Monday, March 13, 2006

The energy circle: 'fueling' the occupation in Gaza

Today, dozens of taxi drivers announced a strike in protest of the rising price of fuels in Gaza. They burned tires throughout the Strip, blocking roads and junctions and refusing to transport people to schools and jobs.

The price of gasoline has reached 5.45 shekels a litre and diesel 3.85 shekels a litre. A cylinder of cooking gas has reached a high of 47 shekels ($ jaw nearly dropped when the gas people delivered it to our door today), compared to 4 Egyptian pounds (less than $1) in nearby Egypt. All this, in a territory where there is an 84% poverty rate.

But who's to blame for the energy spike? Aren't the Israelis gone? Can't Gaza become its own state, produce its own energy?

The local rumor mill is abuzz with theories on the issue of the price rise itself. Some suggest that the outgoing Fateh party, in collusion with Israel and the United States, is trying to put the pressure on Hamas from the get-go, and so decided to hike prices. Of course, the Palestinian Energy Authority produces only 5% of Palestinian electricity, limited to production of biomass, small private electricity generation, and solar energy.

The Palestinian energy sector relies almost fully on imported energy, either directly from Israel or under the supervision of the Israeli authorities for oil products. Palestinians, by law, must rely on Israel for their energy needs according to the Paris Protocols-about 95% of the Palestinian electricity is generated by the Israel Electricity Corporation (IEC).

The Gaza Strip has a rich natural gas reserve in its territorial waters, which could be converted to electricity, used locally, sold abroad, and even transferred for use in the West Bank, which currently relies completely on Israel for electricity and natural gas.

But because Israel continues to maintain control the Palestinian coastline and borders, despite the much-lauded unilateral 'disengagment' of late last year, the PA cannot capitalize on this resource or market it at the moment. To quote Jimmy Carter, "circumscribed and isolated, without access to the air, sea, or the West Bank, Gaza is a non-viable economic and political entity.

Most Gaza families cannot afford gas ovens as a result of the outrageously high prices. They rely instead on small, single burner electric stovetops. Of course, electricity is likewise expensive here- in fact, Palestinians pay more for energy than any one else in the world.

The only difference is that electricity is provided in advance, without having to pay for the service as one would gas by the cylinder. So the result is that in many parts of Gaza, entire neighbourhoods haven’t paid their electricity bills in months because they simply cannot afford to.

One man told me his bill today turned up at 6000 shekels in overdue payments. The energy authority has no choice but to keep sending notices, but without shutting off their electricity, and usually ends up relying on donor agencies or charitable individuals to absorb the costs (part of the recent EU aid package is going to pay off the Israel Electricty Corporation). Some call it freeloading, others call it poverty and desperation.

These people aren’t living beyond their means-the means are just beyond them. I saw the home of the man who owes 6000 shekels. His daughters bake bread for their 8 member-family every other day on a small electric, locally made toaster oven with World Food Programme flour. They have no phone line, and a few light bulbs, and a fridge. That’s all.

Of course, I can’t help but think if we as Palestinians were given true sovereignty over our borders, and able to actually use and export our own gas and make our own electricity-or even if Israel reduced the prices of the electricity while this happens, all this could be avoided in the first place, millions of dollars could be saved, millions of people could live better lives. This is just one small, if technical, example of how Israel continues to 'fuel' the occupation in Gaza, following the equation of maximum control, and minimum responsiblity.


Blogger Amelopsis said...

Laila this example is very important - not small at all. It exemplifies the degree and extent to which control mechanisms are in place to ensure that the average Gazan cannot but live a life of struggle even if they go out of their way to live peacefully and without causing any conflict; as is so often the criticism from people who are either supporters of Israeli domination of the region, or, who in their ignorance simply think they are trying to look at both sides of this occupation.

It is another form, this time sanctioned by the laws of corporate industry, of collective punishment.

I thank you again for providing this insight, and may your cooking oil never run out. ;)

2:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your elected representatives have just given a Lebanese man (Samir Quntar) honorary Palestinian citizenship as his reward for murdering a four year old girl. Today I am really not inclined to care about Gazans' utility bills. Maybe if your representatives acquire a sense of decency, I'll try to care.

1:39 AM  
Blogger Amelopsis said...

Well, perhaps the Portuguese electric companies should triple the prices and then apply to the UN for some aid when the pensioners can't afford to pay?!

Not exactly reasonable to be comparing apples and watermelons.

4:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do agree with you Omri.
I live at EU and had to pay € 480 for eletricity,this month because we spent more than we should according to our "quote".
No money coming from nowhere,no one to cry or to blame,just wake up in the morning and work.
The Palestinians should try,it´s much healthier!!

