Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 6 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/19/18

"A place I do not recognize": Palestinians mark 70 years of Israeli injustice

By       (Page 5 of 7 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     (# of views)   1 comment
Author 51910
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Jonathan Cook
Become a Fan
  (22 fans)

But in correspondence with Adalah, Bishara noted, Israeli officials have claimed that the refugees permanently lost any right to their properties. Most of their lands were sold off to a Development Authority in the 1950s.

"In our view, even when the properties are sold, the income from the sales continued to reside with the absentees, not with Israel," Bishara said.

On the lands of many of the destroyed villages, new Jewish communities were established to prevent any return by the refugees.

Saffuriya's extensive lands, for example, were settled from 1949 onwards by East European Jews, and the site renamed Tzipori. Today, about 300 Jewish families live there.

Erased with pine forests

According to analysts, Israel set about implementing a two-stage process after the Nakba: it concealed evidence of a historic Palestinian presence to legitimize the land theft, while enforcing a strict system of residential segregation in Israel to ensure no Palestinian citizens could regain a foothold in their former lands.

Pappe has termed the first stage "memoricide."

An international Zionist organization, the Jewish National Fund, was responsible for planting European-style pine forests over the ruins of Palestinian villages such as Saffuriya.

As well as disguising the land's provenance, the forests created an instant physical impediment designed to prevent the refugees from rebuilding their villages.

Pappe noted a famous saying about the Palestinian refugees usually attributed to Israel's founding father, David Ben Gurion: "The old will die, and the young will forget."

"Israel actively sought to engineer such forgetting, and the pine forests were intended to assist in erasing those memories," he said.

"Paradoxically, today the forests have become the most obvious signposts to help young Palestinians in Israel identify where the villages were buried."

In Tzipori, the forest planted over the refugees' homes is named in commemoration of Guatemala's independence in 1821. It hints too at the Israelis' murky historic dealings with Guatemala's military governments.

Other forests close by honor Winston Churchill, Britain's wartime prime minister; Lord Balfour, author of the Balfour Declaration that promised the Zionists a homeland in Palestine; and Coretta Scott King, the widow of US civil rights leader Martin Luther King.

Still more have been named after countries such as South Africa and Canada, whose populations donated funds to buy trees.

Pappe observed: "This was a way for Israel to connect the forests to foreign states and provide an international legitimacy to these acts of ethnic cleansing and memoricide."

Vetting committees

But even with the villages destroyed and forests planted over them, Israeli officials were fearful that Palestinian citizens, especially the internal refugees, might seek to gain access to the hundreds of rural Jewish communities built on their former lands.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7

 

Must Read 1   Supported 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Jonathan Cook Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. He is the 2011 winner of the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are "Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and "Disappearing Palestine: (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The battle for Syria's skies will see a move from proxy clashes to direct ones

American liberals unleashed the Trump monster

After Sy Hersh's Bombshell Investigation, Why Won't Media Tell the Real Story of Trump's Military Strike in Syria?

Mandela: a Dissenting Opinion

Tide Turns against Israel: Pariah Status and Isolation Lie Ahead

Why Gaza must suffer again -- The four guilty parties behind Israel's attack