| Quisling: Appeasement dooms Palestinians to misery!

Appeasement dooms Palestinians to misery ~Stuart Littlewood, Redress Information & Analysis.

UN’s precious gift empowering legal action is squandered while Israel, with US/UK/EU acquiescence, continues to seize land and resources with impunity.

PALESTINE, UN observer state

PALESTINE, UN observer state

Later this month Palestinians will be celebrating an important anniversary, namely the decision by the UN General Assembly a year ago to recognise Palestine as a non-member observer state.

But not with much joy, I suspect.

Its upgraded status enables Palestine to now take part in UN debates and join bodies like the International Criminal Court (ICC). Predictably, Israel flew into a rage at the prospect and said the move pushed the peace process “backwards”, while the US said it was “unfortunate”.

So what has the Palestinian leadership done with this precious gift of empowerment from the international community?

Nothing.

RUSSELL TRIBUNAL ON PALESTINE - MARCH, 2013

RUSSELL TRIBUNAL ON PALESTINE – MARCH, 2013

In March this year the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, concluding four years of investigations, called for the ICC to investigate “crimes” committed by Israel in the occupied territories. The Tribunal said it would “support all initiatives from civil society and international organisations aimed at bringing Israel in front of the International Criminal Court”. Since Palestine was awarded observer status at the UN the previous November, it could file complaints on its own behalf against Israel with the Court.

The tribunal also called on the ICC to recognize Palestinian jurisdiction and for an extraordinary session of the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid, set up for South Africa, to examine the Israeli case.

The International Criminal Court

The International Criminal Court

Also in March the United Nations Human Rights Council said Israeli settlements in the West Bank were  a “creeping form of annexation” and the international community should take steps to halt business ties with those communities.  Their report claimed that Israel could be culpable for these acts before the International Criminal Court. The mission asked Israel to withdraw its settlers from the West Bank and East Jerusalem and urged the international community to comply with their obligation under international law to act.

In April senior Palestinian officials were saying that if Israel began construction in the area designated “E-1″ , a piece of land in the West Bank adjacent to Jerusalem seized by Israel in 1967, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would join the ICC and seek indictments on war crimes charges. It is believed that Israel’s administration had just given provisional permission to build some 3,300 Jewish homes on E-1.

Palestinians say that Israeli construction there would make an independent Palestinian state virtually impossible because it would cut off East Jerusalem (which is Palestinian) from the rest of the West Bank.

But why is Abbas waiting for the bulldozers to go into E-1 when there’s a long list of other examples of criminal settlement building and atrocities that Israel ought to be charged with?

Palestinians say the Israelis' attempt to paint them as consenting in any way to settlement expansion are fallacious.

Palestinians say the Israelis’ attempt to paint them as consenting in any way to settlement expansion are fallacious.

In June Dr. Saeb Erekat, Palestine’s chief negotiator, was criticizing the policies being pushed by Israeli PM Netanyahu “including aggressive settlement activity, home demolitions, evictions and ID revocations. This is part of Israel’s plan to destroy any possibility for a Palestinian State, by annexing and changing the status quo of Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley and other vast areas of the Occupied State of Palestine”.

The Israeli government, with its destructive policies, was determined to make US Secretary Kerry’s efforts fail, he said. Israel’s actions made it clear they were declaring the end of the two-state solution. The international community should be pushing Israel to implement previous agreements and adhere to international law instead of calling for a resumption of negotiations. 

“There is a new urgency to face reality and finally hold Israel accountable for destroying the prospects of justice and peace.”

Israel was turning up its aggression against the Palestinian people while we were trying to reach a negotiated solution, grumbled Erekat. “After the announcement to intensify negotiations made by US Secretary John Kerry, Israel destroyed the village of Khirbet Makhoul for the fourth time and approved further settlement expansion aimed at sealing Occupied East Jerusalem from Ramallah.”

