Nabi Salih - a name that should be on the forefront of our mind.
It is a Palestinian community under threat, but which has steadfastly responded with a definitive no to further confiscation of lands and control of their lives by a foreign occupying force.
The following discussion can be used to acknowledge those Israelis and Palestinians who stand together to face the beatings, tear gas and physical violence inflicted by young conscripts in the occupation force. These soldiers are duped into thinking they are serving their country and doing their duty. In fact they are mere pawns used by a government addicted to control at all cost; and the quest for a maximalist position on land and power.
Thank you to the brave souls that resist the occupation at great expense to themselves. Your sacrifice will build the conditions necessary for peace for the people of Israel and Palestine. Shame on the Israeli government for not pulling out settlements especially in such ridiculous parts of occupied Palestine. The two state solution will be dead if nothing is done fast. Although there are many who say it is already dead, because Israel failed to act sooner and has continually supported settlement expansion, with some minor removals.
Nabi Salih 13 May 2011
Nabi Salih 13 May 2011 (Camera operator 1)
Nabi Salih 13 May 2011 (Camera operator 2)
Nabi Salih 8 April 2011
Updates to original discussion
[Updated 30 June 2011]
Nerine Melikyan, "Welcome to Nabi Saleh", 21 June 2011
Narine Melikyan's visit to Nabi Salih.
Part of weekly Friday protest. Gershon Baskin led some of the Israeli protestors
Latest on Nabi Saleh (TWEETS)
Not a tear for the thousands of Arabs martyred by their own brothers in Syria, Egypt , Libya and Yemen. But plenty of ink spent on villifying Israel.
HOW MANY DIED AT NABII SALIH????
Talk about doublespeak and duplicity.
Peace be with you Michael.
The difference is Israel holds itself as a liberal democracy and the mainstream in the Jewish diaspora in the West defend Israel without question.
No one for a moment would question the oppressive and inhumane way that Syria, the former Egyptian government, Libya and Yemen treat poltical opposition.
No duplicity in my perpective, merely a call to account for a state that holds itself out as 'the only democracy in the Middle East. Lets see Israel step up to the plate and prove it extends its democracy to the West Bank and Gaza. Relinquish control of the lives of 4 million people. Israel cannot have 7 million citizens and 11 million subjects. This is not democracy at its best. This mirrors the excesses of Western colonialism in former ages.
Michael, each person in life has limited time and resources. Every minute I spend on this conflict I take away from my family, career and other social, political and environmental justice issues. I do this because I pray that somehow sense and reason will prevail. That people of conscience, given the right information, will be able to see the conflict from all the various perspective and be able to bring about creative and sustainable change. I have little daily engagement with the people of Syria or Yemen. Whereas on a daily basis I interact with members of the Jewish community in Australia who (as identified by the mainstream Jewish organisation hierarchy) continue to offer an AIPAC view of the conflict. Such a narrow view will continue to hurt their loved ones in Israel for years to come, because it fails to understand the root problem of why Palestinians resist and seek their basic human rights.
My sadness is lazy thinking where people just lash out at those who think differently to them. And who then try and demonise them for their perspective, without justified reasons. The worst of such thinkers try and use the anti-Semitic or self-hating Jew card. In the context of discussions on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict with people of conscience, this is the highest form of intellectual and emotional laziness.
Michael do you really think settlement construction and consolidation are steps towards peace? You can't have a 2 state solution without the conditions necessary for 2 states. Either we are going to get a formalised 1 state solution, which will be Israeli controlled with Palestinians denied citizenship and apartheid solution that Olmert and Barak fear. Sadly the reality today (and for the last 44 years) is we have a defacto 1 state solution, which means Israel has 7 million citizens and 11 million subjects.
This is a political dynamic that hurts both Israelis and Palestinians. It is up to people of conscience to speak up.
