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Susan Abulhawa: A is for Aparheid or Annapolis

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    Jewish exclusivity and entitlement at the expense of non-Jews is not a right, for God s sake, it is racism! `A is for Apartheid or Annapolis By Susan Abulhawa
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 2 10:41 AM
      Jewish exclusivity and entitlement at the expense of non-Jews is not a right, for God's sake, it is racism!

      `A' is for Apartheid or Annapolis
      By Susan Abulhawa

      In the 80s, we gave up 78% of our homeland to try to pick up the
      pieces of our lives on the remaining 22% of Palestine. This was, and
      remains, the only true (brave or otherwise) concession ever made in
      the so-called `Middle East Conflict." Next came Camp David, then
      Madrid, then Oslo, then another Camp David, Taba, Wye, (deep breath)
      Sharm el Sheikh, the Disengagement, the Road Map. Through it all,
      Israel continued to divide, carve out, confiscate and settle that 22%.
      They scattered us into a diaspora, shut down our schools, bombed damn
      near every inch of the West Bank and Gaza, herded us into ghettos, set
      up checkpoints all around us and employed every tool of imperialism,
      times ten, to get rid of or subjugate us as a cheap labor force.

      Now we arrive at yet another surreal meeting in the clouds: Annapolis.
      Everyone is invited except the PLO — the sole and only legitimate
      representative of the Palestinian people — and the democratically
      elected members of the Palestinian Authority (that would be Hamas). At
      this meeting, Israel will throw us a few bones, like releasing some
      prisoners (who will most likely get rounded up again when the hype
      dies down) while it is intentionally starving 1.4 million human beings
      in Gaza, cutting off fuel, electricity and clean drinking water.
      Annapolis will serve only to move Israel a little closer to stamping
      out the "refugee problem," those Palestinians and their descendants
      whose homes, farms, property and history Israel stole.

      Palestinians are the natives of the land that was called Palestine for
      the last several thousand years until 1948 when Jewish foreigners
      changed its name to Israel. We are the natives in every sense of that
      word: historically, legally, culturally, ethnically, and even
      genetically! True there were Jewish tribes in that land some 3,000
      years ago. There were also Canaanites, Babylonians, Sumarians,
      Philistines, Assyrians, Persians, Romans, Byzantines, and Brits.
      Palestinians are the natural descendants of all of these peoples who
      passed through that land, intermarried and converted between
      religions. When you understand this, it becomes clear why Palestine
      has always been a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious
      society. In other words, the idea of "tolerance" and co-existence that
      the West fought to attain and claims to cherish and hold dear, was
      already a reality in Palestine. Israel has taken that ideal, turned it
      on its head, and beat it to a pulp so every Jew in the world can have
      a place where he or she can go and see none but fellow Jews.
      Remarkably, the world sees nothing wrong or out of the ordinary with
      this and would like us to simply live with it, negotiate with a
      juggernaut military power that has made no secret of its desire and
      intent to take all of Palestine and get rid of as many of us Gentiles
      as it possibly can.

      Never in history has the world so cruelly called on an oppressed,
      robbed, and battered native people to sit down with their oppressors
      to "negotiate" for their freedom. Even worse, what we are expected to
      negotiate away are our basic human rights, in order to have a few
      checkpoints removed so we can call those ghettos — surrounded by a 20
      foot concrete wall with guard towers — a "state."

      We are being asked to give up our natural right to return to the homes
      from which we were forcibly removed because, and only because, we are
      not Jewish. We are asked, as native Muslims and Christians, to give up
      our natural right to live and thrive in Jerusalem as we have for all
      of time. We are told that we should not expect to have the right to
      control our own water, economy, airspace, or borders. Why? Why should
      we accept such an inferior status and inferior fate? We are not
      children of a lesser god that we should be expected to relinquish
      God-given, self-evident rights accorded and upheld for the rest of
      humanity. We are not animals to be disposed of so that Jewish
      individuals around the globe can have dual citizenship, a sort of
      summer country in the Hamptons.

      Would anyone have thought to support the desire of White South
      Africans to live as separate and superior humans and expect Black
      South Africans to "negotiate" with the Apartheid government for their
      basic human rights? Of course not! Anyone with a mind and conscience
      took for granted that Blacks have equal rights as Whites. That is
      self-evident and non-negotiable. So is our right as non-Jews in
      Palestine to be accorded the same rights and privileges as Jews in our
      ancestral homeland. Human dignity and equality simply should not be
      topics of negotiation in the 21st century.

      Even more vulgar is Israel's insistence that we recognize its right to
      be a state of the Jewish people. This country that stole everything
      from us – our homes, our holy places, our trees and farms, our
      institutions, our history and heritage, the cemeteries where our
      grandparents and forefathers are buried – because we are not the right
      kind of human in their eyes. They want us not only to attest that such
      an affront to humanity is legitimate and appropriate, but that it is
      somehow a right!

      Let me, as one dispossessed and disinherited Palestinian, say with all
      the force of my love and anguish for my country, my family, and my
      countrymen, that I do NOT recognize such right. A right is something
      inherently and unquestionably just. Jewish exclusivity and entitlement
      at the expense of non-Jews is not a right, for God's sake, it is racism!

      -Susan Abulhawa is the author of The Scar of David, a work of
      historical fiction recently published by Journey Press. She is also
      the founder of Playgrounds for Palestine,
      She can be reached at: sjabulhawa @ yahoo.com



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