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Jerusalem Light Rail Promises Palestinian Right of Return

Hey, who said Israel had the only intelligence services capable of launching psyops against its enemies?  Apparently, Palestine does as well.  I’ve learned from an Israeli source that the PA recruited a Palestinian working for the Jerusalem light rail system to program a bit of psychological warfare into the system’s signage. When a train approaches, a flashing sign says in English: “Approaching.”

Not in Arabic.  In that language, the electronic sign flashes: “Returning” and uses the Arabic word awda which refers obliquely to the Right of “Return.”  Further, if you combine the Hebrew word mitkarevet (“approaching”) the sign appears to promise: “[Right of] Return is approaching.” For a full year now, my informant tells me, the Right of Return has been flashing across Jerusalem – east and west.  Israelis Jews, even those who are Arabic-speakers, didn’t notice it at all. Palestinians see it and smile at this small, secret victory.

Hey, it may not solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or stop Israel from building a settlement, but we have to settle for small victories.

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  • Deïr Yassin July 6, 2012, 12:40 AM

    Wonderful, absolutely wondeful ! I’m going to spread this and keep it preciously.
    That this could go on for a year without the Israelis noticing it – even the Mizrahim knowing Arabic – shows us just how much they pay attention to the indigenous population, their language and culture. I have in memory seeing a video of someone (maybe Zochrot ?) pronouncing the names in Arabic of towns within Israel over a loudspeaker during a happening. If someone remembers.
    PS. Right of Return is “Haqq al-Awda”. People better learn that because it’s NOT going away !
    PPS. Richard: Is it a joke or for real ? How come we haven’t heard of that before ?

    • Richard Silverstein July 6, 2012, 2:41 AM

      It’s 100% real. I don’t know Arabic, and trusted the accuracy of my source, who does, that the word flashing is awda. Now you confirm it. So it’s 100% true.

      We haven’t heard it because my Israeli source was told it by someone in the PA, who was revealing it for the first time. In fact, my source half-jokingly told me that this was the work of the equivalent of the PA hasbara apparatus. Not that the PA has such a great track record. But they appear to have pulled this one off.

    • Deïr Yassin July 6, 2012, 4:45 AM

      Haha, Palestinian hasbara just has to stick to the truth ! No need for lies ! This really made my day, and now that I know it isn’t a joke I’m going to spread it.
      Just a side-note: now that it has become public, what’s going to happen ? The Israelis sure aren’t going to leave it like this.
      PS.The happening I referred to was on a train at the arrival into various stations.

  • OperationRedPill July 6, 2012, 12:46 AM

    Akin to this is when Iranians hack public kiosks in malls and such to run porn streams. It sounds like a childish scheme, but oh boy, does it rile up the Islamic government. It’s a form of dissent.

    Do you mind Iranian regime analogies? ;) The Jewish State of Israel is sounding more like the grievances once heard against the Islamic Republic of Iran day by day.

    The irony of it all is… beyond comprehension… and expression.

    • OperationRedPill July 6, 2012, 12:53 AM

      ההלכה היא אותו דבר כמו השריעה.
      מוחמד האיסלאם מבוסס על היהדות.
      הוא למד סיפורי האבות באמצעות רבנים.
      לכן, כאב לב או אהדה מן הממשלה ותומכי הישראלי לזכויות האדם באיראן נופל על אוזניים מתים בנוסף מסיבות מובנות.

      Maybe Hebrew? No? We blame Google translate.

    • Richard Silverstein July 6, 2012, 2:38 AM

      Do you mind Iranian regime analogies?

      No, of course not. But I wouldn’t want anyone to call the Ayatollahs Nazis either.

  • Tomer July 6, 2012, 6:02 AM

    you are a sad sad man.

    • OperationRedPill July 6, 2012, 6:51 AM

      No, actually he’s quite the opposite. It’s you who espouses hate and fear, and therefore, is vewy sad indeed :'(

      • Tomer July 6, 2012, 3:10 PM

        How many of you hatred promoters every visited Israel?
        Things are far from perfect, but better than one could expect given the circumstances.

        Its easy writing a fantastic blog from the comfy sheltered – no worries – bumfuckUSA.
        Try serving in the roadblocks in Gaza, where 0.01% of the passers-by have bombs strapped to their underwear.
        Or when your city is bombarded by rockets 20% of the year.

        Do yourself justice. Stop relying on media. Go to Israel. Meet people, ask questions, see for yourself why 75% of the things mentioned in this blog have nothing to do with reality.

        I am a very open minded person, not an extremest in any way. More so, I am strong proponent of self reflection and criticism. But it has to have some relevance to reality.

        • Richard Silverstein July 6, 2012, 5:43 PM

          Roadblocks in Gaza? The IDF doesn’t have roadblocks in Gaza. Nice try. You’ve probably made up all your other “facts” as well.

          Talk about things being “connected to reality.”. You might try taking your own advice.

          • Tomer July 7, 2012, 8:36 AM

            There were road blocks in Gaza when I served. Which wasn’t that long ago.
            But it is no surprise that you are choosing to focus on one minor point.