Palestinian leadership shows no sign of starting the justice ball rolling

Israeli settlements in Palestine are illegal…  and undermine the prospects of a negotiated two-state solution. If Israel is serious about peace, they must cease all settlement activities.” Erekat again demanded action by the rest of the world “to make Israel pay the price for its institutionalized defiance of international law and UN resolutions”.

But there was still no sign of his own people – the Palestinian Authority and the PLO – taking action on their own account, or at least starting the ball rolling, even though the international community had given them the wherewithall to do so.

Now I hear that Israel is drilling into 3.5 billion barrels of oil reserves straddling the armistice  ‘green line’, most of it lying under the West Bank. According to official agreements, says Al-Jazeera, “Israel is obligated to coordinate any exploration for natural resources in shared territory with the Palestinian Authority, and reach agreements on how to divide the benefits.”

Ashraf Khatib, an official at the Palestinian Authority’s negotiations support unit, described the oil field as part of Israel’s “general theft of Palestinian national resources…  the occupation is not just about settlements and land confiscation. Israel is also massively profiting from exploiting our resources. There’s lots of money in it for Israel, which is why the occupation has become so prolonged.”

And, of course, the world knows how the Palestinians are prevented from benefiting from their offshore gas field and how, if Israel has its way, they’ll never get a sniff of their own gas either.

‘Life in Palestine is subject to the rule of the jungle’

Since the beginning of the Oslo process over 20 years ago, the rights of the Palestinian people have been sacrificed on the altar of so-called political progress, the glittering prize being ‘peace and security’. But that was never really on the cards. All we’ve seen is a continuous slide downhill for the Palestinians while the Israelis’ colonisation and expansion programme goes from strength to strength. “In the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the expansion of settlements continues relentlessly, while the illegal Annexation Wall creates a situation that is completely at odds with both international law and the stated goals of the peace process,” says Shawan Jabarin in an excellent article Time for the ICC to act on Palestine http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/10/time-icc-act-palestine-20131015113944266410.html

“Life in Palestine is subject to the rule of the jungle: generals and politicians know that they can violate the law with impunity, fuelling a continuous cycle of violations and suffering. The result has been an increase in war crimes committed against innocent civilians. Throughout Palestine we are struggling for the right to live, and the right to live in dignity.”

Palestine children Obama hope

Talking of the right to live in dignity, only today I was reading how some of the Palestinian villages are used by Israel for military training exercises in which soldiers enjoy virtual impunity with regard to their cruel behavior in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, the pretext being that the Israeli military is the sovereign authority over the whole territory. “This edict contradicts international law and numerous United Nations resolutions that question the Israeli claim to sovereignty over all Palestinian land,” reports IMEMChttp://www.imemc.org/article/66358.

The Israeli military frequently invades Palestinian towns and villages, with soldiers running through streets and alleys with loaded automatic weapons, ransacking homes and terrorizing residents, for the purposes of ‘training’. Residents and the human rights groups representing them have provided numerous examples of the soldiers tearing through homes and yards, breaking into houses, running up and down stairs and taking over rooftops of family homes as part of these exercises.

It’s bad enough that villages experience actual Israeli military invasions on a regular basis. Now, since the military makes no attempt to differentiate between an invasion and a ‘training exercise’, the villagers are just as terrorized as they are during real raids.

Wasting that all-important empowerment on a dumb promise

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. Photo by Max Koot Studio

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.
Photo by Max Koot Studio

International justice remains out of reach for millions of civilians because the corrupt US, UK and EU political establishments conspire to ‘persuade’ Palestine not to join the ICC or press war crimes charges and other complaints against racist Israel.

The Office of the Prosecutor at the ICC, meanwhile, is waiting for Palestine to ratify the Statute of the International Criminal Court and become a full member if it wishes to commence proceedings.

To pretend there is something wrong with pursuing a brutal oppressor for war crimes through the proper channels – that is, the ICC – while talking peace, is absurd. No peace is sustainable unless it’s underpinned by international law and justice.

