Archive for the ‘History’ Category

May 14… Day of Independence..Or The NAKBA Anniversary..
June 11, 2007

 

Why do some people have the power to remember, while others are asked to forget? That question is especially poignant at this time of year, as we move from Holocaust Remembrance day in early spring to Monday’s anniversary of Israel’s declaration of independence on May 14, 1948.

 

 

 

In the months surrounding that date, Jewish forces expelled, or intimidated into flight, an estimated 750,000 Palestinians. A living, breathing, society that had existed in Palestine for centuries was smashed and fragmented, and a new society built on its ruins.

Few Palestinian families lack a personal narrative of loss from that period — an uncle killed, or a branch of the family that fled north while the others fled east, never to be reunited, or homes, offices, orchards and other property seized. Ever since, Palestinians worldwide have commemorated May 15 as Nakba (Catastrophe) Day.

No ethical person would admonish Jews to “forget the Holocaust.” Indeed, recent decades have witnessed victims of that terrible era not only remembering, but also regaining paintings and financial assets seized by the Nazis — and justifiably so.

Other victims of mass wrongs — interned Japanese Americans, enslaved African Americans, and Armenians subjected to a genocide that may have later convinced Hitler of the feasibility of mass killings — receive at least respectful consideration of their cases, even while responses to their claims have differed.

Yet in dialogues with Israelis, and some Americans, Palestinians are repeatedly admonished to “forget the past,” that looking back is “not constructive” and “doesn’t get us closer to a solution.” Ironically, Palestinians live the consequences of the past every day — whether as exiles from their homeland, or as members of an oppressed minority within Israel, or as subjects of a brutal and violent military occupation.

In the West we are amply reminded of the suffering of Jewish people in World War II. Our newspaper featured several stories on local survivors of the Nazi holocaust around Holocaust Remembrance Day (an Israeli national holiday that is widely observed in the United States). My daughter has read at least one book on the Nazi holocaust every year since middle school. Last year, in ninth grade English literature alone, she read three. But we seldom confront the impact of Israel’s policies on Palestinians.

It is the “security of the Jewish people” that has rationalized Israel’s takeover of Palestinian lands, both in the past in Israel, and more recently in the occupied West Bank. There, most Palestinian children negotiate one of the 500 Israeli checkpoints and other barriers to movement just to reach school each day. Meanwhile, Israel’s program of colonization of the West Bank grinds ahead relentlessly, implanting ever more Israeli settlers who must be “protected” from those Palestinians not reconciled to the theft of their homes and fields.

The primacy of Jewish security over rights of Palestinians — to property, education, health care, a chance to make a living, and, also to security — is seldom challenged.

Unfortunately, remembering the Nazi Holocaust — something morally incumbent on all of us — has seemingly become entangled with, and even an instrument of, the amnesia some would force on Palestinians. Israel is enveloped in an aura of ethical propriety that makes it unseemly, even “anti-Semitic” to question its denial of Palestinian rights.

As Israeli journalist Amira Hass recently observed: “Turning the Holocaust into a political asset serves Israel primarily in its fight against the Palestinians. When the Holocaust is on one side of the scale, along with the guilty (and rightly so) conscience of the West, the dispossession of the Palestinian people from their homeland in 1948 is minimized and blurred.”

What this demonstrates is that memory is not just an idle capacity. Rather, who can remember, and who can be made to forget, is, fundamentally, an expression of power.

Equally importantly, however, memory can provide a blueprint for the future — a vision of a solution to seek, or an outcome to avoid. My Palestinian father grew up in Jerusalem before Israel was founded and the Palestinians expelled, when Muslims, Christians and Jews lived in peace and mutual respect. Recalling that past provides a vision for an alternative future — one involving equal rights and tolerance, rather than the domination of one ethno-religious group over others.

Thus, what Palestinians are really being commanded is not just to forget their past, but instead to forget their future, too. That they will never do.
____________________________
Written By:George Bisharat, A professor of law at Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. He writes frequently about the Middle East.
Resource: http://www.sabbah.biz/mt/

Designs:

http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/49465690/

http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/32707729/

Advertisements

This is Palestine…An overview
June 11, 2007

 

 

Palestine, historic region on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, also known as the Holy Land. It lies at the crossroads of three continents, Europe, Asia and Africa. Palestine comprises three geographic zones: a part of the Great Rift Valley, a ridge, and a coastal plain. Palestine located in the Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.

