100 years After Tusla Massacre: A lesson for Palestinian Refugees to learn from


Palestinians should learn the lessons from the brave black Americans who fought for reparation, recognition, restitution and respect, even after a century:  


An interesting article in NYT by

In 1921, a white mob attacked the Greenwood district of Tulsa, killing hundreds of Black people and destroying the neighborhood. Justice has never been served. Can it still be today?

Another link on Tulsa






Lucy Garbett: An Armenian Palestinian account & her life in Sheikh Jarrah-a microcosm of the ongoing ethnic cleansing policy for the past 73 years.

Lucy Garbett: An Armenian Palestinian wrote (in the Guardian 17 May) on her life at Sheikh Jarrah-a microcosm of the ongoing ethnic cleansing policy for the past 73 years.
I live in Sheikh Jarrah. For Palestinians, this is not a ‘real estate dispute’
Lucy Garbett
The threat to our neighbours’ homes is the latest chapter in a long campaign to erase the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem
Sheikh Jarrah today smells of dirty socks and rotting flesh. Israeli police vehicles, known as “skunk trucks”, have been spraying Palestinian homes, shops, restaurants, public spaces and cultural institutions with putrid water at high pressure. The water causes vomiting, stomach pain and skin irritation, and was originally developed by an Israeli company to repel protesters. The stench lasts for days on clothes, skin and homes, leading Palestinians to joke that Jerusalem all smells like shit. Protesters are also targeted in other ways. They are brutally beaten, arrested by the police, some on mounted horses, attacked by settlers and sprayed with rubber bullets.
These forms of collective punishment aim to stop the growing movement to save Sheikh Jarrah and halt the dispossession of 27 Palestinian families of their homes there. My family has lived in Jerusalem for several generations since they fled the Armenian genocide in 1915. In 1948, during the Nakba, they were expelled from their home in West Jerusalem and found refuge in the city’s eastern part. Now we live in Sheikh Jarrah and my neighbours are about to be expelled from their homes.
Every day for the past month, Palestinians from all walks of life have gathered in the neighbourhood to share iftar, the breaking of Ramadan fast, outside homes that are under threat: laughing and sharing jokes, together despite the gravity of the situation. Chants and singing start after prayers, only to be met by settlers’ taunts and police repression.
Now the neighbourhood has been transformed into a military zone. Checkpoints at every turn allow residents only into the area, blocking us off from the world. We must endure this harassment from settlers and police alike for simply living in our homes.
While Sheikh Jarrah makes the headlines, this type of harassment and settler violence is not new. Last September, on the day my grandmother passed away, my car was graffitied with “Arabs are shit”. Just two weeks ago, to celebrate Orthodox Easter, I tried to attend the annual parade held by the Syriac and Armenian communities I am part of. Along with other Palestinians, I was assaulted by police officers and prevented from entering the Old City. A few weeks later, worshippers were brutally assaulted as they prayed in al-Aqsa mosque. As Palestinians, we feel every expression of our identity is being erased and marginalised.
Israel’s discriminatory policies in Jerusalem, including planned displacement, is constant. We are discussed as a “demographic timebomb” by Israeli planners and officials. In this city, the idea of a “demographic balance” between Arabs and Jews underpins municipal planning and state actions. Since the illegal occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967, Israeli policy has focused on keeping a 70:30 ratio of Jews to Arabs in the city – later adjusted to a 60:40 ratio when authorities said this was “not attainable”. This is done in myriad ways, including settlement construction wedging in Palestinian neighbourhoods, home demolitions and revocation of residency rights.
Since 1967, an estimated 14,500 Palestinians have been stripped of their residency status. In order to obtain ID cards, Palestinian Jerusalemites have to constantly prove that Jerusalem continues to be their “centre of life”, through proof of rental agreements and bills in their name. This comes with a surprise home visit, to check you really do live in the house, and has included looking to see if toothbrushes have been used in the bathroom. If Jerusalemites leave the country or reside in the West Bank, their residency status is revoked, leaving them without official documents and unable to return home. Every five years I must present myself at the Israeli Ministry of Interior with proof of my residence in Jerusalem and provide transcripts of any course I have taken during my university studies in the UK. On each visit, we are subjected to humiliating and invasive questioning, and each time we worry they may take away our only way to remain.
There have been many attempts to portray the cases of dispossession in Jerusalem, and Sheikh Jarrah specifically, as isolated, individual incidents, painting them as “real estate disputes” that drag on for years in court. But for Palestinians, Sheikh Jarrah is simply a microcosm of life in Jerusalem. It symbolises the continuing ethnic cleansing of our land and homes. Palestinians are enduring erasure, marginalisation and displacement, and they are prevented from the basic right of returning to their original homes and properties.
A grocery store owner in Sheikh Jarrah recently told me: “Our entire lives have just been this … oppression, oppression, oppression. They won’t let us live.” Now, Palestinians everywhere are taking to the streets and demanding their right to life, a life that is free and dignified in their homeland. Sheikh Jarrah is the battle for Jerusalem. After a long experience with Israel’s regime of dispossession, we know what is at stake: our very place in the city. And as bombs drop on Gaza and demonstrations erupt all over the country, Israeli mobs with police complicity march in the streets chanting “death to Arabs”, attempting to lynch Arabs and destroy Palestinian shops and cars. Palestinians, no matter where we reside, are standing up together. Our only option is to live free, and for that to happen, Israel’s impunity must end.
Lucy Garbett is a researcher at the London School of Economics and Social Science-based in Jerusalem
Above: (Israeli border police in Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem, on 12 May. Several Palestinian families in the area face imminent eviction. Photograph: Maya Alleruzzo/AP)