5:05 PM  
Blogger Abu-Issa said... careful anonymous, your ignorance is showing...

5:43 PM  
Blogger Fatima said...

Wow, sounds alot like what's happening here in Baghdad! Except that here, electricity doesn't come on most of the day. I'm happy for this insight that you give us to the Palestinian situation.

6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is always the same stupid tactic used by Zionist in any chat or blog rooms, is to support each others as reinforcement as Anonymous and Omri in supporting each other. While they are doing that, they spread lies, lies, and continue spreading lies following Nazi tactics until it becomes mainstream news and fact!

Anonymous stupidly accuses the palestanians of laziness of not working hard...what better working hard than working against all odds under the criminal Israeli occupation!

Omri, stupidly compare apples and oranges...Um Yousef is not complaining about being poor if the conditions were normal, but when the criminal terrorist state of Israel creates the conditions on purpose, it is a different case.

7:32 PM  
Blogger umkahlil said...

And when seventy-eight percent of the population lives on two dollars or less a day, it's pretty damned difficult to pay the bills...

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laila is right about this.

Has the PNA ever tried to renegotiate the paris protocols and if so, how has Israel responded? Also, doesn't British Gas have a deal to develop the offshore Gaza fields?

10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So,again,that´s only because the Zionists (like someone above just wrote )support each other,we still surviving.YOU should learn a little bit about it as well. TWENTY TWO arab countries and NOBODY care about palestinians.But it´s much easier to blame Israel for every single desgrace you suffer.
Like they were not all those years under a corrupt government.
Ask a little bit money for Arafat´s wife.
What it´s their new Government,(recognized at the whole world as a terrorists,not the state of Israel which it´s your personal opinion,and nobody cares about what you think at all),going to do,to help their people?
I do feel sorry for the people which really wants the peace,and really have hope to have a "normal" life coexisting with Israel.
But Israel it´s there,and has the right to be recognized as a country,and not to be ignored.
NOBODY,of your brothers do care about the Palestinian people,and what the palestinians think about it? What do you expect from Israel?
The Government of Palestine does not even recognized Israel as a country,and do you expect,hugs and kisses?
My ignorance it´s not showing,we are just sick and tired of those cries,when I have to wake up early every day to pay my bills,and taxes.

11:01 PM  
Blogger Oleh Yahshan said...

As for the price of Gassoline - I pay more at the pump than you do (I filled up today - here in Israel - up north) - it was 5.70 Nis a ltr. You get you gas from Dor-Alon. Since Hamas is In power why don't they try to find another source (like import from Egypt via Sinai??).

Can I ask a Q? What have you guys done with the land that used to be Gush Katif?? Why isn't The Erez Ind. Area up and running?? Why isn't you Govt (Elected by your ppl) going out and trying to find investers to build projects and get you Economy going?

I ask this not to hit below the belt but because I would love to see a Gaza that is doing well, and that ppl are happy in it. I was Hoping, but instead all I still hear all day is that it's All Israel's Fault.

If you can find me a way to live with the 2 nations in peace side by side I would be vary happy, and I know that we would love to help you but we are scared to go into Gaza today (it's a scary place when 17 ppl get kidnapped in one day).

once again I will say I am trully looking for Answers (while Ignoring certain comments made here), and I hope that you might be able to give them to me. Thanks.

11:24 PM  
Blogger Anne Rettenberg LCSW said...

How could an industrial park survive when there's no possibility of trade due to Israel's closure of the borders to commercial traffic, oleh?

11:54 PM  
Blogger umkahlil said...

So, Oleh, I notice from your blog that you are a recent transplant from the states...must be great to have the opportunity to leave one country of which you're a citizen and go on over to another country to which you have no physical ties and then have the nerve to pass judgement on others. An epitome of the colonial mentality...and how much more water, stolen Palestinian water, I might add, do the illegal colonists from New York consume than the the point, I believe, that some Palestinians resort to getting water from unclean sources and there is a preponderance of water borne diseases...and if you want cheap gas...move on back to the always have that option...

1:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Elizabeth, the Karni crossing is closed because terrorists are planning to use the crossing to stage another attack, as they have in the recent past. The Israelis offered an alternative -- but the new government of the PA turned down the offer to benefit the residents of Gaza. Given that the government is run by the terrorists of Hamas, I am not terribly surprised. They have always prioritized Israeli deaths over Palestinian lives.

As per the Jerusalem Post:

Up until now the PA have rejected Israel's offer to use the Kerem Shalom crossing in southern Gaza or the Sufa workers crossing in central Gaza as temporary alternatives until the terror threat is lifted.

"The Palestinians have brought it on themselves," a security source told The Jerusalem Post. According to security officials, while there is no danger of Palestinians in Gaza suffering from starvation, they are suffering from price hikes on certain food products.

