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Palestine: History, People


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Title: Palestine: History, People

Palestine History, People the Land
  • Dispelling the Myths
  • Primer on History
  • Key Issues
  • Life in Palestine Now

Myth 1 Palestine and Palestinians Never Existed
There was no such thing as Palestinians
Former Israeli PM Golda Meir
Palestinians are Two-legged vermin
Former Israeli PM Menachem Begin
Former Israeli PM Yitzhak Shamir
We need to keep Palestinians like drugged
roaches in a bottle
Palestinians are grasshoppers
Former IDF Chief Rafael Eitan
Of course Palestine and Palestinians Existed!
  • Blanket dehumanization of a people used as
    propaganda tactic
  • Israel has devoted enormous energy to
  • Expel Palestinians from their homes
  • Strip away Palestinians identity
  • Deny Palestinians existence
  • Maps, books, photos reference Palestine
  • Baedecker's famous guidebook (1876) was entitled
    Palestine Syria

Population 1870-1946
Population 1870-1946
Question it!
  • If Palestinians never existed, why do Israeli
    leaders refer to the Palestinians in their
    derogatory, racist statements?
  • If Palestine / Palestinians never existed, why
    are there resources (Pre-1948) referencing
    Palestine and its people?
  • If Palestinians never existed, what people lived
    there when European Jews arrived?

Myth 2 Palestinians Chose to Leave their Land
in 1948
  • Myth Palestinians left at their own will
  • Myth Encouraged to leave by Arab leaders
  • Myth 68 of Palestinians left without ever
    seeing an Israeli soldier
  • But on the other hand.
  • Myth It was a war and they lost, so it goes
  • Myth Population Exchange - Palestinian refugee
    losses balanced by claims resulting from
    comparable exodus of Jews from Arab world

Palestinians were forced to leave their land
  • Palestinians largely defenseless in 1948
  • Exodus was involuntary and enforced
  • Never relinquished their rights of home land
  • Significant proportion terrorized into leaving
  • News of massacres, rape, plunder instilled fear
  • "In our country there is room only for the Jews.
    We shall say to the Arabs Get out! If they don't
    agree, if they resist, we shall drive them out by
  • Professor Ben-Zion Dinur Israel's First Minister
    of Education, 1954
  • from History of the Haganah http//www.birzeit.e

  • 419 Arab villages demolished and depopulated
    between 1947-1949

Thats about 4 villages destroyed per week!
Question it!
  • Why would people want to leave their homes at
    their own will? Homes that have been in their
    families for generations!
  • Oh, okay new-person-not-from-this-land, heres
    the key to my house. Take it, its yours! Ill
    just live in a tent.
  • What causes masses to leave their land?
  • Would nearly 1 million people living peacefully
    on a land for hundreds and hundreds of years
    suddenly decide to pick up and leave because they
    felt like it? Where were they going?

Myth 3 A religious war that has lasted
thousands of years
  • Myth This is a religious war that has been going
    on for thousands of years mainly between Jews and
  • Myth Since it has been going on for so long,
    theres no chance for it to end in a short time
  • Myth There has never been peace in the Middle

Its not about religion, its about land AND it
just began in the 1900s!
  • Christian, Jews, Muslims have been living
    together peacefully for hundreds of years
  • Difficulties have only started with an exclusive,
    religiously pure apartheid system
  • Israel loves saying it because
  • Longer it goes on, more time to build illegal
    settlements and humiliate Palestinians
  • Implies Jews have been there long time
  • Makes Americans feel that theres no hope
  • Why put pressure on Israel to change? Its been
    going on for so long.

Question It!
  • Why has there been relative calm before the
    colonist / Zionists arrived?
  • If its a religious war, how come we rarely hear
    about the Palestinian Christians? Where do they
    fit in?
  • If its a religious war, why isnt it going on in
    Morocco, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon,
    Jordan, Tunisia, Ethiopia, and many other
    countries were both Jews and Muslims live?

