Of the pen



Olive Trees for Peace


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In the Acadaemic



A life devoted to Peace among People and,
dignity and freedom for his Palestine people

Newspaper La Capital
Rosario, Monday, April 6th of 1987

Only for being Palestinians... (view)

By Suhail Akel *

From the times of Jesus Christ to these days, Palestine -a land of prophets- was thrashed, destroyed and its population was ravaged. But in order to develop the Palestinian problem, I will set year 1517 as a point of departure –beginning of the Turkish domination in Palestine. It lasted 397 years and they were expelled by the Palestinian resistance that possessed anarchistic weapons proposed by the English for their independence. However, England’ s real intention –by means of a secret agreement signed with France “Sykes-Pico- was that the Palestinians overcame the difficulties so that they could create an English mandate on Palestine from 1917 to 1948. This is the way by which the English Mac Mahon’ s letter, which offered freedom, was changed for the Lord Balfour declaration of November 2nd, 1917. He proposed “a National Jewish Home” in Palestine. At that time, the rising Zionist movement played an important role at the House of Lords and it was beginning to mark the furrow which would allow it to occupy Palestine.

After the Second World War and the terrible mass killings of innocent Jewish people by Hitlerism, our planet starts suffering great changes, with territorial partitions and new States which arose at the world context. Logically, the controlled Palestine could not be left out of this new order. By means of the smart United Nations Organization - with only 53 members, the vote of just over a half of them (Argentine abstained) and without the Palestinian consent -, the imperialist forces achieved their ambition in 1947. On November 29 that year, by means of resolution 181, it was decreed the partition of one State and two people, both the Jewish one and Arab one who always lived in a pacific way. The State became two States, one for the Jewish people and the other for the Palestinian one. That is a 55% for the first one and a 45% for the second one. Unfortunately, only one State developed and flourished – the State of Israel – which had a 77% of the Palestinian territory in May of 1948 and it was planning to military occupy the rest in the war of 1967.

As a result of this, the problem of the Palestinian people deepened because the Israeli search for the occupation of its territory and its dispersion in all directions was not enough: Israel wanted to exterminate it. But the strength of these people, who have experienced maltreatment and human rights abuse, did not stop or vanished. On the contrary, Palestine organized itself and it creates its national identity, the PLO, on May 28 of 1964 in order to initiate its fight for liberation, headed by Commander Yasser Arafat, on January 1st of 1965. After that determination, a right all people possess for their self-defense, the Palestinian one is called terrorist. The question is that terrorism is a matter of interpretation, since Lord Balfour was not called terrorist and Reagan is not called terrorist these days. However, Palestinians, ignoring this blasphemy, continue with their objective of regaining Palestine. Then the PLO and its president Yasser Arafat, 22 years from its labour in favour of people, are internationally recognized for two thirds of the world and different international bodies such as the United Nations – with its 159 members now. In an attempt to carried out a moral reparation for the long-suffering Palestinian people, the United Nations establish the International Solidarity Day with the Palestinian People by means of its resolution 32/40 on December 2nd of 1977, on the same day of the Palestine partition. This has been a short summary of what happened in Palestine from around the middle of century XVI to over a half of this century.

But a new stage of martyrdom begins for the Palestinian refugee. In 1970, this stage was related with the extermination of Palestine, not only for the occupation bullets but, even worst, for the those who say they are their brothers. On September that year and in spite of the fact that the PLO defeats the Israeli invasion to the Jordanian territory of Karame in 1968, the Jordan King expelled Palestinians from Jordan, killing around 20.000 of them. Further on and during their transfer to Lebanon, their refugee camps are devastated by the Lebanese in 1976, causing thousands of deaths.

The Palestinian people, bearing these constant aggressions which combined with the attacks of the Israeli air forces (creating more chaos and death), arrive at 1982 where the Lebanese, already headed by Elie Hobeika, and the Israeli army -when Israel was invading Lebanon- destroy the camps of Sabra and Chatila in a combined and vandalistic attack in September that year. Over four thousand Palestinians among children, women and old people die. Ariel Sharon, who headed the operation, was convicted of being responsible of genocide by the commission created in Israel and headed by jurist Yiyzhak Kahan. Today, he is Minister of Commerce in Israel as a consequence of this.

The Palestinians who were in Jordan and the ones who are now in Lebanon did not choose to be there because they like the air or tourism. On the contrary, they were forced to refugee themselves after the illegal occupation of their homes and to create their refugee camps such as the ones of Burj Al-Barajneh, Mieh-Mieh and Chatila among others, where thousands of them concentrate. These camps are not different from the ominous camp of Treblinka o other similar ones.

From September 30th of 1986, ire of savagery breaks out over their camps by means of Nabih Berri, chief of the Shiita sectarian organization Amal and present Defense Minister of Lebanon, who managed to finish the Zionist plan of separation of the Palestinian people. Day after day and during twenty weeks, they converted the camps into a real bloodshed. However, the Palestinian people, with their love for life, learnt to survive. As they could not be yielded in spite of the Amal’ s superiority with regard to weapons, Amal imposed them the worst punishment for a human being: famine, closing the means of food distribution during five months. Famine had increased in such a way that Palestinians – without herbs, nettle, dogs, cats or any other animals to eat and submerged in their desperation - asked for permission to eat the meat of those brothers who did not have the strength to continue in order to go on surviving (Will the press take advantage of this unhappy episode to give the Palestinians a new title: “cannibals”?).

So much penury must pay the people who – in the dispersion – only pretend to cling to their rocks and costumes, with the only ambition of going back to a third of their natural territories, according to what was proposed by the PLO in February of 1985. Or having been born in Palestine is their worst sin?

I want to conclude with a valuable phrase from the Israeli lawyer Felicia Langer during her stay in Rosario in 1986: “We, Jews, must learn to live with them and not to die with them”.

* Representative of the Solidarity Committee with the Palestinian People

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