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 more commonly 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.

Palestine acceded to the Rome Statute, thereby becoming a member of the States Parties of the International Criminal Court. The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) filed an amicus brief on March 16, 2020, urging the ICC to confirm its jurisdiction over Palestine. ~Marjorie Cohn
Recently, hundreds of PBS stations around the United States were scheduled to broadcast a powerful new Frontline documentary: One Day in Gaza. But viewers tuning in found that it had been replaced...~View the Frontline Documentary on Gaza that PBS pulled, Alison Weir, Council for the National Interest (23 May 2019)
What was all of this area before the First World War when Britain got the Mandate over Palestine? What is Palestine, then? Palestine was then the area between the Mediterranean and the Iraqian border. Eastern West Bank was Palestine. ~ Golda Meir

Quotes about[edit]

(alphabetical... by author/source)

  • 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.
  • If you want to see the picture, you have to see whole picture, if you talked about violence, let's talk about 4000 Palestinians killed during the last five years while from Israeli side a few hundreds killed, So if you want to talk about the violence and you called this violence "terrorism" Israel kills more, more Palestinian than Palestinian kills on Israel, Second, You have to see both sides. You talk about Hamas, what they did in Israel but don't talk about Israel and what they did in Palestinian Territories, and they commit assassinations from time to time and in public, they said "we're going to kill..." It's the whole picture.
If you want to talk about the violence and you called this violence "terrorism" Israel kills more, more Palestinian than Palestinian kills on Israel, Second, You have to see both sides. You talk about Hamas, what they did in Israel but don't talk about Israel and what they did in Palestinian Territories, and they commit assassinations from time to time and in public, they said "we're going to kill..." ~ Bashar al-Assad
What do the Palestinians have to do to the Holocaust to pay the price? This is one question we asked. ~ Bashar al-Assad
  • Not there's no Holocaust, let say they exaggerated the Holocaust. We don't say many people...but they say there's Holocaust but they are exaggerating, so there's such perception of this event of this title, the Holocaust, in our region...It's not the matter how many were killed, six million or one million, or half...killing is killing, I mean how many Soviets were killed? eight million, so why didn't we talk about them? the problem is not how many were killed. How do they do use it? what do the Palestinians have to do to the Holocaust to pay the price? This is one question we asked...We know that there was massacre against Jewish and against others...what's going on in Palestine we see it the same way, but you don't see it the same way...
Where is the 'alleged' zeal and passion that they showed towards Syria or the Syrian people? Why haven't they supported Gaza with money and arms? Where are their jihadists and why didn't they send jihadists to defend our people in Palestine? ~ Bashar al-Assad
  • Had this 'Spring' been genuine, it would've started in the backward Arab countries. Were it a call for freedom, democracy, justice, it would've began in the most oppressive and tyrannical states. The states behind every hardship that befell this nation, and every war against it. States behind the intellectual and religious deviation and moral decline. Their existence is the best success for the west and the main reason for Israel's continued existence. There is no clearer evidence than their current stand regarding the Israeli aggression against Gaza. Where is the 'alleged' zeal and passion that they showed towards Syria or the Syrian people? Why haven't they supported Gaza with money and arms? Where are their jihadists and why didn't they send jihadists to defend our people in Palestine?
  • Though it will supposedly stave off Israeli annexation of the West Bank and encourage tourism and trade between both countries, in reality, it is nothing more than a scheme to give an Arab stamp of approval to Israel’s status quo of land theft, home demolitions, arbitrary extrajudicial killings, apartheid laws, and other abuses of Palestinian rights.
    The deal should be seen in the context of over three years of Trump administration policies that have tightened Israel’s grip on the Palestinians: moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, and creating a so-called peace plan with no Palestinian participation or input.
    While no U.S. administration has successfully brokered a resolution to Israel’s now 53-year-long occupation, the Trump years have been especially detrimental to the Palestinian cause. Palestinian leader Hanan Ashrawi wrote on Twitter that with this deal, “Israel got rewarded for not declaring openly what it’s been doing to Palestine illegally & persistently since the beginning of the occupation.”
  • Among the most brutal aspects of this period for Palestinians have been the loss of support for their cause in neighboring Arab states. The Arab political party in Israel, Balad, said that by signing this pact, “the UAE has officially joined Israel against Palestine, and placed itself in the camp of the enemies of the Palestinian people.”
