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Return to Palestine 2012-Day 2-Bethlehem,Jerusalem Part 2

sunny 72 °F

continuing on... recapturing what I lost last night:
Last paragraph from what did get saved:

"Spoke about the value of BDS and spoke of how absurd it is for people to be concerned that "BDS is too strong", and prefer to "invest in Palestinian business" or "boycott only settlement products". Reminds they have tried Everything, and nothing has made any difference, so how on earth could BDS be "too strong"?

- "There is no peace movement in Israel", Nidal said - which statement surprised me.

I know Peace Now is not useful but just not sure what he meant by this, and there was no time by then to expand. I wonder if he's referring to the fact that most of the "resistance" organizations within Israel are only anti-Occupation groups? That would make sense to me, as a group that supports two-states is still supporting Apartheid and racial discrimination. There ARE groups of Israeli Jews who are against the concept of an apartheid state, such as Anarchists Against the Wall, but they are indeed tiny and few in number.

He spoke of dialogue and rapproachment, saying "these do not lead to peace".

You don't "dialogue" with your oppressor, and Ali Abunimah said something similar. You cannot "reconcile" with a person or entity while they are in the act of strangling you. Particularly interesting to me, given the recent small struggle in Spokane about the Jerusalem Peacemakers, and what Michael and I experienced in the Bay Area decades ago: once it was clear that numbers of people were working on Palestinian freedom, all of a sudden came a call for "dialogue". All work stopped while "dialogue events" took place, until enough of us saw what was happening. Freedom first, then reconciliation.

It's a subject worth some time as opinion about it is all over the place.

- In answer to "has the Palestine Authority outlived its usefulness?" he said they are an authority without authority" and that many Palestinians see it as an agent of Israel.

- Then to BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee rights, with Lubna, a Palestinian-American with an American passport. Their work: 1. Educating refugees about their human and refugee rights; 2. outreach, support and alliance-building with civil society and international NGOs, 3. researchg and mobilization.
Some points made:

- Law of Return: the Israeli law that says that any Jew living anywhere in the world has the "right to retrun to Israel", any Palestinian, even those who actually lived inside what is now Israel has no right to return to their home, and cannot return.

- UNCCP -a UN agency that has long received nearly no funding, and whose records cannot be accessed by anybody. It holds massive records of land expropriations and confiscations, and the world is quite probably afraid of the information UNCCP holds, the saying is "the losses are too big to be counted".

- Some refugee information from Badil: 1. under british mandate 1922-47 150,000 people became refugees. 2. the Nakba 1948, 800,000 refugees and more than 500 Palestian villages were depopulated or destroyed. 3. the Naksa 1967 450,000.

- Citizenship distinctions: Jews are Nationals, '48 Palestinians are Citizens. Nationals receive all the perks of citizenship. Nationals do not.

- Israel does not have a definition for who is a Jew. That description is changed as the need arises. When Israel was faced with a "demographic problem" during the early 90's, they looked to Russia where there were many people who wanted to leave as the system was collapsing there.

About half the Russian "jews" who immigrated in the early 90's were not Jews. For them to prove they were Jewish, they were asked if they knew
any Hebrew words. Definition was re-defined in order to bring in the Ethiopian Jews, or Falasha. - links to two well-researched articles on this from that time: "Ingathering of Exiles" http://www.sonomacountyfreepress.com/palestine/ingathr.html and "Choices Without Options" http://www.sonomacountyfreepress.com/palestine/nochoice.html.

- "Unrecognized villages" are unrecognized because they were built without permits. Most of the "unrecognized villages" are villages that were in existence before '48 and therefore could not have had permits.

- Right of Return for ALL people is codified in international law, an inalienable right, and cannot be taken away.

- A new definition: "Seam Line": the land between the "Green Line" and the wall.

- Beware "normalization" dialogue. This is where oppressor sits with oppressed, and you talk about everything except the reality of life. definition is also larger than this, worthy of conversations later.

Much Envronmental information. Will wite much more about this later

Posted by mtorres55 12:17

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