Minister Leers domineert debat Ter Apel met valse argumenten

  • Petra van meedogenloos.nl

Vanmiddag 31 mei was het debat over de ontruiming van het Tentenkamp Ter Apel. Ik wil er een aantal punten uitlichten waaruit blijkt dat minister Leers al dan niet doelbewust de feiten op basis van aangeleverde brondocumentatie verdraait.

1. Minister Leers stelt dat de burgemeester van Vlagtwedde zelf op 23 mei jl. de beslissing zou hebben genomen dat een noodverordening van kracht moest worden waardoor de ruimte geboden werd het tentenkamp te ontruimen.

Uit documentatie ons en eveneens de rechter ter beschikking gesteld blijkt dat de beslissing tot ontruiming al in een eerder stadium was genomen onder politieke druk. Zie pagina 3 van de brondocumentatie waarin de GGD aangeeft geen medische hulp te hebben verleend op het tentenkamp, omdat men toch al wist dat het tentenkamp ontruimd zou worden en dit bewust verzwegen is aan de vrijwillige artsen op het tentenkamp.

2. Minister Leers stelt dat zowel mensen binnen een AZC als illegalen conform het EVRM de ‘noodzakelijke’ medische zorg krijgen.

Uit ervaring van de artsen van het tentenkamp blijkt dit bezijden de waarheid. Binnen de Medische dienst van het COA werken geen artsen, het GCA waar de artsen zich maar moesten vervoegen teneinde de medische dossiers over te dragen blijkt een administratief callcenter waar eveneens geen enkele arts werkt.

Diagnostiek of een persoon al dan niet medische zorg nodig heeft wordt gedaan door verpleegkundigen in plaats van artsen en zelfs de medische screening bij aankomst in een land lijkt te gebeuren door verpleegkundigen. Zie brondocumentatie van artsen in ditartikel.

Uit dit artikel blijkt ook nog eens dat er zich Irakezen bevinden in de groep die terug zou moeten naar eigen land die in Irak op een dodenlijst staan. Simpel googelen van hun namen in Arabisch leidde al gauw tot die informatie.

3. Minister Leers pareerde het feit dat dokter Co van Melle was opgepakt door de ME en vastgezet met het argument dat hij aanwezig was als sympathisant.

De dokter is ’s ochtends opgehaald uit Amsterdam. Buiten Ter Apel reden ze op een roadblock van de politie; de wegen naar het tentenkamp toe waren afgezet. Nadat zij zich hadden geïdentificeerd en de dokter had gemeld dat hij medische hulp kwam verlenen zijn ze onder politie-escorte naar het tentenkamp toegebracht.

Van een van de andere vrijwilligers kreeg de dokter een opnameapparaat in bewaring en daarmee is de volgende opname gemaakt. Lees het verslag dokter van Melle zelf over zijn arrestatie.  En mijn verslag waaruit blijkt dat de agenten ook zijn aangesproken op de arrestatie van een arts, maar hun eigen mandaat hoger achtten dan de verlening van medische zorg.

Uit het verslag blijkt ook dat de andere arts is geslagen. De artsen stellen er geen van allen prijs op dat de aandacht op hen gevestigd wordt, omdat zij de mening zijn toegedaan dat berichtgeving over de vluchtelingen zou moeten gaan, dit betekent echter niet dat het niet gebeurd is. Simpele navraag brengt dit dan ook aan het licht.

Al met al is onze hoop dat de media deze gegevens op zullen pakken en erover zullen berichten. Dit is niet de wijze waarop een beschaafd land met vluchtelingen en artsen behoort om te gaan.

(groningen.dichtbij.nl / 31.05.2012)

Bodies of Palestinian fighters returned home


Bodies of Palestinian fighters returned home
In total, 99 bodies have been handed over in cities around the West Bank; a further 12 were sent to Gaza via the Erez Crossing.

The Israeli occupation authorities today handed over the remains of Palestinian fighters’ bodies to the Palestinian Authority. The bodies have been buried in secret military “numbered graves” in an Israeli settlement in the occupied West bank. This practice was adopted by the Israelis in the early 1970s.

Many complaints have been lodged over the years to the Israeli occupation authorities, and anti-occupation action has taken place to have the practice stopped, but to no avail. Some activists even said that the Israelis were carrying out autopsies on the bodies and trafficking in human organs.

According to Dr Saleh al Na’ami, a Palestinian researcher, a lot of studies have been carried out on this issue. “Ariel Dad, an Israeli military physician who is now in the Knesset,” said Dr. Al-Na’ami, “admitted that corpses of Palestinian fighters were used for medical experiments.”

Palestinian officials said that they have received the remains of 91 bodies in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank. In total, 99 bodies have been handed over in cities around the West Bank; a further 12 were sent to Gaza via the Erez Crossing.

The release of the fighters’ bodies was one of the conditions of the deal struck by Israel with the Palestinian prisoners to end their hunger strike. The head of the civil affairs committee in the Palestinian Authority, Hussien al-Shiekh, said that President Mahmoud Abbas has worked hard to get the bodies back. Ynet News reported that this measure is “a goodwill gesture” by the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, as a push for the stalled peace process.

There were official and popular celebrations at the handover of the remains of the fighters. PA officials organised a central reception in the presidential headquarter in Ramallah after which the remains were taken to different cities and villages for burial. A security official in Gaza said that the people are ready to receive the bodies with a 21-gun salute before burial.

Family members of the martyrs say that it is as if their sons have come home alive. Umm Haidar from Gaza, the mother of Ramiz Ubaid whose body was kept by Israel for 16 years, says that she feels “he is coming back alive and this is a happy occasion”.

Umm Badr from Al-Khalil (Hebron), the mother of Ahmed Badr, said that this will be a time to remember her son. “What will make me patient is my belief that he is in Paradise,” she added.

Other relatives of the deceased have expressed their happiness that their loved ones are being buried in local cemeteries and that they will be able to visit their graves.

(www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk / 31.05.2012)

Attacked By Israeli Fundamentalist In Tel Aviv, Six Female Arab Students Injured

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One Of The Injured Students – Wattan TV

Six teenage Arab students of the at-Tur School in Jerusalem were injured, on Thursday, at the Menachem Begin Public Park in the Yarkon area of Tel Aviv, after being attacked by extremist Israelis who hit them with sticks and hurled stones at them.

