Santa Comes To Bethlehem for Nonviolent Protest

Even though he is very busy this time of year giving gifts to children all around the world; this Christmas season Santa Claus took some time of and came on an early visit to Palestine.  He did not come with gifts but came to stand in solidarity and bring hope to Palestinians suffering from the continued occupation of their land.  He came to bring hope to the people of Bethlehem where on a daily basis farmers and villagers are having their land stolen for the building of the Separation Wall and the expanding of illegal settlements.

Santa in Nonviolent protest in Bethlehem PalestineOn the 21st of December Santa joined the weekly nonviolent protest.  This protest takes place in the Southern villages of Bethlehem every Friday and it includes Palestinians, internationals and Israeli nonviolent activists working together to oppose the military occupation. Every Friday, the nonviolent protest is faced with tens (sometimes hundreds) of heavily armed Israeli soldiers. This Christmas Friday was not any different and even Santa was not surprised.

Santa in Nonviolent protest in Bethlehem PalestineIn a procession calling for “peace on earth starting with peace in the Holy Land,” Santa led the march to where the confiscation of land and the construction of the Wall were taking place. The Israeli army, in its normal response, used violence and heavy arms to block the peaceful procession. Several protestors were injured and one Palestinian was arrest (later released).

Santa in Nonviolent protest in Bethlehem Palestine

Even in the midst of the violent response Santa called on the Israeli soldiers to seek peace and end violence and the occupation. He called upon these young Israeli soldiers to recognize that they have the right to refuse to serve in this brutal military and that this refusal is the greatest gift they can give themselves, their family and even their people. Israeli soldiers were ordered not to talk to or interact with any of the protestors, even Santa, but he knew that in their heart they heard the message of hope.

After the protest was over Santa disappeared. We assume he went back to his busy gift giving schedule. He came here to give hope but left with a smile knowing that hope for peace and justice exists in the Holy Land and this is the gift we give to all nations this Christmas season.

 Santa in Nonviolent protest in Bethlehem Palestine
(Note: All photos are Reuter and AP photos taken from Yahoo! News)
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30 thoughts on “Santa Comes To Bethlehem for Nonviolent Protest

  1. Thank you for keeping us all aware of the struggle for peace and justice in Bethlehem. Your message is an inspiration and a challenge. May Bethlehem again be a House of Bread for all…the bread of justice.
    Your friend,
    Stefan Andre

  2. Thanks for your awareness and your work for peace. We are deeply with you fighting for justice and peace.
    Greetings from the ring of power from Tamera Portugal

    Text of Empowerment: Bethlehem, an abode of God

    From the book: GRACE – Pilgrimage for a Future without War

    Bethlehem. In the barn in Bethlehem the Christ Child was born. Still today the church song from my childhood rings in my ear: “There he lays, miserable and naked, the creator of all things”.
    Recognised by no one, despised by the prevailing culture, the son of God came to see the light of day. When shall we be able to recognise the children of God and build befitting shelters for them?
    As long as our culture is not able to provide a home to this divine light it is better to bed our head down with the refugees and the dispersed. Under the bridges, on stone floors of assembly halls, in places where people reflect upon justice, may there be my home. May those places be my guideposts where life itself finds its unconditional right of existence. Here I find more home and protection and cosmic security.
    When will recognition become successful?
    When will not only the human being be raised to be God, but when will a divine culture see the light of day?
    When will our houses become the true abodes of the divine nature in the human being?
    When will we build houses in which truth and trust reign, where an open spirit is shown towards the guests who seek us, where there is festivity and celebration in honour of creation?

    O Bethlehem, abode of God,
    behind all your facades of war,
    behind the tanks and hidden bombs,
    where even those who barricade themselves in your Church of Nativity are being shot at,
    behind the murders and the bloodshed
    I have not lost the glow of hope,
    which guides me,
    and I am ready
    to listen to this inner voice
    and let myself be led by it.

    Give us shelter
    and let the power of love illuminate us so that it will never expire.

    Sentence of Empowerment:

    Let the power of love illuminate us so that it will never expire.

  3. Peter J. Nagle

    Thanks, Sami, for the work you and your staff do to keep hope alive in Bethlehem, and for keeping the world informed about your struggle for even basic justice. It was our pleasure and honor to see you last week while there. I wish you and the Palestinian people the justice and peace you so richly deserve.

