Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Palestine Inside Out

Do you think that you know everything about the suffering of Palestinians in the occupied territories? Unless you are a Palestinian living in the West Bank then please allow me to answer on your behalf. The answer is NO.

Only a handful of books can help you begin to understand the extent of the humiliation, suffering and dire conditions under which our brothers and sisters in humanity, the Palestinians endure and suffer at the hands of our other brothers and sisters in humanity, the Zionists.

One of the books that might help you begin to understand is Nothing to lose but your life which I recently reviewed. Another that I  strongly recommend is Palestine Inside Out by Saree Makdisi.

On page one of the introduction, you are introduced to a unique Palestinian tragedy. Sam Bahour, a Palestinian businessman happily settled with his wife and two daughters in the West back was informed that because he was born in Ohia, he must leave his home in the Palestinian territories because the Israeli government facility in the settlement of Beit El, has decided not to renew his permit!!!

 Allow me to repeat this because I had difficulty understanding it the first time around. A Palestinian born to two Palestinian parents, who was born in Ohio because his parents were forcibly expelled from their home and land, and who is married to a Palestinian women born in the West Bank and who is listed on the territory’s official population registry, thus the couple is eligible for family unification, yet an illegal occupying force stationed in an illegal settlement built on internationally acknowledged Palestinian land has the authority to throw him out at will!!! I still don’t get it!!!

On page three we are assured that Sam’s case is not an isolated incident.  Amal al-Amleh, a wife and mother and a resident of the West bank made the unforgivable mistake of crossing the Jordan River to visit her ailing father in Jordan. When she tried to return to the West Bank, the Israeli soldier at the Allenby Bridge denied her the required permit to rejoin her husband, a West bank native, and her children because Amel was born in Jordan. Though she is only a few miles away, it’s been years since Amel last saw her children. Her youngest who was only ten months old when she left and her siblings are growing motherless because an Israeli occupier is preventing a Palestinian woman from traveling from one Arab country where her father lives to an Arab territory where her husband and children are awaiting her. 

According to the Israeli Human Rights Organization B’Tselem , 120,000 Palestinian applications for family unification have been pending since 2000. 

Having read this, you must be either outraged by the cruelty and injustice of the Israeli practices, or you could be suspicious of the credibility of it all. You might be thinking why and how could any person do this to another human especially when some of them or of their parents have suffered tremendous injustice and cruelty at the hands of the Nazis. 

The answer to this question is simple. The Israeli forces are merely implementing an Israeli government policy (as set in place by Ariel Sharon and reaffirmed by his successors) with the stated objective to separate the Jews from non-Jews.   Thus the concept of transfer.

“Transfer” is a euphemism referring to the removal or expulsion of the indigenous, non-Jewish, population of Palestine.  During the creation of Israel, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced (transferred) from their homes, and forcibly prevented from returning afterwards, despite their moral and legal right to do so. Having captured what remained of Palestine during the 1967 war, Israel again found itself taking control of land with a population it did not want. Thus a shift from the 1948 large scale “forcible expulsion” to the “voluntary transfer” by basically turning the lives of Palestinian in the West Bank to hell!!!

Some of the devilish tools used to ensure the transfer:
  • The Immense Wall
  • Gates closure
  • Sterile highways
  • Work Permits
  • Travel Permits
  • Visa permits
  • Check points
  • Back-to-Back cargo checkpoints
  • Back-to-back cargo road blocks
  • Uprooting of trees
  • House demolitions
  • Land confiscation
  •  New military zones
  • New seam zones
And the list goes on and on and on.

Look up those terms and see how each one of them is making the lives of the Arab residents of the West Bank unbearable.

As suggested earlier, read Saree Makdisi’s book and learn much more about those injustices, then do speak out against them. Remember, "indifference to evil is even more evil than evil itself" (Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention the oppression and corruption of your Hamas government and the Abu Mazen regime in the W. Bank.
Also....Israeli arabs(in Israel) have more freedom than arabs in any country in the M. East

It's easy to blame Israel for everything...not your insane govts all over the middle east..