Member of the Parents Committee at the School, Hatem Khweis, stated that four fundamentalists attacked the students who were on a school field trip in the area, the Wattan News Agency reported.

Khweis added that the fundamentalists hurled stones at students, inflicting concussions and bruises, and that one of the students was moved to a nearby hospital.

He further stated that the school obtained a “security permit” that grants protection for school children during trips, but the protection was not granted due to what the Tel Aviv Municipality called “lack of funding”, Wattan added.

The school Parents Council held Israel responsible for the attack arguing that the assault was racially motivated.

(www.uruknet.de / 31.05.2012)

Israeli Activist Imprisoned For Trying to Become Palestinian

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PNN

Andrew Pshenichnikov, 23, has been in an Israeli prison for one week for trying to become a Palestinian citizen and give up his Israeli citizenship.

Two months ago Pshenichnikov moved to Dheisheh Refugee Camp in Bethlehem. The Israeli government was able to arrest him as Dheisheh is in Area A of the West Bank; Israeli citizens are banned by their government from leaving Area C and so his stay in Dheisheh was technically illegal.

In court Pshenichnikov stated that he will not accept any judgement made by the court as he does not recognise the Israeli government – including its judicial arm – as legitimate. He has returned to prison, where he will stay, until his next hearing.

(english.pnn.ps / 31.05.2012)

From Sabra and Shatila to Homs and Damascus.


Christof Lehmann
 – nsnbc. Disclaimer and Fair Warning. Before you continue reading this article I must warn you. I must warn you because it is an article that contains graphic images that have not been sanitized according to the European Media´s Ethical Guidelines. Guidelines that were in part designed with the intention to sale war, Hollywood Style, with embedded journalists, smiling politicians who shake hands, pictures of a tank from afar, to keep You placid and calm; to prevent you from having a “human response” to reality; to prevent that you become outraged and vent your outrage there, where it ought to be vented rather than after a soccer game.

I must warn you, because this article contains strong opinions. It contains strong opinions because when perversions of power and violence have reached a certain measure, not to voice strong opinions, not to act on them, and not to encourage others to act on them too is equivalent to having been perverted.

I must warn you, because if it is your intention to consume this article without reacting on it you may find yourself insulted. You may find yourself insulted because by implication I am calling you a pervert. I must also warn you because the responsibility for your lack of actions as well as the responsibility for any of your actions rests entirely within yourself.

From Sabra and Shatila to Homs and Damascus. How could I ever forget Lebanon in 1982. The sight of tortured and murdered human beings in the streets, of raped and murdered girls, of maimed infants, entire families littering the houses and streets, to be piled up and used for hand-grenade target practice by drugged Lebanese militiamen, under the supervision and command responsibility of Israel´s Minister of ?Defense? Ariel Sharon. The madness of drugged armed men in a frenzy, my resistance, fears, hopes to survive that were turned into blind hatred, carelessness about my own life, and the wish I had never been born because living with the fact that I was absolutely powerless to stop the perversion seemed harder than to provoke to be murdered. The difficult return to feeling content with being a human being. The feeling content with being a human being because I knew that I could and would do all that is possible for me to do to prevent similar outrages.

Why would I ever expect that I could trust a United Nations that so utterly and completely has delivered us in Sabra and Shatila into the hands of perversion. Everything about the United Nations lack of action, from not protecting unarmed civilian Palestinians in Sabra and Shatila to dismissing the case at the ICC was a portrayal of and a valuable lesson on the deepest nature of the United Nations.

The perversions that have been brought upon the people of Syria by a perverted crime cartel. A perverted crime cartel that is so complex, so deep-rooted within Western political, economic, intelligence and military power systems as well as in the United Nations, that it is difficult to identify who the worst war criminals are. In fact it is so difficult to identify the true heart of darkness within this network of inter-penetrating perverted systems that I have developed a propensity towards merely calling it “IT”, “The System”, and that dissociation comes at a price.

The dissociation comes at the price of the fear of feeling powerless again because I did not do enough to identify the source and direction of the danger. It is a strong response, an unpleasant one, but one that reminds me about what it is that makes me content with being alive and content with being a human being. I can not guaranty that I can change anything but I will not cease trying because I know that I could not live with the certainty that I have become perverted.

The UN-NATO Declaration; The Secret Pact for Global Full Spectrum Dominance Must Not Stand. When the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Kyi-Moon and the Secretary General of NATO signed the UN-NATO declaration in 2008, and kept it as secret as possible for several years, it was because with it, the UN became a de-facto, contractually bound instrument of US foreign policy. Simultaneously NATO became the de-facto sovereign military apparatus of the United Nations. A US controlled NATO is now the de-facto military force that can be used to overrule nations sovereignty if a US Administration or a sufficient number of NATO member states deem, that NATO must act on behalf of the United Nations because it has the responsibility to protect civilian populations. At the recent, 25th NATO Summit in Chicago NATO declared the intervention in Libya as a “model for future interventions”. It declared the systematic destruction of Libyan civilian infrastructure such as the Man Made River, the use of cluster bombs in civilian populated areas in Brega, the use of fuel air bombs in Bani Walid as air campaign of unprecedented precision so as to limit collateral damage. Moreover, it described the intervention in Libya, the massacres on black African Libyans, the massacre on over 10.000 Tawergha and the internal displacement of 5-10.000 Tawergha as “teachable moment” and “model for future interventions” based on the United Nations / NATO´s “responsibility to protect”. The international community of sovereign nations, peace movements, political activists, scholars, citizens, You and I. We can not let this outrage stand and claim not to be perverted. To act as if there was no need to act is to consent with war crimes, with murder, massacres and tyranny.

Amnesty – The Targeted Perversion of Your Best Intentions. It is understandable that it is difficult for You to acquire truthful information. You are systematically targeted by main stream media. You are systematically targeted with disinformation. You are also systematically targeted so that your empathy, your altruism and everything that makes you “human” is systematically perverted.