From earliest times many invaders have sought to control the land, port cities, trade routes, and people of Palestine. Apart from the Israelites, they included the Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, Romans and British. Each of these newcomers were either absorbed into the population through marriage, or killed or later deported. In the case of the original population, they remained in Palestine continuously until the middle of the 20th century when the invading Zionists expelled three-quarters of their number.

Whereas Christianity had previously been the principal religion of the Palestinian people, it was almost completely replaced by Islam in the 7th century. Although most of them became Muslims at the time, a small section of Christians and Jews continued to practice their faith there. By the end of the 19th century (1895) the population of Palestine was estimated at 500,000 of whom 400,000 were Muslims, 53,000 were Christians and 47,000 were Jewish. The Jewish presence had, by all accounts, declined over the years to a position of near nonexistence.

Palestine was inhabited many centuries before the arrival of the Israelite tribes from Egypt. When they invaded the land of Canaan in the 12th century BC. the population of the country included apart from the Canaanites, the Hittites, Ammonites, Edmites, Moabites and Philistines.

Its earliest known inhabitants were the Canaanites. Theirs was the first of a series of migrations that headed Northeast out of the Arab peninsula about 3,500 BC. Persistent famine and harsh climatic conditions forced successive waves of migrants northwards to the Bilad al Sham (presently known as Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan).

The Bible refers to the Arab tribes that settled west of the Jordan River as Canaanites and to the land as “the country of the Canaanites” (Exodus 3:17). About its capital city, Jerusalem, Josephus Flavious writing in the first century recorded that it was founded by the Canaanites. Melchiisadek, the Righteous king, built it. He was a contemporary of Prophet Abraham (Genesis 14:18).

The name Palestine stems from the Philistines who lived along the southern Mediterranean coast in the 12th century B.C. The Palestinians people of today are the descendant’s of the Philistines, Canaanites continued to inhabit their land.

Some information about Palestine
___________________________________
___________________________________

Capital:

JERUSALEM

Major Cities:

Jerusalem (Local form, AlQuds) including Bethlehem (Bait lahem); Acre (Akka); Beersheeba (Beer Alsabea’); Beisan; Gaza; Haifa; Hebron (Alkhalil); Jaffa (Yafa); Jenin; Nablus; Nazareth (Al Naserah); Ramleh including Ludd; Ramallah; Safed; Tiberias (Tabareya); Tul Karem.

Population:

Total: 5,017,280 (2005)
West Bank: 2,385,615
Gaza Strip: 1,376,289
Occupied Lands: 1,255,376
density per sq mi: West Bank: 1,054, Gaza Strip: 9,902

Nationality:

noun: Palestinian(s)
adjective: Palestinian

Country name:

conventional long form: State of Palestine
conventional short form: Palestine
local long form: Dawlit Falasteen
local short form: Falasteen

Independence:

Still struggling and fighting for its total freedom from the ilegal and brutal Israeli occupation. The Palestine National Council however issued a Declaration of Independence of 15 November 1988.

Area:

West Bank: 5,844 sq km.
Gaza Strip: 365 sq km.
Occupied land: 91,971 sq km.
Slightly smaller than New Jersey.

Land boundaries:

total: 1,635 km
border countries: Egypt 266 km, Jordan 238 km, Lebanon 79 km, Syria 76 km.
Coastline: 300 km.

Terrain:

Negev desert in the south; low coastal plain; central mountains; Jordan Rift Valley

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Dead Sea -408 m
highest point: 1,208 m

Natural resources:

phosphates, potash, shale oil timber, copper ore, natural gas, phosphate rock, magnesium bromide, clays, sand

Natural hazards:

sandstorms may occur during spring and summer; periodic earthquakes

Environment :

limited arable land and natural fresh water resources pose serious constraints; air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; groundwater pollution from industrial and domestic waste, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides that mainly caused by Israeli occupation industry.