Myth 4 Israels Generous Offer
  • Myth Palestinians get 95 of land
  • Myth Administrative control over some
    Palestinian neighborhoods around Jerusalem
  • Myth Administrative civil control over
    Palestinians living in West Bank Gaza

No Freedom No Independence
  • Its like a prison
  • Continued building of bypass roads
  • Checkpoints every few miles
  • No real sovereign control over borders
  • No control over water or air space
  • Non-contiguous land

And theres more.
No Freedom No Independence
  • Continued Israeli military control over large
    segments of the West Bank, including almost all
    of Jordan Valley
  • Codified right of Israeli forces to be deployed
    in Palestinian state at short notice
  • Continued presence of fortified illegal Israeli
    settlements and Jewish-only roads in the heart of
    the Palestinian state

Ohand one more thing.
No Freedom No Independence
  • Required nearly 4 million Palestinian refugees to
    relinquish their fundamental human rights in
    exchange for compensation to be paid not by
    Israel but by the "international community."

Question it!
  • Why is there no territorial contiguity for the
    Palestinian state?
  • Why dont Palestinians have control of its
    external borders and water resources?
  • Why is Israel NOT carrying out a FULL withdrawal
    as required by international law?
  • Why is there no Palestinian Right of Return?
  • Why is refugee compensation to be paid by
    international community?
  • Why do Palestinians need to compromise any
  • Already only left with 22 of their original

Myth 5 Israels a democracy
  • Myth Claims to be only democratic state in
    Middle East
  • Myth Israel civilized an uncivilized world and
    made the desert bloom
  • Myth Israeli Palestinians have equal rights

Wheres the Democracy?
  • Israels Law of Return gives automatic
    citizenship to any Jew
  • No defined borders
  • No constitution Only series of laws that
    establishes Jewish supremacy over non-Jews
  • Torture is legal
  • Land confiscation is legal
  • Indefinite detention without charge

Applies only to Palestinian Israeli citizens
Question it!
  • How can you be democracy and an exclusive state
    for Jews? Thats blatant racism.
  • How can you call a country a democracy when it
    doesnt even have a constitution or defined
  • Why does Israel grant citizenship to a Jew from
    Russia but not to an indigenous Palestinian who
    was born on that land?
  • Why does US provide unconditional support to an
    overtly exclusive, racist state?

  • Israel is a full democracy only if we are to
    consider Apartheid South Africa a full democracy
  • Yes Israel is a democracy if youre Jewish
  • Its like saying US is a democracy as long as
    youre white

Whenever You Hear
  • Palestine Palestinians never existed
  • Palestinians chose to leave their land
  • This is a religious war that has lasted hundreds
    of years
  • Israel has made generous offers to Palestinians
    and they never accept
  • Israel is a democracy

Question it!
The Key Issues
  • Right to Return
  • Violation of International Laws
  • Refugee Crisis
  • Illegal Settlements
  • House Demolitions
  • Resources
  • Occupation
  • Denial of Self Determination
  • Human Rights Violations

Right To Return A Critical Topic Often Ignored
  • Right of Return is right of Palestinians to
  • Return to their homeland
  • Full restitution of all their confiscated and
    destroyed property in accordance with Intl Laws
  • Why its not discussed?
  • Tied to racist nature of exclusive state
  • Israelis spin it as a demographic problem
  • The Reality
  • In 20 years population will be 55 Palestinian
    Christian and Muslim and 45 Jewish
  • Israel is afraid if right to return is
    implemented, the special state of Jewish
    character is ruined

Right of Return MUST be Brought to the Forefront
  • Permanent return desirable for peace to prevail
  • Ignoring it contradicts every link to democracy
  • What if everyone in US says we want an exclusive
    Christian state or exclusive white state? Means
    no Latinos, Asians, African Americans,
  • Ignoring it goes against basic American values of
    openness to diversity, acceptance of people no
    matter what race, creed, ethnicity
  • Its universal basic right!

