Sunday, September 28, 2008

Jerusalem is now

This article is from Al-Ahram Weekly, but I found it at the Palestine Monitor. I don't recommend that you follow the link to the Al-Ahram site, because Google says that the site has had some sort of malware that downloads from it. Anyway, I liked this so much that I decided to print it all here instead of just linking to it. It's all about delay tactics. The goal seems apparent, to delay making "peace" until the older generation that remembers the nakba is gone, so that no one is left to say, "that was my house, there is my home." They think the old will die and the young will forget. Do they think that Jews spent centuries saying "next year in Jerusalem," but Palestinians will forget in a generation?

Jerusalem is now
Al-Ahram Weekly Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi MP
26 September 2008

One doesn’t need to be an expert in the so-called "peace process" to know that Israel’s aim for the past 40 years has been to deny the Palestinians their rights. Having failed to break the backbone of the Palestinians and end their resolve to resist, Israel resorted to delay tactics. When not postponing urgent issues, it tried to empty from them all meaning. Thus the idea of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state was diluted into that of creating a self-rule entity, shorn of any real authority, over fragmented patches of land.

This is what the Oslo process managed to produce over the past 15 years or so. The number of settlers in the occupied territories has doubled. A wall of racial segregation has been erected. The West Bank has been cut off from Gaza. And Jerusalem is now surrounded on all sides and stranded, with little or no connection to other Palestinian areas. When negotiations resumed, Israel tried to impart legitimacy on its major settlements, refusing to discuss the matter of the refugees and insisting on postponing any decision on Jerusalem. Meanwhile, the Israelis tirelessly tried to change the face of Jerusalem, building settlements inside and around it, altering and Judaising it by the day.

Israel is now suggesting a Palestinian state with "interim borders". In return, it wants the Palestinians to give up, effective immediately, the right of return of the refugees. Israel also wants the Palestinians to cede claims to large swathes of their land — land that has been gulped up by settlements, land surrounding the Dead Sea, land in the Latrun villages (Imwas, Yalu, and Beit Nuba), etc. Israel is not in a mood to discuss Jerusalem right now. But it is in a good mind to build more settlements inside and around it.

Israel may be changing its rhetoric, but not its tactics. Instead of opposing a Palestinian state, it is willing to accept a state that has no sovereignty to mention. Instead of keeping every single settlement it has created on Palestinian land, it is willing to pull out 3,000 settlers, leaving 450,000 in place.

Everything Olmert and Barak have said so far suggests that they want to transform Jerusalem beyond recognition. The Jerusalem we all know is not the one they have in mind. The Jerusalem of Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Mount of Olives, Salwan, Al-Issawia, and other parts of the old town, is about to look very much like the neighbourhoods that have sprouted all around it: Izariya, Abu Dies and perhaps Beit Hanina.

Every time Palestinian negotiators give an inch, Israel takes a mile; the Oslo Accords are but a case in point. It is fine to negotiate, but not when negotiations undermine the very basis of international resolutions and norms. UN resolutions — backed by rulings from the International Court of Justice — state that all the land Israel grabbed since the morning of 5 June 1967 are occupied territories. This goes for the old city of Jerusalem and its surroundings, the West Bank, Gaza, the Latrun villages, the Golan, and even the Shebaa Farms.

Egypt insisted on taking back every inch of Sinai, just as Syria is holding out for every inch of the Golan. The Palestinians cannot accept less. We must insist on Israel’s withdrawal from all the occupied land, instead of being talked into a risky land exchange. It is bad enough that Israel took in 1948 half of the land the 1947 UN partition plan gave to the Palestinians. We don’t need to make things worse.

And what exactly is going on in negotiations? It’s all kept under a tight lid, except for the randomly leaked piece of info suggesting that the issue of Jerusalem would be postponed, yet again. The Palestinian people are left in the dark about what’s really going on. Given the bitter experience of Oslo, when a done deal was hatched behind the back of official negotiators, this doesn’t augur well.

Everyone knows that giving up Arab Jerusalem, or any part of it, is not an option acceptable to the Palestinian people. Also, any interim solutions, especially those postponing discussion of Jerusalem, are highly risky if not an outright sign of capitulation.

The last thing we need is another deal that undermines our rights and weakens our people. Those negotiating on behalf of the Palestinians bear a huge responsibility in this moment. Anything they do can have long-term consequences for us all.


Susie of Arabia said...

A really well written article. The Palestinians deserve to be treated fairly and with dignity - and unfortunately the Israelis have done the complete opposite. How can a whole nation of people forget that - ever?

Anonymous said...

Subhan Allah. :(

Unknown said...

Salam, Sister. Waiting to hear about the wedding...

alajnabiya said...

The wedding is this coming weekend, Sat, Sun and Tue. I sewed myself one dress and a jacket for over my younger daughter's dress. Tonight inshaAllah I will cut out a second dress. Loads to do, and I am totally stressing out. Thanks for thinking of me. I will try to take a couple pix of the dress I made and post it soon, but I wouldn't count on me actually writing much for a while.

