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Chief Palestinian Negotiator to Israel: Acknowledge Right of Return

Zionist Extremism Key Impediment to Peace | 22.05.2008 02:20 | Anti-racism | World

"The guideline of our policy has always been the idea that a permanent situation of no peace and a latent war is the best situation for us, and that it must be maintained at all costs. ... we are becoming stronger year by year in a situation of impending conflict where it is possible that actual fighting may break out from time to time. SUch wars will usually be short and the results guaranteed in advance, since the gap between us and the Arabs is increasing. In this way we shall move on from occupation to further occupation. ... this criminally mischievous policy has led us into the crisis we are living through today"
(Yeshayahu Leibowitz, 30 November 1973)

"We have not been seeking peace for twenty-five years -- all declarations to that effect have been no more than coloured statements or deliberate lies. There is of course no assurance that we could have made peace with the Arabs if we had wanted to. However, it has to be heavily emphasized that we have not only made no attempts to seek peace, but have deliberately and with premeditation, sabotaged every possibility of doing so."
(Yeshayahu Leibowitz, 30 November 1973)

By Nicola Nasser

Palestinian chief negotiator Ahmad Qurei urged Israel to reach a solution for the Palestinian refugee problem “based on the principle of acknowledging the Right of Return, and compensation for the sufferings of the Palestinian people.”

Following is the full text of Qurei’s article:

Qurei Urges Israel to Acknowledge Palestinian ‘Right of Return’
‘We Persist Now on Fighting a Fierce Battle of Peace’

By Nicola Nasser

May 21, 2008 – Agreeing to the Israeli neo-historian Ilan Pappé’s interpretation of the term “Nakba,” Palestinian chief negotiator Ahmad Qurei said that peace and peace negotiations with Israel “could not hang on forever,” warned that “the horrible alternative option could not but be the total collapse of the dreams of coexistence and the resumption of the bloody struggle,” urged Israel to reach a solution for the Palestinian refugee problem “based on the principle of acknowledging the Right of Return, and compensation for the sufferings of the Palestinian people,” and to adopt a “culture of confession” and “apologize” for what happened, and “to uphold the responsibility for all that happened” in 1948 as “a necessary first step that would pave the way to achieve a just and lasting peace, which makes room for all on the land.”

Qurei’s remarks came in an article in Arabic published be the Jerusalem-based Palestinian Al-Quds daily to commemorate the Palestinian Nakba “catastrophe” of 1948, when Israel was created.

Following is the full text of Qurei’s article:

On the Anniversary of the Nakba*

By Ahmad Qurei**
Translated into English by Nicola Nasser

Six decades have passed and the painful memory of the great historic transformational event, termed “the Nakba,” recurs anew.

We recall now, with deep sadness and agony, the sad memory of that major catastrophe, which befell the Palestinian people in 1948, committed by a premeditated Zionist scheme, with unlimited support and flagrant collusion by the colonialist powers which were in hegemony over the world at the time.

Despite the passing of time, oblivion remains unable to accumulate over the grave historic event and incapable to dump that tragedy, the trails and repercussions of which are still haunting the Palestinian people to this very moment, without history stopping for a while to renew the bleeding wound in the body of this question, since then until now.

Less than two decades later, what remained of Palestine fell in a blitz war that erupted in June 1967; what remained of the land, in addition to what was seized in 1948, was subjected to an oppressive long-term occupation, which is still leaning heavily on every particle thereof after four decades or more, practicing all the measures that violate international law and legitimacy, which the occupation insists on trivially ignoring, to arrogantly continue its aggressive measures, including annexation and usurpation of land, annexation, confiscation and Judaization of the Holy City, a horrible cancer-like settlement, while persisting on the unjust siege it imposes on Palestinian cities and villages, and constructing the Apartheid wall, with what catastrophes it entailed on the Palestinian ground, citizens, economy, unity of society, the educational process, and other details of the various dimensions of human life, let alone other oppressive practices that touch on the daily life of the Palestinian people under occupation at the roadblocks and crossings as well as inside the terrific Israeli jails and prisons.

All of the forgoing is still persisting while the world and its major powers, who dominate global policy, are watching unmoved; what is worse is that those practices persist under the umbrella of the peace process, the principles of which were signed by both parties in 1993, and which we still pursuing to realize and reach the virtual and honest translation of the concept of comprehensive and just peace, which we hope and aspire it would materialize so tranquility could be the rule in the land of peace.