__________________

Resources:

http://www.prc.org.uk/palestine%2048/people.html

http://www.prc.org.uk/palestine%2048/coveted.html

http://www.palestina.com.mx/links.htm

Rachel Corrie-Epsiodes 01
May 1, 2007

Rachel Corrie was a 23-year-old peace activist killed by a bulldozer driven by an Israeli army soldier. The time, day and place of her death are known, but, the question of whether she was murdered or whether her death was an accident continues to be as controversial today as it was when it happened March 16, 2003. With her death Corrie became an international symbol in the struggle against the Israeli occupation ofPalestinianlands.

(Rachel Corrie-7/2003)  “I have been in Palestine for two weeks and one hour now, and I still have very few words to describe what I see. It is most difficult for me to think about what’s going on here when I sit down to write back to the United States. Something about the virtual portal into luxury. I don’t know if many of the children here have ever existed without tank-shell holes in their walls and the towers of an occupying army surveying them constantly from the near horizons. I think, although I’m not entirely sure, that even the smallest of these children understand that life is not like this everywhere.

“No amount of reading, attendance at conferences, documentary viewing and word of mouth could have prepared me for the reality of the situation here

“I know that the situation gets to them – and may ultimately get them – on all kinds of levels, but I am nevertheless amazed at their strength in being able to defend such a large degree of their humanity – laughter, generosity, family-time – against the incredible horror occurring in their lives and against the constant presence of death”

These was Rachel’s words Just after two weeks of her arrival to Palestine.. describing the incredible situations they live in.. and after a few hours of writing these words… she was run over and killed by an Israeli military bulldozer in Rafah, Gaza, while defending a Palestinian home from demolition.. while she was just 23 years old.. She was a college student and human rights activist from Olympia, Washington as well as a gifted writer. she left behind a series of diaries and emails from an early age which were crafted into a play by Alan Rickman and Katharine Viner. While the United States government in its annual human rights report describes Rachel as “a US citizen peace activist” and designates her as a human rights observer,2 this is often obscured by the fog of misinformation and myths surrounding her.. And after a long trip between her words, fears, wishes… I picked you this few sentence.. they really summarize a lot about what is going on there…in Palestine…

(Rachel Corrie) “I should at least mention that I am also discovering a degree of strength and of basic ability for humans to remain human in the direst of circumstances – which I also haven’t seen before. I think the word is dignity.”….

(Rachel Corrie) “I have bad nightmares about tanks and bulldozers outside our house and you and me inside. Sometimes the adrenaline acts as an anesthetic for weeks and then in the evening or at night it just hits me again – a little bit of the reality of the situation. I am really scared for the people here. Yesterday, I watched a father lead his two tiny children, holding his hands, out into the sight of tanks and a sniper tower and bulldozers and Jeeps because he thought his house was going to be exploded.
I was terrified to think that this man felt it was less of a risk to walk out in view of the tanks with his kids than to stay in his house. I was really scared that they were all going to be shot and I tried to stand between them and the tank.”…

(Rachel Corrie) “Sixty thousand workers from Rafah worked in Israel two years ago. Now only 600 can go to Israel for jobs. Of these 600, many have moved, because the three checkpoints between here and Ashkelon (the closest city in Israel) make what used to be a 40-minute drive, now a 12-hour or impassible journey. In addition, what Rafah identified in 1999 as sources of economic growth are all completely destroyed – the Gaza international airport (runways demolished, totally closed); the border for trade with Egypt (now with a giant Israeli sniper tower in the middle of the crossing); access to the ocean (completely cut off in the last two years by a checkpoint and the Gush Katif settlement). The count of homes destroyed in Rafah since the beginning of this intifada is up around 600, by and large people with no connection to the resistance but who happen to live along the border. I think it is maybe official now that Rafah is the poorest place in the world. There used to be a middle class here – recently. We also get reports that in the past, Gazan flower shipments to Europe were delayed for two weeks at the Erez crossing for security inspections. You can imagine the value of two-week-old cut flowers in the European market, so that market dried up. And then the bulldozers come and take out people’s vegetable farms and gardens. What is left for people? Tell me if you can think of anything. I can’t.”..

