Stop the killing, stop the crime- Israel out of Palestine!

The ongoing Israeli assault on Gaza has now claimed more than 500 lives of Palestinian civilians, and still counting. The abduction and killing of three Jewish young boys in the occupied West Bank is condemnable. But, instead of identifying those responsible, Israel used this crime as a pretext for yet another massacre of the Palestinian people.

The fact that the abduction and killing are only a pretext is underlined by the words of Israeli hardliners who in 2012 had referred to the annual massacre of Palestinian civilians by the Israeli state, as “mowing the lawn.” Israeli political leaders have a long history of using such language to dehumanize the Palestinian people and justify occupation and genocide. In 1969, Israeli PM Golda Meir had declared that Palestinians ‘didn’t exist.’ In 1982, Israeli PM Menachem Begin described Palestinians as “beasts walking on two legs.” In 1988, another Israeli PM Yitzhak Shamir declared that the Palestinians “would be crushed like grasshoppers.”

Even as major world powers maintain a shameful silence on this massacre, the Israeli PM Netanyahu has declared that “world pressure will not stop us...there is still more to go.” The Israeli PM has openly and shamelessly justified deliberate bombardment of homes, hospitals, and other civilian locations. Yet, this blatant admission of war crime has invited no serious action from the United Nations to ensure an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, even as the UN reports that the 80% of those killed in Gaza are civilians.

The Indian Government, meanwhile, has maintained a shameful silence and ambiguity over the attack. The Government initially refused to allow a discussion on the issue inside Parliament. When the Rajya Sabha Chairman eventually declared that a discussion would take place, the Government tried to argue that taking an equivocal stance was contrary to Indian interests. The Government rejected calls for Parliament resolution condemning the Israeli offensive.

The silence of the Indian Government on the ongoing genocide is a mockery of India’s long history of solidarity with the Palestinian struggle. Indian solidarity with Palestine is forged in India’s own experience of anti-colonial freedom struggle. This is why India’s freedom fighters, including Gandhi, unequivocally recognised and resisted the colonial occupation of Palestine. Gandhi famously declared that “Palestine belongs to the Arabs as England belongs to the English or France to the French.” This is the understanding that informed India’s long standing foreign policy approach to Palestine.

As India’s ruling class drew closer to the US imperialist regime in the past couple of decades, it began advocating a ‘pragmatic’ relationship with Israel. During the last NDA Government, this relationship acquired even closer ideological affinities, with Zionism and Hindutva echoing each others’ Islamophobia. And of course, cementing the bonhomie between Israel and India’s rulers from both Congress and BJP, is India’s position as the biggest client of Israel’s arms industry.

Now, with the Modi Government in power, the cadres of Sangh Parivar are striving to erase the memory and legacy of the strong shred anti-colonial ties between India and Palestine. By doing so, they are seeking to mould India in Israel’s image in the subcontinent – both in its treatment of neighbours and of its own minority populations and oppressed nationalities.

At such a time, it is crucial to underline that ordinary Indians who protest the Israeli occupation and aggression, are in fact defending the highest traditions of India’s own freedom struggle. And they are also standing by the millions of people across the globe who are resisting their own governments’ support for the Israeli occupation and calling for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.

The Indian Government cannot be allowed to play havoc with India’s precious anti-colonial legacy and conscientious foreign policy towards Palestine. Democratic and anti-imperialist Indians must demand that the Indian Government immediately condemn and call for a halt of the Israeli aggression, convey relief to the Palestinian people, and appeal to the UN to intervene to enforce an immediate ceasefire. The Indian Government must also reaffirm its commitment to support the cause of a free Palestine, and must walk the talk of this commitment by ending arms purchases from Israel.

Palestine today is the longest ever people’s resistance to colonialism, occupation, and racism. It is ironic that the Israeli state, supposedly a monument against Nazi racism and genocide, is itself the worst perpetrator of racism and genocide in today’s world. Ending this racist occupation and genocide is a call for conscience for the whole world.

