Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I don't exist!

...well, at least not according to British Airways. I was attempting to enter in my "passenger details" and country of citizenship and residence on their website for a flight I have booked next month (from Cairo, 8 hours and a border crossing away, since the Gaza airport is incapacitated-much like Sharon, and the Tel Aviv airport is off limits to Palestinians), but guess what...I don't exist!

Palestine/Palestinian Territories (territories, what territories?..maybe "Palestinian bantustans")/OPT/Gaza Strip/Palestinian Authority..well, none of the above mentioned options are present, and since I am the holder of a Palestinian Authority passport (which one can only get based on having an Israeli-issued ID card, or hawia...) I am a non-category.

Needless to say, I was distrought. Where in the world is Laila El-Haddad (maybe with Carmen Sandiego, hee hee) if not in Palestine, I thought? Certainly not in Israel (as one of many customer relations reps suggested). I immediately sent an email of complaint to BA, humbly suggesting that BA add Palestinian Authority, Palestinian Territories, or Palestine to their list of countries, "since there are several million Palestinians who live here and unfortunately they do not have a category in your list."

and several days later the reply I received was: "I am sorry, we are unable to assist you with your query via email...For further assistance, please call your general enquiries department on ba.com then SELECT YOUR COUNTRY from the drop down list."

Um, ok, I realize you don't need a phd to work in one of these posts, but i assumed it was farily self-evident from my first email that MY COUNTRY IS NOT LISTED in the drop down list. I explained this to "Diana" in a subsequent email, and was told to contact my "nearest general enquiries department" (if I was to take that literally, that would be Tel Aviv).

Instead I opted for customer relations in the UK. My "inquiry" was pushed from one phone operator to the next until I was finally patched through to web support, who, surprise, surprise, "forwarded my request".

"When can I get a definite answer?" I asked earnestly. "Well, that could be one week or one month, we don't really know. To be honest we may not get a definite answer".

"And why not? What is so complicated or conroversial about adding my country or territory or even geographic location to your list?"

"I honestly don't know" came the reply.

Well, I do. As my friend joked this morning, "there's no definite answer, because we aren't definite people."

57 Comments:

Anonymous tomer said...

That sucks, honestly.

(What passport do you travel on by the way?)

1:10 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

"The Palestinian Authority" passport/travel document:

"This passport/travel document is issued persuant to the Palestinian self-government agreement according to Oslo Agreement signe din Washington on 13/9/1993"

So, does that mean, if the PA collapses, or, since Oslo has been rendered nul and void time and again, that my passport is no longer valid? hmm.

Another interesting tidbit: you can only be issued this passport based on having an Israeli issued ID card (hawia). And you can only enter Gaza if you have both of these items. So, ultimatel, Israel does still control Rafah (and pretty much everything else for that matter: sky, sea, borders...).

1:25 PM  
Anonymous tomer said...

If the PA collapses your passport is invalid, just like mine if Israel collapses :)

1:28 PM  
Blogger azanian said...

Very interesting conundrum you have there.

Dont know if this equates, but I really want to travel to Cuba from Singapore, but I have found that there are very few airlines that can take a person to Cuba. BA doesn't do it, Singapore airlines doesn't do it, and when I try to find packages through local travel agents and Australian ones online I get a nifty automated reply that says: "Your request contains a restricted location. We are unable to book any reservations in/to/from this location."

On the other hand, at least you may be able to get a reservation if you try another airline.

I have heard though that if a person wants to get into Malaysia, s/he is not allowed to enter if s/he has a mere stamp indicating that s/he has ever travelled to Israel.

So are the mad intricacies of the world we live in today.

2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get over yourself. Incompetent employees are commonplace. Your getting transferred and a run-a-round on the telephone has nothing to do with your nationality. I live in the US and what you describe is not unusual. Your continued self pity and victim rationale; along with pointing out only the human suffering on the Gaza side (little to no mention of suicide bombers blowing up restaurants in Isreal) is childish.

2:49 PM  
Blogger Gert said...

Personally I find it unbelievable that these droplists do not include Palestine or Palestinian Territories. From BA I really expected better...

4:40 PM  
Anonymous T said...

