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Thursday, November 29, 2007

 

Zionists Dismember Palestine 60 Years Ago Today

Receive what cheer you may:
The night is long that never finds the day. Macbeth

No longer is it so easy for Zionists to vilify Palestinians and fool those in the west that the obstacle to peace sixty years ago was the Palestinians' refusal to accept partition. Who wouldn't? Who in his or her right mind would hand over a land to recent immigrants who owned at the most seven percent of it? Walid Khalidi writes about partition below. Thankfully, today, his solid writing on the topic may be disseminated electronically and the Zionist spin handily countered.

Going on sixty years in exile, Palestinians and their supporters with dignity, clarity, passion, and courage struggle for their people in refugee camps and under occupation. Susan Abulhawa said on Fox News today, "We are not children of a lesser God." And, although I experienced a bit of a rush to see headlined on the Guardian's main page "State of Israel Could Disappear," I quickly sobered contemplating the ugly reality that Israelis sacrifice Palestinians daily to the altar of their Demographic god.

My day was immeasurably brightened by an anonymous commentator who quotes Palestinian poet and patriot Kamal Nasir:

Kamal Nasir always taught us hope, despite the devastating darkness all around us, light shall emerge at the end...In his very words :" We are still in realms of the East a pregnant miracle where history shall witness its unfolding victory..."

Many excellent writings appeared today; I've linked to just a few below.

From Isabelle Humphries

As is the case for all Palestinian refugees, the group knows that the fundamental hope of the community rests not in results of one particular legal struggle, but in educating the new generation to struggle for their basic rights, the right to have access to their ancestral land of which they were unlawfully dispossessed.

Highlighting 1948 dispossession in Israeli courts

From Susan Abulhawa

Even more vulgar is Israel’s insistence that we recognize its right to be a state of the Jewish people. This country that stole everything from us – our homes, our holy places, our trees and farms, our institutions, our history and heritage, the cemeteries where our grandparents and forefathers are buried – because we are not the right kind of human in their eyes. They want us not only to attest that such an affront to humanity is legitimate and appropriate, but that it is somehow a right!

"A" Is For Apartheid or Annapolis

From Kathleen and Bill Christison

They talk about thawabit, unchangeable principles -- meaning a refusal to give in on positions that are the very essence of the Palestinian struggle. One young activist, after an evening spent talking about grassroots resistance and about the need to remain firm -- "unchangeable" -- on fundamental issues such as the right of return, came back to a subject we thought we had exhausted and said he wanted to say one more thing about the importance to Palestinians of the right of return: you invalidate the entire Palestinian cause, he said, if you give up this right. It would take the center away from the Palestinian cause and the entire Palestinian experience. It will not be abandoned.

Fantasy Versus Reality in Palestine-Israel

From Walid Khalidi

Palestinian Opposition to Partition

"On 29 November 1947 the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution recommending the partition of Palestine into a Jewish state, a Palestinian state, and a special international regime (corpus separatum) for Jerusalem and its environs; an economic union would be set up between the Jewish and Palestinian states. The Palestinians and other Arabs were as stunned as the Zionists and their sympathizers were jubilant. The very reactions of each side belied the claim that partition was a compromise solution. The member states that championed and endorsed partition did so in the full knowledge of bitter Palestinian and Arab opposition to it. The Palestinans had lost some four thousand lives fighting partition from 1937 to 1939. Since its creation the Arab League had been warning against partition. The UN partition plan was based on the Zionist plan that President Truman had endorsed as early as August 1946. From the Palestinian perspective, partition was Zionist in provenance and conception, and tailored to meet Zionist needs and demands. That the UN resolution won 33 votes to 13, with 10 abstentions and one delegtion absent, was largely due to the enormous pressure brought to bear by the United States (including the personal intervention of President Truman) on member states to vote for it. To be sure, the Soviet Union voted for partition also, but only in order to end British rule in Palestine. Significanty, no African or Asian state voted in favor except Liberia and the Philippines. India, Pakistan, Turkey, and Afghanistan all voted against, while China abstained. Many Latin American countries (including Mexico) abstained. Even the Canadian representative was heard to say that his country supported partition "with a heavy heart and many misgivings."

"Partition was seen by the Palestinians as imposing unilateral and intolerable sacrifices on themselves. The reasons for their opposition were the same as in 1937, except that the UN partition plan gave the proposed Jewish state 50 percent more territory than the 1937 plan had. The area of the Jewish state according to the UN plan would actually be larger than that of the proposed Palestinian state (5,500 square miles as compared with 4,500 square miles) at a time when the Jews constituted no more than 35 percent of the population and owned less than 7 percent of the land. Within the proposed Jewish state, Jewish landownership did not in fact exceed 600 square miles out of the total area of 5,500 square miles. Nearly all the citrus land (equally divided in ownership between Jews and Palestinians), 80 percent of the cereal land (entirely Palestinian-owned), and 40 percent of Palestinian industry would fall within the borders of the proposed Jewish state. Jaffa, the Palestinian state's major port on the Mediterranean, would be altogether cut off from its hinterland, and Gaza would lose its traditional links with the wheatlands of the Negev. Hundreds of villages would be separated from communal fields and pastures. The Palestinian state would lose direct access both to the Red Sea and to Syria. The economic union between the two states, on which partition had been postulated, was know beforehand to be impracticable. The patchwork of subunits into which partition would divide the country bore little relationship to the human and social realities on the ground. "

Khalidi, Walid. Before Their Diaspora: A Photographic History of the Palestinians 1876-1948. Washington DC: Institute For Palestine Studies, 1991.

1. Evan M. Wilson, Decision on Palestine (Stanford, Calif.:Hoover Institution Press, 1979), p. 127.

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