    The UAE’s change from supporting Palestinian dignity and freedom to supporting Israel’s never-ending occupation is a calculated move by UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, a shrewd Middle East dictator who uses his country’s military and financial resources to thwart moves towards democracy and respect for human rights under the guise of fighting Islamic terrorism.
  • The Prosecutor is satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to initiate an investigation into the situation in Palestine under article 53(1) of the Rome Statute, and that the scope of the Court’s territorial jurisdiction comprises the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza (“Occupied Palestinian Territory”). The Prosecutor nonetheless requested the Pre-Trial Chamber to confirm the scope of the Court’s territorial jurisdiction in Palestine, under article 19(3).1 Such a ruling will presumptively resolve this question for the purpose of the Court’s future proceedings—according to the principle of res judicata, subject to articles 19(2) and (4)—and place the conduct of further proceedings by the Court on the soundest legal foundation. 2. As the Prosecution recalled, this course of action was taken, exceptionally, in light of the uniquely complex legal and factual issues associated with the Occupied Palestinian Territory and contrary views expressed.
  • By seizing the Pre-Trial Chamber of this matter, under article 19(3), the Prosecution sought a forum in which the legal representatives of victims, the referring State (Palestine), Israel, and other States and interested parties could assist in the proper determination of the presented question. The Prosecution expresses its appreciation to the Chamber for convening such a process,5 and to the numerous legal representatives of victims,6 States Parties, intergovernmental organisations, and amici curiae, who have answered this call.... Given this inclusive approach—aiming to ensure, through a fair and transparent process, that the Court reaches a proper determination of jurisdiction, and where the Prosecution itself acknowledged the need to ventilate and resolve the divergence of legal opinions by bringing this matter on its own volition to the Chamber—the adversarial tone of a small minority of participants would seem to be misplaced. The Prosecution approached this situation with the independence and impartiality required by article 42 of the Statute, as it always does.
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)
  • Recently, hundreds of PBS stations around the United States were scheduled to broadcast a powerful new Frontline documentary: One Day in Gaza. But viewers tuning in found that it had been replaced by a slightly updated Frontline report on Robert Mueller that had been broadcast two months before and had been streaming online ever since. PBS no longer has the Gaza film listed on its schedule. The documentary was to be aired on the one-year anniversary of events that took place on May 14, 2018, when tens of thousands of men, women, and children in Gaza gathered with the intention of deploying the tactics Gandhi had used in freeing India from British control. The demonstration that day was the 8th march in what Gazans named the Great March of Return. Palestinians months earlier had announced their plan for a mass, peaceful demonstration in which Gazans would march for an end to Israel’s crippling 12-year blockade and, especially, for their right to return to homes stolen by Israel... Palestinians’ right to return to their homes and ancestral land is well established in international law.
  • Israel had responded by immediately deploying a hundred snipers. In the first seven weekly marches, Israeli forces killed about 50 of the marchers and injured over 7,000. During the 8th march on May 14, the day depicted in the film, Israeli forces killed 60 more and shot 1,000 – an average of one person every 30 seconds.
  • 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.
  • For 40 years, Israel has been ruled mostly by a series of right-wing governments – more and more openly racist and abusive of Palestinian rights. It’s not the land of tree-planting, kibbutzim and “a country treating its Arab minority nicely” that we were sold as youngsters.
  • That’s why a large number of proud Jewish Americans – raised to believe in civil liberties and open discussion – are appalled by the campaign to muzzle Rep. Ilhan Omar, as well as Speaker Pelosi’s role in it. We’re also appalled that human-rights-abusing Israel is virtually off-limits to debate.
  • Many observers, including myself, had long since ceased to believe there ever was any serious intention on the part of Israel to permit a meaningful Palestinian state to come into being alongside Israel; successive far-Right election victories have exposed the true face and end game of the Israeli Right — endlessly enabled by the charade of the so-called US “peace process.”
  • The US has given Israel everything it wants and more without negotiations: Jerusalem as the capital of Israel for Jews only, massive military subsidies more than to any other country in the world, the end of any pretense on limiting Jewish encroachment onto ancient Palestinian lands, ever more draconian security controls over Palestinians, and now even sweeping attempts to criminalize within the US any efforts by Americans to boycott Israeli firms operating on Palestinian lands.
