Nakba 2011 – The right of return.

15 05 2011

Today marks the 63rd anniversary of the Nakba.

*Nakba – “The catastrophe”
1948 was the year that the Israel state was established by expulsion and disposition of hundreds of thousands Palestinians from their homes and their lands, and more than 500 villages were depopulated and later completely destroyed.

Events around the world saw Palestinians demanding their right of return to Palestine through protests. People in Lebanon and Syria marched to the borders with nothing but voices and flags and in return were met with bullets.

21 peope have died so far today and who knows how many more injured.
10 in Lebanon, 8 in Syria, 2  in Gaza and 1 in the West Bank. It is become known as ‘Bloody Sunday’
Source – Gaza TV News

In this video, Palestinians are waving flags in Tel Aviv for the first time since 1948.

Another video showing Israeli army shooting at Palestinians at the Gaza border. A brave girl continues to wave the Palestinian flag.





(BAPD) – My time in Palestine.

15 05 2009

This is the first time I’m taking part in something like this and I have been racking my brains trying to decide on what to write for Blog About Palestine Day. There is so much to choose from… History.. Culture.. Embroidery.. The people.. The list is endless and then it hit me, what better way to write about Palestine day than my own personal experience.. Firstly today is BAPD because it marks the Nakba – 61 years off exile and occupation.

*Nakba – “The catastrophe”
1948 was the year that the Israel state was established by expulsion and disposition of hundreds of thousands Palestinians from their homes and their lands, and more than 500 villages were depopulated and later completely destroyed.

My time in Palestine.
When I was around 14 years old I first went to Palestine with my dad and my sister. The first place I visited and also stayed was with my aunt in Bethlehem. Their house sat among farmland with one of my cousin’s house opposite. My first memory was my first day of arrival, I’m laying down suffering from travel sickness and my cousin comes running in excitedly.. Leila Leila ta3lii shoofi meaning come and look. So I got up and followed her to be greeted by a slaughtered goat needless to say it was slaughtered for that days dinner, which saw me going back to the room feeling worse.
I, my sister and some cousins used to walk along to the lands containing vine and olive trees which belong to my family taking with us a donkey, yes a donkey. We picked grapes from the vine trees, roamed the land laughing and having fun. At night time we took our farahsat – mattresses to the roof to sleep in the cool air under the stars and mistakenly placed our farashat right in the middle of the roof forgetting we would be waking up to the heat off the morning sun burning down on us.

Surbaher is another place where we stayed, in the house belonging to my dad’s cousin, Surbaher is also the village that my family originate from. A road on a slope with buildings on each side from top to bottom that house various members off extended and distant relatives.
Family members also came from Jordan to spend time with us in Bethlehem and Surbaher, and we also enjoyed big family trips to the beach in Jaffa, smaller family trips into Jerusalem exploring the capital and all it has to offer. Hanging out with my sister, first and third cousins playing pranks on unfortunate family members kept us laughing constantly.

On the sadder side of my trips to Palestine every where we went there were Israeli control checks, soldiers occupying every corner, outside al-aqsa (dome of the rock) an innocent male passer by getting beaten by Israeli soldiers that my aunt intervened saying he’s her son to stop and leave him alone, my dad pointing out the cave that he and my family had to take shelter under while under attack, demolished homes, everything run by occupiers.. It’s endless.

Among the many memories I have… Walking along the beaches of Eilat and Jaffa, exploring the souq’s – markets of Bethlehem and Jerusalem, climbing the spiral steps to the bell tower off the church overlooking Jerusalem, entering al-aqsa seeing the bloodied clothes of martyrs and wondering through the dome of the rock taking in all its beauty, the bomb scare at the airport which was caused by my sister forgetting to pick a bag up, travelling through all the borders, picking grapes, long night time walks throughout Bethlehem and spending wonderful quality time with my family especially my cousins and my third cousins in Surbaher.. Made Palestine alive to me, Palestine lives in the hearts of all Palestinians whether half Palestinian like me or full Palestinian.. The Zionist’s can take all they want but they can’t take our memories and one day Palestine will be returned to the Palestinians.

 

* Surbaher – Is located in the East of Jerusalem, and unfortunately its town is one of many that has been crossed by the segregation wall.

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* Bethlehem – In Arabic Bethlehem is pronounced Beit lahem literally translates to House of meat.  Also the birth place of Jesus.
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Stolen Land

17 02 2009

Palestinian loss of land 1946 – 2007

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Yet it will never be enough!!

Todays news

Israel seizes West Bank land

Israel has taken control of a large area near a prominent settlement in the Palestinian West Bank, paving the way for a possible construction of 2,500 settlement homes, officials have said.

