Thursday, September 20, 2007

Now: A village in northern England

I have been home for three weeks. When I got back I was so exhausted I fell ill. Back to normal now.

My life has changed forever. What I witnessed in those two weeks in the West Bank will haunt me till I die. I am almost resentful of my idyllic life here, and sometimes I wish I was back in Palestine- my second home.

Some people have told me I was 'brave' to go to such a dangerous place. There is nothing brave about what I did- breathing in a bit of teargas and dodging a few rubber bullets does not make me a hero. I am back in England living my comfortable life, driving my fast car to my secure job. Yet my friends in Palestine are still queuing at checkpoints in the sun, facing tanks and live bullets in the camps, coming home to find their houses demolished, and watching helplessly as the evil Wall and the greedy settlements devour their land.

I have been speaking to friends and family since my return, and they have been horrified by what they have heard. Most of them had no idea how bad things were. A few have criticized me for being 'too one-sided'. In the weeks and months to come, when I do my talks and write my articles, some people will be baying for my blood. I know that. But I couldn't care less. I've been there and I know the truth.

I shall attempt to counter these arguments here.

'There are two sides to every story.' Indeed. May I ask you what the 'other side' to the Iraq war is? Or, for that matter, what was the 'other side' to apartheid? To Nazism? Sometimes, there is a wrong and a right. An oppressor and an oppressed. I know which side I'm on.

'The Palestinians are hot-headed Islamic extremists.' Nonsense. This has nothing to do with Islam. All Palestinians- Muslim and Christian- are fighting a battle for survival. And, by the way, they are a highly educated, cultured and intelligent people, thank you very much.

'Israel has suffered terribly at the hands of suicide bombers.' True. I condemn all violence against civilians, whether they be Palestinian or Israeli. But history did not start with suicide bombings. They only began in the 1990s. While I will never condone them, I am not sure how I would react if I had to watch my mother die while giving birth at a checkpoint. Or if I were forced to see my father strip in public. Or if soldiers stormed my house at 3 in the morning and pumped bullets into my sister. And if I knew that there was no government, army, police or judiciary to fight my corner, I don't think I'd throw flowers at Israeli soldiers.

Do you want to stop suicide bombings? Easy. Make it an equal battle. Give the Palestinians F-16s and Apache helicopters. There is another solution though: stop treating them like animals, and give them justice. Read these powerful words by an Israeli woman who lost her daughter in a suicide bombing: http://peacepalestine.blogspot.com/2006/04/nurit-peled-elhanan-important-words-of.html

'You are anti-Semitic.' Rubbish. I have many Jewish friends in Britain, and now in Israel as well. They are disgusted at what Israel is doing, and are fighting a brave and often dangerous battle, sometimes at the expense of being ostracized by family and friends. The leading critics of Israeli policy- Noam Chomsky, Amira Hass, Ilan Pappe, Norman Finkelstein, the late Tanya Reinhart- are all Jewish.

This is not a centuries-old Jews versus Muslims conflict. It is a matter of basic human rights. If one is criticizing house demolitions, checkpoints, extrajudicial executions etc, and one is accused of being anti-Semitic, then the accuser is bizarre indeed. In order for these criticisms to be anti-Semitic, the accuser has to accept those violations of international law as inherent characteristics of Judaism. So who is being anti-Semitic here?

'There are so many conflicts in the world today- why are you so obsessed with Palestine?' In case you hadn't guessed by now, justice for Palestine is the key to peace in the Middle East. It is a festering sore in the flesh of every Arab; the longer it goes on, the more resentful of the West they become.

Yes, there are many terrible conflicts like Darfur, Somalia, the Congo, Chechnya and Kashmir. But these are relatively recent, while the oppression of the Palestinians has been going on for 60 years. It is the longest ongoing occupation in the world today- and the only one apart from Iraq. And the only one where the oppressor is being financed and armed to the teeth by the 'civilized' world. I went to Palestine at some risk to myself to learn the truth. If your heart bleeds for Colombia, that's admirable. When are you packing your bags then?

'The Palestinian leaders are to blame- look at how corrupt they've been. They've swallowed millions of dollars worth of aid.' Possible. That doesn't give Israel the right to kill, imprison and humiliate Palestinian civilians though. And when the Palestinians did vote out their corrupt leaders, how did the West reward them? With sanctions. Can't win.

'The other Arabs don't help the Palestinians.' This is largely true and should lead us to support the Palestinians all the more for it.

