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Allison Deger
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Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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18 Responses

  1. Citizen
    Citizen on March 31, 2013, 12:39 pm

    Odd, I didn’t hear anything in the US mainstream media about “Land Day.”

    • on March 31, 2013, 3:16 pm

      I’m surprised you didn’t hear how the Palestinians used the excuse to violently attack those attending religious ceremonies and such. Every Isrealite site has covered it extensively.

  2. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870 on March 31, 2013, 12:49 pm

    RE: “Last year Palestinians protested in thousands to mark Land Day, an annual commemoration of six killed during a 1976 march against land expropriations in the Galilee, but this year’s protests failed to capture the same momentum.” ~ Deger

    MY COMMENT: I wonder why, NOT! ! ! “[T]he Palestinians had to be taught a lesson they would not forget, so as to drive any idea of an unarmed mass action out of their minds.” ~ Uri Avnery (see below)

    SEE: “Netanyahu: Stupid Like a Fox?”, By Uri Avnery,, 06/13/11

    [EXCERPT] Last week, there was a repeat performance. The Palestinians all around Israel have declared June 5 “Naksa” Day, to commemorate the “Setback” of 1967, when Israel spectacularly defeated the armies of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, reinforced by elements from the Iraqi and Saudi armies.
    This time, the Israeli army was prepared. The fence was reinforced and an anti-tank ditch dug in front of it. When the demonstrators tried to reach the fence—again near Majdal Shams—they were shot by sharpshooters. Some 22 were killed, and many dozens were wounded. The Palestinians report that people trying to rescue the wounded and retrieve the dead were also shot and killed.
    No doubt this was a deliberate tactic decided upon in advance by the army command after the Naqba Day fiasco and approved by Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak. As was said quite openly, the Palestinians had to be taught a lesson they would not forget, so as to drive any idea of an unarmed mass action out of their minds.
    It is frighteningly reminiscent of events 10 years ago. After the first Intifada, in which stone-throwing youngsters and children won a moral victory that led to the Oslo agreement, our army conducted exercises in anticipation of a second Intifada. This broke out after the political disaster of Camp David, and the army was ready.
    The new [second] Intifada started with mass demonstrations of unarmed Palestinians. They were met by specially trained sharpshooters. Next to each sharpshooter stood an officer who pointed out the individuals who were to be shot because they looked like ringleaders: “The guy in the red shirt… Now the boy with the blue trousers…”
    The unarmed uprising broke down and was replaced by suicide bombers, roadside bombs, and other “terrorist” acts.
    With those our army was on familiar ground.
    I suspect very much that we are witnessing much the same thing once more. Again, specially trained sharpshooters are at work, directed by officers. . .

    SOURCE –

    “Frozen Angels” by Zoe Keating on the CD ‘One Cello X 16: Natoma’ (2005) [VIDEO, 07:56] –

  3. Obsidian
    Obsidian on March 31, 2013, 1:00 pm

    Beit Salafa aside, isn’t the real story that is this year’s Land Day protests had a very low turnout of demonstrators.

    Why do you suppose that is?

    • dimadok
      dimadok on March 31, 2013, 3:04 pm

      Because everyone is sick of that and it doesn’t lead anywhere.

      • thankgodimatheist
        thankgodimatheist on March 31, 2013, 7:29 pm

        Could it be because one gets killed for as much as protesting peacefully all so often?

      • talknic
        talknic on April 1, 2013, 12:57 am

        @ Obsidian

        ” this year’s Land Day protests had a very low turnout of demonstrators.”

        Pro rata? Definitely NOT! Ever heard of simple maths?

        “Why do you suppose that is?”

        Dunno…. say, maybe there’s something in the article that tells us.. ( maths and reading are definitely not some folks strong points )

        @ dimadok “Because everyone is sick of that and it doesn’t lead anywhere”

        Whatever keeps your bile flowing ..

    • on March 31, 2013, 3:17 pm

      Here’s one guess, Obsidian: because they were brutally repressed? Again, just a guess; I’m sure you have the inside scoop though. But thanks for asking, your interest is moving.

