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Palestinian youth fulfill their ‘right of return’ to the destroyed village of Iqrit

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Palestinians from the destroyed village of Iqrit celebrate Easter int he town’s only remaining building, the hilltop church, April 21, 2014. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Amir Ashkar lives in a village that was destroyed six decades ago with the exception of a hilltop church where he sleeps and a cemetery where his relatives are interred. Those structures are the only two fully operational spaces in this town with no permanent homes, a little electricity from solar panels, an outdoor shower and just two toilets. Still, Iqrit, located at the northern tip of Israel within eyeshot of Lebanon, is home to Amir and 19 other youth.

“It’s not a struggle to go back home because we all go back home in the end,” said Amir, a 19-year-old cafe worker who spent most of his upbringing in the town of Kafr Yassif. “So what we are trying to make here is to make a living, and to go back living, not just with death,” he continued.

We spoke to Amir during an Easter celebration where hundreds of Palestinians from Iqrit and nearby towns gathered to celebrate the holiday. One Christian Palestinian even braved illegal entry from the West Bank. But the festivities were short-lived. On Wednesday morning two days after the Easter mass, debkah, and concert—the Israeli green patrol arrived and demolished the stage and uprooted plants. “Today the Israeli Authorities arrived to Iqrith and destroyed all the trees, the herbs, the stage we built for the event on Monday,” said Shadia Sbait from the Iqrit Community Association. “The police also destroyed and even took part of the youth beds.”

Amir is part of a group of young people whose forebears come from Iqrit and have enacted on their own terms the aspiration of many Palestinians: the right of return to villages leveled by Israel in the 1940s and 50s. Sitting cross-legged while pulling from a cigarette, Amir said he too would be buried in Iqrit’s cemetery. In the meantime he conducts his life similarly to any other Palestinian citizen of Israel, with the anomaly of living off of the grid under constant Israeli surveillance. In fact, during our visit a drone flew overhead, eventually nose diving not far from where Amir’s grandfather once lived. “People tried to build houses, they demolished. We tried to make even a chicken coop, and they demolished it. We planted trees, they took the trees out,” he told us.

Night-stays in Iqrit began for Amir during an annual summer camp put together by older members of the community. “In the summer camp we said, ‘shit we want to stay living here together,’” said Walaa Sbait, 27, a drama teacher and another returnee of Iqrit (and the nephew of Shadia Sbait). “We imagined when we started having this 18-year experience, of moving back.”  The youth first began to set up a permanent camp in Iqrit in August 2012.

Walaa noted Iqrit is still accessible by a dirt road and nothing has been constructed on top of it. He said this was Israel’s “war mistake” in their effort to remove Palestinians permanently from the village. “There is an ‘advantage’ for us as displaced people,” he continued.

Iqrit is a rather unique village in that it hasn’t been re-made into something else by the Jewish state. There are only a handful of the some 570 villages destroyed around the time of Israel’s declaration of independence that are not built over today with new Israeli-Jewish localities, or covered by forestry projects of the Jewish National Fund (JNF). In fact, one ridge in Iqrit where houses used to be is overgrown with the JNF’s iconic conifer trees, which stick out like of marker for demolished Palestinian life because they are generally much taller, and a darker shade green than indigenous trees.

Easter celebration in Iqrit. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Easter celebration in Iqrit. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Others originally from Iqrit refer to Amir, Walaa and the other camping youth as the “third generation,” as they are the third generation reared after the entire community was displaced. In November 1948, six months after Israel was officially established, troops arrived to Iqrit, which had put up no resistance during the fighting that broke out from 1947-1949. The Israeli military expelled most of its 490 residents to another Galilee village named Rame. Told they could return in two weeks, Israeli officials instead declared Iqrit a closed military zone. (The Israel Defense Forces did the same to other villages near the Lebanon border.)

The residents, by then Israeli citizens, wanted to return to Iqrit, and appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court—the first legal volley in a decades-long struggle waged within Israel. And in 1951, the judges ruled that Iqrit’s residents should be allowed to return. But on Christmas Eve in 1951, that dream was extinguished. The Israeli Air Force bombed most of Iqrit, though they left the church and cemetery alone.

