceexcessive and with live ammunition in prisons and detention centers.

He recalled that in addition, dozens of former inmates died after liberation by the disease contracted in prison, or who were released before the expiration of their sentences because of their deteriorating condition health and died after release from a few months, as Hael Abu Zeid Al-Wali Sitan the Golan Heights, and Zechariah Issa, Fayez Abu Murad Sakut Zaidat and the West Bank and many others.

Mr. Ferwana appeals to associations and institutions dealing with prisoners and the bodies of human rights and humanitarian coordination to work together by adopting a unified strategy for the cause of prisoners.

Feb 28: Palestinian Islamists doubt meeting on Jerusalem

The following news (Islamistas palestinos duvidam de reunião sobre Jerusalém) was translated from Portuguese:

Palestinian Islamists doubt meeting on Jerusalem

Gaza, February 28 (Prensa Latina) A political leader of the Islamist movement Hamas today thanked the international diplomatic efforts in favor of the Palestinians, but estimated that a recent meeting in Qatar on Jerusalem was only important for the media propaganda.

Speaking to an Iranian news agency, Fars News broadcast in Gaza, the political adviser of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in fact noted that the meeting held in Doha lacked practical results to stop the Israeli Judaization of the holy city.

Youssef Rizka, adviser to the leader of Hamas to political issues, acknowledged that the meeting brought together some 350 representatives from 70 countries, the authorities of the Arab League and UN, but did not modify the inattention to the demands of Israel and resolutions.

The meeting in Doha, which sessionou on 26 and 27 February, it was important for the media, "especially because of the presence in it of some important political figures and leaders," said Rizka.

He insisted that Tel Aviv continues to erase the Arab and Islamic identity of El-Quds (the Arabic name of Jerusalem) and the expansion of settlements, issues unrelated to the forums of complaint and conviction.

"Conferences such as these have no effect on plots (Zionists), since only are good for media consumption," repressed.

Similarly, other figures have warned that such meetings "only give Israel the opportunity to buy time to finance your stage of Judaizing" the city that houses the al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holy place of Islam.

In respect, the analyst also said Lebanese Ibrahim Bayram Fars News that Tel Aviv does not give any value to these forums concluded under the slogan of defending the Islamic holy places, so that does not have any respect for the Arab League.

According to Bayram, the Israelis only give importance to strength and this is the only route by which it may abort Zionist conspiracies aimed at ending the Palestinian issue and its holy sites.

On the other hand, Professor Paul Larudee opined that the United States and its Western allies have supported Israel and complicit in the crime "does not resolve the dispute over the the city, which is considered holy to four billion Christians, Muslims and Jews.

"The world has an opportunity to hold a project of ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem that has been underway since at least 1967 (the date of the Zionist occupation of Arab territories), and-in a broader context, for over a century," said activist of Iranian origin.

Deplored the racism against the Palestinians is protected by Israeli law and warned that "Judaization" is a term with the same stigma of "apartheid", "ethnic cleansing", "segregation" and others that describe the elimination of a people in favor of other.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

"As the Arabs see the Jews": His Majesty King Abdullah

"As the Arabs see the Jews" by His Majesty King Abdullah
The American Magazine November, 1947


This fascinating essay, written by King Hussein’s grandfather King Abdullah, appeared in the United States six months before the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. In the article, King Abdullah disputes the mistaken view that Arab opposition to Zionism (and later the state of Israel) is because of longstanding religious or ethnic hatred. He notes that Jews and Muslims enjoyed a long history of peaceful coexistence in the Middle East, and that Jews have historically suffered far more at the hands of Christian Europe. Pointing to the tragedy of the holocaust that Jews suffered during World War II, the monarch asks why America and Europe are refusing to accept more than a token handful of Jewish immigrants and refugees. It is unfair, he argues, to make Palestine, which is innocent of anti-Semitism, pay for the crimes of Europe. King Abdullah also asks how Jews can claim a historic right to Palestine, when Arabs have been the overwhelming majority there for nearly 1300 uninterrupted years? The essay ends on an ominous note, warning of dire consequences if a peaceful solution cannot be found to protect the rights of the indigenous Arabs of Palestine.

