Arab Emancipation and the Liberation of Palestine

Palestinians take part in a protest within the "Great March of Return" and "Palestinian Land Day" demonstrations in east of Shuja'iyya neighborhood, Gaza City, Gaza on March 30, 2019 [Ali Jadallah / Anadolu Agency]

Palestinians take part in a protest within the “Great March of Return” and “Palestinian Land Day” demonstrations in east of Shuja’iyya neighborhood, Gaza City, Gaza on March 30, 2019 

By Azzam Tamimi

The Palestinian problem finds its roots in the downfall of the Ottoman Empire, one of a series of catastrophic map-changing events associated with the First World War. The vectors in the war treated as booties much of the territories that were once part of the Ottoman Caliphate and that today constitute the Arab world, a world that ended being divided into no less than twenty political entities tailored in the shape of the modern territorial sates of Europe.

All, with the exception of Palestine, are nominally independent and sovereign states, though most of them are neither independent nor sovereign. While eventually delivering those entities to local client elites to govern them, it was the will of the so-called international community in the aftermath of the Great War to spare Palestine so as to transform it into a Jewish entity, a home for the Jewish people to compensate them for the oppression they suffered for centuries at the hands of Christian Europe.

So, since the arrival of the Muslims in 637 CE, Palestine had never been a state on its own but was at best a province within a much bigger entity ruled at different times by different dynasties. Apart from a brief period from 1099 to 1291, when the Crusaders invaded and occupied it, those dynasties were Muslim ones ruling in the name of the Caliphate.

The Western desire to empower the Zionists to establish a homeland for the Jews in Palestine was not at all out of sympathy. In fact, the rulers of some European countries at the time, notably those of Britain, were Anti-Semitic Christian Zionists, who hated the Jews and did not want more of them to escape persecution in Russia and end up landing on their shores. Christian Zionists, like Lloyd George and Arthur Balfour, believed that the transfer of Jews to Palestine was necessary in order to pave the way for the second coming of Christ. But they also believed that such a Jewish state in a sea of Arabs, who are mostly Muslim, would act as a useful functional entity, a colonial outpost, to maintain control and hinder revival following the rock-bottom decline epitomised by the fall of the last Islamic Caliphate.

Ironically, opposition to the Balfour Declaration in 1917 came from the only Jewish member of the cabinet Edwin Montagu, secretary of state for India who, like other anti-Zionists politicians of the time, feared that British-sponsored Zionism would threaten the status of Jews who had settled in various European and American cities and also encourage anti-Semitic violence in the countries battling Britain in the war, especially within the Ottoman Empire.

This is relevant to the other important fact that should be considered here, namely that Jews who advocated the cause of a Jewish homeland in Palestine were at the time a small minority. They were mostly secular Jews of the type that were willing to baptise in order to find a decent job within a highly anti-Jewish European milieu. Jews were opposed to the idea either because they saw it as a means of getting rid of them or because they believed, religiously speaking, that the project was diametrically opposed to the orthodox Jewish doctrine insisting upon the Diaspora Jews to wait for the coming of the Messiah before heading back to the promised land.

The creation of Israel in Palestine in 1948 would not have succeeded without two important factors. The first was the rise of Nazim. Without Hitler and the Holocaust he perpetrated against the Jews in Europe, very few Jews would have succumbed to the Zionist proposition. The Nazis and the Fascists proved the Zionists to be ‘right’ and convinced many Jews that Europe was not a safe place for them anymore. Indeed, Israel could not have been created without a massive and rapid Jewish population. While the Zionists tried and failed miserably for nearly half a century to sell their project to European Jewry, Hitler managed to do it for them in a few years.

The second factor was the role played by the modern Arab states. Although the Arab masses in the region immediately surrounding Palestine were, like the Palestinians themselves, vehemently opposed to the creation of a Jewish state in Arab and Islamic Palestine, the governments ruling those masses through the use of brutal force stood guard while the Zionists massacred and banished the Palestinians from their homes. Those same states continued since then to pacify the masses and disempower the Palestinians. While erecting barriers between Palestine and the Arab masses, Authoritarian regimes across the region either did very little to help the Palestinians or contributed actively to the process of criminalising and frustrating their struggle for freedom from Zionist occupation.

