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A Palestinian East Jerusalemite's view of the joint march

By Jalal Abukhater

The writer, a resident of East Jerusalem, does not favor a two-state solution, but the joint demonstration did leave him hopeful that Palestinians and Israelis can work together for a better future.

Less than a week ago, I started reading on Twitter that there will be a large demonstration organized by Israeli Leftwing activists in Jerusalem protesting the new Boycott Bill and Israeli occupation of Palestinian Occupied Territories. I expected that activists will challenge the anti-Boycott law and chant for BDS or call for Settlement boycott as well as chanting for a Palestinian state, I was wrong. It turned out to be a march organized by Zionist leftists calling for a legitimate Palestinian state next to the state of Israel. I just lost all motives that would make me want to attend that demonstrations, but I eventually did, only as an observer and not a participant.

I am extremely critical of Zionism and I dislike the Two-State Solution for many reasons which I have mentioned in a previous article which you could take a look at here.  I believe the one and only proper eternal solution for this conflict is one democratic secular state, it is not going to happen by Palestinians’ effort alone, nor Israelis’ effort alone, it will happen when Palestinians and Israelis decide to join hands to fight for the right to live together equally on this land. The West Bank, Syria, Jordan, Gaza, Lebanon… are not homes for Palestinians who were expelled from their homes in 1948, they deserve the right to live in their lands and enjoy equality.

Something that is worth mentioning is, as Ali Abunimah noted on his twitter, that the event official poster was slightly misleading. It was written in Arabic and Hebrew. Hebrew title said “We March for Independence” and the Arabic title said “We March for Liberation” معا نسير للتحرير. As I already said, this could be misleading, two different things, it should have said “Marching for Independence” too in Arabic rather than “Liberation” if liberation isn’t what they really seek.

I decided to attend this demonstration as an observer because I believed in the goodness of their short-term goals standing in solidarity with Palestinians living in threatened East Jerusalem neighborhoods like Shekh Jarrah, Silwan, Ras al-Amoud, A-Tur, and others and of course against illegal West Bank settlements. I decided to overlook the actual purpose they decided to march through the streets of Jerusalem. I simply despised the idea that many people there carried posters saying “Two People, Two States, One Future” That is an oxymoron. Three quarters of the Palestinian citizens in Gaza are refugees expelled from their homes back in 1948, and similar is the case in the West Bank. How would two separated peoples each living on a side of a border holding hostility to each other would have one future? If they reconcile they’d live together, or the idea of one future would be out of reach.

While heading to the demonstration, I was lucky to meet an Italian guy who was active with Solidarity Sheikh Jarrah group, I began conversing with him on the background of this demonstration and why is he attending. His words actually gave me hope. He is not a Zionist, and he does believe one day those anti-occupation activists will refuse the idea of political Zionism. He said it would take them a while, maybe decades, but just as they became anti-occupation in few years, this generation can become the hope for a peaceful futuristic one Palestine-Israel state. “Everything positive starts from demonstrations like this” he said, and I appreciated that. I believe what he is saying is true.

There was one other guy who caught my attention at this demonstration, he was carrying a placard saying “I love Arabs” in Hebrew. I immediately came up to him and asked him what his views were; he simply said “I don’t care about solutions.” Men like him, who put extreme religion and politics aside and focuses on humanitarian aspects, are men who keep me hopeful. We have seen enough misery and destruction caused by extremism, time to accept each other as humans and separate each other even more.

Although I was not officially participating in the demonstration, I was extremely happy that thousands of Israelis actually showed up for this march, from this point anything is possible. Hopefully the one state vision spreads between Israeli youth as well as Palestinian youth, because we have seen enough today to prove that youth are capable of achieving what no one else could.

As for a different matter, the organizers of this march hoped they could achieve a joint-struggle title where Palestinians and Israelis together would march for the same cause. It was a success, but not on the scale expected. Palestinians did join the march, and for the matter of fact, many Palestinians led a majority of the chants at the march. But I believe most of those Palestinians were marching for the sake of their threatened homes in East Jerusalem neighborhoods, therefore serving short-term aims of the march to put a stop to the ethnic cleansing of Arab Jerusalemites, and not to call for an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza.

Some may call me naïve, but I assure you I am not. These views are not of mine alone, they’re shared by a majority of Palestinians and many Israelis as well. This phrase is one of my favorites as it holds a true meaning, “If we can’t live together, we will die alone.”