'There are 22 Arab states, why can't the Palestinians go there?' This argument assumes that all Arab/Muslim states are the same, rather than acknowledging the wide variety of cultures, foods, customs and dialects represented by them. By the same logic, if France were to occupy Britain tomorrow, the British should simply pack their bags and move to Italy; after all, Italy is also a predominantly white and Christian country.

Of course, there are many more such arguments and I shall happily answer any queries you may have. Just leave a comment on the blog.

I must go now. There are letters to be written, talks to be prepared and a film to edit. But if my diary has moved you at all, and you wish to join the Palestinian cause, please visit any of the links on the right. But the most important thing you can do is to spread awareness. So forward this blog to as many people as possible. And talk about Palestine. Whenever I asked a Palestinian, 'What is the single most important thing we can do for you?' the answer was always, 'Tell people about us.'

It has been a pleasure to write for you.

Goodbye.

(I have taken some ideas for this entry from the booklet 'Counter-Rhetoric'. It is available from the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.)

68 comments:

L said...

Many congratulations on your blog! It is stunning with its design and quality of writing to stay nothing of the dramatic photographs that you have included.

I haven't had time yet to read the complete blog however I look forward to doing so over the weekend. However already I can say that I like the way that you challenge people in their misconceptions of the conflict. What you have done is change the "rhetoric".

Jenny Tonge (MP, House of Lords) said...

A, this is SO powerful. It does change your life. I have had mine changed for ever.

Can we put the link to this piece on the LibDem Friends of Palestine web site?

Thanks for the blog and well done.
Hope you recover soon.

Anonymous said...

Excellent!! I dont have words to describe how and what I feel after reading it all. POWERFUL is what it is. It touches you...and I promise to forward this blog to as many people as i can!!

sarvat said...

Incredible efforts and incredible expressions! These are certainly from a person who has taken the cause seriously and his knowledge and efforts are not restricted for few news headlines.
The first thing I have done is to forward the Blog to all my frineds to spread awareness. Am sure I will find an effective way to be a part of this War for Justise and Peace..
"Tanha hi chala tha main janib-e-manzil magar.. log milte gaye qafila banta gaya"
S.J.

Margaret evans said...

Congratulations on such an interesting blog.It shows a great committment to the Palestinians which they so rightly deserve. As I had previously visited Palestine I felt I was with the group whilst you moved around with the range of emotions you were feeling - sadness, guilt, hope and there was also wit and humour at appropriate times -and like the rest of us who visit you are hooked - Palestine will be part of your life.

thecutter said...

Great blog, and I am very pleased to hear that you are taking your experiences home and sharing them. You are so right, there are no two equal sides, and this is a point we always have to remember to point out to those we communicate with.

Best of luck, and I'll link to this fine blog of yours!

Nikol said...

Good point.

Ibrahamav said...

Surely you're joking. To compare Nazi-ism and apartheid as equivilant to the situation existing in Iraq is almost obscene.

Saddam was a brutal tyrant who oversaw a regime that practiced genocide (Kurds), ethnic cleansing (Kurds and Shiites),and wars of conquest (Iran and Kuwait). Additionally, Saddam's Iraq was apartheid based with the 25% Sunni population ruling the 75% Shiite and Kurd people.

No one but you has claimed that 'The Palestinians are hot-headed Islamic extremists'. You can't make the claim and then dispute it. You only argue with yourself, already setting up the answer.

Anne Helen Candlin said...

Well done you. I came back from Palestine last year feeling a fury at seeing ordinary Palestinian working men, boys, women degraded at the checkpoint system. I think it's called "righteous anger" and don't we need people to feel angry about the appalling injustice and cruelty inflicted daily on the Palestinians?
But what to do about it? Our MPs/MEPs are indifferent to Palestinian suffering and the collusion of European governments in it.
A small group of us in Lancashire have begun researching EU and what pressure we can bring to bear on the European Community to stop the Israeli Apartheid regime.

qunfuz said...

this is excellent, and very necessary. Well done.

http://www.qunfuz.blogspot.com

Xen Hasan said...

I've just read the intro to your blog,the responses to people's challenges, those are powerful words, I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the blog soon :)

A said...

Ibrahamav, I'm struggling to follow your train of thought here. What exactly are you trying to say?
Where in my blog have I praised Saddam Hussein (who, by the way, was armed to the teeth and supplied with chemical weapons by America- no doubt a country you admire. Have you forgotten his famous handshake with Donald Rumsfeld?)