Michael I am always inspired by those within the Jewish community who have awoken from their slumber (or who never went to sleep and have always been aware) of the anti-democratic and anti-liberal practice that is inherently a part of militarily occupying fellow human beings. Every year and decade this occupation continues further undermines an opportunity for peace for the people of Palestine and Israel. The longer we delay the more difficult it will be for future generations to fix up the mistakes of the adults of today.
Very interesting take but alas quite faulty. You are confusing what Democracy actually is or is not. In Israel there is law and order and if anyone disagrees with the actions of an individual, group or government than there is recourse to the courts.
What you are illustrating is mob rule and selective justice. That is nothing to do with Democracy. Liberal practices are not necessarily in keeping with Democracy and they are mutually exclusive.
The Israeli people have spoken and you and others must allow their decision to stand even if you disagree. It is not your place to be judge and jury as to what is good for Israel or Jews. You are just an onlooker into history. The people that you taut as having awoken are but a tiny speck of a minority without any decision making powers or even without being able to forge events that they espouse.
Israel is a Democracy with a functioning duly elected government where Arabs, Muslims, Christians and Druze are part of the political scene. Israel has a functioning and independent judiciary as well as a professional police force. Elections are held on a regular basis.
That is democracy. The people decide what is good for them and not outside forces.
P.S Michael, here is a reflection by Peter Kosminsky about the TV mini-iseries he made called 'The Promise' about 1948 British mandate Palestine.
So what have they taught me, my seven years engaged with the inciting conflict of our terrorist-obsessed age? The most striking thing I'm left with is a question: how did we get from there to here? Like most British soldiers we interviewed, arriving in Palestine from the war in Europe, Len Matthews felt only sympathy for the Jewish plight. Having seen the ovens of Bergen-Belsen, his heart tells him that Jews deserve a place of safety, almost at any price. In 1945, that view was shared by most of the world. In the era inhabited by Erin, his granddaughter, just 60 years later, Israel is isolated, loathed and feared in equal measure by its neighbours, finding little sympathy outside America for its uncompromising view of how to defend its borders and secure its future. How did Israel squander the compassion of the world within a lifetime? That's the question The Promise sets out to explore. Its other purpose is to act as a reminder to all of us Brits who shake our heads and mutter "not our problem". As the departing colonial power, Britain was charged with seeing both communities to independence in good order. In Palestine, as in so many other examples of our rapid retreat from empire, we left chaos, political confusion, bloodshed and war. It turns out that it is our problem, at least in part, and we should take some responsibility for it.
This view portaryed by Kosminsky I too found amongst at least one Australian soldier from the Palestine period.
After I returned to Australia after spending time in Israel and Palestine. I spoke to a group of older men. One was a war veteran from 1948 Palestine. He said he never knew any Australian soldier who was not sympathetic to the plight of the Jewish people before serving in Palestine. He said he did not know any Australian soldier who after serving in Palestine was not sympathetic for Palestinian Arabs.
There is another narrative that we need to hear. By truly hearing that narrative we will help build security fo rthe people of Palestine and Israel.
You are entitled to your opinions and speak to people that are in agreement with you. I do not see that happening. Canada is a good friend of Israel as are its people. The USA, Australia and New Zealand are good friends of Israel.
People as compared to governments all over the world are in synch with the Jewish State of Israel. I have spent some time in China, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and India where Jews are welcome and there is a favourable opinion of Israel. Even snobbish Britons have a certain admiration for Jews and Israel.
If the Arabs want security than they must stop demonizing Jews and the Jewish State of Israel and welcome us into the Middle East . Come negotiate in good faith without hidden agendas and peace is very, very possible. Your way will only make Jews and Israelis more distrustful.
Britain was charged with seeing both communities to independence in good order.
Historically he has it all backwards. The British received a Mandate from the League of Nations to create a National Home for the Jews in all of Palestine , including the current Jordan. They failed to discharge their mandate by lobbing of Trans Jordan as an Arab State and not allowing Jewish immigration while allowing Arab immigration into Trans Jordanless Palestine. To add insult to injury decided in 1937 to further divide the 22% of Palestine into a Jewish State and another Arab State.