Much of the mainstream media and the ruling class political parties in India seek to erase the memory of Palestine’s occupation and resistance and India’s solidarity. To cure this induced amnesia, this feature revisits the history of Palestine, and responds to some of the popular myths propagated against Palestine.

An Ongoing Genocide

“I am in the midst of a genocide which I am also indirectly supporting, and for which my government is largely responsible.”- Rachel Corrie, the young American who went to Palestine to defend Palestinians and was crushed by an Israeli bulldozer on 16 March 2003.

These words were written in February 2003, and 11 years later they remain painfully relevant, as we witness yet another murderous episode in the genocide of Palestinians.

In 2008-09, the New Year in Gaza was ushered in with bombs and military tanks, with more than 1100 Palestinians, including more than 500 women and children killed. Then too, civilian infrastructure – mosques, refugee camps, hospitals and schools – were targeted and bombed with pinpoint precision.

Now in 2014, the genocidal attacks are again ongoing, on an even more intense scale. The pretext this time was the killing of 3 Israeli teenagers. In retaliation, Palestinian teenagers were attacked and one was burnt alive. Ironically, the Israeli and Palestinian families who lost their young ones, met and supported each other.

For the 1.5 million people living in Gaza, and also for the residents of the West Bank in Palestine, mayhem and massacres are nothing new. Israel has been illegally occupying vast tracts and controlling both areas for decades. Both Gaza and West Bank resemble vast jails where economic blockades enforced by Israel are a part of daily existence. Israel still controls access to the area, and over Gaza’s air space and seacoast, and its forces enter the area at will. Fuel, electricity, imports, exports and the movement of people in and out of Gaza have been slowly choked off, leading to life-threatening problems of sanitation, health, water supply and transportation.

Are “Both Sides” At Fault?

Pro-Israeli propaganda tries to tell us that Hamas rockets justify the Israeli offensive; that Israel is merely exercising its right to self-defence. Apologists for Israel in India tell us that “both sides” are at fault and India should not take sides.

The truth? A tiny handful of Israeli civilian casualties have been reported. And on the Palestinian side? More than 500 massacred, a huge number of them little children. After launching the ground offensive, Israel ‘warns’ Palestinians to leave their homes and flee. If they stand their ground and stay, they are assumed to be terrorists and killed. What is worse, Palestinians have nowhere to flee or hide.

Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain in 2010 admitted that Gaza was “an open-air prison.” The vast majority of people in Gaza are trapped in the Gaza strip – which, as Anne Barnard observes, is a mere 25-mile-long rectangle, just a few miles wide, one of the most densely populated places in the world, and surrounded by concrete walls and fences along its northern and eastern boundaries with Israel and its southern border with Egypt.

In other words, Gaza is like a huge Jallianwala Bagh, with people trapped within, starved of food, water and medicine, and periodically bombarded.

Israel justifies attacking homes, hospitals, playgrounds and so on by claiming that Hamas is sheltering “terrorists”. This is a transparent lie: in the eyes of the Israeli State, every Palestinian is a “terrorist.” This is exposed by the words of Ayelet Shaked, Israeli MP of the Jewish Home party, who called for the slaughter of Palestinian mothers who give birth to “little snakes.” Also by Dr. Mordechai Keidar, a lecturer on Arabic literature at Israel’s Bar Ilan University, who declared that only raping Palestinian mothers and sisters would deter ‘terrorists’.

The fact is that what is happening in Gaza today cannot be explained by asking who fired the first missile. It is important to underline the context of Israeli occupation of Palestine. International law recognises the right of occupied countries to wage armed resistance. The UN Fact Finding Mission headed by Richard Goldstone, that indicted Israel for war crimes in 2008-09, had strongly rejected the policy of “equating the position of Israel as the Occupying Power with that of the occupied Palestinian population or entities representing it. The differences with regard to the power and capacity to inflict harm or to protect, including by securing justice when violations occur, are obvious and a comparison is neither possible nor necessary.”