All I was suggesting is that most decent human beings are opposed to the Iraq war- it was based on a pack of lies (nuclear weapons, links with al-Qaeda), it has achieved nothing but the death of 655000 people, and the country is in chaos. Surely a ridiculous price to pay to get rid of one man. In view of this, any supporter of the war is liable to be laughed at.

As for my description of Palestinians- this is not a quote, it is just a reference to an erroneous stereotype commonly held about them in America and Israel (thankfully, less so in Britain nowadays). Indeed, at checkpoints I was regularly asked- you're going to the West Bank? Why? It's full of terrorists! (ironic- the only people I saw carrying guns were soldiers and settlers).

As for making 'claims', I'd like to know on what basis you labelled me a 'British supporter of Islamic fascism' on the PeacePalestine blog. What exactly in my writings causes you to make such an allegation?

I should really stop- I'm wasting my breath here. And, contrary to what you expected, your comment is displayed here in its entirety- exposing you as the silly little boy that you are.

Admin said...

Dear Chestdoc,

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A said...

Thank you Sarvat, it is always good to hear from family and friends. The Urdu couplet you quote is so relevant. Thank you for spreading the word.

Duffer22 PSC London said...

Great blog. Really informative as well. Am off to Palestine myself in a month, taking part of a tour organised by ICAHD.

Will be very interested in seing your film.

All the best

D.

A said...

Dear Duffer22
Thanks for the appreciation. Your blog is great as well, especially the rebuttal of the fiction that Ahmadinejad threatened to 'wipe Israel off the map'.

W E said...

Dear A,
Just a note to thank you for your blog - it is I think excellent.
I have just finished 2 years' teaching at Hebron University, and miss everybody there pretty badly. Keep up the good work.

Ibrahamav said...

"Ibrahamav, I'm struggling to follow your train of thought here. What exactly are you trying to say?
Where in my blog have I praised Saddam Hussein"

You did not. You merely lumped the situation in Iraq with the situation in Nazi Germany and South Africa.

You do not know what most decent people think. Many people, whether or not you agree that they are decent, opposed the Iraqi regime and were glad to see someone take action to rid the world of the Iraqi genocidal maniac, Saddam.

You seem to have invented this erronious steriotype of the typical Palestinian. I have never read it as such except in blogs by you, members of what might be termed supporters of islamic fascism, and other pro palestinian blogs who favor the use of propaganda that demonize those who do not support Palestinians to the extent that you do.

By the way, you opened the floor to those who oppose your view point as well as the view points of those who host the opinions of other neo-nazis and Islamic fascists ala Mary Rizzo.


Seems you now state that you lied when you issued this invitation

"And by the way you two, if you want to throw mud at another friend of Palestine, you're most welcome to visit http://chestdocinpalestine.blogspot.com/"


I have not been exposed. You have.

A said...

Dear friends

Another spectacular rant from Ibrahamav.

He cannot formulate an argument- so he resorts to name-calling: 'Islamic fascist, neo-Nazi'.

The adjectives he uses to describe me are becoming repetitive and boring.

I nearly deleted his comment, but finally decided to include it for its sheer entertainment value.

Enjoy!

A said...

By the way friends, do type 'Ibrahamav' into Google and see what comes up. More than 600 listings! This man seems to spend all his time visiting other people's blogs and calling them 'anti-Semitic', 'Islamic fascists' and 'neo-Nazis'.

I feel privileged that he has taken time out of his busy schedule to contribute to my blog. Considering I've only been on Blogger for a month, this is indeed an honour.

Thanks for the attention, Ibrahamav.

adibah abdullah said...

salam,
if you still remember, we met during the program that day. alhamdulillah found your blog at last. =)
ramadhan kareem

Dr Chris Burns-Cox (Physician) said...

Thank you very very much, ChestDoc. This is brilliant and we must try to get as many people as possible to read your blog.
I totally agree that once you have experienced the truth you cannot walk away and you are pained that others are not the slightest bit interested (particularly doctors!)
Thank you!

Adrian said...

Dear A

Great blog - passionate and informative. I am off to the West Bank soon. I work in the UK with mental health services. I would be very grateful indeed if you would contact me and help me with a few questions I have about the visit. I too would be interested to see your film.

Thanks again.

A said...