Anon (2.49pm), if you think the point of Laila's post was to highlight the incompetence of BA employees than it is clear that your perspective on her article is misplaced.

Further, the pejorative accusations that you label against her are not fair. Laila's primary emphasis will naturally be on describing the reality of Palestinian life under Israeli occupation/control because this is her daily experience... and when I read her posts it is her humanity and humour that shines through.

4:55 PM  
Blogger a dracul said...

This one Laila is absolutely hilarious you should get that one posted in the Guardian, the British would love it, Punch Magazine would have loved it. It's the politeness, dry, understated, perhaps suggest it was aimed at your British audience. Works like the Emperor's new clothes that one on the yanks.

You were beginning to remind me of Gogol, might just be me mind. War becomes diplomacy which evolves into bureaucratic terrorism. If I can block the flow of paper, everything shuts down. Give me the right form and I shall overthrow governments.

I needed something lighter, oh and i know full well a truly serious person is never always serious, mashallah with your vocation sister.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Sophia said...

laila, this simple matter of everyday life illustrates the dramatic and kafkaesque situation palestinians are in.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

not a bad idea - I am a contributor to the Guardian's Comment is Free blog-I think I'll post it there to get the ball rolling, thanks!

5:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 2:49:

If you don't like what you read, then LEAVE, GO AWAY! no one is making you read anything.......GOOD BYE!!
H

6:04 PM  
Blogger Abu-Issa said...

Laila,

When my family moved up here to Canada from the United States (back in the '70's before the Oslo Agreement) we had an interesting 'stand off' with the Canadian immigration officer at the border which, for me as a child, felt like an eternity because we wanted -Palestine- to be written on our documents as "country of origin" and not -Israel-. The discussion culminated with the frustrated officer pulling out a world map onto his desk and repeatedly stabbing his index finger into it insisting that "there is no Palestine on my map therefore I cannot put that on your documents!" To his defence he did tell us he was sympathetic to our situation (as are most Canadians) but had to follow protocols.

A resolution was finally found when he suggested that we could simply put 'Jerusalem' in place of country of origin...period.

Later, when I became a Canadian citizen, I was also not forced to put Israel as my country of origin. And believe it or not when I renewed my U.S. passport I was able to do the same!

It's not a perfect answer but all I can do...for now.

To Azanian...you can fly to Cuba legally through Canada, try Air Canada or Air Transat.

7:20 PM  
Blogger elFool said...

I quite enjoy being from stateless republica, I still belong to this world I think

8:14 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

On a related issue, I travelled to Israel and Palestine last year from the UK, and bought some travel insurance from the Post Office (they do a whole range of financial services these days). According to the insurance company, Israel is in Europe! Because I (apparently) was not going outside Europe, I got a discount on the world-wide insurance package.

I even asked a supervisor to confirm that a trip to the Palestinian Territories would not invalidate the insurance. They were quite happy to confirm.

So, even if BA denies that your country exists, rest assured that you are now a part of Europe... at least according to the Post Office!

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If you don't like what you read, then LEAVE, GO AWAY! no one is making you read anything.......GOOD BYE!!
H"

I think the point is that you can't just CHOOSE to "walk away" if you're Palestinian, because the problem is everywhere.

8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it utterly appalling and humiliating to be confronted with such a situation and to have to kind of depend on their "good will" to find a solution! I could imagine not every airline does cause this kind of problem - do you still have an option to change the airline? After all ... this is not the only one which flies to London ..

8:40 PM  
Anonymous Omar Abo-Namous said...

talking about "recognizing the existance of a state"..

i just looked at the drop-down and it does contain come country names that i never heard about. Then i searched for Palestine and it seems you were looking at the wrong place: It's written in really small letters, but so is the remaining palestinian fragment (minus roadblocks). If you look very closely between Norway and Oman you might see the small-printed country name "occupied territory".. or not.

12:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apologies regarding the (hopefully mistaken) omission by my national(?) airline, Laila. I think if the Guardian were to contact them, the omission would be corrected within hours. Nothing like a bit of bad publicity.

On a similar note, I often hear Zionists saying Palestine never existed, nor Palestinians, which is particularly nasty propaganda, but sadly no surprise.

