Blogger za3tar has organized Blog About Palestine Day on May 15, the anniversary of the Nakba and Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations. Bloggers around the world were invited to blog for Palestine, as noted by Global Voices here. Many bloggers chose to participate in the event; here is a selection.
za3tar, the organizer of the event, blogged about being Palestinian, sharing a story of his family and concluding:
For us Palestinians, only two things remained true during the past 60 years; First, life for ordinary people only gets worst every year. Second, from the minute you are born in Palestine, you are immediately a suspect, and you are continuously treated so for as long as you live. No one in the world can condone mass punishment of civilians, but punishing suspects is not a big deal.
We must be suspects, otherwise what explains 60 years of Israel’s direct violation of numerous UN resolutions without any consequences. We must be suspects, otherwise what explains our denial of basic human rights. For me and my family, the only crime that we are suspect of, is simply existing!
These stories are not unusual for Palestinians. As a matter of fact, i come from a blissed family, my parents were able provide us with food and shelter, and none of my relatives was killed. Unfortunately however, the stories of average Palestinians are much grimmer still.
Rebellious Arab Girl, a Canadian resident, also blogged about being Palestinian:
What do I represent?
I represent my self, a Palestenian with hot blood through my veins and a voice to speak about my existence. I am Palestenian. I will always be one. I was born as one, and will die as one.
It has been 60 years since my home was taken away, isn’t that too much?
I may be one person. I am not a celebrity or someone who is famous and well known. However, I have the right to speak out when I say, “we had enough!”
Vivirlatino blogged about the Palestinian population in Chile:
Last month about 40 Palestinian families, refugees from Iraq, were welcomed into Chile.
“We hope that suffering will be a thing of the past, and Chile the source of your new happiness,” Deputy Interior Minister Felipe Harboe said as he welcomed the 16 adults and 23 children who had spent months stranded at a desert camp on the Iraqi-Syrian border.
The rest of about 117 refugees from this specific camp arrived in the Santiago neighborhoods of La Calera y San Felipe this week. They were welcomed with flags, dancing, and music.
While these homes in Chile, which come with the support of the Chilean government and all of it's resources (including a monthly stipend and counseling services), do not replace or erase the need of Palestinians to have a home in their homeland, the right to return, historically it makes sense. So many people left Chile after the 1973 U.S. backed military coup. So many lives lost and disappeared through state sanctioned violence. The links are there. The connection is there.
And Far Away blogged about the changing face of both Palestine and Israel, sharing fascinating photographs:
It’s been 60 years since the Palestinian Nakbeh. That means around four generations of Palestinians.
Of course, in these past 60 years, life for Palestinians for those still living in Palestine and the ones living in exodus have changed drastically. Thanks to ethnic cleansing, injustice, barricading, lack-of-educational means, poverty, bad health care, constant pressure, among other racist and unjustifiable actions, life has changed.
Life for “Israelis” has also changed.
The wheels have turned…
Bruised Earth wondered about the false hope being given to Palestinians…
So on this day of of the Nakba, the catastrophe, all this site can ask and ‘hope’ to encourage is the ongoing search for the truth. Hope more people can wade through the politics and media that filter what we all need to know; what we all must confront. Everyone must find that for themselves.
…and encouraged readers to seek the truth from outside sources:
Read other Web sites – beyond Fox, CNN, BBC, and Reuters. Forget about the 30 minute news updates – and instead piece together 30 minutes of real news from other sources every day.
Read the facts. Find more facts. Find more truth.
Syrian blogger Maysaloon discussed the Nakba:
In many ways, how we choose to commemorate May the 15th says a lot about us in the Arab world. Those of us who remember it as something from the past and, to put it biblically, with much “wailing and gnashing of teeth”, miss the point. The Nakba did not happen and end in 1948, it has continued to this present day. You can see the Nakba in Gaza, in the refugee camps and, dare I say it, it has expanded to Iraq. However, from the Nakba we also saw the birth of resistance. From the heroism and selflessness of al Husseini and the resistance in 1948, to the battle of Karameh in '68, Beirut in '82, Iraq today and the South of Lebanon in 2006. The struggle against occupation continues, as it does against those who collaborate. May 15th reminds us of the tragedy which befell a people, our people but also strengthens our resolve to resist and to push on. Am I the last person to talk about resistance from the comfort of my home, in a country which was Israel's midwife? Perhaps, but just as a first person is necessary in a set, so is the last, and it is belonging to the set and playing your role in anyway possible which is what counts. The only thing, the easiest thing, for us to do is to forget, to count ourselves defeated or irrelevant. Each of us has a moral duty to resist zionism, empire and neo-colonialism in all aspects of our lives and it will be a poor excuse to say, one day, that you were only being realistic. The enemies of Palestine know that every person they kill or bomb they drop only creates more determination to fight them, that their time is running out. Sixty years on, the dream of ending Israel is that little bit closer. Sixty years on, the struggle continues.