——————————-To Be Continue———————————–

wikipedia.org

encyclopedia.com

http://www.guardian.co.uk
http://www.rachelswords.org
http://rachelcorriefoundation.org/
http://electronicintifada.net
http://members.aol.com/drovics/rachell.htm


A SHORT HISTORY OF THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT
May 1, 2007

A SHORT HISTORY OF THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT
PART 1: FROM 1. ZIONIST CONGRESS TO DECLARATION OF AN INDEPENDENT ISRAEL

In 1887, the first Zionist Congress met in Basel-Switzerland.
In 1886,the book “Der Judenstaat” (The Jewish Land) published by a Jewish journalist Thedor Herzl.
In the 1. Zionist Congress,people talked about this book and the idea of a Jewish country.
At the end of this congress the Basel program has published.On this program there was the providence to creat a Jewish land in Palestine and that all members of international Zionists movement should move to Palestine for creating a Jewish state.Till 1903, 25.000 Jews went to Palestine then Between 1904-1914, 40.000 other Jews went to Palestine.

In 1917,an English minister Lord Arthur Balfour,wrote an official letter to leader of zionists (Lord Rothshild) and said that he will help and support Jews to make a Jewish country in Palestine.
This letter is called:Balfour Declaration.
“United kingdom
Foreign office, November 2nd, 1917.
Dear Lord Rothschild,
I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of his majesty’s government, the following declaration of sympathy with jewish zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the cabinet.
“His majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of the object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious’ rights of existing non-Jewish communities in palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country”.
I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the zionist federation.
Yours Sincerely,
(signed) Arthur James Balfour”

In 1918,England occupated Palestine.In 25th April 1920,Palestine became a British Mandate.
Hundred thousands of Jews went to the British Mandate of Palestine to join the Zionism project.
In August 1929,Jews and Arabs started to fight.English police killed 110 Palestinians.And 133 Jews died.
Till 1936,Zionist militant group “Irgun Zvai Leumi”,attacked Palestine and Jordan many times.
In July 1937,a commission headed by minister Lord Peel suggested that Palestine should be split to two parts between Jews and Arabs.
Palestinians and Arabs refused this suggestion and wanted the Jewish people’s exodus to finish and to become a uniter country that gives minorities their rights.The fights between Jews and Arabs continued until England send troops to Palestine-in 1938.
In 1947,England gave the responsibility of ending Arab-Jew conflict to the United Nations.
The United Nations suggested to split Palestine to two parts,56.5% to Jews and 43.5% to Arabs.
On 29th November 1947,this plan approved by votes of 33 countries but Palestinians refused this plan.
On 15th May 1948.England wanted to end its mandate in Palestine but before this many fights started.
The English society started to dispute to England’s presence in Palestine,because many of the English soldiers were dying in Palestine.Also English people were angry about U.S.’s force to send more Jews to Palestine.
Jewish militants started the “ethnic cleaninsing” in December 1948.Israel declared its independence in 14 May 1948-in Tel Aviv.

PART 2: WARS
Militants of Irgun and Lehi massacred many of Palestinians in 9th April,in Deir Yasin village.The massacre made thousands of Palestinians escape to Lebanon,Egypt and the West Bank.

One day after Israel declared its independence,Jordan,Egypt,Lebanon,Iraq and Syria attacked Israel,but Israeli troops pushed them back.
After these fights,Egypt took Gazza and Jordan taked a small part near Jerusalem with West Bank.Those were %25 of Palestine.
In 1969,Yasser Arafat created a group:Palestine Liberation Organisation.
On 5th June 1967,”6 Days War” started.The map of the Middle East changed in this war.
Israel invaded Gazza and Sinai Peninsula from Egypt,Golan hills from Syria,and occupied West Bank and Eastern Jerusalem.
The Israeli lands increased by two after this war.
United Nations passed their 242. declarasion.In this declarasion U.N. refused the new lands that Israel invaded at this war,and they asked Israel t withdraw from this lands.
In this war 500.000 Palestinians became refuuges.