You feel empathy, you feel solidarity when Amnesty accuses NATO of 55 documented cases of war crimes in Libya. What you most likely have not been told is that the director of Amnesty International USA also acts as adviser to Hillary Clinton and the State Department. As adviser on State/NGO relations. In less euphemistic language this translates into this. Amnesty documents 55 cases of war crimes in Libya to cover over the other 10.000 plus war crimes that have been committed. You give a donation to Amnesty the next time you meet one of their Pacers in town, and hurray – you feel human and Hillary, Amnesty and other perverted war criminals and their “Göbbels Like Spin Doctors and Sale Out´s” are laughing about you – “How dumb can you be”. This must not stand. This can not stand, and unless you become truly outraged about those who pervert your best intentions and humanity and act upon it you have lost your humanity to them and you have become perverted.

The Creation of Terror to Create a Pretext for making Use of “The Responsibility to Protect”. The USA and EU, together with the Iznogood Clan of want to be Emirs of Syria and the GCC have for months provided massive material support for terrorist organizations to destabilize Syria. Simultaneously you have been led to believe that the Syrian government is brutally coming down on the “peaceful opposition and peaceful protesters” in Syria.

The fact is that the peaceful opposition in Syria has just taken part in free and fair elections, and that the peaceful opposition in Syria now is taking up political responsibility and offices in Syria. Their demands, the demands of the real Syrian Oppositions are demand towards the USA, EU, NATO, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, demands towards the Libyan government that created a law, that talking positive about Ghadafi is to be punished with life imprisonment, and demands towards other supposed “Friends of Syria” ” to butt out and to withdraw their weasels and bloodhounds“. So who are these Friends of Syria and their weasels and bloodhounds, whom you are led to believe that they are the “Syrian Opposition”?

They are the Al Qaeda Associated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group with 18.000 plus fighters. They are the Saudi Arabian backed Al Qaeda Omar Brigade. They are the armed wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, financed by Qatar, trained and stationed in Turkey. They are the Jordanian, Saudi, Iraqi, Egyptian, and other countries hirelings and mercenaries who are recruited by Turkish and NATO Intelligence in Amman, Jordan. They are those murderers who are financed by the US Administration and the Pentagon, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Saad Hariri´s Future Movement in Lebanon, Walid Jumblattof the Progressive Socialist Party of Lebanon – Stooges of the USA and Israel who have betrayed the Arab World, Palestine, Syria and Lebanon together with Israel since the civil war in Lebanon. They are the ones that are trained and supervised by US American Special Operations Forces out of Ft. Bragg North Carolina. They are French Mercenaries, British SAS teams. They are those whom you are led to believe that they are “the Free Syrian Army” and the “Peaceful Syrian Opposition”.

You are being misled. Lied to. Your humanity is being taken advantage of to facilitate murder, ma ham, massacres in Your name and unless you do not care about the fact that your humanity is abused to facilitate this perversion in your name it is time that you stand up and say – NOT IN MY NAME.

And what is done in your name ? In the name of Your Humanity ? I plead to you that you take a close look at reality. Yesterday another massacre has been committed. This time the terrorist groups whom your tax money and your government sponsors and whom they unleash in your name have targeted Syrian families with children. Do you for one moment believe that the very people who are doing this to Syrians in your name would hesitate to do the same to you, your children?

Moreover, this and other incidents will be abused by Your government to try to convince you that you have to agree with them when they are sending NATO troops with UN mandate into Syria to protect Syrians. Under the guise of Human Rights, of protecting Civilians, of Freedom and Democracy it is your government, that is turning Syria into a gigantic Sabra and Shatila.

NOT IN MY NAME !I expect you to be prepared and call the lie a lie. And I expect that you do it openly so others can hear you. I expect you to stand up, to organize, to join protests, and to say NOT IN MY NAME. I expect that you are taking steps so that war criminals and murderers are placed behind bars.

I expect from you that you become outraged. I expect from you that you act, and I expect from you that you take responsibility for your own humanity. Unless you do so, we really have nothing human in common.

Dr. Christof Lehmann

(nsnbc.wordpress.com / 31.05.2012)

Leers: besluit actie tentenkamp Ter Apel zorgvuldig

 Minister Gerd Leers (Asiel en Immigratie).

Minister Gerd Leers (Asiel) heeft vandaag in de Tweede Kamer de burgemeester van Vlagtwedde, Leontien Kompier, geprezen om de zorgvuldigheid waarmee ze besloot het tentenkamp van uitgeprocedeerde (Irakese) asielzoekers bij Ter Apel te ontruimen na informatie over brandgevaar, medische achtergronden en dreigende spanningen. De rechter stelde onlangs dat de ontruiming een te zwaar middel was.

Die uitspraak respecteert Leers wel. Leers benadrukte ook dat hij niet op ontruiming heeft aangestuurd. Hij werd wat kriegel van de Kamer, die hij verweet dat ze hem neerzette als iemand die uit was op escalatie. Er zijn nu eenmaal ‘gescheiden verantwoordelijkheden’. Niettemin is de ‘ontwikkeling mij lastig gevallen’, aldus Leers.

Op 17 juni komt de Iraakse collega van Leers naar Nederland om de situatie te bespreken. Het is 2 dagen later dan aanvankelijk de afspraak was. De ChristenUnie maakt zich zorgen of de bewindsman wel komt, omdat er een motie van afkeuring tegen de regering in Bagdad op stapel staat.

(www.trouw.nl / 31.05.2012)

Rosenthal en Verhagen samen naar Netanyahu

De ministers Uri Rosenthal (Buitenlandse Zaken) en Maxime Verhagen (Economische Zaken) brengen volgende week donderdag samen een bezoek aan de Israëlische premier Benjamin Netanyahu. Ze zullen spreken over de economische kansen die de samenwerking tussen Nederland en Israël biedt. Ook zullen ze het hebben over de politieke ontwikkelingen in het Midden-Oosten.

Dat hebben de ministeries woensdag gemeld. Premier Mark Rutte zou volgende week ook naar Israël gaan, maar hij had de reis afgezegd vanwege de demissionaire status van het kabinet.

Verhagen neemt een handelsdelegatie mee naar Israël. Die bestaat uit 70 ondernemers die actief zijn in agrofood, (duurzame) energie, hightech, logistiek en water.