Amir’s family founded the village around 270 years ago. His 85-year-old grandfather Marrouf, who took us on a winding trek through Iqrit’s ancestral lands, has been present for much of the village’s recent, fraught history.

Marrouf Ashkar has witnessed much of Iqrit's recent history. (Photo: Alex Kane)

Marrouf Ashkar has witnessed much of Iqrit’s recent history. (Photo: Alex Kane)

“I remember every piece,” he said of his destroyed village just before launching down a steep slope from the church to where his house used to stand, with impressive agility. “How can I reach my house!” he laughed before tall grasses that cover the old paths. And if it weren’t for the grass, grazing cows from the nearby Israeli-Jewish town of Shomra would pose a problem.

The cows wore down the remaining foundations with their weighty tread. Until the 1970s a military order deemed Iqrit a closed zone. Marrouf and those of his generation lament that while they were kept away during that time, a rancher from Shomra was able to use the landscape for his cows without being hassled by Israeli authorities.

“When the military government ended [in 1966] we again went to the court to open the church for religious purposes,” said Marrouf, who helped fix up the building. Today the walls look fresh and the ancient stones are reinforced with concrete. He showed us the different wild flowers he used to dye Easter eggs with days before, and a sapling that replaced an unearthed fig tree. Until he was 19, Marrouf farmed tobacco in Iqrit. Today he teaches his grandson and the other youngsters about every inch of history tucked under bushes and shrubs.

Cemetery in Iqrit. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Cemetery in Iqrit. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Iqrit has had almost continuous inhabitation for over 2000 years and archeological sites are dispersed throughout. And like Amir, Maarouf also stays over night in Iqrit. Last week he slept there two nights. When it rained, he just covered his head with a newspaper and took off for one of his walks.

Marrouf’s instruction to the third generation has forged a deep bond between the earth and the 20 youth who live in Iqrit today. Amir and Walaa, though they work in cities far away, have no intention of leaving for an apartment in Haifa, or really any fixed structure, which would be more comfortable. “This is the dream,” said Walaa before rushing back to the post-mass concert. “My dream is to live here so I can die here. A complete return; a full set.”

Alex Kane
About Alex Kane

Alex Kane is a freelance journalist who focuses on Israel/Palestine and civil liberties. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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Allison Deger
About Allison Deger

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

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23 Responses

  1. Walid
    Walid
    April 23, 2014, 12:55 pm

    Israelis are very scared. They must feel their world is coming to an end.

    • Ecru
      Ecru
      April 23, 2014, 1:51 pm

      Well they’ve been moaning and whining about existential threats to the Zionist world for 60 years so as a prophecy it was bound to come true at some point. Good riddance to bad rubbish when it finally does happen frankly and if it also takes down its supporters and accomplices in the Diaspora too I won’t shed a tear.

    • mondonut
      mondonut
      April 23, 2014, 2:58 pm

      @Walid

      Why is that? I am sure that any minute now Talknic will show up to inform you that:
      a) These descendants are not entitled to the RoR
      b) The Palestinians do not claim a right for descendants.

    • Mikhael
      Mikhael
      April 23, 2014, 4:34 pm

      Walid says:
      April 23, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      Israelis are very scared. They must feel their world is coming to an end.

      This is what’s called hyperbole. Obviously the Israeli government isn’t too discomfited by a few teenage Israeli citizens squatting and picnicking on this land, even if it is hard on the border of Hezbollah-land, and most Israelis are unaware of and don’t care if these kids want to camp out. As long as they don’t interfere with IDF patrols along the nearby border or cause environmental damage to Nahal Betzet reserve, it shouldn’t be a problem.

      The government does strenuously remove unauthorized Jewish “hilltop youth” outposts, though. (As they should.)

      • Walid
        Walid
        April 23, 2014, 10:35 pm

        “As long as they don’t interfere with IDF patrols along the nearby border or cause environmental damage to Nahal Betzet reserve, it shouldn’t be a problem.”

