Al-Awda’s 10th Annual International Convention

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right To Return Coalition convened its very successful 10th Annual International Convention recently between September 7-9, 2012 with the theme Strategies for the Return.

As one of the founders of this great and genuine organization this is always an exciting time of year for me. After over 6 hours of flying time which included a stop on the way to California I landed at San Diego Airport and was picked up by one of my colleague’s and almost immediately headed to LAX Airport in Los Angeles to pick up international artist and guest of honor Marcel Khalife which was 2 hours of driving distance. The nice part of California is everything seems like a straight shot so it makes long distance driving a bit more bearable. Anyone who organizes Palestinian events knows there’s no time for jet lag during functions like this it’s on the go the entire time catching up on last minute details for the event.

The next day Friday, September 7 Al-Awda’s Convention kicked off at the Al-Awda National Center with a meet and greet of many activists from around the country with a list of exceptional speakers. Zahi Damuni from the host committee Al-Awda San Diego started off with a welcoming speech to everyone in attendance and tied in the importance of supporting Al-Awda which unconditionally supports the right of return of Palestinian refugees from the river to the sea.

Soon after solidarity messages came from the Latino and Philippine community in California amongst others. Professor Daoud Assad from the Washington, DC metro area gave his talk on the water situation in Palestine and the long term affects it has on the Palestinian people with its dangerous contamination. The details involved caught people’s attention as this topic is rarely heard of even amongst pro Palestinian crowds. The opening night to the convention came to a close with the great talk and discussion lead by Al-Awda’s own Jess Ghannam from the San Francisco Bay area. The topic was about the Arab Spring from Tunisia to Syria and how it affects Palestine and its refugees in the Arab region. Intrinsic details about Syria were discussed by Jess and people in attendance which included members of the Syrian community and one notable activist Mazen al Mokoudad a leading member of the Syrian community in California and a very dedicated Al-Awda coordinating committee member and pro Palestine activist.

Day 2 of Al-Awda’s Convention and main Banquet night with Marcel Khalife started off during the day with a student summit spearheaded by Al-Awda San Diego representative Lorain Rihan who also heads San Diego State University (SDSU) Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter. Many of the students present in the summit were members of SJP and other orgs in their respective colleges/universities. The discussions were very interesting ranging from pro Palestine groups being harassed by school administrators for their roles in supporting Palestine activism and whether or not to engage dialogues with Zionist organizations on campus. There was a resounding sentiment of not normalizing with proponents of Zionist based groups. It was great seeing the high visibility of students at the convention supporting Al-Awda’s work.

The main day also included a hot debate about the Palestine National Council’s proposed election process which includes Palestinians in the diaspora. The debate consisted of two speakers Dr. Jamal Nassar and Dr. Zahi Damuni both from California which included a discussion with the convention attendees. Jamal Nassar was making an argument for the PNC elections as Zahi Damuni was against. Both speakers were convinced about their views and different opinions were also heard from the crowd. Very good arguments were made on both sides however the voices in the crowd seemed overwhelmingly critical of the PNC leading them to believe that the election process would not work.

Great speakers spoke throughout the evening like Allison Weir Executive Director of ifamericansknew.org who is always a pleasure to listen to due to the hard hitting statistics involved in her presentations which was well received. Other solidarity speakers were present as well like John Parker from the International Action Center and Larry Christian.

Al-Awda’s Amani Barakat headed the Award ceremony for Rachel Corrie’s parents who Skyped us live at the convention directly from Haifa, Palestine. They were eager and enthused about being heard during Al-Awda’s Landmark 10th Annual Convention. After they gave their moving accounts about their daughter the martyr Rachel Corrie’s recent trial they received a standing ovation by the hundreds in attendance at the convention.

