❶ Balfour and Britain’s broken promise
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Ugly Truths Behind Balfour and Beersheba
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Palestine FM responds to Theresa May’s pride in Balfour Declaration
- Background: “National Narratives and the Oslo Peace Process: How Peacebuilding Paradigms Address Conflicts over History.” Nations & Nationalism.
❷ Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian fishermen, raze lands in Gaza
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Video: Israeli settlers attack Palestinians harvesting olives near Nablus
❸ POETRY by Fouzi El-Asmar
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❶ BALFOUR AND BRITAIN’S BROKEN PROMISE
Oct. 26, 2017 ― If the British Conservative Government of Teresa May represented the views of the people of Britain rather than the preferences of the state of Israel on the disastrous outcome for the Palestinian Arabs of the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917, she would not be planning to celebrate this 100th anniversary with Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister.
[. . . .] As it is, her November 2 tete a tete with Mr. Netanyahu, Lord Rothschild and Lord Balfour, a descendant of Arthur J. Balfour who had no direct descendants, and a subsequent November 9, rally organized by Christian Zionists at the cavernous Albert Hall, in London’s Hyde Park, which Britain’s leader and Zionist and Israeli notables will also attend, are being pre-empted and countered by a host of events throughout the British Isles. These are not only highly critical of Britain’s disastrous legacy in its former Mandated Territory, but urge it to recognize Palestine as a state and work practically to grant the Palestinian Arabs their freedom and self-determination. MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) UGLY TRUTHS BEHIND BALFOUR AND BEERSHEBA
The Palestinian Information Center
Oct. 27, 2017 ― Within a month two events will be celebrated that have a left a deep imprint on the ‘western’ consciousness. The most significant is the Balfour Declaration, a piece of paper whose destructive consequences the people of the Middle East have had to live with every day since it was signed on November 2, 1917.
[. . . .] [Lord Balfour, Foreign Secretary of England] regarded the rights and aspirations of the ‘Arabs’ as inconsequential compared to those of the Jews. More than 90 per cent of the population of Palestine in 1917, the Palestinian Arabs, Muslim and Christian, were described in his declaration as ‘existing non-Jewish communities.’
[. . . .] The Palestine Balfour wanted to turn into a Jewish ‘national home’ had a Palestinian population of about 600,000 and a Jewish population, composed mostly of recently arrived European settlers, of eight to ten per cent of that number.
[. . . .] On October 31, two days before Balfour issued his pernicious declaration, Australian cavalrymen had broken through Ottoman defences at Beersheba (Bir Saba’) . . . The centenary will be celebrated this year by visiting contingents of Australians and New Zealanders. MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) PALESTINE FM RESPONDS TO THERESA MAY’S PRIDE IN BALFOUR DECLARATION
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom)
Oct. 26, 2017 ― Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Riyad al-Malki on Thursday said that The Palestinian side is following with great caution and deep concern the statements of British Prime Minister Teresa Mae, in which she declared her country’s pride in the establishment of the Israeli occupying state, and its insistence on commemorating the centennial of the Balfour Declaration.
___Al-Maliki told Voice of Palestine radio on Thursday that the British official’s position reflected the British government’s persistence and indifference to the crime committed 100 years ago, and reflects a challenge by Britain to Palestine and the international community. MORE . . .
“NATIONAL NARRATIVES AND THE OSLO PEACE PROCESS: HOW PEACEBUILDING PARADIGMS ADDRESS CONFLICTS OVER HISTORY.”
Nations & Nationalism, vol. 22, no. 3, July 2016, pp. 465-483.
(Nadim Khoury―Department of Philosophy, University of Tromsø―The Arctic University of Norway)
This article focuses on the effects of the Oslo Peace Process on the Israeli and Palestinian national narratives. It is widely acknowledged that history represents a barrier to long-term peace between Israelis and Palestinians. . . . Given the danger these national narratives pose, one would expect that the architects of the Israeli–Palestinian peace process would have paid close attention to them. If they are part of the problem, then they should be part of the solution. Scholars argue, however, that the agreements that make up the Israeli–Palestinian peace process have largely ignored the matter. And indeed, there was no mention of narratives in the 1993 Declaration of Principles.
