43 thoughts on “Nakba Day Protests Spread to Four Israeli Borders, Turn Deadly – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. There’s footage of the truck driver assaulting a person that’s on the phone with the police, there’s the recording of the call too.

    1. Fuster, Job,

      The ordinary people on both sides have become victims to the dirty schemes of their rulers and politicians. Whatever the reasons for a conflict of 40 years ago, people have a basic right to return and live in their ancestral homes. When denied this right, they will inevitably resent and protest. Please, look in the mirror and ask yourself honestly what you’d do if you were in their situation?

      Unarmed people are being killed by an army desperately trying to stop masses of protesters. We’ve seen this before in many other parts of the world. This doesn’t promise anything good for Israel. This is the beginning of the end of the occupation. So to avoid many more unnecessary deaths on both sides, just give these people their freedom …

      Stay human …

  2. Excellent post Mr Silverstein. Thank you.
    The days of Israeli occupation are numbered…
    In solidarity with the Palestinians, fighting for their freedom non-violently……….
    With Palestinians killed and wounded by IDF and border police, in my thoughts………
    Palestine Shall be FREE.

  3. Reading the truth out, i came across this post of yours

    in which you state : I’m also aware that what Larry and I suggest in both our pieces may end in the death or maiming of Palestinians

    so first – congratulation, as you predicted, as you incited people died, I’m sure you will not take any blame personally.

    second – you are not that affective being on the other side of the world, you should go to Palestine and lead the demonstrations. I’m willing to buy you the ticket.
    i doubt you will have the courage to actually live by your own words. but fighting until the last Palestinian / Israeli, that you have no problems with.


    1. as you incited people died

      This is precisely why you’ve now been moderated & are rapidly heading for the exits here. I didn’t incite anything & use of that term is highly offensive, gratuitous & a distortion of what I wrote. But yes, people will die for liberty & justice and they’ll die willingly for it whether it be Tunisia, Tahrir or Pearl Squares, Sanaa, Daraa, the Golan, Gaza, or the Lebanese border. If they are willing to die I am willing to support them in their cause. THEY are the ones dying. I didn’t incite them to do anything & if you think anyone killed yesterday read my blog & because of what they read felt compelled to topple the walls bet. Israel & the Arab world & got killed doing it, you’re behaving in the worst of bad faith. Bad faith in debate here is a real no-no. It gets you out the door really fast.

      You can deposit the money in my Paypal acct. for the airfare & I will be there in a heartbeat. Not to lead the Palestinian movement for justice, but to support change that will enable Israel to live in long term peace & security.

      fighting until the last Palestinian / Israeli, that you have no problems with.

      You’re a sorry-ass, bitter person. Again, the Palestinians are doing their own fighting & don’t need me to coach or lead them, thank you. Yr comment, its tone, & substance (such as it is), are provocative, cheap heat & no light. I’m losing patience rapidly.

  4. This video is truly amazing. Part of it was shown on the television last night, and seeing these young Palestinians and Syrian Druzes coming down the hillside towards the occupied Golan Heights and further on Palestine, I was overwhelmed by pride, joy and sorrow for those who never lived to see 2011, and the Arab world getting on the move.
    This is simpy indescribable. 1000 times more dangerous for the State of Israel that dozens of suicide-bombers.
    They shout among other things “al-sha’ab yurîd tahrîr al-falastîn” [the people want the liberation of Palestine], and the Israelis better get used to it …

    1. Anyone who thinks that these marches will somehow accomplish anything, let alone the return of millions of Palestinians to Nazareth and Lod, is completely naive. That being said, I’d take the thousand man march over the single suicide terrorist any day. Although I think stone-throwing isn’t exactly what Ghandi had in mind when he spoke of peaceful resistance (and to me describing it as such is far from justified), it’s definitely closer to legitimate protest than blowing-up buses and shooting civilians.

      1. Anyone who thinks that these marches will somehow accomplish anything

        This is almost precisely the same language the privileged Arab elites used just before their regimes were toppled. I hope you continue denying reality till it’s too late when it bites you in the tush.

        I saw no stones being thrown by anyone till Israeli troops began massing & firing at them. Guns have a funny way of inspiring people to get royally pissed.

