The 50th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel is currently being celebrated. This is being done with great gusto. Our prime minister and other ministers are taking part, sharing the pleasure of the Israeli State.
However, they have apparently forgotten the most important prerequisite for the establishment of the country, i.e. the fact that the Palestinians, who populated Palestine, had to go in order for the Jewish State of Israel to become a reality.
Let us remind people of that.
We shall do so by embarking on a journey between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. This in the heart of Israel, a stretch measuring some 40 kilometres.
Firstly we drive out of Jaffa Street. We are located in West Jerusalem, which the Jews occupied in 1948.
Many of the houses you can see belong to Palestinians who were driven out when West
Jerusalem was occupied. Now they’ve been taken over by Jews.
We pass Mevasseret Ziyyon, a Jewish suburb of Jerusalem. It was built over Colonia, a Palestinian village which was destroyed by Jewish forces in 1948. The Palestinians became refugees.
The road has turned off to Qiryat Ha Yovel, a Jewish area on the ruins of the Palestinian village of Matsmil.
It carries on to the Jewish settlement of Manabat, built over the Palestinian village of Malkah.
Some way on you’ll pass the Jewish settlement of Ora, erected over the ruined Palestinian village of Jora.
In the south you can now see the hills surrounding the Zova kibbutz. A Palestinian village of the same name used to lie there.
To the left lies the Jewish settlement of Ein Rafa, where previously there was a Palestinian village which was destroyed by Jewish forces in 1948.
Abu Gosh, on the ridge to the right, is a Palestinian village that still exists. However, the land has been appropriated by Qiiat Anavim, a Jewish kibbutz close by.
Further to the south lies the Jewish settlement of Shoresh, built on the Palestinian village of Saris.
And to the south-west we see Bet Meir, a Jewish settlement on the site of the Palestinian village of Beit Mahsir.
The road turns off to Bet Shemesh, a Jewish settlement on the site of the Palestinian village of Ein Shams.
Further south lies the Zora kibbutz, built over the Palestinian village of Zahra.
And further on, the Jewish settlement of Harel, built on the site of the Palestinian village of Giza.
We drive past Latrun, where previously there lay three Palestinian villages: Beit Nuba, Yalu and Emwas. They were destroyed by Jewish forces in 1967. In their place have come the Mevo Heron kibbutz and the well-known Canada Park.
To your right you can see the Jewish settlement of Shaalvin, built over the Palestinian village of Saalhit.
After that you will see Ramleh. It is an old Palestinian town. It was occupied by Jewish forces in 1948, and the Palestinians were driven off. Jewish immigrants from Yemen, Iraq, North Africa and Europe moved into the empty houses.
Then you pass the Jewish settlement of Zafria, built over the Palestinian village of Safaria.
And further on, the Jewish settlement of Bet Dayan, built on the site of the Palestinian village of Beit Dagen.
As you drive into Tel Aviv you will see Azor, a Jewish settlement built on the ruins of the Palestinian village of Yazur.
And that in short was our journey.
We could have chosen another route, the one leading east from Jerusalem to Har Homa, the Jewish name for Palestinian Abu Ghneim. This land is being appropriated by Israel.
Otherwise you may travel where you wish around Jerusalem, where large areas are being incorporated by Israel. Recently the Israeli Government decided to extend Jerusalem’s land area by 50%, and place everything under Jewish control.
So you may well ask, in connection with this 50th anniversary, whether there is much to celebrate?
Jewish colonisation of Palestinian land. And ethnic cleansing, expulsion of the Palestinians. So that the land will be taken over by Jews.
Because that is Israel’s history; that is what Israel’s existence rests upon.
This is something the West, with its guilty conscience regarding the Jews, would prefer to turn a blind eye to. In deference to Jewish nationalist aspirations. But at the expense of justice and dignity for Palestina’s Arabian-Muslim (and Christian) peoples.
Thus has a long-lasting conflict been created, which will stretch far into the next fifty years.