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To return, we must feel what our grandparents went through

So what if we didn’t liberate Palestine on our rain-soaked March of Return? Each and every one of us got a little taste of what life was like for our forefathers in 1948.

There is no doubt that this year’s “March of Return” was the most difficult, physically and mentally, of these past years. The inclement weather forecasts did not deter thousands from coming to Hadatha, a small village located on the road between Kfar Tavor and Tiberias.

Thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel take part in March of Return,in the lands of the destroyed village of Hadatha, near Tiberias, April 23, 2015.

Thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel take part in the ‘March of Return’, on the land belonging to the destroyed village of Hadatha, near Tiberias, April 23, 2015. (photo: Omar Sameer/Activestills.org)

We decided to leave early, after last year’s march in Lubya, when we were stuck in traffic for three hours right outside the entrance. This time the bus that drove 55 women and children (and one man) made it two hours before the march began. Some of us came equipped with warm clothes, others not so much. Sometimes there was rain, sometimes there wasn’t. A strong wind wind blew through everything that moved in the wheat fields at the top of the hill.

When we arrived, the women asked to pick almonds on the way from the almond grove that “belongs” to the Jewish moshav of Sarona. But we decided to restrain our authentic, natural Arab urges to pick.

One girl, who became excited after seeing a manmade irrigation pool and was sure of her geographical knowledge, told the bus that we had arrived at the Sea of Galilee, causing the children to rejoice. I calmed them down and told them that the Sea of Galilee is actually on the lefthand side and quite far away, and that the irrigation pools are probably full of rainwater. And just like that, the children’s wet dream of a trip to the Sea of Galilee disappeared.

We continued to climb toward the meeting point. We spent the journey singing “Mawtini” (“My Homeland”) and other patriotic Palestinian songs. At a certain point the children got tired of singing depressing songs and answering pop quiz questions on destroyed villages, and decided to lead the entertainment program. My son Adam embarrassed me by telling a dirty joke into the microphone — everyone, of course, laughed at me. One of the women called out from the back: “With all of your protests and work, look at what your son is learning at the bi-lingual bi-national school of yours. And yet you still pay them.” Of course, the kids from Lyd (Lod in Hebrew) came back full force with their own dirty jokes. Thank God everybody is receiving the same screwed up education here.

When we reached the top, we ate all the food in our bags and began buying all the food that was offered at the different stands. Some of the children stood in line for face-painting: a Palestinian flag on one side, and a key of return on the other. A young girl asked for a butterfly — her mother said no, “Only a Palestinian flag.” As per usual I intervened in others’ affairs and suggested I draw a butterfly in the colors of the flag.

Read more: Thousands return to destroyed Palestinian villages in Israel

The wind picked up as the march began, the sky darkened and holding the flags in place became a challenging mission. The enormous Palestinian flag, which we received from the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee in Bil’in, was barely held by dozens of people. We began to walk toward the starting point of the march when it began to pour.

With chants of encouragement, we continued to march despite the rain. Children his under the giant flag and the mud made our shoes heavy. Our chants were mixed with jokes about how the rain ruined our hair, or how we would look on Facebook. I decided to go the route of emotional manipulation and told the complainers: “Think about what our grandparents went through when they were uprooted from their villages, they marched entire days without food or water and with children on their arms. This is our opportunity to feel what it was like in 1948, and we are complaining about our hair and some rain. How can we return without feeling what the refugees went through?”

A Palestinian family marches in the heavy rain as thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel take part in the 'March of Return,' on the land belonging to the destroyed village of Hadatha, near Tiberias, April 23, 2015. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

A Palestinian family marches in the heavy rain as thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel take part in the ‘March of Return,’ on the land belonging to the destroyed village of Hadatha, near Tiberias, April 23, 2015. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

My emotional blackmail worked for a short while, until another heavy downpour forced us to pack up our things and run for shelter. Some went back to the buses, while others ran to the tents of the bazaar, where books and photographs were being sold. Most people, myself included, were stuck outside until the rain ended. Frazzled, freezing and wet, we made it to the main stage.