  • No influence, direct or indirect, over the Holy Places of Islam will ever be tolerated by Indian Mussulmans. It follows, therefore, that even Palestine must be under Mussulman control. So far as I am aware, there never has been any difficulty put in the way of Jews and Christians visiting Palestine and performing all their religious rites. No canon, however, of ethics or war can possibly justify the gift by the Allies of Palestine to Jews. It would be a breach of implied faith with Indian Mussulmans in particular and the whole of India in general.
  • The Jews cannot receive sovereign rights in a place which has been held for centuries by Muslim powers by right of religious conquest. The Muslim soldiers did not shed their blood in the late War for the purpose of surrendering Palestine out of Muslim control.
  • But my sympathy does not blind me to the requirements of justice. The cry for the national home for the Jews does not make much appeal to me. The sanction for it is sought in the Bible and the tenacity with which the Jews have hankered after return to Palestine. Why should they not, like other peoples of the earth, make that country their home where they are born and where they earn their livelihood? Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct. The mandates have no sanction but that of the last war. Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home. The nobler course would be to insist on a just treatment of the Jews wherever they are born and bred. The Jews born in France are French. If the Jews have no home but Palestine, will they relish the idea of being forced to leave the other parts of the world in which they are settled? Or do they want a double home where they can remain at will? This cry for the national home affords a colourable justification for the German expulsion of the Jews.
  • And now a word to the Jews in Palestine. I have no doubt that they are going about it in the wrong way. The Palestine of the Biblical conception is not a geographical tract. It is in their hearts. But if they must look to the Palestine of geography as their national home, it is wrong to enter it under the shadow of the British gun. A religious act cannot be performed with the aid of the bayonet or the bomb. They can settle in Palestine only by the goodwill of the Arabs. They should seek to convert the Arab heart. The same God rules the Arab heart who rules the Jewish heart. They can offer satyagraha in front of the Arabs and offer themselves to be shot or thrown into the Dead Sea without raising a little finger against them. They will find the world opinion in their favour in their religious aspiration. There are hundreds of ways of reasoning with the Arabs, if they will only discard the help of the British bayonet. As it is, they are co-shares with the British in despoiling a people who have done no wrong to them. I am not defending the Arab excesses. I wish they had chosen the way of non-violence in resisting what they rightly regarded as an unwarrantable encroachment upon their country. But according to the accepted canons of right and wrong, nothing can be said against the Arab resistance in the face of overwhelming odds.
  • But, in my opinion, they have erred grievously in seeking to impose themselves on Palestine with the aid of America and Britain and now with the aid of naked terrorism. Their citizenship of the world should have and would have made them honoured guests of any country. Their thrift, their varied talent, their great industry should have made them welcome anywhere. It is a blot on the Christian world that they have been singled out, owing to a wrong reading of the New Testament, for prejudice against them. "If an individual Jew does a wrong, the whole Jewish world is to blame for it." If an individual Jew like Einstein makes a great discovery or another composes unsurpassable music, the merit goes to the authors and not to the community to which they belong. No wonder that my sympathy goes out to the Jews in their unenviably sad plight. But one would have thought adversity would teach them lessons of peace. Why should they depend upon American money or British arms for forcing themselves on an unwelcome land? Why should they resort to terrorism to make good their forcible landing in Palestine? If they were to adopt the matchless weapon of non-violence whose use their best Prophets have taught and which Jesus the Jew who gladly wore the crown of thorns bequeathed to a groaning world, their case would be the world’s and I have no doubt that among the many things that the Jews have given to the world, this would be the best and the brightest. It is twice blessed. It will make them happy and rich in the true sense of the word and it will be a soothing balm to the aching world
  • 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
  • Palestine is a state and the International Criminal Court has jurisdiction involving its cases, the ICC prosecutor ruled Thursday, which could pave the way for a war crimes investigation against Israel. A three-judge panel of the ICC Pretrial Chamber must now affirm the decision by Fatou Bensouda. Israel has been accused of committing war crimes in the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip... Under Bensouda’s 60-page decision, the ICC may exercise its jurisdiction in “territory” that “comprises the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza.”
  • 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”.
  • When were Palestinians born? What was all of this area before the First World War when Britain got the Mandate over Palestine? What is Palestine, then? Palestine was then the area between the Mediterranean and the Iraqian border. Eastern West Bank was Palestine. I am a Palestinian, from 1921 and 1948, I carried a Palestinian passport. There was no such thing in this area as Jews, and Arabs, and Palestinians, There were Jews and Arabs.