        Mikhael, how could 19 youths interfere with IDF patrols or damage the environment by planting trees?

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        April 24, 2014, 5:35 am

        Like I said, a few kids hanging out shouldn’t be a problem, but it’s state land and they can be evicted at will. That’s why they’ve been allowed to stay for the past couple of years. If their families originally hailed from Iqrit, that means they were compensated decades ago. They don’t need to get compensated twice.

      • lyn117
        lyn117
        April 24, 2014, 2:15 am

        @Mikhell, if the Israeli government removes unauthorized Jewish “hilltop youth”, why doesn’t the Israeli government remove 600,000 illegal settlers, as it should?

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        April 24, 2014, 12:19 pm

        The government does strenuously remove unauthorized Jewish “hilltop youth” outposts, though.

        By giving them tacit approval (to the point that Edmund Levy found it hard to consider them “unauthorised”), funding (see e.g. Chaim Levinson’s exposé in Haaretz earlier this year) and a posteriori permits (while playing cat and mouse with a couple of them every once in a while, so that everyone’s happy)?

        “Strenuously” indeed.

  2. DaveS
    DaveS
    April 23, 2014, 2:10 pm

    Great report, Alex and Allison. btw, the Palestinian commandos behind the 1972 Munich Olympics disaster named their operation after Iqrit and a neighboring Christian village, also ethnically cleansed in the 1947-9 War. The leader of the group, nicknamed Issa, was half Christian and half Jewish.

  3. Mikhael
    Mikhael
    April 23, 2014, 4:12 pm

    Iqrit was originally a Jewish-populated town, from the Mishnaic period and was a home to Jews until the Crusaders destroyed it. It was known in Hebrew as Yoqart (יוקרת), and was the home of Yossy deman Yoqart, a sage of the Talmud.

    Kefar Yasif, also mentioned in the article, also held a large Jewish population and there were still Jews living there until the early 20th century. There is an ancient and unfortunately neglected Jewish cemetery in Kfar Yasif where the famous rabbi Moshe Haim Luzzzato is buried, along with some of my father’s ancestors, according to what an elderly aunt told my sister.

    There are many Arab localities in northern Israel that were once home to vibrant Jewish communities and where Jews are today made to feel unwelcome.

    http://www.israeltoday.co.il/NewsItem/tabid/178/nid/22197/Default.aspx?archive=article_title

    http://strangeside.com/holy-land-pekiin-jews-constantly-there/

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/124232
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3478336,00.html

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      April 23, 2014, 4:21 pm

      “There are many Arab localities in northern Israel that were once home to vibrant Jewish communities and where Jews are today made to feel unwelcome.”

      Well, three generations of “The Jewish State” (TM) torturing and oppressing the relatives of the people who live in that area would have a tendancy to cause a bit of resentment. I guess if the Zionists had wanted to feel welcome by the Arabs of the Galillee they wouldn’t have acted the way they did for the last 100 years or so.

    • Zofia
      Zofia
      April 23, 2014, 9:40 pm

      “Iqrit was originally a Jewish-populated town, from the Mishnaic period”- Why limit yourself only to that period?:)In Iqrit Canaanite erected a statue representing the god Melqart of Tyre, and Kefar from the root: kfr is typical word for “village” since Canaanite times across the region- you can’t limit their history to the Jewish one m8 ;]They weren’t “the original” inhabitants…
      Example: W. Khalidi, All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948, or Meron Benvenisti in “Sacred Landscape”.
      Besides its story is more complicated than you show us…read this:
      http://iqrith.com/index.php/the-origin-of-the-name-iqrith