    • ritzl
      ritzl on March 31, 2013, 7:35 pm

      The turnout wasn’t low. 10K people in Israel is like 400K in the US, a huge and significant demo. Even the 1000 people that turned out at al-Sayed would be equivalent to 40,ooo people here. Again highly significant, particularly given the reasons in the article.

      And only the turnout in Al-Sayed was termed “disappointing” by the organizers of that specific event, because they wanted more people to show up, not a lament about the significance of the 1000 who did.

      Here’s the quote from your linked article:

      Around 10,000 people participated in the Land Day rally in Sakhnin on Saturday, while only around 1,000 came to the main event in the south of the country, a march in the vicinity of the unrecognized Bedouin village al-Sayed. Organizers of the latter event said they were disappointed with the low turnout, particularly in light of the fact that this year’s theme was opposition to the Prawer plan, which calls for relocating tens of thousands of Negev Bedouin from unrecognized villages to recognized communities. The organizers attributed the low turnout in part to the scheduling of concurrent events in both the north and the south as well as to the deep sense of shock in the Negev Bedouin community after three brothers from the same family drowned while swimming at an Ashkelon beach a few days ago.

      Obsidian: “Why do you suppose that is?”

      Well, the article explained why. Two major events on the same day and mourning over a tragedy in the Bedu community. Not from lack of interest in the underlying rationale, as you imply.

      So, even if you accept the plausibility (admittedly a real possibility when talking to media) that the Al-Sayed event organizers were putting a happy face on the actual turnout in the sense that you suggest (generic disinterest), in Israel, these people who Israel calls Arabs to reinforce their second-class status, face very real harm should they attend these events. That, to me, makes the turnout doubly significant.

      You ostensible “hole-pokers” do a great service here. People that come here to casually read can see that you rarely if ever tell even a small part of the whole story. I have never [yes, going with never] read a third-party, relatively objective link supplied by one of you all that directly supports your contentions.

      But to your credit, you did supply a link. Most of you don’t.

  4. annie
    annie on March 31, 2013, 1:11 pm

    Despite the unpredictable rise of Beit Safafa to the center of Land Day

    actually that doesn’t surprise me. they have been consistently protesting for months now and what israel is doing to that village is criminal. here’s another report w/ amazing photos and demonstration video:

  5. on March 31, 2013, 3:21 pm

    The significance of Land Day

    by Nabil Alsahli!+Mail

    Exactly thirty-seven years ago, on 30th March 1976, the people of Palestine rose up against Israel’s occupation of their land. After 28 years of living under curfews and restrictions on movement; oppression, terror and racism; impoverishment; seeing their land stolen from them and villages demolished inside the Zionist state as well as in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, they’d had enough.

    The uprising took the shape of an all-out strike and massive public demonstrations in Israel, during which the security forces killed and terrorised the indigenous Palestinian population. The Israelis used live ammunition against the demonstrators and killed Khadija Shawahna, Raja Abu Rayya, Khader Khalayla, Khair Ahmed Yasin, Muhsen Taha, and Ra’afat Ali Zuhdi. Dozens more were wounded and three hundred were arrested.

    What sparked-off the uprising? The Israeli authorities confiscated more than 5,000 acres of land belonging to the villagers of Arraba, Sakhnin, Dair Hanna, Arab Alsawaed and other areas to give to Jewish settlements as part of the government’s plan to Judaise Galilee. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back, because it is worth noting that between the creation of Israel on Palestinian land in 1948 and 1972 the Israeli government stole more than a quarter of a million acres of Arab land in Galilee and the Triangle alone, a cluster of Arab villages adjacent to the 1949 armistice line. This was in addition to the vast tracts of land taken by the Israelis after massacring Palestinians and ethnically cleansing historic Palestine in 1948.

    What became known as the Land Day uprising did not take place at random; it was the result of the collective suffering of the Palestinians in their land occupied by mainly European Jews since the establishment of the state of Israel. When the Palestinians living under Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip joined in, Land Day became a national Palestinian event, a symbol of the people’s unity inside the historic land and in the diaspora.

