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Living in a Stolen Land

Lasha Darkmoon

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Whither Israel? Will it still be around in 10 years’ time? Will the Palestinians ever receive justice and see the restoration of their lost lands?

Rima Najjar is a Palestinian activist, researcher, and retired professor of English Literature who taught for many years at Al-Quds University in the occupied West Bank of Israel. Her paternal ancestors, who had lived for generations in the village of Lifta  on the western outskirts of Jerusalem, were horrified to see the depopulation of their village in the 1948 Nakba, when the marauding Jews came marching in with their machetes and their wild eyes.

How many of her family were wiped out, Rima Najjar does not say.

“The Jews ordered us to line up against the wall and started shooting. All were killed: my father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, uncles, aunts and some of their children. Halim Eid saw a man shoot a bullet into the neck of my [pregnant] sister. THEN HE CUT HER STOMACH OPEN WITH A BUTCHER’S KNIFE.”

This comes from Fahimi Zidan, a Palestinian child survivor of the infamous Deir Yassin massacre of 1948. (See here). Whether any of Rima Najjar’s family were lined up against the wall in Lifta and shot is unknown. Nor is it known if any of the pregnant females in her family had their stomachs cut open with a butcher’s knife by the invaders of Palestine.

If I mention this by way of introduction, it is to emphasize the fact that Rima Najjar is emotionally involved in the history of Israel, which will be exactly 70 years old in a few months’ time. To be precise, on 14 May 2018. Rima has seen a lot happen in that time, during her tenure at Al-Quds University with its 5,500 students scattered over the West Bank, some in Ramallah and others in the Old City of Jerusalem.

It’s a wonder she’s still alive.

Let Rima speak for herself. She will bring you up to date with what is going on in Occupied Palestine, especially in Jerusalem where her university is located. She is anxious to tell us about the impact of Donald Trump’s preposterous presumption in handing over Jerusalem to the Israelis as their “Eternal Capital”.

Rima writes:

What’s going on in Jerusalem is what has always been going on in Palestine since 1948 — the forced dispossession of Palestinian Arabs of their identity, land and heritage.

Because of Donald Trump’s declaration to move the US embassy to Jerusalem and the resultant global outrage regarding this decision, many people have become interested in understanding what is going on in Palestine and what the global ramifications might be.

They are finally becoming aware, after 69 years of Nakba, 69 anniversaries of Human Rights Day and 69 years of falsification of history, that the Palestinian people, like all other peoples in the world, do in fact have the right to self-determination and return.

Israel is surrounded by the Palestinians (among them 5 million UNRWA Palestine refugees in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan) it drove out of Palestine to establish the Apartheid settler colonial Jewish state there. These people are mostly, but not exclusively, Muslim in religion. They are the indigenous people of Palestine, Arab in culture, the true owners of the land.

At the center of Zionist mythology, she tells us,  is illegally-annexed Arab East Jerusalem. Trump’s declaration flies in the face of international law and has been universally condemned except by the Israelis, the Jewish neoconservatives, and AIPAC-controlled politicians in Congress and the Senate. These have welcomed Trump’s declaration,  proclaiming with sanctimonious hypocrisy that this will now kickstart the non-existent “peace process”.

Trump’s mischievous declaration, designed to curry favor with his Jewish backers and enrage the Palestinians, has also been greeted with bleated cries of ecstasy from the 70 million Christian Zionists who infest America and are Judaics in all but name.

The world has rejected Trump’s declaration as evil and stupid. Only the Jews and their lackeys and sycophantic camp followers have smacked their lips with approval at the President’s latest antics. This is because they know this is “good for the Jews”. The happiest bunny of them all is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been struggling manfully all week to conceal his gloats under a cascade of sunny smiles.

Hamid Dabashi writes in Al-Jazeera:

If you want to understand the psychopathology at the root of the Zionist psychosis, you must go to the heart of their delusion, like an analyst placing a mentally sick person on a couch – and today there is no better place to see that psychotic colonial fixation at work than in an article, titled, Of Course Jerusalem Is Israel’s Capital, published (where else?) in the New York Times just hours before Donald Trump’s announcement that in his august moronic opinion, “Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.” Jerusalem has never been and will never be the capital of a racist apartheid European colonial garrison state that calls itself “Israel”. Never.

—  §  —

Rima Najjar goes on to argue that Trump was influenced in his decision to hand Israel their best Hanukkah gift in 70 years by elite American Jews like Sheldon Adelson, Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and US envoy to Israel David Friedman. He was also swayed by the right-wing Christian Zionists, the 70 million happy clappers longing for the Rapture, Armageddon, and the End Days. The way they’re going, the End Days will be zapping them any minute now, before they know what’s hit them.