"It is inconceivable that the PA prefer to allow their people to suffer instead of taking up Israel's offer to use alternative crossings into Gaza until the terror threats are lifted. It is clearly a political decision on their part," the source said.

(end quote)

The topic of this article is that the EU monitors have fled the Rafah crossing because of the threat of kidnapping.

You can go right on blaming the Israelis -- or you can stop the terrorists once and for all, and have a real and lasting peace.

3:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Elizabeth, if the people of Gaza want the borders to reopen, all they have to do is stop the rocket attacks and bombings coming from Gaza.

5:14 AM  
Blogger Oleh Yahshan said...

First of All, Elizabeth, There are 2!! crossings to and from Gaza.
One in the North (the Erez Crossing) Into Israel - that is open most of the time and let's trucks through (mostly for Export via Ashdod).
the Other one is in the South - and that one should always be open - that one can go out into egypt and from there to the rest of the world without having to see one Israeli.

Closures on the Erez crossing happen when we get reports of terrorist activaty planned at the crossing or during cautios times (the Purim holiday In Israel - that in addition to 55 Threats by Terror Org.)

10:05 AM  
Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

umkahlil, since you're attacking me, I feel the need to defend myself. My husband mentioned this blog to me, and while I have no read it, if some-one is going to go out of their way to attack another person without knowing anything about them, I think I should speak up for myself. Let's see here... It's kind of hard to respond to what you wrote since you go on 5 or 6 various tangents that I don't really understand what you're trying to get at. But, let's try anyway, shall we?

You a complete hypocrit to say that another person "dares" to pass judgement on some-one else in the very same breath that you pass judgement on me. Who are you to claim to know what ties I do or do not have to the country I moved to? Would you actually stretch such vitrulent sentiment if I had moved to, say, Norway or even China or, hell, Canada? Would you go so far as to call me some coloniolist monster if I had moved to any other country? I do not have to justify my reasons for moving to another country, another country that happens to be my home-land. Would you have the nerve to make such grandiose statements had I been black and had moved to my ancestors home in Africa? I mean, who the hell are you to judge my choices?

Just in general, I would love to know what your definition of coloniolism is. People like you throw that term around without having the faintest idea what it actually means, or whether it has positive connotations to it. Where do you live? Oh, you're from germany. Yeah, you have every right to talk about coloniolist mentalities. You have every right to judge what a crime against humanity is. Just from you biography, the amount of knowledge that you actually about about the history of Israel/Palestine can fit on half of my finger nail, but that might be a little judgemental, so I won't go any further than that.

Your tangent about water, I really don't understand what you're getting at there. Where do you proport to have any proof that any Israeli steals "Palestinian" water? Unless.... you don't believe that Israel has the right to exist at all, so all water that Israelis drink belongs to the Palestinians? Is that what you're getting at? If not, then I have no idea what you're talking about, and I would like some documents to the effect that I am personally stealing water from the Palestinians. You really shouldn't throw accusations at people if you don't have any proof.

The Palestinians get water from unsanitary sources because their government has not touched the sanitation systems and sewage systems in more than a decade. The PA is in charge of their populations' water supply, not me. So, if you want to complain to some-one, complain to them. But, wait, it's easier to blame the evil coloniolist than to actually do something about the problem. You know, I hear Hamas is very touchy feely with Iran. Why doesn't Iran give their Palestinian brothers a cheap price on oil, so that their gas prices go down? It wouldn't cost the Iranians anything. Or, why isn't Saudi Arabi or Kuwait doing the same thing? Could it be because they don't really care what happens to the Palestinians?

No, you're right. It's my fault. Thank you for making me see the error of my ways. Oh, and, by the way, I'd like to thank your country for giving me the opportunity to move here in the first place. Had it not been for 3/4 of my family being butchered and systematically eradicated, I might never have been here today. I thank you from the bottom of my cold coloniolist and Zionistic heart.

3:07 PM  
Blogger Oleh Yahshan said...


First of all it is not me who just made Aliyah (moved back to Israel) but My wife . I have been living here since I was 3, and yes I am very connected to this place. I live in a place that 20 years ago was nothing more than an empty hill top.

I am not sure what the water comment had to do with anything, I would love it you could explain. And how is Water from: A. The Kinneret and B. from the Med. (Desalinated), Stolen from the Palistinians?? Or maybe the Water that's Under T.A. in the Aquifer there. over 90% of our Water comes from those places so I m not sure what Water I am steeling. It's also Nice that you belive something and present it as proof to your Agrument (" the point, I believe, that some Palestinians resort to getting water from unclean sources and there is a preponderance of water borne diseases").
And where is this Magical Place I can Find Cheap gas??