        1. They did say similar things and they were indeed wrong (and I applaud the Egyptians for overthrowing that regime). Maybe I’m wrong too, but I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you. There are some differences between the cases. Firstly, the Egyptians overthrew their own corrupt regime. The protests in question (especially the ones on the northern borders) were by foreign nationals. Arab-Israelis, though living in an admittedly unjust country, are nonetheless in much a better state than their counterparts. While they do protest (and rightly so) I don’t see them toppling the government any time soon. Secondly while most Egyptians took part in the Tahrir revolution, Arab-Israelis are still only a (large) minority in Israel. There is a consensus in the country, even in left wing circles, that most of the refugees should be part of the Palestinian state in the WB and Gaza. People opposing this consensus are, again, only a (large) minority. I think the same can be said at least about the west. Thirdly, while you won’t like to admit it Israel is a democratic state. It is flawed, but it is democratic. As such, overthrowing is done by ballots not fists. Again, considering the above, you’ll forgive me if I won’t start accumulating tin cans just yet.

          Considering the possibility of foreign Palestinians hording at our borders- I admit I have no idea how it will turn out. However, this scenario is much more reminiscent of an invasion, rather than a revolution. I think states have ways of dealing with mobs of infiltrators breaching the borders without mass shooting.

          1. Easy for you to say when your home and land weren’t stolen from you and you weren’t forced to live in poverty as a refugee through no fault of your own!

            Again, talk is cheap, it’s so easy to preach from your priviliged perch to the oppressed, but if the shoe were on your foot…you’d be singing another tune.

          2. The protests in question (especially the ones on the northern borders) were by foreign nationals.

            How do you define a Palestinian refugee (the lion’s share of most of the protesters) in Lebanon, Gaza, Jordan or Syria (Druze in this case) as a “foreign national?” Seems to me they don’t consider themselves foreign at all since their roots (uprooted though they might be) are in Israel.

            There is a consensus in the country, even in left wing circles, that most of the refugees should be part of the Palestinian state

            I can’t tell you the number of times there has been consensus within a society on a certain social or political issue…until there wasn’t. So the fact that most Israelis may not want ROR doesn’t trouble me in the least. That will change. As I said, either Israelis will come to accept the justice of ROR or they won’t. In the latter case they will eventually have no choice. Whites in S. Africa didn’t want to give up their privileges either. Nor Protestants in N. Ireland. But they did. And society as a whole was better for it.

            Israel is a democratic state. It is flawed, but it is democratic

            No you don’t. That statement in itself is deeply flawed. I’m not talking about overthrowing. Revolutions happen in thousands of diff. ways. When Israel becomes transformed it may happen somewhat like it did in Serbia, which has return to the community of nations after a deeply anti-social period of time in which it massacred thousands, engaged in ethnic cleansing, etc. There is hope for Israel in that sense as well.

            this scenario is much more reminiscent of an invasion, rather than a revolution.

            To the white man in the country club, the poor people climbing over the fence look like an invasion. To the poor people it looks different. Whose side are you on? Wait, don’t tell us. Let us guess.

      2. Let’s remember that they’re throwing stones at an OCCUPYING military, not at civilians.

        I wonder what kind of restraint you would demonstrate against a foreign occupier?

        Talk is cheap; that’s a fact!

    2. “al-sha’ab yurîd tahrîr al-falastîn” could only have been written by someone who is NOT a native speaker of arabic. makes me wonder why the name DeirYassin and who DeirYassin really speaks for when he writes “This is simpy indescribable. 1000 times more dangerous for the State of Israel that dozens of suicide-bombers.” this the cynic side of my mind expressing itself. arabic speakers, have you caught the obvious mistake?

      1. @ Sinbad
        Yes, I realized afterwards that I had put an “al” on Palestine, and as I don’t think there’s an way to correct the reply once the reply button hit, I thought about writing a correction, and said to myself that I write so many mistakes in English too ;-(

      2. @Sinbad,
        So she made a mistake,so maybe Arabic is one of a few languages that she speaks.That does NOT detract from her legitimacy.

  5. “al-sha’ab yurîd tahrîr al-falastîn”….and the Israelis better get used to it …

    @Deïr Yassin
    Wow,and I thought that we were all going to be Israelis,so what part would “Israelis” play in Falastîn.

    1. I’m not wild about snark. You know as well as I she was talking about Israeli Jews; and that the “Israelis” welcoming the Golan Palestinian/Syrians to the Israeli side of the border were indeed Israelis though they spoke Arabic & not Hebrew. So yes, Israeli Jews will play a major part in the new Israel. But they will have to move over a bit to make way for Nakba refugees returning from exile. And they will have to accommodate to a State that belongs not just predominantly to them as Jews, but all citizens whatever their ethnicity or religion. It won’t be an easy process, but I have every faith that they can do it & that overall they & Israel will be far the better for it.

      1. Richard,
        I’m not a great fan of sarcasm either bit I do think that it is significant that Deïr Yassin used the term “Israelis”
        and not “Israeli Jews” or “Jews”.It gives me the impression that Deïr Yassin may not consider herself to be an Israeli.
        In times of exuberance people sometimes let their guard down and express their true feelings.