      Please don’t say that just because it is mentioned in the Bible or other scripture you suggest that it must have been “originaly” or “only” inhabited by Jews (or Hebrews or Israelites or ppl who believed in El/Il or Yaw/Yau/Yahweh or later in their combined “persona” of 1 God: El/Il, since he was the chief god there, Yahve was his son…). I will repeat myself: even the Bible states that not only Jews lived there, even Jewish archaeologist have proof of that. Practically every city or village mentioned in the Bible has Canaanite roots and were still inhabitated by them (or do you believe that “Jews” killed all Canaanites in the region or most of them?- theory refuted LONG time ago), some later converted some didn’t. Besides even the process of the formation of Judaism (that as we can see borrowed elements of local beliefs, which took centuries) are proof of shared life of local Canaanites and Israelites (and later Jewish ppl)- read about UGARIT- basic archaelogical books, like: Mark S. Smith, who writes: “Israelite” religion—have their origin in the earlier polytheisms”, and “However, there is little or no basis for these contrasts distinguishing monotheism from polytheism, nor is there a firm basis for the theological weight attached to biblical monotheism itself, a weight that the Bible itself hardly reflects.”- The Origins of Biblical Monotheism: Israel’s Polytheistic Background and the Ugaritic Texts. Read also: Manfried Dietric and Loretz.
      There are other arguments about this…In another post I gave some titles about this all.
      The same goes with other migrations. Modern ethnic divisions don’t represent the formation of different groups, don’t equate religion/language etc to only 1 group- it is a false premise, promoted by modern nationalisms everywere.
      What is your point in writing all this? Do you want to justify what happned to them or why did it happened? In this context of the article and the limitation to only Jewish narration makes it the only explanation.
      Read in Haaretz: Sharon asks court to reject appeal of Ikrit, Biram residents.
      Baruch Kimmerling wrote about Iqrit too.

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        April 24, 2014, 5:44 am

        Zofia says:
        April 23, 2014 at 9:40 pm Why limit yourself only to that period?:)…They weren’t “the original” inhabitants…

        I wrote that it was Jewish from the Mishnaic period and continued to have a strong Jewish presence, until the Crusader period, whence it became Christian-dominated, I did not claim that it had been originally exclusively Jewish.

        Please don’t say that just because it is mentioned in the Bible or other scripture you suggest that it must have been “originaly” or “only” inhabited by Jews

        Where did you see me make a religious claim that it was always exclusively Jewish? I’m a secular agnostic Jew.

        What is your point in writing all this? Do you want to justify what happned to them or why did it happened? In this context of the article and the limitation to only Jewish narration makes it the only explanation.

        Why would I not want to mention the rich Jewish history and the continuous presence of Jews in the immediate region as a counterpoint to the narrative that it’s an intrinsically Palestinian Arab site? There were legitimate security reasons at the time to justify the temporary evacuation of Iqrit and Kfar Baram/Birim. I don’t agree with the subsequent demolition of the property by the army, but the villagers received compensation and settled in other parts of the state.

      • Zofia
        Zofia
        April 24, 2014, 4:46 pm

        Dude… You wrote: “ORIGINAL”- that is false, and you wrote as if from the start only Jews lived there and then were replaced- also not true… and the “Yossy deman Yoqart” is mainly known from religious scriptures… Hebrew names are derived mainly from the Biblie or other scriptures or are made “Hebrew-like” from Arabic- that is why I wrote what I wrote.

        I will show you now-thanks for mentioning the village Peqi’in btw- how modern ethnic divisions work, which are based on nationalist narration. There is a Haaretz article about that village :) The villagers actually didn’t document it, it was done for them by researches from Ben Zvi Institute. DOCUMENTED- how? are there actual DOCUMENTS that are that old? Where are they now? How were there preserved?, etc. Why modern archaeologists don’t use them for the research about that period? In any case, I didn’t read about any other sources and materials used for studying that period- and those docs would be awesome!…. weird … they would be very helpful, because researchers are struggling with the lack of substantial research sources …

        If u read my previous post, you will see the problem with cultural assimilation, migrations, etc. Margalit Zinati- 81 year old resident of this Druze village before the researches came saw herself as Arab, after they came she said: Ben Zvi researchers ‘helped me know that I am a Jew, not an Arab,’- well isn’t that nice, eh? Poor women lived in a lie all her life! Her family too and ppl before them! Her traditions that they were analizing are in fact of various origins, but the researches give them only one meaning (Jewish)….