On May 15, 1948 Palestine was the victim of an existential dismemberment process almost totally; it disintegrated politically, socially, economically and demographically, its people displaced from their homeland and their unity shuttered between a minority who remained and a majority who were lost in near and remote exiles and dispersed in the Diaspora, creating the major problem of the refugees who were expelled from their homeland, which is one of the major problems witnessed in modern history that still makes the region prone to potential renewed wars and horrible bloody struggles.

Vis-à-vis a problem of those dimensions and that degree of gravity, we had had to try the peace gamble; such an option dictates that the party who is armed to teeth has to be convinced that his arsenal will lead only to a larger catastrophe, and that to eradicate the trails of the tragedy of 1948, which led to the transfer of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland, requires finding a satisfactory solution for the refugee problem, a solution based on the principle of acknowledging the Right of Return, and compensation for the sufferings of the Palestinian people resulting from their expulsion from their homeland, displacement from their homes and properties inherited from their fathers and forefathers and from places that are instilled in their memory and dreams.

Vis-à-vis the attempts for pushing the Palestine Question into oblivion, the Palestinian memory remains vigilant not to give in to the overwhelming force that endeavors to make it forget.

Sixty years on since the Nakba, the various Palestinian generations of all ages are still holding on to their national culture and collective memory, strongly and stubbornly refusing all fictional alternatives for the homeland, and adhering to their legitimate rights to their homeland and land, and to the goals of return and recovery of all their usurped rights on the basis of the resolutions of international legitimacy, in the forefront of which are resolutions 242, 338, 181, 194, and others.

The occupation of Palestine by the Zionist military force in 1948 was accompanied by a propaganda and ideological campaign, which immediately embarked on promoting a false narrative, to the effect that the Palestinians voluntarily left their land, out of their free will and without coercion, in response to the request of Arab parties whose armies took part in the 1948 war, so as to enable those armies to fight their battles away from the Arab population density lest they get harmed by the exchange of fire and the battles that could have erupted in the areas of population centers.

However this fragile and incredible narrative had in no time collapsed vis-à-vis the facts of history. The wider and most solid refute thereof came from Israeli neo-historians, distinguished by bravery and scientific and objective search for historical truth, and by a great moral commitment, which contributed to the collapse of the foundations of the Zionist narrative from within the Israeli society itself.

Those neo-historians have largely drawn on the Israeli documents themselves, which are periodically released from time to time; these documents constitute the raw material to expose the ethnic cleansing plans against the Palestinians inside Palestine and the operations of genocide and arbitrary transfer that were the essence of the colonialist Zionist plan to take over Palestine, and implemented especially after the Partition Resolution passed by the United Nations on November 29, 1947 and continued incessantly during the first months of 1948 until the middle of that year.

The foundation of the Zionist idea in its formulation and evolution was based on the confirmation that the realization of the Zionist dream in creating a state for the Jews in Palestine will not be and will not have the chance to be realized on the ground without the Zionist movement first enforce its strategy that was based on uprooting the Palestinian people from their land by all means and methods, which are essentially based on violence and lack the minimum of humanitarian spirit, moral norms and purity of arms.

Based on the fact that what happened in Palestine in 1948 was not a voluntary immigration or in response to an Arab request, but a matter that was proposed and planned by the symbols of the Zionist movement since the early thirties of the twentieth century or earlier and approved by the movement’s historical leadership and symbols at the time, who contributed to a specific and systematic plan that had developed over the years to end up with what is known as Plan “D” (Tokhnit Dalet in Hebrew), according to which the Zionist gangs embarked on the massacre strategy and put it into effect in several Palestinian towns and villages.

That plan was built on a wide data base and on a plenty of accumulated information on urban and countryside Palestinian communities, all their available potentials, including land, population, families, revolutionary activists, transportation roads, agricultural and animal wealth, and other bare and accurate information. The targets of the plan were built on a basic pillar, namely the practice of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Palestine, with killing as the first tool, as the Zionist leaders of the time raised the slogan, “kill every Arab you meet,” which evolved later into committing and recommitting massacres and genocide operations in the context of a strategic plan in several sporadic places in the cities and villages of Palestine, whose people, even the unarmed and women, children and elderly had not survived the killing or spared terrorization and collective transfer practiced against them, so the Palestinian land would be a monopoly for the Jews in order to establish their state thereon after the evacuation of the indigenous natives thereof.

