experiment in return

so i am loving watching these images on al jazeera of illegal israeli settlers being removed from their homes. i love watching this. it is a beautiful sight to see. but the problem is that these settlers are just going to be removed to some other part of palestine–albeit probably in 1948 palestine–where they will still be settlers. perhaps not regarded as “illegal’ by international law as most of the world regards those living in west bank cities like khalil. it would be better to move them back where they came from–to expel them. in any case, for now they’ve been “expelled” or “evicted” back to 1948 palestine:

Israeli riot police today dragged hundreds of militant Jewish settlers from a disputed house in the city of Hebron, in the first major such eviction on the West Bank for more than two years.

Security forces used teargas as they surrounded the three-storey property set on a hillside in a Palestinian district of Hebron. The settlers responded by throwing rocks and eggs.

It took the police about an hour to carry the more than 200 settlers from the house, each dragged away by teams of four officers. Around 20 people were injured, ambulance staff said, although most were not seriously hurt.


but what this report leaves out is that after they left the remaining illegal settlers–numbering in the thousands (see map above for demographics of illegal settlements in the west bank–who went on a rampage attacking palestinians violently until a couple of hours ago. in order to know this you must read palestinian media, apparently:

The evacuation touched off violent settler attacks across the West Bank.

Witnesses said that there are Palestinian families “who are besieged in their homes” that were set on fire by Israeli settlers, while the Israeli army prevented Palestinian medics from reaching the homes. Ten Palestinians were reported injured as a result of the army’s inaction.

Settlers have repeatedly attacked Palestinian homes in the city over the past few days. Prior to the evacuation, Israeli settlers fired randomly at Palestinian homes. Settlers set fire to two Palestinian homes and a store, later attacking a number of residents in the Wadi Hussein area of Hebron.

Haj Mohamad Abu Aisha, a resident of Tel Rumeida, said that settlers in the Ramaat Yesahi outpost chased children in the area and hurled stones at their homes. No injuries were reported there.

Mohamad Naser Ad-Din, a resident of the same area, said that dozens of settlers who were accompanied by the army attacked residents’ homes with tear gas canisters and rubber-coated bullets. Cases of inhalation injuries were reported.

A child identified as Amal Al-Muhtaseb sustained bruises, along with her father, Abed-Ar Ra’uf, when they were attacked by settlers near the Al-Ibrahimi Mosque. Settlers also set fire to a Palestinian fire vehicle that was on the scene in Hebron.

illegal settlers also decided to go on a rampage and attack palestinians near nablus tonight. elsewhere they continued their rampage in other ways:

Settlers graffitied racist slogans about Islam and the Muslim Prophet Mohammad on buildings in the West Bank villages of Azzun, An-Nabi Elyas, Kafr Laqif, Jinsafut, Immatin and Al-Funduq east of Qalqilia on Thursday.

an op-ed in ha’aretz today named this what it is: jewish terrorism.

It is difficult to fathom the way Israeli politics and society were seduced into turning a blind eye toward the growing Jewish terrorism. Ever since the heads of the Jewish underground were released as part of a shady deal, this trend, which was given the deceptive term “wayward weeds,” has continued. Under the hypocritical umbrella of “national unity” and the self-righteous threat of “a rift in the nation,” the rampaging has become the norm, a daily routine. The settlers utter profanities, spit, beat, sow ruin and destruction, while the army turns a blind eye in the best-case scenario and takes part in the worst.

while certainly the illegal settler violence is absolutely jewish terrorism, what the problem is with such naming is that it is done in ways that obfuscate the state terrorism of the israeli military, which also occurs on a daily basis. this, too, is terrorism. it’s state terrorism, but it is terrorism nonetheless. moreover, it makes a distinction between those who are called “settlers” and those who are not called settlers. but all israelis are settlers. they have colonized and continue to colonize palestine. this is settler colonialism like any other.