Hopefully its not some sort of deliberate omission. Not in the UK. The way British Airways are going, in a few years time I don't think they will exist.

We will get you here somehow :)

Jim

7:31 AM  
Anonymous tomer said...

Jim, when did Palestine exist as a sovereign state?

I'm honestly asking, not picking fights...

2:22 PM  
Blogger Shaggydabbydo said...

Hi Laila,

You're also known as 'Palestinian Issues' on NewsNow (under 'Regions'): http://newsnow.co.uk/newsfeed/?name=Palestine

Regs, Shaggy

3:10 PM  
Blogger reynaud said...

You're not allowed to fill in "Israel" if your place of birth is Jerusalem either.

3:57 PM  
Blogger 21stCenturyShea said...

This reminds me of the Tom Hanks film, "The Terminal" where his character is not allowed to leave the airport because the government that issued his passport no longer existed.

Bureaucratistan, on the other hand, represents a transnational state, unfortunately.

5:38 PM  
Blogger a dracul said...

Hey Tomer,
interesting question about when a palestinian state was founded.

I don't think anyone questions that the juridical basis for Israel and Palestine as a sovereign states derives from the Balfour Declaration of 1917. But you never know some might.

The primary source I quote in full below.

Foreign Office
November 2nd, 1917

Dear Lord Rothschild,

I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty's Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.

"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 this 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, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."

I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

Yours sincerely,

Arthur James Balfour

The United Nations Special Committe on Palestine then partitioned the land into two separate states, Israel and Palestine in 1948 on the termination of the British Mandate to protect the holy land, passed by majority vote of 33 to 13 with 10 abstentions.

Then as a palestinian friend once told me, Desie these people inherited a desert and turned it into a paradise, if only we had worked with them then we would have been pulled up by our bootstraps. Now what are we fighting for but burnt out bombed villages and poverty. It may not be much i guess but it's their home.

The simple answer is that the independent State of Palestine was formed by UN Charter in 1948 on the same day as the independent State of Israel. The Palestinians have a legal right under international law to dwell in their own land with autonomy, and in law a right exists independently of its exercise.

But if you want hire a lawyer and ask them first what opinion you want them to give you.

All i offer is the truth.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Balfour declaration related to the creation of Israel and Jordan, not Palestine. Palestine did not exist until after the 1967 war, when Israel conquered the West Bank (which belongued to Jordan).

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 06:02:
Maybe you should take a deep breath and read post before yours again - and MORE carefully ... is it SO difficult to understand that ISRAEL was IMPOSED on the state of PALESTINE .. in other words, PALESTINE was there BEFORE Israel! Maybe this truth doesn't sound comfortable in your ears ... just grab a map of before 1948 and check it out yourself - no more words needed!
Karin

6:18 PM  
Anonymous Mehmet II said...

The Palestine in question was an Ottoman province, not a state.

Perhaps we should have the Turks back? Things were quieter then.

The Turks could set themselves up as Caliphs too, on the old Islamic principle of one man, one vote ("I'm the man with the army, and it's my vote). That'd make the jihadis happy too. Probably. And if not there is always the Bosphorous and a sack. It worked for 400 years, and the Islamic historians tell us people were happy and the Arabs and Jews lived together as fellow subjects of the Terrible Turk.

Bring back the Turks!

7:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The official name of the entity that existed between the River and the Sea from 1917 and 1948 under British Mandatory Rule was "Palestine Erez Yisrael". Though of course on most maps and in the consciousness of Western Christians this land (as well as modern day Jordan of course) was known simply as "Palestine".

8:04 PM  
Anonymous tomer said...

The Balfour Declaration was written in 1917, and guarantees a home for the Jewish people, if I understand it correctly. I’m not sure, but the British didn’t even control Palestine at the time, I think the Ottomans did… So was Arthur Balfour speaking on their behalf? Either way it’s regardless because the declaration was a statement of intent, there is no official founding of EITHER state.

The United Nations General Assembly (Not a special committee) divided Palestine into two separate states, Israel (The Jewish state) that accepted the plan, and Palestine (The Arab State) that rejected the plan…

Israel declared Independence, What I’m asking is when did Palestine declare Independence, and when was it recognized as a sovereign state… I’m sure it happened, and you just said it did…

David Ben Gurion declared Israeli independence on May 14th

So, who declared Palestinian Independence and who recognized the Palestinian state?