Thanks to Arab despotic regimes, what was initially an issue of concern to the entire Muslim world was reduced to an issue of an Arab affair. Then, those same Arabs decided in an Arab League summit conference in Rabat in 1974 to declare the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) a sole legitimate representative of the Palestinians, further reducing the issue to a mere Palestinian concern and paving the way for the PLO henceforth to officially sign away not only the rights of the Palestinians but also the rights of the Arabs and the Muslims in a territory that is home to their first Qiblah and third holiest mosque. Furthermore, by entering into peace deals with Israel, by Egypt in 1978, by the PLO in 1993 and by Jordan in 1994, the Arabs legitimised the existence in Palestine of a racist political entity whose primary function is to frustrate every Arab attempt at development or progress.

The connection between authoritarianism in the Arab world and the Zionist occupation of Palestine has never escaped the attention of the Arab masses. It was clear that Israel was the greatest beneficiary from a situation in which despotic and corrupt elites rule the Arab people. In other words Israel was the greatest beneficiary from the denial to the Arabs of their basic rights including the right to democracy. Such understanding manifested itself on the streets of Arab cities during the Arab Spring revolutions when the masses spontaneously cried: “The people want to bring down the regime, the people want to liberate Palestine.”

It is no wonder, thus, that Israel felt as threatened by the Arab revolutions as the autocrats who ruled the Arab masses. The Zionists often claim that Israel is the only democracy in an ocean of dictatorship. The truth is that Israel is the ally of dictatorship in the Arab world because dictatorial regimes provide it with protection and with a peace of mind. Had the Arab masses been able to elect their own rulers, Israel would not have dreamed of hoisting a single flag anywhere in the region. Neither its politicians nor its athletes would have enjoyed the freedom to roam and then boast that despite the Palestinians they have now made inroads in the heartlands of Islam. For this reason, Israel joined forces with the horrified ruling families of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates kill the Arab Spring, frustrate the Arab quest for democratisation and restore power to their allies.

Arabs today are asking once more: will the liberation of Palestine come first or the emancipation of the Arab nation? I find it difficult to imagine the accomplishment of progress along any front, including the liberation of Palestine, so long as the Arabs are in shackles.

(Source / 18.05.2019) 

Weinig maar constant

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم 

Van alle kanten worden we gemotiveerd om deze maand goed te benutten. Misschien dat we daardoor te gemotiveerd zijn begonnen, waarna we langzaamaan zijn afgezwakt.  

De meest geliefde daden bij Allah zijn de daden die constant en continu zijn. Ook al zijn deze niet veel.

Dit vanwege twee redenen, zoals ik de edele geleerde Abdelmohsin al ‘Abbaad vaak heb horen zeggen tijdens zijn profijt-volle lessen in Medina:

1) De ‘kleinere’ daden zijn vol te houden, in tegenstelling tot de grotere daden.

2) Weinig maar constant betekent dat je continu jouw band met Allah onderhoudt door middel van deze daad. Zelfs zo dat wanneer de dood jou komt, jij sterft terwijl jij gewoon was deze daad te verrichten.

Beste broeder of zuster

Haak niet gedemotiveerd af omdat je te fanatiek was begonnen en dit niet hebt kunnen volhouden. Daar is deze maand veel te gezegend voor.

Verricht de verplichte gebeden op haar voorgeschreven tijden, woon het Taraweeh gebed bij en zorg dat je altijd in goed gezelschap verkeert zodat je gemakkelijk waakt over jouw vasten.

En als je, bijvoorbeeld, dagelijks een uurtje na het ‘Asr-gebed goed kan benutten met het reciteren van de Koran of het gedenken van Allah en dit de hele maand volhoudt, dan is dit iets heel moois. 