The big topic of discussion between members of the crowd was around whether “to go home and give in to nature, since it chases us Palestinians even on the one day of the year when we feel we have an identity, a flag and a struggle, or should we remain and never give up our right to return and our right to the land.” A teenage girl wrapped in a flag begged her father to go home: “We aren’t giving up on the land. It is just very cold here, and there is no shopping or crafts bazaar this year.” “We aren’t going until it’s over,” her father responded, “go buy yourself some mankusha (pita bread with za’atar) near the oven. It is warmer there.”

The weather calmed down a bit. Hundreds of dry people made their way to the stage, and the festival began with a minute-long silence honoring the victims of the 1948 war, as well those who are dying in Palestinian refugee camps in Syria. And then our un-official national anthem:

“My homeland, my homeland
Glory and beauty, sublimity and splendor
Are in your hills, are in your hills”

This year, the festival included an induction ceremony in which we swore never to give up on either the right of return, or justice for the Palestinian people. The idea was probably intended for all those who are thinking about conceding on the issue of the refugees. The ceremony was especially poignant for me during these days when a real solution for the Palestinian refugees in Syria is more necessary than ever.

Yarmouk residents gathered to await a food distribution from UNRWA in January 2014. (Photo by UNRWA)

Yarmouk residents gathered to await a food distribution from UNRWA in January 2014. (Photo by UNRWA)

The cultural programming of singing, dabka and speeches continued as I searched for the women who were supposed to go back with us on the bus. The mission was completed after an hour, apart from one woman with whom we lost touch. Like many others I had no phone reception or internet connection as I searched for her. The only man on the bus also joined my mission, and we called her name on the microphone. Still, we couldn’t find her. The searches lasted for two hours, and the bus driver became angry, as did I. Everything was being packed up as I kept searching for the lost woman.

I was reminded of my grandmother who lost her two daughters after they went with their grandfather and disappeared for four months during the Nakba. The story of the lost aunts is well-known in my family. Ever since the Nakba, they don’t eat figs or prickly pears, since that is all their grandfather fed them during those months in the mountains. The aunts were found in serious condition, but still alive. The woman from Lyd was also found: I retuned to the bus only to find out that she took a trip through the peach orchard with a group of people who took a shortcut to the buses.

But the march couldn’t end without a big drama at the gas station close to Hadatha. We stopped in Kafr Kama, when all of a sudden my women’s coordinator fainted. We were lucky that there were two young men in line who identified as “life savers” and another woman who called her father, who is a doctor (“He’s a diabetes expert,” she declared proudly) who guided her over the phone on how to treat the diabetic woman who fainted. I failed in my life-saving mission and began panicking. The bit where I began searching and yelling that I can’t find a sugar-detector in my bag (there is no such thing) turned into a running joke on the bus ride home.

I sat in the front seat next to the driver, with my energy levels nearing zero and my optimism below the red line, and listened to the women try to summarize the difficult experience. The more optimistic ones said that we went through a lot today, which only teaches us how difficult it was in 1948, which will teach our children a lot. There were other women who said that after today, they will never take part in marches and protests.

A Palestinian woman takes part in the March of Return, Galilee, April 23, 2015. (Akron Drawshi/Activestills.org)

A Palestinian woman takes part in the March of Return, Galilee, April 23, 2015. (Akron Drawshi/Activestills.org)

That’s when a 12-year-old daughter of one of the women came up to me and said: “Isn’t it true that you said this trip was in order to liberate Palestine?” “Yes,” I responded with a weary smile. “Nothing happened! We didn’t liberate Palestine, nothing changed!” she shouted. Her painful honesty nearly brought me to tears, but I remained silent. And then the driver, who hadn’t spoken for 10 hours, surprised me and told the girl: “Does adding a drop of water to the sea do anything?”

“No!” she responded.

“But you know that it’s there, right? That’s what it’s like. A drop and then another drop. Every year we learn and do more. The drops accumulate and then you’ll see the difference.”

I’m not sure the girl understood the metaphor, but I appreciated the driver’s awareness. I decided to take advantage of the moment, in which he felt that he belonged to his people, and ask for a large discount on the cost of the buses. It was my only success the entire day.