What the Goldstone Report observed then, applies this time as well: “The Gaza military operations were, according to the Israeli Government, thoroughly and extensively planned. While the Israeli Government has sought to portray its operations as essentially a response to rocket attacks in the exercise of its right to self defence, the Mission considers the plan to have been directed, at least in part, at a different target: the people of Gaza as a whole.”

Israel tries to justify its periodic violence by claiming that Hamas is a terrorist organisation. The fact is that Hamas heads the elected Government of the Palestinian people. Support for Palestine’s right to resist occupation, cannot depend on the political character of its elected leadership.

Whose “Right To Exist” and Whose “Terrorism”?

While the repression and massacre of Palestinians goes on, both the Israeli government, and the US propaganda machine work overtime to absurdly paint Israel as the real victim! Israel claims that it has a “right to exist”, that its citizens have a right to live without the daily fear of rocket attacks and suicide bombers. The current war and the continued economic blockade are ostensibly a punishment for Hamas’s crude homemade rockets sent into Israel (which fail to reach their targets most of the time).

The fact of the matter is that it is actually the Palestinians who are fighting a daily battle for existence, for survival, for freedom and dignity.

Let us take a brief look at the history of the state of Israel; essentially a history of the longest-running settler colonialism and racism of our times, spanning almost an entire century. Palestine has repeatedly been made a pawn for the furthering imperial designs of various colonisers; the French, the British and now the United States. The Balfour Declaration of 1917, whereby Britain declared support for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, laid the foundation for the ethnic cleansing that was to follow.

Following the fall of the Ottoman Empire, France and Britain divided the Arab countries amongst themselves, and Palestine was placed under the British mandate. In the process, a cruel and absurd history was written, as the two colonisers decided between themselves to give away Palestine to the Jews, with the Palestinians having absolutely no say in the matter!

The Palestinians did not take this colonial meddling lying down, and the large-scale unrest took the shape of a massive uprising in 1936. This was brutally crushed by the Hagenah (which was originally trained by the British), and Irgon, Zionist terrorist brigades. Since then, Palestine saw a systematic immigration of Jews, mostly from Europe. In 1923, Jews constituted 12% of the population, and owned 3% of the land. By 1945, these were 31% of the population, and owned 6% of the land.

In 1947, the United Nations carved the state of Israel for the Jews out of Palestine, giving Israel 55% of Palestinian land. The period following World War II is acclaimed to be the era of “independence”. Ironically, it is in this era that the UN decided to snatch an entire peoples’ land and “gift” it away, an event that will probably go down as the most audacious legalised thievery of our times!

Even as India became independent, Palestine was the victim of horrific ethnic cleansing and colonial occupation. In the bloodbath that followed the UN mandate, more than 13000 Palestinians were killed, and more than 7 lakh brutally evicted from their homelands in 1947-48 to make way for the Jewish settlers. The indigenous population in hundreds of villages and towns was either wiped out or driven away, in one of the most barbaric instances of ethnic cleansing of our times. At the end of it, Israel had occupied 80% of Palestine, far exceeding even the UN mandate.

What happened in 1947-48 is often wrongly described as a ‘war’. Israeli anti-Zionist historian Ilan Pappe has painstakingly documented the “Village Files” project of 1940–47, in which a small Zionist caucus led by David Ben-Gurion (later Israel’s first PM), undertook the systematic compilation of maps and intelligence for each Arab village, that was the basis for the ethnic cleansing and eviction that followed. Reading Pappe’s account, it is difficult to escape the parallels with the Nazi mapping of Jewish homes and the subsequent ethnic cleansing of Jews in Germany.

