Remembering the Naksa

4 Jun, '07

I’ll take the words out of a dear friend’s mouth:

This June 5th marks the fortieth anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. Four decades of control maintained by force of arms have enabled Israel to impose its will on the occupied territories and to remake them in its own image.

I must admit that I do not know much about this, nor did I bother myself to learn more about the situation. So I am thankful that Haitham has been good enough to provide us with a FAQ about the 1967 war which is a first step in trying to understand the Naksa.

Thanks Haitham for providing this valuable resource to remind everyone of the disasterous events not only of 1967, but 1948 too.

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Comments (21)

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  1. I’m very happy to know that it was informative and you find useful.

    It is very important for everyone to understand and learn from history, before we attempt to solve the situation.

    Yesterday I quoted Hasan Abu Nimah, please allow me to quote him again:

    Has the time not come to determine precisely and fairly where the chain of events starts, in order to be able to accordingly determine who retaliates for what? Should one not start with the occupation? Are 40 years of continued, severe, harsh, oppressive and humiliating occupation not aggression? Who gave Israel the right to occupy the Palestinians and rule their lives for that long, in full contravention of international law and the simplest principles of human rights? Who gave Israel the right to leave Gaza but lay siege to it, controlling every movement of people and goods to and from, and to seek European help to participate in controlling the siege? When the starved Palestinians dug tunnels to break their isolation, they were condemned and punished worldwide. Who gave the Israelis the right to impose total financial and political boycott as an act of punishment for all Palestinians for practising their democratic right and electing a government which Israel did not like, and the whole world went along with this additional injustice, tightening the boycott indefinitely?

  2. Anonymous says:

    When the starved Palestinians dug tunnels to break their isolation

    Starved, eh? No money for food but plenty for weapons.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Starved, eh? No money for food but plenty for weapons.

    Oh please get off your high horse. It’s Palestinians with stones
    and guns versus Israelis with rockets, helicopter gunships and
    US3 billion a year from the States.

    Listen, fool. However high you build your shitadel those whom you
    oppress will one day get to you. Food or not. And if you push
    them to the point where they believe present conditions leave
    them with no future, then yes they will sacrifice meals, lives and
    even the lives of their young.

    So selfish of the Pallies, eh? Not to lie down and die for your
    peace of mind? Well, they may do it for their future but they
    wont do it for you.

    Holy crap, the Israelis have got nothing to do with any spurious
    Jewish claim on that land. A couple of centuries ago they were
    Khazars causing trouble in Eastern Europe who converted to
    Judaism to separate themselves from their neighbours. But
    you don’t need to understand any of that.

  4. Aliandra says:

    Anon from Germany;

    Up until very recently, the Palestinians received more international aid per capita than any other people in the world. If they are poor and dysfunctional it is not because of a lack of funds, but because they have consistently chosen violence, no-compromise solutions, corruption, and extremism.

  5. Hasan says:

    Aliandra,

    The thing about “international aid” is this: it’s just aid. It doesn’t tackle the root of whatever problems. Also, please remember that violence, corruption and extremism is not only practised by the Palestinians.

    Walling in an entire group of people (for instance), in a fashion similar to caging animals, is definitely not a step towards reaching a peaceful agreement, but rather, seems to be a way of provoking only more problems in the future – for and from both sides.

  6. Markus says:

    Aliandra, you are stating lies, Israel is the biggest recepient of financial aid, military and otherwise in the world. You are either ignorant or purposfully tweaking the truth, the aid that Paelstinains recieve from the UN is , in fact, more than other countries recieve, but that is health, and sustinance aid, this aid is given out for urgent needs, to avoid disasters. The blood of innocent people is just as much on israeli hands as it is on all the apologists for the racist facist nazi state of israel, the blood of innocent people is on ur hands, not that u would care, a facist doesnt care of course, he/she just distorts the facts and lies.

  7. Aliandra says:

    Markus;

    All hysterics aside, here’s some helpful information:

    http://www.honestreporting.com/articles/45884734/critiques/Understanding_Palestinian_Poverty.asp

    Quote: “The World Bank noted recently that ‘donor disbursements to the Palestinians currently amount to approximately $1 billion per year or $310 per person ― one of the highest per capita rates in the history of foreign assistance.’ (By comparison, the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after World War II provided $68 per year, in today’s dollars, to Europeans.”

    The average person in subsharan Africa receives about $45 of assistance.

    The Palestinians are the most aid-dependent people on earth. Surely those 20 million dollars awarded to Suha Arafat could have been used to buy every Palestinian a nice villa in France.