    Land is at the core of the conflict with the Israeli state. Palestine is located at the eastern end of the Mediterranean. It is bordered by Syria and Jordan to the east, Lebanon and parts of Syria to the north, and Egypt and the Gulf of Aqaba to the south. Historic Palestine’s total area is 27,009 square kilometres. Despite its relatively small size it can be divided into four distinct areas, each with its own topography, climate, flora and fauna: The plains area is concentrated along the coast and makes up 17 per cent of the total area; the Negev Desert to the south covers almost 50 per cent of the land; hills and mountains account for 28 per cent; the balance is known as the Jordan Valley, or Alghour, about 5 per cent of Palestine’s total area.

    The British Mandate divided Palestine into six administrative districts in 1939:

    1. Galilee Province in the far north of Palestine close to the Lebanese border with Nazareth at its centre. It has five districts: Acre, Bisan, Nazareth, Safad, and Tabaria. The population of each district in 1945 was around 231,000 people over an area of almost 700,000 acres, or 10.4 per cent of Palestine.

    2. Haifa Province focused on the city of Haifa and the surrounding area. Covering around 255,000 acres it represents 3.8 per cent of Palestine with a population in 1945 of 242,630 Palestinians.

    3. Nablus Province’s three districts were Nablus itself, Jenin and Tulkarem, with a total area of more than 800,000 acres representing 12.1 per cent of Palestine. The population in 1945 was 232,220.

    4. Jerusalem Province covered Jerusalem and Bethlehem, Jericho, Hebron and Ramallah with an area of more than 1 million acres, around 16 per cent of Palestine and a population of 384,880.

    5. Lod Province centred on Jaffa with the districts of Jaffa and Ramle. Mainly in the plains, its area was 300,000 acres, that’s 4.5 per cent of Palestine, and a population of 501,070 in 1948.

    6. The final province was Gaza along the south-west coast and including the Negev Desert which, on its own, made up half of the total area of Palestine. With two main administrative districts centred on Gaza City and Ber Shiva, it covered almost 3.5 million acres with, in 1945, a population of just 190,880.

    Despite Israel’s ethnic cleansing, Galilee preserved its Arab majority, although it is the area where the government concentrated its Judaisation policy to impose a Jewish identity. In early 1975 Israel announced a plan to Judaise Galilee called the “Galilee development 2020” project. This is one of the most menacing of Israeli plans, and includes the proposed construction of eight industrial zones in Galilee necessitating the confiscation of 5,000 acres of Arab land. The government justifies this by calling undeveloped Arab-owned land “neglected land” so that it can build on it. With this objective in mind, Israel has sought to isolate its Arab minority citizens from their surroundings and land within the so-called Green (Armistice) Line.

    In 1947, the UN resolution to partition Palestine allocated 54 per cent of the land to Jews who owned around 6 per cent of historic Palestine. Today, “Israeli- Arabs” represent 20 per cent of Israel’s population but have just 2 per cent of the land on which Israel was established. The process of Judaising Galilee was, and still is, one of the goals of the Zionist movement: first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion put it thus: “Settlement itself is what decides whether we have to fight for Galilee or not.”

    Accordingly, in 1948 Israel targeted and occupied a lot of land in the Galilee area, building 350 settlements there. The government justified this by arguing that the land was owned by “absentees” – in fact, Palestinians who had been driven away at gunpoint – although the Judaisation process was not confined to such land; it also took property used by the British Mandate authorities, estimated at between half and three-quarters of a million acres. This was still not enough for the Israelis, who started to take over land still occupied by its owners.

    Since 1948, the Israelis have issued several laws to give a veneer of legality for their control over Palestinian land, including the Absentees’ Property Laws, through which they have been able to confiscate a further 250,000 acres of the most fertile Arab land.

    Under the governments led by Benjamin Netanyahu, numerous other laws have been passed to limit the Israeli-Arab rights to their land and impose a “Jewish identity” on Palestine. There has been a systematic policy to Judaise place names and religious sites, including mosques and churches. Judaisation has been concentrated in Galilee and the Negev Desert, and latterly occupied Jerusalem.