Based on that fact, after a profound reading of the Israeli documents from the Jewish National Fund and the various Jewish military organizations, in the forefront of which is the “Haganah,” their archives, papers and the memoirs of the symbols, political leaders and field commanders of the Zionist movement during the recent decades which preceded the horrible historic events of May 1948, including the killings, destruction, terrorization, rape and mutilation of bodies, alongside a premeditated psychological and information war, the brave Israeli researcher and historian Ilan Pappé concluded the fact that ethnic cleansing was practiced against the Palestinians, constituting a crime against humanity, which entails trial if international norms and standards are to apply thereto and which were applied thereafter in other parts of the world, specially during the last decade of the twentieth century.

Consequently Pappé ended up to absolutely refuse the concept and term of “the Nakba” to describe what befell the Palestinian people in 1948. The Nakba is a fluid and unspecific term; it refers to the deed itself, which befell a people, rather than to the perpetrator, and fails to name and specify the perpetrator’s crime and thus acts to absolve from responsibility the side that committed the deed and bypasses the victims of the operations who fell as the result of this deed; i.e. the Nakba is a term that could apply to natural disasters and catastrophes like earthquakes and volcanoes, for which nobody is held responsible except the nature itself or even ultra-natural powers. Ethnic cleansing however is a concept that refers the responsibility for its perpetration to whoever is the decision-maker and those who practiced it premeditatedly in reality and in history.

Hence, the concept of the Nakba was accepted by the Israeli official authorities because it implicitly absolves them from their historical responsibility for the military operations they carried out as well as for the massacre strategy they adopted and led to the arbitrary expulsion of Palestinians from their land by force and terrorism to wander aimlessly in the exiles in a tragic journey that is sustained by more wars launched by Israel, which deepened their suffering and contributed to making their problem intricate. The perpetrator in all cases is known and his responsibility for the series of catastrophes is identified and documented since 1948 to this day.

We, from our position on this available part of historic Palestine, are embarked on several multi-faceted battles.

While we work to reinforce the steadfastness of our people on their land, we strive with all our capabilities to consolidate our national achievement, i.e. the creation of the Palestinian National Authority on the land of Palestine, and struggle to push forward the project of transforming it into an independent Palestinian state with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as the capital. At the same time, we will continue fighting our political battle in defense of our legitimate rights as represented in preserving the Arab character of Jerusalem, stopping the settlements and the Apartheid Wall, extracting the right of refugees to return to their homeland, and sweeping away the occupation from the land of Palestine.

We persist now, energetically, on fighting a fierce battle of peace with the purpose of bypassing the Israeli spirit of violence and the force infatuated by its arms, a spirit of violence that is promoted by those who want to evade the prerequisites of peace.

Peace could not hang on forever and it could not anymore accept the idea of the Israeli evasion and prevarication. There is no doubt that finishing off that spirit of violence cannot be done without adhering to peace itself as the principle and the acceptance by each side of the other. Similarly negotiations cannot go on forever vis-à-vis a dead end.

The horrible alternative option could not but be the total collapse of the dreams of coexistence and the resumption of the bloody struggle, which kills both the human spirit as well as the spirit of civilization and brings back the ideology and practice of ethnic cleansing to be the eternal shame of its perpetrators at all times.

Agreement on the historic narrative of what happened in 1948, the adoption of the culture of confession by those who committed the massacres, to apologize for what happened, and to uphold the responsibility for all that happened seems a necessary first step that would pave the way to achieve a just and lasting peace, which makes room for all on the land.

* This article was first published in Arabic by the Jerusalem-based Palestinian daily, Al-Quds, on May 15, 2008.

** Ahmad Qurei is the chief Palestinian negotiator, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and a member of the Central Committee of Fatah.

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Zionist Extremism Key Impediment to Peace


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Jordan Thornton antisemitic spam

22.05.2008 09:40

If Jordan is allowed to spam Indy UK everyday with his antisemitic filth that breaks the Editorial Guidelines then there is no reason why I should not provide a daily post concerning the positive news about Israel and Jews

Claiming that one tiny country has no right to exist; no place in the world. As Jewish & Proud pointed out over 80 Christian Countries and over 50 Muslim Countries but you cannot bear to see one Jewish State.

The truth is you really dont mind Jews as long as they are weak and you can pity them; correct?

So what has Israel done in 60 years?

Here is a capsule of accomplishments you may not be fully aware of. I thought you might find these statistics interesting.

The Middle East has been growing date palms for centuries. The average tree is about 18-20 feet tall and yields about 38 pounds of dates a year. Israeli trees are now yielding 400 pounds/year and are short enough to be harvested from the ground or a short ladder.