        People MIX CULTURE WITH BIOLOGY- that is often a bad choice to create an identity, historical narration, etc. The article says that the village became a Zionist symbol- and that is what it is. It is not about ppl, their history, etc. but about proper narration and its proper use. So they didn’t come for her, and her story and her idea about herself, they twisted it to fit the main Zionist narration, which doesn’t like mixing “Arab” elements with “Jewsish” ones…

        NEXT: Hebron- I hope you will read Hillel Cohen’s book about Hebron in 1929!! Why didn’t you mention that MORE Jews were saved then killed? Do you know about Slobodka yeshiva there and what they were doing there, even to local Jews? What happened in Hebron was the result of the Zionist politics over the years- I am mentioning this to explain why it happened NOT to justify it, since you accused Hebron inhabitants of attacking Jews just because they were Jews- that is a LIE and actually a blood libel.

        I wrote down once this information:”1907, few months before Jaffa clashes, when the VIII Zionist congress sent Arthur Ruppin with the aim to create “a Jewish milieu and of a closed Jewish economy, in which producers, consumers and middlemen shall all be Jewish”.The ashkenazi of the slobdoka yeshiva applied this in their “religious attitude”, excluding Pals and SEPHARDI alike. At that point what for centuries has been a quite good cooperation between jews and arab-pals in hebron turned into a nationalist competition full of racism and hatred. to analyze what happened in hebron without analyzing the slobdoka mentality is superficial and misleading.”AND IT MUST BE ADDED THAT:
        Arabs were killed in Mea Shearim + members of the Oun family were murdered in Jerusalem the day before, and reports like this reached Hebron, as sources testify: Cafferata’s evidence as the only official eyewitness before the Investigating Commission that ‘The Hebron disturbances started only when the report on the murdering of an isolated Arab family in the Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem reached the town + Susan Silsby Boyle,Betrayal Of Palestine: The Story Of George Antonius, Westview Press, 2001. Some Zionists tried to challange Cafferata’s history, but it didn’t go well in the long run. READ also Tom Segev book. ADDING ALSO:
        agressive Zionist stances in Hebron (Jerusalem and other cities)- read the history of Rabbi Baruch Kaplan who was a student at the Hebron Yeshiva while the massacre took place- he shows what Zionist did, claimed in public (anti-arab propaganda, etc). There were attacks by Zionist earlier also in Hebron, Jerusalem, etc.

        Read about their racist policy towards “Arab” workers- Z. Lockman writes about this. Practically from the start Zionists implemented a anti-arab policy, which was visible in Hebron for years and disrupted the coexistance of ppl in that city. Yuval’s Ben-Bassat book on late Ottoman times sheds more light even about that period. But you write as if Zionist in Palestine didn’t do anything anti-arab, didn’t kill, throw out peasants (Ben-Bassat), didn’t promote anti-arab propaganda and actions, etc, and they did that for years against the local people…-one would consider them important factors, no?
        + You do know that counting massacres: Jews committed more on Pals, right? It wasn’t self-defence, since massacres aren’t done for self-defence! So there is no need whitewashing them…

        Jaffa, Nazareth, Haifa, Akka (those are the proper names actually), etc- all examples of ethnic cleansing and racism (obviously you don’t know what Zionist did to them)- till this day!! From erasing Arabic names of the cities and destroying their heritage (like in Jaffa) to promoting clearly anti-arab policy in Nazareth and other cities. So no- most Jews aren’t ok towards “Palestinian- Arabs”- you know it wouldn’t kill you to call them Palestinians, not just Arabs- they have their own identity if you want to admit it or not. Read also Meron Rapoport’s article: History Erased!!!