This was not the end: the 1947-48 war proved to be just the beginning of a brutal and tragic saga of wars of expansion, ghettoisation, and illegal occupations by Israel not just in Palestine but in neighbouring Syria, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon (see Dateline of an Occupation). During the 1967 War, which Israel fought against its Arab neighbours, Palestine was completely occupied, along with Egypt’s Sinai Desert and Syria’s Golan Heights. Israel’s expansionism did not end here; since 1967, Israel has been regularly expanding its territories. Right now, Palestine is fighting for control and autonomy over a mere 22% of its original territory, which has been granted to it by international law.

Far from fighting for its legal and moral “right to exist”, Israel is waging a virtual holocaust against peoples struggling to protect their lands. The history of the Israel-Palestine conflict is a painful history of Palestinians struggling to retain lesser and lesser portions of their lands, of Israel repeatedly illegally occupying their territories, and of Israel forcing millions of Palestinians to live in dehumanising conditions in walled, heavily armed ghettos (see map for Israel’s increasing settlements in Palestine). Each and every so-called peace agreement has paved the way for more Israeli settlements, more Israeli control and more Bantustans. For the past six decades, Israel has stubbornly insisted on being a jailer, and a settler coloniser and not a neighbour.

Hamas and the Bogey of Terrorism

According to Israel, and its sponsors in the West, Hamas is a “terrorist” organization, which they refuse to recognize as a representative of Palestinian interests. Hamas is allegedly responsible for inviting attacks on innocent Palestinian civilians. What they conveniently forget to mention is that the Zionist project of expansion and expulsion has been going on decades before the formation of Hamas.

The stated aims and objectives of Israeli foreign policy, as articulated by a whole range of Israeli leadership expose Israel’s real agenda and the bogey of Hamas’s alleged terrorism (see the box Israel’s Real Agenda). Over the years, an entire series of breathtakingly arrogant and racist statements have flown in the face of any spurious claims of “self-defence”, or ensuring “peace” and “security” for Israel. They reveal racism, fascism, and expansionism, as well as imperial designs without a shred of doubt. It is abundantly clear that Hamas is merely an excuse that Israel is using to carry on with its Zionist project.

The fact is that Hamas is running a democratically elected government; they have been chosen by the people of Palestine to lead their struggle for freedom and dignity. By refusing to deal with Hamas, and by bombarding civilians in the name of fighting Hamas, Israeli is actually inflicting collective punishment on Palestinians for daring to exercise their democratic rights.

The fact is that Hamas today is spearheading a brave struggle against blatantly illegal occupation, against all odds, and in the face of massive provocation. Over the past decades, the Palestinians have explored all possible political and diplomatic avenues to seek justice. All attempts have failed, as the US, the EU, and at times even the Arab states have scuttled any genuine solution to the Palestinians’ right to self-determination. Time and again, the world has looked the other way while Palestine loses more of its land, while its civilians gets bombed, while crippling sanctions are imposed on it, and the humanitarian crisis deepens.

Hamas has been repeatedly accused of not wanting to “recognize the right of Israel to exist”. The fact is that Israel remains the only country that refuses to declare its international borders, in keeping with its agenda of continuous expansionist wars and the ultimate expulsion of all Arabs from Palestine. Which of the fictitious Israels is Hamas expected to recognize?

Not just Hamas, but the whole world should ask Israel: What precisely are your borders? You have not respected the 1947 UN mandate giving you 55% of Palestine, you have used your formidable military strength to control over 78% of Palestine, and you are still not satisfied. You remain determined to continue your expansionist plans. Are you willing to ever limit your borders? Are you willing to let Palestinians, whom you have tragically converted into “refugees” in their own land, return to their homes?

The fact also is that Israel today faces no real threat to its security to warrant a large-scale civilian attack on Palestine: it is a nuclear superpower as opposed to its neighbours, it has by far the most well-equipped defence forces in the Middle East, and it boasts of more sophisticated weaponry than most other countries in the world. Compare this with Palestine, which possesses nothing more lethal than crude homemade bombs that are notoriously incapable of precision targeting. For a state to declare war and calculatedly wreck murder and mayhem on civilians under such false pretences of “insecurity” is nothing short of genocide and large-scale war crimes.