3:20 PM  
Blogger umkahlil said...

The theme of the blog post is control. Water is also controlled by the illegal occupier.

Under international law it is illegal for Israel to expropriate the water of the Occupied Palestinian Territories for use by its own citizens, and doubly illegal to expropriate it for use by illegal Israeli settlers

• Of the water available from West Bank aquifers, Israel uses 73%, West Bank Palestinians use 17%, and illegal Jewish settlers use 10%.

• Three million West Bank Palestinians use only 250 million cubic meters per year (83 cubic meters per Palestinian per year) while six million Israelis enjoy the use of 1,954 million cubic meters (333 cubic meters per Israeli per year), which means that each Israeli consumes as much water as four Palestinians. Israeli settlers are allocated 1,450 cubic meters of water per person per year.

Israel consumes the vast majority of the water from the Jordan River despite only 3% of the river falling within its pre-1967 borders. Israel now diverts one quarter of its total water consumption through its National Water Carrier from the Jordan River, whereas Palestinians have no access to it whatsoever due to Israeli closures.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Oleh Yahshan said...

one correction about the Water: the new plant in Ashkelon is set to go into full production in the next few months and provide us all (Israel/pals.) with more water to be able to use.

Now the big Question!!
Is the amount of water being used by Pals regulated? meaning if they tried to use more would they wake up one morning and not have water in thier pipes??

The answer is that the reason for the higher amount of water use in Israel has to do with the Higher amount of Industry in Israel. In Fact only about 20% of the water in Israel is used for Personal use the rest goes to other uses.

We do not use ANY water from the Jordon River since it's poluted (thanks to Syria and Jordan). the Water is pumped out of the Kinneret not the Jordan.

Also this does not account for the 100's of Pirate drlls that take place in Pal towns, that use up the water and do not enter the Stats.

6:02 PM  
Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Shaggy, did you not read the part about me saying that I do not have to justify my reasons for having to move to another country? Would you ask a Canadian, French, or any other immigrant what ties they had to that country to want to move there? I really don't understand what you would get out of knowing why I moved to Israel. Can you explain that to me?

Second of all, what difference does make if I'm Jewish? Last time I checked, more than 20% of the Israeli population is NOT Jewish, so what's the point of asking? You tell me your reasoning, and then we'll see.

11:02 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

thank you for visiting my blog.
Briefly, because I have a million things to write even this late at night- the different it makes is that ONLY Jews-even those who have never been to or or heard of Israel, even those with a fourth generation maternal link to Judaism, have the right to live in Israel and become Israeli citizens through the Law of Return while refugees like my husband and his family, natives of Haifa, cannot return to their OWN land. And their land is not Gaza, it is not the West Bank (that is to assume that they can even return there-they cannot, and Israel is the one who still controls the permit and family re-unification process). This is, pure and simple, immoral, illegal, and racist.

Not that we are even a state yet, or can choose to allow people to enter Gaza (again, Israel forbids any foreigners from entering Gaza via Rafah under the border access agreement), but anyone can become a Palestinian citizen. A significant minitority of Palestinian citizens in Gaza are Eastern European nationals.

I'm curious-do you live on a West Bank Hilltop? Wont' you face invetiable evacuation soon?

11:15 PM  
Blogger Oleh Yahshan said...

My Wife (Olah) and I actually Live In Jerusalem, The Hill top that might come up is my parents home. It is located in the Galilee Between Carmiel and Sachnin, and as far as I know nietherof those places are due for evacuation anytime soon.

Can I ask Why your husband left Haifa? and When? as far as I know there are quite a bit of Israeli Arabs still living there. Was he one of the many people that were told that as soon as the Arab Armies finish killing all the Jews in the new Israeli state, he would be able to return home??

Also Why isn't there a Palestinian State Today?? Why is it that even though there have been many opportunities to do so it has never in the past 55 years happened?? Why wasn't one declared On May 15th 1948 when the British Mandate Ended?? Why Wasn't one Declared by Arafat in 99-2000 like he said he would (I know he was too busy preparing for the intifadah)?? Why hasn't Hamas Made any statement to that same Affect??

11:45 PM  
Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Lail, thank you for your response. I first want to say that none of my comments are directed directly toward you. As I dont know you, I bear you no ill will, and I really want you to know that.

Secondly, I'm sorry, but I must disagree with what you're saying. Not just anyone can become Palestinian, especially not a Jew. Or, more to the point, a Jew is not allowed to become Palestinian, and the PA and its many factions have declared numerous times that no Jew will be allowed to live in its future state. If you would like proof to that effect, I can provide it for you with much ease. Your question, even if it's done sub-consciously, proves my point. Why would I have to be evacuated if I lived on a West Bank hill top? Can't I still live there even if it's your land? The answer, very simply, is no. If you do not agree with this, please take it up with your government or local officials.