(www.rtl.nl / 31.05.2012)

Reflections on a Silenced History: The PCP and Internationalism

In the introduction to a new edition of his 1979 study, The Palestinian Communist Party 1919-1948: Arab and Jew in the Struggle for Internationalism (Haymarket Books 2010), Musa Budeiri reflects on the shortcomings and successes of the Palestine Communist Party in articulating a vision and platform at odds with both nationalism and capitalism in the midst of a “colonial encounter of a unique character.” Jerusalem Quarterly thanks the author and Haymarket Books for permission to publish this introduction.

When I embarked on my research in 1970, to my mind I was engaged in a political project of attempting to rescue and reconstruct a slice of history in Palestine in the years following the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. The very existence of a communist movement in Palestine uniting within its ranks Arab and Jewish members pointed to a possible future, at variance with both nationalism and capitalism. In its short existence, the Palestine Communist Party (PCP) succeeded in bringing together Arab and Jewish workers on a platform of class solidarity.
Despite numerous shortcomings, the PCP attempted to establish a foothold in the midst of a colonial encounter of a unique character. In addition to the colonial power Britain, it faced another adversary in the shape of a Jewish nationalist movement embarked on a colonial settler project. This situation was compounded by Stalinist domination of both the Soviet state and the Communist International (Comintern). While eventually overwhelmed by the violent pull of national conflict, the PCP successfully articulated a broad platform which included all the salient features of a political program that has stood the test of time. This encompassed recognition of the imperative of Arab unity as a condition for social and economic transformation in the eastern part of the Arab world, and internationalism as the precondition for successful state formation in a multiethnic and multicultural region which after centuries of Ottoman rule was trying to rid itself of British and French colonial rule. Palestine’s problems could only be resolved in a broad regional context.
In trying to reconstruct a party of men and women, rather than one made up of ideological platforms, I sought to meet with the largest possible number of (by then old) party members and activists. There was, at the time, little published material on the history of the party, and what existed was either authored by cold warriors and/ or betrayed an Orientalist bias that treated the party as part and parcel of the master narrative of the contemporary Jewish settlement in Palestine.1 Historical circumstances led to the excision of the Arab members of the party from the historical record, and they have become erased from memory. While not aiming to produce an oral history, it seemed necessary to seek them out and record their narrative, noting at the same time that those personal narratives were colored by the passage of time, by changed political and personal circumstances, by rivalry and personal issues, and also by an effort to present a politically correct attitude retrospectively.
In the period since, numerous works have appeared in Arabic, English and Hebrew, purporting to deal with the history of the party and the working class in Palestine. None provide new ways of seeing, with two exceptions. The collections of correspondence between the Eastern Section of the Comintern and the party leadership, culled from the archives in Moscow, help provide a new reading of the internal history of the party.2 These have only recently become available to researchers. In addition, a number of political memoirs, some more enlightening than others, by old communist activists have been published.3
From its inception as a worker-based group among the small community of Jewish immigrants in Palestine, the PCP attempted to reconcile adherence to Zionism with Comintern membership, while the Comintern for its part wanted the party to transform itself into a territorial organization which represented the indigenous population. Though the policy of the Comintern went through numerous changes as a result of Soviet foreign-policy imperatives, it remained committed throughout to a strategy of Arabization. In its attempt to translate Comintern directives into practical politics, the party sought to locate a radical revolutionary nationalist wing within the Arab Palestinian national movement. It elected to see Hamdi Husseini4, a journalist from Gaza, and a small group of associates who were grouped together as a faction within the Istiklal Party as representative of this radical trend. As the newly published documents make clear, the party, from its recognition as a section by the Comintern in 1924 until the loss of contact in 1937-8, was in constant communication with Moscow requesting guidance and support.5 This extended to matters large and small, to an extent that makes it difficult to talk of the PCP as an autonomous organization. The loss of contact with Moscow meant that the party was no longer able to function as a united Arab Jewish organization, even as formal break up would only come about in 1943 with the formal dissolution of the Comintern, a gesture by Moscow to its western allies. Radwan al Hilou, the party general secretary in 1943, makes the point that his authority remained unquestioned so long as Moscow supported him,6 and indeed it is clear from the documents that authority over the party leadership came not from its rank and file but from Comintern officials. Party leaders since the recall of the first founder of the party, Wolf Auerbach, were all Moscow appointees.
To understand the debates of the early twenties it is necessary to remember that in the immediate post-1917 period, communists believed the future of their revolution lay with the spread of social revolution in the advanced capitalist countries – specifically in Europe – not the national independence struggles in the colonies. The PCP, like
a number of other communist parties, was born in this dynamic of the international socialist movement. In the aftermath of Bolshevik success, containment, coupled with the failure of socialist revolution in Europe, and the consolidation of Stalin’s authority in Moscow, led in practice to the triumph of the doctrine of “socialism in one country.” The theoretical justifications advanced by Stalinism sought to legitimize an already existing political reality. All kinds of questions raised themselves as a consequence, concerning the nature of the foreign policy to be pursued by the new socialist state and the role of the various communist parties in their respective countries. Self- defense of the revolution, even before the raison d’état of the Soviet state, became the mainspring of Soviet policy. It searched for ways to break the iron curtain imposed by Western capitalism. Weakening Western capitalist powers suggested breaking the chain at its weakest link, their overseas possessions and the source of much of their wealth. This called for involvement in the national liberation struggle of the colonies. Palestine possessed its own specific conditions within the colonial order. Britain had taken upon itself the task of facilitating the establishment of a Jewish national home. This necessitated the fostering of Jewish immigration to the country, its protection, and the promotion of institutions of self-rule for the Jewish community. This was legitimized as an international undertaking entrusted to Britain by the League of Nations.
The rise of the Nazis to power in Germany in the thirties led to a considerable Jewish immigration to the United States, neighboring European states, and anywhere else the Jewish refugees could gain entry. This served to transform the nature of the Jewish community in Palestine. Initially the number of Jewish immigrants
was insignificant. Zionism was a minor player in European Jewish politics, facing much stronger and longer-established parties, both traditional and revolutionary. In Palestine itself, until the 1930s, the Jewish community was small, and did not figure prominently in the political and economic life of the country. The increased rate of immigration, particularly the arrival in the country of up to 200,000 German Jewish refugees by the mid-1930s, transformed the situation.
The Zionist movement succeeded in establishing Palestine as a center for rescue and shelter for at least part of threatened European Jewry. Although Zionist credentials were not required from the newcomers, immigrants became objectively part of the Zionist settler enterprise upon their arrival in Palestine. The Arab revolt in the mid-