About Palestinians legal rights under international law, I think they are often being denied many of those rights, and I support a free Palestine as soon as possible… I don’t see how that answers my question.

Again, for clarity: When was Palestine a sovereign state, who recognized their statehood and who declared independence?

Thanks all.

8:50 PM  
Blogger a dracul said...

rhetorical questions do not require rhetorical answers, and I cannot converse with jews because they clearly don't exist. the one's with greek names not only don't exist but have nothing to say.

i do wonder about old maps that employ bastardized hebrew, wouldn't Palestine Ha Eretz Ha Israel have been more convincing, i think the writer of the map was a little confounded by the Shema, isn't Yisrael a vocative, you really ought to be more discerning when purchasing maps from the mickey mouse corporation.

I shall come again to hear more of family life Laila, teach your children to dream inshallah, one day they will have a land of their own.

9:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

karin: it all depends on when was it "imposed": during biblical times? after the roman empire?.....jews have lived in Israel before Christ was born. Christ was born Jewish.So maybe the Turks imposed themselves on the Jews, or better Soleiman imposed on the Jews, or who built a mosque on top of our Holy Temple........so grab your maps before 1948. Before 1 year, 10 years, 100 years............? the real question is how or what are we going to do to make peace between cousins?

9:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The real question you ask? I can tell you (one of) the answer(s) ... STOP THE OCCUPATION (I mean entirely - and you know what that includes) and give the Palestinian people the rights they are entitled to have! Once this will be accomplished, we can sit and start working together on what's left! As long as people are dispossessed, humiliated, threatened, have to fear for their lives and the lives of their children, don't know how to feed their families .. and so on, and so on ... NOBODY (neither YOU) would sit still and say "thank you"! Believe me, if someone would do that to ME, I'd raise hell and would not rest till I would get what is rightfully mine - and you would do just the same!
Karin

10:44 PM  
Anonymous timmy said...

anon 10:44,

one of the problems is that no one really knows where the occupation lines stop. Some Say the 1967 borders others talk about the partition plan (1947) and other (our dear Hamas for one) talk about every little bit of land from the River to the sea - including the Negev (that BTW - does not appear as part of the region of Palestine in ANY of the pre Mandate Maps) . So.. could you be so kind as to explain which occupation you would like Israel to leave??

by the way I like you part about "and so on and so on..." that open ended part leaves a lot open to the imagination.

11:09 PM  
Anonymous tomer said...

Laila,

I'd like your opinion (A post even)about Samhadana, seems to be a big deal in western media, is it in Arab media on the Gaza street?

11:30 PM  
Anonymous ziad said...

if our president speaks in the united nations ,we have a flag ,and almost 10 million people around the world call them self palestinians ,then i really think they should change it to somethig more than Palestinian territories!

3:35 AM  
Blogger shlemazl said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:54 AM  
Blogger shlemazl said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:54 AM  
Blogger shlemazl said...

Ziad,

This could have been done a few years back, but Arafat chose his bloody "intifada" instead.

7:56 AM  
Blogger Calgacus said...

Tomer, though your questions may have been intended rhetorically, they shouldn't have been, because they have answers.

What I’m asking is when did Palestine declare Independence, and when was it recognized as a sovereign state… So, who declared Palestinian Independence and who recognized the Palestinian state?

The PNC declared the independence of the State of Palestine in 1988 in Algiers. It is currently recognized by about 90 states; at one time before the 1991 Madrid Conference, more than recognized Israel. Predecessors include the All-Palestine Government of the Mufti, declared after 1948, based in Gaza. Egypt dissolved it in 52 (or maybe 54) and the Arab League declared it would thereafter represent the Palestinians. There was also an independent self-declared kingdom centered in Nablus for about a decade in the 16th century IIRC. Most of this should be at Wikipedia, e.g. under "State of Palestine."


The Balfour declaration had no international legal weight at the time, as the British did not control Palestine, de facto or de jure. It was eventually incorporated into the Palestine Mandate, which did have legal weight.