  4. Thank you, Sami, for your continued efforts on behalf of God’s people there in Bethlehem…You asked us to tell Americans what is going on there…The message is getting out…

    Blessings…

  5. Roberta Mohr

    Thank you for continuing to keep us updated. Perhaps the Israeli soldiers will “ponder Santa’s words in their hearts” like Mary did the words of the shepherds on Christmas Eve and will decide to take action for peace and justice.

  6. CJL

    We in Britain, in increasing numbers, are very much aware of your brave, peaceful resistance to an ever more brutal Occupation. Do not give up. All the refugees must go back to their towns and villages wherever they are, and the Occupiers will have to learn how to live in peace with them, even if it takes many more years. Santa and others will be back!

  7. Thanks, Sami, for your updates and for all you do. Please tell the people who struggle peacefully for justice that we are doing our best to get the word out here in the U.S. despite the popular media.

  8. Hilary Krivchenia

    Thank you, Sami Awad, for your courage and your tireless work. As Andrea said, there are people — many people — who are working to publish the facts on the ground for Palestinians so that Americans might really understand and who are working to share this non-violent vision. It is our only hope — and the greatest gift we could give or receive at any holiday.
    Peace to you — may it be soon!

  9. Dorah Rosen

    Santa will not be stopped by the Wall and neither will the brave Palestinian people nor their supporters! Thanks for sharing the news and fabulous photographs. I’m sending this on to many others.
    Dorah Rosen
    California

  10. Lilian Peters and Helmar van Rooy

    Dear Sami and HLT staff,

    Great initiative, and good pics… Wonder what the soldiers thought/felt when manhandling a decent old fellow coming from far, telling them an “Unconvenient Truth” for which he so far did not get the Nobel Peace Price…

    We are celebrating the new year in a not so peaceful Pakistan, wishing and hoping that we will be Palestine next year!

    Be well and keep up the spirit and good work,

    Lilian Peters and Helmar van Rooy

    PS: the girls are wonderful, a real blessing!

  11. David Mowat

    Hi Sami
    Still thinking of you, still active in Bristol, lobbying our MP and trying to speak to the Church of England and running the aSALT course (Spiritual Activist Leadership Training) which has an anti-occupation activist on board amongst others. Well done for your work so far. Looks like Rotary Club never supported the village-link work of HLT. Sorry, I tried.
    David

  12. Adinah Rosen

    Hi Sami,
    I imagine Santa was very busy clarifying who was naughty and who was nice. I sure hope Santa skipped over those who were naughty like the fellows who sent the suicide bomber to blow himself up and blew out my 16 year old neighbors eardrums (along with others out of their bodies, who were riding the bus). Or the Palastinian who gunned down our friend’s son Esh Kodesh Gilmore who was a guard in East Jerusalem, hired by the Israeli government, to guard the Social Security office for Palastinians in East Jerusalem, ensuring that they would be able to get their monthly monies from the Israeli gov’t.

    And lets not forget……Jesus was a practicing Jew who was
    impassioned about the messianic vision of the Land of Israel, “My House is a house of prayer for ALL people.”

    What was the Land called when Jesus walked it? (The Romans hadn’t yet changed the name to Palestine.)

  13. SALAAM SAMI
    SHUKRAN FOR YOUR HOLY WORK. YOU TO PRESENT FOR ALL OF US A SIMPLE LOVING WAY TO CHANG REALITY. SANTA IS A FACT LIVING IN OUR SOULS WE AND ONLY WE CAN GIVE HIM LIVE LIFE OR CONDAME HIM FOR DEATH. ONCE OUR PALESTINE WILL BE FREE WE WILL CELEPRATE OUR LOVE WITH THE HALL WORLD! WAW THEN WAY TO WAIT LATS CELEPRATE OUR LOVE NOW COUSE PALESTINE IS FREE INSIDE US.
    HOLY LAND HERE AND NOW
    HAPPY NEW YEAR

  14. Abuna Rainer Fielenbach

    Dear Sami, shukran for all your work in the passed year and for the year just has started a few minutes before, i wish you and palestine ol the best, most of all peace and justic. and i promise you in september i will take part on the demonstrations in the bethlehem area, against the wall and the robbery of the land of palestina by israel. we will see us soon.
    abuna rainer

  15. CJL

    Adinah Rosen should know that Jesus was a Galilean/Aramean, not a Judean, and spoke Aramaic. His love was for all humanity, not just for the land occupied by the Hebrews/Israelites/Jews and which had been brutally taken from the Canaanites. He was executed because he dared oppose the hierarchy in cahoots with the Romans. In our time, the “Arabs” were sujected in 1947-48 to a long-planned, systematic ethnic cleansing (including expulsion and massacres) which has continued to this day. Some seventy “Arabs” were “executed” by the Israeli Occupation Force in December 2007. A. Rosen should count the number of children massacred by Zionists. What are thousands of “Arabs” to one only “Israeli”?