Samah Salaime is a social worker, a director of AWC (Arab Women in the Center) in Lod/Lyd and a graduate of the Mandel Leadership Institute in Jerusalem. She is a blogger for our Hebrew-language sister-site, Local Call, where this article was first published. Read it in Hebrew here.

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    COMMENTS

    1. Jello

      I don’t remember of any selfies of your grandparents with painted faces posted to facebook. Also, I am sure that the biggest problem in 1948 too was the spotty internet reception on your grandparents’ iphones. Good job on the reenactment. I hope you got a high score on Candy Crush.

      Hint: next time when you click on ‘yes’ on a FB event invite you don’t actually have to go. The symbolism of virtually attending the FB event with tens of thousands of other Arabs will surely bring you victory just as quickly as prancing around in the rain painting your faces and taking selfies. Nakba selfies are like so in this year.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Hey Jello I wanted to pass on great news to you. Anshell Pfeffer in Haaretz has figured out that Israel can easily absorb the 55,000 African refugees! I knew you and Pedro that other warm humanitarian would be so relieved because you care, and you were just worried that it couldn’t be done without somehow damaging Israel but Pfeffer figures that just irrational and it’s no big deal and Israel will be fine!: “a country of 8.345 million, with a strong economy and low unemployment, can easily absorb a peaceful community of 55,000 grateful guest workers.” Great news isn’t it Jello? I knew you’d be pleased. You were so worried but now you can sleep well. Have a great day.
        Pfeffer:
        http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/jerusalem-babylon/1.653301
        “Sadly, none of the parties likely to join Netanyahu’s new government is about to make solving the migrant tragedy a condition for supporting the coalition. Not even the Labor Party, whose participation now seems almost inevitable. Party leaders will walk out over who gets to be deputy religious services minister, but not to save the lives of 55,000 foreign nationals who can’t vote. On the other hand, right after the election is the best time to press the new government on the issue, because neither are there votes to be lost. Focused lobbying by influential Jewish-American groups for a reasonable solution that will allow the migrants to remain can succeed.

        This could be a shining moment for Israel-Diaspora relations. Explain the obvious to Israelis, without rancor. God knows, you have enough media experts to craft the message. Explain that a country of 8.345 million, with a strong economy and low unemployment, can easily absorb a peaceful community of 55,000 grateful guest workers.

        This isn’t about politics or PR, it’s just common sense. Call it tikkun olam if you like, call it humanism or Zionism or Jewish values, whatever works. This is a global humanitarian crisis, but it is our crisis as well. And at least the part of it that is in our little corner of the world can be solved, and now is the time to do it”

        Reply to Comment
        • Dutch Oven

          Brian, so full of intellectual disthonesty and hypocrisy

          Israel is a global leader in GL rights and you cry pink washing
          Israel innovates in medical solutions and you cry BDS
          Israel provides a refuge for Jews in distressed communities and you cry racism

          If Israel were to adopt a solution as outlined, you and your minions would cry something. So don’t advocste falsely on behalf of the immigrants. They don’t need you.

          Reply to Comment
        • Joel

          @Ben

          Maybe Anshel hasn’t thought this one through.

          These aren’t ‘guest workers’ from the Thailand, the Philippines or Sri Lanka who are working for a term and than going home.

          These African economic migrants come from basket case States, and these economic migrants will plead political refugee status and overstay their welcome.

          Reply to Comment
        • Jello

          Of course Israel can absorb 55,000 illegal migrants. It can also absord the 50,000 women these young men will bring over. It might even be able to absorb their brothers and sisters and cousins. And when it does that another fifty thousand will show up every year and then immediately insist on bringing over their families and then Israel will be expected to absorb them as well. And on and on and on. All that while the citizens of the country reject the idea of absorbing any and all that while opening Israel up to the kind of social problems Europe already experiences.

          But it is fine. I am not worried and I sleep very well. I know that all these migrants will leave and all these issues will be avoided.