1930s had the unintended effect of promoting the autonomy of the Jewish community. By the revolt’s end, through immigration, a critical mass was achieved. The Peel Commission proposals in 1937, the first time the British masters of the country openly talked about partition, is significant in this respect. For the next ten years, and until partition took place in 1948, this was the invisible political agenda dictating the course of events.
Mid-1930s Palestine was no longer a purely Arab country with a small indigenous traditional Jewish community and a small minority of European immigrants. The “demographic consequences of Zionism”7 had become essential in shaping any possible future. So far, neither the PCP nor the Comintern viewed the struggle between Arabs and Jews as a colonial encounter. It would have been surprising had it been otherwise. The modern world in the aftermath of the First World War witnessed all sorts of wars – colonial, civil and revolutionary – but no ongoing settler colonial projects, and certainly not one where the colonial power did not install its own nationals as settlers, but rather people coming from a variety of countries with the object of “recreating” themselves as a nation. In the party’s (as in the Comintern’s) worldview, Jewish immigrants in Palestine acquired equal rights to those of the indigenous inhabitants upon their arrival in the country. Party and Comintern viewed the struggle in Palestine through the prism of class, not nation. They rejected as defeatist the view that the Jewish community constituted an undifferentiated mass and that all Jews in Palestine were counterrevolutionary. The corollary that all Arabs are revolutionary was also deemed theoretically untenable. Abandoning this view would amount to abandoning any hope of working amid and gaining support of Jewish workers, and would negate the party’s rasion d’être. After all, to the extent that there was a modern proletariat in Palestine, this was predominantly Jewish. On practical grounds, treating the Jewish community as a monolithic Zionist bloc would lead the most ideologically committed Jewish members to leave the country altogether, further weakening the party.
The Party’s theoretical armory was necessarily better suited to fight the class battle, but it found itself in a situation not of its own choosing. The party was after all born within the folds of the Zionist movement, albeit within its left wing. This in itself meant that party members and party membership were predominantly Zionist until the early thirties, but most Zionists-turned-communists lost the will to remain in the country once disillusionment set in. In a best-case scenario, it was the task of the more enlightened proletarian elements to transform the condition of the native Arab population. Nevertheless, the Party was aware throughout of its settler origins, that its members were viewed as outsiders, that they were not familiar with the local language, and that they were not part of the social fabric of Arab society. While these were regarded as weakness, they were not seen as insurmountable obstacles. The party strove to represent the objective interests of both Arab and Jewish working people, the overwhelming majority of the inhabitants of the country. Jewish comrades would play the role at various stages of leaders and advisers, and would constitute the foot soldiers of the party. Consequently, even after Arabization was officially consecrated as official party doctrine, and after overcoming the link to Bolshevization, and the appointment of an Arab comrade as party secretary general, police and newspaper reports attest to the fact that most of those arrested distributing party leaflets and flyers and apprehended in demonstration were Jewish party members. Right to the end and the break up of the party in 1943, Jewish comrades represented the majority of party members.
It is not clear that the party fully comprehended the dynamics of Arab society or recognized the process of national identity formation taking place in the aftermath of the Anglo-French partition of Bilad al Sham (Greater Syria). It was evident that the Party had little understanding of how to carry out its aims in the absence of an Arab working class, and was unable to reach out to the Arab peasantry. Declaring the fundamental importance of the agrarian question, which it did, was not sufficient. Declaring the importance of Arab unity, which it also did, while at the same time establishing separate sections in the mandated Arab states did not further the cause of unity. It is perhaps not inappropriate to pose the question whether the Comintern itself, to whom the Party remained faithful throughout, itself ever came to an understanding of the role of national conflict. In the case of Palestine, it held to a broad view of a fundamental antagonism between the whole of colonial society and foreign colonial powers, but excepted from this view was a thin stratum of feudal traditional and religious leaders who dominated the national movement and were thus incapable of leading an anticolonial struggle. Yet the national movement itself was differentiated. Within its ranks there was a more radical wing which was ready to carry on the struggle against British colonialism, and which refused to be deflected into directing its energies against the Jewish community.
The Party had to face criticism from within its own ranks of extending uncritical support to the Arab national movement. Party leaders later admitted, in their correspondence with their superiors in the Eastern Section, to committing serious mistakes. But if “mistakes” were made for a certain period during the first phase of the armed revolt in 1936 as a result of the party opening its ranks and its leadership to a new generation of Arab members, the record makes clear that party leaders were aware of the dangers posed by the pursuit of such policies.8 It is evident though that the division was not based on ethnic or national identity, but on political understanding of what the correct line ought to be. The problem lay in the Comintern’s mistaken analysis of nationalist conflict relying on the experience of selected European countries, which had long ago been through the crucible of national state formation and where internal antagonisms were centred on class rather on than national or religious identities.
Politically, the party remained unable to find a common language which spoke to the interests of both Arabs and Jews in Palestine. To Jewish workers it spoke the language of the class struggle, to Arabs the language of anti-imperialism. It declared itself in the anti-imperialist camp, which served to alienate a sizeable portion of Jewish party members. Britain was the main enemy, and not only for reasons of ideological correctness, but also as a reflection of the realities of Soviet national interest. This was made clear at the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939. The party withheld support for the war (a popular tactic among Arabs, but unacceptable to the overwhelming majority of Jewish inhabitants), and suffered the repressive policy of the British authorities as a result. On the entry of the Soviet Union into the war in 1941, the Party changed track and vigorously conducted a pro-war effort policy.
It is not evident that the Party understood clearly enough that no solution to the conflict in Palestine would be possible that did not provide for joint Arab Jewish co-existence. It put forward class as the basis of common interests. But the two communities lived separate lives, and more importantly viewed relations with the colonial power through different lenses. The Arabs largely viewed Britain as an imperialist power, and one which was facilitating the growth and power of the Jews in Palestine. The Jewish community, beneficiary of British promises and policies, was eager for more British support, and regarded it as Britain’s duty to come to its defense. Its opposition to the British Mandate in its final years grew out of a feeling of betrayal. For Arab nationalists, all Jewish immigration to Palestine was illegitimate and they could not conceive of political rights for members of the immigrant community, not only collectively, but also on an individual level.
For the PCP, emphasis was on shared social and economic needs and interests and not on ethnic identity, and these were held in common as far as the vast majority of both groups, the only exception being a thin strata of servants of British imperialism from both national camps. That one group was indigenous and the other part of a settler colonial project was irrelevant and beside the point.9 This was theory. In practice, and as Comintern documents make clear, the Arab leadership of the party was unable, at times of heightened national conflict, to remain unaffected by the general Arab nationalist atmosphere, which did not allow it to perceive the Jewish community as a differentiated society with conflicting interests.10 The same goes for Jewish party members, the majority of whom during the years of the Arab Revolt became inactive or established themselves as autonomous factions.