Raúl said...

m gusta mucho tu blog lo visito a diario visita el mi y si t gusta deja un comentario y nos enlazamos los blogs

UmmFarouq said...

Just checking on you; I'm assuming you are knee-deep in wedding prep. Hope you and your family are all well inshaAllah.

Fikerz said...

Hmm. Palestine/Israel Conflict is a favorite issue of mine..

I used to be completeley Pro-Israel, "the jews are bad", we gotta help the palestinians. but yea, now im taking a less bias view on it.

Do you think the violence stirred up my Palestinians in response to Israel is justified? I would say, no. Palestine is making its mistakes but understandable mistakes, being the victims of half a century of oppression. Yet suicide bombings are not the answer.

I think the Problem is Israel not because I am Muslim or so as people will assume, but because looking at the casualties, an average of six Palestinians die for one Israeli.

Who are the terrorist again? Who has the weapons? Who has a huge powerful, top-world-leading army? Who has millions to fund thier military oppression? Who built a huge wall around the people of Palestine, in Palestine?

Man! I dont see in anyways Israel can be seen as trying to make peace by being in the occupied area's.

Sigh, something must be done!!! Im sick of reading articles, post and writing post myself on the suffering of the Palestinian people. WE NEED A SOLUTION, PEOPLE ARE DYING, MUSLIMS ARE DYING.

It really is something that should bring tears.

I like your blog! and hope to become a regular reader/commenter.

Anyways, heres my blog:


-The Muslim Kid-

Susie of Arabia said...

I know you've been busy with the wedding, but I just wanted to say hello and let you know we miss you and hope all is well!!!

Unknown said...

InshAllah you are doing well. Thinking of you over the border. Hope to hear from you soon. InshAllah. Missing your posts and news.

Anonymous said...

Salam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh dear Carol,

so much time has passed, since your last blog-update.
The wedding of your daughter, Ramadan and even eid ul-adha passed - however, no news of you.
In Germany we say: "No news is good news" because bad news are quite fast to reach you...
And, hence, I hope that everything is fine with you and your family and you are occupied just too much with other things.

At least twice a week I stop by and check if there is a sign of life, maybe just a sentence or a photo... but till this day there is only silence.
Insha'Allah you and your beloved are just fine, with good health and in security.

I know that the situation is not easy in Palestine. By the telephone conversations with our family we hear every week from the difficulties. Maybe you just write to us only one sentence, how you are?

May Allah bless and protect you.

Anonymous said...

Salaam Alaikum,

I hope you and your family are ok. You are all in my my dua's.

L_Oman said...

Please update us. :( Ya Rabb, I hope that you are fine.

Mona Zenhom said...

I've been wondering where you've been. I hope all is well inshaAllah.

Avi said...

The Jewish people never forgot Jerusalem. 3 times a day, we pray in the direction of Jerusalem and ask G-d that "our eyes may behold in mercy Your return to Zion". For 2000 years, 3 times a day without fail, we looked towards Jerusalem and prayed for its rebuilding. We observe 4 fasts anually over the destruction of Jerusalem, culminating in the fast of the 9th of Av, the most tragic day i nthe Jewish calendar, when both Temples were destroyed. At the end of every Yom Kippur fast and Passover seder, we declare: "Next Year in Jerusalem!"

Jerusalem is mentioned 700 times in the Hebrew Bible. It is never mentioned in the Qur'an. Muslims pray towards Mecca, with their backs to Jerusalem. Jerusalem was never the capital of any Muslim nation. The only times Jerusalem was a capital was when Jews ruled Israel: during the Davidic kingdom, the Hasmonean dynasty and in the modern state of Israel.

The "Palestinians" are an artificial entity. There was no "Palestinian" nation before 1967.

PLO Executive Zahir Muhsein said: "The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct 'Palestinian people' to oppose Zionism. For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan."

Never has Jerusalem been the capital of an Arab country. Under the Ottomans, it was a backwater little provincial town.

If one doesn't believe that G-d returned His people to His land, they are indeed blind. Never before in history has a 3500 year old nation, exiled for 2000 years, survived persecution and oppression, Crusade, Inquisition and Holocaust, to be reborn in its homeland. Tiny Israel, with a population of barely 600 000, some survivors fresh out of Auschwitz, in 1948 defeated an army of over a million Arab troops committed to wiping out the fledgling state. The miracles of Israel rebirth are too numerous to mention, such as the Ingathering of the Exiles, or the fact that the Jews made the deserts of Eretz Yisrael bloom.

Mecca is the Muslim holy city- Jerusalem is ours. And we will not give it up.

G-d has returned Jerusalem to us after 2000 years of longing, mourning, hoping and praying. Never will we be distanced from her again.

nina said...

It's been 4 months...
I miss your articles.
I hope you're okay.

UmmFarouq said...

Where are you, dear? I hope your absence is because of computer problems. I pray that you are well.