        As I have said before, Israel and Israeli Jews in particular must accept Israeli Arabs ( including whatever refugees will return to Israel under a final settlement) as equal citizens
        in a new Israel with all of the implications that that will entail.

        However I would like to be assured that the future Palestinian citizens of Israel will afford me and mine the same rights.

        1. It wasn’t significant at all. It’s at least as significant (& likely moreso) when you use the inappropriate term “Israeli Arabs.”

          Deir Yassin’s family was explled generations ago & she hasn’t been allowed to return, so your state hasn’t given her much of an opportunity to feel “Israeli,”

          1. I’m scratching my head here……why is the term “Israeli Arabs” inappropriate.The term “A_ravey Israeli” used by the most outspoken Isreali Palestinians (if that is more appropriate?) all the time.
            I truly make an honest effort to understand the plight of Palestinians affected by the state of Israel.
            During the 1980’s I befriended many Palestinians in Jaffa, Jerusalem and Ramallah ( despite being called a liar by you )
            In the years since I have spoken with Arabs and Palestinians in Europe ( where they are very outspoken) in the U.S. ( where they are less so) and in Arab countries ( where I was shocked by the barrage of anti Israel propaganda ).
            We in the west have much to learn from Arab culture,
            but I cannot escape the intuitive feeling that there is something amiss in the Arab world’s attitude toward Israel.

          2. Israeli Palestinians don’t generally call themselves Israeli Arabs unless they’re speaking to an Israeli Jewish audience, & then they only use the term because it’s the most commonly used one by Israeli JEWS. I tend to call ethnic groups by the name THEY prefer rather than the one I know best or the one used most commonly by non-members of the group.

            I would encourage you to continue learning everything you can from and about Israeli Palestinians. There are many readers in the Territories who frequent the comment threads here. You should reach out to them & they will introduce you to people & communities & ideas you may never have encountered before. I urge you to try it.

    2. @ Daniel)
      I’m pretty sure I’ve never said that we are ALL going to be Israelis. Personally, I have no wish of becoming Israeli, and in my One State-vision, the name would be Palestine to me, but I don’t mind that Jews call it Israel. We could also agree on Canaan for all common documents.

      @ Richard
      I think many of the people, both among the shabâb [youth] that jumped the fence and the ones on the Israeli side were Druze – the video mention Majdal Shams – so technically still Syrian citizens or how are they considered in Israel ? I guess their status is like the Palestininans in East Jerusalem as only a tiny miority has chosen to become Israeli citizens.

      Mazin Qumsiyeh is a former professor at Duke and Yale University, who returned to his village in Palestine to lead the non-violent resistance. He’s actually professor at Bethlehem University, and he has already been arrested and beaten up numerous times by the Israeli army.

      A video from the demonstration yesterday in Walaja when Qumsiyeh was arrested:

      A video from last spring: Qumsiyeh is trying to talk some sense into young Israeli soldiers, he’s telling them that they are not obliged to serve in the army, trying to make them sensisitive to the injustice that the villagers of Walaja have lived through.
      That would be a good look for newcomers to the region before starting to give the Palestinians any moral lessons:

      1. I’m not sure on the facts, so I might be mistaken, but I think most if not all of the people who lived in the Golan Heights before ’67 and fled to Syria weren’t Druze. While most of the Druze never agreed to an Israeli citizenship, they never left. In fact, I’m not aware of incidents of Druze who left Israel (either by expulsion or in flight) since ’47. From the video clips I saw most men claimed to be from refugee camps and thus are unlikely to be Druze.

        1. The population of the Golan Heights in their immense majority did not flee, but were expelled by the Israelis who only let 6-7.000 Druze stay. It is well-documented just as the Nakba.

          The population of the Golan in 1966 was around 140.000 of which 80% were Arabs – in Syria no distinction is made between Arab and Druze as they all speak Arabic, and as a secular state, no religious distinction is made, contrary to Lebanon and Israel – the rest being Caucasian populations (mostly Circassian but also Daghestani, Chechens), Kurds, 3.000 Turkmen and hundreds of Armenians. The expelled Arabs of the Golan Height were almost ALL Druze.

          I get the impression that you try to adapt historical facts to the Israeli narrative, i.e. only the ‘Arabs’ ‘fled’, the ‘Druze wanted to live with us and thus didn’t flee’. How come these Golani Druze didn’t jump on the Israeli citizenship then ?

          A new film, “Shout”, is coming out in the end of May on the Druze in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights:
          The Shouting Hills:
          The video posted by Richard is filmed in this area.