  16. Adinah Rosen

    Dear CJL,
    Whether Jesus lived in the Galilee or in Judea, he was a Jew.(Lets not forgot the Last Supper was a Pesach seder.) He was a Jew with yes, the Torah vision for all of humanity to walk with God. Does he not say if anyone changes but a dot in the Law is the least in the Kingdom of Heaven? The Jewish vision is not that everyone be a Jew, but that everyone walk with God, each in their unique expression (within at least the 7 basic Noachide laws). And this is also the purpose of the Land of Israel.- to be an expression, and place of inspiration to deepen one’s experience, of walking with God.
    In regards to recent history, why did the Palestinians not accept the UN vote of Nov. 29, 1947 to create both a Palestinian and Israeli state, but instead chose in May of 1948 to join the whole Arab world in declaring war on Israel? The Jews fought back and miraculously the Arabs did not succeed in their mission to “drive all the Jews into the sea”. And why do you think there is a stupid wall built now in the first place? Do you really believe that Israel wants to spend all this money into a wall and armed forces for ….what?! To aggrevate Palestinians? Please stop with the “victimhood” and be honest. There are those amongst the Palestinians whose goal is still the same…..NO ISRAEL. THe Palestinians are being used by their Arab neighboring cousins to fight their “holy war” . Tell me, will it be so great for the Christians in a Moslim run country? What will happen to the holy sites? Check out what Moslims have done to other religions holy sites around the world.
    May the true peace loving Muslims help heal their brothers from this suicide course for the world.

  17. CJL

    Adinah Rosen chooses to ignore the fact that Jesus was known as Jesus the Galilean whose parents were from Nazareth, Galilee, and who happened to have been born in Bethlehem, Judea. He did not go about Judea because the Judeans were trying to kill him, he made it clear to Pilate that his kingdom had nothing to do with Judean society, and the inscription over the cross read “Jesus of Nazareth”.
    The Jewish religion is based on the fifth century AD Talmud and has nothing in common with the Jesus group.
    Adinah Rosen must also remember that the Central European “Jews” are descended from Khazans who converted to the Jewish religion in the eighth century AD. Therefore the majority of “Israelis” cannot even claim a Judean ancestry.
    As to the 29 November 1947 UN partition of Palestine voted thanks to a small majority of countries whose arms were strongly twisted by the USA, the indigenous Palestinians were not going to accept the loss of 56% of their native land to a minority group of invaders. Alas, in early December 1947, the Zionists immediately proceeded to the long-planned, systematic, murderous ethnic cleansing of Palestine, starting with the “de-arabisation” of the Haifa region and the rest of Galilee, eventually driving 800,000 “Arabs” into the sea and across the river Jordan. Now indeed, there is a stupid wall which is encroaching on what is supposed to be Palestine, i.e. less than 22% of the original territory.
    Finally, A. Rosen should refrain from talking of “Muslims versus Jews and Christians”: The truth is “Occupiers and Colonists versus the indigenous population”.
    Israel will survive only if it stops denying the Palestinian Genocide, accepts the Return of the Refugees, renounces Violence and dismantles its horrendous Apartheid System.

