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By Jews for Justice in the Middle East Published in Berkeley, CA, 2001 Jews for Justice has made this excellent resource available to people around the world. We have converted their booklet to a more easily copied format. Download it!

As the periodic bloodshed continues in the Middle East, the search for an equitable solution must come to grips with the root cause of the conflict. The conventional wisdom is that, even if both sides are at fault, the Palestinians are irrational terrorists who have no point of view worth listening to. Our position, however, is that the Palestinians have a real grievance: their homeland for over a thousand years was taken, without their consent and mostly by force, during the creation of the state of Israel. And all subsequent crimes on both sides inevitably follow from this original injustice.

This paper outlines the history of Palestine to show how this process occurred and what a moral solution to the regions problems should consist of. If you care about the people of the Middle East, Jewish and Arab, you owe it to yourself to read this account of the other side of the historical record.

The standard Zionist position is that they showed up in Palestine in the late 19th century to reclaim their ancestral homeland. Jews bought land and started building up the Jewish community there. They were met with increasingly violent opposition from the Palestinian Arabs, presumably stemming from the Arabs inherent anti-Semitism. The Zionists were then forced to defend themselves and, in one form or another, this same situation continues up to today.

The problem with this explanation is that it is simply not true, as the documentary evidence in this booklet will show. What really happened was that the Zionist movement, from the beginning, looked forward to a practically complete dispossession of the indigenous Arab population so that Israel could be a wholly Jewish state, or as much as was possible. Land bought by the Jewish National Fund was held in the name of the Jewish people and could never be sold or even leased back to Arabs (a situation which continues to the present).

The Arab community, as it became increasingly aware of the Zionists intentions, strenuously opposed further Jewish immigration and land buying because it posed a real and imminent danger to the very existence of Arab society in Palestine. Because of this opposition, the entire Zionist project never could have been realized without the military backing of the British. The vast majority of the population of Palestine, by the way, had been Arabic since the seventh century A.D. (Over 1200 years)

In short, Zionism was based on a faulty, colonialist world view that the rights of the indigenous inhabitants didnt matter. The Arabs opposition to Zionism wasnt based on anti-Semitism but rather on a totally reasonable fear of the dispossession of their people.

One further point: being Jewish ourselves, the position we present here is critical of Zionism but is in no way anti-Semitic. We do not believe that the Jews acted worse than any other group might have acted in their situation. The Zionists (who were a distinct minority of the Jewish people until after WWII) had an understandable desire to establish a place where Jews could be masters of their own fate, given the bleak history of Jewish oppression. Especially as the danger to European Jewry crystalized in the late 1930s and after, the actions of the Zionists were propelled by real desperation.

But so were the actions of the Arabs. The mythic land without people for a people without land was already home to 700,000 Palestinians in 1919. This is the root of the problem, as we shall see.

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Excerpt from:
The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict

Written on June 21st, 2015 & filed under Israeli History Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

It must have come as a great shock to the so-called international community that in June 2015 the so-called refugees, the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip protested that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) was giving resources they deserved to other Palestinians.

The Gaza Palestinians demanded of UNRWA that it not cut the funds allocated to them, nor transfer those resources to the Palestinians who remained in the Yarmouk refugee camp in south Damascus, despite the fact 150,000 had fled the camp because of the Syrian War They also demanded that the international community, implicitly the U.S. and the EU, provide extra funding for their needs.

Perhaps because of this protest, Robert Turner, Director of UNRWA in Gaza, without reason or explanation, announced his intention to leave his position in mid July 2015. He has held that position since May 2012. His resignation might have been a cause of regret if he had not continued to refer, inaccurately, to the Gaza Strip as Occupied Palestinian Territory. He seems unaware that since 2007 it has been ruled by the terrorist group Hamas. He has always been a true nave believer in the self-serving fallacious Palestinian Narrative of Victimhood.

Sometimes people in power do speak truth, or part of it, to the rest of us. On June 2, 2015, commemorating more than 65 years since UNRWA was established, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon remarked that it was never meant to exist for this long. Ban regards it as a political failure.

Yes, UNRWA has been in the Gaza Strip for longer than anticipated. It was created by the UN General Assembly Resolution 302 (IV) of December 8, 1949. It was given only two functions. One was to carry out, in collaboration with local governments, the direct relief and works programs as recommended by the Economic Survey Mission. The other was to consult, with governments in the area, measures to be taken when international assistance for relief and works projects was no longer available.