In order to understand the situation confronting the party, it is perhaps necessary to pose a number of questions, such as whether the PCP ever succeeded in transforming itself into a territorial organization. If so, then what does this says about the establishment of the National Liberation League as a framework for Arab communists and left-wing nationalists in 1944, and the separate existence of Jewish communists organized in a number of competing but purely Jewish organizations? It behooves us to inquire whether prior to the Soviet declaration for two states, the PCP itself actually called for the establishment of what kind of state? An Arab state? A binational state? Two states? Or what?
It was clear even before the end of the mandate and the ensuing struggle between natives and settlers that the British did not aim and had not created a new Palestinian identity or nationality, and that there were two separate and antagonistic national groups in the country, Arabs and Jews, holding mutually exclusive nationalist demands. The party did not acknowledge this and continued to place culpability at the door of British policies of divide and rule. The challenge of the changing and evolving nature of the Jewish community was not met by the party or by the Comintern in their theoretical articulations. Events forced themselves on the party. Jewish and Arab members had different responses. They did not live in the same binational reality. They lived and struggled within their own national communities which they saw as differentiated and nuanced. These were closed worlds and allowed them the comfort of correct positions. As relations between the party leadership and the Comintern grew weaker in the thirties, coming to a full stop during the latter years of the Arab revolt, this had a twofold effect. It allowed party members to pursue their own inclinations. The removal of Comintern control strengthened the respective nationalist tendencies within each group. At the same time, Moscow’s absence weakened the position of the party’s general secretary, who now came to constitute another competing faction, no longer safeguarded by the infallibility of the Comintern.
It is tempting to ask at what point the party changed its analysis of the conflict in Palestine, and if so when it ceased to regard it as primarily an anticolonial struggle. There is little doubt that various groups of Jewish communists did undergo such a transformation. Already in the opposition to Arabization and the rearguard action linking it to Bolshevization we can see evidence of a reluctance to follow a path which shifted the weight of party activity from the social to the national terrain. The party’s theoretical stance remained consistent that both Arab and Jewish communities were internally differentiated divided groups, thus priority was given to competing class interests and differences, and the necessity of continued activity within all national groups. At the same time, party activity, by aiming to ground itself within the Arab national community, appeared to lead to the adoption of the main slogans
of the Palestinian Arab national movement, such as the cessation of immigration, the cessation of land sales, and the establishment of an independent Arab state. The advent of the era of the popular front, declared by the Seventh Congress of the Comintern in 1935, enabled both Arab and Jewish members to argue that it was permissible for the party to establish links with progressive elements within both national camps. In itself this was the beginning of the formal recognition of symmetry between the two national groups, without at the same time entering into a discussion about whether they possessed equal political rights or the legitimacy of their respective claims.
The various groups of Jewish communists would, in 1948, coalesce to support the establishment of the Jewish state within the borders decreed by the UN partition proposals. While politically rejecting Zionist practices aimed at establishing a national home and since Biltmore in 1942 openly calling for statehood, they were confronted by the consequences of the success of this endeavor, which developments, both regionally and internationally, forced them to acquiesce to.
For its part, the Arab national movement, with the exception of the Hamdi Husseini group, which probably held an exaggerated sense of the party’s capabilities, evinced no interest in the party and its activity, and for a long period regarded it with hostility (the Arab press regularly ran stories warning of the Bolshevik virus carried by Jewish immigrants, alerting the authorities to the danger posed by communist activity, and by extension Jewish immigration) and remained uninformed and uninterested in what were regarded as internal Jewish quarrels. All immigrants, regardless of ideology or political affiliation were considered part of the settlement enterprise, and consequently to be opposed. Even in the mid-1940s, when the Arab communists organized within their own “national” framework, i.e. a separate Arab party, they remained suspect, were excluded from the inner circles of national leadership bodies, and were accused of cooperating with Zionist parties.
On the outbreak of armed hostilities between the two communities in preparation for the impending departure of British forces scheduled for late 1948, the communists found themselves in a quandary. Since 1924, and the admission of the PCP to the ranks of the Comintern, the party had opposed Zionist efforts to establish a Jewish state in Palestine, characterized Zionists as British imperialist agents, and called for independence, in effect endorsing the call for an independent Arab Palestinian state. The call for an Arab state in Palestine, like the call for an Arab state in Syria or in Iraq, both of which had sizeable Jewish and other religious and ethnic minorities, was not primarily concerned with the small non-Arab ethnic communities but directed against the colonial authority itself, Britain. This was the slogan raised since the early twenties, but conditions in the late forties were fundamentally different.
In 1948, the Arab communists, despite a split in their ranks in reaction to Soviet support for partition and the chaos which engulfed the Arab community as an outcome of the absence of any form of national authority, nevertheless succeeded in retaining a rudimentary form of organized existence. They professed to see the expulsion of the British from the country as a tremendous achievement, weakening Britain’s imperialist hold over the Arab east. They clamored for the establishment of an Arab state as decreed by the UN partition resolution, characterizing the ensuing war as an attempt to thwart the desire for independent statehood, and rejected the entry of the Arab Liberation Army into the country and the call for armed intervention on the part of the surrounding Arab states. They paid for this in the areas which fell under Arab military control with harassment and imprisonment. The destruction of Arab society, the transformation of its people into refugees living outside its borders as a result
of Israel’s refusal to allow their return to their towns and villages after the cessation of hostilities, meant they lost their main base of support within the organized Arab working class. The Jewish communists for their part collaborated with the Zionist leadership of the Jewish community to establish a Jewish state and participated in the forums of its elected bodies, while Meir Vilner, one of the veteran communist leaders since the mid-thirties, put his name along with other leaders of the organized Jewish community to the Israeli Declaration of independence.
The changed demographic nature of the country, with the near total departure of the country’s Arab inhabitants, led to the disappearance of the independent existence of an Arab communist faction. The few remaining Arab communists were absorbed into the party’s ranks in a demonstrative act of reunification of the two national factions. But there was very little doubt that this was not a coming together of two equal halves. The PCP had gone back to its very beginnings. Shaped by events, and having shown itself unable to exert significant influence, it now re-established itself as an Israeli party. While remaining committed to defending the rights of workers and oppressed national minorities, it ended up after decades of trying to maintain an internationalist perspective as a party whose mass base lay in the Arab national minority yet which continued to be regarded as overwhelmingly a Jewish party.