    Land Day is thus a very important commemoration for Palestinians seeking to remain connected to their land, and holds great significance for those inside Israel – around 1.5 million people – as well as in the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. There are 5.5 million Palestinian refugees registered with the UN in countries neighbouring Palestine and millions more in the global diaspora. The land issue will remain at the core of the conflict with Israel; Land Day, 30th March, serves as an opportunity for Palestinians the world over to reaffirm their commitment to free their land from occupation and return to build their lives there.

  6. Les
    Les on March 31, 2013, 4:29 pm

    Something else to celebrate;
    [Take note of the Jewish students who complained that they were unable to bring in outside supporters to pump up their oppostion to the resolution because they didn’t have advance warning of the vote.]

    One of Canada’s largest student association endorses BDS against Israel
    Jewish student groups at York University say they were not given advance notice of the vote and had little time to prepare an argument against the resolution.
    By JTA | Mar.31, 2013 | 1:43 PM

    One of the largest student association in Canada passed a resolution endorsing the global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel.

    With the passage late last week of the resolution, York University’s student association joins two others in Canada – the University of Toronto and Concordia University graduate student associations – in endorsing the BDS campaign, according to the York University Excalibur.

    The campaign calls for universities to divest from holdings in companies that do business with Israel and to cut ties with Israeli academics.

    The vote by the council of the York Federation of Students was 18-2 in favor and was advocated for by the Students Against Israeli Apartheid at York.

    Jewish student groups at York complained that they were not given advance notice of the vote and had little time to prepare an argument against the resolution.

    In comments to the Excalibur, Safiyah Husein, a vice president of the York Federation of Students, portrayed the resolution as uncontroversial. “Indeed, not everyone supports reduced tuition fees, equity campaigns, or sustainability work, but we know the majority of our members believe this work is vital and important,” Husein said.

    Chaim Lax, president of [email protected], said his group was disappointed and called the resolution “fundamentally racist, and a possible violation of [York’s] anti-discrimination codes.”

    The York Federation of Students resolution will have no actual bearing on the university’s investment portfolio.

    “York University uses best practices in developing its policy on investments, and this is built on advice from major investment consulting firms,” York spokeswoman Janice Walls told the Canadian Jewish News.

    The student federation represents over 52,000 undergraduate students at York, Canada’s third-largest university.

  7. giladg
    giladg on March 31, 2013, 11:40 pm

    6 died in 1976.
    70,000 have died in Syria.

    • talknic
      talknic on April 1, 2013, 12:47 am

      giladg 6 died in 1976.
      70,000 have died in Syria.

      The first 6 were people in their own land slaughtered by foreigners occupying them

      The second is a civil war.

      Did you have a point?

    • Cliff
      Cliff on April 1, 2013, 5:23 am


      What do you care about dead Syrians?

      You’re a Zionist Jew and a settler

      You should care about the crimes of your own country and the crimes you are responsible for – first and foremost

      Not crimes committed by other countries that you’re not responsible for and thus can criticize with no reflection upon yourself

      Americans are responsible for Israeli crimes since Americans foot the bill

      We did not cause the Syrian civil war. In fact we aren’t whitewashing the death toll of however many have died.

      We drum it up, because its good for us to do so.

      But when it comes to your crimes, Gulag, you whitewash them and divert attention away

      You assume we don’t care about Syria but why would caring about Syria hurt our integrity? Syria is not a big deal in terms of identity politics and peer pressure to conform for anti-Zionists

      It’s easy to condemn and we do, because its condemnable. It should be and ‘is’.

      Whereas Israel kills and steals and discriminates but those crimes are swept under the rug or downplayed or ignored entirely.

      And it is done so by religious fanatics and racists like you.

    • William Burns
      William Burns on April 1, 2013, 7:43 am

      Do you ever talk about Syria when you’re not defending Israel, giladg?

    • on April 1, 2013, 7:29 pm

      I beg to differ but 6 didn’t die in 1976. 6 were murdered on that particular day in 1976. Many, many more were killed in 1976. The word genocide applies here for the despicable war crimes perpetrated on the Palestinians by the terrorist entity known as ISreal. Your deflection tactics are cheap, old and disingenuous but do serve to highlight the crimes of ISreal against the Palestinians and the rest of her neighbors.

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