So a week ago I sent a ‘press enquiry’ to the Palestinian Embassy in London, addressed to Ambassador Hassassian. It said:

“What is the PA/PLO doing, please, to regularise its position regarding the ICC statute and satisfy any remaining requirements for exercising its membership rights and bringing charges against Israel for its crimes?

“What still remains to be done and why the continuing delay after the international community cleared the way and unpgraded Palestine’s status?”

No reply, no acknowledgement, despite follow-up phone messages. Silence speaks volumes and is par for the course when dealing with Palestinian officials.

However, I’ve heard it said that Abbas promised Kerry not to seek justice through the ICC during the nine months or more the going-nowhere peace talks will be… well, going nowhere. That takes us by my reckoning to May next year, or beyond. And he gave the undertaking without wringing from the Israelis a corresponding promise to halt settlement planning, construction and enlargement.

Welcome to the Palestinian School of Appeasement.

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| Whether we like it or not, the settlers have won. The two-state solution is now impossible!

Whether we like it or not, the settlers have won. The two-state solution is now impossible ~  MEHDI HASAN,  New Statesman.

Whether we’re willing to admit it or not, Israel’s the Palestinian “peace process” is dead. There’s no hope of any success for a two-state solution.

They can’t say they weren’t warned. In 1987 and 2000, after the eruption of the first and second intifadas in the occupied territories, Israeli officials could plausibly claim to have been taken by surprise. Not this time. Nitzan Alon, the Israeli general responsible for the West Bank, has warned publicly about the possibility of a third intifada by the repressed and stateless Palestinians. If the latest round of US-led diplomatic efforts fails, he told the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, a think tank, on 18 June, “I’m afraid we will see the escalation . . . strengthen.”

Alon’s comments follow similar warnings from, among others, the former Israeli intelligence chiefs Yaakov Peri and Yuval Diskin, as well as Israel’s former head of general staff, General Shaul Mofaz. “We are on the verge of a third intifada,” said Mofaz in January. “The fuel vapor may already be sensed in the air.” Four months earlier, in September 2012, the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, had responded to demonstrations over political gridlock and soaring unemployment by declaring that a “Palestinian spring” had begun.

It is now a matter of when, not if, the West Bank boils over into violent protests. All eyes are on events in Damascus, Cairo and Istanbul while Israel continues to oversee the longest military occupation in the world, 46 years and counting.

Perhaps the most offensive phrase, still deployed by the laziest observers in the west, is “peace process”. There is no peace; there is no process – despite an astonishing five visits to the region in the past three months by the US secretary of state, John Kerry.

Negotiations between the two sides were “frozen”, to quote Dov Weisglass, the then chief of staff to Ariel Sharon, almost a decade ago. “[W]hat I effectively agreed to with the Americans was that part of the settlements would not be dealt with at all,” Weisglass told the Israeli newspaper Haaretzin October 2004. “Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda.” Or, as a smiling and confident Dani Dayan, the outgoing chairman of the Yesha settlers’ council, put it to me in an interview for al-Jazeera English: “The conflict right now has no solution.”

Dayan and his fanatical friends can take credit for burying the “two-state solution”. Between 1993 and 2000, as Palestinians and Israelis met for summits, conferences and “peace talks”, the number of settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem doubled. “It’s like you and I are negotiating over a piece of pizza,” as the Palestinian-American lawyer Michael Tarazi told an audience at Iowa State University in 2004. “How much of the pizza do I get? And how much do you get? And while we are negotiating it, you are eating it.”

Today, the relentless colonisation of occupied Palestinian land continues apace, in defiance of the Geneva Conventions, with 121 settlements and 102 unauthorised “outposts” occupying 42 per cent of the West Bank.