          1. Actually you’re wrong. Adib Bagh in his ‘La Region de Djolan’ (1958) puts the number of Druze residing in the Golan Heights on around 10,600, out of a total population of around 110,000. The rest were mostly Sunni and Allawi (around 62.5%) with some Circassian, Turkmen and Arab-Christians (20.6%). So unless by some miracle the Druze population miraculously multiplied while all the other populations decreased, I find it unlikely that your beliefs are fact-based.

            Maybe, My dear DY, the one who’s too entrenched in his convictions isn’t me- it’s you. It seems you manipulate the facts to fit your agenda not me. But there is no convincing the convinced right? Honestly, I’m not trying.

          2. Wow, you have the temerity to quote a French source to a French speaker like Deir Yassin. All I can say is you better be right in yr claims (which I’d guess you aren’t) otherwise she’ll turn you into mincemeat.

          3. I read the translation. I’m honestly insulted. Check it for yourself before blurting these kinds of statements. Just because it doesn’t fit your views doesn’t mean the facts aren’t right or that I’m lying. Once again we see you smearing other people’s name with speculations, just to fill better about your own opinions. You sticking with your narrative, changing the facts to support it and ignoring facts that disprove it, is very similar to what you so demagogically call the “hasbara meme”. I’m sure you’d deny it, but, knowingly or not, you follow a second meme: the Palestinian meme. By doing so, you and your like are no different than the thick-headed propagandists you rightly go against. You can dismiss any claim or fact which refutes your theories as hasbara and hide behind that word time and again but it still won’t change the fact that, at least in some cases, you’re wrong. The truth is somewhere in the middle.

          4. @ Fuster)
            I adressed two topics in your comment:
            1. The pre-67 population in the Golan Heights
            2. Whether this population ‘fled’ as you stated or was expelled.

            To be honest, I’m not a specialist on the ethnic composition of the pre-67 population in the Golan, and neither are you. I looked up your Adib Bagh, but couldn’t find anything on his thesis in geography at the Sorbonne on the net except in Hebrew. It’s in the library, but I’m not going there to verify a thesis from 1958.
            In “The Righteous Victims: A History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1881-1999”, Benny Morris states that between 80.000 and 100.000 inhabitants, mainly Druze or Circassians, fled or were expelled. He might have turned Likudnik, but his research is globally honest, contrary to his interpretations of the findings.
            I haven’t found any other sources, all internal syrian sources don’t distinguish Arab and Druze, so I’ll leave everyone with their own convictions.

            2. The ‘flight’ vs ‘expulsion’-debate.
            I know the Israelis like to describe the exodus as “they fled ‘volontarily’, we begged them to stay”. If the Golani population fled, why weren’t they allowed back after the end of the hostilities ? Why were 244 Golani villages destroyed ?

            According to French historian Henry Laurens, 30.000 fled during the 1967-war, the Israeli army started immediately the destruction of the abandonned villages and in the automn of ’67, the Israeli Minister of Defense decided to demolish the resting villages and by the end of the year, the Israelis had expelled approximately another 90.000 Syrians, permitting only 6-7.000 Druzes to stay.

            A report by Uri Davis – before he became Palestinian – on “The Golan Heights under Israeli Occupation, 1967-1981”

            Just for a reminder, in case you forgot. In 1976, Moshe Dayan said this: “I know how at leat 80% of the clashes there started …It went this way: we would sent a tractor to plow somewhere in the demilitarized area and knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn’t shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance further, until in the end the Syrians would get annoyed and shoot. And then we would use artillery and later the air force also, and that’s how it was….There wasn’t really any pressing reason to go to war with Syria, the kibboutz residents who pressed the government to take the Golan did it less for security than for FARMLAND”.
            It’s all in Dayan’s statement: the good old colonial ‘frontier politics’ of the Far West.

          5. Sorry. The above comment was an answer to Job’ comment, and not Fuster’s.

      1. It sure doesn’t matter about Mubarak said about something entirely different and doesn’t change the facts about what’s happening in Syria, causing an embattled dictatorship to create a diversion and go for another round of the traditional game of “be angry at Israel and ignore the injustice at home”.

        1. Mubarak wasn’t referring to something “entirely different.” In fact, retaining the privileges of the regime in the face of immense injustice is precisely the same thing Bibi is doing & blaming foreign agitators is precisely the same tactic. I’d guess the Syrians who mounted the Golan fence were motivated by far more profound emotions & motives than currying favor with a dictator like Assad. Rather, they were uniting with their cousins & brethren fr. whom they were wrenched in 1973. So yes, the Syrian & Israeli Druze are angry at Israel for the injustice being done to them “at home,” this is by & in Israel.

