The Land Speaks Arabic

Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal
Volume 7, Number 2, November 2008

Documentary Film Reviews
THE LAND SPEAKS ARABIC
Reviewed by Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh

‘La Terre Parle Arab’ (2007). Director Maryse Gargour. Arabic, French, English audio with English subtitles, 61 minutes. Winner of several European awards (ASBU, Prix France 3 Medirerranee, Prix Memoire du Medirerranee).

This excellent documentary on one of the most pressing issues of our time brings
together rarely seen footage of Palestine before 1948 juxtaposed with historical research, eyewitness accounts, stunning choreography, moving testimonials, and historical documents.

We can state the fact that before the Zionist project began in Palestine it was more heavily populated than the United States of today. We can state that Palestine 20 years or even fifty years after the Zionist project was launched was still predominantly Arab. But it is one thing to state a fact and another to have seen it or lived it. The next best thing is to have a film that shows you a video of the era and pictures of the documents of the era. That is what this film does in a very professional, practical, and effective way. Continue reading

Al Nakba and Canada

By: Mazin Al Nahawi.

It is a shame that John Baird and his boss Stephen Harper haven’t learned yet from Canada’s colonial past.

For over a century, the Palestine question has been described as the most complex political issue of our modern time. A very “complicated” equation that after a half of a century of Zionist colonization to set up and establish a colonial “Jewish state” in Palestine, a mathematician, none other than Einstein himself, had something to say about the crimes committed in his name as a Jew, and in the name of Judaism.

In a letter by Einstein to the Zionist, Shepard Rifkin, executive director for “American Friends of the Fighters for the Freedom of Israel”, dated April 10, 1948 (the date is very important, it’s only a month before the illegal creation of the Zionist state in Palestine.)

Mr. Shepard Rifkin
Dear Sir:
When a real and final catastrophe should befall us in Palestine the first responsible for it would be the British and the second responsible for it the Terrorist organizations build up from our own ranks.
I am not willing to see anybody associated with those misled and criminal people.
Sincerely yours,
(Signed, ‘A. Einstein’)

It didn’t require more than three lines to solve this “complex” matter, and it seems that Einstein was very confident in naming the culprits for the “catastrophe in Palestine”, as he precisely described it.

One month after that letter, the Palestinian Arabs began to call the day of the creation of the Israeli occupation state, which consisted of the robbery of their homeland and existence as AL NAKBA (Cataclysm or Catastrophe). That was 65 years ago. Continue reading

Zionism and the United States Congress. By William James Martin

Art by Naji al-Ali

Via: CounterPunch.

The Locus of the Conflict in Palestine is in Washington DC

The ideology, or political project, of Zionism which underlies the creation of the State of Israel had, in fact, a Christian origin rather than a Jewish one, as writings can be found dating from the 1500’s, written by Christian clergymen in England advocating the migration of Jews to the Holy Land.

The migration of Jews to Palestine was also advocated by Napoleon Bonaparte.

The first Jewish presentations of Zionism were written by Moses Hess in 1862 and 20 years later by Leo Pinsker, both of the Russian Pale, with each writer advocated a separate state for Jews.

Twentieth century Zionism was initiated by Theodore Herzl who, likewise, advocated a separate state for Jews in his book in his book, Der Judenstaat, written in 1896. One year later he formed the World Zionist Congress which held its first meeting in Basel Switzerland in that same year.

What to do with the Arabs present in the prospective Jewish state dominated the thoughts of the founders of Israel from Herzl up until the actual expulsion of the Palestinians in 1948.
Thus Herzl stated:

“[We shall] spirit the penniless population across the frontier by denying it employment. Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.”

Thus the concept of the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians was introduced.

It is not rocket science, if you want to create a state exclusively of Jews, mostly European, in the heart of the Middle East, then you must first get rid of the Arabs. Continue reading

The Green Light for Zionism’s Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. By Alan Hart

Via: Alan Hart.

Deir-Yassin

I find myself wondering how many of our present day leaders, President Obama in particular, are aware of what happened in Palestine that became Israel on 10 March 65 years ago today.

On that day in 1948, two months before Israel’s unilateral declaration of independence in defiance of the will of the organized international community as it then was at the UN, Zionism’s in-Palestine political and military leaders met in Tel Aviv to formally adopt PLAN DALET, the blueprint with operational military orders for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

They did not and never would refer to the crime they authorised as ethnic cleansing. Their euphemism for it was “transfer”.

As noted in an excellent anniversary briefing paper by IMEU (the American-founded Institute for Middle East Understanding), from the earliest days of modern political Zionism its advocates grappled with the problem of creating a Jewish majority state in a part of the world where Palestinian Arabs were the overwhelming majority of the population.

The earliest insider information we have on Zionism’s thinking is from the diary of Theodor Herzl, the founding father of Zionism’s colonial-like enterprise. He wrote:

“We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it any employment in our own country… expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.”

Those words were committed to paper by Herzl in 1895 but they were not published (in other words they were suppressed) until 1962. Continue reading

The Language of Zionism. By Joseph Massad

palestine loss land

Via: Al Ahram Weekly.

The reason for the ongoing “violence” in Israel and Palestine is not on account of Israeli colonialism at all but rather a direct result of mistranslation. Joseph Massad provides an abridged lexicon of Zionist terminology

“Colonialism is peace; anti-colonialism is war.” This is the unalterable equation that successive Israeli governments insist must determine the basis of all current and future relations between Israeli Jews and the Palestinians. Indeed, the deployment of the rhetoric of peace between Palestinians and Israeli Jews since the 1970s has been contingent on whether the Palestinians would acquiesce in this formula or insist on resisting it. The Oslo Accords were in large measure a ratification of this formula by the Palestine Liberation Organisation. Nonetheless, Palestinian resistance, violent and non- violent, to understanding “colonialism as peace” never fully subsided, even as the Palestinian Authority insisted that it become the law of the land.

The deployment of the rhetoric of peace however was more than anything else a deployment of the rhetoric of the “peace process.” In his book about the peace process, William Quandt traces the history of this deployment:

“Sometime in the mid-1970s the term peace process began to be widely used to describe the American-led efforts to bring about a negotiated peace between Israel and its neighbors. The phrase stuck, and ever since it has been synonymous with the gradual, step-by-step approach to resolving one of the world’s most difficult conflicts. In the years since 1967 the emphasis in Washington has shifted from the spelling out of the ingredients of ‘peace’ to the ‘process’ of getting there… The United States has provided both a sense of direction and a mechanism. That, at its best, is what the peace process has been about. At worst, it has been little more than a slogan used to mask the marking of time.”

I disagree partly with Quandt’s conclusion, mostly because the “peace process” since 1993 has been a mask for nothing short of Israeli colonial settlement and attempts by the Palestinian people to resist it and by the Palestinian Authority to coexist with it. Continue reading