Moge Allah ons allen leiden naar datgene waar Hij van houdt en tevreden mee is.

( / 18.05.2019) 

Hamas: ‘No compromise’ on decent daily life for Palestinians

Hamas spokesperson, Mahmoud Al-Zahar [file photo]

Hamas spokesperson, Mahmoud Al-Zahar

Senior Hamas leader, Mahmoud Al-Zahar, has stressed that there will be “no compromise” on a decent daily life for Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Al-Zahar also noted that Hamas will oblige Israel to commit to the ceasefire understandings, hailing the performance of the Palestinian factions during the last round of Israeli attacks on Gaza earlier this month, Al-Wattan Voice reported yesterday.

“The Palestinian resistance sent a clear message that it does not accept or allow the Palestinians to starve, remain without medical treatment, education, electricity and salaries,” Al-Zahar said, noting that these are the principles of daily life and are not negotiable.

He reiterated that Israel has undermined the principles of the Palestinians, the umma (Muslim community) and the rights of people to their land, holy sites and faith, adding: “Today, no one says he is ready to concede one inch of Palestine and those who believed in [the] Oslo [Accords] and the two-state solution [have] realised that Hamas has been true since the beginning”.

Hamas: Palestinians to fight any plan undermining their cause

(Source / 18.05.2019) 

PA ‘ready to talk’ about confederation with Jordan

Palestinians seen at the anniversary march of the "Great March of Return" and "Palestinian Land Day" protests at Israel-Gaza border on March 30, 2019 [Mohammad Asad / Middle East Monitor]

Palestinians seen at the anniversary march of the “Great March of Return” and “Palestinian Land Day” protests at Israel-Gaza border on March 30, 2019 

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has said that it is ready to talk about the prospect of a confederation with Jordan, drawing fierce condemnation from the Kingdom.

The PA’s Ambassador to Moscow, Abdel-Hafeez Nofal, said that the PA is “ready to talk about a confederal union” with Jordan, Al-Resala newspaper reported yesterday.

Secretary General of the Jordanian Popular Unity Party, Said Thiyab, condemned Nofal’s remarks, saying: “The PA’s remarks about its readiness to talk about a confederation with Jordan undermines Palestinian rights in favour of passing the deal of the century,” referring to the long-awaited US peace plan slated to be released after Ramadan.

Thiyab stressed that Jordan’s stance regarding a confederation is clear, referring to a statement by Jordan’s King Abdullah in which he said: “There is no alternative to the two-state solution and the creation of an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.”

Nofal’s comments come just six months after PA President Mahmoud Abbas said he would conditionally agree to such a US offer. During a meeting with an Israeli delegation from Peace Now in February, Abbas said that “the confederal plan was proposed by Jared Kushner, son-in-law of US President Donald Trump and his adviser, as well as the US envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt”.

Abbas told Peace Now that he would accept such an offer if Israel agreed to be part of the proposed conferral union as well. “They asked me,” Abbas said, “and I said: I believe in a tripartite confederal with Jordan and Israel”.

READ: Palestine FM: ‘Deal of century’ is ‘deal of surrender for Palestinians’

(Source / 18.05.2019) 

Palestinian dies at Israel checkpoint on route to Al-Aqsa

Palestinian worshippers, wait in a queue from early hours to move for passing through the Qalandiya checkpoint from Ramallah into Jerusalem after Israeli authorities let the Palestinians, to cross into Jerusalem to attend the third Friday prayer of Muslim holy month of Ramadan at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in Jerusalem on June 16, 2017 [Issam Rimawi / Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian worshippers, wait in a queue from early hours to move for passing through the Qalandiya checkpoint from Ramallah into Jerusalem after Israeli authorities let the Palestinians, to cross into Jerusalem to attend the third Friday prayer of Muslim holy month of Ramadan at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in Jerusalem on June 16, 2017 

A Palestinian man has died at an Israeli checkpoint while trying to reach Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque for Friday prayers.