The settlements, therefore, have rendered a two-state solution impossible. The evidence for this? “The idea that a Palestinian state will be formed in the land of Israel has come to a dead end,” declared the former Yesha Council leader Naftali Bennett on 17 June. “Today there are 400,000 Israeli residents of Judaea and Samaria and another 250,000 in eastern Jerusalem.”

Whether we want to admit it or not, the settlers have won – they have what they call a “wet dream” government, protecting and promoting their interests. Israel’s foreign minister-in-waiting, Avigdor Lieberman, is a West Bank settler; so is his deputy. Both Uri Ariel, the housing minister, and Shai Piron, the education minister, are residents of illegal West Bank settlements. Bennett, who leads the pro-settler Jewish Home party, is also the minister for the economy.

Settlers make up 5 per cent of Israel’s population but more than 10 per cent of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset. Beyond the political sphere, settlers have mounted a concerted effort to dominate the Israel Defence Forces. Settlers in the government will not sanction a withdrawal from the occupied territories and settlers in the military would never enforce such a withdrawal. Thus, the “peace process” is a sham, “one of the most spectacular deceptions in modern diplomatic history”, according to the former foreign minister Shlomo Ben-Ami.

On my last visit to the West Bank, I met Dr Mohammed Shtayyeh, the influential head of the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction, and Diana Buttu, a Stanford-educated lawyer and former Palestinian negotiator. “The two-state solution is not possible any more and we are slipping into a one-state situation . . . which is a comprehensive colonisation of all of Palestine,” Shtayyeh said.

Buttu said she no longer backed two states for two peoples, preferring a single, secular, binational state. But is that feasible? “Is it more feasible to try and get the Israelis to agree to the division of Jerusalem – or is it more feasible for us to start pushing . . . Israel to give us our rights, rather than begging for a little piece of land to be carved out [for us]?” she asked me, as we sat sipping tea in a Ramallah café.

Buttu is right. The choice on offer is stark: either a democratic, one-state solution, in which Jews, Muslims and Christians can live side by side as equals – one person, one vote – or Bennett and Dayan’s “status quo” vision, in which nearly four million Palestinians continue to live under a de facto Israeli military dictatorship, denied the right to vote and offered only a divided, bantustan statelet.

I know which I’d prefer. Either way, no matter how many visits John Kerry makes to Jerusalem, it is time to consign the two-state solution to the dustbin of history.

Mehdi Hasan is a contributing writer of the New Statesman and the political director of the Huffington Post, where this column is crossposted 

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| Israel releases Palestinian prisoner after 27 year incarceration!

Israel releases Palestinian prisoner after 27 year incarceration ~ Al-Akhbar English.

Palestinian fighter Ibrahim Baroud kisses his mother following his release from an Israeli jail after being detained for 27 years, as he arrives home to the Jabaliya refugee camp, in the northern Gaza Strip, on 8 April 2013. (Photo: AFP – Mahmud Hams)

 

Israel released a Palestinian on Monday after a 27-year incarceration for his affiliation with a militant Palestinian organization, Ma’an news agency reported.

Ibrahim Baroud, 51, returned to Gaza early Monday morning after completing his full sentence, which included seven years in solitary confinement.

Baroud was first arrested in 1983 – his mother Ghalia Baroud said in a March interview with French newspaper Le Monde – before being sentenced in 1986 by an Israeli military court for belonging to Islamic Jihad and allegedly carrying out attacks against Israel.

Baroud’s mother had said that she was barred from visiting her son for 14 years for “security reasons” which were never revealed to her.

“All Palestinians are dangerous for them (Israelis),” she told Le Monde.

During a meeting in Ramallah with US Secretary of State John Kerry Sunday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that the release of Palestinian prisoners – especially those detained since before the 1993 Oslo Accords, like Baroud – was a necessary precondition to resume peace talks with Israel.

Prisoners rights organization Addameer says 111 Palestinians imprisoned before the Oslo Accords were still in Israeli custody as of September 2012, nearly two decades after the signing of the agreement.

