Palestine

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Palestine is a geographic region in Western Asia between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. It is sometimes considered to include adjoining territories. The name was used by Ancient Greek writers, and was later used for the Roman province Syria Palaestina, the Byzantine Palaestina Prima, and the Islamic provincial district of Jund Filastin. The region is also known as the Land of Israel (Hebrew: ארץ־ישראל Eretz-Yisra'el), the Holy Land or Promised Land, and historically has been known as the southern portion of wider regional designations such as Canaan, Syria, ash-Sham, and the Levant. Situated at a strategic location between Egypt, Syria and Arabia, and the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, the region has a long and tumultuous history as a crossroads for religion, culture, commerce, and politics.

Quotes[edit]

  • Palestine is the cement that holds the Arab world together, or it is the explosive that blows it apart.
    • Yasser Arafat, as quoted in TIME (November 11, 1974) Vol. 104, No. 20.
It is important that we recognise the struggle of the Palestinian people and look at concrete ways in which we can assist them....We need to fight settler colonialism that is taking place in occupied spaces. We need action based on international law... ~Ismail Coovadia
The only way to do it is to treat the Palestinians fairly and let them have their own state alongside Israel. ~Jimmy Carter
[Israel's new Nation-State Law is] racist... It’s wrong & I disagree... it oppresses Palestinians... I only hope that we will really love our neighbors & work together. ~Natalie Portman (13 December 2018) (Image: Portman in 2005)
  • The legacies of Mandela and Arafat can never be underestimated. They were at the forefront of fighting for freedom for their people. Therefore it is important that we recognise the struggle of the Palestinian people and look at concrete ways in which we can assist them....We need to fight settler colonialism that is taking place in occupied spaces. We need action based on international law... we need your support to confront the continuous attacks that have been taking place at the UN and attacks against international legitimacy and the multilateral valued based international system.
  • What do we know of the Palestinians? What would the Palestinians do to the Jews in Israel if the power imbalance were reversed? Well, they have told us what they would do. For some reason, Israel’s critics just don’t want to believe the worst about a group like Hamas, even when it declares the worst of itself. We’ve already had a Holocaust and several other genocides in the 20th century. People are capable of committing genocide. When they tell us they intend to commit genocide, we should listen. There is every reason to believe that the Palestinians would kill all the Jews in Israel if they could. Would every Palestinian support genocide? Of course not. But vast numbers of them—and of Muslims throughout the world—would. Needless to say, the Palestinians in general, not just Hamas, have a history of targeting innocent noncombatants in the most shocking ways possible. They’ve blown themselves up on buses and in restaurants. They’ve massacred teenagers. They’ve murdered Olympic athletes. They now shoot rockets indiscriminately into civilian areas. And again, the charter of their government in Gaza explicitly tells us that they want to annihilate the Jews—not just in Israel but everywhere... Imagine the Israelis holding up their own women and children as human shields. Of course, that would be ridiculous. The Palestinians are trying to kill everyone. Killing women and children is part of the plan. Reversing the roles here produces a grotesque Monty Python skit.
The US has been complicit in far too many of...[Israel's] useless “victories”. ~Charles Kaiser
  • Anziska found proof in the notebooks of the state department...that the secretary of state, Alexander Haig, effectively gave Sharon the green light... The invasion led to the... massacre by Christian Phalange militiamen who “raped, killed and dismembered at least 800 women, children and elderly men while Israeli flares illuminated the camps’ narrow and darkened alleyways”....the invasion was “both a moral stain and a strategic disaster, undercutting US influence in the region and precipitating further military involvement in the Lebanese civil war”.
    A document he discovered, he wrote this week in the New York Review of Books, “demonstrated how the slaughter of civilians in the Palestinian refugee camps of south Beirut was prolonged” by Morris Draper, an American diplomat who acquiesced in “Sharon’s “deceptive claim of ‘terrorists’ remaining behind”.
    Anziska quotes the Israeli intellectual Amos Oz: “After Lebanon, we can no longer ignore the monster, even when it is dormant, or half-asleep, or when it peers out from behind the lunatic fringe … It dwells, drowsing, virtually everywhere...”
    Anziska has made a major contribution to the history of this conflict. As the Trump administration repeats the errors of so many predecessors, with moves to delegitimize and defund the PLO, Anziska reminds us that America has always shared responsibility for the lopsided competition between Israel and the Palestinians... The US has been complicit in far too many of...[Israel's] useless “victories”.
  • The Palestinian people [do] not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct 'Palestinian people' to oppose Zionism... For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa. While as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.
    • Zuheir Muhsin, late Military Department head of the PLO and member of its Executive Council, in an interview with the Dutch newspaper Trouw (31 March 1977)
  • Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman again lashed at Israeli policies in an interview published in a Palestinian-owned newspaper Thursday, calling the controversial Nation-State Law "racist" and a "mistake." Portman, born Neta-Lee Hershlag in Jerusalem, also told the London-based Al- Quds Al-Arabi that law “oppressed Palestinians.”... The Nation-State Law... defines Israel as “the national home of the Jewish people.” It also drops Arabic as an official language... it has stoked anger among critics who, like Portman, argue that it is racist. Portman said she “doesn’t agree” with the principle of the contentious law. "It’s a mistake… I only hope that we will really love our neighbors and work together," she said.
  • It is the psychological problem of how to reconcile two powerful movements — the time-old yearning of the Jews to return to the Promised Land and to possess a home which is theirs as of right, and the Palestinian Arab desire for promotion to national status.
    • Great Britain and Palestine: 1915 - 1939, Royal Institute of International Affairs, 1937
  • Both the Germans and the Zionists wanted as many Jews as possible to move to Palestine. The Germans preferred to have them out of Western Europe, and the Zionists themselves wanted the Jews in Palestine to outnumber the Arabs as quickly as possible. (...) In both cases, the purpose was a kind of 'ethnic cleansing', that is, a violent change in the ratio of ethnic groups in the population.

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