8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh ... SHLEMAZL is back!
Refering to Ziad's comment - if you would care to check out what KIND of "state" they would have gotten (I assume blindly you're talking about Barak's "gift" ...) you'd instantly understand why Arafat rejected! Just for the records ... it would have been a carpet of hundreds of little "bits and pieces" scattered throughout the West Bank with almost every "piece" surrounded by an Israeli road in order to avoid any natural growth - something the Israelis demand to have for their (illegal) settlements!
A word to Timmy .. certainly I can explain that and I gladly do it for you! It is the 1967-boarder which needs to be respected as boarder as even Hamas stated lately, it would abide by thus dropping their original demand to "drive the Jews into the sea"! As to my "and so on, and so on" ... you are right of course but to clarify here and now what would belong to an ending of the occupation .. here you go: to abide by the UN-resolutions 242 (adopted June 5th, 1967) and 338 (adopted after the 1973-war for negotions to start immediately) which say in basics to return occupied lands (incl. East-Jerusalem + the Golan Heights), grant the "Right of Return" of refugees, to free prisoners, and establish a viable and sovereign Palestinian State!Should anyone come now and ask how that would maintain the JEWISH character of Israel - well, it wouldn't! Zionism which racially segregates and ethincally cleanses, won't have a future and people will have to chose to either go on this way for another dozens or hundreds of years - or to respect the laws, resolutions - and find a way to a just and lasting peace! Personally - I feel they owe it to their, to ALL children and future generations ...
Karin

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A word to CALGACUS (historically a Roman chieftain) ... I like your blog-name! "They make desert/ solitude ... and call it peace" -TACITUS (who wrote that down) was a smart guy .. he couldn't guess how true his words are still nowaday!
Karin

9:43 AM  
Anonymous timmy said...

Karin,
So what you are saying is That the Jews, have no right to have a State, Can you explain this logic to me?? What if it was a state not based on Zionism, but on Jewish Law? would that be ok? Are you against all Ethnic states or just the Jewish one??

Also, is it ok by for the Jews living In the west bank to continue living there?? AS palestinian Jews of course.

Also 242 and 338 do not go into specs. about what should be returned, it just says land should be returned, it doesn't even say all the land, so as far as legaly Israel has fulfilled 338 (and 242 for that).

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Timmy - I am against ALL ethnic states or did you ever hear about a Christians-only state for instance? I think we live in a time in which we can not afford anymore to say this is ONLY MINE (I intentionally don't touch the issue "occcupation" now) - we must learn to get along with others on the basis of mutual respect, as equals!
Why would Jews want to live in the West Bank? Jews would have THEIR country ... just as Palestinians would have their's! If a Jew would definitely WANT to live there, "abroad" so-to-say ... he'd have to petition that like anyone who wants to live in another country has to get the official Ok and ultimately petition residence!I could imagine there would be a possibility - but under PALESTINIAN jurisdiction of course! As to the resolutions ... you need to read a bit more carefully! Here is a short version ...

"The legal basis for fairly adjudicating this conflict and ending Israel's colonial occupation of the Palestinians has been there for many years; essentially it is encapsulated in UN Resolutions 194, 224, and 338, which call for resolving the Palestine refugees problem through repatriation and compensation, withdrawing Israel's troops from the territories occupied in 1967, and providing for a negotiated peace accord that recognises the rights of all states in the region (Arab and Israeli) to live in secure and recognised borders."

See - I was not making up stories but only mentioning what was officially decided already many years ago! ALL states must abide by these regulations ... Israel doesn't pose any exception!
Karin

3:38 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

People do not need to be members of nation-states to qualify for human rights, because human rights belong to humans regardless of citizenship status.

It's quite clear that the Palestinians form a national group, regardless of the legalistic state of their entity at this time.

I always enjoy learning more about history, but I am also fascinated by the obsession with legalistic arguments and the avoidance of factual reality and common sense when I read Israel-apologist arguments. I'm beginning to wonder if criminal defense courtroom tactics is a required course in Israeli high schools or colleges, and how and whether world history, logic and philosophy are taught.

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right Elizabeth, very much so even!
Karin

4:55 PM  
Anonymous tomer said...