Oded Revivi, the mayor of Efrat, said on Monday that the Israeli military has designated 425 acres near the settlement of about 1,600 families south of Jerusalem, as so-called
state land two weeks ago.

Revivi said Efrat plans to build 2,500 homes on that land, but government approval would still be needed before construction begins, a process that could take years.
Eventually, Efrat is to grow to a city of 30,000 people, he said.

The settlement is situated in one of three settlement blocs Israel expects to hold on to in any final peace deal with the Palestinians.

Revivi said nine appeals, eight of which were rejected and one was upheld, had been filed by Palestinian landowners.

‘Sticking point’Al Jazeera’s Nour Odeh, reporting from Ramallah, West Bank, said the “confiscation [of the land], which by international law is deemed illegal, has been greeted with condemnation among Palestinian circles”.

 

“We’ve seen statements from these leaderships describing this measure as condemnable, calling on the international community to take a firm stance,” she said.

“… This will undoubtedly be a major sticking point when the US peace envoy George Mitchell visits the region towards the end of the month.

“This is what [the] Palestinians will be concentrating on. Already we’ve heard from the Palestinian president’s office that there will be no negotiations until all settlement activities in the occupied West Bank including east Jerusalem stops.”

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, has warned that continued settlement expansion would cripple peace talks.

His aides said recently that peace talks can only resume after a settlement freeze.

Expansion could also create friction with the US, as Mitchell, the US Middle East envoy, has long called on Israel to halt construction in settlements.

Nearly 290,000 Israelis currently live in West Bank settlements.

source: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/02/2009216134248562227.html





Eye to eye (poem)

3 02 2009

Eye to eye

A POEM BY GIHAD ALI

Look into my eyes
And tell me what you see.
You don’t see a damn thing,
’cause you can’t possibly relate to me.

You’re blinded by our differences.
My life makes no sense to you.
I’m the persecuted Palestinian.
You’re the American red, white and blue.

Each day you wake in tranquility,
No fears to cross your eyes.
Each day I wake in gratitude,
Thanking God He let me rise.

You worry about your education
And the bills you have to pay.
I worry about my vulnerable life
And if I’ll survive another day.

Your biggest fear is getting ticketed
As you cruise your Cadillac.
My fear is that the tank that just left
Will turn around and come back.

American, do you realize,
That the taxes that you pay
Feed the forces that traumatize
My every living day?

The bulldozers and the tanks,
The gases and the guns,
The bombs that fall outside my door,
All due to American funds.

Yet do you know the truth
Of where your money goes?
Do you let your media deceive your mind?
Is this a truth that no one knows?

You blame me for defending myself
Against the ways of Zionists.
I’m terrorized in my own land
And I’m the terrorist?

You think you know all about terrorism
But you don’t know it the way I do,
So let me define the term for you,
And teach you what you thought you knew.

I’ve known terrorism for quite some time,
Fifty-five years and more.
It’s the fruitless garden uprooted in my yard.
It’s the bulldozer in front of my door.

Terrorism breathes the air I breathe.
It’s the checkpoint on my way to school.
It’s the curfew that jails me in my own home,
And the penalties of breaking that curfew rule.

Terrorism is the robbery of my land,
And the torture of my mother,
The imprisonment of my innocent father,
The bullet in my baby brother.

So American, don’t tell me you know about
The things I feel and see.
I’m terrorized in my own land
And the blame is put on me.

But I will not rest, I shall never settle
For the injustice my people endure.
Palestine is our land and there we’ll remain
Until the day our homeland is secure.

And if that time shall never come,
Then we will never see a day of peace.
I will not be thrown from my own home,
Nor will my fight for justice cease.

And if I am killed, it will be in Falasteen.
It’s written on my every breath.
So in your own patriotic words,
Give me liberty or give me death.





Boycott Apartheid Israel.

2 02 2009

Below is the information from the friends of Al-Aqsa leaflet on companies to boycott.

MARKS & SPENCER 
From it’s birth M&S has been linked inextricably to zionism. Lord Marcus Sieff, Chairman of M&S, Once wrote that once one of the fundamental objectives of M&S is to aid the economic development of Israel. M&S supports Israel with millions of dollars in trade every year.

CATERPILLAR
Despite strong protests, in April 2005, the Caterpillar board of directors refused to launch an investigation into the use of CAT bulldozers by Israeli Occupation forces. Over the past 4 1/2 years, CAT bulldozers have razed over one million olive trees, destroyed more than 7000 homes and murdered dozens of people trying to defend their property. Others were killed in their homes when their houses were demolished over their heads without any warning. CAT merchandise includes shoes, clothes and accessories.