“We must recognize that Palestinian rights matter. Palestinian lives matter.”Bernie Sanders’ wrote in NYT

Although I do have another view concerning the situation in Palestine, as I wrote yesterday on the 73rd anniversary of the Nakba,  https://mahmoud.dk/en/2021/05/14/   I think that Bernie Sanders’ following article in NYT is a step forward to correcting long-biased policies towards the Palestinians.
At least at the end of the article, he wrote: “We must recognize that Palestinian rights matter. Palestinian lives matter.”
Bernie Sanders: The U.S. Must Stop Being an Apologist for the Netanyahu Government

May 14, 2021

Mr. Sanders is a senator from Vermont.

“Israel has the right to defend itself.”

These are the words we hear from both Democratic and Republican administrations whenever the government of Israel, with its enormous military power, responds to rocket attacks from Gaza.

Let’s be clear. No one is arguing that Israel, or any government, does not have the right to self-defense or to protect its people. So why are these words repeated year after year, war after war? And why is the question almost never asked: “What are the rights of the Palestinian people?”

And why do we seem to take notice of the violence in Israel and Palestine only when rockets are falling on Israel?

In this moment of crisis, the United States should be urging an immediate cease-fire. We should also understand that, while Hamas firing rockets into Israeli communities is absolutely unacceptable, today’s conflict did not begin with those rockets.

Palestinian families in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah have been living under the threat of eviction for many years, navigating a legal system designed to facilitate their forced displacement. And over the past weeks, extremist settlers have intensified their efforts to evict them.

And, tragically, those evictions are just one part of a broader system of political and economic oppression. For years we have seen a deepening Israeli occupation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and a continuing blockade on Gaza that make life increasingly intolerable for Palestinians. In Gaza, which has about two million inhabitants, 70 percent of young people are unemployed and have little hope for the future.

Further, we have seen Benjamin Netanyahu’s government work to marginalize and demonize Palestinian citizens of Israel, pursue settlement policies designed to foreclose the possibility of a two-state solution and pass laws that entrench systemic inequality between Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel.

None of this excuses the attacks by Hamas, which were an attempt to exploit the unrest in Jerusalem, or the failures of the corrupt and ineffective Palestinian Authority, which recently postponed long-overdue elections. But the fact of the matter is that Israel remains the one sovereign authority in the land of Israel and Palestine, and rather than preparing for peace and justice, it has been entrenching its unequal and undemocratic control.

Over more than a decade of his right-wing rule in Israel, Mr. Netanyahu has cultivated an increasingly intolerant and authoritarian type of racist nationalism. In his frantic effort to stay in power and avoid prosecution for corruption, Mr. Netanyahu has legitimized these forces, including Itamar Ben Gvir and his extremist Jewish Power party, by bringing them into the government. It is shocking and saddening that racist mobs that attack Palestinians on the streets of Jerusalem now have representation in its Knesset.

These dangerous trends are not unique to Israel. Around the world, in Europe, in Asia, in South America and here in the United States, we have seen the rise of similar authoritarian nationalist movements. These movements exploit ethnic and racial hatreds in order to build power for a corrupt few rather than prosperity, justice and peace for the many. For the last four years, these movements had a friend in the White House.

At the same time, we are seeing the rise of a new generation of activists who want to build societies based on human needs and political equality. We saw these activists in American streets last summer in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. We see them in Israel. We see them in the Palestinian territories.

With a new president, the United States now has the opportunity to develop a new approach to the world — one based on justice and democracy. Whether it is helping poor countries get the vaccines they need, leading the world to combat climate change or fighting for democracy and human rights around the globe, the United States must lead by promoting cooperation over conflict.

In the Middle East, where we provide nearly $4 billion a year in aid to Israel, we can no longer be apologists for the right-wing Netanyahu government and its undemocratic and racist behavior. We must change course and adopt an evenhanded approach, one that upholds and strengthens international law regarding the protection of civilians, as well as existing U.S. law holding that the provision of U.S. military aid must not enable human rights abuses.