Karin,

As i've stated in the previous post's comments:


If you are against ethnic states:

Please email the embassies of the following countries:

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Islamic Republic of Iran
Islamic Republic of Mauritania
Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Who's motto is لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله

People's Democratic Republic of Algeria (Who fly a crescent on their flag and Green for Islam)

And various others.

Are you against them? As much as you are against Israel and a Jewish state?

6:25 PM  
Blogger Gert said...

Ironically, your post has in fact been picked up by The Guardian but they fail to provide a working hyperlink to your blog.

I've complained about it: see over at my own blog...

Best regards.

6:45 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

Hi Gert
yes, I actually pitched the idea to them (I'm a regular contributor to two of their blogs) and they went with it (just re-worked it a bit)...
You're right usually they link to my blog and have a bio, not sure why they didn't this time but I"l tell them

8:12 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

Hi Gert...actually they have linked to the blog (there's a hyperlink to "rasiing yousuf" i just don't know how to show it here):

· Freelance journalist and blogger Laila El-Haddad lives in Gaza City. Laila's blog, Raising Yousuf, is named after her two-year-old son

http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/news/archives/2006/04/21/i_complain_therefore_i_am.html

8:18 PM  
Blogger julianna said...

Asalamu Alaykum,

you know perhaps...since you don't really exist... you should be able to delcare whatever rate you want. Ride at a discount. or free. Doesn't matter since you won't really be there :)

5:17 AM  
Anonymous Tedrich said...

Tel Aviv airport is usable by Palestinians. No guarantee you'll make your flight, but it is possible. Maybe just for people in the W. Bank though?

9:04 AM  
Blogger Laila said...

Tedrich
no, of course it is not usable. Unfrotuantely many people assume so. It is only usable if you are an Israeli citizen, such as '48 Palestinians or Jerusalmites. But not West Bankers (they must use Jordan) and definitely nto Gazans (we cant even cross Erez).

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tomer, just briefly - the fact that I am against ethnic states states, doesn't mean they don't exist! To the best of my knowledge though NONE of those states did ever brutally occupy another people for more than half a decade with the entire world looking on silently! As to the motto of Saudi Arabia - sorry to disappoint you but I do not speak nor read or understand Arabic ... and your example of Algeria - what's wrong with flying a crescent and green color for Islam?
To be clear - I am against occupying other people who have the SAME RIGHTS you have (like it or not) ... and against disrespecting international resolutions the moment they don't fit into one's plans!

10:40 AM  
Anonymous tomer said...

Anonymous,

(I Think I will soon make it a point to answer only named commenter)

Short answers first:

As for the motto of Saudi Arabia, I don’t speak Arabic either, but you can look it up.

Nothing is wrong with Algeria’s flag, it was just an example of a state based on Religion. None of the anti-Zionist anti-Israelis seem to mind. If someone is against all religious states. I understand, but idly standing by while most of the Arab world is under Muslim law and protesting Israel for that specific reason (When there are so many others)… that seems unfair.

I am also against occupying other people who have the SAME RIGHTS as me, you don’t seem to be listening to my comments, I want two separate states, with equal rights for all.

As for Israel brutally occupying Palestine.

In 1948 the British Mandate left the area now known as Israel/Palestine. The Arabs living on the land rejected the idea of dividing the land and setting up a state, did not claim Independence at the time and no Palestinian state was formed or widely-recognized. Jordan captured the West Bank and Egypt took Gaza.

After this conflict many Jew were forced to leave Arab countries, thus creating around 800,000 Jewish Refugees, most of which found a home in Israel. Around 700,000 Palestinians also became Refugees

Again, at this time, Gaza and the West Bank are not yet occupied by Israel. But Israel did increase it’s size to larger than the original UN intention. Israel later took what is known today as the occupied territories in military actions with Egypt and Jordan.

Israel occupied these territories in war, as countries often do. Both Jordan and Egypt also “freed” themselves of responsibly of the citizens living there,

No Palestinian sovereign state was claimed or properly recognized until 1988 (thanks Calgacus).

To be clear -

Palestinian rights are CONSTANTLY BEING VIOLATED.