"As the Arabs see the Jews" His Majesty King Abdullah, The American MagazineNovember, 1947 

I am especially delighted to address an American audience, for the tragic problem of Palestine will never be solved without American understanding, American sympathy, American support.

So many billions of words have been written about Palestine—perhaps more than on any other subject in history—that I hesitate to add to them. Yet I am compelled to do so, for I am reluctantly convinced that the world in general, and America in particular, knows almost nothing of the true case for the Arabs.

We Arabs follow, perhaps far more than you think, the press of America. We are frankly disturbed to find that for every word printed on the Arab side, a thousand are printed on the Zionist side.

There are many reasons for this. You have many millions of Jewish citizens interested in this question. They are highly vocal and wise in the ways of publicity. There are few Arab citizens in America, and we are as yet unskilled in the technique of modern propaganda.

The results have been alarming for us. In your press we see a horrible caricature and are told it is our true portrait. In all justice, we cannot let this pass by default.

Our case is quite simple: For nearly 2,000 years Palestine has been almost 100 per cent Arab. It is still preponderantly Arab today, in spite of enormous Jewish immigration. But if this immigration continues we shall soon be outnumbered—a minority in our home.

Palestine is a small and very poor country, about the size of your state of Vermont. Its Arab population is only about 1,200,000. Already we have had forced on us, against our will, some 600,000 Zionist Jews. We are threatened with many hundreds of thousands more.

Our position is so simple and natural that we are amazed it should even be questioned. It is exactly the same position you in America take in regard to the unhappy European Jews. You are sorry for them, but you do not want them in your country.

We do not want them in ours, either. Not because they are Jews, but because they are foreigners. We would not want hundreds of thousands of foreigners in our country, be they Englishmen or Norwegians or Brazilians or whatever.

Think for a moment: In the last 25 years we have had one third of our entire population forced upon us. In America that would be the equivalent of 45,000,000 complete strangers admitted to your country, over your violent protest, since 1921. How would you have reacted to that?

Because of our perfectly natural dislike of being overwhelmed in our own homeland, we are called blind nationalists and heartless anti-Semites. This charge would be ludicrous were it not so dangerous.

No people on earth have been less "anti-Semitic" than the Arabs. The persecution of the Jews has been confined almost entirely to the Christian nations of the West. Jews, themselves, will admit that never since the Great Dispersion did Jews develop so freely and reach such importance as in Spain when it was an Arab possession. With very minor exceptions, Jews have lived for many centuries in the Middle East, in complete peace and friendliness with their Arab neighbours.

Damascus, Baghdad, Beirut and other Arab centres have always contained large and prosperous Jewish colonies. Until the Zionist invasion of Palestine began, these Jews received the most generous treatment—far, far better than in Christian Europe. Now, unhappily, for the first time in history, these Jews are beginning to feel the effects of Arab resistance to the Zionist assault. Most of them are as anxious as Arabs to stop it. Most of these Jews who have found happy homes among us resent, as we do, the coming of these strangers.

I was puzzled for a long time about the odd belief which apparently persists in America that Palestine has somehow "always been a Jewish land." Recently an American I talked to cleared up this mystery. He pointed out that the only things most Americans know about Palestine are what they read in the Bible. It was a Jewish land in those days, they reason, and they assume it has always remained so.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. It is absurd to reach so far back into the mists of history to argue about who should have Palestine today, and I apologise for it. Yet the Jews do this, and I must reply to their "historic claim." I wonder if the world has ever seen a stranger sight than a group of people seriously pretending to claim a land because their ancestors lived there some 2,000 years ago!

If you suggest that I am biased, I invite you to read any sound history of the period and verify the facts.

Such fragmentary records as we have indicate that the Jews were wandering nomads from Iraq who moved to southern Turkey, came south to Palestine, stayed there a short time, and then passed to Egypt, where they remained about 400 years. About 1300 BC (according to your calendar) they left Egypt and gradually conquered most—but not all—of the inhabitants of Palestine.

It is significant that the Philistines—not the Jews—gave their name to the country: "Palestine" is merely the Greek form of "Philistia."

Only once, during the empire of David and Solomon, did the Jews ever control nearly—but not all—the land which is today Palestine. This empire lasted only 70 years, ending in 926 BC. Only 250 years later the Kingdom of Judah had shrunk to a small province around Jerusalem, barely a quarter of modern Palestine.