          Reply to Comment
          • Bryan

            “Of course Israel can absorb 55,000 [Jews making aliyah]. It can also absorb the 50,000 women these young men will bring over [and even their aging grand-parents]. It might even be able to absorb their brothers and sisters and cousins. And when it does that another fifty thousand will show up every year and then immediately insist on bringing over their families and then Israel will be expected to absorb them as well. And on and on and on.” Israel has never had any problem with unrestricted immigration [provided they are not non-Jews]. Economic capacity or the availability of housing has never been the slightest matter of concern [provided they are not non-Jews]. They have an absolute right to enter the land, and will be provided with air-tickets, settlement grants, accommodation, and free language training [provided they are not non-Jews].

            Jello – do not never suspect before you start frantically typing away, that you might, just might, be accused of expressing double standards (a euphemism for racism).

            Reply to Comment
          • Jello

            Heaven forbid. I expect to be accused of double standards and racism by people who think that the European experiment with migration from poor countries in Africa and the Middle East has been a wonderful success. Fortunately I have been blessed with the gift of being able to ignore the delusional.

            A Jewish family moving to Israel will be fully absorbed in Israel within a generation. Their children will feel fully Israeli and other than a few masochists (found on 972mag) without issues of identity or belonging. The same would not be true of hundreds of thousands of Eritrean Christians and Sudanese Muslims moving to Israel. These issues of identity conflict are massively socially destabilizing and lead to the situations like in Belgium and France where they are facing large numbers of domestically-produced terrorists that are now busy cutting off heads in Syria and come back to their ‘home’ in France to continue their work. That isn’t to say that the “absorption” of the immigrants from North Africa in France has gone terribly well in the first place even without the ISIS issue.

            Reply to Comment
    2. Pedro X

      Samah Salaime, an Arab Luftmensch.

      When I grew up in the polyglot city of Winnipeg, the Yiddish word luftmensch was used to describe airheads. Salaime talks alot about Israeli Arabs returning to their former home communities. She has her head in the clouds and she complains about being rained upon. She sings, marches and prances around the countryside in the rain. She takes no practical course of action to rebuild former Arab communities whose land is not covered by Israeli communities.

      Instead of channeling 10,000 people for one day a year to march, sing and tell off color jokes, maybe Salaime should take some practical step to rebuild Hadatha or some other Arab village. She could form a limited development company and get each of the 10,000 people from the march to subscribe for shares in the company. Then she could hire surveyors, architects. planners, and developers to develop a realistic plan for the redevelopment of a village. The limited company with proven, adequate financial backing could approach the Israel Land Authority and planning authorities to rent the land, get a plan passed and building permits issued.

      This would be a multiple year project before getting the planning and building permits in place and many more years before turning the soil. It is much easier to march, sing silly songs and prance around the countryside than actually work towards a goal. Of course, if these Arab Israelis and their elected officials had started 10 years ago to take practical steps, instead of marching for those ten years, maybe they would have achieved something practical.

      Reply to Comment
      • That’s right, Pedro. It never occurred to one of these dumb Arabs to plan a new community. That’s the reason why there hasn’t been a single new Arab town or village built in Israel since 1948 – because they were too stupid to ask for one. And those incompetent Bedouin never thought to submit a masterplan to the Israeli planning authorities the past 67 years. That’s why they’re still living in dozens of “unrecognised” villages, forced into tents and tin shacks rather than concrete homes that would be bulldozed – because they forgot to file the paperwork. Nothing at all to do with a state ideology called Zionism whose core principle is “Judaisation”. Yes, Pedro, it’s real clear who’s the Luftmensch.

        Reply to Comment
        • Joel

          Jonathan.

          How many new Arab towns were built before 1948?

          By my account, only Ramla.

          Ramla, a town foolishly built on sands which could not withstand earthquakes.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ha, ha! Yes, the Arabs were such klutzes they weren’t able to build towns or villages, not even during the hundreds of years they lived in the region. They simply moved into the sturdy homes still standing so long after King David’s Israelite Housing Corporation had built them. Now that’s what I call Hebrew labour.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            Jonathan.

            Nice diversion. Now lets get back to my original question.

            How many new Arab towns were built before 1948?

            *Jonathan disappears*

            Reply to Comment
        • Pedro X

          John, in Yiddish, would people call you Ligner for your lie?