COCA COLA
Since 1966 Coca-cola has been a staunch supporter of Israel. In 1997 the government of Israel ‘honoured’ Coca-cola for its continued support of Israel for the last 30 years and for refusing to abide by the Arab League Boycott of Israel.
The full list of Coca-cola brands can be found at http://www.inminds.co.uk/boycott-coca-cola.html In 2001, the Coca-cola world headquarters hosted and was the main sponsor of the American-Israel chamber of commerce awards gala. Coca-cola sponsors training programs for its workers on the Israeli-Arab conflict and a company funded by the Jewish agency and the Israeli government creates the course content. Recently, it was announced that Coca-cola, in return for $millions in incentives from the Israeli government, is to build a new plant on stolen Palestinian land at Kiryat Gat.

AOL TIME WARNER
AOL allocates 30% of its investment portfolio in Israel. In 1998, AOL recieved the Jubilee Award by the Israeli prime minister Netanyahu. This is the highest tribute ever awarded by Israel in recognition to those who have, through their investments and trade relationships, done the most to strengthen the Israeli economy.

BURGER KING
Despite numerous protests, Burger King failed to shut down a restuarant in the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim which had been built on land that was stolen from Palestinians.

DELTA GALIL
A Massive company affiliated with Marks & Spencer, Victoria’s Secrets, GAP, Banana Republic, Donna Karan (New York), Ralph Lauren, Playtex, Calvin Klein and Hugo Boss.
Delta Galil is Israel’s largest manufacturer and marketer of textiles and is one of the largest private-label underwear manufacturers in the world. Its founder and, Chairman Mr. Dov Lautman is a close associate of former Israeli President Ehud Barak. Sweatshop watch denounced Delta Galil for its exploitation of Arab labour.

DISNEY
Walt Disney’s Millennium exhibition in Florida depicts Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The annexation of Jerusalem by Israel is illegal under the international law. It cost $8 million to set up the exhibition, of which Israel contributed $1.8 million, as part of its campaign to mentally condition the world into accepting its claims over Jerusalem.

ESTEE LAUDER
Estee Lauder’s Chairman, Ronald Lauder is president of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) – whose main function is to legitimize Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. Ronald Lauder is an ardent Zionist; with views more extreme than that of some Israeli politicians.

JOHNSON & JOHNSON
Johnson & Johnson purchased Israeli company Biosense for $400 million, and in 1998 recieved the Jubilee Award by the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

L’OREAL
American Jewish Congress has expressed “keen satisfaction that L’Oreal has become a warm friend of Israel”. L’Oreal established Israel as its commercial centre in the Middle East and has increased investment and manufacturing activities there. In 1998 L’Oreal recieved the Jubilee Award by the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

MCDONALDS
McDonalds chairman and CEO Jack M. Greenberg is an honorary director of the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc., of Metropolitan Chicago. McDonalds Corporation is a major corporate partner of the Jewish United Fund and Jewish Federation, which “works t maintain American military, economic and diplomatic support for Israel”.

NESTLE
Affiliated companies include
Nescafe, Perrier, Vittel, Carnation, Milkmaid, Nesquick, Buitoni, Kit Kat, Milkybar, Quality Street, Smarties, After Eight, Lion, Aero, Toffee crisp, Munchies, Yorkie, Polo, Shreddies and felix cat food.
In 2000, it announced it will invest millions of dollars to operate the new R&D centre in Israel. In 1998 it received the Jubilee Award by the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

STARBUCKS
Howard Shultz, the chairman of Starbucks is an active Zionist. In 1998 he was honoured by Israel with “The Israel 50th Anniversary Tribute Award” for his services to the state. His work as a propagandist for Israel has been praised by Israel as being key to Israel’s long-term PR success.

TESCO
Is a large supporter of Israel and promotes and sells goods, from illegal Israeli settlements built on stolen Palestinian land, in the UK through its supermarkets.

Other companies to boycott – River Island, Lancome, Clinque, Andrex, Kleenex, Armani, Huggies, Sara Lee, Danone – for a full listing go to http://www.inminds.co.uk/boycott-israel.php and scroll half way down the page.

 

 

 

 

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Tesco Boycott.

1 02 2009

A group entered a Tesco in Swansea filled their trollies with products labeled West Bank as country of origin, left the store and covered them in ketchup as fake blood to represent the lives of innocent people in Palestine. BOYCOTT ISRAELI GOODS!!





Occupation 101

28 01 2009

The Truth, The Reality, The Facts….  From occupation, to life under Israeli military rule, to the role of the west, to the wars, to the settlements, to heartbreaking testimonials from victims. Various scholars, journalists, peace activists, religious leaders and humanitarian workers feature in this Award winning documentary. Occupation 101 brings you the truth.

Watch it here (11 parts, each part approx 8 mins)

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