In 1973 Egypt and Syria attacked Israel because they were still occupying Gazza,Sinai Peninsula and the Golan heights.This started the Yom Kippur War (Ramadan War).After 3 weeks of this war,Israel gained more lands than it had in 1967.In this war Egypt and Syria’s 8500 soldiers died and Israel lost 6000 soldiers.
At the end of this war Saudi Arabia started an oil-ambargo against countries who supported Israel.This ambargo continued till March-1974.
In October-1973,the United Nations Security Council asked the Arabs-and the Israelis to end the fightings as soon as possible.
In 1974,Yasser Arafat made his first speech in the United Nations General Assembly and said that he wanted peace.
In 1977 the political party named Likud,which was the inheritor of Irgun and Lehi,won the Israeli elections.
Likud wanted Israel to get all lands in Palestine and Jordan.Agriculture minister Ariel Sharon was a member of Likud.
PART 3:INTIFADA
In 1979,Egyptian minister Enver Sedat signed a peace treaty with Israel.
Ariel Sharon started a war with Lebanon in 1982.With support of Falangists,he caused the Sabra-Shatila Massacre in Lebanese refugee camps.
In 1987,the rebellion named “Intifada” started in Gaza.After a short time,it started in the West Bank too.In the same year,another group in Palestine named “Hamas” was created by Sheyh Ahmed Yasin.
In 1988,Palestine Liberation Organization with the leadership of Arafat, accepted U.N.’s 242. decision and the  idea of
“Palestine in 2 parts”.
In 30th October 1991,Palestine,Syria,Jordan and Israel met in the Madrid Conference.
A peace process began when The Workers Party came to leadership of government in Israel in 1992.
In 1993,Israel and Arafat signed the Oslo Peace Treaty.After this,Arafat could come back to Palestine.
In 1994 Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel met in Caire.According to the treaty that was drawn in these meetings,Israel should leave many parts of Gaza and Erila (a city in West Bank).

In 24th September 1995 The 2.Oslo Treaty was signed in Egypt (Taba) and Washington.
This treaty solited West Bank to three parts.
A part:West Bank’s %7 would give more of the control to Palestinians.
B part:This part would be controlled both by Palestine and Israel.This part were %21 of West Bank.
C part:This part would be Israel’s.

In 4th November 1995 Rabin has been killed by a Jew.Perez became the new prime minister.In 1996 Hamas did many actions.
Israel bombed Lebanon for 3 weeks.In May Netanyahu won the elections.Netanyahu started some arkeolojical works in Mesjid-ul Aksa and made all Muslims very angry.Israel gave many parts of El Halil to Palestinians.In October 1998 Wye River Treaty signed.The treaty stated that Israel should leave West Bank to Palestine.
But many Jews disputed to this treaty and it made Israeli government’s Rightist party fall down.In May,Ehud Barak from the
Workers Party won the elections.
In September-1999 a new Wye River Treaty had been signed.But Israel didn’t leave West Bank and continued to occupate here.
In 5 years of peace process nobody got anything.It made Palestinian people angry.In 2000,Israel left Lebanon.
In September Ariel Sharon visited Masjid-ul Aksa.Palestinians protested this and those protests started the
second intifada,named “Al Aksa Intifada”.
In the last months of 2000,Intifada was rising up as a protest to Israel’s occupating in Gaza and West Bank.
Barak left the government in December.In February Ariel Sharon won the elections.
Sharon continued his politics against Israel by more attacks and raids.
Palestinians were resisting with suicide attackings.
After suicide attackings,Israel occupied almost all West Bank.All through 2002,Israel raided Palestinian cities so many times,and Palestinians lived a so difficult year.
In April Israeli soldiers went to Jenin Refugee Camp and killed many of Palestinian civilians.Palestinians called this a massacre, but Israel said they just killed 52 people.In November 2002 Netanyahu said all Oslo treaties are cancelled.
In January 2003,Likud with leadership of Ariel Sharon won the elections in Israel.In August 2003,the armistice that Palestinian groups declared  finished because Israel continue its attackings.
In March 2004, Hamas’s leader Sheyh Ahmet Yasin was killed by Israeli soldiers in leadership of Ariel Sharon.In 11th November 2004,Palestine’s leader Yasser Arafat died.In January 2006 Ehud Olmert became the Prime Minister of Israel.And he continued Ariel Sharon’s policy.

————————-

resources :

wikipedia.org

encyclopedia.com

CIA Factbook