Dear Adrian

Thanks for your words, and it's great that you are going to the WB. It means so much to the people there.

I would be delighted to help you but don't know how to get in touch! Since I moderate all comments on this blog, it would be safe for you to leave your email address in a comment- which I shall not display.

Mohit said...

I read your blog about Palestine with growing sense of sadness. There is one other aspect of the situation that I would like to draw your attention to. From the little that I know about Palestinian or Kashmir problem, they seem to have started as essentially geopolitical problems where religion became a weapon, both for the opressor and the those resisting. Now the problem with using religion as a tool of resistance is that takes away the focus from the problem itself and makes it diffuse, generic.
I hope that in the good work you are doing with lectures, presentations, you won't let your pain project as anger but focus on bridging the gap of misunderstandings.
I am adding a quote from Gandhi that we should all contemplate on .... these words, though spoken years ago, seem very relevant to palestine/ iraq situation
"What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?" - Gandhi

Dambala said...

- 'Arabs to the gas chambers!' - 'Watch out Fatima, we will rape all Arabs!' - 'Mohammed is a pig'. Below this is a drawing of a pig reading the Quran. - 'If you Arabs had just used a f***ing condom, then none of this would have happened!'
(If anybody finds this unbelievable, give me your email address and I shall be all too happy to send you photographic evidence.

I don't doubt you...but I would like to see the pictures.

ashedambala@gmail.com

A said...

Dear Dambala
Thank you for your interest. The pictures are all there- just scroll down on the blog and you will find them in the right hand margin.
Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help.

A said...

Dear Mohit

It is always good to hear from friends. Thank you for your interest.

You are absolutely right- this is an issue of human rights and land. It has nothing to do with religion- given that 12% of Palestinians are Christian. As a Greek Orthodox man in Bethlehem told me, 'We are one people- the Israeli bullets do not differentiate between Muslim and Christian.'

When it comes down to facts, the supporters of Israel cannot sustain an argument- the Palestinian case is far too powerful. In desperation, the Zionists indulge in religious rhetoric- we are the chosen people, this land was promised to us by God, this is a 3000-year-old clash of civilizations, etc.

I have no hesitation in rejecting outright a God who picks and chooses one people to be superior. However, you are also right in insinuating that some Arab states have exploited the suffering of the Palestinians to further their own agenda- by reinforcing the image of a Jews versus Muslims conflict. Remember though that these Arab countries have done nothing for the Palestinians.

And as for the Palestinians themselves- well, when they are being stoned while going to school and being stripped naked at checkpoints, religion is the last thing on their minds.

I have always refused to use the religious argument in my meetings and writings and that is not about to change. There is no need- the humanitarian argument is strong enough anyway.

Keep in touch.

Paul Hunter said...

In my opinion the biggest obstacle we face in the UK is the VERY VERY entrenched idea that the Israelis MUST be all-suffering saints and angels who can do no wrong - simply because they are Jewish.

Most gentiles are blissfully unaware of this ridiculous, illogical stance, and as a result unknowingly support the most terrible crimes against human beings that I can imagine. Even if I try to point out that the flip side of this excessive and unrealistic ‘philia’ to one ethnic group is a perverted antipathy to other ethnic groups, I get nowhere: people either dismiss it all with “oh, I don’t believe in any of that”, or they declare, “oh, well I’m a racist then!”

So we live in a society that is happy in its ignorance or proud of its racism.

My genuine question to others who feel as I do is this: in ordinary conversation what is the best approach to remedy the situation?

Assuming it’s not possible to do things overnight, how best to plant the seed of wisdom? Or is the UK a dead loss?

That last comment comes from my knowledge that some native English folk surreptitiously make barbed and sarcastic comments about doctors who are from an Arabian background – even little old ladies in care homes. It’s pathetic.

Mohit said...

Dear A,
I am glad that you reject religion being used as a tactical weapon or argument for making a case for Palestine. Use of violence is another aspect of struggle, that your writings seem ambivalent about. Although you denounce it in words at a few places yet at others you seem to be making excuses for violence by the Palestinians.
I think that the first major step for any person struggling for any cause should be unambigous, comlete rejection of violence, violence in actions and in words.
Also, I see many blogs, writings about major conflicts descending into name calling, which in some ways is representative of the interactions of major players in the political arena.
People like us need to accept but refuse to indulge those whom you call "zionist" We need to focus on finding and promoting a peaceful solution. I hope your next blog will not be about "making a case" for palestine, because everyone knows about the palestinians, although they may choose to deny or ignore it, instead it would be focussed on possible solutions to the issue.