  18. Adinah Rosen

    Dear CJL,
    What planet is your mind spinning in?
    1) Did you forget that Jesus was the main student of a big Rabbi of that time, before he had his own following? Who were his followers? Jews, who could have lived in Judea or the Galilee or the Shamron, (or the town of Nazereth for that matter) .These are just names of areas. And if he wasn’t in Judea, how was he at the Temple and get deeply pained by the corruption there? Jerusalem is in Judea.
    2) The Jewish religion started 3,500 at Mt. Sinai and is the same one going today. At that time was the giving of the Written and Oral Tradition. The Oral Tradition was oral until around 100 AD when it began to be written down for fear of beingforgotten (known as the Mishnah). Over the next few centuries, explainations were written on the Mishnah. This is known as the Gemora. Together the Mishnah and the Gemora make up what is known as the Talmud.
    3) With all your insane talk that matches no history, of Khazan’s , “long-term ethnic cleansing” etc. it would be slightly humorous if not for the fact that innocent people who have no historical understanding might actually believe your
    painfully confused rendition of history.
    4) All this “Occupation” screaming…. And what do you call the Jews who have lived here consistently since Jews first came to the Land, even before many of the Arabs who now live here? My Moslem friend’s family came in the 1600’s. There has always been a Jewish presence in the Land since nearly 3,500 years. There hadn’t been a Jewish government for a few thousand years, but on the other hand there never was such a thing as a Palestinian state or government in the Land. So please stop with the dogma about occupiers and colonists versus indenous population, and apartheid. It doesn’t help heal any wounds or get us to any peaceful daily life. It is SOOOO frustrating that there is no acceptance of any responsibility from Palestinians in having at least partially created the situation we are in today.
    Including the stupid wall. Why are Palestinian children still being taught that it is good to blow themselves up? Why are Imams still encouraging people to kill any Jew behind every rock? Why don’t any of the political parties of the Palestinians aknowledge the legitamacy of Israel? Why every time the check points are eased, terrorists come in and kill innocent people?
    If Israel really wanted a Palestinian Genocide as you state,, they wouldn’t go to so much effort to do target killing of terrorists and try to avoid killing innocent people. They would have wiped out everyone, God forbid, awhile ago. Much of the deaths of Palestinians come from the fighting between themselves so please drop the Genocide dogma.
    And in regards to “renouncing Violence”…..there are no television programs in Israel demonizing Palestinians, encouraging the killing of Palestinians, or maryrizing people who purposely strive to kill as many innocent Palestinians as possible. Can we say that the same efforts are made amongst Palestinians about Israeli’s?
    When you say “Israel will survive” are you aknowledging the legitacy of the existence of Israel, and that it is only a matter of a border dispute? Well thats a good start.
    Maybe we could talk in person at the next Sulha gathering.

    .

  19. CJL

    A Rosen certainly lives on a planet different from mine and has shown her true colours.
    The difference between her, her likes and my ‘insane’ self is that I owe no allegiance to any tribe or religion.
    Neither she nor I can absolutely rely on what was written some 2,000 years ago but we seem to agree that Jesus was a Galilean, not a Judean/Jew, was arrested by the Judean police and executed in Judea. His message, as we have known it, is ‘love all humanity, not just the members of your tribe’.
    A R imagines the present Jewish religion and monotheism to have started 3,500 years ago, although its ‘story’ was not written until 1,000 years later by various scribes who were prompted by the Babylonians whose code of laws are strangely similar to the ‘Laws of Moses’. Even the legend of the infancy of Moses is the same as that of Sargon who lived 2/3,000 years before ‘Moses’.
    So, pick your own, AR: My story is at least as good as yours.
    Contemporary history is very different (not the Zionist version taught in ‘Israeli’ schools). The deliberate, ugly ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1947-1948 is well-documented and enough have survived who can recount the encircling and bombing of their villages, the expulsions of the inhabitants at gunpoint, the executions of the menfolk and the raping of women. Most of the 400 emptied and raided villages were ‘magically’ erased. The rest were colonized like the Palestinian towns of Haifa and Jaffa.
    In the final 1967 land grab, exactly the same crimes were committed.
    ‘Israel’ was created through organized violence: the planned destruction, genocide and expulsions. Its existence is real enough, but not its legitimacy.
    The Zionist Jews have ignored the basic rights of the indigenous Palestinians, first of all the basic right to be repatriated to their native land. These ‘Arabs’ are the descendants of the original inhabitants and of all those who passed through the region, the Hebrew tribes being among many others (NB: Jerusalem predates Joshua). How can the present day westernised Jews have the sole privilege of ‘returning’ after 2/3,000 years, while the Palestinians are forbidden to remember the NAKBA (yes, the other Holocaust) and the sixty year occupation?
    There will be no genuine ‘SULHA’ until the Zionists recognize the existence of the ‘Palestinian-people-who-never-had-a-state’, make amends for the wrongs done to them and learn how to live with them in one country as equals, not cynical supremacists.
    ‘Israel’ has the power, powerful allies and the WMDs. Thankfully, the World is slowly learning the truth about Zionism from Theodor Herzl to the present government through such terrorists as Ben-Gurion, Yossef Weitz and their likes: ‘Population Transfer’ and actions associated with it will not do.
    The European Jews suffered in WW2, of which we are daily reminded: Why should the Zionist Jews take revenge on the people of Palestine and get away with denying the NAKBA?