Sixty-three-year-old Sulieman Jamal Al-Harroub from West Bank city of Hebron died while crossing an Israeli military checkpoint known as 300, located north of Bethlehem, Wafa reported yesterday.

Al-Harroub died while travelling to perform Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem. Palestinian medical sources said that he died due to a heart attack which occurred while he was waiting at the crossing.

It is worth noting that, at the start of Ramadan, Israel published videos and media reports claiming it had eased the passage for Palestinians through its crossings across the occupied West Bank so they could travel to Al-Aqsa Mosque for the holy month.

The videos showed Palestinians leaving the checkpoints easily, ignoring the long queues which force travellers to stand out in the sun before entering the checkpoint terminals.

In addition, the Israeli police have repeatedly attacked Palestinian worshippers inside Al-Aqsa Mosque, as have settlers who repeatedly storm the compound.

READ: Palestinians face Israel restrictions to visit Al-Aqsa for Ramadan

(Source / 18.05.2019) 

Israeli Colonists Hurl Stones At Palestinian Cars Near Nablus

18 MAY2:45 AM

Several illegal Israeli colonists hurled stones, on Friday evening, at Palestinian cars driving on the Nablus-Jenin road, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors Israel’s illegal colonialist activities in northern West Bank, said the assailants gathered at the main junction near the former Homesh colony, and hurled stones at the Palestinian cars.

Daghlas added that the attack caused damage to several Palestinian cars, but did not lead to physical injuries.

In related news, Israeli soldiers shot and mildly injured a Palestinian man near the entrance of Beit Awwa town, west of Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank.

In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army said it detained one Palestinian “who crossed the perimeter fence.” The army said the Palestinians was not carrying any weapons, and was moved to an interrogation facilities.

(Source / 18.05.2019) 

Army Abducts Several Palestinians In Jerusalem

17 MAY1:29 PM

Israeli soldiers abducted, Friday, several young Palestinian men in Qalandia area, north of occupied East Jerusalem, while trying to enter the city for Friday prayers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, on the second Friday of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

Media sources said the soldiers chased and attacked several young Palestinian men, and prevented them from entering Jerusalem.

They added that the soldiers also abducted several young men, and took them to an unknown destination.

It is worth mentioning that, while Israel claims to allow the Muslim Palestinians to enter Jerusalem for Friday prayers, men under the age of 40 are denied access.

On Friday at dawn, the soldiers invaded Arraba town, southwest of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, searched homes, and abducted Mohammad Mazen Sha’er, 25.

In related news, a group of fanatic illegal Israeli colonists invaded Palestinian agricultural lands in ‘Aseera al-Qibliya village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and burnt them.

(Source / 18.05.2019) 

Israeli Police Arrest Dutch MP Upon Attempt To Enter Aqsa

The Israeli occupation police on Friday morning arrested a pro-Palestine Dutch lawmaker as he was trying to enter the Aqsa Mosque.

According to Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, Dutch MP Tunahan Kuzu (Muslim) was carrying a Palestinian flag when he was denied entry to the Aqsa Mosque and arrested by Israeli police officers

Kuzu tried to visit Aqsa to express his solidarity with the Palestinian people. He is an outspoken critic of Israel’s practices against the Palestinians.

In 2016, Kuzu refused to shake hands with Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu during his visit to the Netherlands.

(Source / 18.05.2019) 

Palestinian Child From Gaza Dies In Jerusalem Alone


Palestinian girl, 5-year-old, identified as Aisha Lulu from Gaza Strip died a lonely death on Friday at a hospital in Jerusalem. 

Local sources said that the Israeli occupation prevented her family from accompanying her during a complex brain medical operation.

The sources added that during the past months, the girl’s family (from the Bureij camp) appealed to international and local institutions and the occupation to allow a family member to accompany Aisha on a treatment trip.

Unfortunately, their repeated pleas were rejected on alleged security grounds by the Israeli occupation who refused granting them a permit to travel with the 5 year-old girl. 

All those who witnessed her last moments of life said that she died alone crying.