          “That’s the reason why there hasn’t been a single new Arab town or village built in Israel since 1948.”

          Here are some of the Bedouin communities established in the Negev since 1948. In 1967 Tel Sheva was built next to the Town of Beersheva. Rahat was founded in 1972. Shaqib al-Salam was founded in 1979. Lakiya was founded in 1985. Hura was established in 1989. Keseifa and Aro’er are post 1948 communities.

          Tirabin al-Sana is a relatively new Bedouin village of 400 or so Bedouin from the Tirabin tribe. Then there are Abu Karinat, Bir Hadaj, Qasr el-Ser, Marit
          and Derijat, Um Batin, and Mulada in various stages of development. These new villages will be in a variety of formats: urban, suburban, or agricultural, depending
          on their residents’ needs. For example, some settlements will have special sheep pens constructed just outside the village, to cater for the villagers’flocks, while other villages will have plots of land for farming adjacent to residential zones. The Israeli state has offered to lease agricultural land to the Bedouin for the nominal amount of 2 NIS a dunam. In fact it leases hundreds of thousands of dunams at preferential rates which other Israelis cannot.

          Reply to Comment
          • Pedro, You know full well that the handful of communities you cite were not newly built. They were existing Arab communities that the state belatedly recognised as part of a programme to “concentrate” the Bedouin (Israel’s terminology, not mine) while Israel got on with nationalising 93% of the land for the Jewish people worldwide rather than for its citizenry, 20% of whom are Palestinian by origin. By the way, these “townships”, as they are called, are also at the bottom of all Israel’s socio-economic indices. You and Joel doubtless have a whole lot more hasbara talking points, so I’ll stop bothering you with facts and let you talk among yourselves.

            Reply to Comment
          • Pedro X

            All of these cities, towns and villages were newly built. They were built for the Bedouin who lived in the area mostly in tents and makeshift shelters. As the Israeli court pointed out that a couple of tents does not equate to a village, town or city.

            In 1948 there were only 20,000 Bedouin in all of the Negev who lived a nomadic life. Rahat itself is a city of 40,000 now. The infrastructure was built by Israel in 1974.

            BTW there is a new Israeli Arab city set to be built next to Jadeidi-Makr. Israeli architects and planners designed the new city, pitched it to the Israeli lands authority, and has got its approval. The prime minister’s office supports the project. The project next goes to the The National Council for Planning and Building. This project was advanced by Israeli Arab planner Rassem Khamaisi showing that following the proper procedures can get results. It is to be a city of 40,000 people.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            Jonathan has left the building.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            There is gross institutionalized and non-institutionalized discrimination against Arabs in land and housing. From the founding of the state to today. Your posts always remind me of the chaff dispersed by aircraft as a distracting countermeasure.

            Reply to Comment
          • BigCat

            No paid job yet, Brian ..eh.. “Ben”? Still depending on food-stamps provided by the United States Government with my tax dollars, Brian, while clinically obsessed with Jews and Israel? Tell us, Brian, how come you don’t know- and certainly don’t care about the human rights situation in your own country and elsewhere, but instead get all emotional and riled-up each time you hear the words Jews and/or Israel? Something is seriously wrong with you, Brian. Seek help, “Ben”. Tell your psychiatrists to start with multiple personality syndrome.

            Reply to Comment
    3. Dutch Oven

      This is a great example activism tourism/advdnture
      Struggle, with all the amenities included

      Reply to Comment
    4. Bruce Gould

      (Theater of the absurd) Israel denies visa for South African cabinet minister:

      https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/18264-israel-denies-visa-for-sa-minister-visiting-gaza

      South Africa is outraged that Israel had denied visa for cabinet minister and accompanying delegation planned to visit the Palestinian territories, mass media reported on Friday…Israeli newspaper Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday that the Israeli occupation had denied a visa for South African minister of higher education, Blade Nzimande, to visit the Palestinian territories later this month…Nzimande said the Israeli Embassy, which returned his application without explanation, had informed him of the decision.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Just one more notch downward on the depressing slope defined here, in this remarkably comprehensive, realistic and articulate survey of the situation, by Max Fisher. The jig is up. Noam Scheizaf is quoted (“For years we have been hearing that Israel will either end the occupation or cease to be a democracy. Could it be that the Jewish public has made its choice?”). Israelis have already made their choice, Fisher concludes.

