Showing newest posts with label ethnic cleansing. Show older posts
Showing newest posts with label ethnic cleansing. Show older posts

Monday, April 27, 2009

Catastrophe

Following our previous look at 175 years of Palestinian suffering on the anniversary of the Nakba (the Arabic word for catastrophe), it is important to remember that at the same time that the well-known and publicized Arab refugee crisis was developing, there was another catastrophe taking place all over the Middle East.

In 1945, there were approximately 1 million Jews living in various Arab countries across the Middle East, as well as Iran/Persia, Afghanistan and other Islamic, non-Arab countries. From Tehran to Baghdad to Beirut to Cairo to Tripoli to Tunis and beyond, bustling Jewish communities thrived for thousands of years. These indigenous peoples predated even the Arabs (and certainly the Muslim invaders who came in the 600's) by over a thousand years! The first Jews to arrive were forced out of Israel and Judea by the Assyrians and Babylonians after the destruction of the FIRST Temple and were later joined by additional refugees of the Roman exile as well the Crusades, Spanish Inquisition and various other atrocities committed against them.

I recently had the privilege to attend movie showing and speech on the topic that was produced by The David Project. The film, entitled The Forgotten Refugees, relates the story of these communities and the terrible conditions that forced them out.




As the Jewish state was forming, the Arabs launched pogroms all over the Middle East. With scenes reminiscent of Kristallnacht from just 10 years earlier, Jews were taken out of their homes, beaten, hanged, robbed, looted and raped. In just a few short years, centuries upon centuries of Jewish culture were erased and these communities fled their homes in terror.

I'm not much of a movie reviewer but I will say that I myself was very affected by what I saw. Growing up, I knew a large percentage of Israel was made up of "Mizrahim" or "eastern" Jews (from Arab lands) but the fact that whole COUNTRIES were literally ethnically cleansed of Jews was not something I had really wrapped my head around before I saw the movie. The movie is filled with documentary footage as well as personal interviews with some of the survivors of these events. But perhaps the most shocking part of the movie was when they displayed a graphic that detailed the Jewish populations of these countries in the 40's and compared them to today...

Aden
1940's: 8,000
Today: JUDENREIN

Afghanistan
1940's: 5,000
Today: JUDENREIN

Algeria:
1940's: 140,000
Today: 80

Egypt
1940's: 80,000
Today: 40

Iran
1940's: 100,000
Today: 20,000

Iraq
1940's: 150,000
Today: 16

Lebanon
1940's: 5,666
Today: 20

Libya
1940's: 38,000
Today: JUDENREIN

Morocco
1940's: 265,000
Today: 5,000

Syria
1940's: 27,770
Today: 26

Tunisia
1940's: 105,000
Today: 1,500

Yemen
1940's: 55,000
Today: 100

Source: The Forgotten Refugees, this collection of statistics from Wikipedia and this BBC article on the last Jew in Afghanistan



And lest you think that these Jews were even allowed to take their personal belongings with them or that these people were not productive members of society, this estimate from 2007 that you never read, claims over $300 billion-worth of property lost and the deeds to over 100,000 square miles of land confiscated by the Arab governments. To give you some context - that's over FIVE TIMES the size of the entire state of Israel as it stands today. To give you a little more context, in 1948 (after the "Nakba" was over) the Palestinian population of Israel was 156,000.

Today that number has become 1,498,000.

A TENFOLD increase.

Conveniently, the Arab world has seen to it that the Jewish communities that used to exist in their own lands have been stricken from the record. The Jews who fled have been turned into forgotten refugees because to admit the facts is to admit that the crocodile tears they cry over the Palestinians are exponentially MORE hypocritical when taken in the context that the accusers are actually GUILTY of the behavior they falsely pin on the victims! In reality, if Israel was really looking to "ethnically cleanse" itself of its Arab population - they would do much better to follow the example of the very neighbors who are the loudest to dump this crime on them.