This approach must recognize that Israel has the absolute right to live in peace and security, but so do the Palestinians. I strongly believe that the United States has a major role to play in helping Israelis and Palestinians to build that future. But if the United States is going to be a credible voice on human rights on the global stage, we must uphold international standards of human rights consistently, even when it’s politically difficult. We must recognize that Palestinian rights matter. Palestinian lives matter.

Senator Bernie Sanders is a senator from Vermont.
Foto: Khalil Hamra 

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Hani Nassar and Tarek El-Dakkak

73 years of ongoing Colonisation, Evictions & Massacres: from LUBYA to Sheikh Jarrah

“Den Fædrene Jord”- “Ancestors’ Land” Documentary film on Lubya 1995–  ارض الآباء


Lubya Village – ارض الآباء – لوبيه

73 years only is the time from the eviction and later destruction of our village LUBYA, in Galilee  in 1948, to the trials of evicting the few families of Sheikh Jarrah, who were original refugees from their original homes in west Jerusalem, Lyd and Ramli, in 2021. Colonialism, settlement and the continued ethnic cleansing of Palestinians was and still the core issue that took place a century ago in this tiny area of 27000 km2, under the earlier British colonizers and their successors.

Colonialism, empire and genocide dominated three centuries of our modern era in the four corners of our globe- not to speak of earlier colonialism era  in Roman , Ottoman and  Mongol. 

Millions of peoples perished in these centuries of colonial era by European powers to expand, dominate and exterminate the original peoples of non-Europeans; whether in America-both North and South, Africa, or Australia. 15 million people alone in Algeria during the 132 years of French Colonialism: only to give one concrete example. The Algerians are still awaiting a word of APOLOGY, from the earlier colonisers, but in vain – let alone compensation and reparations for the victims and their descendants. And today French authorities are preventing a pro- Palestinian demo to take place in Paris-planned Saturday, 15th May: the 73rd anniversary of Nakba- the uprooting of 2/3 of Palestinians from their native homes.

14 million Palestinians have absolute right to demand their story to be told, their lands to be restored, and their demolished villages to be reclaimed. The Right of Return and Reparation are guaranteed by international laws and 194 resolution adopted by general assembly of UN in 1948. (The Swedish deplomat, count Bernadotte payed with his life the price for his insistence on implementing the UN decision. Perpetrators never got punished for this crime).

It took the president of the United States 106 years to recognize the Armenian genocide in first word war. It took decades to recognize the aborignial Tasminian’s rights in Australia, the indigenous Māoris of NewZeland, the genocide in Congo by Belgians, and the many many others that needs a series of books just to enlist the massacres of Europians in the four corners of the world. Should Palestinians wait for more than 3/4 of a century for their rights to be recognised? 

When Human Rights Watch and B’TSelem’s reports last month documented the thousands of cases of discrimination and oppression against Palestinians in what they classified as “Apartheid”, the international powers are called to stop the historical denial of the Palestinian People’s rights for self determination. Although “Too many enemies” is the title of Rose Mary Sayegh’s  book, documenting the tragedy and massacres Palestinians underwent; I believe that Palestinians have “too many friends” in the world that need to be addressed and mobilized to attain justice and peace.

For more info on Nakba visit https://mahmoud.dk

“In Jerusalem” by Mahmoud Darwish, 2003

In Jerusalem by Mahmoud Darwish, 2003 (translated by Fady Joudah – Thanks Heidi)
«ماذا بعد؟ صاحت فجأة جنديّةٌ:/ هو أنت ثانية؟ أَلم أقتلك؟/ قلتُ: قتلتني… ونسيتُ، مثلك، أن أَموت».
In Jerusalem, and I mean within the ancient walls,
I walk from one epoch to another without a memory
to guide me. The prophets over there are sharing
the history of the holy … ascending to heaven
and returning less discouraged and melancholy, because love
and peace are holy and are coming to town.
I was walking down a slope and thinking to myself: How
do the narrators disagree over what light said about a stone?
Is it from a dimly lit stone that wars flare up?
I walk in my sleep. I stare in my sleep. I see
no one behind me. I see no one ahead of me.
All this light is for me. I walk. I become lighter. I fly
then I become another. Transfigured. Words
sprout like grass from Isaiah’s messenger
mouth: “If you don’t believe you won’t be safe.”
I walk as if I were another. And my wound a white
biblical rose. And my hands like two doves
on the cross hovering and carrying the earth.
I don’t walk, I fly, I become another,
transfigured. No place and no time. So who am I?
I am no I in ascension’s presence. But I
think to myself: Alone, the prophet Muhammad
spoke classical Arabic. “And then what?”
Then what? A woman soldier shouted:
Is that you again? Didn’t I kill you?
I said: You killed me … and I forgot, like you, to die.