  20. Adinah Rosen

    Dear CJL,
    Perhaps because you have “no allegience to any tribe or religion” you have no real understanding of any of them either.
    You mix up towns/regions with religions. The Galilee is a region in the northern part of Israel. Judea is also a region in the central southern part of Israel. Jesus the Galilean means only that he lived in that area. It says nothing about religion. If Jesus wasn’t a Jew, then you nullify the entire Christian tradition that Jesus is the mesiah because of claims that he comes from the Davidic Line, ie the Jewish line of Kingship. Yes, his message was for all of humanity,because as a Jew, in the Jewish tradition, relationship with God is for all of humanity ( and we pray for everyone to have a personal relationship with God every day.)
    2) The Written Torah today is the same that was written 3,500 years ago . 1,000 years after the receiving of the Torah is well after the time of King David and King Solomon. According to Jewish law every king must carry a Torah with him , wherever he goes, to remind him who is the true King. If there was no written Torah, how could he be required to have one ?
    As far as 1947-48, the reality is that the Jews at that time had very few weapons and were in no place to take an “offensive innitiative” even if they wanted to. The surrounding Arab countries, in particular Syria, told the Palestinians that they would wipe out the Jews and that the local Arabs could then take the Jewish property. This is fact and told by local Arabs, not Jews. The Palestinians were also told that their “brothers” would push the Jews into the sea. A friend of mine’s father was friends with a local Arab. Before the war in ’48 the Arab came to him and told him ” because we are friends, I am allowed to pull you out of the sea.” The Jew said “What about the rest of my family?” . The Arab said, “I will ask.” He returned and said he only had permission to save the one Jew. The Jew said “If you can’t also save my family then no thank you.” In the end, many Arabs ended up losing their homes because they were enticed by the head of Syria with promises of property and victory . Many of the Arabs relocated. Yes, a sad situation that was created by the Arab desire to wipe out others and take others’ properties. In 1967 once again the Arab nations made an effort to “push the Jews into the sea, and once again they lost. ”

    You say “The Zionist Jews have ignored the basic rights of the indigenous Palestinian”.
    Now I am no great fan of the Israeli gov’t., but there are basic realities. Palestinians who are Israeli citizens are educated (in my area many of the lawyers, doctors and engineers are Arab) with nice homes, cars etc. ( Times are financially challenging these days for both Arab and Jew alike.) Arabs are given special tax breaks in their business,
    women are more protected by law (honor killing is a crime), and many organizations , from promoting health issues to educational issues such as special needs children that particularly focus on helping Arab populations (run by Arabs and Jews together.. I personally worked with a Jewish organization in Jerusalem that educates teachers for special needs children. Staff was asked to teach in Ramala. The staff would wait at a bus stop in West Jerusalem,where the principal would then have a taxi pick them up and take them into Ramala.( If you remember, it is in Ramala where two Jewish men were literally ripped apart and their body parts held up in jubilation. ) This Palestinian principal also risked his life by bringing in Jewish women but he was more committed to the welfare of the children than being entagled in political dogma.
    You write:
    ” the Palestinians are forbidden to remember the NAKBA” .
    Perhaps you are just unaware, but there are gatherings in Israel between palestinians and jews on the day that is called Independence day and NAKBA, in order to come to understand each other. Yes, in this country Palestinians are free to openly disagree with the existence of the gov.t. which gives them monthly money for every child born!
    Again, not being a fan of the Israeli gov’t, but at least it continues to supply electricity to Gaza even though as we write, those same Palestinians continue to shoot rockets into Israel. Israel also continues to ship in flour and fertilizer as humanitarian gestures and that same material is used to make the rockets the Palestinians fire into Israel !

    Please, stop continually screaming “victim! victim” . It really helps no one. Because in the end, as Palestinians continue to be fueled by Syria and Iran to be stuck in their victimhood, thye don’t make any progress in forming their own funcitonal society. Also a nuclear bomb from Iran will not differentiate between cultures and religion of a person but will destroy both Jews and Arabs . But I imagine their radical Muslim brothers will just say “the Palestininian people all died as martyrs for the sake of Allah” . Help liberate the Palestinian people, and lift them up from being puppets of the part of the Muslim world that focus’s on violence as a means of communication.

    Sami, blessings of success in removing ” victimhood mentality ” in your striving to bring the approach of non-violence to the Palistinian people . ( I am working on it from my side).