(Source / 18.05.2019) 


Germany’s federal parliament, the Bundestag, has given its approval to continuation of Israeli occupation and Israeli regime’s attack on the BDS (Boycott, Disinvestment, Sanctions) by condemning it and trying to dishonestly connect it to the German crimes against Jews during the Nazi regime and rising antisemitism in Germany. Taking place during an unprecented attack on the two state solution by Israel and the United States, this in effect signals German abandonment of two state solution and refusal to accept a one democratic state – instead German Bundestag through its condemnation of BDS embraces one state Apartheid. According to the non-binding Bundestag resolution, boycotting companies supporting and profiting from Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank is “reminiscent of the most terrible chapter in Germany history” (the Holocaust” and ‘triggered memories of the Nazis’ slogan “Don’t buy from Jews”’ – German sins are projected to occupied Palestinians and their supporters, who are painted as modern Nazis by the German parties which have been selling arms to Israeli occupation forces. Meanwhile international companies profiting from the occupation, many of them having no connection whatsoever with Jews, are protected by the resolution. The fact that German financial institutions and businesses have connections to occupation profiteering is something the Bundestag passed by in silence. The parties which brough the resolution to the Bundestag – Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Social Democrats, centre-right FDP and the Greens – have all taken part in German governments which have sold military equipment for Israeli occupation forces. (In the case of military submarines built by Thyssen-Krupp with the help of bribes paid to Israeli officials. Both Thyssen and Krupp corporations financed Nazis and eleven members of Krupp management were sentenced to prison for war crimes after World War II.) The idea that the parties’ leadership or ranks in Reichstag wouldn’t know what the actual goals and methods of BDS movement are doesn’t hold closer scrutiny – and same goes for the consequences of this resolution: It emboldens Israel’s regime, encourages other European Union states to increase their support for one state Apartheid rule and leads to Palestinian deaths. This is all deliberate. This is a monstrous attack on vulnerable, occupied and exiled nation by the elected representatives of a state which doesn’t seem collectively to have learned nothing since 1945 – the Reichstag and its parties (only left-wing Der Linke had muted opposition to the resolution) still divide people in Übermensch and Üntermensch, believing that moving Jews from the latter to the former is the only change in German mentality needed since the Holocaust was revealed to the world. Palestinian lives are essentially treated as worthless and violent oppression by Israel as justified by Germany’s political elite, and any opposition to that violent oppression is seen as unjustified because Übermensch can do whatever they want to Üntermensch. Only the identity of the Üntermensch has changed in this German vision. 90 % of hate crimes against Jews in Germany are done by the Far-Right, which most certainly don’t support or care about Palestinian liberation, yet German Jews concerns about rising antisemitism in Germany were used to ‘justify’ condemning non-violent resistance to a violent occupation, Apartheid segregation and disposession; resistance which has no connection to rising Far-Right in Germany, which the same Reichstag parties refuse to confront with strong action – instead the Far-Right in the form of Alternative für Deutschland took part in the condemnation of BDS movement and went furthest, proposing that it should be banned. As German Jews do face increase in hate crimes, support for Israeli occupation and opposition to peaceful means to end it unites the ‘moderates’ and the Far-Right that drives the increase in the hate crimes. The result is suffering for Palestinians and increased threats to Jews in Germany from the Far-Right. What has taken place in the Bundestag is a deeply offensive display of hypocrisy and scapegoating, but continues the long line of alliance with Germany with Israel’s regime where Germany supports killing of Palestinians and theft of their lands under the idea that through shedding of Palestinian blood and land the Germans somehow atone for the crimes against Jews done by the Nazis. It is very convenient arrangement and long-running agreement between Germany and Israel. The alliance written with Palestinian blood has brought profits for German companies which once used slave labour during the Nazi rule and safety for generations of German far-right while Israel has been able to trust in German support for the occupation no matter what it does. No surviving German Nazi or a modern Neo-Nazi or other member of the far-right has ever had to fear Israel’s vaunted Mossad.
(Source / 18.05.2019)