Jalal Abukhater is a 16-year old resident of East Jerusalem. He is a high school senior at a school in Ramallah. You can follow him on twitter @JalalAK_jojo

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    1. Jalal hi

      A few comments:

      First and foremost, you’re very much mistaken about the Jewish demonstrators.

      The great majority of us does not define ourselves as Zionists AT ALL, me included.

      Some are fircely anti-zionists, some are just mild post-Zionists, but all of us are treated in Israel as Arab-lovers and Jewish haters, traitors.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Second, the demonstration was actually organized jointly with several Palestinian organizations, some from East Jerusalem, but also from Yaffa and Haifa.

      So it wasn’t like a Jewish demo that the Israelis inviting the Pals to join.

      And last: I’m the guy with the sign. Well we’ve talked briefly in the middle of a loud demo.

      I didn’t mean to say I don’t care about solutions at all, just that I don’t have an immediate simple answer to that question.

      Like you, I assume, or at least hope, the the in the future we’ll have a nice one state. But I can’t tell the Palestinians they can’t have their own self defining free state.

      So Inshalla you’ll get your state soon enough, let things cool off for a few years, and then we’ll have to start building together.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Jalal

      Apologies Amitai, but a big majority of the demonstrators were Zionists or simply calling for a Palestinian independent state. of course that doesn’t mean there were no anti-Zionists, of course there were, and I talked to a few.
      a growing majority in Palestine today simple are refusing the two state solution for it being too far fetched, check my previous article here: http://972mag.com/letter-to-israeli-left-choose-one-state-not-apartheid/

      hopefully we can eventually get to a peaceful solution, but we shouldn’t take away Palestinian refugees’ right of being able to live in their home cities and towns inside the green line, Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Well, calling for a two state solution isn’t Zionism.

      I don’t know which of the solutions will be more easily acheived. Right now it looks like the two states solution is more mainstream, I think on both sides.

      But who knows?

      In any way, I don’t divide people by an ethnic key – I’m more interested in their views.

      This will be a simplification, but:

      If you want peace and believe co-existance is possible, you’re my friend (even if we don’t agree on the right peacefull solution).

      If you just want to kill or conquer, you’re my enemy. In that sense, my government is my enemy, and I’m afraid Hamas and Jihad may be their closest friends.

      Reply to Comment
    5. You are young and had not experienced the catastrophe that the second intifada “accomplished” on the goal for co-existence, whether in two states or in one.

      Hatred was expressed by Palestinian militancy, and sympathy for hatred was expressed by pro-Palestinian solidarity.

      That is NOT the basis of any prospective unification, whether as a morphing of two-state to economic union to federation, or through the magical Arab spring path to single state.

      It only happens if consented. And, it is only consented if it meets the objectives of coexistence.

      The urge to eliminate the non-Arab dot is not a progressive basis of a single state, as it results in yet another people deprived of self-governance, only demanded to assimilate.

      If you wish to achieve a single state, the only path to do that is to utterly eliminate the negative impositions onto the Jewish community. That means that you need to become respectfully aware of the genuine concerns and fears of the Jewish community. By respectfully, I mean deeply, unconditionally and permanently respectful of the sensitivities and concerns.

      You don’t have to adopt their political conclusions, but like Palestinian sensitivities have been ignored by Israel and resulting in angers, suppression, abuse; ignoring the sensitivities of Jewish Israelis would result only in a pendulum swing.

      As the Jewish Israelis feel cornered (still from the real holocaust, and still from the real insistence on assimilation into an Arab majority in the region), that is a very big hurdle for advocates of a single state.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Richard, any attempt to imply some kind of simmetry, as if the two people are in the same position of power, is ridiculous.

      Palestinians don’t have a choice but to be occupied by Israelis – and therefor don’t have the choice “not to hear the Israelis” – while most of the time, Israelis don’t even have to remember Palestinians exist, let alone show the least bit of sensitivity.

      Many, if not most, Israelis would want all Palestinians dead and gone, just as it is the opposit on the other side.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Amir

      “It turned out to be a march organized by Zionist leftists calling for a legitimate Palestinian state next to the state of Israel.”

      How weary I am by the calls from Palestinian nationalists for ideological purity among the Israeli leftists. “48 or bust” – “right of return or you’re Zionist trash” etc.

      with the ongoing narrative of Palestinian victim-hood I’m somewhat surprised by the uncompromising nature of the Palestinian popular struggle movement’s demands. Can beggars be choosers? or are there ulterior motives at play here?

      When you demand of Israeli leftists to recognize the right of return you justify the calls from Israeli right-wingers and ‘centrists’ for Hamas to recognize Israel as a Jewish State as pre-condition for negotiations.

