If you had the luck of the Irish
You’d be sorry and wish you were dead,
If you had the luck of the Irish
You’d wish you been English instead...
Words of a lyric penned by late
Beatles icon John Lenon.
oday these words reflect crimes committed against the Palestinian people and cry to the heavens for justice.These crimes caused Nelson Mandela to say in December 1977 commemorating Palestinian Solidarity Day, “...we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians...”
On Nov. 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for Palestine to be partitioned between Arabs and Jews, permitting the formation of the Jewish state. Israel was admitted to the United Nations in May 1949. Under the partition plan, Israel was allocated 55% of the land, including the main cities with Palestinian Arab majorities and the coastline from Haifa to Jaffa. The Palestinians -the inhabitants- received 45% of the land. The partition deprived Palestinians of most of their agricultural lands as well as access to the sea ports. Shortly after the division of Palestine, into a Jewish state and a Palestinian state, fighting broke out between armed Israeli settlers and largely unarmed civilian Palestinians. By 1949 Israel militarily occupied aproximately 78% of what was originally Palestine.
Fifty-two years ago the UN Security Council passed resolution 242. The resolution was to be a framework for implementing a two-state solution to the Palestine-Israeli conflict. Looked at in another way, the partition of Palestine would be like the UN attempting to solve Sri Lanka’s ethnic problem by physically dividing the country between Sinhalese and Tamils. Less than 20 years later, in 1967, Israel and the Palestinians were once again at war. During the fighting, Israel militarily occupied most of Palestine including East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. Israeli expansionist policies alarmed the world’s nations and pushed the UN Security Council into unanimously adopting Resolution 242 in November, 1967, which demanded Israel withdraw from all land it had seized.
Approximately 750,000 Palestinians were displaced and became refugees as a result of the Israeli attacks in the aftermath of the partition of Palestine. None of these displaced persons was ever allowed to return to his/her homes. Today there are more than seven million Palestinian refugees scattered around the world and is at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Al-Jazeera reveals that by 2017, there were between 600,000 - 750,000 illegal Israeli-Jewish settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories. The occupiers built 150 settlements and 119 outposts. 42% of West Bank lands were controlled by Israeli settlements; 86% of East Jerusalem has been set apart for for Israeli state and settler use. A majority of settlements have been built entirely or partially on privately-owned Palestinian land (Al Jazeera’s Israel’s settlements: 50 years of land theft explained).
Today, 52 years later, Israel continues to illegally occupy captured territories. it also continues to build settlements on lands meant for the Palestinian state. According to BTsalem an Israeli human rights organisation which has been tracking conflict related deaths since 2000; for every 15 people killed in the conflict, 13 are Palestinian and two are Israeli. Since January 2005 to 2014, the conflict killed 4,006 people, of whom 168 have been Israelis and 3,838 Palestinians! On March 12, 2019, Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoting researcher Dror Etkes, exposed, that from 1969 Israel’s military seized over 100,000 dunams (25,000 acres) of Palestinian land. More than millions of dunams of Palestinian land have been stolen in other ways, Etkes research shows.
In view of the continuing injustices committed on the Palestinians, the UN General Assembly in 1977, unanimously called for observance of November 29, as a day International Solidarity with the Palestinian People - the date of the partition of Palestine. However, despite the volumes of crimes committed against the Palestinian people, last week the US announced it accepted Israeli occupation of Palestine and other Arab land was legal. The US probably bases this logic from its own annexation of Indo-American tribal lands, and the marginalisation of the Indo-American people, now boxed into reservations. Today even those lands are under threat by the present US ruling clique (eg: at Yellow Stone, part of a Crow tribe reservation).
The world accepted the grabbing of Indian tribal lands. Today the US is clearly attempting to impose a similar solution on the people of Palestine. Will the countries across the world permit these continuing crimes against the people of Palestine?