Palestinian Nakba- 370,000 'internally displaced persons' (IDPs) within the Israeli state.

Inevitably, the 65th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba - Catastrophe - was overshadowed by calls to exercise refugees' right of return. Although the vast majority of Palestinians live in forced exile and the focus tends to dwell on their plight, there is now an estimated 370,000 'internally displaced persons' (IDPs) within the Israeli state. They are also denied the right to return to their homes and villages. No Nakba anniversary can pass without remembering them.

Unlike their compatriots in the wider Diaspora, the displaced Palestinians in Israel enjoy little international assistance and far less protection. Ever since the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) stopped providing services for them in 1952, they have remained refugees in their own land and second-class citizens in the state established around them.

From the very first, Israel never intended to accord equal rights to the 150,000 Palestinians who remained on their land as 750,000 of their compatriots were being driven into exile, despite an undertaking given in its 'declaration of independence' to 'uphold the full social and political equality of all its citizens, without distinction of religion, race or sex'. The Palestinians have always been regarded as a 'fifth column' and a threat to the security of the state. As such, they were subjected to military rule from 1948 until 1966.

Under Israeli law, the IDPs are present in so far as they are obliged to pay taxes but absent in terms of their rights to employment, health care, water and education. They were assigned the absurd legal designation, unique to Israel, of 'present-absentees'.

Sponsor a mini-Ark for Palestinian children

Sponsor a mini-Ark attract attention to the suffering of children living under blockade

Despite difficulties, Gaza's Ark is moving ahead!

4h Annual BDS Conference in Bethlehem - report

Detailed report here on what looks to have been an excellent 4th Annual BDS Conference held in Bethlehem in June this year. 700 people attended. PA Minister forced to leave platform due to criticisms of inaction. Many live link ups. Palestinians certainly support the international BDS campaign -



the picture accompanying your report on the new Middle East peace talks (World News 26 July) showing Jewish emigrants from the US arriving at Tel Aviv Airport captures the essence of the apartheid nature of the Israeli state.

The infamous Law of Return allows anyone with remotely Jewish connections to travel to Israel, become an Israeli citizen and in many cases receive financial aid to live in illegal settlements built on Palestinian land in the West Bank. Meanwhile, the descendants of Palestinians from Jerusalem, the West Bank or Gaza cannot even visit their homeland, let alone return to live there. Those Palestinians who do live there, whether within 1948 Israel or the Occupied Palestinian Territory, are subject to a Kafkaesque cocktail of discriminatory laws, house demolitions, expulsions, land theft, travel restrictions, harassment and deathly terror attacks by an occupying military.

The American Government’s intentions are highly suspect given its own total support for the occupier over the occupied, its refusal to deal with the mandated representatives of the people of Gaza, and its perverse insistence on the ever illusive chimera of a two state solution that its own policies have rendered unattainable.

Yours etc.

PRO Irish Anti War Movement,
PO Box 9260,
Dublin 1.

The Road to Nowhere - Kerry Mideast Journey

The Road to Nowhere - Kerry Mideast Journey

By Eric Margolis July 21, 2013  Here we go again, another round of Mideast peace talk kabuki.

A process in which Washington, Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization hold intense talks over holding talks, a ritual as stylized as the traditional Japanese dance. In the end, it’s the same empty, cynical ritual, year after year.

This past week, US Secretary of State John Kerry has been leading the dance in the latest attempt to restart peace talks between Israel and the Mahmoud Abbas’ PLO. As of this writing, the talks appear off. But they may be on again just as quickly. It depends on how much Washington offers its feuding clients, Israel and the PLO.

Watching this annual charade is both painful and exhausting. It makes cynics of the most idealistic hopers for Mideast peace.

Israel holds all the cards, and knows it. Jewish settlements, roads, and security walls are roaring ahead, relentlessly gobbling up the occupied West Bank, Golan and their water resources. West Bank Palestinians are being crammed into future native Bantustans patterned after South Africa’s apartheid-era reservations for blacks.

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