      You would be wise to stop attempting to restore the karmic balance of the universe and instead call for peaceful coexistence amongst all belligerent parties.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Hi Richard Witty,
      I love Zio-bots!

      Reply to Comment
    9. oh,
      and I love this:
      “By respectfully, I mean deeply, unconditionally and permanently respectful of the sensitivities and concerns [of the Jewish community].”

      While the Jewish community is a flexible, world-spanning entity with differing views and interests. Views and interests that naturally change over time, the uppity Palestinians need to be PERMANENTLY RESPECTFUL of their Jewish masters’ changing moods and ideologies.

      Richard Witty, I wonder what could make YOU permanently (or even temporarily) respectful of other human beings’ rights?
      You and the venomous Zio-views you spew forth, deserve nothing but utter complete and permanent disrespect.

      Reply to Comment
    10. On my blog I called for a big tent to End the Occupation, a tent that includes liberal Zionists, and non-Zionists and anti-Zionists, in fact anybody who finds that the most pressing step is to liberate Palestinians from the occupation should be included.

      To me, that is a first step, but there are many, many steps afterwards, and the Palestinian Call for BDS’s 3 conditions sum up my views (See their website)

      This march was ostensibly to endorse statehood, which is already a Fateh strategy, but I didn’t view my participation as either pro two-state or pro-Fateh — but rather pro-Palestinian.

      This was not a two stater march. This was a one state — a Palestinian state — leaving agnostic whether this means one or two.
      The problem, Jalal, is that the organizers allowed signs that were supportive of two states, including Hadash and Meretz, and I didn’t see any one state signs.

      But those weren’t the only signs; my favorite was “Only a free people can negotiate”. This assumes the liberation of the Palestinian people from the Occupation (at least) as a PRECONDITION of negotiations, and not as part of the endgame.

      As for the liberal Zionists who still don’t get it — the ones who insist on a symmetry, and on the recognition of the legitimacy of the state of Israel by the Palestinians (sorry, but to me that is like asking the rape victim to recognize the legitimacy of the rapist)…know that this is a long educational process, and we need the engagement of Palestinians to help that process

      Reply to Comment
    11. Ben Israel

      I am afraid I don’t see what’s wrong with demanding the Palestinians recognize a Jewish state and a Jewish RIGHT to a state. After all, the Palestinians for years demanded that Israel recognize the “legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. I have heard Abbas say he can’t do that because it would supposedly discriminate against the Arab minority, yet the Palestinian regime, like all Arab regimes defines itself as “Islamic” and having Sharia law as “a” or “the” basis of legislation, which of course, discriminates against non-Muslims.
      Either both are entitled to recognition or neither, but not just the Palestinians.

      Since the best examples of “multi-ethnic, multi-confessional states” in the Middle East are Lebanon, Iraq and Syria, aren’t you aware that Jews in Israel are a wee bit leery of entrusting ourselves to living under a regime like those?

      Reply to Comment
    12. Rann B

      To me, a two-state solution implies a Zionist state that continues to discriminate against its Arab citizens, for the simple reason that it is, by its very standing as a so-called ‘Jewish and democratic’ state, providing greater rights to Jews. Having said that, I personally couldn’t care less what the eventual solution to this conflict is, as long as it guarantees justice and is agreed by the vast majority of people on all sides.

      The march was, overall, encouraging. Three thousand Israeli Jews (plus 100 or so Palestinians) calling Israel an Apartheid state in the middle of Jerusalem is progress. We live in depressing times.

      When I shouted ‘boycott, divest!’, I was surrounded by three orderlies who, in a complete panic, told me that there were pre-agreed slogans and that shouting this would destroy ‘years of work’ that led to this march. I was pretty offended by this, as I see us marchers as guests of Palestinians–I do not believe we have any right to negotiate slogans. We either accept the calls coming from Palestinian civil society or we don’t, and we get the hell out.

      The organizers seem to believe in the concept of ‘joint struggle’, failing to realize that the power differential between the two populations makes this impossible. It’s clear that Palestinians recognize this, hence the lack of any significant presence of Palestinians at the demonstration. I was told by the above-mentioned orderlies that lots more Palestinians would join us at Damascus Gate. I expressed my skepticism and was proven right.

      On the other hand, I really don’t want to sound so negative. I’m really glad this march happened, it was an important milestone. I hope that the efforts continue, and that we see further large demonstrations in Jerusalem. However, I don’t think that they will have anything like equal Israeli and Palestinian participation until the Israeli organizers get off their high horses and let them be Palestinian-led, as all successful struggles in the West Bank have been for years.