It is ironical and tragic that a country which claims its legitimacy based on a racist Holocaust is openly operating a bigger, equally racial holocaust, not on its erstwhile oppressors but on people who had absolutely nothing to do with the horrors of Nazi anti-Semitism.

Israel as a Tool for US Imperial Interests

“If Israel did not exist, the American Industrial complex would have to invent it.” - Uri Avneri (Israeli writer, quoted in The New Outlook, June-July 1982)

“Israel is really a safeguard for the maintenance of American interests in the area and the first line of defence for the American interests in the Mediterranean basin.”- former Israeli PM Golda Meir (quoted in Ha’aretz, March 7, 1973)

A glaring feature of the continuing Israeli genocide in Palestine is the active support it receives from the United States. In return, Israel is essentially US’s client state and proxy army in the Middle East, faithfully implementing US’s imperial designs for furthering its project of global hegemony.

The support that the US master provides is multifaceted: political, diplomatic, military and economic. The US, by using its veto power in the UN Security Council, has repeatedly provided Israel with diplomatic immunity and freedom from sanctions for its horrendous war crimes. It is the US’s protective mantle that enables Israel to continue flouting any number of international treaties and regulations with impunity.

Apart from shielding Israel politically, the US provides it massive military and economic aid. Israel replaced South Vietnam as the primary recipient of U.S. foreign military aid in the 1970s and has maintained that status ever since. Israel usually receives roughly one third of the entire foreign aid budget. The total amount of direct U.S. aid to Israel has been constant, at around $3 billion (usually 60% military and 40% economic) per year for the last quarter century. In addition to nearly $3 billion in direct aid, Israel usually gets another $3 billion or so in indirect aid: military support from the defense budget, forgiven loans, and special grants.

Apart from economic aid, the US provides its local policeman Israel with the most up-to-date and sophisticated war machinery, mostly as outright military grants, which Israel regularly uses to pound Palestine.

“Peace” Process or Justifying a Racist Genocide?

All the US-sponsored efforts by brokering “peace” between Israel and Palestine have been based on a fundamental defeat of the Palestinian cause: Palestine has been forced to accept the “legitimate” right of Israel over their land as a starting point for all negotiations. For Israel, the Israel-Palestine conflict has its origin in 1967 and to solve it, all one needed was an agreement that would determine the future status of the West Bank and the Gaza strip. In other words, as these areas constitute only 22% of Palestine, Israel at one stroke reduced any peace solution to only a small part of the original Palestinian homeland. Not only that, Israel continues to demand further territorial compromises to suit its business interests, and the political requirements of the two main political parties in Israel. The Camp David peace process of 2000 failed precisely because Israel insisted on retaining its settlements in West Bank, and further insisted on constructing and controlling bypass roads and checkpoints inside Palestinian territory.

For Israel, anything prior to 1967, including the genocide and ethnic cleansing of 1947-48 is just not debatable, and simply cannot be brought to the negotiating table. The implications are clear: it totally removes the refugee issue from the peace process and denies rights of millions of those who were forcibly evicted at gunpoint during the 1947-48 massacres. Even the much acclaimed 1993 Oslo Peace Accords (for which Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin received the Nobel Peace Prize) was based on this blatant denial of genocide, since only the 1967 borders were under consideration.