A said...

Dear Mohit

Thanks for continuing to contribute to the blog. My grey cells are certainly working overtime now!

I'm afraid I must disagree when you say 'everyone knows about the Palestinians'. In Europe, at least most people have a vague idea that they are suffering in some way. However in the US and Canada, the majority view is that Israel is a defenceless, beleaguered bastion of civilization at the mercy of suicide bombers, with the surrounding Arab countries hell-bent on its destruction. Living in the US, I am sure you are well aware that blind support for Israel is not confined to the Jewish community but also extends to the more than 100 million evangelical Christians who populate the Bible belt.

Even here, people don't know just how bad the situation is- the 18000 demolished houses, the women enduring labour at checkpoints, and the almost Alice in Wonderland situation in Hebron.

As far as Zionism is concerned- it is an ideology of supremacy, that supports a 'homeland' for the Jewish people in the 'Land of Israel'. (Definition from Zionism on the Web.) And 'Zionist' is not a name that people use to slander supporters of Israel- people who believe in that ideology are proud to use the term themselves!

My problem with Zionism is that it results in the bizarre spectacle of American and Russian Jews- with absolutely no ties to the Arab world at all- arriving at Ben Gurion in planeloads, while Palestinian families who have populated the land for generations continue to be forcibly expelled. I am afraid I have no option but to reject outright such an ideology- it is a purely religious argument. And I know how you feel about religious arguments.

As far as violence is concerned- I used to be a pacifist like you. Even today, I would have no hesitation in condemning any attacks on civilians, and that includes suicide bombings. I would even go so far as saying that no violence achieves anything.

But at the same time, I refuse to equate the violence of the oppressor with the violence of the oppressed. While I would never encourage it, I would have great difficulty in condemning violence directed against instruments of the occupation, such as Israeli military personnel. You may not agree with me, but having witnessed what I have, I cannot be an idealist any more.

As far as rationalizing Palestinian violence goes- there is a difference between making excuses for it, and trying to explain its origins. If one does not understand its roots, it cannot be countered. The way the West responded to 9/11 by invading Iraq and Afghanistan is ample proof of this. Look at the mess that has landed the world in.

As far as the solution goes- there isn't an easy one. For such an unjust situation, the only solution is complete justice. The Palestinians aren't asking for much- just an end to the brutality, an end to the illegal occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem (which, by the way, only constitute 22% of historic Palestine), and the right of return of all refugees.

'Talking' and 'understanding' are unlikely to get us far as long as Israel continues to be financed and armed to the teeth by the US. One can only hope that, with increasing awareness, there will be an increase in popular support for the Palestinians which will ultimately result in their freedom. It seems a distant goal, but so did democracy in South Africa in the dark years of apartheid.

Till that day- the struggle shall continue.

A said...

Dear Paul

I share your despair and anger. The current climate of Islamophobia only serves to reinforce the view held by many that 'it must be the Palestinians' fault somehow'.

However, I don't think all is lost. The issue is on the agenda like never before. People are less afraid of being called anti-Semitic for criticizing Israel, and at least we are hinting at the possibility of boycotts of Israel. This would have been unthinkable barely 10 years ago. Also, the Lebanon war last year was extremely damaging to Israel's image.

If we persist in telling people just how bad things are, we may get somewhere. The stories of house demolitions and settler harassment in Hebron are so powerful that very few would be unmoved. Yes, people may be disinterested initially, but we just have to keep banging away. It is the least that the Palestinians deserve.

Irving Washington said...

You have a fantastic and worthy blog. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

You were right to keep the ranting comments from ibrahamav in. Flaming like this does no credit and serves to undermine them more than it does you.

Again, thank you for this. Keep up the good work!

I Use My Own Name said...

(I am Paul Hunter - I registered a blog name after my first comment here).

I feel encouraged by what you say A said...!

It IS true that things have come a long way in the last few years, I often forget that. I will indeed keep plugging away and make special mention of the house demolitions in Hebron. I think we can all do is "our bit" in our own personal lives.

The one thing I fear is a very terrible attack on Israelis (or an equally terrible act of anti-semitism anywhere). I mean something on the scale of "911".