      Reply to Comment
    13. The Office of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

      comment was deleted for personal attacks, user will be banned.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Ben Israel:
      There is a HUGE difference between recognizing the Jewish RIGHT (ie. ONE collective right) to a Jewish state (ie. a state that is monolithic-ally defined around an ethnicity which not all its subjects share), and recognizing the legitimate rights (ie. multiple INDIVIDUAL rights) of the Palestinian people.

      The Jews get full recognition from the State of Israel aka. the Jewish State(well, they did up till last week’s law against Jewish free speech). They don’t need any further recognition from anyone.

      The same cannot be said of Palestinians living under Israeli law. The State of Israel does not recognize neither individual nor collective rights for non-Jews living within the Jewish state. They (and their rights) DO need recognition from said state and representatives.

      As for Jewish leeriness of living under the Lebanese, Iraqi (isn’t that American now?) or Syrian regimes – no one is suggesting that. The Israeli institutions – courts of law, police, treasury, parliament, bituah leumi – those are all here to stay. They are strong, irreplaceable institutions. Institutions filled to the brim with those very same leery Jews – who have nothing to fear other than their own shadows or each other.

      And on a personal note:
      Replying to Zio-bots is really tiresome. One must always think up ways to make logic sound simpler and stupider, so as to tickle even Zio-bots’ common sense (one, of course, assumes they too possess common sense despite diminishing evidence to support this).

      Reply to Comment
    15. Warmongering Wingnut who is an Obstacle to Peace

      This comment has been deleted

      Reply to Comment
    16. The Iron Duke of Irony

      One wonders if in this perfectly progressive Paradise of Jewish subservience under the fist of the Palestinians that marches and protests and such in favor of any minority group will be permitted and what kind of support we can expect from the far left moral arbiters here. If the reality of the rest of the word of political Islam is any benchmark, the prospects are not wonderful.

      Reply to Comment
    17. Scud B. Thompson

      What of an Arab Israeli who lives and works in EJ? will he and his family be expelled too? Or will we simply accept the patent racism of allowing him to stay?

      Reply to Comment
    18. The Duke of Iron

      Jerry Haber

      I tend to agree. As long as that one state resembles Iran or Saudi Arabia. Since it will, there’s little point in fighting against it. In fact, this one state ‘from the river to the sea’ doesn’t go far enough. A demi-caliphate which incorporates all of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the Zionist experiment. As long as Hamas can present it as a bit more Western and EU friendly no one will notice much less care when it’s been ethnically cleansed of all zionsts and jews. On that I think we can agree.

      Reply to Comment
    19. RichardNYC

      The author’s reconquest agenda does not differ from Nasser’s or Faisal’s. He’s learned to soften his rhetoric and market Arab Nationalism to westerners more persuasively than his bellicose predecessors did. Some people are falling for it, yes. But most people who are paying attention do not. And most people aren’t even paying attention. Stop wasting everyone’s time and sign a deal, people. negotiate y’all!

      Reply to Comment
    20. Deïr Yassin

      @ Ya Jalal
      Another great article, and once again I’m amazed by your maturity. I do agree with you on everything you said. “One State for two people”.

      Don’t pay attention to Mr Witty. He considers himself a moral authority on about every subject, and thinks that he from his US-residence – with two weeks in Israel back in the ’80 and no knowledge of Hebrew – has something to teach you about living in Palestine. bi-sumûd 🙂

      Reply to Comment
    21. Carrie

      I am glad that Israelis support the Palestinian right to a state in a march. It would be even nicer if even one Palestinian supported the right of Jews to a state by having a march. I won’t hold my breathe.

      Reply to Comment
    22. Right Wing Zionist

      “If we can’t live together, we will die alone.”(JALAL ABUKHATER)
      Of course we will die alone. Everyone dies sooner or later, that’s life.
      As for living together in a secular democratic state where everyone has equal rights, that vision already exists in today’s Israel which has 80% Jewish population and 20% Arab population ( roughly).
      Is it the perfect utopia that you have in your minds eye? Of course NOT but then again, there are no utopias, or haven’t you heard?
      As for your vision of the one state in which once again there would be an Arab majority ruling over a Jewish minority, most of us Jews are not wild about that idea. Why? Because the last time that we found ourselves in that position, we were oppressed by Arabs. Not only oppressed, but periodically murdered in orchestrated pogroms. That’s why many of the 700,000 Jewish refugees who fled from Arab oppression found a new home in Israel. My suggestion to the Arab refugees that you are talking about is to build their homes amongst their Arab brothers in places from which Jews were expelled. That would be a much more sensible, even if not utopian outcome, Arabs living with Arabs, Jews living with Jews, and with already a significant Arab minority, treated fairly and with respect. That’s my vision, it’s not perfect but it IS S.M.A.R.T which stands for:
      – Specific
      – Measurable
      – Achievable
      – Realisable
      – Time bound

      Reply to Comment
    23. Jalal,
      Take the time to listen to other perspectives than those that reinforce your own.