In 63 BC the Jews were conquered by Roman Pompey, and never again had even the vestige of independence. The Roman Emperor Hadrian finally wiped them out about 135 AD. He utterly destroyed Jerusalem, rebuilt under another name, and for hundreds of years no Jew was permitted to enter it. A handful of Jews remained in Palestine but the vast majority were killed or scattered to other countries, in the Diaspora, or the Great Dispersion. From that time Palestine ceased to be a Jewish country, in any conceivable sense.

This was 1,815 years ago, and yet the Jews solemnly pretend they still own Palestine! If such fantasy were allowed, how the map of the world would dance about!

Italians might claim England, which the Romans held so long. England might claim France, "homeland" of the conquering Normans. And the French Normans might claim Norway, where their ancestors originated. And incidentally, we Arabs might claim Spain, which we held for 700 years.

Many Mexicans might claim Spain, "homeland" of their forefathers. They might even claim Texas, which was Mexican until 100 years ago. And suppose the American Indians claimed the "homeland" of which they were the sole, native, and ancient occupants until only some 450 years ago!

I am not being facetious. All these claims are just as valid—or just as fantastic—as the Jewish "historic connection" with Palestine. Most are more valid.

In any event, the great Muslim expansion about 650 AD finally settled things. It dominated Palestine completely. From that day on, Palestine was solidly Arabic in population, language, and religion. When British armies entered the country during the last war, they found 500,000 Arabs and only 65,000 Jews.

If solid, uninterrupted Arab occupation for nearly 1,300 years does not make a country "Arab", what does?

The Jews say, and rightly, that Palestine is the home of their religion. It is likewise the birthplace of Christianity, but would any Christian nation claim it on that account? In passing, let me say that the Christian Arabs—and there are many hundreds of thousands of them in the Arab World—are in absolute agreement with all other Arabs in opposing the Zionist invasion of Palestine.

May I also point out that Jerusalem is, after Mecca and Medina, the holiest place in Islam. In fact, in the early days of our religion, Muslims prayed toward Jerusalem instead of Mecca.

The Jewish "religious claim" to Palestine is as absurd as the "historic claim." The Holy Places, sacred to three great religions, must be open to all, the monopoly of none. Let us not confuse religion and politics.

We are told that we are inhumane and heartless because do not accept with open arms the perhaps 200,000 Jews in Europe who suffered so frightfully under Nazi cruelty, and who even now—almost three years after war’s end—still languish in cold, depressing camps.

Let me underline several facts. The unimaginable persecution of the Jews was not done by the Arabs: it was done by a Christian nation in the West. The war which ruined Europe and made it almost impossible for these Jews to rehabilitate themselves was fought by the Christian nations of the West. The rich and empty portions of the earth belong, not to the Arabs, but to the Christian nations of the West.

And yet, to ease their consciences, these Christian nations of the West are asking Palestine—a poor and tiny Muslim country of the East—to accept the entire burden. "We have hurt these people terribly," cries the West to the East. "Won’t you please take care of them for us?"

We find neither logic nor justice in this. Are we therefore "cruel and heartless nationalists"?

We are a generous people: we are proud that "Arab hospitality" is a phrase famous throughout the world. We are a humane people: no one was shocked more than we by the Hitlerite terror. No one pities the present plight of the desperate European Jews more than we.

But we say that Palestine has already sheltered 600,000 refugees. We believe that is enough to expect of us—even too much. We believe it is now the turn of the rest of the world to accept some of them.

I will be entirely frank with you. There is one thing the Arab world simply cannot understand. Of all the nations of the earth, America is most insistent that something be done for these suffering Jews of Europe. This feeling does credit to the humanity for which America is famous, and to that glorious inscription on your Statue of Liberty.

And yet this same America—the richest, greatest, most powerful nation the world has ever known—refuses to accept more than a token handful of these same Jews herself!

I hope you will not think I am being bitter about this. I have tried hard to understand that mysterious paradox, and I confess I cannot. Nor can any other Arab.

Perhaps you have been informed that "the Jews in Europe want to go to no other place except Palestine."

This myth is one of the greatest propaganda triumphs of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, the organisation which promotes with fanatic zeal the emigration to Palestine. It is a subtle half-truth, thus doubly dangerous.