So please excuse me if I take his portrayal with a large grain of salt.
Updates to original discussion added.
Nerine Melikyan, "Welcome to Nabi Saleh", 21 June 2011
Narine Melikyan's visit to Nabi Saleh.
Part of weekly Friday protest. Gershon Baskin led some of the Israeli protestors
Latest on Nabi Saleh (TWEETS)
Thanks Narine and Gershon for your part in going to Nabi Saleh and seeing for yourself what is going on.
Thank you Eyal for your courage in going to Nabi Salih:
Oliver : (but part of that ‘dogma’ is also that ‘we’ must never allow anybody anymore to control us... IDF soldiers are proud of what Israel has achieved so far) Eyal, I know you were in Nabi Saleh two weeks ago. Would you tell us something about what you have experienced there?
Eyal : So while MEPEACE is open to everyone... and focuses especially on young... the challenge is great. Yes, Oliver... we must serve as a platform to overcome dogmas... Well, Oliver asks about Nabi Saleh...
Basil : RMH
Oliver : Basil - after Eyal
Eyal : There’s a new movement of non-violent resistance... Gershon Baskin invited Israelis to join him in Nebi Saleh...
Oliver : (welcome Bonny)
Eyal : It was most unpleasant, I was arrested along with a friend, we were taken to Israeli Police station, fingerprinted, photos, investigation and release... There is a judicial process now... and I’m scared... but this is part of the process...
Oliver : Did they indicate a reason for the arrest?
Eyal : I have also been ‘distanced’ from Nebi Saleh by the army...
Basil : Distanced? Sorry to hear of your troubles.
Eyal : Thank you... There allegation is that my friend and I tried to overcome an army roadblock against orders in a closed military zone.
Linda : What does ‘overcome a roadblock’ mean?
Eyal : (The area was closed by the army that same morning - we didn’t know...)
Gail : RMH
Eyal : Well, we were stopped by the military at the entrance of Nebi Saleh, we turned around and tried to enter at another entrance, were stopped there and arrested.
Oliver : Gail - after Basil and Eyal
Bonny : Hi reading
Eyal : (distanced means I face punishment if I try again in the near future)
Audrey Farber's experiece in Nabi Salih December 2010
"A representation of Israeli soldiers"
Attack on photo journalist Moheeb Al-Barghouthi in Nabi Salih, July 2011 - purportedly for "misrepresenting Israeli soldiers"
Watching the video - note how easy it is to take command of the Palestinian house in the central square of Nabi Salih and use it as a base to control the village.
Nabi Saleh, 22 July 2011
How exactly are they confronting the so called occupation? I am not sure whether some people here have not decided as to the meaning of the word occupation in contradiction of centuries worth of precedent and usage. Can you give me what is occupation in a general sense and who is the occupied and occupier, based on lets say the last 100 years of historical discourse.
BTW, when Jordan was in charge was that occupation and again who was the occupied and the occupier.
Miko Peled on Palestinian Nonviolent resistance
Miko Peled a former Israeli Special Foces soldier, a son of General Matti Peled an Israeli war hero (who also fought in the war of 1948) and uncle of Smadar Elhanan killed by a terrorist action speaks about the three myths of the Palestinians-Israeli conflict and his belief that nonviolent Palestinian resistance that we see in the likes of Nilin, Bilin and Nabi Salih will ultimately bring freedom for the Palestinian people.