  21. CJL

    Unlike A R, I am not driven by an invisible almighty who gave a tribe a piece of land for eternity.
    I do not live in a fiction: Jesus the Galilean was simply a person with a big heart and a vision, alas used and misinterpreted by all and sundry. He would be horrified if he could come back to the present ‘Holy Land’ and Middle East torn apart by the advent of Zionism encouraged by imperialist powers.
    I am not surprised to hear the tale from A R, that the Torah was ‘written’ 3,500 years ago, when the Hebrew tribes…could not yet write – which proves that anything goes in her world.
    If a lie is repeated long enough, it becomes ‘truth’, such as the ‘fact’ that 800,000 (or more) ‘Arabs’ merely ‘relocated’ of their own accord into neighbouring countries, after ‘happily’ leaving behind some 530 villages. Presumably, A R does not know of the many massacres (carefully recorded), such as the one perpetrated at Tantura on 22 May 1948, when 2/300 (or more) villagers were executed, or killed in an orgy of cruelty.
    By the end of October 1948, the whole of Palestinian Galilee had been occupied by the well-organized Zionist forces, fully armed by the Soviet Union and its new Eastern block (e.g. Czechoslovakia). By that time, not 56% but 78% of Palestine had been seized by force.
    I do not know of any Palestinian ‘Holocaust Memorial’ in Israel.
    As to the ‘Israeli Arabs’ (‘not the Palestinian citizens of Israel’), how can they be refused a house in a ‘Jewish’ town, because of ‘social incompatibility’, as happened to an educated couple in Rakefet? Why do they need ‘Israeli’ permission to build a house in their ghettos? Why do Palestinians have separate schools with limited resources? Why does a concrete wall separates leafy Nir Zevi from the ‘Arab’ Lod? Why did rabbi Yossi Stern set up a ‘yeshiva’ right in the middle of Acre so as to establish a ‘center for Jewish identity in the Galilee’ (sic)? Why did the Israeli police who shot dead 13 ‘Israeli Arabs’ demonstrating in 2000, were deemed to have been acting in ‘self-defence’ and got off scot-free?
    Interestingly, Tzipi Livni said in November 2007 in Annapolis, that a ‘future’ Palestinian state would ‘be the national answer to the Palestinians’ in the territories and those ‘who live in different refugee camps OR IN ISRAEL’: Ethnic Cleansing complete!
    There would be no more need to arrest and/or silence ‘Arab’ anti-war demonstrators, as it happened in the summer of 2006, or attack such ‘Arab’ as Walid Hamis, deputy mayor of Haifa, for expressing his opinion on the murderous invasion of Lebanon.
    Finally, may A R be reminded that ‘Israel’ and not Iran, has nuclear bombs and that a part of Syria is still occupied by ‘Israel’. ‘Surprise, surprise’, these two countries support the Palestinian cause!
    When ‘Israel’ unconditionally evacuates at least 22% of Palestine, (the Lebanese) Sheba Farms and the Golan Heights, when it stops ‘defending’ itself with the collaboration of its warmongering allies, i.e. daily killing, maiming and dispossessing the native population, and brutally attacking peaceful protesters, when it welcomes back the refugees (still holding the keys to their houses), perhaps its VICTIMS will consider accepting its presence in Palestine.

  22. Adinah Rosen

    CJL,
    Why do you continue to deny that the entire Arab world started the war of ’48? The UN proposal of Nov 29 ’47 would have given the Palistinians their own country. But as you pointed out, the drive behind the Arab “talk”……why should they compromise and not have “56%” more of the Land? in other words, no existence of an Israeli state. Yes it is a tragedy that so many people were killed in ’48. But again, why no claim as to what triggered the tragedy? IF you are a representative of the “voice of Palestinians” , then I am deeply saddened because you seem to be saying that there can be no Israel.
    Are you saying it is ok for Arabs to attempt to wipe out the entire Jewish population, but if in defense, Arabs get killed, you call this is “ethnic cleansing”? This is precisely the “victim” dogma that I am talking about which is destroying the inner fabric of the Palestinians. Spending so much human resources on destroying rather than building.

