Monday, 16 January 2012

Lift, Lifta

Last year, a group called, “1948 Lest We Forget,” filed an application to the World Monuments Fund (WMF) for Lifta, a Palestinian village, to be included on the 2012 World Monuments Watch list. The reason the WMF were chosen was because they’re an independent organization (registered as a charity in New York) who require no national or state endorsement for nominations.  They are linked to the saving of many historical and treasured places in the world.
 Research was carried out by the group- Lifta’s history, architecture, cultural and social character and they had, “found it to be an embodiment of everything Palestinian.”
However, Lifta’s history is being somewhat hidden behind its very own domed roofs.
Lifta is the only Palestinian village that has been left as it was before the Zionist war in 1948, when 500 Arab villages throughout Palestine were demolished by colonial Zionists. The now depopulated Lifta was built by its own inhabitants, who constructed, “cube-like buildings,” topped by the well-known domed roofs. The domed roofs were made from the “single natural material that the inhabitants employed”- The Special Jerusalem Stone. The community had built their houses without hindering the natural beauty of the area or destroying the gentle hills- the houses had looked and felt like it belonged there. Many of the homes remain intact to date, in view of the speciality of the Jerusalem stone. The village itself dates back to biblical times of Muslims, Christians and Jews living harmoniously.
Lifta was occupied in 1948, one of the main strategic reasons being that it was in close proximity to Jerusalem. Both Muslim and Christians were evicted from their homes by use of, “brutal, racist tactics,” and the Jews given place to stay, thereby achieving the Zionist goal of ethnic cleansing.
Currently, the few inhabitants are Jewish, but most of Lifta has been kept deserted by Israeli authorities. In an attempt to stop the original owners from claiming their land, squatters, drug dealers and gangs have been roaming the area destroying the domed roofs of the houses. Lifta now faces demolition by private developers at the hands of The Israel Land Administration (ILA) who will eventually rid this village off any Palestinian history and memory. The ILA’s plans include a, “building of 212 housing units exclusively for Jews, a luxury hotel, a shopping mall and a museum.”  In addition to the current efforts of driving the original occupants away from attempting to claim their homes, the redevelopment is also in aid of totally nullifying any potential efforts made by the depopulated at getting their homes back. They were evicted, and by law, no longer hold the right to return to their land- they cannot gain citizenship nor return to their homeland.
 Daphna Golan, a Professor of Law at the Hebrew University described the move as being primarily political, having a face of rejuvenation in an ‘abandoned village.’ “It is a building plan geared towards erasing the past,” she says. “In other words, serving to continue the process of judaization of the land- a policy which aims to eradicate Palestinian history, memory and presence.”
The museum, if built, confirms some claims that ILA plans are, “aimed at seizing the identity and completing the Judaization process of the last remaining Palestinian village,” as the museum will only display Jewish history. Adding more to the attempt at wiping Palestinian history out, is the ILA’s designation of Lifta’s cemetery as “public land” in the plan, allowing it to be used as land for future construction in time to come.
Why is Lifta important, really?
Lifta is politically important, above the obvious architectural, social and cultural reasons. Politics played a part in the “formation and evolution” of Lifta’s architecture. After being rejected by the WMF, 1948 Lest We Forget questioned if it was for Lifta’s political history, that they were de-classified off the Watch List. The group had posted this regarding their attempt at getting Lifta on to the Watch List:
“Lifta, without doubt, is considered a “hot potato” because it is as much a symbol of the Palestinian tragedy as it is a physical manifestation of it. Could it have been, we tried to guess, Lifta’s “political” dimension which de-classified it from the Watch List?
In order that a future re-nomination of Lifta may be attempted, it was important for us to get an absolute understanding of the reasons why Lifta was de-selected in order that we
may avoid derailment in the future. We spoke to Avrami at the WMF and, after a brief discussion, we asked her, “was the decision to exclude Lifta a political one?” The answer came in an email about two weeks later and it confirmed our worst fears:
“The Watch nomination for Lifta village incorrectly located the site in the Palestinian Territory, when it is in fact within the current borders of Israel [our emphasis]. Factual inaccuracies are something taken into consideration in the review and selection process.”
It is worth repeating here that our application was accepted and validated back in February and there were no questions raised at the time, or since, about Lifta’s geographical location. Our application had clearly showed Lifta’s coordinates on the map which accompanied the application and positively placed it inside the Corpus Separatum zone designated by the 1947 Partition Plan under UN Resolution 181.
As the reason for disqualifying Lifta is seen now to be its geographical location and not necessarily the other criteria, we felt that we were about to be embroiled in a debate on an
issue which sits at the core of the Israel-Palestine question.
For the sake of historical correctness, we had no choice but to rely on international conventions to safeguard Lifta from physical oblivion. An extract of the UN Resolution 181 Partition map was sent to the WMF with another map showing the UN designated are of Jerusalem and its environs within the Corpus Separatum international zone. Lifta sat comfortably inside that zone, and as the WMF response emphasized “the current borders of Israel,” we also sent the WMF another extract of the UN map showing the 1949 Armistice Lines which wrapped around West Jerusalem and the village of Lifta at the cessation of hostilities.
We explained that these lines are exactly what they were meant to be according to international legal definitions: “Armistice Lines represent where the hostilities between the parties ceased until the warring parties reach final agreement.” This is in accordance with international law and the Geneva Convention.
In its response dated 1 November, the WMF wrote:
“World Monuments Fund is a private, not-for-profit organization that undertakes the World Monuments Watch as part of advocacy work on behalf of heritage around the world. We are not an intergovernmental organization that must abide by international conventions …” (emphasis).
However, the WMF is part of the United Nations, listed under the “Official Relations” section of UNESCO. By definition, therefore, it is required to respect international law (“UNESCO - World Monuments Fund).
But as is usually the case at the UN, rights take a back seat to politics. The US State Department’s “Diplomacy In Action” section created the US Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation, which has donated over $2 million to the WMF. In view of the fact that the US has punished UNESCO for admitting Palestine as a member on 31 October 2011, the political link between the State Department funding and the WMF cannot be underestimated.”