        http://www.vox.com/2015/4/13/8390387/israel-dark-future

        Israel’s dark future
        Democracy in the Jewish state is doomed
        by Max Fisher on April 13, 2015

        Reply to Comment
        • Bruce Gould

          “Some of those effects [of the occupation] are personal: the researchers found, for example, that spousal abuse has risen as Israeli soldiers accustomed to the daily brutalities of enforcing military occupation come home.” – this is exactly the point made to me by an Israeli from Yesh Gvul years ago; the violence of the occupation infiltrates every corner of the Israeli psyche.

          Reply to Comment
          • BigCat

            Since its inception, Israel has provided her Muslim-Arab citizens more freedom than Muslim Arabs enjoy in any Muslim-Arab country. Since its inception, Israel has been known around the world for its vivid and razor-sharp democracy, fierce judicial independence, near absolute freedom of the press and protection of individual- and minority rights! Major Western- and non-Western countries copy and apply numerous aspects of Israeli ingenuity in all aspects of life to better their own societies, including democracy.

            In South Africa, African refugees and Afrikaners are being slaughtered by South Africans (in a quiet racist war with regard to the Afrikaners). Who cares? Not Mr. Nzimande, not other SA Ministers, not Bruce Gould, or any of the +972-resident hatemongers who rant ad nauseam on every thread against the Jewish State and with no justification. Israel and Jews are not involved, so nobody cares.

            In Yarmouk, “Palestinians” are being starved and barrel-bombed by Assad and the Iranians and beheaded by ISIS. Who cares, you keep asking me? Most definitely not Mr. Nzimande, not other SA Ministers, not Bruce Gould or any of the +972-resident hatemongers who rant ad nauseam on every thread against the Jewish State and with no justification. Israel and Jews are not involved, so nobody cares.

            Right now, Israel is mobilizing massive aid to Nepal as Israel has consistently done in the past to help other Peoples in need. Where is South Africa in all of this, you ask me yet again? I will tell ya: MIA! (apart from sending “condolence”). What about the “Palestinians”, you wonder? That I will also tell ya: they are busy running Jews over with buses and stabbing them, while depending on Israel to put food on the table for their own children.

            Reply to Comment
      • Pedro X

        Put a trio of anti-Israel advocates together and you get a dishonest discussion. “Israel’s intent has always been to push the Palestinians out of their homes, their lands and history itself.” If this was true, Israel has totally failed in this regard. Israel in 1948 had about 120,000 Arabs in its population. Today there are 1.7 million Arabs in Israel. When Israel liberated Jerusalem from Arab occupation there were about 60,000 Arabs living there. There are now 300,000 Arabs living there. There were in 1967 about 600,000 Arabs living in Jordan’s West Bank and now there are more three times that number.

        Frank Barat is a self described anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinian activist involved in anti-Israel activities such as the Russell Tribunal and interviewing and promulgating anti-Israel and anti-Semite opinions.

        Chomsky has made many odious political pronouncements, and his seeming justification for various massacres during the twentieth century, notably those carried out by Communists, is repugnant. He has carried on a lifetime of anti-Israel activities and speeches.

        Benny Morris on Ilan Pappe:

        “At best, Ilan Pappe must be one of the world’s sloppiest historians; at worst, one of the most dishonest. In truth, he probably merits a place somewhere between the two.”

        “…Those who falsify history routinely take the path of omission. They ignore crucial facts and important pieces of evidence while cherry-picking from the documentation to prove a case.

        Pappe is more brazen. He, too, often omits and ignores significant evidence, and he, too, alleges that a source tells us the opposite of what it in fact says, but he will also simply and straightforwardly falsify evidence. ”

        “You cannot rely on one sentence in Ilan Pappe’s book.”

