War on Iraq Double Disaster for Palestinians

Category: Middle East, World Affairs Topics: Occupation Views: 1394
1394

In the case of an American war on Iraq, Palestinians will not be watching for a "smart bomb" heading their way, but for the Israeli army forcing them out of their homes. This possibility is of greater danger that one might think.

It is seldom that the international community has stood in the face of Israel and halted its plans, whether invading Arab land, "transferring" civilian populations, destroying a refugee camp or ending a siege imposed on a church. These violations have been repeated time and again, and were almost entirely cloned during the ongoing Palestinian uprising: the reoccupation of the West Bank, the "transfer" of many Palestinian residents in the northern West Bank villages, destroying much of the Jenin refugee camp and the siege on the church of the Nativity (one ought to mention that many mosques were destroyed or burnt to the ground by Israeli troops in the last two years. Such news seems to be of lesser significance in the Western media).

"Transfer", an euphemism of ethnic cleansing is one of these terms with a non-threatening sounding and catastrophic results. There is no need to examine the sounding of the word however, since history has clearly detailed the meaning of the expulsion of Palestinians from their ancestral homeland, and the massacres that often accompany it.

To ease the process of expelling Palestinians in 1948 so that the Jewish state might obtain a "demographic" advantage, many massacres took place, in Tantura, Deir Yassin, Beit Daras and many more. Innocent Palestinians were slaughtered in the streets and in their homes. 418 villages were destroyed, and over 750,000 Palestinians were driven out of their land, some at gunpoint while others fled for their lives as Zionist gangs bombarded every Arab population center.

But the expulsion of Palestinians was hardly the clean sweep Israel had hoped for. Israel's outright Jewish majority was still threatened by the mere existence of Arabs, whether those remaining inside the borders of the newly established Jewish state, or by the refugees and the original inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza. On the eve of the 1956 Sinai war campaign, Israel was busily finalizing a plan to expel Palestinians who remained, from northern Israel, an area known as the Little Triangle. Now Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was then a colonel. The celebrated warrior reportedly ordered his subordinates to investigate how many buses it would take to transfer 300,000 Palestinians out of northern Israel. The plan didn't go through, not until 1967, when once again Israel took advantage of war to transfer up to 300,000 Palestinians from the West Bank.

Slower, but real expulsion has continued to take place since 1967. Day after day, Palestinians find themselves without land or shelters as Israeli Jewish settlements illegally expand in the Occupied Territories. The process is painful to watch and becomes more painful when one realizes that the international community seems not to care. According to a recent study by the Israeli group "Peace Now", the United States is the main source of funds to these settlements, in defiance of United Nations resolutions and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Israel uses every chance to expand the settlements and to drive Palestinians out. The number of Palestinian homes demolished is on the rise, this time no longer a scattered demolition here and there, but concentrated attempts where entire neighborhoods and villages are razed forever. Just in the last month a lone, scores of homes and shops were destroyed in Nazlit Issa, Tulkarm, Hebron and Nablus. With such wanton destruction and the expulsion of the inhabitants of the lands, Jewish settlements expand. Thousands of acres of fertile Palestinian land in Nablus and Hebron and elsewhere had to be destroyed so that Itmar and Kyriat Arba might grow, along with their fancy villas and swimming pools.

The resurfacing fear of "Transfer" is not an illusion created by Israel's dreadful habit of expelling Palestinians at times of wars, wars created precisely for that purpose. But the expulsion of Palestinians is no longer a far off possibility championed by the infamous Meir Kahane and Rehevam Zeevi. In an opinion poll on March 2002, administered by the University of Tel Aviv, 46 percent of Israeli Jews support the "Transfer" of Palestinians, while 60 percent favored "encouraging" Palestinians to leave on their own. The "encouraging" of Palestinians to leave might have been taken by heart by Jewish settlers near the Yanoun village in the West Bank. The settlers would raid the village every night and open fire at Palestinian homes, they'd chase them out of their lands and let there vicious dogs loose throughout the villages. It was indeed encouraging enough, as the villagers packed their belongings and left Yanoun on October 18, 2002, in a scene that was almost an identical depiction of the black and white photos of Palestinians being driven out of their towns and villages in 1948.