Neither of these functions corresponds to its real activity, nor has the explicit, if unduly optimistic, expectation come to fruition that constructive measures would be taken to end international assistance for relief. Overall, there are now 5.5 million registered Palestinian refugees, and 58 camps in various countries that house 1.5 million. Of these, in the Gaza Strip, there are 1.2 million registered refugees and 8 camps. The startling reality is that UNRWA is not a relief and works program providing jobs on public works projects as originally intended, but a social welfare agency for Palestinians.

The Palestinians are dependent on that agency even more as the population of the small Gaza Strip has increased and with a high fertility rate that is expected to increase anther half a million by 2020. The unemployment rate is one of the highest in the world.Youth unemployment is more than 50%.

In the Gaza Strip UNRWA employs more than 13,000 people. It has been particularly active in health and education programs. With a health staff of 1,000, it now has 22 primary health centers and other facilities that record 2.1 million visits.It has 245 schools in 130 buildings, with a staff of 9.600 teachers, and 232,000 pupils. It provides regular food packages. In the year 2013 UNRWA received $1.1 billion in donations: the U.S. gave $294 million and the European Union $216 million.

Turner continually demanded the lifting of the Israeli blockade that, he argued inexplicably, costs the international community millions of dollars. The partial Israeli and Egyptian blockade of the area undoubtedly has caused some problems and difficulties for the Gaza residents. But, continuation of the blockade results not from lack of humanitarian concerns, but from the crucial need to prevent Hamas rocket attacks and ensure the security of Israel.

Indeed, the UN Secretary-Generals Panel of Inquiry on the May 31, 2010 flotilla incident concluded in September 2011 that Israel faced a real threat to its security, that the naval blockade was imposed as a legitimate security measure, and that its implementation complied with the requirements of international law.

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Articles: UNRWA in the Gaza Strip is Counterproductive

The newly retired Israeli general who served as the commander of the withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 came out strongly on Monday against the notion of a two-state solution, saying that the demographic reasoning behind the removal of Jewish settlers was a manipulation and that Israel would yet build settlements in the Strip.

Maj. Gen. (res) Gershon Hacohen, who comes from a family of national religious rabbis and is himself a believer, was tapped to head the August 2005 Disengagement Plan precisely because of his deep ties to the settlement movement.

Over the years he has revealed how difficult the decision was for him on a personal level. On Monday, at a settlers conference for advocacy and media in Jerusalem, he told a semi-circle of still grieving settlers, after his formal address, that my heart was with you there and that I didnt want it to happen.

When a man from the Jewish settlement in Hebron told him he should have served as an example and stepped down the moment he received the order, he replied, You have no idea how much worse it would have been had I not been there.

Forgiveness, he said, was something he would seek from the Ruler of the World.

A Jewish settler argues with a female soldier during the disengagement from the Gaza Strip on August 17, 2005. (photo credit: Yossi Zamir/ Flash90)

The pullout from Gaza was part of prime minister Ariel Sharons plan to draw formal state borders and to receive US backing for unilateral moves that may have continued into the West Bank but likely would not have included all of the territory won in the Six Day War.

Speaking from the podium before a nearly entirely religious crowd, many of whom still feel hurt by the move, Hacohen said that the withdrawal had been an experiment and that the very idea of partition and of two states for two peoples was anachronistic.

Those who speak of a two-state solution, he said, belong to the 20th century. Whoever is part of the 21st century understands: one state.

Hacohen said that in an age of asymmetric warfare, civilian settlements were, once again, a pillar of Israels security. He added that even his dead mother, who lies in dust on the Mount Olives, was fulfilling a strategic role in holding a patch of earth.

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Gaza pullout commander says settlers will return to the Strip

Creation of Israel, 1948

On May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion, the head of the Jewish Agency, proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel. U.S. President Harry S. Truman recognized the new nation on the same day.

Eliahu Elath presenting ark to President Truman

Although the United States supported the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which favored the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had assured the Arabs in 1945 that the United States would not intervene without consulting both the Jews and the Arabs in that region. The British, who held a colonial mandate for Palestine until May 1948, opposed both the creation of a Jewish state and an Arab state in Palestine as well as unlimited immigration of Jewish refugees to the region. Great Britain wanted to preserve good relations with the Arabs to protect its vital political and economic interests in Palestine.