They further stated that the village’s fate seemed to be directly relevant to the organization’s work:
“Bonnie Burnham, the WMF’s president, in a 2006 interview with the National Trust for Historic Preservation: “Time, war, and politics are destroyers of monuments. Which is the biggest threat? In a global context, unquestionably, the biggest is war. In addition to destroying buildings, armed conflict destroys the entire national capacity to deal with heritage” (“The Short Answer: Bonnie Burnham”).
If the WMF was prepared to address that threat, surely it would be acting to save Lifta.”

If the ILA’a plans are approved, a Jewish community will thrive in Lifta, a Palestinian place that neither belonged to them nor given to them, but stolen from Palestine- history and land. The early biblical depiction of harmony and peace between Christians and Jews may never be remembered, but the prevalence of the colonial Zionist regime will always be remembered.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Israel and South Africa- the tie never broken

If you're reading this, you know what Zionism is. What you might not know, however, is the relationship South Africa and Israel bore during Apartheid South Africa. The nations held a relationship of co-production in weaponry, as well as economic and military collaboration.

Within the current South African Intelligence service, there are openly a number of zionists who aren't afraid to use South Africa's resources for their own agenda, despite the recent declaration by South Africa that Israel has been declared an Apartheid, and Zionist nation.

Their goals aren't concealed; two of which have been clearly prevalent. The promotion of Islamophobia in South Africa, and the attempt to turn previously disadvantaged- now the elite black community, against the 4th generation Muslims who, alongside the denser black population, have fought against Apartheid within the African National Congress (ANC- ruling party) and other freedom parties.

Zionist, Barry Gilder, co-ordinator of the inter-agency National Intelligence Co-ordinating Committee (NICOC) mentioned that, "agents were watching certain individuals and organizations, including foreign visitors, who might be involved in international terrorism," widely recognized as being directed at South African Muslims who,"vehemently oppose Israel’s occupation of Palestine and Israeli apartheid policies against Palestinians."

South African and Israeli Jews, since the Apartheid era, have had control of most of the South African economy. By pushing the fantasy of presence of Al-Qaeda in South Africa, people close to the Zionist regime of Israel have blindly covered up the crimes of gambling, white slavery and drug trade, headed by Israeli mafia since the Apartheid era.