        You also should read more about local Palestinian Jews, who often were anti-Zionist, local rabbis in public preached about the danger coming from Zionists (especially in the 20s and 30’s), even the term “sabra” was used by local Jews as a negative term for new immigrants! Read about late Ottoman period- how local Jews interacted with other Palestinians- Zionists didn’t care much about local Jews… Read the books by Salim Tamari or Yuval Ben-Bassat “Late Ottoman Palestine”. Also what was considered by Zionist as “Jewish” and “Arab” changed, because at first “Arab/Muslim- Palestinians” were seen as descendants of ancient peoples (for example the work by Ben Gurion and Ben Zvi), later it changed when they didn’t accept the Zionist policy and narratives. As you can see what is called “Jewish” and “Arab” is very fluid, and the same goes for ancient times- today lots of traditional narration about ancient times is now being reconsidered, basing on new evidence. The case of that old lady is only one of many proofs of that. And don’t use the typical Zionist narration that equates them to local Jews, because as you see- that problem is much more complicated, and in fact they didn’t care much about the local Jewish population- too different, etc. Read: Ammiel Alcalay “After Jews And Arabs: Remaking Levantine Culture”.

        So keep playing that “ethnicity” card of yours- which is based on false premises anyway- “good luck” with that….
        And plz don’t lie about Iqrit and other cities, the authors I gave you who wrote about them show what happened and why, without any sugarcoating…and read about the property issues- about Iqrit is written quite a lot (Kimmerling and W. Khalidi write about it).

      • piotr
        piotr
        April 24, 2014, 6:55 am

        According to archaeologists, there was no conquest of Cana’an, Israel was formed from local population after a long drought eliminated the settlements in Cana’an with the exception of coastal area — reduced population survived as pastoralists. After 1200 BC the climate allowed for crop agriculture again, the new villages appeared and some ruins of older settlements were inhabited again. This formed new tribes that created myths that included common ancestors with appropriately illustrious paths that included both cradles of civilization, Ur and Egypt. But the switch to monotheism had to be gradual.

        This is but one case of a population changing religion. The pattern seems to be that the religion was in flux with major changes from time to time, and one peripatetic group made little changes to the version they had 2000 years ago, while the people who stayed in the homeland were mostly adapting to the political requirements. In particular, most of “Israelites” after Bar-Kokhba were Samaritans, which is a different Israelite religion, actually native to northern Israel, then most of them converted to Christianity, then most converted to Islam, while some members of the peripatetic Jews were periodically returning and making small communities.

    • puppies
      puppies
      April 23, 2014, 11:03 pm

      Mikhail – “Iqrit was originally a Jewish-populated town, from the Mishnaic period and was a home to Jews until the Crusaders destroyed it.”
      That isn’t worth a rat’s ass today, except as a big testimonial to the tolerance of the local and Arabian Arabs and… of the Byzantines, whose monolithic understanding of Empire religion was way less murderous than the Zionist one… that razed this Palestinian town like the Crusaders did.

      “There are many Arab localities in northern Israel that were once home to vibrant Jewish communities and where Jews are today made to feel unwelcome.”
      Just so, the predicted outcome of Zionism.
      What did you expect, to be welcomed after having revealed yourself as an accessory of genocidal Zionists?
      Against which many Jewish Palestinians warned urgently (including, already back in the day, Moisè Luzzatto). You’ll be made way more unwelcome yet as things proceed.

    • Ecru
      Ecru
      April 24, 2014, 2:48 am

      Leaving aside for the moment the incredibly simplistic view you’re putting forward (demolished wonderfully by Zofia) how would you feel about this :-

      Dublin was originally a Norse-populated town
      So let’s kick out all the Jews.

      London was originally a Cantii/Roman-populated town
      So let’s kick out all the Jews.

      Paris was originally a Parisii-populated town
      So let’s kick out all the Jews.

      Are you OK with those suggestions? No? Now why didn’t I think so…..

      Further,

      “There are many Jewish localities in Israel that were once home to vibrant Palestinian communities and where Palestinians are today made to feel a tad more than just unwelcome – they’d be in danger of their lives”

    • eljay
      eljay
      April 24, 2014, 7:26 am

      >> There are many Arab localities in northern Israel that were once home to vibrant Jewish communities and where Jews are today made to feel unwelcome.