      Its necessary.

      The BDS demands make sense only in conformance with law that reconciles rights of multiple parties.

      Law applied that does not give Palestinians their day in court to assert title claims is less than law.

      Law applied that does not give Israelis their day in court to assert their title claims is less than law.

      A single state that is not consented is not democracy, no matter what language you present it as.

      Reply to Comment
    24. lidia

      if one simply ignore everyone whining about Jews being denied rights (i.e. rights to be a master race in Palestine), one could then address the real question – does “2 states” means Zionism? Of course, it does. Even when non-Zionists like N.Finkelstein support this “solution”. because “2 states” means “Jewish state”, no matter how to whitewash it, it means a settler colony in Palestine. On the other hand, the BDS means the end of Zionism, because it demands the right of return=the end of “Jewish majority” in Israel, and, in turn, the end of “Jewish state”.

      I am not going to patronize Jalal admiring his maturity, even though he could be my grandson, but I still want to tell him – do NOT hope too much about Israel Jews turning from aparteid to equality. SOME of Jews in Israel are non-racist (me including) but we are small minority. Our support for Palestine is good, but it is not defining. The end of Zionism will be not in change of heart by Zionists, but by the change of the world, esp. of the ME – and with the end of Zionism there would be no more Zionist Jews-colonizers in Palestine. They all will leave, I am sure, they are ready to live here ONLY as a masters of Palestinians.

      Reply to Comment
    25. RichardNYC

      @Right Wing Zionist
      The author is a salesman, a PR warrior. So it doesn’t really make sense to talk to him as though he’s trying to respectfully engage you in a conversation about ethics. He’s been raised to put denial of Israeli society at the core of his identity, so he’s really never going to change his mind. The only way to get him or others like him to behave sensibly is to demoralize them, which isn’t hard, since their ideas are not actually realistic at all.

      Reply to Comment
    26. RichardNYC

      “They all will leave, I am sure…” To where I wonder? Where are Jews “indigenous”? Is there any Jew on planet earth who is not foreign to his place of residence? Europe? tried that! America? Indians were there first! Whether you employ post-colonial jargon, right-wing European xenophobia, human rights babble, or some other ideological lingo happens to be in vogue at your local fair trade coffee shop or pub, there isn’t really a difference. You’re telling the Jews they have no rights as a people to any place on the surface of the earth. Its all the same poison. Your humanist pretensions do not conceal the stench of antisemitism well at all I’m afraid.

      Reply to Comment
    27. lidia

      I am NOT going to waste my time to Zionists, they are not worth it. But about Zionist Jews leaving – not long ago it was pointed in media that more and more Israel Jews are getting German passports.

      But the real problem is not Jews being Jews, as I have stressed. The problem is Jews-settlers, Jews willing to live in Palestine ONLY as a master race, not as equal citizens. Such Jews exactly are demanding their “right” to live in “Jewish state”, which means “state for “whites””, while non-Jews are at best tolerated, and only till they are not “too many”, in which case they are officially called in Israel “demographic threat” – while them being (on paper) citizens of Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    28. Right Wing Zionist

      “So it doesn’t really make sense to talk to him as though he’s trying to respectfully engage you in a conversation about ethics”(RICHARDNYC)
      Neither he, nor others like him seem to want to engage with anyone who comes here with a message which is different to what they want to hear. Oh well, cest lavie, I’ll just keep on talking to myself and to whoever else who wants to hear me and engage. But if there are no takers, that’s ok with me too 🙂

      Reply to Comment
    29. Right Wing Zionist

      “But the real problem is not Jews being Jews, as I have stressed. The problem is Jews-settlers, Jews willing to live in Palestine ONLY as a master race, not as equal citizens”(LIDIA)
      You mean like the Arab Muslims used to be the master race? This is what Karl Marx wrote about, in 1854, how they used to treat the Jews of Jerusalem:
      “the sedentary population of Jerusalem numbers about 15,500 souls, of whom 4,000 are Mussulmans and 8,000 Jews. The Mussulmans, forming about a fourth part of the whole, and consisting of Turks, Arabs and Moors, are, of course, the masters in every respect, as they are in no way affected with the weakness of their Government at Constantinople. Nothing equals the misery and the sufferings of the Jews at Jerusalem, inhabiting the most filthy quarter of the town, called hareth-el-yahoud, the quarter of dirt, between the Zion and the Moriah, where their synagogues are situated – the constant objects of Mussulman oppression and intolerance”(KARL MARX – March 28, 1854, The New York Herald Tribune).