    • Golda Meir, "Iron Lady of Israeli politics", Thames TV (1970)
  • 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)
  • The people inhabiting it [Palestine] are predominantly Muslim Arabs, and they demand freedom and unity with their fellow-Arabs of Syria. But the British policy has created a special minority problem here – that of the Jews – and the Jews side with the British and oppose the freedom of Palestine, as they fear that would mean Arab rule.....On the Arab side are numbers, on the other side great financial resources and the world-wide organization of Jewry...... The Jews are a very remarkable people. Originally they were a small tribe, or several tribes, in Palestine, and their early story is told in the old Testament of the Bible. Rather conceited they were, thinking of themselves as the Chosen People, But this is a conceit in which nearly all people have indulged...... They [British] declared it was their intention to establish a “Jewish National Home” in Palestine. This declaration was made to win the good will of international Jewry, and this was important from the money point of view. It was welcomed by most Jews. ... But there was one little drawback, one not unimportant fact seems to have been overlooked. Palestine was not a wilderness, or an empty, uninhabited place. It was already somebody else’s home. So that this generous gesture of the British Government was really at the expense of the people who already lived in Palestine, and these people, including Arabs, non- Arabs, Muslims, Christians, and , in fact, everybody who was not a Jew, protested vigorously at the declaration...... The Jewish population is already nearly a quarter of the Muslim population, and their economic power is far greater. They seem to look forward to the day when they will be the dominant community in Palestine. The Arabs tried to gain their co-operation in the struggle for national freedom and democratic government, but they rejected these advances. They have preferred to take sides with the foreign ruling Power, and have thus helped it to keep back freedom from the majority of the people. It is not surprising that this majority, comprising the Arabs, chiefly, and also the Christians, bitterly resent this attitude of the Jews.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • The ICC’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, said last month that there was a “reasonable basis” to open a war crimes probe into Israeli military actions in the Gaza Strip as well as Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank. She also asked the court to determine whether she has territorial jurisdiction before proceeding with the case. Her request to the court, which exceeded the 30-page limit, was accompanied by a request to extend the page limit to 110 pages, citing “the unique and complex factual and legal circumstances in this situation.” ... According to Haaretz, the ruling means a decision on Bensouda pushing ahead with the case will be delayed by several months. International law expert Nick Kaufman wrote.. that the decision was a “slap in the face” of Bensouda.
  • Israel, which is not a member of the ICC, has said the court has no jurisdiction and accused Bensouda of being driven by anti-Semitism... There was no immediate reaction from Bensouda. But she recently told The Times of Israel that accusing her of anti-Semitism was “particularly regrettable” and “without merit... I, along with my Office, execute our mandate under the Rome Statute with utmost independence, objectivity, fairness and professional integrity. We will continue to meet our responsibilities as required by the Rome Statute without fear or favor,” she said
  • Palestine is not the original home of the Jews. It was acquired by them after a ruthless conquest, and they have never occupied the whole of it, which they now openly demand. They have no more valid claim to Palestine, than the descendants of the ancient Romans have to this country. The Romans occupied Britain as long as the Israelites occupied Palestine, and they left behind them in this country far more valuable and useful work. If we are going admit claims based on conquest thousands of years ago, the whole world will have to be turned upside down.
    • Lord Sydenham, Hansard, House of Lords, 21 June 1922
  • Right and wrong are the same in Palestine as anywhere else. What is peculiar about the Palestine conflict is that the world has listened to the party that has committed the offence and has turned a deaf ear to the victims.
    • Arnold J. Toynbee. Forward to The Transformation of Palestine. Northwestern University Press, USA,1971.
  • On December 20, concluding a five-year preliminary examination of the “situation in Palestine,” Bensouda said she has “reasonable basis to believe that war crimes were committed” in those regions by both the Israel Defense Forces and Hamas and other “Palestinian armed groups." At the time, she said that she herself believes the court indeed has jurisdiction to investigate possible war crimes in the regions, but, due to the controversial nature of the case, asked for a definitive ruling on the matter from a pre-trial chamber. Member states and independent experts were invited to weigh on the matter as well. “Such a wide variety of perspectives will afford considerable legitimacy to the Court’s ultimate decision,” Bensouda wrote. In the document she published Thursday, Bensouda reiterated that her position is not about the question of Palestinian statehood per se, but rather about whether the “State of Palestine,” which is a member of the ICC, can convey criminal jurisdiction to the court. In her view, Palestine indeed fulfills all required criteria to do that.
  • 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.

See also[edit]

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