Israel’s 60th Birthday


Israel at 60 PR Campaign in the USA by Ann
July 1, 2008, 6:31 am
Filed under: Israel, Israel's 60th Anniversary, Israel's 60th Birthday, Israel@60

Nonstop … humiliation and ethnic cleansing. Green … like land-coveting illegal settlers and uprooted Palestinian olive trees. Free …  to act with impunity, ignoring human rights and international law as long as US zio-neocons keep US taxpayer money coming and keep blocking international condemnation for our atrocious acts.

Below: hasbara advertisement in the New York Times.

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New York Celebrates Israel’s 60th Birthday by Dave

It appears New York has been celebrating the 60th anniversary of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

Cheers, conversation, and song could be heard in both English and Hebrew among the attendees, who waved American and Israeli flags. Groups representing synagogues, schools, and community organizations in the tristate area participated.

An Israeli who immigrated to America 15 years ago, Tali Fox, led the Israel Scouts, an Israeli-culture youth group whose Manhattan chapter she founded. She said Israelis have always enjoyed a special bond with New York City, which is home to one of the largest Jewish populations in the world.

“I feel so much at home in this city,” Ms. Fox said. “Especially after 9/11, I’ve felt a big openness in the American Jewish community to the Israeli community.”

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Israel ‘committing memorycide’ by Dave
June 2, 2008, 11:44 am
Filed under: 1948, Ethnic Cleansing, History, Ilan Pappe, Israel, Israel's 60th Anniversary

Ilan Pappe on Al Jazeera.

As part of Al Jazeera’s coverage of the anniversary of the creation of Israel and the Palestinian ‘Nakba’, Israeli historian Ilan Pappe reflects upon the events of 1948 and how they led to 60 years of division between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Between February, 1948 and December,1948 the Israeli army systematically occupied the Palestinian villages and towns, expelled by force the population and in most cases also destroyed the houses, looted their belongings and took over their material and cultural possessions. This was the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

During the ethnic cleansing, wherever there was resistance by the population the result was a massacre. We have more than 30 cases of such massacres where a few thousand Palestinians were massacred by the Israeli forces throughout the operation of the ethnic cleansing.

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State of Denial: Israel, 1948-2008 by Dave
May 30, 2008, 9:45 am
Filed under: Ethnic Cleansing, History, Ilan Pappe, Israel, Israel's 60th Anniversary, Nakba

The excellent Israeli historian Ilan Pappe writing on the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and why Israel cannot face up to her crimes.  Worryingly Pappe states that ‘The moral implication [of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine] is that the Jewish State was born out of sin—like many other states, of course—but the sin, or the crime, was never admitted. Worse, among certain circles in Israel, it is acknowledged and, in the same breath, advanced as a future policy against Palestinians wherever they are.’

For Israelis, 1948 is the year in which two things happened, one of which contradicts the other.

On the one hand, in that year the Jewish national movement, Zionism, claimed it fulfilled an ancient dream of returning to a homeland after 2,000 years of exile. From this perspective, 1948 is a miraculous event, the realization of a dream that carries with it associations of moral purity and absolute justice. Hence the military conduct of Jewish soldiers on the battlefield in 1948 became the model for generations to come. And subsequent Israeli leaders were lionized as men and women devoted to the Zionist ideals of sacrifice for the common cause. It is a sacred year, 1948, the formative source of all that is good in the Jewish society of Israel.

On the other hand, 1948 was the worst chapter in Jewish history. In that year, Jews did in Palestine what Jews had not done anywhere else in their previous 2,000 years. Even if one puts aside the historical debate about why what happened in 1948 happened, no one seems to question the enormity of the tragedy that befell the indigenous population of Palestine as a result of the success of the Zionist movement.

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What a Way to Mark Independence Day by Dave
May 18, 2008, 4:32 pm
Filed under: Independence, Israel, Israel's 60th Anniversary, Jonathan Cook, Nakba, Parade | Tags:

Jonathan Cook describes how a Nakba memorial procession was blocked by a small number of Zionist protestors and then attacked by armed police.

This attack was most likely planned as Israel views commemoration of the Naba as deeply subversive. In fact, Israel’s Public Security Minister Avi Dichter (who recently cancelled a trip to the UK for fear of being arrested for war crimes) warned as much in December saying “whoever speaks for 60 years about the ‘catastrophe’ [Nakba] befalling them will suffer a real catastrophe in the end.” By his poisonous tear gassing of infants we can assume he wasn’t joking. Dichter was also pressured by the World Likud Chairman, Danny Danon, to cancel the Nakba parade as Danon felt its goal was “to oppose and incite against the state.” He called for leaders of the demonstration to be arrested as well as anyone seen brandishing the flag of an enemy state or a terrorist organization.  In other words – no Palestinian flags and forget your PAlestinian history.  There’s no room in Israeli history for the Nakba (ethnic cleansing of Palestine).

It has been a week of adulation from world leaders, ostentatious displays of military prowess, and street parties. Heads of state have rubbed shoulders with celebrities to pay homage to the Jewish state on its 60th birthday, while a million Israelis reportedly headed off to the country’s forests to enjoy the national pastime: a barbecue.

But this year’s Independence Day festivities have concealed as much as they have revealed. The images of joy and celebration seen by the world have failed to acknowledge the reality of a deeply divided Israel, shared by two peoples with conflicting memories and claims to the land.
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Now Sixty Years of Dispossession by Dave
May 15, 2008, 7:04 pm
Filed under: 1948, Israel's 60th Anniversary, Nakba | Tags:

The following was written by Edward Said on the 50th anniversary of the State of Israel.

In the United States, celebrations of Israel’s fifty years as a state have tried to project an image of the country that went out of fashion since the Palestinian Intifada (1987-92): a pioneering state, full of hope and promise for the survivors of the Nazi Holocaust, a haven of enlightened liberalism in a sea of Arab fanaticism and reaction. On 15 April, for instance, CBS broadcast a two hour prime-time program from Hollywood hosted by Michael Douglas and Kevin Costner, featuring movie stars such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kathy Bates (who recited passages from Golda Meir minus, of course, her most celebrated remark that there were no Palestinians) and Winona Ryder.


Edwar SaidIn the United States, celebrations of Israel’s fifty years as a state have tried to project an image of the country that went out of fashion since the Palestinian Intifada (1987-92): a pioneering state, full of hope and promise for the survivors of the Nazi Holocaust, a haven of enlightened liberalism in a sea of Arab fanaticism and reaction. On 15 April, for instance, CBS broadcast a two hour prime-time program from Hollywood hosted by Michael Douglas and Kevin Costner, featuring movie stars such as Arnol Schwarzenegger, Kathy Bates (who recited passages from Golda Meir minus, of course, her most celebrated remark that there were no Palestinians) and Winona Ryder. None of these luminaries are particularly known for their Middle Eastern expertise or enthusiasm, although all of them in one way or another praised Israel’s greatness and enduring achievements. There was even time for a cameo appearance by President Bill Clinton, who provided perhaps the least edifying, most atavistic note of the evening by complimenting Israel, “a small oasis,” for “making a once barren desert bloom,” and for ” building a thriving democracy in hostile terrain.”

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