Musa Budeiri teaches politics in the Program in Democracy and Human Rights in the Faculty of Graduate Studies at Birzeit University. He is a “temporary permanent resident” of Israeli-ruled Jerusalem.

Endnotes

1 G S Israeli. (Walter Lacquer) The Story of the Communist Party in Israel (Tel Aviv. 1953) (Hebrew); Walter Lacquer, The Soviet Union and The Middle East. (London 1961); Communism and Nationalism in The Middle East (London 1961); J Hen Tov, The Communist International, the PCP and the Political Unrest in Palestine in 1929 (Worcester1970); I Spector, The Soviet Union and the Muslim World. 1919-1958 (Washington 1967); A Darwaza, Local Communism and the Arab National Struggle (Beirut. 1961)(Arabic).

2 L Zahavi, Lachoud Ou Biyachad, Yahudeem Ve Araveem Ba Palestina Al Pei Mismachei HaKomintern 1919-1943 (Apart or Together, Arab & Jews in Palestine According To The Documents of The Comintern) (Keter, Jerusalem 2005) (Hebrew). A slightly incomplete Arabic translation of the book was published in Jerusalem in 2009); M al Sharif (ed), Filastin Fi Al Arshiif Al Sirri Lil Komintern (Palestine in the Secret Archive of the Comintern). (Al Mada Publishing House, Damascus, October 2004) (Arabic)

3 B Farah, Min Al Othmaniya ila ad-Dawla Al Ibriya (From Ottomanism to the Hebrew State: Memoirs) (Al Sawt, Nazareth 1985) (Arabic); H Abu Hanna (ed), Muthakarat Najati Sidki (The Memoirs of Najati Sidki) (Institute of Palestine Studies, Beirut 2001) (Arabic); Odeh Al Ashab Tathakurat (Memoirs) (Birzeit University Center for the Documentation of Palestinian Society, Birzeit University, March 1999) (Arabic); F Warrad, Muthakart: Khamsoun Aman Min Al Nidal (Memoirs: Fifty Years of Struggle) (Peoples Party Publications, Ramallah 2005) (Arabic).

4 H Husseini, originally from Gaza, was a journalist active in Jaffa in the Istiqlal Party and commonly perceived as heading an informal group of radical youth within it. (In a telegram to the Second Congress of the League Against Imperialism held in Frankfurt in July 1929, he signed his name as the Representative of the Left Wing in the Seventh Palestinian Arab Congress). Recently published Comintern documents show a much closer degree of consultation and cooperation between party leaders and Hamdi Husseini, and that this, it seems, was done on a personal level, without the knowledge of the party’s rank and file. This was undertaken at Comintern prompting. Not only was he introduced to the League Against Imperialism, and participated in its European congresses, but he was taken to Moscow where he reportedly met with Stalin himself. The documents also show that Moscow’s financial aid was sought to provide Husseini with funds to establish an Arab daily newspaper and to finance his travels outside Palestine. The close nature of the relationship allowed Husseini to present during the period of the armed rebellion in 1936 plans to carry out armed activities against the British to be supported and funded by the Comintern. In the event, the Comintern turned down these plans, and reprimanded the party for even considering them. Letter from Hamdi Husseini to CC of PCP on plan to occupy Jerusalem 17.7.1936 in Zahavi, op.cit., Arabic edition, p. 453.

5 The correspondence between the leadership of the PCP and the Eastern department of the Comintern is full of repeated requests both for financial and manpower support. At the same time the PCP secretariat shows itself to be always ready to criticize its own political positions if these contradict those of the Comintern, and is constantly seeking the latter’s advice on how to proceed, affirming that it is faithfully carrying out the Comintern’s instructions.

6 In a meeting with Radwan al Hilou in Jericho on February 1, 1974, he explained that decisions in the party secretariat were never taken by majority vote, and that until the dissolution of the Comintern in 1943, no decision could be taken without his consent, as general secretary of the PCP.

7 R Greenstein, “Zionism, Nationalism and Revolutionary Socialism: The Radical Left and the Colonial Model in Israel/Palestine.” Forthcoming in Peoples Apart: Israel, South Africa and the Apartheid Question, Ilan Pappe (ed) (IB Tauris 2009), p.14. A similar article entitled “Class, Nation & Political Organization: The Anti- Zionist Left in Israel/ Palestine,” can be found in International Labour & Working Class History, N 75, Spring2009, pp 85-108.

8 On party leadership attitude to Mohammad Nimr Odeh and his role, see B Farah, Memoirs, op.cit. p. 99-102 and Interview with Radwan al Hilou, Jericho, February 16, 1974.

9 M Machover, “Israelis and Palestinians: Conflict & Resolution.” An expanded version of the Barry Amiel & Normal Melburn Trust annual lecture, delivered November 30, 2006. International Socialist Review. On the historical legitimacy of settler state formation, p.3.

10 Radwan al Hilou letter on use of anti-Semitic epithets and arming Arabs. In Zahavi, op.cit. p. 464.

(www.jerusalemquarterly.org / 31.08.2012)

Wat een vraag …

Deze week had ik een journalist aan de telefoon, die wilde een telefoonnummer van een contactpersoon van mij uit Woerden. Dit omdat er wat commotie was over Sharia4Holland en men wilde een uitzending maken over hoe de moslimgemeenschap in Woerden dacht over deze groepering.