Rima Najjar concludes:

Through the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement and other strategies for resistance, the Palestinian Authority must find a way to get rid of the racist “two state solution” concept, renounce the Oslo Accords, and come up with a democratic alternative, one that does not deny the humanity of Palestinian Arabs nor value the well-being of colonizing Jews (euphemistically called “settlers” or “immigrants”) over that of the indigenous people of historic Palestine.

So what’s going on?

This is the latest idea certain diehard Trump supporters are now doing their best to promote on various fringe websites: that Putin and Trump are allegedly working hard behind the scenes in “secret collusion” to foil the plans of the “evil Zionists” and make sure the Palestinians get a “fair deal”, i.e., a 2-state solution they will be happy to accept. There is absolutely no evidence for this cock-eyed conspiracy theory, but that doesn’t deter its kooky promoters.

An added ingredient to this fantastical conspiracy theory of secret Putin-Trump collusion in curtailing Jewish power and giving Israel a bloody nose, is this: while Trump goes ahead and declares Jerusalem the eternal capital of Israel, his co-conspirator, Vlad Putin, intends to step in soon and declare East Jerusalem the capital of Palestine. This is all part of a pre-arranged plot, so we are told, to force Israel to the negotiating table and agree to an equitable two-state solution. Israel will be pushed into accepting West Jerusalem as its capital, renouncing all claims to East Jerusalem. The Arabs will then have East Jerusalem as the capital of their new fledgling state of Palestine. (See MAP)

These conspiracy theories have been canvassed on my own site in a rudimentary form, not by me personally of course but by various wacky commenters who happen to be both Trump and Putin supporters. More elaborate versions of the theory will be found on other fringe websites I prefer not to identify by name, because the owners of those sites are known to me personally and I don’t want to antagonize them. I have enemies enough. Frequent references  have been made on my own site, as my readers will testify, to Putin and Trump playing “4D chess”  and of being active participants in “kabuki theater”. According to these internet pundits, nothing is as it seems. It’s all a game, a magic shadow show, a pantomime of pretense. The more stupidly Trump behaves, the more fiendishly clever he is cracked up to be. The more outrageous his behavior, the more he is transmogrified into a paragon of all the virtues. You can’t win with these guys.

Fascinating ideas, to be sure, but they don’t stand up to critical analysis for the following six reasons:

(1)  Trump’s declaration is in clear violation of international law, and 14 out of 15 Security Council members have rejected it. East Jerusalem has already been illegally annexed, with large numbers of Palestinians having been illegally ejected. Trump’s impudent “declaration” is now accelerating the further dispossession of the Palestinians in East Jerusalem, with their residency permits being revoked. Their properties are being confiscated so that Jews can move in and take over their possessions, including their furniture and family heirlooms. In other words, Trump has given his imprimatur to organized theft.

(2)  Palestinians I am in contact with all insist on an undivided  Jerusalem as their capital and totally reject the idea of ceding West Jerusalem to the illegal occupiers of Palestine.

(3) If there is to be a one-state solution—which many if not most Palestinians might settle for—then both Jews and Arabs will have equal rights in West Jerusalem and East Jerusalem. There will be no need then to divide Jerusalem into two halves, one for the Jews and one for the Arabs.

(4) East Jerusalem has been illegally occupied by Israeli “settlers”, as already stated, and Palestinians have been evicted from their homes in large numbers to make room for Israeli encroachers. “Who the hell wants East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine,” an angry Palestinian once asked me, “when it’s full of f*****g Jews who refuse to get out? Would you like a capital in which the Jews have stolen all your best land and thrown you the scraps and leftovers?”

(5) The least the Palestinians will settle for, it seems, is a country in which Israel will be forced to go back to its pre-1967 borders, vacating all their illegal settlements in the West Bank and allowing the Palestinians to have a united Jerusalem—both east and west—as their capital. This is the way it was, after all, before the predatory  colonialists arrived.

(6) Finally, there are those Palestinians, backed by large numbers of anti-Zionists in the West, who would like to see every single Jew in Israel driven out of Palestine and forced to return to their countries of origin in the West. The vast numbers of Palestinians in exile will then be encouraged to return to the Palestine from which their families were driven in 1948. As for the Americans and the Brits, it will be up to them to solve the Jewish Problem in the best way they can. Allowing 6.5 million Jewish colonialists to live on stolen land is not the answer.

The Israelis refuse to accept any of this. They insist that every square inch of Jerusalem belongs to them—both West and East Jerusalem. (See picture here). Some of these colonialist land-grabbers go even further, insisting that the illegally occupied West Bank belongs to them in its entirety also, by biblical mandate, describing these “disputed territories” as Judea and Samaria.

They will not rest until every single Arab is “driven into the sea”.

Living in a stolen land can’t be easy.