So, as tonight marks the beginning of Yom HaZikaron, the Israeli Memorial Day, the RONMOSSAD blog would like to dedicate this space to those forgotten refugees and the memory of those who did not make it to a better life in Israel or elsewhere. While the hypocritical West and United Nations pass hundreds of resolutions on worldwide refugees (including over 100 on the Palestinian refugees) and create "Bureaus on committees on exercises" to deal with the problem...as usual not a word is said about the catastrophe that befell the Jews of the Middle East at the same time! Instead those victims are demonized and cast as the oppressors.

I hope you will now join me in taking every opportunity you can, to remind those who seek to eliminate the Jewish communities of the Middle East from our memories, that we will not allow them to rewrite history and to hijack the narrative for their political gains.

The world must know that Israel is NOT made up of "European invaders" - rather that these communities existed in Israel and in the Middle East for thousands of years before the first Zionists set foot in Petach Tikvah.

That the descendants of these now-destroyed Jewish communities are still very much alive and part of society and that they will not be silenced by a world that finds their existence inconvenient.

That they will be forgotten and cast aside no longer.

Skip to the next post in this series: Triumph or the previous post: Nakba


Friday, April 24, 2009

Nakba

This week (April 29th to be exact) Israelis and Jews will celebrate the 61st anniversary of the reestablishment of their ancient state of Israel. Many Palestinians and Israeli Arabs however, will be commemorating 61 years since their "Nakba" or Great Catastrophe during which they lost their homeland to the Jewish/European invaders. Truly the story of the Palestinians is a sad one as ever since the beginning of their history they have been killed by outsiders.

The following as a brief summary of some of the catastrophes that have befallen the Palestinian people since the birth of their national consciousness...

1834: Hundreds of Palestinians are killed and raped, dozens of villages are destroyed and 10,000 deported to Egypt.

1938: 4,200 kilos of bombs are loaded into Jenin and detonated, destroying much of the town and causing numerous casualties. As part of the attack, Palestinians are used as "mine-sweepers" by being forced to drive through the city in advance of the attack. When questioned about these tactics, the perpetrators respond that they are confronted, "not with a chivalrous opponent playing the game according to the rules, but with gangsters and murderers."

1968-1970: Orders are given to "deal conclusively and without hesitation with the plotters who want to establish a separate Palestinian state and destroy the unity of the Jordanian and Palestinian people." As a result thousands of Palestinians are killed, thousands more are arrested. Tens of thousands are ethnically cleansed and deported out of entire cities.

1978: Laws and regulations are amended to treat Palestinians as foreigners. Their rights to free education, employment and even residency were taken away from them.

2001: Palestinian Arabs are deprived of their right to own property...laws are also passed depriving them of their ability to become citizens and work in 74 different fields.

2005: Attacks begin on Palestinians all over the country, estimates come in that over 600 have been killed.

October 1st, 2006: - 8 Palestinians are killed in various flashpoints throughout the occupied territories.

December 11-23 2006: - "At least 20 Palestinians, including children, killed in a series of tit-for-tat attacks."

2007: Over 350 Palestinians are killed and over are 550 wounded all over the West Bank and Gaza.

August 2nd, 2008: 9 Palestinians are killed and 95 hurt in Gaza.

January 3rd, 2009: At least 35 Palestinians are killed and an additional 75 have their legs shot or hands broken.

Let us all take a moment of silence in the memory of these tragedies that have befallen the Palestinian people over the past 170+ years...