Soon after President Truman took office, he appointed several experts to study the Palestinian issue. In the summer of 1946, Truman established a special cabinet committee under the chairmanship of Dr. Henry F. Grady, an Assistant Secretary of State, who entered into negotiations with a parallel British committee to discuss the future of Palestine. In May 1946, Truman announced his approval of a recommendation to admit 100,000 displaced persons into Palestine and in October publicly declared his support for the creation of a Jewish state. Throughout 1947, the United Nations Special Commission on Palestine examined the Palestinian question and recommended the partition of Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state. On November 29, 1947 the United Nations adopted Resolution 181 (also known as the Partition Resolution) that would divide Great Britains former Palestinian mandate into Jewish and Arab states in May 1948 when the British mandate was scheduled to end. Under the resolution, the area of religious significance surrounding Jerusalem would remain a corpus separatum under international control administered by the United Nations.

Although the United States backed Resolution 181, the U.S. Department of State recommended the creation of a United Nations trusteeship with limits on Jewish immigration and a division of Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab provinces but not states. The State Department, concerned about the possibility of an increasing Soviet role in the Arab world and the potential for restriction by Arab oil producing nations of oil supplies to the United States, advised against U.S. intervention on behalf of the Jews. Later, as the date for British departure from Palestine drew near, the Department of State grew concerned about the possibility of an all-out war in Palestine as Arab states threatened to attack almost as soon as the UN passed the partition resolution.

Despite growing conflict between Palestinian Arabs and Palestinian Jews and despite the Department of States endorsement of a trusteeship, Truman ultimately decided to recognize the state Israel.

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Creation of Israel, 1948 – 19451952 – Milestones – Office …

I looked forward to Amsterdam; meeting up with my friend Laura, and attending to unfinished business.

We met at Schiphol Airport, or shit pool, as she called it. It was a relief to see Laura. The last five weeks of traveling, had been a challenging, and I longed for familiarity, and people who spoke English.

Before I left for Amsterdam, I got an email from my mother. “Dani, have fun and don’t smoke too much dope.” Where do I begin with that?

I first visited Amsterdam when I spent a semester abroad studying in Paris, when I was in college. School was a breeze, and it didn’t require a great deal of studying, so I was able to travel every weekend. For six months I took full advantage of my time in Europe. One weekend I decided to go to Amsterdam.

I arrived at the architecturally impressive train station in the city of legal drugs, legal prostitution and cheese. I stayed at Bob’s Youth Hostel, which at the time was a popular backpacker hangout. By coincidence, I ran into a couple of girls from my program back in Paris. They invited me to hang out with them, or I invited myself, I can’t remember. They were partiers. I was not. They wanted to lounge in coffee shops, and smoke dope. I did not. I wanted to go to the Van Gogh Museum and to The Anne Frank House–they did not.

Actually, I didn’t either but my father sent me off to Europe with a list of recommended places to see, and I didn’t want to disappoint him, so I made sure that I ticked each and every one the list before I returned home. Taking the list literally dispels any mystery as to why I spent a good part of my entire adult life in therapy.

I went out to dinner with the girls, and ate a space cake. The details are foggy at best, but suffice it to say that the girls continued on to other coffee shops, and I went back to Bob’s to throw up. I hurled all through the night, which must have been a real treat for the forty other fellow travelers sharing the room with me.

I felt better in the morning so I went to the Van Gogh museum. When one acts for the sole purpose of checking off a list, chances are, one is not going to remember much, as it was in my case. I have zero recollection of what was in the museum; I assume some Van Gogh pieces.

I was still feeling okay, so I walked over to the Anne Frank house. I waited in line, bought my ticket and went inside. Just as I was midway up the attic staircase, a sudden wave of nausea washed over me. Please, no. Any place but the attic! I quickly did an about face, and bolted down the one-way staircase the wrong way. It was too late. There wasn’t time to find the actual exit.

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Anne Frank Made Me Throw Up | Dani Alpert

Written on June 16th, 2015 & filed under Anne Frank Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

May. 23, 2015

World Bank report finds Gaza’s economy is near collapse due to 2014 war with Israel, border restrictions and dysfunctional government; cites conflict between Gaza’s Hamas rulers and Palestinian Authority Pres Mahmoud Abbas as reason for delay in reconstruction efforts, and notes unemployment rate stands at 44 percent, world’s highest level. MORE

Pope Francis, during meeting at Vatican, calls Palestinian Authority Pres Mahmoud Abbas ‘angel of peace'; Vatican reiterates hope that Palestinians and Israel will find lasting solution to regional conflict. MORE

Palestinian Authority owes $430 million in electricity bills to Israel, and debt is at center of latest deterioration in relations with Israel; two sides cannot agree on how much energy is used, how bills should be calculated or how payments should be made. MORE