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    30. lidia

      1) Marx was NOT an authority in Islam, and had a bias regarding the war in case (an anti-Russian one)
      2) regardless of Marx if the best defense for Zionists is harking to 1854 – they are not so well off, I guess 🙂

      in 1854 people were property in the USA, by the way

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    31. AmRas

      once again, a so called Palestinian leftist doesn’t demand peace, but rather demands the ‘proper political make-up’ of israel and the middle east.

      “normalization?” – banish that thought, the palestinians are driving a hard bargain – they’ll keep sacrificing themselves until the jewish state dissolves – all in the name of equality and morality.

      one can’t help but get the impression that the palesitnians are convinced that sooner or later they’ll have the zionists under their boots and as such there is no point in trying to appease them.

      First we destroy Zion and then we’ll let the Jews live like Dimmi. What, doesn’t sound fair? if you doubt our pure intentions you’re a racist.

      With all this posturing it’s hard to remember that the Zionists are actually the ones possessing all the political power at the moment.

      Israel must enforce normalization through unilateral action, the palestinians are too enamoured with their islamic fantasies of divine liberation and jihad.

      Reply to Comment
    32. RichardNYC

      So who decides who the evil Zionist Jews are and are not? You? Gonna set up anti-Zionist thought crime committees to determine who thinks they’re part of a “master race” and who doesn’t? At least its nice that the faux anti-fascists actually reveal themselves as ideological puritanical fascists themselves. Jews don’t need your or anyone else’s permission to determine their own fate. Your name calling really isn’t going to make us forget what statelessness is all about.

      Reply to Comment
    33. Right Wing Zionist

      “1) Marx was NOT an authority in Islam, and had a bias regarding the war in case (an anti-Russian one)”(LIDIA)
      He didn’t comment about Islam. He commented about how Arab Muslims treated Jews in the past. Even before modern Zionism existed.

      “2) regardless of Marx if the best defense for Zionists is harking to 1854 – they are not so well off, I guess “(LIDIA)
      Marx is not the best defense for Zionism. History is. Modern Zionism was spawned because of the oppression and persecution of Jews. Yes, the Arabs too persecuted the Jews. Modern Zionism is a liberation movement, a yearning for self determination by the Jewish people. It seems odd that the political left supports all other liberation movements and demands for self determination of other peoples except the Jewish peoples. Actually that is not true. The REAL LEFT is not unsympathetic to the national aspiration of the Jewish people. It is only the EXTREME LEFT which is against it.

      “in 1854 people were property in the USA, by the way”(LIDIA)
      Really? You don’t say. So England, Austria, Prussia, Russia, France the Ottomans were not super powers? Well, one learns something every day. LOL.

      Reply to Comment
    34. Ben Israel

      For a more modern observation of how Jews were treated in the “tolerant” Muslim countries, here is an article written by George Orwell in 1939 about his visit to Morocco. Note his description of the situation of the Jews and how the Arabs and other non-Jews viewed them. It is important to keep in mind that Orwell was also an anti-Zionist. This makes it pretty clear why the Jews left Morocco when they had the chance, apparently not being aware of President Obama’s speech about how tolerant the Muslims are to non-Muslims:


      Reply to Comment
    35. Ben Israel

      Lidia is concerned about Israel being a “settler colony”. Well, how did Arabs and Islam reach from Morocco to the Pacific in Indonesia? Through the biggest mass agression and imperialist venture of all times…the expansion of Muhammed and his successors from Arabia out towards Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, eventually India and the East Indies. The biggest imperialist venture of all times, bigger than the British Empire. Now, it is true that Islam was not forced on some of the people under conquest at sword point, although I do understand that a lot of force was used in India. However, many, if not most, converted because of a desire to escape the extortionate jizya tax dhimmis were required to pay. So when Muslims complain about discrimination and democracy and the such, it is important to remember their background.