my dear friend sami last week talked to me about al kurd family in al quds. he feels that this should be the source of a new struggle here. for him it is like many people i know from al quds–they feel like they are forgotten in this struggle. like al quds is forgotten–particularly the people because it is looked at as a holy space rather than a place where real people live, where real people are from, where real people should be allowed to return to. but for me it isn’t and it shouldn’t be about al quds. i think that this struggle that is ongoing, the struggle of the al kurd family, should be used as symbolic of all palestinians not only in gaza and the west bank, but also of those in 1948 who face similar issues all the time with respect to not being allowed to build, to move, to own property in their own land. here is recent news about the al kurd family:

The Kurd family is again making news after being forcibly expelled from their home in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. Now Um Kamal Al Kurd intends to return to her original home in West Jerusalem with a massive nonviolent action planned for Thursday.

Last month the family moved to a tent nearby which Israeli forces destroyed three times. It became a beacon of popular resistance with hundreds of people sitting-in in solidarity.

The father, Abu Kamal, died in a Jerusalem hospital after being evicted from the home he lived in since the 1950s when Jordan and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency created the neighborhood housing. The Kurd family was among thousands of East Jerusalem residents driven from their West Jerusalem homes by Zionists in 1948.

Um Kamal is working to return to her original home in West Jerusalem with the support of a group of activists from civil society and human rights organizations. On Thursday the Coalition for Jerusalem will demand her full return.

Today Um Kamal said that she has been expelled twice, and as such will return to her original home. The Coalition for Jerusalem wrote in a statement Wednesday, “Um Kamal Al Kurd was expelled by the Israeli occupying authorities for the second time at dawn on Thursday, 9 November 2008. The Israeli occupying forces were heavily armed and surrounded the Kurd family home in Sheikh Jarrah. They expelled the family from their home and this is the second time to expel the entire family. The first time was in 1948.”

The Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood houses were built by the Jordan authority and the UNRWA to accommodate until return the 28 families who were taken from their homes in 1948. Among them are original residents of Jaffa, Ramle and West Jerusalem. Um Kamal Al Kurd says she will no longer wait for the implementation of United Nations Resolution 194, the Right of Return. She will go home now.

there is a petition you can sign to support the al kurd family on a website that has been named, appropriately, “thou shalt not steal.” and what is important, i think, about this solidarity for the al kurd family returning to the part of al quds that they originally come from is that is sets a precedent for the right of return. this is key. but i think it should be done with the mindset that we want this to be an action to be emulated by all palestinians, not just to benefit those in al quds.

the same is true for people in gaza, so many of whom are refugees. who are about to welcome eid al adha with no cooking gas. who are apparently only allowed to have 40 more trucks of goods inside gaza after days of closure. and now the banks have shut down because money seems to be forbidden as well. sameh habeeb has a beautiful piece in electronic intifada today describing what this feels like in gaza:

This writer asked an old friend of his, a young mother named Um Muhammad Abu Ouf, how her family has been affected by the siege. As darkness descended upon Gaza City’s Omar al-Muktar Street, she replied, “The siege has become a daily nightmare, day and night. Electricity cuts off and that frightens my 11-month-old infant. It makes conditions unsafe for him. Further, I’m trying to get some fortified food for him. I went to many stores and shops but in vain. I could not find any food nor necessary supplies for my son as there is a shortage of a lot of the basic products needed to care for infants, such as milk, diapers and so forth.”

Meanwhile, Nahed Deeb, who feared that famine looms near, was similarly frustrated: “We are slowly dying and no one is taking action. I lost my work eight years ago and I’m dependent on irregular aid. This is applicable to hundreds of thousands in normal circumstances. Nevertheless, poor people like me are no longer getting any kind of support.”

of course some people are trying to take action, but the zionist regime won’t allow ships in any longer, it would seem. though new ships are on their way and insha’allah they will be allowed in. fortunately, the united nations security council is taking up the issue of the zionists not allowing the libyan ship into gaza.

AND below you will find a very important petition to sign and send to the united nations to encourage them to act on the important naming of israel as an apartheid state and to call for official boycott, sanctions, and divestment. hopefully kicking israel out of the united nations for its hundreds of violations will shortly follow.


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