India’s Role in the Israel-Palestine Conflict

India has traditionally supported the Palestinian struggle for independence. Gandhiji was particularly unambiguous and emphatic in his support:

“Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct. Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home. The nobler course would be to insist on a just treatment of the Jews wherever they are born and bred. The Jews born in France are French in precisely the same sense that Christians born in France are French. This cry for the national home affords a colourable justification for the German expulsion of the Jews.” (quoted from the Collected works of Mahatma Gandhi, Vol. 74: 9 September, 1938 - 29 January, 1939, pages 239-242)

It is matter of shame that over the past several years, there has been a clear shift in India’s policy in its attempts to align itself with the US foreign policy. The result of which, India is building “strategic” alliances, and even commercial and defence ties with Israel. In addition, India is Israel’s largest arms importer making every Indian citizen a contributor to the killer project of Israel. It is high time that every conscientious Indian stand up and demand that all ties with Israel be severed and strong international sanctions be imposed on Israel. The late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez stood up against the Israeli aggression by expelling the Israeli ambassador from his country during the 2008-09 Israeli offensive on Gaza. Responding to this, the Palestinian Authority wrote,

“We do not know who among us will remain alive once this barbaric onslaught is ended. But we remain, as a people and a government, undeterred in our belief that justice will reign. We can ask no more of you than you have already done – for you have proven that a nation cannot be cowed simply because it drives its own destiny, nor will a leader lose his throne for challenging imperialism. We salute the citizens of Venezuela ...and we commend you for being among the few leaders of this age who put people before politics.”

However, most shamefully, the then UPA govt and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh refused to even openly indict Israel as the aggressor. The same trend continues now, with the Modi Government claiming it must remain ‘neutral’ between Palestine and Israel.

While the need of the hour is to resist imperialism in all its forms anywhere in the world, the Indian government’s response is indeed shameful and condemnable.

Palestine is today one of the most stark and brutal remainders of the injustice and exploitation that mark our times. It is not just a story of people dying, of children being killed, of people being denied the right to live a life of dignity. What is happening in Palestine raises fundamental questions of our ability to ensure justice. Can we possibly allow an entire people to be driven away from their lands, allow them to be killed for demanding what is their due? Our united response to the crisis in Palestine, to the continuing racist genocide, will decide the future of justice and democracy.

Box matter 1

Mowing the Lawn

In 2012, two Israelis at the Bar-Ilan University, in a piece is titled “The Opportunity in Gaza”, for a largescale attack on Gaza to “mow the lawn” again before the end of the U.S. presidential campaign foreclosed the possibility. John Feffer writes that “mowing the lawn” is a “disturbing metaphor because it is so indiscriminate. They don’t talk about “weeding the garden” or “pruning the trees.” A lawnmower cuts down everything in its path—grass, weeds, wildflowers. Also, a lawn needs constant mowing, suggesting that Israel plans to conduct bombing campaigns on a seasonal basis.”

Box matter 2

Dateline of an Occupation

1917: Britain makes theBalfour Declaration, paving the way for a Jewish state in Palestine. This is followed by waves of immigration of Jews mostly from Europe, a trend which continued till 1945 under systematic colonial patronage.

1936: Palestinian uprising, brutally crushed by Zionist armed forces. The defeat of the Arabs and the decimation of its leadership leads to an even greater influx of immigrants.

1947-48:Massive ethnic cleansing in 369 villages and towns of Palestine. Zionist forces seize 80% of Palestine (the UN plan granted them 55%)

1956:Israeli massacres in Qalqilya, Kafr Qaasim and Khan Yunis; tripartite invasion (British, French, Israeli) of Egypt and the Suez crisis
1967: The six-day war; Israel occupies the rest of Palestine, along with Syria’s Golan Heights and Egypt’s Sinai Desert

1970: The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) is expelled from Jordon. Tens of thousands of Palestinians are massacred, and thousands forced to take refuge in Lebanon.

1973:The Yom Kippur War is fought. A coalition of Arab states, led by Egypt and Syria, attack Israel to recover territories occupied by Israel post-1967. After initial losses, Israel defeats the Arab states and retains its illegal occupations.

1982:Israel invades Lebanon; PLO is expelled from Lebanon to Tunisia. Ariel Sharon masterminds the Sabra and Shatila massacres where between 700 and 3500 unarmed Palestinians were killed.