Universal Declaration of Independence
  • "(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of
    movement and residence within the borders of each
  • (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country,
    including his own, and to return to his country"

1948 Resolution 194
  • Paragraph 11 "...the refugees wishing to return
    to their homes and live at peace with their
    neighbors should be permitted to do so at the
    earliest practicable date... compensation should
    be paid for the property of those choosing not to

Reaffirmed 110 times with universal consensus,
except for Israel U.S.
1974 UN Resolution 3236
  • Subsection 2, "the inalienable right of the
    Palestinians to return to their homes and
    property from which they have been displaced and
    uprooted, and calls for their return".

1997 UN Resolution 52/62
  • Reaffirms that the Palestine Arab refugees are
    entitled to their property and to the income
    derived therefrom, in conformity with the
    principles of justice and equity."

19481974 1997 .
  • UN Resolutions reaffirmed over and over and over
    with universal consensus

except for Israel U.S.
Question it!
Right to ReturnWho Can Become An Israeli Citizen
  • If youre Jewish
  • Arrive at airport
  • Go to Qlitat Aliyah (Jewish Immigrant
  • Say Im Jewish
  • Congratulations, Youre a citizen!

Palestinians are not allowed the same methods as
Jews to become a citizen
  • If youre a Palestinian
  • Sorry, no chance.

Refugee Crisis
  • About 5½ million Palestinian Refugees
  • Oldest largest refugee problem in the world
  • Not a single refugee allowed to return
  • Onto fourth generation of refugees
  • Some made refugees multiple times 1948 1967
  • Ways of dispossession
  • Home demolitions.displaced again
  • Israeli Laws

Right of Return IS Possible
  • A study on the demography of Israel shows that
    78 of Israelis are living in 14 of Israel and
    that the remaining 86 of the land in Israel is
    mostly land that belongs to the refugees on which
    22 of the Israelis live.

Illegal Settlements
  • Large housing projects/cities built illegally by
    Israel on land confiscated from Palestinians
    within West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza Strip
  • Began as a means of controlling annexing
    Palestinian land occupied during 1967 War
  • Serves Israels strategic, military, economic
  • Impedes peace process creates facts on ground
  • Constant reminder and humiliation to Palestinians
    in an Apartheid system

Settlers Settlements
Of 400,000 Settlers, 70 Americans (e.g.
Brooklyn) Others Russian European
SOURCE Foundation for Middle East Peace
190 Illegal Settlements
130 / 16
  • 80 water aquifers in West Bank
  • Illegal settlements strategically placed on top
    of water aquifers mountains
  • Illegal settlements get priority access
  • As illegal settlements are built or expand,
    water taken away from Palestinians

This Really Happens
  • When supplies run low during summer, Israeli
    water company shuts off valves that supply
    Palestinian towns. So settlers get full swimming
    pools while Palestinian villages a few miles away
    run out of drinking water.

Settlers attack Palestinians' water supply,
severing pipes and switching off valves. They
dump untreated sewage on Palestinian land,
polluting wells and aquifers.
Israeli army has routinely destroyed water
supplies, an activity defined as a war crime.
SOURCE http//
Palestinian Olive Trees
  • Sole source of income for many Palestinian
  • Each tree yields approximately 5 gallons of oil
    sold at markets for equivalent of about 75
  • Olive Trees passed down through generations of
    Palestinian families
  • Takes decades to mature fully
  • More than 11,000 olive trees have been uprooted
    and destroyed
  • Under attack by Settlers

House Demolitions
  • Classic colonial practice attacking or
    eliminating habitat of indigenous population
  • Carry out collective punishment either in
    retaliation for, or as deterrence against, acts
    of resistance
  • Violations of International Law
  • Demolish villages and create policies refusing to
    grant them building permits
  • Encouraging and subsidizing construction of
    illegal Israeli settlements
  • Creating nation of homeless dispossessed
    (becoming a refugee yet again)

  • Loss of control over natural resources
  • Imposition of suffocating closures and curfews
  • Destruction of Palestinian land and property
  • Suppression of free statement
  • Systematic destruction of the Palestinian economy

  • International law considers agreements between an
    occupier and any body in occupied areas to be
    null and void if they deprive civilians of
    recognized human rights including the rights to
    repatriation and restitution.

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