Israel agrees to transfer some $470 million in tax revenue collected on behalf of Palestinians, resolving months-long dispute over issue; money was accrued since Israel suspended payments in response to Palestinian move to join the International Criminal Court. MORE

Diplomatic conflicts between Israel and Palestinians endanger relative stability and peace West Bank has experienced in recent years; Palestinian Authority threatens to scale back its shared security responsibilities with Israeli military, but both sides appear to have interest in preventing outbreak of violence. MORE

Palestinians join the International Criminal Court, making most significant and controversial step yet toward seeking statehood; Palestinian Authority hopes to use membership to increase international pressure on Israel and to hold it accountable for policies and actions that Palestinians charge are war crimes; stops short, however, of calling for immediate investigation of Israeli officials. MORE

Palestinians are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with Palestinian Authority Pres Mahmoud Abbas, highlighting divisions that could impede progress toward statehood. MORE

Israeli Prime Min Benjamin Netanyahu, in attempt to ease tensions with Palestinians and United States, will release 90 days worth of tax revenues to Palestinian Authority; funds have collected since Israel began withholding them in response to Palestinian attempt to join International Criminal Court. MORE

Manhattan jury finds Palestinian Authority and Palestinian Liberation Organization liable for their role in six terrorist attacks in Israel from 2002 to 2004 that killed and injured Americans; award of $218.5 million in damages is tripled under special terrorism law to $655.5 million, ending decade-long legal battle; Palestinian groups say they will appeal. MORE

The Palestinian Authority – Times Topics

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Anne Frank – Photos – The life and legacy of Anne Frank …

Written on June 13th, 2015 & filed under Anne Frank Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

In this Friday, June 5, 2015 photo, Palestinian children play on a fishing boat as fishermen prepare their fishing nets at the sea port of Gaza City. The Gaza Strip, with a 40-kilometer (25-mile) Mediterranean coastline, was always known for its seafood until Israel restricted the fishing area. As a result, Palestinians have begun importing fish and other seafood from Israel or Egypt and _ in recent years _ building fish farms. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)(The Associated Press)

In this Friday, June 5, 2015 photo, two Palestinian fishermen clean up a fishing net while standing on a boat at the seaport of Gaza City. The Gaza Strip, with a 40-kilometer (25-mile) Mediterranean coastline, was always known for its seafood until Israel restricted the fishing area. As a result, Palestinians have begun importing fish and other seafood from Israel or Egypt and _ in recent years _ building fish farms. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)(The Associated Press)

In this Tuesday, June 2, 2015 photo, a Palestinian worker feeds fish in a pool at Fish Fresh fish farm, in the town of Rafah, southern Gaza strip. The Gaza Strip, with a 40-kilometer (25-mile) Mediterranean coastline, was always known for its seafood until Israel restricted the fishing area. As a result, Palestinians have begun importing fish and other seafood from Israel or Egypt and _ in recent years _ building fish farms. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)(The Associated Press)

In this Tuesday, June 2, 2015 photo, a Palestinian worker feeds fish in a pool at Fish Fresh fish farm, in the town of Rafah, southern Gaza strip. The Gaza Strip, with a 40-kilometer (25-mile) Mediterranean coastline, was always known for its seafood until Israel restricted the fishing area. As a result, Palestinians have begun importing fish and other seafood from Israel or Egypt and _ in recent years _ building fish farms. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)(The Associated Press)

In this Wednesday, June 3, 2015 photo, a Palestinian worker is seen reflected in the water as thousands of small fish swim in a pool at a fish farm, in the town of Rafah, southern Gaza strip. The Gaza Strip, with a 40-kilometer (25-mile) Mediterranean coastline, was always known for its seafood until Israel restricted the fishing area. As a result, Palestinians have begun importing fish and other seafood from Israel or Egypt and _ in recent years _ building fish farms. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)(The Associated Press)

KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip The Gaza Strip, with a 40-kilometer (25-mile) Mediterranean coastline, was always known for its seafood until Israel restricted the fishing area.

As a result, Palestinians have begun importing fish and other seafood from Israel or Egypt and in recent years building fish farms.

Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza in 2006 after Hamas militants captured an Israeli soldier and tightened the closure the following year after Hamas seized control of the territory. Israel says the restrictions are needed to prevent Hamas, a militant group sworn to its destruction, from smuggling weapons into the territory. The sides have fought three wars since the Hamas takeover.

At times of heightened tensions, the fishing zone was barely three nautical miles. Today, it is six miles, still half of the pre-blockade distance.