At least 4,800 Palestinians remained behind bars in Israel, the group said in a February 2013 report.

(Al-Akhbar, AFP)

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| Why did no Arab leader attend Chavez’s funeral, despite his unwavering support for Palestine?

Ahmadinejad Steals Show At Chavez FuneralAli Hashem for Al-Monitor.

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Why did no Arab leader attend Chavez’s funeral, despite his unwavering support for Palestine? The funeral of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was notable for the absence of Arab leaders, while Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad generated controversy by comforting Chavez’s mother.

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Arab leaders were missed at Hugo Chavez’s funeral. None showed up, despite the fact Chavez was known for his pro-Arab stances. According to one of his Arab affairs advisers, “Chavez risked many of Venezuela’s interests for the Palestinian cause, but that meant nothing to the Palestinian leaders who did not travel to Caracas for his farewell.”

The most senior Arab officials to take part in the funeral – which was attended by more than 30 heads of state – were two ministers representing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas respectively. The adviser, who is of Arab descent, spoke sorrowfully. “I couldn’t look in his eyes even though he was dead. He did everything he could for Arabs, but their leaders were ungrateful.” He added: “We know that people in the Arab world were as sad as Chavez’s admirers here.” Over one million Venezuelans are of Arab descent. Venezuela’s interior and foreign ministers descend from Syria and Lebanon, respectively.

“Arab leaders fear the Americans,” said the adviser. “Chavez’s stances towards their causes discomfited them. They only care about what the White House wants, so they didn’t come.”

Isabelle Franjiyeh, who is originally from Lebanon, is a member of the ruling party in Venezuela. She told me when we met after the funeral that Venezuela’s commitment to Arab causes would not be affected by such an incident. “We care for the people there,” she said. “Our leadership is attached to the grass roots, not the elite.” Before leaving, she made a brief but significant remark: “Venezuelans never felt the absence of Arab leaders; they were overwhelmed by [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad’s presence.”

The Iranian president’s presence might have been very important to pro-Chavez Venezuelans, especially after a picture was publicized showing him holding the hands of Chavez’s mother. However, this same picture seems to have given Ahmadinejad a bit of headache in Iran and within religious Shiite circles around the world. It is known that in the Shiite version of Islam, physical contact between a man and non-related women is forbidden. According to the website of one of Iran’s ayatollahs, “This reality is beyond debate. It would be necessary for you to explain your position and beliefs to others in that by refraining from shaking hands you do not mean to insult them and that you are obeying the rules of your religion.”

Several Conservative MPs on the Iran Islamic Shura Council criticized the president’s attitude. “Such an attitude by a senior official contradicts with our beliefs,” said MP Mohammed Dahqan, who urged the ayatollahs to issue statements condemning the incident.

Another MP, Mohamed Mahdi PorFatemi, said, “If it was anyone other than Ahmadinejad who did so, he would be called a traitor.”

Social networks and websites were flooded with the picture, while many pro-Ahmadinejad activists strained to convince people the image had been photoshopped. “President Ahmadinejad is a pious Muslim. He won’t do such a thing,” said one. As many as 200 comments flooded a page that had posted a photoshopped image showing Ahmadinejad with a man instead of a woman.

Later, video of the incident emerged and the debate over the authenticity of the image halted. The debate then shifted to the reasons behind Ahmadinejad’s action.

“She surprised him, and he wasn’t able to do anything,” said one reader. Another countered, “He could have avoided her.” A war of words began, and participants in the dialogue seemed divided. Some gave excuses; others attacked. Some criticized the debate itself in their comments. One of those, a religious activist, wrote, “The woman is almost 80 years old. Why do you all care about this? Chavez’s mother deserves to be kissed on her forehead.”