            The crux of my argument is that you’ve made this blog somewhat of your life’s agenda or calling. All I am saying is that if you take it so seriously, why not do some real investigative work. Not via sources who carry their own agenda. Meet the entire array of people who so often write about.
            Meet the settlers you condemn daily. You’d be surprised how much about them and what they stand for you are not aware of.
            2 weeks in Israel might change your view about some of the things you speak about (pinkwashing, israeli democracy, freedom of the press, etc.). It might not, but at least you will have a very solid and legitimate response to all your sane and moderate critics, which I am one of.

          • Richard Silverstein July 7, 2012, 8:16 PM

            I lived in Israel for two years. Spending two weeks there isn’t going to turn me into a Likudist or settler, I assure you.

            I am in direct contact with Israelis many times each day. In this day & age, knowing about a country isn’t dependent on actually physically being there (as long as you know enough about it through other sources). Besides, I’d need a very good lawyer on standby if I tried to visit Israel.

            I study the settlers religiously so to speak. There is little about them I am not aware of.

          • overlook July 9, 2012, 7:25 AM

            “knowing about a country isn’t dependent on actually physically being there”
            You can read all the books you want about Israel – you still can’t understand it if you’re not here. Not that I imagine you’d ever understand it – or accept its existence. You’re too far gone.

          • Richard Silverstein July 9, 2012, 10:28 AM

            Another lie about my views of Israel. Now, after warnings, you’re gone.

        • OperationRedPill July 6, 2012, 5:54 PM

          1- No one promotes hatred of innocent people. They are promoting hatred of people accountable for crimes. The world does not comply with Halakha/Sharia, so please understand.

          2- What do you think the net result of violating the Balfour Declaration’s explicit text was going to be? “His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of the object, IT BEING CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD THAT NOTHING SHALL BE DONE WHICH MAY PREJUDICE THE CIVIL AND RELIGIOUS’ RIGHTS OF EXISTING NON-JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN PALESTINE…”

          3- How comfy do you think it is here in the US with the sword of damocles that is Israel saying that World War III is “destiny” and an inescapable choice unless the Iranians are fraudulently sanctioned without any evidence to substantiate it? (ie ruining the American reputational standing???) By the way, we had 9/11. What happened to Israel since 9/11? Mt. Carmel killed more Israelis than 10,000 rockets. How come there was no Cast Lead of the Knesset and the Settler who didn’t buy the proper fire hoses, or the PM who was crowing at the sky that he is the modern King David/Churchill revival and he must prevent a Holocaust by committing another great human tragedy to wipe out the “Amalek” – incidentally, 70+ million peace-loving Iranians – instead of ensuring the safety of Israel’s longevity?

          4- Why do you assume the world hates YOU? Why do you hug your government so tight? You are afraid. You have been told many things. Stop believing them as well. You’re in no danger from people trying to help an OPPRESSED population. You’re in danger from people who kill the leaders of these oppressed people and fund the ones that have the charters they can complain about for re-election years later. That’s a domestic enemy.

          5- Israel has had an air force, army, navy, top-of-the-line-armaments and equipment, training, and international support that the Palestinians have not even come close to seeing a scintilla of for 63 years. The image of sticks and stones versus tanks in that regard is not new.

          Tell us, what are the excuses for a 63 year brutal occupation of millions of people? That is a life imprisonment for an entire population! There is no defense to this. There is no hasbara spinning dark into light. It’s an unfathomable state Israel has put these people into, while Israel wants the rest of the world to celebrate life with them instead.

          But the world is not blind, dumb, and deaf. The hasbara is not effective, but rather, it actually inflames ill sentiment towards Israel.

          6- Unfortunately, you have been taught that Israel = Judaism. You know better than that. Does Iran = Islam? Does Saudi Arabia = Islam? The continuity of a state does not depend on its religion, it depends on its sense of justice.

          Israel is doomed so long as it thinks it is the vanguard of Judaism and continues to sink Judaism’s good name by acting like outright criminals and then skirting accountability in such transparent ways that no one is fooled. This is like a bad magic show the world has been forced to sit through, where everyone can see how the tricks are done, and guns are held to our heads forcing us to pretend we’re excited with amazement and wonder.

          7- We would love to go to Israel. To slap Netanyahu in the head and find someone rational, and cut from a prism of logic, like Meir Dagan, to speak to about how to establish a permanent Jewish identity in the Middle East and reach a point where progress allows some of the same objectives to be reached without stepping on everyone’s toes in the process. Incentive is supreme to force. These cavemen, Netanyahu et. al., who do not represent Israel’s finest, do not understand that.

          But we’re not coming to Israel because Israel is not what it claims to be. In fact, it’s a trap for any freedom loving, humane individual. Israel is instead the source of hatred, terrorism, arms, and more in the region, and this can be confirmed and ratified again and again outside of our conversation here through Israel’s imminent future actions. Israel’s number one export is arms.