A Palestinian state run by Palestinians for Palestinians should be formed AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

(Yes, I am an Israeli Zionist)


I’m just saying

A) Palestine never existed as a Sovereign state; Israel occupied these territories in war, “far and square” from countries that actually gave up their claim to the land at one point. Regardless of the human rights violations occurring there now.

B) The claim often used as ”There is no place for a religious state in this world” doesn’t hold water when coming from someone who doesn’t mind Muslim Arab states and their total violation of human rights.

C) The same claim ”There is no place for a religious state in this world” If used by someone who TRULY disagrees with a Muslim state, I’d like to know if he is active in the fight against those states and the oppression there? (It’s his right to be active ONLY against Israel, it’s just a bit of discrimination.

D) To the best of my knowledge though NONE of those states did ever brutally occupy another people for more than half a decade with the entire world looking on silently!

First of all, ANY occupation is wrong, half a decade, 3 centuries or 3 days…here is an example of states (In this case Muslim) “brutally occupying” others: Kurdistan (Occupied by Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria) Lebanon (Formerly occupied by Syria and Israel for that matter) East Timor (Formerly occupied by Indonesia) Kuwait (Formerly occupied by Iraq) I’m not saying this makes Israeli occupation OK I’m saying that telling me Muslim states NEVER occupied and opressed other people is laughable… I’m pretty much against this line of “Look at the rest of the world” Pro-Palestinians seem so fond of… it’s counter productive.

If you want to tell me what Israel and the IDF is doing in the occupied territories is bad, I accept that.

But if you want to make it out as if Israel is the only horrible religious state, the only human rights violator in the world and the only state ever to occupy land of a different people… that’s just plain silly.

There is so much wrong going on in this whole situation (On both sides) Why make up fantastic claims when you could use facts?

3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think he meant anything was wrong by it. Nothing is wrong with Algeria flying a crescent and a green colour for Islam. It was just an example. The point I think is that sometimes here there is a double standard here - it is okay for Algeria but when Israel flies the flag and the official religion is Judaism then that is wrong, even called racist- but it is always never wrong when Arab and Islamic people do it.

It you are looking for brutality look to Africa, the entire world is silent on a lot of conflicts in this World and there are many. The Palestinain & Israeli conflict gets the majority share in news and world debate - way out of proportion to it's size and population. Other countries with conflicts with deaths in the hundreds of thousands are downplayed and do not get as much attention.

And for your information, very few people in these countries even have the words "Human Rights" screamed at them, nothing is guaranteed. Forget clean water and the right to go to school, earn a living. Children lives are just a useful tool of the ruling force, drafted and forced.There is no right to childhood because in alot of these places there is no childhood.

You must come from a western country when you shout human rights. UN resolutions are for what country?!

And I know my saying this does not make it right that some ethnic group occupies another, I just want to point out that it happens. Looking at the Palestinians and Israelis, they will one day have to say yes to peace and give up violence and then maybe they will respect each others culture and religion. I don't see a problem with a Palestinian Islamic State and Israeli Jewish one side by side if they want that - as long as they are tolerant and repectful of the other. Wilson

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Y said...

becauase saudi arabia at its inception is a very homogenous society, while israel is not

when saudi arabia was created- much like the vatican- it was for a purpose and the people of the land were ALL of the same religion

however, when israel came to existence, much of the population was not, and a major part of it is still not does not.

besides last time I checked Saudi Arabia does not claim to be a democracy, especially one that transferred hundreds of thousands of people from there home, then claims to be the exclusive homeland of the Jews, and institutionalizes policies to maintain the Jewish majority at any cost.

Y.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Gert said...

Would I be cynical in thinking BA doesn't want any Palestinian passengers for "security" reasons? This would surely be a quiet way of doing it...

6:19 PM  
Anonymous tomer said...

Y,

So if Israel stops claiming to be a democracy you won't mind what's going on anymore?

The terminology is the main issue here?

institutionalizes policies to maintain the Jewish majority Banning all non Muslim worship is exactly that.

Again, the issue here is not Saudi Arabia, it's the one sided arguments used against Israel which are not only untrue, but also extremely hypocritical.

Frankly, I don't care what goes on in Saudi Arabia... Just don't tell me you are against a state based on Religion and claim Saudi Arabia is anything but...

3:58 AM  

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