‘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