Al Nakba: Expelled from Home and Native Land but not from History. By Bahija Réghaï

Via: rabble.

‘Here on the slopes of hills, facing the dusk and the cannon of time
Close to the gardens of broken shadows,
We do what prisoners do,
And what the jobless do:
We cultivate hope’
– Mahmoud Darwish

When asked for a definition of “peace’ during a CBC interview, Canadian scientist, educator and renowned activist Ursula Franklin stated: “Peace is not just the absence of war. It is the presence of justice and the absence of fear.” This simple definition helps explain why there is still no peace in Palestine. The man-made Palestinian plight has been characterized by a lack of justice and driven by fear and greed, from the decision of colonialist powers to give away more than half of Palestinian land without a referendum – including the valuable coastal strip – to the ongoing immoral blockade of Gaza.

Palestinians around the world commemorate on May 15 their collective national trauma, the forced exodus from their homeland in 1948, or Al Nakba (Catastrophe) – a historic injustice inflicted on some 750,000 unarmed civilian Palestinians. As they fled in fear, their properties were seized, their religious institutions destroyed, and close to 500 of their villages demolished or emptied.

By accepting the declaration of independence – self-proclaimed one day before the end of the British mandate – and by recognizing the state of Israel, an entity with no defined borders, the international community officially placed the fate of Palestinians at the mercy of Israel. At that point, plans “A” “B” and “C” had already been formulated, and the fourth plan “Dalet” (letter “D” in Hebrew) which called for the systematic expulsion of Palestinians from strategic areas had been finalized in March 1948.

So, before any Arab forces entered the sectors designated as Arab under the Partition Plan, Zionists including Canadian recruits (Dan Freeman-Maloy quoting David Bercuson) – carried out terrorist activities and operations within them to ethnically cleanse them of indigenous population. Many well-known terrorists are recognized as Israeli heroes, amongst them Israeli prime ministers. It is odd that Israeli leaders can’t see the similarity between their reaction to the British Mandate and that of the Palestinians under occupation. Continue reading

Canadian Policy: The Jerusalem effect. By Bahija Reghai

Via: OpEndNews.

One must wonder why the Government of Canada feels the need to by-pass the Canadian electorate and announce changes in its policy relating to Israel/Palestine through Israeli media: these announcements should have been made in Canada because they have a profound impact on Canadian interests and need to be debated in Canada.

And our national media have gone AWOL on a number of issues when they are supposed to be their readers’ and viewers’ watchdogs, especially since Parliament has been prorogued.

First, we learned of the Security Agreement through the Jerusalem Post in 2007. On March 2, 2008, a Declaration of Intent was signed by then Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day in Tel Aviv. Having a mutual security agreement with a country that grants rights according to religion rather than citizenship is not in accord with Canadian values.

The fact that Israel is an occupier state and uses its army against Palestinians while occupying their land should also raise a red flag as intelligence gathered on Canadian Arabs of Palestinian and Israeli background may be skewed, “shared”, and used against them. The implications of such an agreement should be the subject of parliamentary debate and oversight.

Second, the Israeli settler radio station Arutz Sheva said in October 2009 that Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon had announced in Israel his intention “to present the Canadian Prime Minister with a plan to revive the multilateral “refugee committee’ headed by Canada that was established in the Madrid Conference in 1991.” The question of Palestinian refugees has been a core issue in the Arab-Israeli conflict since 1948. As the “gavel-holder” of the Refugee Working Group (RWG), Canada has a special responsibility towards all Palestinian refugees. Continue reading