      This is an injustice. The solution is justice, not the existence of an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” in Palestine.

    • talknic
      talknic
      April 24, 2014, 8:11 am

      Mikhael “There are many Arab localities in northern Israel that were once home to vibrant Jewish communities and where Jews are today made to feel unwelcome.”

      There are many more localities illegally claimed by Israel, North, East, Sth West, where there were Arab communities and where under the Laws of War, the citizens of the Occupying Power http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Foreign+Relations/Israels+Foreign+Relations+since+1947/1947-1974/2+Jerusalem+Declared+Israel-Occupied+City-+Governm.htm are prohibited from illegally settling. As Israel has never legally annexed ANY territory to its proclaimed borders, they’re un-welcome as a matter of course.. http://wp.me/pDB7k-Xk

      Go whine to the Zionist Movement for demanding a separate Jewish State. They’re responsible for taking away the right for Israelis to settle anywhere in the Jewish People’s historic homeland

      Mikhael // I guess if the Zionists had wanted to feel welcome by the Arabs of the Galillee they wouldn’t have acted the way they did for the last 100 years or so//

      “Thanks for clarifying that when you say “Zionists,” you mean “Jews.””

      Problem with your strawman Pajero, what was written is still there…

      “Ilan Tuma-Shechter, a scion of one of the ancient Jewish families of Peqiin that have a documented unbroken presence in the village for not a mere five centuries (as my family can claim in the Land of Israel) but 2,000 years. “

      Uh huh. A) your family? Sure Mikhael B) Source… the illegal settlers’ propaganda news service? Hilarious stuff.

  4. Mikhael
    Mikhael
    April 23, 2014, 5:54 pm

    Woody Tanaka says:
    April 23, 2014 at 4:21 pm
    I guess if the Zionists had wanted to feel welcome by the Arabs of the Galillee they wouldn’t have acted the way they did for the last 100 years or so.

    Thanks for clarifying that when you say “Zionists,” you mean “Jews.”
    One of the Jews interviewed was Ilan Tuma-Shechter, a scion of one of the ancient Jewish families of Peqiin that have a documented unbroken presence in the village for not a mere five centuries (as my family can claim in the Land of Israel) but 2,000 years. He is a perfect example of one of the “Palestinian Arab Jews” who supposedly are the only ones that have a right to live in the country, and whom the anti-Zionist freedom fighters say are part and parcel of the Palestinian people, yet his lineage does not grant him any special dispensation to anti-coexistence radicals like the hotheads who chased him out and who you agree with.

    By your logic, obviously since Israeli Jews (and our “Palestinian Jewish” predecessors from 1917-1948) have suffered murderous mob violence and expulsion from places where our ancestors lived (Hebron in 1929, the Old City of Jerusalem in 1948), and then years of terrorism by the relatives of our fellow Israeli citizens of Arab nationality, it would be perfectly understandable for Israeli Jews not to welcome their fellow Israelis who happen to be Arabs into our neighborhoods, as one has to expect that such behavior will “cause a bit of resentment,” per your words. Fortunately, most of us Israeli Jews are enlightened folk, and have no problem living next to our Arab neighbors in such towns as Yafo, Haifa, Akko,
    Nazareth-Ilit and Karmiel (the first three locations have always been mixed–the latter two were nearly exclusively Jewish municipalities that have seen a large influx of Israeli-Arab residents in recent years). Sometimes some Israeli Jews are unwelcoming to their fellow Israelis (if they happen to be Arab) in places like Karmiel , naturally I condemn such attitudes, but I’m sure you understand them given that a bit of resentment is understandable considering the way Arabs have acted in the last 100 years or so.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      April 24, 2014, 1:37 am

      “Thanks for clarifying that when you say ‘Zionists,’ you mean ‘Jews. ‘”

      Oh don’t kid yourself into thinking you’re capable of restating my position, especially in so blatant a manner as you do in an attempt to support your diabolical positions. And no, when I used “Zionists,” I meant “Zionists.”. Because it was the Zionists’ acts which caused the reaction which you complain of. Unfortunately, some Jews who were good people, non-Zionists who were working against the crimes commited against the Palestinians, may have suffered misdirected anger. That is unfortunate but, as I said, its cause was the acts of the Zionists.