Also, as you are surely aware of, other Palestinian minorities are being persecuted in your very own neighborhoods. Palestinian Christians are being persecuted every day. Before the Oslo Accords were signed, they made up 90% of the population of Bethlahem, and now they make up less than 10%, as they are being driven to leave by violence and harrassment. It's estimated that if conditions continue as they are now, there will be no Christians left. After Hamas was elected to power, the majority of Christians were quoted as saying that they are even more afraid now, as Hamas has made their ambtions known that they plan to enforce Sha'aria law and the dhimmi tax on non-Muslims. Is that good? This is in contrast to the fact that, again, more than 20% of Israeli CITIZENS are NOT Jewish and enjoy full equal rights and protection under the law.

Secondly, as you must know, Palestinian refugees are the only group classified as such for life and all eternity (Meaning, every generation is classified as refugees). The vast majority of my family was murdered, and their homes were stolen and confiscated. This was, of course, carried out by the Nazis. However, after the war, the surviving members of my family could not return to their former homes and villages. Numerous other European countries were forced and did absorb hundreds of thousands of refugees. My mother is not a refugee, and I am certainly not classified as a refugee. I can't return to the land that my grand and great grand-parents once inhabited. I'm sorry for your husband, but there are millions of people who cannot return the land or home that their family once inhabited, because once they leave, they disavow all claim to their former home. Every Jew that came to Israel, escaping persecution and oppression from countries like Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Morocco, Egypt, etc can NOT return to their the homes they were forced to flee.

There are many Palestinians who became and were allowed to become citizens when Israel was established. I live next to many of them and go to school with many of them. Then, unfortunately, there were those who made the conscious decision to retain their status of refugees because they believed or were told to believe that their Arab brethren would save them, and Israel would soon be obliterated. Why else would no other Arab/Muslim country, besides from Jordan, allow their Palestinian refugees to become full fledged citizens of their country? That has never happened to any other group.

If you believe the reason that Israel cannot, for its security and safety, openly accept every single "refugee" back into Israel is unjust or unfair, then that is your decision to make. But, it is not immoral, racist, or otherwise. Or, if you're going to make that accusation, then you must hold it across the board. Demand that every Jew kicked out of their home over the coure of just the past 60 years be allowed to return, and their holdings reinstated. Even if you want to argue with the established historical fact that the majority of Palestinians fled their homes of their own free will, not because they were being threatened, that's fine. But, hold the equation across the board, and hold it to everyone. Otherwise, your claims are nothing but hot air and hypocritical. I am sorry that your people are being played like pawns in a chess game by your Arab brethren. I truely am, but that's not my fault, nor is it Israel's.

Let me ask, what would happen if I tried to come to visit you?

12:12 AM  
Blogger Anne Rettenberg LCSW said...

"the Karni crossing is closed because terrorists are planning to use the crossing to stage another attack"

How do you know this? Because your government told you? Our government told us Iraq had WMDs.

Don't believe everything you hear. Especially when it comes from the government.

12:57 AM  
Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Ummmm... elizabeth, I hate to tell you this, but Iraq did have WMDs, but let's not get into that. You wouldn't believe it even if I shoved about 10 billion pages worth of documents in your face. Never let a little thing like facts get in the way of a good argument or tirade.

Here's a simple fact for you. The Karni Crossing is very simply a border and border crossing. Israel has the right to decide who to let through. What to let through, and if they want to close it for any given reason (like, hmmm... knowledge of an impending terrorist attack. Israel is the only country in the world that actually allows its enemy [Israel is in a state of conflict with the Palestinians] to continue to enter its borders to find work and make money and, oh yeah, to buy more munitions to make more bombs and mortars to attack Israel with.). Just like the US, for example, can decide who and what it lets into its borders. And, theoretically and with all the right of a sovereign state, to wake up tomorrow and declare that its border is closed off to all Canadians.

So, again, like everyone else who doesn't have one iota of what goes on here, look it up before you come out with some grandiose statement you know nothing about. Mmmmm....k?

2:39 AM  
Blogger umkahlil said...

Dr. Victor Batarseh, Christian mayor of Bethlehem:

He charged that the IOF were behind the migration of many Palestinian Christian families out of the city, noting, "Once the occupation is over and stability returns, all migrated families will comeback to their home land for sure".

9:45 AM  
Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Umkahlil, who owns the Palestine Report? Who did the interview? These poor people under the threat of death, and you actually think that this Mayor repeated these words of his own volition? You actually think that he wasn't threatened to say, "everything's fine. Don't worry about us". The statistics don't lie, and it's completely irrational to say that it is because of the Israeli Army. Unless, you believe all the nasty things about them, like they go into Bethlahem before Purim and take the blood of a gentile to bake into Hamentaschen. But, that's a discussion for another day.