Ali Hashem is an Arab journalist who is serving as Al Mayadeen news network’s chief correspondent. Until March 2012, Ali was Al Jazeera‘s war correspondent, and prior to Al Jazeera he was a senior journalist at the BBC. 
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| Marwan Barghouti: If Occupation continues, there will be [new] Intifada!

Marwan Barghouti: If Occupation Continues, There will be Intifada ~  Palestine News Network.

The Jerusalem Post newspaper published yesterday, that Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti said in an interview with channel 10 from his prison cell, that if he were Palestinian Authority president, he wouldn’t be able to promise that there would not be a third intifada, as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has done.

Channel 10 aired the interview – jointly conducted with Haaretz – on Wednesday night, marking the first Israeli interview of its kind after the ten years of prison time that the revered Palestinian figure has served.

Barghouti warned that if the occupation continued, there will be a third intifada, but it will be a popular non-violent uprising.

According to the same newspaper, Barghouti said that the conflict would strengthen Hamas and said that the rockets helped the Gaza movement, and “were a good thing.” However, he added that he could not say that it was appropriate to use them in every situation, as Hamas did. Nevertheless, he asserted that the Israelis “only understand force.”

He described Abbas as the most comfortable partner Israel could have, and said he had no choice but to go the United Nations General Assembly with the Palestinian statehood bid, otherwise “he would go home.”

Barghouti recalled when Abbas had said that he would give up any claim to Safed, where he had lived as a child. Abbas said, “Palestine now for me is the ’67 borders; with East Jerusalem as its capital…I believe the West Bank and Gaza is Palestine and the other parts are Israel.”

Abbas’ statements came during a channel 2 interview in March when he was asked if he would like to return to his birth town of Safed.

Barghouti stressed that he himself would not give up the claim to the right of return, which he called a sacred right of the Palestinians.

He also stated that Israel has proven it does not want peace.

“When I’m president, and Israel agrees to a two-state solution based on the 1967 border with the capital of Palestine as east Jerusalem, I will ensure that Hamas does not carry out attacks,” he said.

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Marwan Barghouti, jailed Palestinian leader, makes rare court appearance – video:

[ The Guardian, 

  •  Source: Reuters, Length: 58 sec]

Marwan Barghouti, sentenced to life in prison by an Israeli court for the murder of Israeli civilians in 2002, makes a rare court appearance on Wednesday. Barghouti has been politically active while in prison, and was elected to a Fatah leadership role in 2009. Barghouti appeared in court as a witness in another case.

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| Amazing footage of 1896 Palestine proves Jews, Muslims, Christians lived peacefully under the Ottomans! [2:29]

Incredible footage from Jerusalem in 1896 | Jews, Muslims, Christians living under the Ottomans ~ LiveLeak.

[https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=4ca_1353096368]

Incredible footage of Palestine and Jerusalem from the year 1896. Muslims, Jews and Christians lived next to each other and peacefully under the auspices of the Ottoman (Uthmani) Caliphate/Empire.

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FACT SHEET: The Right of Return & Palestinian Refugees  ~ 
IMEU, NOV 5, 2012

On Friday, Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas caused controversy when he appeared to tell an Israeli television interviewer that he didn’t have a right to return to the town that he was expelled from as a child during Israel’s creation in 1948. His statement was seen by some as suggesting that Palestinian refugees as a whole didn’t have a legal right to return to the lands that they were driven from during Israel’s establishment, as is stipulated by international law and United Nations resolutions.On Saturday, following criticism that he was jeopardizing the rights of refugees and undermining his own bargaining position in negotiations with Israel, Abbas and other PA officials denied that he had relinquished anyone’s rights and said that he had only been speaking for himself. To put this story into context, the IMEU offers the following fact sheet on the right of return and Palestinian refugees.THE RIGHT OF RETURN & PALESTINIAN REFUGEES