[. . . .] The Palestinian master narrative is structured as the opposite of the Zionist one. Rather than ethnic and religious continuity, however, it is a story of continuous presence on the land. Palestinians are and have always been the inhabitants of historical Palestine. The Palestinian narrative strongly emphasizes the period starting with the Arab conquest, but it encompasses many other historical layers that include the Canaanites, the Philistines, and even the Israelites. British imperialism and Zionism disrupted this continuity, first in 1917 with the Balfour Declaration, and then in 1948 with the creation of the state of Israel. The latter is commemorated as the Nakba . . . [which] operates as a founding moment in the Palestinian national story, followed by the Naksa, ‘the setback’ of the 1967 war that caused more displacement and the loss of all of historical Palestine . . .
___While both [Palestinian and Israeli] narratives appear as opposite mirror images, the conflict over narratives that divide Israelis and Palestinians are not symmetrical and should not be examined as such. History, as the saying goes, is written by the victor, and since 1948, Israel has been the victor. As a result, it established its narrative at the expense of the Palestinian narrative, by, for example, physically destroying, repopulating, and renaming many Palestinian towns or outlawing Palestinian commemorative practices. This asymmetry is reinforced by the fact that, for decades, the Palestinians lacked the proper institutions (state, museums, and archives) to promote their narrative. This situation changed when Palestinians were given an official right to narrate their story with the Oslo Peace Process. As this article will show, however, this did not address the asymmetry between the two parties. SOURCE.
❷ ISRAELI FORCES OPEN FIRE ON PALESTINIAN FISHERMEN, RAZE LANDS IN GAZA
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 27, 2017 ― Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian fisherman off the coast of northern Gaza on Friday, while several Israeli bulldozers entered into the southern part of the coastal enclave and razed lands in the area.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers entered the “buffer zone” inside the Gaza border fence with Israel, and leveled lands in eastern Khuzaa, in the southern Gaza Strip.
___Meanwhile, Israeli naval forces opened live fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza. No injuries were reported. MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) VIDEO: ISRAELI SETTLERS ATTACK PALESTINIANS HARVESTING OLIVES NEAR NABLUS
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 26, 2017 ― Israeli settlers reportedly attacked Palestinians who were harvesting olives in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus on Thursday, injuring three Palestinians, including one woman.
___Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank told Ma’an that Israeli settlers from the illegal Itamar settlement assaulted Palestinians picking olives in the Ras Hazem area in Deir al-Hatab village.
___Daghlas added that Israeli settlers threw rocks and sharp objects and physically assaulted the Palestinians as they were working on their land. MORE . . .
“THE WANDERING REED,” BY FOUZI EL-ASMAR
Of what benefit is it, if man were to gain the whole world
But lose the green almond in his father’s orchard?
Of what benefit is it, if man
Were to drink coffee in Paris
But none in his mother’s house?
Of what benefit is it, if man were to tour the whole world
But lose the flowers on the hills of his native land?
He gains nothing but deadly silence
Within the hearts of the living.
You look through the mirror of lands not your own
And see your exiled face;
You recognize your face
Despite the deadly dust of travel
From Jaffa, to Lydda, to Haifa,
Through the Mediterranean to exile;
You recognize your face
And try to deny that face!
Your worship your own face
Even though exile has obliterated its features;
The hangman of the twentieth century assumes the countenance
Of the eternal face!
You close your eyes
To worship your face in the darkness of this century.
You deny . . . you worship,
You deny . . . you worship,
And the God of truth cries to your face:
“He who denies his face
Is renounced by all the birds of paradise in this universe,
And those whom silence has turned mute
Will never be heard by the roses of the field
He who kills the nightingale of his dreams
Will be buried in the forgotten graveyard of the living.”
You open your eyes
And see the face of your country in the mirror of exile.
The deadly silence in the hearts of the living
Strips away the skin of your face
It cuts and dries your flesh.
Then hangs what remains on poles
Under the forgotten sun of the West.
From THE PALESTINIAN WEDDING: A BILINGUAL ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE POETRY. Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982. Available from Palestine Online Store.
Remembering Fouzi El-Asmar.