Nu was mijn contactpersoon gelukkig verhuisd en heb ik de man netjes bedankt en afscheid genomen, maar het is en blijft een gekke vraag, vind ik. Waarom wordt er (weer) drukte gemaakt over een kleine groepering die wat zegt over de frontman van de populisten van de PVV?
Denkt zo’n man nu echt dat we ons daar mee bezig houden? Als er geen nieuws is, dan maken we maar nieuws, zal wel de gedachten zijn geweest.
Denkt de goede man van een journalist nu echt dat de Sharia ingevoerd gaat worden in Nederland? Dat kan alleen maar als dat gebeurt met een meerderheid in Tweede Kamer en Eerste Kamer of er zou vanuit Europa een wetgeving moeten komen dat in een rechtbank  rechtspraak mag plaatsvinden via Sharia-wetgeving of dat er plaats zou zijn voor Sharia-rechtbanken, die alleen maar kunnen rechtspreken voor moslims.

Maar heeft zo’n journalist dan echt niets anders aan nieuws? Natuurlijk  … Syrië komt vaker in de media en op tv … en terecht, want daar gebeuren inhumane en onbeschofte dingen. Wat dan opvalt, dat er niemand met een oplossing komt, want Syrië is voor de wereld niet van belang en dus laten we de mensen maar aan hun lot over.

Echter wat mij dan nog het meest tegen de borst stoot, is dat er geen of nauwelijks een journalist opstaat en die zegt: “Ik  ga eens iemand in Nederland bellen, om vragen te stellen over het volk van Palestina, en daarna ga ik een goede serie van artikelen schrijven of een serie van documentaires maken van het dagelijkse leven van de Palestijnen.” Maar geen een, misschien die enkele journaliste, die wat schrijft, maar voor de doorsnee media is Palestina en taboe  en volgen daarmee de regering van Nederland.
Wat ze dan wel vergeten, is dat ze medeverantwoordelijk zijn voor hetgeen wat Israël elke dag weer uitvoert in de bezette gebieden; verantwoordelijk voor het jatten van Palestijns land, het vernietigen van huizen van de Palestijnen, het verwoesten van gezinsverbanden, het vernietigen van de Palestijnse cultuur.

In de media is niets te vinden over de Conferentie in Jeruzalem in juli, er is niets te lezen over een lezing van Baha Hilo en zijn Olijfbomencampagne in Amsterdam. Niets dat de media wil zeggen over hoe er dagelijks huizen van Palestijnen door de Israëli’s worden verwoest, niets, niets …  en dan komt een journalist wat vragen over Shari4Holland …  wat een vraag …

Staying Upon the Straight Path in a World of Changing Circumstances


By Sheikh Salman Al-Oadah at IslamToday.net

In my prayers, I am constantly beseeching Allah with the words, “Guide us to the Straight Path.” Why, then, would I not see any changes in my personality? Change, after all, is how we learn to respond correctly to new developments. It is how we move away from blind followingand dependence on others towards independent thinking. It is the natural response to a world which is, by its very nature, in a perpetual state of change.

Religion, in its essence, is constant. However, our human interpretations and opinions are subject to reassessment. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, used to beseech Allah with the words:

اللَّهُمَّ مُصَرِّفَ الْقُلُوبِ صَرِّفْ قُلُوبَنَا عَلَى طَاعَتِكَ

You who turn our hearts, make my heart constant in Your faith.

[Sahih Muslim, Book 33, Number 6418]

However, he would also make the following supplication:

اهْدِنِي لِمَا اخْتُلِفَ فِيهِ مِنَ الْحَقِّ

Guide me to the truth in those matters wherein people have differed.

[Sahih Muslim, Book 4, Hadith 1694]

The circumstances the first Muslims faced when they were in Mecca were different from those they found when the emigrated to Medina. The Prophet’s era was different from the era of the Rightly Guided Caliphs that followed. If we consider the Islamic legal opinions of the great jurist al-Shafi’ee, we find that the rulings he formulated in Iraq were quite different than those he later codified in Egypt. Ibn Taymiyah, likewise, changed his views many times throughout his life.

In Islamic Law, commands take precedence over prohibitions, mercy takes precedence over strictness, and winning hearts takes precedence over deterrence. In my personal life, I prefer to judge and criticize myself before judging others. I like to discover my own faults instead of seeking out the faults of those around me.

The sky changes by the movement of its clouds. The rivers change through the flowing of their waters. The Earth changes in its topography. Every day, the Sun sets at a different point on the horizon. If I stop moving in such a dynamic world, I will wake up suddenly one day to find that I have been left behind all alone.

I spent five years secluded from the influence of society. This gave me freedom – the freedom to escape from the narrowness of circumstances to a broader outlook. It gave me renewed life and allowed me to better appreciate the good in others. When I came back into society, I found that a sector of society had moved towards an aggressive attitude. I had to make my stance against their behavior clear, even though it meant losing their favorable opinion of me.

In the Qur’an, we read where Moses, peace be upon him, asked Khidr:

هَلْ أَتَّبِعُكَ عَلَىٰ أَن تُعَلِّمَنِ مِمَّا عُلِّمْتَ رُشْدًا

Might I follow you so that you can teach me the wisdom which has been taught to you?

[Surah Al-Kahf 18:66]

However, who has ever heard someone ask, “Might I follow you so that you can obey me?” This is inconceivable. My freedom is my most precious possession. Freedom does not like being curtailed, whether by a leader or by a follower. I must keep on moving, even if it means I will stumble over and over again. I just have to try and pick myself up every time as quickly as I can.

I am proud that the greatest constant in my life has been my faith in Allah, my deep love for Him and my positive expectations of His providence. I am able to forget my worries, pain and suffering when I bow myself before Him in prayer.

Let me take an example from my life. In my youth, I had unquestioningly followed some of the leading scholars in what was then a commonly-held opinion that Islam prohibited photography except in cases of necessity. I understood that the Prophet, peace be upon him, had cursed the maker of images, and consequently I could not fathom how pictures might be used as a means to call people to Allah.

Now, due to changing circumstances, you hardly find anyone who says Islam prohibits photography. This change did not take place on account of new research, but rather due to changing circumstances in the world. A courageous scholar is one who opens doors that can be opened, rather than waiting for others to break those doors down.

Indeed, I have changed a lot over the years, as well I should. If I was still saying in my forties what I used to say when I was twenty, that would mean I had spent twenty years of my life in vain.

(www.faithinallah.org / 30.05.2012)