The astounding truth is that nobody on earth really knows where these unfortunate Jews really want to go!

You would think that in so grave a problem, the American, British, and other authorities responsible for the European Jews would have made a very careful survey, probably by vote, to find out where each Jew actually wants to go. Amazingly enough this has never been done! The Jewish Agency has prevented it.
Some time ago the American Military Governor in Germany was asked at a press conference how he was so certain that all Jews there wanted to go to Palestine. His answer was simple: "My Jewish advisors tell me so." He admitted no poll had ever been made. Preparations were indeed begun for one, but the Jewish Agency stepped in to stop it.

The truth is that the Jews in German camps are now subjected to a Zionist pressure campaign which learned much from the Nazi terror. It is dangerous for a Jew to say that he would rather go to some other country, not Palestine. Such dissenters have been severely beaten, and worse.

Not long ago, in Palestine, nearly 1,000 Austrian Jews informed the international refugee organisation that they would like to go back to Austria, and plans were made to repatriate them.

The Jewish Agency heard of this, and exerted enough political pressure to stop it. It would be bad propaganda for Zionism if Jews began leaving Palestine. The nearly 1,000 Austrian are still there, against their will.

The fact is that most of the European Jews are Western in culture and outlook, entirely urban in experience and habits. They cannot really have their hearts set on becoming pioneers in the barren, arid, cramped land which is Palestine.

One thing, however, is undoubtedly true. As matters stand now, most refugee Jews in Europe would, indeed, vote for Palestine, simply because they know no other country will have them.

If you or I were given a choice between a near-prison camp for the rest of our lives—or Palestine—we would both choose Palestine, too.

But open up any other alternative to them—give them any other choice, and see what happens!

No poll, however, will be worth anything unless the nations of the earth are willing to open their doors—just a little—to the Jews. In other words, if in such a poll a Jew says he wants to go to Sweden, Sweden must be willing to accept him. If he votes for America, you must let him come in.

Any other kind of poll would be a farce. For the desperate Jew, this is no idle testing of opinion: this is a grave matter of life or death. Unless he is absolutely sure that his vote means something, he will always vote for Palestine, so as not to risk his bird in the hand for one in the bush.

In any event, Palestine can accept no more. The 65,000 Jews in Palestine in 1918 have jumped to 600,000 today. We Arabs have increased, too, but not by immigration. The Jews were then a mere 11 per cent of our population. Today they are one third of it.

The rate of increase has been terrifying. In a few more years—unless stopped now—it will overwhelm us, and we shall be an important minority in our own home.

Surely the rest of the wide world is rich enough and generous enough to find a place for 200,000 Jews—about one third the number that tiny, poor Palestine has already sheltered. For the rest of the world, it is hardly a drop in the bucket. For us it means national suicide.

We are sometimes told that since the Jews came to Palestine, the Arab standard of living has improved. This is a most complicated question. But let us even assume, for the argument, that it is true. We would rather be a bit poorer, and masters of our own home. Is this unnatural?

The sorry story of the so-called "Balfour Declaration," which started Zionist immigration into Palestine, is too complicated to repeat here in detail. It is grounded in broken promises to the Arabs—promises made in cold print which admit no denying.

We utterly deny its validity. We utterly deny the right of Great Britain to give away Arab land for a "national home" for an entirely foreign people.

Even the League of Nations sanction does not alter this. At the time, not a single Arab state was a member of the League. We were not allowed to say a word in our own defense.

I must point out, again in friendly frankness, that America was nearly as responsible as Britain for this Balfour Declaration. President Wilson approved it before it was issued, and the American Congress adopted it word for word in a joint resolution on 30th June, 1922.

In the 1920s, Arabs were annoyed and insulted by Zionist immigration, but not alarmed by it. It was steady, but fairly small, as even the Zionist founders thought it would remain. Indeed for some years, more Jews left Palestine than entered it—in 1927 almost twice as many.

But two new factors, entirely unforeseen by Britain or the League or America or the most fervent Zionist, arose in the early thirties to raise the immigration to undreamed heights. One was the World Depression; the second the rise of Hitler.

In 1932, the year before Hitler came to power, only 9,500 Jews came to Palestine. We did not welcome them, but we were not afraid that, at that rate, our solid Arab majority would ever be in danger.