        Ilan Paape has said himself that in writing history facts do not matter, but ideology does. Pappe to Le Soir

        “Indeed the struggle is about ideology, not about facts, Who knows what facts are? We try to convince as many people as we can that our interpretation of the facts is the correct one, and we do it because of ideological reasons, not because we are truthseekers,”

        Pappe was quoted by Morris as having said:

        “My pro-Palestinian bias is apparent despite the desire of my peers that I stick to facts and the ‘truth’ when reconstructing past realities. I view any such construction as vain and presumptuous. . . . Mine is a subjective approach. . . .”

        So counter-punch can quote all the Israel haters it likes, it does not make their conservations honest in any regard.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          None of this has anything to do with The Occupation Bruce and I were quite honestly talking about. You not so deftly try to change the subject. More chaff.

          Reply to Comment
          • BigCat

            You are not making sense Brian ….eh…. “Ben”. It seems you quickly run out ideas after you copy and paste stuff from political pundits? Right now, the only “occupation” that exists is the complete and total occupation of your spirit and consciousness by Israel and Jews. Jews and Israel are occupying you, Brian/Ben. That occupation is ruining your life since you don’t have a job and are not looking for a paid job, but instead use the time you have irrationally fixating on- and obsessing with Jews and Israel, using multiple alias on this site ranting about Jews and Israel and joggling from one website to another reading exclusively about Jews and Israel and ranting emotionally on every comment section about Jews and Israel, while not caring about what goes on in your own country or any other country. Seek help, Brian ..ah… “Ben” (sorry for that slip of the tongue), before it becomes too late.

            Reply to Comment
        • andrew r

          Here’s some choice Morris quotes. Unfortunately Shavit failed to ask Morris if he would have supported the ethnic cleansing absent any Palestinian attacks. Morris’ remark about the “annihilation of the Indians” should clear up any doubt.

          Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited p. 60:

          “My feeling is that the transfer thinking and near-consensus that emerged in the 1930s and early 1940s was not tantamount to pre-planning and did not issue in the production of a policy or master-plan of expulsion; the Yishuv and its military forces did not enter the 1948 War, which was initiated by the Arab side, with a policy or plan for expulsion. But transfer was inevitable and inbuilt into Zionism – because it sought to transform a land which was ‘Arab’ into a ‘Jewish’ state and a Jewish state could not have arisen without a major displacement of Arab population; and because this aim automatically produced resistance among
          the Arabs which, in turn, persuaded the Yishuv’s leaders that a hostile Arab majority or large minority could not remain in place if a Jewish state was to arise or safely endure.”

          http://www.counterpunch.org/2004/01/16/an-interview-with-benny-morris/
          (This is originally from Haaretz)

          “Ben-Gurion was right. If he had not done what he did, a state would not have come into being. That has to be clear. It is impossible to evade it. Without the uprooting of the Palestinians, a Jewish state would not have arisen here. (…) That is correct. Even the great American democracy could not have been created without the annihilation of the Indians. There are cases in which the overall, final good justifies harsh and cruel acts that are committed in the course of history.”

          Reply to Comment
    5. spencerhr

      “This year, the festival included an induction ceremony in which we swore never to give up on either the right of return, or justice for the Palestinian people.”

      What’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again for 67 years and expecting different results. Palestinians will receive a “right of return” the same year that Ukrainians kicked out of Poland in 1945 receive one – meaning never. Whatever the circumstances of the Palestinian exodus were, its descendants need to get over it and adapt to whatever reality they are in now. That’s what literally every other group in the world has done.

      Reply to Comment
      • Dutch Oven

        Those who encourage this nonsense among the Palistinians are their worst enemies. They deserve better than to be treated like mentally slow adults.

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      • andrew r

        Frankly? Screw the Sudetenland Germans, the Ukrainian-Polish, the Turkish Greeks, the Greek Turkish and the Pakistani Hindus and any refugee population created after WWI and WWII. Political Zionism began in 1897 and was handicapped by having no leave from bigger powers and very few Jews recruited. If they had at that point, the United States and Australia would have been their model. The ethnic cleansing they aspired to was settler-colonialism, not to resolve the problem of a minority population connected with a neighboring state.

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