      Reply to Comment
    36. Adam

      There is lots of talk about history here (very important to acknowledge and understand), what “The Arabs” did to the Jews, what “The Jews” did to the Arabs. But this IS history, never to be forgotten, though isn’t it our duty to focus on the positive aspects of Jewish/Arab history, how they were able to live together in the past, how they used to babysit each others children rather than kill them?
      If everyone could agree just two things, we could revert to the relative harmony which did exist before 1948, in the land which is held so dear to Jews & Arabs alike:
      1) We are all equal human beings and we all deserve equal human rights – ALL of our children are & will be born innocent, born to love & be loved.
      2) When peace is agreed & is shattered by inevitable violence from a tiny minority on both sides we must refuse to respond with more violence. (we have truly great people to inspire us here, such as Dr Abuelaish from Gaza who lost his daughters and niece, and Elik Elhanan from Israel who lost his sister)
      I wish love and peace to all people who now live in Israel/Palestine. I know many Jews feel unjustly hated and many Palestinians feel unjustly forgotten or ignored, but the truth is that virtually the entire world wants to love and assist all of them, we are all one family, born to love not hate. We need to think of our children and stop fighting an old man’s war.
      I agree with Jalal, that only one re-unified, unbroken state to show love & respect all the Jews who now live in Occupied Palestine and all the Arabs who still live in Israel. No matter what the old man’s history is, our young children want & deserve peace – or will we continue to teach them to be frightened and to hate?

      Reply to Comment
    37. Right Wing Zionist

      “in 1854 people were property in the USA, by the way”(LIDIA)
      I think LIDIA is trying to tell us to ignore what it was like in 1854 because human rights were not as advanced then, but now we are more enlightened, except them dastardly Zionists, right LIDIA?
      Well then, let’s just test how far human rights improved since 1854, how about:
      1. Nazi Germany
      2. The Russian Gulags
      3. Cambodian genocide
      4. The Rwandan genocide
      5. The Balkans
      6. The Lebanese civil war
      7. The treatment of the Kurds
      8. The treatment of the Kopts
      9. The killing of Iranians by Iranian government thugs
      10.The killing of Syrians by Syrian government thugs
      11.The killing of Libyans by Libyan government thugs
      Do you need more examples, LIDIA? Do you sense an improvement in how Arabs treat their minorities? Has there been an improvement in their behaviour or for that matter, human behaviour, since 1854? No? We Zionists don’t think so either. That’s why we insist on self determination and the need to be masters of our own destiny. We know people like you don’t care, that’s why we don’t care about what you care. Fair enough?

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    38. Philos

      I don’t see why the two-state solution can’t be viewed as a stepping stone to a federation for some point in the future. The idea that a secular bi-national state could arise is childish idealism. In Israel and in Palestine religious and ethno-nationalist extremists are in the political ascendant; just reaching a compromise on two-states will require crushing them politically (and probably militarily). It would then take a generation or two to get the poison of their ideologies out of each society.

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    39. Right Wing Zionist

      I think what you say makes sense. The only think I would like to vary in it is this:
      Lets just concentrate on practical and as fair as possible solutions for now. The future will take care of itself. While your suggestion for it may be a worth while objective, let future generations decide for themselves. We have enough problems to solve in our own time.

      Reply to Comment
    40. lidia

      it seems it rains Zionists today, so I’ll do not bother, but I have 2 words to Adam. Zionism and its crimes is NOT history, it is NOW! And Zionist crimes are done by the VAST majority of Zionist Jews. Almost all Israel Jewish males and a lot of female are sevring in IOF and thus oppressing Palestinians, just one example.

      So, how are you going to stop all those crimes and make Zionists to let Palestinians have their land, water and rights back?

      Believe me, it could NOT be done by your nice words – first, we need truth, and not illusions

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    41. lidia

      “The idea that a secular bi-national state could arise is childish idealism”

      And “2state” is IMPOSSIBLE. Zionists is NOT going to let it be, or they would do it long before. Zionist want ALL Palestine and some more.

      So, the ONLY realistic solution is one state. And Zionists could pack.

      Reply to Comment
    42. Sam Smith

      Lidia = the epitome of the extreme left (in fact, extremists on any side), making her point only by name calling and screaming vacuous slogans. Let us know when you reach planet Earth.

      Reply to Comment
    43. lidia

      Just to correct some Zionist lies –

      Cambodja was

      1) bombed by USA with the lost of more then a half million lives
      2) it helped Pol Pot to seize power
      3) when Vietnam ousted Pol Pot, USA and UK helped him and his forces for ages, including support to keep their man in UN.