    And by the way, a Jew can’t buy in an all Arab town either.
    Although in the Galilee an Arab couple bought in a small Jewish town yet the courts forbid any Jews to buy in the neighboring Arab town. Mixed towns such as Acre have different laws. I don’t hold the Israeli gov’t as blemish free, nor do I see any gov’t in the world today as “exempletory”.
    As far as getting building rights to build, any civilized country has legal procedures to build. Even in your country of England. Perhaps you have never visited Israel and seen the beautiful villas many Arabs have built in the Galilee.
    As far as seperate schools, you would probably complain also if there weren’t. The reality is, in the Arab schools they are able to not have school on Friday and Sunday, go to school on Saturday, and teach their own culture, where if they were in a Jewish school there wouldn’t be school on Saturday and there is oon Friday and Sunday. Do you complain in your country that there are seperate Catholic schools? In regards to limited resources, all the school systems suffer, as they do in many countries these days so stop trying to dump all the “suffering” on being victims of Israel.
    Yes, tell me why there are cement walls in particular areas?
    Just for the fun of wasting national resources? And what were those 13 Israeli Arabs doing in 2000? Peacefully holding protest cards? Across the Galilee, Arabs were rioting with guns, and bombs in the streets. They were pulling Jewish neighbors out of their cars and beating them. These same neighbors who just the week before thought they had such great relations with their Arab neighbors. I am still hoping that those that rioted were just a small minority of hot heads. But what they caused is a major distrust from the Jewish population and a significant loss of livelihood for many Arabs because Jews are afraid now to go and buy from many of those villages.

    Curious to know CJL if you are so “passionate” about helping to heal the tragic killings and injustices done between the Palestinians themselves. Or are you part of those “supporters” who encourage to blame everything on Israel, avoidling dealing with the problems from within.

  23. CJL

    When will A R realize/understand/admit that Zionist Jews set out to grab a country which did not belong to them (even if the almighty says so!)? 700,000 people happily lived there at the time of WW1. They were promised self-determination by the winning foreign powers (the main one, Britain).
    Instead, they were deceived and have never accepted the colonization and domination by the Zionists, aided and abetted by the British Cabinet.
    They have never ceased to protest, resist and were brutally repressed, treated like criminals, especially in 1936.
    They had every right to reject a plan decided by others, which took away 56% and the best part of their own country where they still represented the majority: That is why “population transfer” was so important, as recorded by the infamous Yossef Weitz.
    On the other hand, if the Zionists were so satisfied with the offer, why did they grab 78%, then 100% (and more from the neighbouring countries)? Of course, they were “defending themselves”, as we are still told they are doing now!
    A R knows full well (unless nobody ever told her) that the Zionist forces (Haganah, Stern Gang a.s.o.) had been fully equipped by the Eastern Block, and were very well organized. They proceeded to the systematic, cynical expulsion of Palestinians, numerous massacres, along with the razing to the ground of at least 400 villages (evidence erased!): The Zionists were the thieves, destroyers, killers. They did the WIPING OUT.
    If this were not true, if the “Arabs” happily and stupidly went away, leaving behind all their possessions, but also if A R and her Zionists brothers are such righteous Jews, why don’t they accept the Repatriation of these Palestinian Refugees and all the other UN resolutions for that matter? They did not even respect 181.
    It is a fact that Israel exists, but it is an illegitimate state: Its present set up will be unacceptable, so long as it keeps the land grabbed in 1967 and until it allows the Return of the Refugees to their original towns and villages, if they so wish. There is plenty of room to rebuild their villages. And by the way, there is not much room in the present “Arab villages”…That is why the Zionists go and settle in the fortresses of the annexed West Bank, with their own communication system: Apartheid?
    If the Zionists had not created divisions between their important selves and the “Arabs” (as they like to call the Palestinian citizens), there would not have been any need for separate schools (No, I do not approve of religious schools: Schools should be places of learning and reflection, free from indoctrination).
    A R seems to be unconcerned about Sharon’s unforgivable behaviour in 2000: asserting his “right” to the whole of Palestine, including Haram-Al-Sharif, followed by a massacre as a response to stone throwers – which indeed triggered much anger and another intifada. His “evacuation” of Gaza… and increased colonization of the West Bank was such a “generous” act!
    We now get the story of “look-they-are-killing-each-other-ha-ha”: Is A R proud that the government and its allies/financiers managed to split the Palestinians “moderate” Abbas lot and the “terrorist” Hamas (originally encouraged to oppose Fatah)?
    I repeat: The Zionists robbed a country. If the “Israelis” want to stay there, if they are the peace lovers they claim to be, they must obey the basic rules:
    *An invader has no right to colonize a country seized by military force (UNR 242).
    *Refugees have the Right to Return (UNR 194).
    This is real, present. There could be a Palestine/Israel: The “Israelis” alone, not the oppressed Palestinians, should make the “difficult choice”.

