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– It has been 67 years since the occupation of 78% of Palestine in 1948
– It has been 48 years since the occupation of the other 22% of Palestine
(WB and Gaza) that started 1967
By Mazin Qumsiyeh
– Today there are 12.5 million Palestinians 7.2 million of us are
refugees/displaced people (six million from the ethnic cleansing of
1948-1950, 843,737 from 1967 Naksa, and 345,217 internal displacement
within the green line, 57,669 internally displaced in 1967 areas.
– UNRWA has 5.4 million registered refugees and has established and
operates in 59 official refugee camps (17 unofficial camps).
-Camps are unstable. As an example 162,000 used to inhabit Yarmuk Camp in
Syria, most of them were displaced in the last three years and 1093 were
killed or died of starvation in the besieged camp. A camp Imam gave a fatwa
allowing the consumption of dog, cat, and donkey meet. Desperate
Palestinians are also drowning in the Mediterranean Sea and dying in
places like Gaza and Syria, when they run out of options. Malnutrition,
birth defects, cancer, and other health issues are skyrocketing.
-When the Balfour declaration was issued in 1917, there were some 850,000
Palestinians only 7% of us were Jewish-Palestinians (and most Jews were
also opposed to Zionism).
– Roughly 6.5 million Palestinians still live in Palestine though they are
restricted to use 8.7% of the land (Qumsiyeh calculation) and have no
sovereignty even in those remaining areas.
-roughly 6.5 million Israeli Jews live in historic Palestine, vast majority
of them immigrants or children of immigrants. They have access to 91.3% of
the land and have physical sovereignty over 100% of it.
-Some 1500-1800 new Jewish Israeli NGOs are registered every year. Some 100
new Palestinian NGOs are registered every year. In total historic Palestine
has the highest number of NGOs per population size of any place on earth.
Many if not a majority of these NGOs (Israeli and Palestinian) increase
corruption and graft and help sustain the status quo of apartheid and
racism. A virtual industry of foreign aid is built around “peace” and
“development” but actually entrench the apartheid system.
-By contrast, millions of good people with very limited resources do
amazing work to help Palestine move forward. They include cadres of
volunteers, the International solidarity movement, student bodies around
the world, Palestine solidarity groups and more.
-In its ongoing policy of using citizens of Gaza as laboratory test
subjects for new weapon development, Israel killed in its attack in Summer
2014 on Gaza 2147 Palestinians. Most of those were civilians including 531
children and 302 women. The Israeli assault also left 11,231 injured
including 3258 Palestinian children
-Israeli Jewish public voted in the most right wing government in Israeli
history including ministers now serving that support ethnic cleansing and
– There is increasing public support in Western countries for human rights
of Palestinians and also for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) to
help end racism and ethnic cleansing
– By contrast, thanks to massive lobby efforts and media control,
politicians in Western Countries are acting as Israel’s henchmen including
in efforts to combat BDS (and even suppressing free speech)
– There is increasing awareness of Western government hypocrisy/double
standard in regards to application of International humanitarian law and
UN resolutions. This itself drives extremism and notions of “might makes
right”. Even among elites in power, they now realize that it is an
impossible mission to claim to fight spread of a religious state in Syria
and Iraq (ISIS) while maintaining a racist expanding religious state in
Palestine (Jewish State of Israel)
Bottom line: There is lots of suffering that started with Zionist
colonization and exacerbated with Arab leader betrayal but the Palestinian
cause remains strong thanks to people resistance around the world. Together
we are charting path to freedom and dignity against all odds. Key question
is what each of us is doing personally to help or hurt (looking in the
Note: Some of this information is from a summary issued by the Negotiations
Affairs Department (an independent group advising Palestinian negotiators).