While the fear of expulsion continues to haunt entire communities in the West Bank, in particular Palestinians in the Yatta area where 750 families are threatened to be removed from their villages, the building of the enormous "security wall" to separate the West Bank and Israel, was constructed precisely to alienate dozens of villages and to trap the residents between the "green line" and the West Bank, in the midst of giant walls of concrete and barbered wire. It's only a matter of time before thousands of Palestinians find themselves "transferred" from these areas, for their existence would soon be sited as a "security threat" for Israel.

Sharon's own cabinet now includes some of the most vibrant pro "transfer" politicians in Israel, and the subject has become so popular that some of the so-called new historians are offering it as a "solution" to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Benny Morris is one.  It's Ilan Pappe, one of Israel's most respected academics that found the most suitable description for this: The "demons of the Nakba (the Arabic word referring to the Palestinians Diaspora of 1948) have returned to haunt Israel." I am afraid that these "demons" have never abandoned Israel in the first place.

Despite the urgency of protesting the war on Iraq, the international community, human rights organizations, activists from all over the world must pressure Israel and its main backer, the United States government to halt any plans to expel Palestinians out of their land in the Occupied Territories whether in the case of war or not. Israel must be held accountable for its own actions and cannot be left to ravage Palestinians' lives whenever a chance arises as a form of experimentation to resolve its "demographic problems".

If attention continues to be diverted from the Palestinian question, the world will awake one day with another million Palestinians carrying their belongings and seeking tents and water at some Arab country's border. It's our moral responsibility to stop this ghastly ethnic cleansing, before it starts, although as far as the residents of many Palestinian villages in northern the West Bank are concerned, "transfer" has already begun.

Baroud is a Palestinian Journalist, editor-in-chief of PalestineChronicle.com


  Category: Middle East, World Affairs
  Topics: Occupation
Views: 1394

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Older Comments:
RASHAD ABDUL-AZEEM FROM USA said:
Peace be Upon all those who seek peace.

Muslims must be careful not to allow our discourse to descend into accepting any means to fight the onslaught on Islam. We must use our minds, our ignorance will only hurt us. Allah (swt) has brought world wide condemnation against war with Iraq.
We must build bridges and use this opportunity to establish coalitions with others in the global fight against the plots of Satan. Don't use empty statements about we must do jihad. We have enemies among us who will take advantage of any opportunity to cause fitnah in our community. We must weed out these helpers of Satan from among us. We must shun violence and the speech of violence and interlorance. This is a great time for Muslims. Allah (swt) will never put the believers at lost. We must hold on to our faith and don't allow our discourse to turn to anger. Remember the advice of our Nabih (pbuh) about anger.

We must show America that we do not belong to the "dumbing down" of America group and that we stand above ignorance. Have faith dear Muslims and remember the story of the Elephant (Abraha). No matter what happens in the world or in what condition we are in, Allah (swt) is always in control. We must examine our own souls if we seek lasting and true change for peaceful and better world.
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MADMAX FROM MAROC said:
To all the American Zionists slaves .., regardless of your creed race, sexual perverted orientation and everything else in between. Please do not cry and complaint about "what do they hate us" when you see "collateral damages" occurring everywhere.
As of today you have successfully isolated yourself from the rest of world and unfortunately for you, you will be officially the world's number one outlaw. No need to talk to others now, address all your questions to your government. We wish you bad luck though.