Finally, My Home Away From Home, who lives in Canada, shared her desire to go to Palestine, the country of her ancestors:
Palestine…it is my home that I have never set foot in, it is the land I love without boundaries.
My heart cries for Palestine, I want to touch its soil even once in my life. My heart and soul are always with Palestine, it is a part of my prayer ritual. I pray that one day we get our freedom we get our right to return. I pray for the gruesome murders and unfairness to stop, for children to start living like they are supposed to without fear, for mothers to be able to sleep the night without worrying that tomorrow or the day after she may lose some or all of her children. I pray for families to live together all in one place without a brother, a son an uncle in the isreali prisons for life. I pray that children can go to school or out to play and come back home safely. I pray that wives and husbands are not widowed too soon, and children are not orphaned when they are still young. I pray for people to live in peace and harmony and for all of us Palestinians born all over the world to reunite and meet in our homeland, a land who’s love was born in our heart…
These are just few of the great voices. So many of us out there who have a voice and want to be heard!
Nice round-up. Thanks, Jillian.
About Middle East peace! If you want peace between Jews and Arabs not between Israel and Palestinians (Note that!) don’t contnue using USA as mediators. Mediators don’t take sides, they are nuetral! 1st of all who appointed the US to be mediators? You Arabs and you Jews who want peace reject USA and UK to be mediators. Choose Scandinavian countries, China, Canada or India for that matter, or lmy Lord! America is a state of war not a state of peace. Bush for example is not serious on Middle East, he is playing games, deadly war game. War of destroying Arab and Persian civilization. He want to destroy the country of Prophets. But Alas, that is a dirty game, America will destroy herself. In fact the war have started already. The war against GOD! Which Book of God allowed a man to get married to another man? Human beings defying GOD’s creation – they don’t want to reproduce themselves. I know, Judism also don’t allow this, them how come your making friendship with a person who defy your Taurat?
please dont say the uk, done this to palestinians,it was the english royal family who helped give Isreal, palestinian lands not the british people the queen of england and all her family are germans,also in1949 the british army killed over one million marsh arabs.so you should blame the rich not the british people.and again Israel runs america that is why they allways back Isreal
The first step to achieving peace is for the arab nations to stop warring amongst themselevs and exploiting the arabs that come from the region where Israel exists. Had the arab nations not chosen to invade in 1948 and told the local arab population to leave the unhappiness and anger would have been greatly lessened. When these refugees took shelter in other arab lands, if they had not been exploited and still exploited today, there would not be anger and bitterness. One can blame Israel all that one wants but respect for human rights and the displaced arab peoples starts with the arab people as a whole. There have been so many opportunities to make peace and to eevn have a homeland for the displaced, but time and time again, self interest for some arab countires has taken precedence, The enemy of the people is not Israel, it is the from within the people.
peace in the middle east will never happen when you got george bush in office,all the people around him dealing with the middle east are jewish or extreme right wing which can,t help anyone,Israel was created by the british goverment, and look at the mayhem that has made,this problem was not made by arab nations,it was made by rich english and rich jewish americans, and the holy war they are on againt the arab peoples please dont blame the british people blame the british goverment who went against what the british people wanted, may peace be with you
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Around 300AD, after the Bar Kochba revolt by Jews against the Romans – King Hadrian punished the Jews by attempting to erase their history and claim to the nation. He renamed Israel to Palastina – after the Jews ancient enemy, the Phillistines (who are not related to Arabs, Palestinians or anyone else – they were non Sematic sea faring tribe from Aegean Sea area). The name stuck – the “Palestinians” are thus the people who lived upon the area known as Palestine, it referred to Jews in most literary coverage after that time as they were the people whom the Romans, Assyrians, Ottomans and others persecuted, collected taxes from and exiled (UNLESS ALL THE EMPIRES, with their different languages and cultures are lying…). The Koran talks of Jews in Israel, the New Testament talks of a Jewish Jesus and his Jewish disiples in a land ruled by Romans. I’m not talking religion, but history here.