The following parties must be held to accountability for these crimes of murder, rape, theft, ethnic cleansing and apartheid:

1. Egypt (1834 - occupation of Palestine and subsequent murders and rapes)
2. Britain (1938 - destruction of Jenin)
3. Jordan (1968-1970 - actions/ethnic cleansing against Palestine Liberation Organization based in its territory)
4. Egypt (1978 - discriminatory/apartheid laws being passed against Palestinians in Egypt)
5. Lebanon (2001 - discriminatory/apartheid laws being passed against Palestinians in Lebanon)
6. Iraq (2005 - attacks on Palestinians in sectarian violence)
7. Hamas and Fatah leadership (2006-now - attacks on each other that have killed dozens of civilians)

You won't find any mention of any of these atrocities on the websites that speak of crimes against Palestinians. Mysteriously absent is any mention of Arab-on-Arab violence, British military tactics or infighting amongst Muslims. You see, it's only an issue when Jews kill Muslims...when they kill each other it's just part of their culture...or it's the growing pains of a new Middle East...or any other number of silly excuses that have been given by "peace activists" and the like.

Let's also not forget that in 1947 when the United Nations voted for the Palestine Partition Plan that it would have been the first time in the history of the world that there was an independent Palestine:



Please note that with the exception of the coastal plain that included Tel Aviv and the next-door Arab enclave of Jaffa (that would still remain under Arab control), the remaining Jewish land was primarily uninhabitable, arid, rocky desert (everything from Beersheba and south). The Jews jumped at the opportunity to re-establish their homeland for the first time in 2,000 years even though it was essentially three unconnected patches of land and no claim or even access to Jerusalem, the ancient Jewish capital of 3,000 years.

The Palestinian (and Greater Arab World's) response was to declare war on the soon-to-be founded state of Israel. This resulted in a Jewish victory during which they took a significantly larger portion of the country than what the UN allotted them and resulted in the Yom Haatzmaut/Nakba duality that we will be celebrating/mourning this week.

To make it even clearer...if the Arabs had accepted the UN plan in 1947 we would be celebrating the 61st anniversary of Palestine on Wednesday as well as Israel. There would be no refugee problem, no issue of borders, no dead women and children, no conflict, no stupid excuses for Bin-Laden and the Palestinians would have a significantly larger country than even the one Ehud Barak was willing to give them in 2000 (which they again, rejected).

Instead they chose to follow the advice of their leader of the time (and inspiration for Palestinian nationalism still today) Haj Amin al-Husseini:

this was and will remain an Arab land. We do not mind you natives of the country, but those alien invaders, the Zionists, will be massacred to the last man. We want no progress, no prosperity. Nothing but the sword will decide the fate of this country.

Source: palestinefacts.org

Therefore, it is on the eve of the 61st anniversary of the Nakba of Palestinian people that the RONMOSSAD BLOG calls for the indictment of those parties responsible for the suffering of the oppressed Palestinian people that continues well into its 175th year:

-The Arab kings, sultans, dictators and autocrats of the 1800's, 1900's and 2000's
-The Palestinian leadership of the 1920's, 30's and 40's
-The Fatah/Hamas "leadership" that continues from 1948 into today

The RONMOSSAD BLOG also calls for true justice, solidarity and hope for the Palestinian people. The parties responsible must rectify this problem once and for all and those that continue to perpetuate these vile and intolerant laws against Palestinians in their own countries must be taken out of power immediately.

Furthermore, the RONMOSSAD BLOG asserts that the living conditions for Palestinians who chose to remain in Israel proper (referred to today as "Israeli Arabs") are significantly better than those of their neighbors in the refugee camps of their adoptive countries. Israeli Arabs have full voting rights, access to education and serve in the Israeli Parliament.

Therefore, the RONMOSSAD BLOG calls on the host countries of the Palestinian refugees to IMMEDIATELY grant them equal rights as they receive in Israel.

Finally, the RONMOSSAD BLOG declares that there will be no peace in the Middle East, no justice or hope for Muslims, Christians and Jews in Israel and Palestine until the Arab "leadership's" crimes of the Nakba are rectified. The conflict will continue until the world recognizes the FACTS that have been presented here.

Justice, solidarity and hope for the innocent victims of the Nakba. In 2009...and forever.

Skip to the next post in this series: Catastrophe or the previous post: Nightmare