The Right of Return in International Law

  • All refugees have a right to return to areas from which they have fled or were forced, to receive compensation for damages, and to either regain their properties or receive compensation and support for voluntary resettlement. This right derives from a number of legal sources, including customary international law, international humanitarian law governing rights of civilians during war, and human rights law. The United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights states in Article 13(2) that “[e]veryone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and return to his own country.” This is an individual right and cannot be unilaterally abrogated by third parties.
  • In December 1948, following Israel’s establishment and the attendant displacement of approximately 750,000 Palestinians from areas that fell within its control, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 194, which states, “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.”
  • The Palestinian right of return has been confirmed repeatedly by the UN General Assembly, including through Resolution 3236, which “Reaffirms also the inalienable right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted, and calls for their return.”
  • The Palestinian right of return has also been recognized by major human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, which issued a policy statementon the subject in 2001. It concluded:
  • Amnesty International calls for Palestinians who fled or were expelled from Israel, the West Bank or Gaza Strip, along with those of their descendants who have maintained genuine links with the area, to be able to exercise their right to return.Palestinians who were expelled from what is now Israel, and then from the West Bank or Gaza Strip, may be able to show that they have genuine links to both places. If so, they should be free to choose between returning to Israel, the West Bank or Gaza Strip.

    ‘Palestinians who have genuine links to Israel, the West Bank or Gaza Strip, but who are currently living in other host states, may also have genuine links to their host state. This should not diminish or reduce their right to return to Israel, the West Bank or Gaza Strip.’

    According to a statement issued by Human Rights Watch in 2000:

    HRW urges Israel to recognize the right to return for those Palestinians, and their descendants, who fled from territory that is now within the State of Israel, and who have maintained appropriate links with that territory. This is a right that persists even when sovereignty over the territory is contested or has changed hands.

  • The U.S. government supported Resolution 194, and consistently voted to affirm it until 1993, when the administration of President Bill Clinton began to refer to Palestinian refugee rights as a matter to be negotiated between the two parties in a final peace agreement. In recent years, the U.S. has supported the right of refugees to return to places like Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, and East Timor.

Palestinian Refugees: Facts & Figures

  • Palestinian refugees are the largest and longest-standing population of displaced persons in the world. Reliable figures on their numbers are hard to find, as there is no centralized agency or institution charged with maintaining this information. However, a survey released in 2010 by BADIL, the Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, found the refugee and displaced population to be at least 7.1 million, made up of 6.6 million refugees and 427,000 internally displaced persons. It also found that refugees comprised 67% of the Palestinian population as a whole.
  • Most Palestinian refugees are Palestinians and their descendants who were expelled from their homes in the parts of historic Palestine that were incorporated into the newly created state of Israel in 1948. Other Palestinian refugee categories include Palestinians who fled their homes but remained internally displaced in areas that became Israel in 1948; Palestinians who were displaced for the first time after Israel occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip in the 1967 War; Palestinians who left the occupied territories since 1967 and have been prevented by Israel from returning due to revocation of residency rights, denial of family reunification, or deportation; and Palestinians internally displaced in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip since 1967.

Responsibility for the Palestinian Refugee Problem

  • During the creation of Israel (1947-9), approximately 750,000 Palestinianswere expelled by Zionist militias and Israeli government forces seeking to create a Jewish-majority state in historic Palestine, where the indigenous Palestinian Arab population was the overwhelming majority (approximately 67% in 1947). Palestinians call this the “Nakba,” Arabic for “catastrophe” or “disaster.”
  • By the time of the declaration of the state of Israel in May 1948 and the entry of neighboring Arab countries into the conflict, more than 200 Palestinian townshad already been emptied as people fled in fear or were driven out by Zionist paramilitaries.
  • By the end of 1948, some three-quarters of the Palestinian Arab population had been expelled. It’s estimated that more than half were driven out under direct military assault. Others fled as news spread of massacres committed by Zionist forces in Palestinian cities and towns such as Deir YassinAd Dawayima, Eilaboun, Saliha, and Lydda.
  • More than 400 Palestinian cities and towns would be systematically destroyed by Zionist and Israeli forces. In dwellings that weren’t destroyed, Israel rapidly moved Jews, many of them recently arrived immigrants from Europe, into the newly emptied Palestinian homes.