Most Arabs arrived during Ottoman times. The Ottomans moved Jews from Israel in their Surgun movements. THey also treated Jews as Dhimmi, forcing upon them the Jizya (which is higher than the Zakat) and denying them rights such that they will feel ashamed (Koran, Sura 9: “so that they (the non Muslims) will feel subdued”). The rise of Islam and Arabification, and the general homogenous-ization of the Middle East was affected by the Islamist Ottomans.
In 1918 the British partitioned Palestine, giving 70% to the Arab Palestinians (it is Trans-Jordan, today it’s Jordan) and promising the rest to the Palestinian Jews and the diaspora of exiled Jews (in the Balfour Declaration).
This is no secret, Arafat (an Egyptian) knew this and he challenged King Husseins rule. He was right to do so, Jordan was carved out of Palestine for the Palestinian Arabs. 3-4% of Jordan is Hashemite, they rule as reward for helping Britain in the war against the Ottomans. WHO DO THEY RULE? 95% “Palestinian” ARabs and their descendants.
In 1948 the Brits went back on their word, instead of giving the Jews the leftover 30%, they would get only about 17% of historic Palestine. The Jews happily accepted while the Arabs rejected.
In the 48 war, all the arabs attacked Israel. In that war Jordan illegally occupied Judea/Samaria (The West Bank) and Egypt occupied Gaza – taking it from the world body who had offered it to the Arabs (who refused).
In 67 the Arabs tried ending Israel again. They failed.
And in 73 yet again.
In 2000 Ehud Barake offered ARafat 100% of Gaza (Which they have now anyway), 97% of Judea (the “West Bank”), control over East Jerusalem as a capital for their new nation, 3-5% land in Israel proper.
Arafat ended the negotiations right there for he saw this offer as a sign of weakness. He left the negotiations immediately and began planning the second intifadah with Marwan Bargouti (who has admitted this).
Clinton said of this (he was at the talks in 2000): I am a colosal failure, and you (Yasser Arafat) are the one that made me so.
Despite getting all that they ever claimed they wanted, the Palestinians didn’t demand their leader accept. Instead they joined the second intifadah which was the beginning of the end for them. Before that, things were good. Quality of life, gdp, literacy were slowly rising. Arabs visited ISrael, the roadblocks began to comedown.
The Arabs, alas, are their own worse enemies. Their own leaders kill and persecute them daily (In Black September some say King Hussein killed more Arabs in one month than Israel did in 50 years). The only ARabs in the MidEast with rights to voting, running for office, speech, association, sexuality, religion and self determination are Israeli Arabs. If that is what it is to be a second class citizen then I can only wish all non Israeli Arabs to aspire be second class citizens for it does not get much better then that (it’s as first class as I know!).
The sad fact is that today, 83% of “Palestine” is controlled by ARABS! Jordan + Gaza + areas of Judea = the vast majority of Palestine.
The Palestinians already have 2 homelands. They have Jordan and the Islamic Republic of Gaza (Aka Hamas-istan).
In 60 years, the Jews, the worlds scapegoat and beaten stick have risen from the ashes to create the most pluralistic, freest nation in the Middle East. It is not perfect but it is far from the greatest issue in the MidEast today. When the Arabs OPEN THEIR EYES and realize their leaders use Israel as Hitler used the Jews (a convenient scapegoat to draw attention away from the real issues) they will start their forward journey.
It is trully sad that the Jews cousins, the Arabs are so close in proximity but worlds apart in terms of technological and human (moral legal) advancement.
The key here is INTROSPECTION. Get your house in order, then (and only then) should you look at your neighbours for the source of your woes.
wingless,excellent piece of history and knowledge a lot more than i now,it has opened my eyes i suppose thats why it,s good to talk,then a person learns like i have thank you for you r knowledge,i have under stood what you have said peace be with all nations
Oy. The dream of peace is slow to come. Such passions on both sides. When one speaks of “The Jews” or “The Arabs” you are ignoring the myriad of individual faces.
Most people want to live and love and raise their families and don’t want any trouble. But the times are stormy, there are forces at work, there are men on all sides who want to control power. They exploit our fears, stoke our resentment, fuel our anger.
Let us say “no” to the men who make the rockets and the bombs, who smile and hand us the gun with orders to kill; let us say “yes” to our common bond, let us say “yes” to the common God who implores us to seek peace and justice, and to love our fellow brothers and sisters.
On the other hand, hate sells more bullets….