      Really, Zionists are TOO stupid

      By the way, regarding how Jews (Zionist) treated Jews in the age of Nazis
      1) “One Cow in Palestine is worth more than all the Jews in Poland”

      ….Izaak Greenbaum
      2)Ben Gurion informed a meeting of Labor Zionists in Great Britain in 1938: “If I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England and only half of them by transporting them to Eretz Israel, then I opt for the second alternative.”

      Zionists were NOT interested in saving Jews, but in colonizing Palestine. They still are.

      When Iranians were under the murderous rule of Shah, Zionists were his best friends (and USA put Shah in power after toppling democratic ruler of Iran). Zionists were the best friends of aparteid SA. And Zionists were the last friends of Mubarak (with the Saudis) – till the very end.

      Not mentioning what the same Zionist Jews did to Palestinians

      Reply to Comment
    44. Eitan

      It’s unfortunate that nearly everyone here is determined to take Jalal’s sensitive — and highly personal — piece and deform it in the service of his or her own agenda.

      What Jalal brings is an important perspective — that of a Palestinian Jerusalemite who participated in the march as an observer, talked to many people, reflected on his experiences filtered through his own political commitments, and wrote a clear and enlightening article.

      As for the march: the messages were not the sole decision of the Solidarity Sheikh Jarrah activists, but were rather the product of long and intensive discussions between Israeli activists and their Palestinian partners. While the desire for two states might or might not be shared by the majority of Palestinians, as Jalal says, it was the political message decided upon mutually.

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    45. max

      Lidia seems to be one of those Israelis who never noticed that half of Israelis (“Zionists”) that came from Arab countries. Significantly, they know what her proposed co-habitation is likely to look like.
      Lidia is also one of those people who will never do research before publishing the most heinous lies, as long as they fit her agenda (re her fabricated “quote”)
      I guess she’s part of the Human Rights group ‘Haïsseurs sans frontières’

      Reply to Comment
    46. Right Wing Zionist

      “So, the ONLY realistic solution is one state. And Zionists could pack”(LIDIA)
      Most Israeli Jews are Zionists and LIDIA wants to send them packing. Yet she has the hide to talk about “occupation” as the crime. The reality is that it is exactly because of attitudes like LIDIA’s amongst the majority of Arabs, the “occupation” continues. It is because of these intransigent attitude that the two state solution has not come about.
      If Israel would withdraw unilaterally without anegotiated peace deal, extremists like LIDIA would ensure that rockets would rain on Tel Aviv and Israel’s population centres because the truth is that the LIDIAs of this world want to send all Jews packing wherever they may be. They just disguise their hatred of Jews by pretending that they only hate Zionists. But they know full well that the great majority of Jews in this world gladly describe themselves as Zionists. Because all Zionism is the Jewish liberation movement. Self determination for the Jewish people.

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    47. lidia

      Zionists seem NOT know that so-called Mizrahim (Jews from the ME) were NOT Zionists at all – and it was natural – after all, during Ottoman rule they could FREELY come to Palestine from Damask or Baghdad or even Cairo – but they had NOT! Why? Because they preferred life in big and important cities, not in some backward (relatively) province. But Zionists needed cannon fodder, so they brought Mizrahim to Palestine by deception, by terror – Zionists was blowing up synagogs in the ME to frighten Jews, by asking colonial puppet rulers to help them with the task and so on. In Israel Mizrahim were long the 2nd class, and even now they are not equal to “white” Jews – for ex, religious schools (founded by Zionist state) disciminate against Mizrahim children.

      I know Zionist hasbara so well, I could refute it in my sleep 🙂

      But I suppose not all aware of hasbara lies, so I am putting some facts straight here

      Reply to Comment
    48. lidia

      LOL – now Zionists blame ME for not giving Palestinians their “state”.

      Of course, Zionists were ALL for Palestinian state from the beginning – and because of it they planned even before 1948 to seize a half of Lebanon as well. I am sure I am also to blame for Zionists still occupying the part of Lebanon.

      Zionist racism is clear here – they could not see Palestinians as people with their own mind – it is us, the evil Jews-anti-Zionists who do not let Palestinians to be happy with Zionist robbery.

      Reply to Comment
    49. Right Wing Zionist

      I won’t even bother refuting all your BS conspiracy theorist claims. It would be a waste of my time. I would never convince those who WANT to believe your BS and the rest of us know better.
      The only question that I DO want to ask you is this:
      Do you or don’t you believe that most Israeli Jews (including Ashkenazim and Mizrahi/Sephardi Jews) are Zionists? I am sure you will ignore this question.

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