Israel, the 100th smallest country, with less than 1/1000th of the world's population, can lay claim to the following:

The cell phone was developed in Israel by Israelis working in the Israeli branch of Motorola, which has its largest development center in Israel. Most of the Windows NT and XP operating systems were developed by Microsoft-Israel.

The Pentium MMX Chip technology was designed in Israel at Intel. Both the Pentium-4 microprocessor and the Centrino processor were entirely designed, developed and produced in Israel.

The Pentium microprocessor in your computer was most likely made in Israel.

Voice mail technology was developed in Israel.

Both Microsoft and Cisco built their only R&D facilities outside the US in Israel.

The technology for the AOL Instant Messenger ICQ was developed in 1996 by four young Israelis.

Israel has the fourth largest air force in the world (after the U. S, Russia and China). In addition to a large variety of other aircraft, Israel's air force has an aerial arsenal of over 250 F-16's. This is the largest fleet of F-16 aircraft outside of the U. S.

According to industry officials, Israel designed the airline industry's most impenetrable flight security. U. S. officials now look to Israel for advice on how to handle airborne security threats.

Israel's $100 billion economy is larger than all of its immediate neighbors combined. Israel has the highest percentage in the world of home computers per capita.

Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world.

Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation by a large margin - 109 per 10,000 people -- as well as one of the highest per capita rates of patents filed.

In proportion to its population, Israel has the largest number of startup companies in the world. In absolute terms, Israel has the largest number of startup companies than any other country in the world, except the U. S. (3,500 companies mostly in hi-tech).

With more than 3,000 high-tech companies and startups, Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies in the world -- apart from the Silicon Valley, U. S.

Israel is ranked #2 in the world for venture capital funds right behind the U. S.

Outside the United States and Canada, Israel has the largest number of NASDAQ listed companies.

Israel has the highest average living standards in the Middle East. The per capita income in 2000 was over $17,500, exceeding that of the UK.

On a per capita basis, Israel has the largest number of biotech startups.

Twenty-four per cent of Israel's workforce holds university degrees -- ranking third in the industrialized world, after the United States and Holland - and 12 per cent hold advanced degrees. Israel is the only liberal democracy in the MiddleEast.

In 1984 and 1991, Israel airlifted a total of 22,000 Ethiopian Jews at risk in Ethiopia, to safety in Israel.

When Golda Meir was elected Prime Minister of Israel in 1969, she became the world's second elected female leader in modern times.

When the U. S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya was bombed in 1998, Israeli rescue teams were on the scene within a day -- and saved three victims from the rubble.

Israel has the third highest rate of entrepreneurship -- and the highest rate among women and among people over 55 - in the world.

Relative to its population, Israel is the largest immigrant-absorbing nation on earth. Immigrants come in search of democracy, religious freedom, and economic opportunity.

Israel was the first nation in the world to adopt the Kimberly process, an international standard that certifies diamonds as "conflict free."

Israel has the world's second highest per capita of new books.

Israel is the only country in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain in its number of trees, made more remarkable because this was achieved in an area considered mainly desert.

Israel has more museums per capita than any other country.

Medicine... Israeli scientists developed the first fully computerized, no-radiation, diagnostic instrumentationfor breast cancer.

An Israeli company developed a computerized system for ensuring proper administration of medications, thus removing human error from medical treatment. Every year in U. S. hospitals 7,000 patients die from treatment mistakes.

Israel's Givun Imaging developed the first ingestible video camera, so small it fits inside a pill. Used to view the small intestine from the inside, the camera helps doctors diagnose cancer and digestive disorders.

Researchers in Israel developed a new device that directly helps the heart pump blood, an innovation with the potential to save lives among those with heart failure. The new device is synchronized with the heart's mechanical operations through a sophisticated system of sensors.

Israel leads the world in the number of scientists and technicians in the workforce, with 145 per 10,000, as opposed to 85 in the U. S., over 70 in Japan, and less than 60 in Germany. With over 25% of its work force employed in technical professions.

Israel places first in this category as well. A new acne treatment developed in Israel, the ClearLight device, produces a high-intensity, ultraviolet-light-free, narrow-band blue light that causes acne bacteria to self-destruct -- all without damaging surrounding skin or tissue.

An Israeli company was the first to develop and install a large-scale solar-powered and fully functional electricity generating plant, in southern California's Mojave desert.

All the above while engaged in regular wars with an implacable enemy that seeks its destruction, and an economy continuously under strain by having to spend more per capita on its own protection than any other country on earth.

Smash Anti-Semitism

Jordon Thornton and Roy Bard - antisemitic fuckwits the both

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