Barry Gilder, just a mere example of a zionist, has sounded a number of false alarms of terrorists in South Africa, along with other zionists (most of whom are members left from the dissolved Apartheid era National Intelligence Service), but no case has ever been brought up against any Muslim due to lack of evidence to substantiate the accusations. Israeli crime syndicates are buried deep beneath the images of freedom, post-Apartheid and a rainbow nation.

The South African National Intelligence Agency was headed by Ronnie Kasrils, a Jew who openly detested Israeli policies towards Palestinians, but his face as the image of intelligence was not enough. The agency is being moulded into an instrument of Israel's anti-Islam crusade and South Africa's resources and being blood sucked, used for the benefit of the Zionist regime.

Recently, a delegation of Israelis were sent to South African campuses "to create some doubt in South African students minds" and were slapped around, nothing to say or do. They left, tail between the legs.
This is the review by BDS South Africa: "At a public level their propaganda was decisively thwarted. At a private level, the delegation attempted to gain some sort of recognition through setting up back door meetings with some political figures and groups (In the Western Cape, for example, they had a small meeting with the local youth branch of the Democratic Alliance). Their lobbying efforts were clearly limited by the strength of our public campaign. " They also stated that the party originally claimed to have been self-funded and diverse but dropped that after it was exposed that they were government trained, university-funded and their official intake criteria listed the (racist) ideology of Zionism as a requirement. The events held were poorly attended, and those who did attend were mainly from the Israel's local pro-Israeli hosts and partners. Another review was: "The Israeli delegation's PR mission to South Africa was a failure. If anything it has strengthened the resolve of South African students to further the boycott movement of Israel." Covering of the Israeli mission to South Africa can be viewed:

This brings in to light a previous statement. The economy of South Africa is very much still controlled by the Jews, and the display of university funding clearly demonstrates the prevalence of Israeli supporting members and/or zionists.

So, the relationship between South Africa and Israel may be a good relationship based on co-functioning as a result of previous (Apartheid) ties held, or it may be a bad relationship based on the declaration by South Africa of Israel being an Apartheid, Zionist nation, but fact remains that whatever the relationship may be, South African politics, universities, policies and the economy's weight are shifted skillfully by many zionists. Whether they can proved as zionists is not my mission, mine is simply to make you aware that a nation that overcame Apartheid, that boasts that they're a rainbow nation, hosts major worldly events and is now the most modern country in Africa still maintains ties with a nation that illegally occupies Palestinian land, allows the South African economy to be run by zionists who haven't left, and a nation that hides behind lies that South African students look right through.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Virgin Blogger

So, I'm a virgin blogger.
I've only ever read blogs; never attempted to post my own, nor comment on one, but I'm bored- of shutting up, that is.

And that's exactly what my first post will be: NOT SHUTTING UP.

Why do you stay silent? Why do you think your opinions should be kept to yourself? Is it because the person's blog you just read was swamped with big words you didn't understand and readers agreeing with just about every word? Is it because you think, "Hey, what's one person's view gonna do?" Well, one person's view is not just his. Its a view that could be, or is currently shared, regardless of how absurd it may be. It's shared by the people who speak out for the voiceless, and the people who choose to be voiceless.

This is not an inspirational, motivational post that after reading, you'll feel like a presidential candidate, but just a few simple words to encourage you to speak out, just as I am.

To hear, to speak, to think- those are qualities that some don't possess. So, if you are blessed, then why not voice yourself? Why not feel like the person who's just gained 500 followers or the person who's just been praised because they've simply been brave enough to speak out. No one's saying go on a wild rampage and throw out accusations, racism and other crap, but if you take an interest in being a citizen of the the world, then don't sit back and watch people who you could stand with. Don't stand on the side and be a wimp. In today's world, networking is the easiest, quickest way to speak out. You might gain some haters, some who share your concerns, and some who think what you're saying makes no difference in the world. After all, you're just one person, unknown to the world, sitting in front of your screen and silently thinking. Of course. Except, you forget, that's where the most opinionated people sit too. That's where the person's who's post you're reading is sitting.

So, don't be a sitting duck. Sit, and eat duck. Eat 'em all.