Quotes from Miko Peled, 30 March 2011
My grandfather was a signer on the Israeli declaration of independence, and my father, a general, one of the giants who planned and executed Israel’s most definitive military victories, namely 1948 and 1967. So I know what you were taught and I know what you think. But its time to sweep away the Zionist myths and uncover the truth so that we may all finally live in peace. The myths I will address tonight are the three most common myths:
1. The myth of 1948.
2. The myth of the existential threat of 1967.
3. The myth of the Jewish democracy.
I want to read to you a passage from my upcoming book The General’s Son, and I quote: (Growing up we were taught to believe that the Arabs had left Eretz Israel partly on their own and partially at the directive of their so called leaders, and that therefore taking their land and homes was morally OK. It never occurred to us that even if they did leave willingly, we had no right to prohibit their return. But then Israeli historians had found that what Palestinians have been saying for decades was true.) end quote. In other words when Palestinians claim something is true we doubt it but when Israelis claim it themselves, well now that is a different story. So Israeli historians found that Israel and Palestine the exact same place. But when Israel was created it was created on the ruins of Palestine.
Another widely accepted Zionist myth is that in 1967 Israel had to defend itself against an existential threat as invading Arab armies were about to wipe it off the face of the earth. And it just so happened that miraculously the Israelis won and conquered lands to the north, east and south defeating three massive armies. Well, setting aside the countless books that have been written in Hebrew, English and Arabic and documentaries that were filmed and disprove this myth, and clearly show that Israel attacked in order to conquer, as part of the research for my book, I sat for days at the Israeli army archives reading through the minutes of the meetings of the Israel army general staff. Here is another quote from my book: (In a stormy meeting of the IDF top brass and the Israeli cabinet that took place on the 2nd of June, 1967, my father General Matti Peled told the cabinet in no uncertain terms that the Egyptians needed at least a year and a half in order to be ready for a full scale war. His point was that the time to strike a devastating blow against the Egyptian army was now, not because of an existential threat but because the Egyptian army is NOT prepared for war. The other generals agreed. But the cabinet was hesitant.
On Israel as a democracy - the situation of Palestinians in the West Bank
The myth of Israel being a democracy is still being perpetuated even in light of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. While Jewish Israelis over there and AIPAC over here like to think they are the only rightful citizens of their land and will argue that they live in a democracy, this is far from being true. Israel has been in control of the West Bank for over four decades and had built and invested heavily in the West Bank. But Palestinians who make up the vast majority of the population in the West Bank are excluded from any of it. In other words, 100% of the construction in the West Bank was done to bring Jews into the WB and exclude the close to 3 million Palestinians whose land this belongs to in the first place. 3 million Palestinians are left out, disenfranchised even as they see their lands taken, their homes destroyed and roads, malls, schools and gated communities being built for Jews only with no access to them or their families. Some democracy.
And that is not the worst of it. Water, the scarcest resource of all is controlled and distributed by the Israeli water authority, including the large amounts of water that exists within the WB. According to Betselem, the Israeli human rights organization the ground water from the Mountain Aquifer is a shared water source for Israeli and Palestinians. It is the largest and highest quality water source in the area, producing 600 million cubic meters (mcm) of water annually. Israel holds almost complete control of the aquifer and exploits 80 percent of the production for its needs, leaving the remainder for the Palestinians’ use. “The discriminatory and unfair division of shared water resources creates a chronic water shortage in the West Bank, and is liable to harm Palestinians’ health.”
Miko Peled's upcoming vist to Australia - Melbourne 20 September
Nurit Peled-Elhanan (sister of Miko Peled) is an Israeli peace activist, one of the founders of the Bereaved Families for Peace. After the death of Elhanan's 13 year-old daughter in 1997, she became an outspoken critic of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
This "my Jew is better than your Muslim" is wearing a little thin. The son of a Hamas founder converted to Christianity and has a lot of negative things to say about both Islam and the Arabs. SO WHAT AND WHO CARES.
So she succumbed to the Stockholm syndrome. AGAIN. SO WHAT AND WHO CARES.
Peace can only be achieved when the Arabs stop their terror, disband their "militias", recognize Israel as a Jewish State and come to the negotiating table.
The rest is simply a blame game, propaganda and just plain window dressing.