It is actually historical fact that Christians have NOT lived peacefully besides Muslims for these "2,000 years." One good recent example. If the Muslims respect the Christians of Bethleham, why would they take over the Church of the Nativity and take it and its inahbitants hostage, and, on top of that, use the bibles laying around for toilet paper? If they respect the Christians, how would they ever do such a thing. Here are some more reputable newspapers that discuss the fears of the Chrisitians. I assume that these people are also fearing for their lives:
"A Christian pharmacist in Ramallah shares his fears:

"We're all afraid. We're worried about the future, that we'll become a second Iran."

It's a common sentiment in Ramallah, especially among the city's dwindling Christian community. Where Christians once made up an about 10 per cent of the population of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the share is believed to have fallen to less than 2 per cent as many left to escape both the rising Islamicization of society and the constant violence.
Bethlehem city councilor and local Hamas leader Hassan El-Masalmeh advocated a special tax on non-Muslim residents of the future Palestinian state. The tax, known as al-jeziya, is required by the Koran for dhimmis, second-class Jews and Christians. "We in Hamas intend to implement this tax someday," he told an interviewer, "We say it openly — we welcome everyone to Palestine but only if they agree to live under our rules."
These are acutely trying times for the Christian remnant residing in areas ‘governed’ by the Palestinian Authority. Tens of thousands have abandoned their holy sites and ancestral properties to live abroad, while those that remain do so as a beleaguered and dwindling minority. They have faced virtually uninterrupted persecution during the decade since the Oslo peace process began, living amidst a Muslim population that is increasingly xenophobic and restless. Chaos, nepotism, and corruption are endemic.

You want more examples? OK:$.asp
But in fact, for years under Israeli rule, Bethlehem was a peaceful tourist attraction for Christian pilgrims. Now, under Palestinian rule, it a hotbed of radicalism and terror.

▪ In 1995, Bethlehem was 62% Christian, but today is less than 20% Christian. Before 1995, Bethlehem had a majority-Christian municipal council, but when the Palestinian Authority took over the town, Arafat replaced the municipal council with a predominately Muslim council. Today Christians have virtually no political power in Bethlehem.

▪ Christian Arabs fled Bethlehem in droves after a radical Islamic wave began inciting against them. For example, in a Friday sermon on October 13, 2000, broadcast live on official Palestinian Authority television, Dr. Ahmad Abu Halabiya proclaimed: "Allah the almighty has called upon us not to ally with the Jews or the Christians, not to like them, not to become their partners, not to support them, and not to sign agreements with them."
At least 14 houses belonging to Christian residents of Taybeh, a West Bank village northeast of Ramallah, were torched by Muslims from neighboring Dir Jarir on Sunday, to avenge what they termed the dishonor of a Muslim woman. According to Taybeh residents, several dozen young men from Dir Jarir descended on their village before dawn, torched the homes and destroyed a great deal of other property.

"The young men, who were holding Molotov cocktails, threw them at the houses, which began to go up in flames, one after another," said Buthaina Sha'aban, a Taybeh resident and the sister of the town's mayor. "They vandalized parked cars and beat village residents who went out into the streets. Entire families were thrown into the street after their homes were torched. Not much remains of their property."
Yet off the record, many Christians in Bethlehem who were interviewed during the past week expressed deep concern over increased attacks by Muslims on members of their community. Moreover, most of them said that they were seriously considering moving to the US, Canada and Latin America, where many of their relatives already live….
The latest shocking episode again made its way to very few news consumers: Late Saturday night (Sept. 3), hundreds of armed Palestinian Muslims crying 'Allahu Akbar' descended on the West Bank Christian city of Taibe. For the next few hours, the mob terrorized the community, setting sixteen homes and multiple businesses on fire, looting valuables from both, and destroying a statue of the Virgin Mary.
In May 2002, 13 Palestinian terrorists forcibly took over of the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem. They stole gold objects from the monks, ate their scarce food, and urinated on the church floor. Tanzim commander Abdullah Abu-Hadid told Yediot Achronot that the seizure of the church was premeditated. He said: "The idea was to enter the church in order to create international pressure on Israel... We knew beforehand that there was two years worth of food for 50 monks. Oil, beans, rice, olives. Good bathrooms and the largest wells in old Bethlehem."

Well, does that all sound like the Christians are able to live in peace with their Palestinian Muslim brothers? You brought in one quote from a website that is not a reputable news source and is a purely propaganda website. Here are about a dozen articles, all from reputable and respectable news sources. All of them saying the exact opposite of this Mayor. Now, can you explain these articles?