      Oh, and I’ll believe the horseshit about you welcoming Arabs as neighbors the day you give back to the people you ethnically cleansed in ’47-’48 and their descendants their houses back, compensation for their other losses and the full Right of Return. Until that time you’re talking out your ass.

    • lyn117
      lyn117
      April 24, 2014, 2:27 am

      Really, Mikhell, you have ancestors who inhabited Hebron in 1929?

      As far as who is not welcoming whom, please remember that Palestinians (including the Palestinian Jews) are the original & only native people of the “Land of Israel”. I’m sorry if anyone gets chased out by mob violence, but the vast majority of Israeli Jews are recent immigrants. You Zionists went into someone else’s house, chased them out, took their possessions. If you want to be welcome in someone else’s home or town, perhaps you should start by giving it back to them and letting them live in it.

    • Ecru
      Ecru
      April 24, 2014, 6:57 am

      @ Mikhael (my what a pure Hebrew name)

      Thanks for clarifying that when you say “Zionists,” you mean “Jews.”

      So there are no non or anti-Zionist Jews then? Nice try, typical hasbara fail though.

      One of the Jews interviewed was Ilan Tuma-Shechter, a scion of one of the ancient Jewish families of Peqiin that have a documented unbroken presence in the village for not a mere five centuries (as my family can claim in the Land of Israel) but 2,000 years.

      How EXACTLY is it “documented?” And in what languages? Latin? Demotic? Aramaic? Arabic? Middle English? English? Old French? French? And on papyrus, wax tablet, wooden leaf, velum, parchment, paper or stone? I’m curious so do tell.

      …his lineage does not grant him any special dispensation to anti-coexistence radicals like the hotheads who chased him out and who you agree with.

      Would he have been “chased out” had anti-coexistance Jewish radicals not been intent on driving out or murdering the friends and relatives of (as you put it) the anti-Zionist freedom fighters? Given that his family had possibly been living there for 2000 years without being chased out, well something must have changed. Jewish Zionist anti-coexistance radicals moving in perhaps (from, well amongst other places Russia, Ukraine and other Slavic nations) with the intent to drive non-Jews out of the area perhaps?

      …since Israeli Jews (and our “Palestinian Jewish” predecessors from 1917-1948) have suffered murderous mob violence and expulsion from places where our ancestors lived..

      So I ask again, what changed? 2000 years you say without being driven out and then suddenly there’s a change of mind? Nothing to do with massive European Jewish Zionist anti-coexistance radicals immigrating en-masse and driving out local people, refusing to employ them, perpetrating violence against them? Bit of a one-sided take you’ve got here, one might almost think YOU were a Jewish Zionist anti-coexistance radical….

      …years of terrorism by the relatives of our fellow Israeli citizens of Arab nationality, it would be perfectly understandable for Israeli Jews not to welcome their fellow Israelis who happen to be Arabs into our neighborhoods, as one has to expect that such behavior will “cause a bit of resentment,”

      Years of terrorism by Jewish Zionists might make it perfectly understandable that Palestinians have a “bit of resentment” towards Jews and didn’t want them living anywhere near them. After all, when your kids just been shot by some rabid Jewish Zionazi in a uniform, for which he got a promotion, you might not want that thugs family moving in next door. Especially when they tend to do so with a bulldozer.

      …most of us Israeli Jews are enlightened folk, and have no problem living next to our Arab neighbors…

      Really? Enlightened? Recent polling, your posts, the posts of your fellows, the repeated cries of “demographic threat” and the “Jews Only” construction of new settlements strongly suggests otherwise.

      Sometimes some Israeli Jews are unwelcoming to their fellow Israelis (if they happen to be Arab) in places like Karmiel , naturally I condemn such attitudes…

      Except your whole post screams quite the opposite.

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