          1. what was the injustice? stopping the attacks on Israel from the Heights?

            or was it starting/allowing those attacks?

            the Syrians will find the answer to why they got booted from the Heights by looking in the mirror.

          2. Yr paranoia & pathology are showing. Syrian & Israeli Druze joyously reuniting in their thousands is an “attack?” Says who? Where were the bombs? Bullets?

            As for injustice, if a country conquered yr home & refused to allow u to return to it & prevented u fr reuniting w yr family for 40 yrs, I think u wouldn’t need to ask what injustice I was referring to.

          3. — Syrian & Israeli Druze joyously reuniting in their thousands is an “attack?” —-

            I didn’t say that and you failed to understand what it is I said and meant. I wasn’t talking of the demonstration but of your errant idea about injustice from ’73

            It’s not paranoia, Richard. the bombs and mortars shells, the terrorist infiltration came when the Syrian government exercised sovereignty and control of the Heights.

            Syria allowed war to be waged and lost control of their territory as consequence of that war. There was no injustice in seizing the ground used to stage the attacks from the Syrians and PLO to stop the attacks.

          4. No, actually the quotation from Moshe Dayan in another comment published here today is about how Israel provoked military responses from Syria in the Heights which Israel then used to retaliate massively. The aggression was mostly on the Israeli side:

            “I know how at leat 80% of the clashes there started …It went this way: we would sent a tractor to plow somewhere in the demilitarized area and knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn’t shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance further, until in the end the Syrians would get annoyed and shoot. And then we would use artillery and later the air force also, and that’s how it was….There wasn’t really any pressing reason to go to war with Syria, the kibboutz residents who pressed the government to take the Golan did it less for security than for FARMLAND”.

            It is not only unjust but a violation of international law for Israel to retain the territory of three countries which it conquered in war. That includes the Golan.

  6. no LL, people who lose things because they follow unjust and immoral actions of their leaders do NOT have a basic right to have those thing s returned from the people on whom their leaders waged war.

    One of the problems with governments based on usurpation is that the governments destroy the rights of their citizens and by ill-considered action can, in effect, cause grave harm to their population’s basic rights.

    The damage to the Syrians was caused by their government and to their government belongs the responsibility and the consequent anger and lack of joy.

    Leonid, stay thoughtful and wary if you wish to stay free and fully human.

    1. Sorry, but you are WRONG. The Palestinians certainly have every right to regain their property lost by Israeli expulsion. How they were treated after expulsion has nothing whatsoever to do w. the original sin against them. International law & common decency argues strongly against yr offensive statement.

      I urge Leonid never to become as wary as you because then he will become just as imprisoned by misperception & indifference to suffering as you are.

    2. Fuster,

      By your logic, Israeli people that followed the unjust and immoral actions of their leaders do NOT have any right to whatever land they stole from the indigenous population and should return all the land back to 1948 borders. You mean that the Israeli governments destroyed the rights of their citizens?

      I am sorry, but I am disappointed in you. You do not answer any of the difficult questions.

      Why don’t you react to the quote from Moshe Dayan, one of your unjust and immoral leaders, that Richard and DY posted here? This quote reveals a lot about the conflict.

      Why don’t you honestly answer my question: what would you do if you were in the shoes of the displaced Palestinians?

      Thanks for reminding me to stay thoughtful. I sure will. And if I think critically, this is what I see. This conflict is not about security or survival of the Jewish people. It’s not about religion. It’s not about clash of civilizations. Like any other conflict in human history, it is all about land, resources and power. It is about one people submitting another for the sake of own prosperity, economy, wealth, etc.

      Why should Israeli army and elites be interested in security, if they have built their power on insecurity, inciting fear and hate among its population? When peace comes, they will be out of their jobs and comfortable positions.

      One can engage in self-deception and think of all kinds of rationalizations, but one will ultimately have to face historical facts, immorality and dishonesty of one’s leaders, and grave crimes committed by one’s own nation. This will be a painful encounter, but there is no other way to true liberation, the liberation of one’s own being from the chains of ignorance, hate and greed towards knowledge, love and giving. This is what I mean by being free and fully human.

  7. My new hero, Hassan Hijazi.
    Hassan was among the young shabâb who jumped the fence at Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights. He wanted to see Jaffa from where his family was expelled in ’48.
    An interview with Channel 10:
    He has an interesting solution for the ROR. In fact, he’s convinced that just as hundreds of thousands of Palestinians would settle down in Europe and America, so would many Israeli Jews prefer to go back to their original countries. But the State of Israel would of course never allow this to happen …

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