The fish farms have helped bring down prices of the popular sea bream fish. But another popular item, shrimp, remains extremely expensive, costing up to $25 a kilogram ($11 a pound).

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In Gaza Strip, fish farms bring relief to seafood lovers …

Written on June 11th, 2015 & filed under Gaza Strip Tags: , , , , , , ,

Anti-Semitism is not only the oldest hatred, it is also the most enduring, former Canadian justice minister Irwin Cotler said on a panel on the subject at Sundays Jerusalem Post Conference in Manhattan.

The panel was called The Alarming Rise of Global Anti-Semitism: A Rapidly Gathering Storm, using a term coined by World War II British prime minister Winston Churchill for the rise of Nazi Germany. Moderated by World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer, it included Cotler, US Special Envoy of the Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Ira Forman, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum director Sara Bloomfield, and New York University School of Law senior fellow Thane Rosenbaum.

Cotler said he recently testified before the UN and the Canadian parliament, where he remains an MP, about four metrics for the new anti-Semitism, which he said are an assault on the right of Israel to remain part of the family of nations or exist at all. He said there is genocidal anti-Semitism, such as terrorist attacks; demonological anti-Semitism, whose mantra is that Israel is the root of all evil; political anti-Semitism, which aims to deny only the Jews the right to self determination; and finally masking anti-Semitism under universal values.

In the final category, Cotler placed the attacks on Israel at the United Nations, where he said the UN condemns Israel 20 times a year and all other countries combined only four.

Anti-Semitism is being laundered under the struggle against racism, Cotler said.

The worst thing anyone can say about anyone is they are racist. Apartheid is defined as a crime against humanity. To say Israel is an apartheid state is to say it has no right to be, and the international community has an obligation to ensure it has no right to be.

Forman spoke about the dangers of anti-Semitism in Paris, Copenhagen, Buenos Aires, and Turkey. He noted that in Turkey there has been a television show that accuses Jews of a worldwide plot against the country, including non-Jewish Charles Darwin as a Jew in the plot. Forman said it would be funny were it not sad.

If current negative trends continue, certain Jewish communities in Europe that were around 500 years or even 2,500 years will be gone, he said. This is a tragedy.

Forman lamented that, unlike the struggle for Prisoners of Zion when there was one central address at the Kremlin, it is now necessary to confront dozens of countries.

Rosenbaum said Europe is starting to realize it has an Islamic problem, but lamented that rather than confront Islamic anti-Semitism it is leading from behind.

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At panel on anti-Semitism, new metrics for Jew hatred …

Written on June 9th, 2015 & filed under Anti-Semitsm Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

By Carol Roach, 8th Jun 2015 | Follow this author | | Short URL Posted in Wikinut>Guides>History

Everywhere you go you hear about crimes against humanity. We will be reviewing the life of Anne Frank, a young girl who died in a Nazi concentration camp. Her story has been read by millions of people around the world.

One of the most important figures of the Nazi era was a young girl by the name of Anne Frank. She was just an ordinary teenager and had hopes and dreams like any other teenager of her day and future generations to come.

The only trouble was that she was Jewish during the Nazi era and that fate meant death for many. Death was inevitable for young innocent girls and boys and Jewish people; six million of them who were herded off to concentrations camps, imprisoned, starved, worked to death, and experimented on in the most vilest of ways. Then burned in the furnaces, and discarded like garbage. Human lives, not worth a thing to their Nazi oppressors.

The Jewish people, a fine spirited people, will not let these atrocities fade from human memory. We must never forget the holocaust, we must preserve the sanctity of human life and the health and welfare of all people’s of the world. Tikkun o’lam just as Jewish people declare, we must repair the world.

In the grand scheme of things human life is held worthless. There is no real regard for health or dignity.

I was a young girl myself when I read the Diary of Anne Frank, oh how I could identify with Anne and even though I was a Christian teenager and Anne was a Jewish one, we were both innocent young girls who had done nothing wrong. We were innocent young girls who had hopes and dreams for the life ahead of us. I examiner had a chance to make my life; Anne Frank was never given that opportunity.

My life was completely changed once I read that book. Incidentally it was required reading for my Montreal high school 9th grade English class and I was so glad that it was.

Before that book I took he peaceful life in Montreal for granted. Afterward I began to see the world outside of my own city and country was not the safe haven I had always thought it was.

The Diary of Anne Frank made me realize that World War II was not about the good guys getting rid of the bad guys as I had previously thought. War was ugly and innocent people got hurt.

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The Diary of Anne Frank

Written on June 9th, 2015 & filed under Anne Frank Tags: , , , , , , ,

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