No hard feelings,ciao

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STACIE GASKIN (ZAHKIYAH FROM USA said:
THE THE USA GOVERNMENT MAY NOT HEAR THE CRIES BUT AMERICAN MUSLIMS LIKE MYSELF HEAR YOUR CRIES. INSHA ALLAH ALL MUSLIMS WILL BE VICTORIOUS IN THIS WAR ON ISLAM AND WE ARE READY TO DO WHAT IT TAKES.
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GUEVARA MARTI FROM FRANCE said:
It's ironic isn't the very things that are shown Gestapo-style raids, beatings, and ethnic-cleansing of the Jews at the hands of the Nazis by the Jewish produced blockbusters about the Holocaust have been perpetrated by many fanatical Jews!! Shame Shame!!
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ABUBAKR FROM ENGLAND said:
IN THE NAME OF ALLAH MOST BENEFICENT EVER MERCIFUL
IBEAR WITNESS NONE WORTHY OF WORSHIP EXCEPT ALLAH AND MUHAMMAD THAT HIS MESSENGER
YOU CHRITIAN AND JEWIS TYR TO EXTINGUISH ALLAH TRUTH YOU HAVE PROBLEM WITH THE CREATOR.EVERYDAY WE SEE THE AMERICAN AND BRITISH LIAR.REMIND ALLAH WORD NEVER DIED OUR PROMISE HOLLY LAND WE WILL GET IT PALESTIN IS THE HOLLY LAND FOR ALL MUSLIM.WHAT THE AMERCAN CURRICULUM? HIS HISTORY OVER THE BLOOD OF MANY INOCENT PEOPLE YOU'RE THE FIRST TERRORIST FIRST USED ATOMIC BOMB HIROSHIMA NAGAZAKI,KILLED PEOLPE IN NICARAGUA VIETNAM,SOMALIA,LIBYA,IRAK.WE MUSLIM HAVE TO SORT OUT THE PROBLEM OF MUSLIM ISN'T YOUR KUFFAR TO SOLVE IT OUR LEADER ARE CORRUPT WE HAVE TO REESTABLISHED THE KHILAFAH STATE
DOWN ALL THE KING OF THIS DUNIA
DOWN KING FAHAD
DOWN MUBARAK
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MONTANA SKIES FROM USA said:
I said to myself read it -even though you know how you will feel. And it's confirmed: I do have a new psychological state of mind that occurs every time I read an article such as this.

My heart starts to beat fast, acrimony and bitterness start to fester in my bosom. An invisible IV pouch starts to drip venom into my veins. At Israel. All this and I'm not even a Palestinian witnessing first hand the loathsome dehumanizing effects of the Israeli Destructive Forces. I swear I cannot help it; I say be objective, I even say look at it from the Israeli's view. But no, there just is no cure for it.

But, inconceivably, my loathing for the world's deafening silence in general and the Arabs pusillanimous stance is even more pronounced. I tell myself: with the Israelis it's the case of a leopard unable to change its spots. But what in God's name is wrong with the world? What are they afraid of?

Are the Protocols of the Elders of Zion a self-fulfilling prophecy (http://www.vegan.swinternet.co.uk/articles/conspiracies/protocols_proof.html)? Are the Zionists at work toward a One World Government? I cannot help but recall the Master-Blaster of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, with the master being Israel and the Blaster America, together creating the new world order, so precious Israel can finally -finally- live in peace at the expense of untold misery, murder and destruction -much like an Ebola virus likes to live.

And the Arabs? Witness my brothers and sisters for yourselves what happens to a human being when he abandons his religion which, once upon a time, made him great, proud and fearless from China to Spain. Lord Almighty where are Omar Bin Alkhattab and Salahuddeen Alaiouby?