1:44 PM  
Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Shaggy, read my musins again. I never said that my grand parents "gave up" their status of refugees. The UN decided that. It is simple. Holocaust survivors were not given the "right of return" to their old homes. It just wasn't possible. That is why they became Displaced Persons. Millions of refugees were absorbed by other countries. There was no special status given to them, saying that every generation of them would be considered refugees and allowed to return to their previous homes when the situation allows for that to happen. The Palestinian refugees are forbidden, by the neighboring Arab/Muslim countries, to become citizens, except for Jordan. There is no other refugee group that has had this happen to them.

Your playing on semantics is funny and oh so useless. It is very obvious that I mean that I can't simply walk up to the home that my grand-parents were forced to evacuate, and tell the current inahbitants to leave because I have the right to return there. Or, can I? You tell me.

Again, shaggy, there is no point in arguing with you as you obviously have no knowledge of the 1948 War of Independence. There is also the obvious fact that had the Palestinians accepted the UN Partition Plan, they would never have fled their homes in a subsequent war. Palestinians were offered full fledged citizenship and no harm if they stayed in their homes. Those that did were given said citizenship and are living here today. There is a small minority that were forced to flee their home because they were in the path of fights. The vast majority, however, who did flee were told to because the invading Arab Armies and their Palestinian leaders told them that the war would be over soon, and that they would have all of Palestine. They were told not to believe the Israelis' cries of peace. Well, sorry for them that they were wrong. You can't scream foul after the fact. And, it is also a fact that the Arab countries are no granting their Palestinian refugees citizenship because they still believe that all of Israel will be eradicated, and if the Palestinians became citizens of their country, they wouldn't have a pawn to use in their games to control the region.

Why don't you take the time to open up a history book and learn something. If you like, I can recommend some good ones.

1:57 PM  
Blogger umkahlil said...

Lutheran Bishop Younan:“We are communicating to the world that we are one nation, one cause, seeking justice and reconciliation – Christians and Muslims."

Khalid Amayreh writes:

"According to Bishara Awad, dean of the Bible College in Bethlehem, Israeli persecution is first and foremost to blame for Christian (and Muslim) emigration.

" 'We, Muslims and Christians alike, have been on the receiving end of oppression since 1967. The occupation is the root cause of economic deterioration. Some people can't live under constant pressure for a long time; so they emigrate when they are no longer able or willing to withstand oppression.'"

Palestinian Christians are not suffering at the hands of the Muslims, but at the hands of the Israelis, and the bullet-scarred statue of the Virgin Mary in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is a poignant testimony to this fact. We are witnessing before our very eyes the gradual de-Christianization and de-Islamization of Arab Jerusalem due to persistent Israeli measures aimed at deliberately destroying the Arab character of the City, while the Western world, spearheaded by successive U.S. Administrations, displays utter insensitivity, if not outright acquiescence, to this demographic crime. Raja Mattar

4:14 PM  
Blogger umkahlil said...

Lutheran Bishop Younan:“We are communicating to the world that we are one nation, one cause, seeking justice and reconciliation – Christians and Muslims."

Khalid Amayreh writes:

"According to Bishara Awad, dean of the Bible College in Bethlehem, Israeli persecution is first and foremost to blame for Christian (and Muslim) emigration.

" 'We, Muslims and Christians alike, have been on the receiving end of oppression since 1967. The occupation is the root cause of economic deterioration. Some people can't live under constant pressure for a long time; so they emigrate when they are no longer able or willing to withstand oppression.'"

Palestinian Christians are not suffering at the hands of the Muslims, but at the hands of the Israelis, and the bullet-scarred statue of the Virgin Mary in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is a poignant testimony to this fact. We are witnessing before our very eyes the gradual de-Christianization and de-Islamization of Arab Jerusalem due to persistent Israeli measures aimed at deliberately destroying the Arab character of the City, while the Western world, spearheaded by successive U.S. Administrations, displays utter insensitivity, if not outright acquiescence, to this demographic crime. Raja Mattar

4:14 PM  
Blogger umkahlil said...

About 34 massacres have been reported during the Al Nakba, all part of the Israeli military campaign. Many more are still yet uncovered. The pattern is clear. Villages are surrounded from all sides except one, leaving the way open for escapees to spread the horror stories. Young men are shot against a wall, thrown in a well or burnt alive. Their houses are burnt and later demolished. Even bacteriological warfare was used by poisoning wells and infecting drinking water with malaria and typhus. That was the case in Gaza in the summer of 1948 as Ben Gurion admitted in his diary.

4:42 PM  
Blogger umkahlil said...