Plan Dalet

  • The expulsion of the majority of the Arab population of Palestine during Israel’s establishment was not an unintended consequence of war, but rather apreconceived strategy of “transfer.” The blueprint for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine was Plan Dalet, which was developed and implemented under the leadership of Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, and the forerunner of the Israeli army, the Haganah.
  • Two months prior to Israel’s declaring independence, on March 10, 1948, the Zionist leadership under Ben-Gurion adopted Plan Dalet, which laid out in detail a plan for the forcible depopulation and destruction of Palestinian towns and villages. Amongst other things, it called for:

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

    ‘Mounting search and control operations according to the following guidelines: encirclement of the village and conducting a search inside it. In the event of resistance, the armed force must be destroyed and the population must be expelled outside the borders of the state.’

The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine: Israeli Leaders in Their Own Words

  • In his memoirs, which were censored by the Israeli military but leaked to the New York Times, the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin recalled a conversation he had in July 1948 with David Ben-Gurion, head of the Zionist community in Palestine and first prime minister of Israel, regarding the fate of 50,000 Palestinian residents of the cities of Lydda and Ramleh:

    ‘We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his question, “What is to be done with the Palestinian population?” Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said “Drive them out!”‘

  • In December 1940, Joseph Weitz, the director of the Jewish National Land Fund, which was tasked with acquiring land for the Zionist enterprise in Palestine starting in the 1930s, wrote in his subsequently published diary:

    ‘[T]here is no way besides transferring the Arabs from here to the neighboring countries, to transfer them all; except maybe for Bethlehem, Nazareth and Old Jerusalem, we must not leave a single village, not a single tribe…And only with such a transfer will the country be able to absorb millions of our brothers, and the Jewish question shall be solved, once and for all. There is no other way out.’

  • As far back as 1895, the father of modern Zionism, Theodor Herzl, wrote:

    ‘We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it any employment in our own country…expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.’

See what other leading Israelis have said about transfer. ________________________________________________________

| PALESTINIANS HAVE A GENUINE GRIEVANCE:

The CORE issues of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict are the
COLLECTIVE DISPOSSESSION and
ETHNIC CLEANSING of the Palestinian people for the past six decades.

http://www.palestineremembered.com/Acre/Palestine-Remembered/Story725.html| THE KEY TO PEACE: Dismantling the Matrix of Control:
http://www.merip.org/mero/mero091109| Must-Read for a Correct Factual Background …
http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2010/06/17/top-ten-myths-about-the-israeli-palestinian-conflict/| IMPERIAL HISTORY OF THE MIDDLE EAST!
Who has conquered the Middle east over the course of the world events?
See 5.000 years of history in just … 90 seconds!!
http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/imagenes_sociopol/middleeast_maphistory.swf
www.bibliotecapleyades.net

| Israeli Historian Describes Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine in 1948 (Nakba)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wV9gv7w3pLY
Dr. Ilan Pappé is an Israeli historian who was a senior lecturer at Haifa University from 1984-2007. His position as an Israeli academic gave him access to official Israeli historical archives. Through research this Israeli-born academic learned the truth about the Israeli narrative. This clip of a lecture he gave in the US clarifies what happened on 1948, a day we commemorate tomorrow May 15th as Yawm An-Nakba or “Day of the Catastrophe.”

“It was suggested to them that so few years after the Holocaust it wasn’t a good idea to portray the Jews as murderers, expellers, looters, occupiers, and colonizers. This was a conscious decision by the political elites of the West to atone for what Europe did to the Jews in the Second World War. The price was very clear, the dispossession of Palestine.”

~ Ilan Pappé