I would also loath such events, but my fear is that such acts of depravity will put all of us on the defensive again, (even being 'milked' by Zionists).I hope this kind of thing never comes to pass.

It's still the way of the UK and the USA to be one-sided - pitiless acts of savagery happen all the time to the Palestinians with little reaction here. .

But I am very glad this blog is here and I know I am not alone.

umkahlil said...

Thank you for the letter to the BMJ, which was forwarded to me by Muna Giacaman. As you know I published it on my blog, but I'm not able to comment there at the moment.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was boring. brave to go where? Your a joke, the real heroes are the activists working as human shield, their not glory hunter

A said...

Hi anonymous

I make no claims to bravery; if you'd read the last post 'A village in northern England' you would have realized that. Maybe your ability to read is limited; you certainly can't spell: '(your) a joke', '(their) not glory hunter'.

You think it's boring- fine, you're entitled to your opinion.

As for the activists standing in front of tanks- many of them are my friends, and they realize the importance of raising awareness through blogs etc.

Looking forward to hearing the stories of your exciting activities in Palestine!

mags said...

With reference to the 'anonymous posting'.

I would ask why you think ChestDoc in Palestine did not take part in any what you call 'HUMAN SHIELD ACTIVITY'.

If you call standing in the front line when the Iraeli soldiers have a gun pointed at your head, for instance this is where I met this young man. He was at a demonstration at Billin, this is where the Israeli Government have been ordered to hand back land to the Palestinian people. Their own land I hasten to mention. WHAT A VICTORY FOR THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE.

He stood at the front to protect the Palestinian people. If it was not for people like him the Israeli Occupation Forces would fire live bullets at the Palestinians. He placed himself in front of the Palestinians and had rubber bullets and tear gas fired at him along with other Internationals.

He also stayed overnight in a Palestinian house which was between 2 Israeli settlements. The settlers desparately want this house back so they can expand their settlement, Internationals need to stay there every night in order to protect his house.

This young man stayed overnight in the house, putting his own life in danger.

Keep the good work up ChestDoc in Palestine, the true activists are behind you and ignore the jealous people who do nothing.

A said...

Thanks you Mags

It was an honour to work with you. I am sure 'anonymous' would be interested to know that it wasn't just me, but our whole group that participated in the Billin demonstration- and the protection of the house in Hebron.

ATW said...

I am simply speechless! What a powerful and excellent post. Congratulations for such admirable and noble exploration. I salute you.

A said...

Dear ATW
Thank you very much- whoever you are.
Spread the word.

Yousef Jihad said...

"basic human rights" demand that the Isralei citizens be free from worry that some palestinian missle, fired willy-nilly, does not land on their childrens heads. "basic human rights" demand that Isralei grandmothers can feel free to take their grandchildren anywhere without fear that some Palestinian suicide bomber will set him or herself off with the hopes of killing as many Jews as possible.

Until the Palestinians observe these 'basic human rights', thay are subject to whatever they get.

ATW said...

A,

I apologize that my name or link did not appear. I am so impressed with your story and images I posted a link on my blog. Well done.

FYI my blog is www.attendingtheworld.wordpress.com

Stop by sometime.

Best,
ATW

A said...

Yousef

You seem to forget that history did not start with suicide bombings and Qassam rockets.The former began in the 1990s, the latter more recently. Whereas the oppression of the Palestinians has been continuing unabated for 60 years.

By saying that the Palestinians are 'subject to whatever they get' you seem to suggest that 'basic human rights' of Israelis are more sacred than those of Palestinians. Let me turn this round- would you be prepared to say this- as long as Israel continues to demolish houses, shoot unarmed civilians, harass and humiliate Palestinians at checkpoints and build walls that destroy their lives, then Israelis are 'subject to whatever they get'? Of course you wouldn't, and neither would I.

Yousef Jihad said...

History started with Israeli reaction to Palestinian terrorism from the end of the First Arab-Israli war which came at the heels of the Palestinian Civil War.

You can try to turn it around but then it would be faulty reasoning to assume house demolitions prevoke the deliberate and targeted murder of 29 innocent Men, Women and children via suicide bombing.

ShaBNaM said...

hi,i had just get trough your blog. it gave me more information about what's going on in palestine. the way you are using the word's seemed some how that i can imagine.there are few people's like you in earth, i'm happy to know you and i want you to try again and again like the one you had done in PALESTINE. nice to meet you. a girl/19 from IRAN.

A said...