Dr. Abu Sitta shatters the Zionist lie that the havoc they wreaked on Palestinians was the result of attacking Arab armies. Perhaps now the disinformation that Arab armies attacked tiny Israel will finally go the way of the 'land without a people for a people without a land' malicious lie. " ...half of the total Palestinian refugees were created by Zionist militias while Palestine was still under British mandate and before the establishment of the Jewish state . . . it gives credence to the claim that Arab militias were responding to Zionist ethnic cleansing when they came to Palestine to save what little was left."

4:46 PM  
Blogger umkahlil said...

Al Nakba Anatomy
The Palestinians’ dispossession and wholesale ethnic cleansing of the population is unparalleled in modern history. It is called al Nakba, a Palestinian holocaust.

The gravity of this catastrophe is amplified by the fact that it was not a single act of war (as the case for Nazi atrocities). It is in fact a premeditated, carefully executed and continuous process still being carried out to this day, 53 years after the first onslaught in 1948. Reading the newspapers today or watching the TV news is a grim reminder of the same dispossession and expulsion of 1948, albeit on a different scale, style and location.

It is therefore important to understand how the original Nakba took place. This is best illustrated in a series of maps.

Read more:

5:03 PM  
Blogger Oleh Yahshan said...

I am looking at the last link you sent and I am trying to put the No. Together in My head.

Can you help me out on this one??
Can you tell me how many Pals. Lived in The British Madate Area In 1947? How many Became Refugees? how many were Massecured? and how many Stayed In Israel?

I have one of the No. According to the Site ( there are 935,000 Refugees.

Now I need the other ones. Thanks.

10:16 PM  
Blogger umkahlil said...

Dr. Abu Sitta's Atlas of Palestine contains this information. It may be ordered at

Through the Institute of Palestine Studies you may also order Dr. Walid Khalidi's fine books in either English or Arabic:

Before Their Diaspora

All That Remains

Might I also suggest Dr. Khalidi's From Haven to Conquest; it is also available through the Institute of Palestine Studies.

12:18 AM  
Blogger Oleh Yahshan said...

Well if you have the info why don't you share it with us. It will help us, you claim certain things based on this site, I used one of the Numbers from that site, I would like you to help me fill in the gaps. once we do that we can actually disscous the Issue.
I looked through the Site and could not find reffrence to this Information. I found some on other sited but I am not sure how good they are (I am sure you wouldn't like most of them - "naa Too Jewish" [this is nothing more than a quote from Blazzing Saddles and has no other intention but Humor])

12:52 AM  
Blogger umkahlil said...

More information on refugees:

1:48 PM  
Blogger Oleh Yahshan said...

Why is it that Every site I go to (also palestinian) has a different No. of Refugees, and I am not talking about thousends or even 10s of thousends.

The site you showd Yesterday talked about over 950,000 Refugees. this one has 730, 000. I have seen other sites (Plaestineremebered) that say about 550-600,000 Refugees.

Same thing About the Massecures - I have seen numbers from a few hundred to over 100,000.

This is why I need help getting the Actuall numbers. What do you think the numbers are??

Also Can you explain to me how 600,000 Jews (including children) managed to Expel over 350,000 Palestinians? Why didn't they try to defend them selves from these Horrible people - Surely we all know there were more Pals. than Jews Living here, how did these little "terrorist" (quoteing your site) - That had no more than 20,000 people in all (who were also busy fighting off Attacks by Pals as well), manage to do so much Damage??

3:02 PM  
Blogger umkahlil said...

Israeli historians on the ethnic cleansing.

I have quoted Palestinian Christian after Palestinian Christian, including church leaders regarding Palestinian Christian and Muslim relations in earlier comments. I am also a Palestinian Christian.

6:49 PM  
Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

OK, umkhalil, again, I quoted other sources saying contradicting things, and you still have not answered my question. In fact, it seems as if you are going out of your way to NOT answer my questions. Instead, you choose to direct me to websites that are, in the very least, less than reputable and are second hand sources.

But, for the sake of argument, let's follow your logic. The Muslims and Muslims terorist groups are the only ones threatening and actually are carrying out attacks aimed at wiping Israel off the map and driving all the Jews into the sea. And, how does the deviously brilliant Israeli Army react? They go in and try to get rid of the CHRISTIANS. Yes, you are absolutely right. That makes a lot of sense, and the rational is brilliant.

12:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that is sad 2 hear.
i can't believe that the price of electricity is so high; it makes me realize that i should be more thankful that i a content life.

What's really sad is that the developed nations (I specifically mean the EU & US) turn a blind eye 2 to the constant abuse of Palestine land and it's people by Israeli forces. The world cannot and must not accept this.

1:55 PM  

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