Wednesday, June 18, 2008

American Palestinian Arabs Confirm Goal of Destroying Israel

This is from the Arab American News and among other interesting things confirms their goal of destroying Israel.

American Palestinians move from al-Nakba to organizing

By Will Youmans - The Arab American News

Washington - In the past few weeks, Palestinians around the globe have commemorated the 60th anniversary of al Nakba, or the catastrophe, that led to their displacement from their homeland. Israel's establishment in May 1948 continued and accelerated the forcible Palestinian exile at the hands of Israel's founding pioneers.

[Their "exile" was voluntary, not forced, and was at the behest of their own brethren and leaders, not Israelis.]

One organization, the Palestine Center in Washington, DC, held a symposium, "Palestinians and the Jewish State: 60 Years of Exile and Dispossession." Presenters discussed the status of the Palestinian refugees and their prospects for return, the status of Christian Palestinians and Palestinian citizens in Israel.

Dr. Salman Abu Sitta, a leading researcher on Palestinian property rights and refugees, described his personal experiences with the Nakba. He described it as a scene of devastation.

It was a recollection, he later shared, that moved an Israeli journalist and peace activist to tears. Despite this, the Israeli man was still against the right of Palestinians to return.

[There is no right of Palestinian Arabs to return. One also wonders why Sitta would want to emigrate to a land he apparently voluntarily left six decades ago and which today bears little resemblence to what it was like then or the homes he has lived in virtually all his life.]

Dr. Abu Sitta's work has shown that Palestinian return is feasible, since 80% of the Israelis live on 15% of the land. With the Palestinian population growing rapidly in exile, under occupation, and as a minority in Israel, it is necessary for them to be able to return, he argued.

[All the Arabs in Gaza and roughly 95 percent of the Arabs in the rest of the disputed territories are living under their own, corrupt Palestinian Authority and thus are not "under occupation."

For all but a relative handful, moving to Israel would not be "return" but rather emigration to a country they never lived in. There is no reason, no less necessity, for them to emigrate to Israel, especially since their Arab brethren control roughly 13 million square kilometers of territory in comparison to just 21 thousand kilometers in Israel.

If their population is growing, they would obviously be better off in the vast areas controlled by their brethren rather than the tiny, confined territory comprising Israel.]

By 2050, there will be 34 million Palestinians in the world. Half of them will be in Israel-Palestine. This will be significantly larger then the Israeli Jewish population. Israel cannot keep its status as a state purely for one ethnic group against the rights and freedoms of another.

[Israel has no such status. Its citizens, Arab and Jewish, have equal legal rights.

This is in sharp comparison to the rights given non-Arabs and non-Muslims in the rest of the Middle East.]

He ended with a call for the re-establishment of the Palestinian National Council, an elected body to reflect the aspirations of all the Palestinians. The Palestinian Authority only represents the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.

Nimer Sultany, a student at Harvard Law School, discussed the Palestinian citizens of Israel. As a civil rights attorney and activist, he described their status as being "citizens without citizenship." The 20% of Israelis of Palestinian origin are excluded from the "dominant public sphere" and are forced on the margins of society.

[Jews comprise roughly 75 percent of the population of Israel and virtually all of them ore of "Palestinian origin;" indeed, their ties to Palestine precede the time Judea and Samaria were renamed.]

He discussed the recent activism of Israeli Palestinians to challenge the Jewish nature of the state. The state, they argue, should be for all its people, not just one group. Israel treats this as a fundamental threat and has worked to undermine these voices by, for example, arresting and banishing leaders such as Islamic activist Raed Salah and former Knesset member Azmi Bishara.

[There are few, if any, other nations that would be as lenient with the sort of treasonous actions of Bishara.

Alone in the Middle East, Israel is a state of all its citizens. This is in sharp contrast to the goal of the Palestinian Authority, which may plan on being a state of all its citizens but is also determined that none of its citizens be Jewish.]

The third speaker, Dr. Don Wagner, a professor at North Park University in Chicago, gave an overview of Zionism. He listed four types of it, and focused on Christian Zionism. This movement, he argued, was at odds with the impact of Israel's policies on Palestinian Christians.

He said that while the fate of all Palestinians is important, the Christian population is disappearing in the homeland. Israel has targeted church holdings, turned Bethlehem into a walled ghetto, and sometimes bans churches from bringing in religious workers.

[The conditions of Christian Arabs has certainly deteriorated tremendously in the areas where they are subject to the rule of the Palestinian Authority.]

Christian Zionists tend to believe that the Jewish state will play a role in the return of the Messiah. He will force the Jews to convert to Christianity or face eternal damnation. Though many see this as inherently anti-Semitic, pro-Israel groups have welcomed their support. This politically powerful movement is spreading, according to Dr. Wagner, a heresy by turning their backs on other Christians and the basic rights of all the Palestinians.

The packed audience of at least 120 attendees was largely receptive to the speakers. During a lively question-and-answer session, they burst into applause on several occasions.

The Palestine Center is a non-profit educational organization committed to providing informative publications and events to the public, the media, and policymakers. They are on the Web at

Will Youmans is a writer for The Arab American News and is a board member of the Jerusalem Fund, which houses the Palestine Center.

[The group would more appropriate be called the "Anti-Jerusalem Fund."]

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