Dear Shabnam
Thank you for your kind words. And keep reading and spreading the word!

A said...

Yousef

Imagine soldiers entering your house at 4am, waking you up, pushing you outdoors and then bulldozing the house you have put all of your life's savings into. Then having to clear the rubble yourself; and to pay the bill for the privilege of having your house demolished. You are helpless, with no police, judiciary or government to fight your corner.

I am not justifying suicide bombings- all I am saying is that if you want to stop them, you have to stop the atrocities that provoke them; not commit more atrocities which will only provoke more vengeful acts.

As for the killing of 29 innocent people- of course, that is a wicked act. But 29 is also the number of people killed by Baruch Goldstein- a wealthy illegal American settler- and one wonders exactly how he had 'suffered' at the hands of Palestinians. No, that act was motivated by pure bigotry and hatred.

You clearly need to go and read the history books- this story started with the Zionist colonization of Palestine, which led to the death of 12000 Palestinians when Israel was created and the mass exodus of 750000. And every day, a new chapter of oppression is written in that story.

Palestinian heart said...

thank you for doing this. with your permission, I plan to send a link of your blog in our next newsletter to our listserve. If you'd like, send me your email and I'll add you to our list so you can get it when it is sent. The next one will be in 2-3 weeks. Our group is called Playgrounds for Palestine: www.playgroundsforpalestine.org

Manchester medical student said...

I am very much inspired by your words. Shame I couldn't make it to your talk in Manchester last Wednesday.

Keep the ball rolling!

ummzak said...

salaams bro, excellent blog i was very moved by the account of your visit i also had good fortune to visit al-quds a couple of years ago, would you mind if we published your account on mpacuk.org? More Muslims need to read about your experiences inshallah.

A said...

Ummzak
Thanks for the compliments!
Yes, please link it anywhere you wish. We need to get the word out to as many people as possible.

Anonymous said...

Salaams, I was also very moved by your blog- I haven't finished reading it all yet though. But it is soo different to hear from someone who has actually been to palestine and seen the atrocities going on over there. Because its obvious to see that it has really moved you and it really comes across to the reader. I find it's soo easy for people to just turn a blind eye to whats going on in palestine and the answers you gave to those questions were well thought out and insightful.

I am wondering if you have considered doing talks as you have said that you have letters etc to write. Would there be any chance of you being able to give a talk to students at a university here in the UK?
I don't know how to contact you- but I hope that you still read these comments! and if could put up a way for me to get in touch with you or someone who would be willing to give a talk about the state of palestine that would be amazing!
from: muslim sister

A said...

Dear Muslim Sister
Salaam
I have done several talks at universities already, and am keen to do more.
I moderate all comments on my blog- so they will not get published without my approval. Why don't you leave another comment mentioning your email address- I will contact you then. Don't worry, that comment won't be published.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your sensitive perspective - I agree entirely that Israel's extreme actions are indefensible. Matters have become worse as of this writing. I would appreciate learning about your current views.

Gunther

A said...

Gunther
My views remain the same. The only difference is that there is a sense of extreme anger and despair at the international community's green light to Israel's massacre of the Gazans.
I'm praying for a miracle now.

Thanks said...

Thank you for your blog. A miracle is seriously needed. This: the international community's green light to Israel's massacre of the Gazans, and the international community's either cynicism or ignorance is indeed outrageous, and anyone with a sense of fairness should feel anger and despair, for what it is worth, which doesn't seem to be very much.

oRiDo™ said...

Please feel free to download screensaver and wallpaper FREE PALESTINE from my blog..

Anonymous said...

Salaam,

I attending one of ur talks and it was a real eye opener.

Jazakallah khair for ur efforts

Would it be possible to use some of the pics on ur blog.

Would link back to your blog of course.

A said...

Dear Anonymous
Yes, you may use the pictures.
Keep spreading the word!
Asad

MikeSC said...

From a fellow Lancashire lad, great work.

A said...

Dear fellow Lancashire lad
Thank you for the compliment.

Anonymous said...

It is extremely interesting for me to read that blog. Thanx for it. I like such topics and everything connected to this matter. I definitely want to read a bit more soon.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Anonymous said...

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hiwaar said...

Wounderful efforts which we support

Anonymous said...

Thank you for speaking the truth. keep writing because you provide 'the other side' stories that are largely missing in main stream media. we need someone like you to get the right info. kuddos!

Kadu Carrasco said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.