But the next year—the year of Hitler—it jumped to 30,000! In 1934 it was 42,000! In 1935 it reached 61,000!

It was no longer the orderly arrival of idealist Zionists. Rather, all Europe was pouring its frightened Jews upon us. Then, at last, we, too, became frightened. We knew that unless this enormous influx stopped, we were, as Arabs, doomed in our Palestine homeland. And we have not changed our minds.

I have the impression that many Americans believe the trouble in Palestine is very remote from them, that America had little to do with it, and that your only interest now is that of a humane bystander.

I believe that you do not realise how directly you are, as a nation, responsible in general for the whole Zionist move and specifically for the present terrorism. I call this to your attention because I am certain that if you realise your responsibility you will act fairly to admit it and assume it.

Quite aside from official American support for the "National Home" of the Balfour Declaration, the Zionist settlements in Palestine would have been almost impossible, on anything like the current scale, without American money. This was contributed by American Jewry in an idealistic effort to help their fellows.

The motive was worthy: the result were disastrous. The contributions were by private individuals, but they were almost entirely Americans, and, as a nation, only America can answer for it.

The present catastrophe may be laid almost entirely at your door. Your government, almost alone in the world, is insisting on the immediate admission of 100,000 more Jews into Palestine—to be followed by countless additional ones. This will have the most frightful consequences in bloody chaos beyond anything ever hinted at in Palestine before.

It is your press and political leadership, almost alone in the world, who press this demand. It is almost entirely American money which hires or buys the "refugee ships" that steam illegally toward Palestine: American money which pays their crews. The illegal immigration from Europe is arranged by the Jewish Agency, supported almost entirely by American funds. It is American dollars which support the terrorists, which buy the bullets and pistols that kill British soldiers—your allies—and Arab citizens—your friends.

We in the Arab world were stunned to hear that you permit open advertisements in newspapers asking for money to finance these terrorists, to arm them openly and deliberately for murder. We could not believe this could really happen in the modern world. Now we must believe it: we have seen the advertisements with our own eyes.

I point out these things because nothing less than complete frankness will be of use. The crisis is too stark for mere polite vagueness which means nothing.

I have the most complete confidence in the fair-mindedness and generosity of the American public. We Arabs ask no favours. We ask only that you know the full truth, not half of it. We ask only that when you judge the Palestine question, you put yourselves in our place.

What would your answer be if some outside agency told you that you must accept in America many millions of utter strangers in your midst—enough to dominate your country—merely because they insisted on going to America, and because their forefathers had once lived there some 2,000 years ago?

Our answer is the same.

And what would be your action if, in spite of your refusal, this outside agency began forcing them on you?

Ours will be the same.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Khader Adnan: One Man's Struggle & a nation's resistance against occupation

As many of us around the world go about on our day- going to school, going to work, traveling to see friends and relatives, many others are denied this right. While some enjoy the basic right of being innocent until proven guilty, many others are detained in the most grueling way- blindfolded and dragged out of your home… and all the while, not even charged with a single crime. This is what happened to Khader Adnan, a Palestinian man who lives in the West Bank.

We must ask ourselves, as living in the 21st century, the 'Golden Age', how does something so barbaric still exist? Edmund Burke tells it succinctly: All it will take for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing.

Sadly, Khader's struggle isn't unique. Many Palestinians are in Israeli jails- many of them not charged with a single crime. Many others are in jail for... wait for it... throwing stones. How does throwing stones compare to being armed with military weapons, tanks, F-16s, Apaches, tear gas and so forth? Not only that, but also using those to keep an entire population submissive, subdued and imprisoned within their own country. Caged in like a bunch of sheep with no freedom of movement.

As Khader goes on to his 60th day of his hunger strike, let us flood the Israeli embassies around the world with phone calls, letters and demonstrations. Let them hear our anger against their unjust 'justice' system.

Injustice and oppression does not last forever. As the world slowly awakes from its slumber, much needed change is sure to follow. And no matter how long it takes for the whole world to speak out such injustice, we as fellow brothers and sisters in humanity must do everything we can with everything we have to change the status quo. Perhaps the steel determination of Khader Adnan and the millions like him around the world will be the catalyst for much needed change. 

"No one is free until everyone is free!"- Dr. Martin Luther King