  8. doncox says:

    To understand 1967, you have to go back to the 1920s and 1930s, when the Zionists first started buying land in Palestine (at high prices).

    Several hundred Jews were killed by Arabs before WW II.

    Jews moved into Palestine in the same way as Muslims have moved into Britain. Yet there have been no massacres of Muslims by the British.

  9. Jay Jerome says:

    Mahmood:

    The truncated account you linked to didn’t mention the following:

    Before Israel attacked, Egypt expelled the UN Emergency Force from the Sinai Peninsula, where it had been a peace-keeping buffer for a decade, started increasing a military buildup near the border, blockaded the Straits of Tiran to Israeli ships, then started calling for unified action against Israel. Fearing an invasion by Egypt, the Israelis launched a preemptive attack on Egypt’s air force. Whereupon Jordan, without provocation, attacked western Jerusalem and elsewhere; Syria jumped in too. And they all got their butts busted.

    It’s true the Palestinians are living a hellish life, and it would be good for them and the Israelis to figure out a way to settle their differences, but that’s not going to happen because “Islam” doesn’t want a peaceful settlement. People like Markus certainly don’t want a peaceful solution, they just want to murder the Jews and kick them out. Most of them are hypocrites, loudly chastising the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians, but keeping their mouths shut at the equally bad treatment (and often worse) they receive in Jordan and Lebanon and Syria and Iran and …. actually everywhere in the Muslim world they’ve emigrated to. In fact one of the few places they’re not treated like dog manure is here in the U.S. — no restrictions where they live, or go to school, or where they can work, or how much they can earn. U.S. Census statistics for 2005 indicate that they, like all other Arab immigrant groups, have high percentages working in white-collar jobs in management (41.6%) and sales (35.9%) In fact, all Arab men and women working here are in higher earning percentiles then the general population.

    http://www.census.gov/prod/2005pubs/censr-21.pdf

    The reason for this is that Western nations, even with their own obvious shortcomings, treat immigrants better than Muslim nations, because Muslim nations are good as assimilating the technologies we’ve invented, but terrible at assimilating the democratic principles we practice.

  10. 3umri says:

    Well, while many of you will be mourning the events of 1967, many of us will be celebrating the first time in centuries when our most revered holy sites were accessible to us and maintained with full respect and dignity.

  11. 3umri says:

    Mr. Nimah asks “Who gave Israel the right to occupy the Palestinians and rule their lives for that long, in full contravention of international law and the simplest principles of human rights?” Well, the answer is the governments of Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Iraq, when they decided to go to war. When you go to war, you step outside of international law and human rights. Similarly, when you start a fistfight, you step outside of local law and human rights. A war is not decided by whoever is “entitled” by law to win it. It is decided by whoever is able to win it. A fistfight isn’t decided by who is right in the dispute, but by who can punch the hardest. If you decide to settle a quarrel with your neighbor by going mano-a-mano, and discover that your neighbor is a better boxer than you, you don’t get to cry that the law gave you some kind of right to win it.

    Makes a strong case for giving peace a chance, no?

  12. Esra\'a says:

    Makes a strong case for giving peace a chance, no?

    Not really. Just shows how fucked and desperate humanity really is.

  13. mahmood says:

    Jay Jerome:

    Muslim nations are good as assimilating the technologies we’ve invented, but terrible at assimilating the democratic principles we practice.

    I would replace the word “Muslim” here with “Tribally ruled” as that is more appropriate and the real cause of the problem. Islam is simply used as an excuse.

    The truncated account you linked to didn’t mention the following

    The FAQ is not meant to be the final arbiter of truth in this situation. A page of words is not going to sufficient analysis of the ’67 war and the dynamics it generated. It is; however, a good starting point.

    My friend Brian Ulrich reflects about his experience of the 40 year celebrations in Jerusalem (where he currently is) which sheds light on the actual feeling on the ground; his account (and others of course) are worth reading to get to an understanding of what actually transpired, why it did and how it could be avoided in the future.

    Going back to the integration issues, we have a lot to learn from the “New World” on how they achieved such cohesiveness in their history, even learn from the pitfalls. The same could be said about all other countries with constitutions that respect human rights and actually inculcate that respect within their laws and use them in practice.

    I believe this openness has retrograded somewhat – I hope temporarily – with the advent of 9/11 and other terrorism activities; essentially however, naturalisation there was not effected for political motives which are at a tangent with what their local populace want, nor to affect certain demographics, as is the case here unfortunately.

    Add to that the culture that is built on exclusivity and other egotistical concerns (the preference goes something like locals first, then Gulf nationals, then Arabs, then, Europeans and Americans, then people from the sub-continent, etc – this stratification preference of course differs from person to person and country to country within the Gulf, but is largely correct) and we have a reason to be really concerned as there is almost no leeway for integration within our almost-fully-closed cultures.