          So in the blame game, it’s hard to blame the destitute. Yes, they can improve as well, but there is no illusion before the world that Israel has been the superior force for 63 years and pulls everyone’s legs on nearly every policy and stance it claims to hold. Legitimacy, again, is based on a state’s sense of justice, not its religious identity (especially).

          • Bob Mann July 8, 2012, 5:50 AM

            In this comment you write of Israel conducting “a 63 year brutal occupation” but Israel’s occupation began in 1967 which was 45 years ago, not 63. There were recently several events, in fact, marking the 45th year of occupation this past June. As you repeat the number 63 several times in your post I am thinking that it was most likely not a typo. I don’t want to presume anything, so can you clarify why you are using this different number?

    • Richard Silverstein July 6, 2012, 6:09 PM

      That’s not a relevant comment & has no substance or argument. If you offer such an ad hominem again you’ll be moderated.

  • pea July 6, 2012, 9:28 AM

    This is probably the closest the Palestinians will ever get to the fulfillment of an actual right of return…

    • Deïr Yassin July 6, 2012, 10:38 AM

      Well, well, Pea.
      As a French-speaking person you probably know the expression “la France de Dunkerque à Tamarasset”. For 132 years the French considered Algeria a part of France, they never dreamed of giving it up, they lingered in the same self-sufficiency as seen here: for a whole year, the word “return” (and everyone knows what return is meant) could pop up dozens of times a days without no Arabic-speaking Zionist around to pay attention and tell the autorities.

      The Algerians fought for equal rights within the French Republic for decades, and realizing that the French would never give equal right to the natives, they started a war of independence. It lasted for eight years, and yesterday, July 5th, Algeria celebrated its 5Oth anniversary as a free country.
      Maybe you should study history with a little bit of humility !

    • Richard Silverstein July 6, 2012, 5:51 PM

      But your comment isn’t the closest you’ll get to displaying wit or wisdom, which are in very short supply as far as you are concerned.

      When the first Palestinian returnee arrives in Israel under ROR, Deir Yassin & I will drink a virtual toast to you & your dunderheadedness.

      • pea July 7, 2012, 7:52 PM

        I was just making an observation, I certainly wasn’t trying to be witty. And said observation only applies to pre 1967 Israel. I’m sure that once a two state solution is negotiated, Palestinians who lost property will be compensated and will be free to settle in any part of the W, Bank and Gaza controlled by the Palestinian state.

        • Richard Silverstein July 7, 2012, 8:07 PM

          Saying the Jerusalem light rail electronic sign was as close as Palestinians will get to a real Right of Return wasn’t a lame attempt to be witty? What was it then? Don’t be cute. You & I both know what you meant & it was not only insulting, it wasn’t in the least funny, witty or anything of the sort. It was snark that fell on the floor like a lead balloon. Settling in the W Bank & Gaza is NOT the Right of Return. Again, you’re being disingenuous.

          • Deïr Yassin July 8, 2012, 1:34 AM

            I think we should encourage Pea to read the resolution 194, and particularly Article 11. This resolution was adopted by the UNGA in december 1948, and it was explicitly accepted by the then liar-in-chief, Abba Eban, in front of the Ad Hoc Commission as a sine qua non for Israel’s admission to the UN in May ’49. Abba Eban stated that Israel would do everything to fullfill its obligations concerning the 194.
            Everyone who thinks this State has any credibility whatsoever should look into this. Lying to the international community started back in ’49 and it’s never stopped since.

          • Bob Mann July 8, 2012, 5:59 AM

            I do think it is important to at least acknowledge the fact that all six Arab countries represented at the UN voted against Resolution 194 (Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen), and they were all parties to the conflict. Israel was not yet a member of the UN and, thus, did not have a vote. Perhaps the rejection of the resolution by all of the Arab states in the region had something to do with it not being implemented at the time.

          • Deïr Yassin July 8, 2012, 4:23 PM

            Oh, and that’s why Abba Eban promised to implement the 194 in front of the Ad Hoc Commission too in order for Israel to be admitted to the UN in May 1948 ?
            And if only the UN had shown the same ‘respect’ for the Arab votes back in November ’47, right ?

    • OperationRedPill July 6, 2012, 6:09 PM

      A jinx is a jinx.

    • Davey July 6, 2012, 8:22 PM

      Fortunately, it will not depend on your opinion and the momentum of history is swinging the other way. Fortunately.

  • elhrac July 6, 2012, 11:07 AM

    I was in Jerusalem a few months ago, and I noticed that it said awda, but I didn’t realize that it was political. I thought that it just meant a return train or something.

  • Castellio July 6, 2012, 8:29 PM

    Off topic, but I’d like to hear Richard’s understanding of the consequence of this information, which is new to me, but has to be well enough known among the governing US elite:
    http://original.antiwar.com/smith-grant/2012/07/03/netanyahu-worked-inside-nuclear-smuggling-ring/

    • Richard Silverstein July 7, 2012, 1:17 AM

      Grant Smith’s work is not trustworthy. You can’t tell from what he writes whether he has real information or has an agenda that he inflates without real evidence or support.

      • Castellio July 7, 2012, 11:14 AM

        Thanks for your reply.