  24. Adinah Rosen

    CJL,
    You write: We now get the story of “look-they-are-killing-each-other-ha-ha”: Is A R proud that the government and its allies/financiers managed to split the Palestinians “moderate” Abbas lot and the “terrorist” Hamas (originally encouraged to oppose Fatah)?

    God forbid to laugh or be proud of people killing each other.
    It is truely a tragedy, especially when children grow up thinking this is a legitimate way to express frustration and response to differing opinions.
    Who has split the Palestinian people but the people themselves. If a person hits his brother because his neighbor “made” him angry , is this justifiable? Are you saying that the man is mearly a “victim” of his neighbor and therefore is justified in letting out his anger in a violent manner on his brothers? If a family cares about each other, no level of incitement and injustice from the outside will bring someone within the family to actually murder the other.
    The point I was trying to make is that victim mentality is destroying the inner fabric of the Palestinian people, to the point where their is “justification” to murder your brother for being of a different political party!
    I am not saying that only the Palestinians have this “victim” mentality either. It is a phenomena in the human psyche. It can play out as simply as a wife giving her husband the cold shoulder because he said something in a way she didn’t like hearing.
    This victim mentality is being played out in the extreme collectively amongst the Palestinians, and just as it can destroy a marriage from within, it can destroy a people from within . And no, this would not make me happy as you might think. Because I know Palestinians who are good people I don’t clump them all together as the “enemy”. All of humanity is One organism and the destruction of a part of it that has the potential to give to the whole is indeed a tragedy.

    In regards to schooling, there are many different cultures and religions in the Land, not only Jewish and Palestinian. Druze, Bedouins, Cherkasy all live in their own communities with their own schools because THEY want this. It enables a freedom and protection to live and to pass on traditions, cultures and values that differ from the majority.
    Sad to hear that you equate religion with indoctrination and fail to see that any form of giving over ideology or perspectives of reality can become a form of “indoctrination”.
    By the way, If you are anti-religious why do you say about Santa, “he will be back”? Is he mearly a political prop in a demonstration?
    I thought Santa was a religious figure who is reminding children that they are rewarded for good behavior and bad behavior doesn’t lead them to what they really want.
    Blessings to you CJL for a happy inner life in the midst of this storm wind around and in us all today.

  25. CJL

    I was reassured to read that AR saw the in-fighting among the Palestinians as a tragedy. Alas, not for long, as she dares add that “the people themselves” have done the “splitting”!
    She appears to be unaware that their Zionist masters have spent years dividing them, starting with the Druze and Circassians in 1947-1948, continued with encouraging Hamas against Fatah, then, when Y. Arafat stopped playing ball, he was hounded until he died, to be replaced by M. Abbas who was “persuaded” to become a “moderate” and separate himself from the “terrorists”, the democratically elected uncorrupted Hamas.
    We know how spies and paid informers operate in “the territories” and keep the splitting alive and well. This state of affairs always happens in a country under Occupation (I know a lot about the collaborators in the occupied France of WW2): All the Palestinians of any party/faction are all the victims of their Occupier, “Israel” splitting them into “good” and “bad”.
    AR must also understand that religion is not the original problem in Palestine: Occupation is the source.
    Religion, in any case, is a matter for the individual conscience: The mosque/church/synagogue is the place to cultivate it, not the school where each child should grow up and make up his/her own mind about the existence or non-being of an almighty.
    As to “Santa”, AR should know that innocent young children believe in “him”: They like fairy tales. In Bethlehem, he is indeed a symbol: We would all like him to become a reality, but this will not happen until the people of Palestine recover their country and their freedom.
    The Zionists have used religion and their eternal victim status to justify their actions and presence in Palestine: This has been the first tragedy.
    Their extremism has triggered other extremisms, by creating HELL on earth for the indigenous people of Palestine, in “Israel proper” where these are “Israeli Arabs”, but especially in the “disputed territories” where some sadly hope to gain “PARADISE” through becoming human bombs. The Zionists know better: They have “proper bombs” which only kill “Arabs”.
    Humans created the “one god” who says what they each want to hear: That is how they use religion. Most have forgotten “Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal”.
    Why not play music together? Daniel Barenboim who has just acquired a Palestinian passport, is the model to follow.

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