    This must change of course, as Jasra Jedi so succinctly put it in her comment in the CNN: Poverty in Bahrain thread:

    One way to keep the money in the country is to allow these guys to bring their families and send them to our schools and be part of the system .. which would mean naturalization. Like they do in Canada and the US and the UK and Australia with targeted immigration. But socially, people would find this unnaceptable.

    Yes, we have problems. We need to find solutions. And remembering events like the Naqba, Naksa and the Holocaust – controversial as they are, allows us to hopefully think twice before embracing violence and not giving peace a chance.

  14. Maha says:

    To Aliandra,

    PLEASE, when you site sources for your information, try to find your sources in other places than Israelis sources specially the largest Israel Media advocacy group (according to their web site). The article that you are mentioning on “Honest” reporting gives real numbers about Palestinian poverty due to the occupation by the Agence France Press, which is not an arm to any government or an advocacy group to any country or cause!
    Why do you have to hide from reality. Do you sleep better at night thinking that you are not gulity of anything and that Palestinians are corrupt and bad people and Israel have the right to occupy them, steal there money and land! Please if you cannot open your eyes, try to open your heart and look at other sources not fabricated ones that you are citing. Also, enough talking about Arafat’s wife badly, thankfully we all know who are behind all these stories and fabrications about her and the money. You just mentioned in your own words one of the sources that fabricates the story, so wake up.

  15. This business about Jewish holy sites being accessible to Jews for the “first time in centuries” is accurate only if “centuries” is equal to about 18 years. They were certainly accessible under the British Mandate, though the British imposed some restrictions on shofar blowing. I also think it highly unlikely they would have been restricted under the Ottomans, though I keep forgetting to check out this book about Jews in Ottoman Jerusalem that would allow me to be sure. During the 18th and 19th centuries the Ottomans actively tried to get Jews to move to their empire to take advantage of their knowledge of European languages and technologies. They only started objecting with the advent of a strong movement to take part of said empire and make it a separate country.

    The complaints about the Jewish immigrants by Arabs before WW I are telling – they sounded more like Tom Tancredo and Lou Dobbs than anything else. The Jews at that stage were mostly poor, and people were afraid of competing against them for jobs. This was mixed with concern that many refused to take on Ottoman citizenship, prefering the status of being a French, British, or whatever citizen who under the treaties imposed on the weak empire in its last days were not subjected to Ottoman law, something which the Arabs (and other Ottoman subjects) resented. Later there were even periodic abortive attempts to form a pan-Semitic front against all foreign powers.

  16. Per capita rates of foreign assistance need to take into account costs of living. The West Bank has higher prices than neighboring Arab countries, and when I was in Egypt, I was told that it had higher prices than sub-Saharan Africa. $310 is probably a month’s rent for a small, not terribly good apartment in Ramallah.

  17. 3umri says:

    Mr. Ulrich, the Ottomans in the early 20th Century (and late 19th) indeed had no problem with ending the humiliation of Jews in Jerusalem. But they were weak and the Abu Saud family strong.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Up until very recently, the Palestinians received more international aid per capita than any other people in the world. If they are poor and dysfunctional it is not because of a lack of funds, but because they have consistently chosen violence, no-compromise solutions, corruption, and extremism.

    Sweetie, do you have even the faintest idea of what I was talking
    about? 3 billion in what form?

    I don’t know why I bother to write if people don’t bother to read,
    especially as you didn’t seem to get past my first paragraph, but
    I’ll try one more time because I’m nice …

    – they have suicide bombers because they don’t have an air force,

    – they choose no compromise solutions because they don’t want
    to compromise with a people who have a 5000-year history
    (or a 500-year history in the case of the Khazars) of refusing
    to compromise. Do you know what Purim celebrates? And do
    you know why the Khazars chose to convert en masse to
    Judaism?

    If this doesn’t clue you up, then nothing will.

  19. I think Anonymous is starting to veer into open anti-Semitism. Are there really personality traits which characterize entire peoples over millennia?

    Incidentally, there weren’t any Khazars 500 years ago – that would have been back in the 7th and 8th centuries. They also didn’t convert “en masse,” and in fact many scholars doubt the conversion went beyond the rulers.

  20. Here’s a question – did the Arab Jews who agreed to Muhammad’s “Constitution of Medina” compromise?

  21. Ibn says:

    Here’s a question – did the Arab Jews who agreed to Muhammad’s “Constitution of Medina” compromise?

    Who cares?

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