Thank God for people like Nelson Mandella and Desmond Tutu who best know apartheid, injustice and ethnic cleansing when they see it, and who unabashedly call it out to the world as they see it -evil.
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CHARLES JACKS FROM USA said:
I had an interesting dream last night. Given the length, Technicolor and depth of detail I think it was inspiration, or at least it inspired me. I was walking up to a barn when a calf broke away from its mother and pushed through the gate. I picked it up, turned it around and pushed it back through. The mother wanted to charge but waited. Growing up around cattle I know you have to show both strength and compassion or get trampled. Either for being weak or for being mean. This is what the Bush League is trying for in its compassionate conservativism if only in its own morally and sociologically inept way. Would someone put a gag on Rumsfeld, please?
Entering the hallway I was met by several angles and given something, looking to the left
I saw a host of angles waiting to ride herd. Going out the back there was a large field with cattle running around and I was asked to put my back to a gate to hold it closed while they worked.
Cowboy Bush is getting up a stampede. After Afghanistan and Iraq it will only gain cattle and I know you don't stand in front of one once it gets going. But to everything there are advantages and disadvantages (A&D) and in the school of life you must learn to cover the D's with the A's or you'll get F'ed. So can this stampede be turned (to good advantage?). Bush has said it is to "liberate" the people. The Muslims have been praying for God to liberate them from the Frankenstein monsters the British cobbled together. If the US wants to kill off its own monster we should let it. But that doesn't absolve it of the liability for the damage done. Possibly after the war, the sanctions can be lifted and the next government won't be willing to join an abysmal success record, riba charging, "kufar" organization like the IMF or WB. If the West wants to pay reparations for Iraq it should be by grant and in the Islamic paradigm.
It is unlikely they will accept their liability but that dosn't mean the people can't sue for an Islamic paradigm.
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SIMPLE SOLUTION FROM EARTH said:
Sorry Gmax, Having a Palestinian refugee camp in the place most DC protests are held, in front of the monument to the man that freed the slaves may have been too inside a joke for most people to get. Still having a Palestinian refugee camp in the US, fake or real, right under the halls of congress might help the situation. But given that DC is Israel Occupied Territory they probably wouldn't fair any better than in Israel. They can be shot by US weapons in the US just as easily as being shot by US weapons in Israel. The coverup might be a bit more difficult but the headline would probably read "Terrorist Cell in DC, Destroyed." The problem with this joke is that the world has gotten to the point it could actually happen.
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R.R. FROM USA said:
This is the opinion of many experts on the Israel-Palestine conflict. I've heard that camps are being built in Jordan and that Israel may try to pay Jordan for each Palestinian it takes in- reliable sources but not confirmed yet.
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GMAX FROM USA said:
I got a better idea "simple solution," how about we have New York declared as New Israel. Since you are ardent about protecting Israels interests over Americas...that should be no problem.
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SIMPLE SOLUTION FROM EARTH said:
Well since the US is the bankroller of the problem, pass a resolution in the UN that the US has to take them in. Then if it happens, put them on planes and fly them to DC. They can build the refugee camp in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
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ALZAZUL FROM USA said:
what goes around comes around that goes for everything in this universe , that it takes a long time to do so sometimes or that it may not necessarely come back in the same manner doesnt mean that the hurt disgrace anger and hatred our actions have created on to another human soul will be left unpunished, sooner or later we all get ours it is a law of the universe it is divine justice one no one can escape so for the sufferers that is the truest of consolation.in the mean time our voices count and together in unision we can stop some of the abuse but it takes all our voices , after all the way its going it could very well be us on the other side of the fence much too soon to our disbelieve.
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SHUJA SYED FROM TORONTO, CANADA said:
Why are we crying? These atrocities took place right at heart of the Muslim world? Have not? If we do not want to take the matters in our hands, if we do not wake up, if we do not come out of the slumber, do not expect, Vajpayee or Bush to come to our rescue.

Shuja Syed
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AMIN FROM USA said:
NOT ALL JEWS/CHRISTIANS ARE KUFR
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RNK FROM UK said:
Brother protesting to the kaffirs and asking them for their justice is to delude one's self,these crimes committed against our people will go on until ALLAH sees fit to alleviate the suffering, if i am wrong tell me where has the kafir ever been a friend of our ideology or a helper in our needs.
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