1987: The First Palestinian Intifada (war of resistance) begins, marked by stone-throwing demonstrations by youth against the heavily-armed Israeli Defense Forces. Around 1,600 Palestinians and 422 Israelis were killed.

1990: Massacres at Lyun Qarah (Rishon LeZion) and Al-Aqsa Mosque
2000: The 2nd Palestinian Intifada begins.

2002: The Jenin massacre takes place. Israel attacks the Jenin refugee camp, and more than 50 Palestinians are killed.

2005: Some Israeli settlements in Gaza are vacated, while Israeli control over the area remains. Israel expands its settlements in West Bank under the guise of the Gaza-pull out plan.

2006: Israel-Hezbollah war. Israel damages Lebanese civilian infrastructure, and cluster bombs South Lebanon. The conflict killed over a thousand Lebanese civilians and severely damaged Lebanese civil infrastructure, and displaced approximately one million Lebanese.

2008-09: The Israeli offensive on Gaza that the UN Fact-finding Mission headed by Richard Goldstone indicted for its war crimes (read excerpts of the report in the December 2009 issue of Liberation).

Box matter 3

Israel’s Real Agenda:

Racism and Imperialism In Their Own Words

One only has to listen to what Israel’s Zionist leadership and their mentors have to say to understand the amazing clarity behind Israel’s project, and the underlying racism, fascism and imperialism that define it.

♦ In 1921, Lord Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary whose Balfour Declaration of 1917 first outlined the plan for a Jewish homeland (long before the Nazi Holocaust), said, “In Palestine we do not propose to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country. Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-old traditions, in present needs, in future hopes of far profounder import than the desires or prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit this ancient land.”

♦ In 1937, Winston Churchill said of the Palestinians: “I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly-wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.”

♦ “Palestinians are nothing but a handful of grasshoppers whose heads must be crushed” - Yitzhak Shamir, former Prime Minister of Israel

♦ “The Arabs are just another part of the wild locality, like the mosquitoes, insects and wild animals. For this reason they are merely temporary. Just as the wild grass and the prickly bush were liable to be burned and the marsh to be dried out, so that diseased and starving Bedouin tribes were destined to disappear.” – Zionist Israeli politician Sh’muel Dayan (quoted in Sabati Teveth, Horizant, Berline, No 42, 1973)

♦ “There was no such thing as Palestinians. They do not exist.”- Golda Meir, former Prime Minister of Israel (quoted in Sunday Times, London, June 15, 1969)

♦ “We are not obliged to state the limits of our state. ”- David Ben-Gurion, 1st Prime Minister of Israel (Ben-Gurion Diary, 14th May, 1948, quoted by Michel Bar-Zohan, “The Armed Prophet”, London, 1967, page 163)

♦ “Israel has no international obligations, no economic problems. The question of peace is non-existent. It must calculate its steps narrow-mindedly and live by the sword. It must see the sword as the main and only instrument with which to keep its morale high. Towards this end it may -no it must invent non-existent dangers, and to this it must adopt the method of provocation and retaliation. And above all-let us hope for a new war with Arab countries, so that we may finally acquire our space.” - Moshe Sharett, 2nd Prime Minister of Israel (quoted in the Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol 9, 1980, page 20)

♦ “It is the duty of Israeli leaders to explain to public opinion, clearly and courageously, a certain number of facts that are forgotten with time. The first of these is that there is no Zionism, colonialization, or Jewish State without the eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands.”-- Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of militants from the extreme right-wing Tsomet Party, 1998

♦ “The Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people.”- Moshe Yaalon, former Israeli Defense Forces chief of staff, 2002

Gaza Gaza don’t you cry !

Palestine will never die !!

Not a nickel not a dime !

No more money for Israel’s crimes !!

Fight the power, turn the tide!

Stop Israeli apartheid!!

Gaza must have food & water!

Israel Israel stop the slaughter!!

Displacing lives since ‘48!

There’s nothing here to celebrate!!

From the river to the sea!

Palestine will be free!!

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