After a long and productive day at Al-Awda’s convention it was time for the magnificent international artist and guest of honor Marcel Khalife to perform for the hundreds in attendance at the main Al-Awda Convention Banquet. The emcees and large crowd cheered him on and welcomed him to the stage for his grand performance. Marcel started off with a few heart warming words for his love of the Palestinian Cause and by saying he was “One of the millions around the world who loves Palestine.” He started off by playing the very popular song Oummi which was special requested by the participants in the convention and he played a few Palestinian songs that included 3lal Hodood (At the borders). The mood was very high and energetic throughout his performance. The enthusiastic crowd sang along with the maestro and his wonderful Oud instrument. It was an honor to sing along with the man who pays tribute and carries the words of Palestinian National Poet Mahmoud Darwish. It was a night to remember a night to cherish with the ever humble Marcel Khalife. The night concluded with Palestinian chants requested by activists across the room and echoes of Free Palestine, Long Live Palestine were chanted and repeated numerous times ending the convention Palestinian style a vow to liberate Palestine from the river to the sea!

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Strategies For The Return: Landmark Tenth Annual International Al-Awda Convention

Strategies For The Return: Landmark Tenth Annual International Al-Awda Convention

Together with our families in the homeland, we are planning our return to a Free Palestine!

Help design and energize the work for the coming year along with our expanding network of grassroots, student, and solidarity activists.

JOIN US at one of the largest annual gathering of Palestinians and their supporters to address critical issues that our cause is facing.

Grassroots planning discussions and activist workshops will include: Boycotts and Divestment For The Return; Palestinian Children’s Rights Campaign; Student Summit with Community; and Educating Congress!

Plus come take part in a debate on the proposed Palestine National Council Election Campaign.

We have a list of exciting speakers that include Palestinian photojournalist Nayef Hashlamoun from Al-Watan Center in Al-Khalil (Hebron), Palestine; Dr. As’ad Daoud Hess-Linckost from University of the District of Columbia who will discuss the contamination of Gaza and West Bank water and how it is severely affecting the Palestinian population in those areas; and Dr. Jess Ghannam who will discuss the Popular Uprisings in the Arab World and their impact on Palestine and Refugees.

Plus . . .

Cultural presentations, books and solidarity items, network with friends and fellow activists & lunch presentations & evening banquet with live music!

PROGRAM LOCATIONS

* Friday 7 September 2012 Opening and Meet and Greet at Al-Awda Palestine National Center, 2720 Loker Avenue West Suite J, Carlsbad CA 92010
* Saturday 8 September 2012 all day including Banquet at Torrey Pines Christian Church, 8320 La Jolla Scenic Drive North, La Jolla, CA 92037
* Sunday 9 September 2012 morning Business Meeting for members and national coordinators at Al-Awda Palestine National Center, 2720 Loker Avenue West Suite J, Carlsbad CA 92010

INVITATION

We invite all Palestinians, Al-Awda members, and all groups and individuals who support the implementation of the rights of all Palestinians to return to their homes of origin, and to reclaim their land, to join us in this Landmark Tenth Annual International Al-Awda Convention. Mobilizing our efforts now is crucial! This is your chance to get involved!

Tickets $55 standard; Student $40

Tickets are for entire convention and include refreshments and finger food Friday, lunch and dinner Banquet Saturday, and refreshments Sunday morning.

To reserve online go to: http://www.al-awda.org/convention10/reserve.html

Additional Information:

Program: http://www.al-awda.org/convention10/program.html
Sponsorship: http://www.al-awda.org/convention10/sponsor.html
Advertising: http://www.al-awda.org/convention10/ads.html
Exhibitor reservations: http://www.al-awda.org/convention10/exhibitors.html

Media: Special arrangement available for media reporters who will cover the convention including interviews with guest speakers and panelists and organizers. If you are with the media, please see
http://www.al-awda.org/convention10/media.html or contact us at
info@al-awda.org

Convention website: http://www.al-awda.org/convention10/

Convention on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/386520834734691/

Don’t miss this Palestinian Convention. There will be none like it in the United States this year!

JOIN US to work together to bring the days of RETURN closer!

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
PO Box 131352
Carlsbad, CA 92013, USA
Tel: 760-918-9441
Fax: 760-918-9442
E-mail: info@al-awda.org
WWW: http://al-awda.org

Please Note: The content and any views expressed in this event announcement are solely those of the Palestine Right to Return Coalition and are not intended to reflect the views of Torrey Pines Christian Church in any way.

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Amsterdam Nakba Speech

Amsterdam 64th Nakba commemoration Speech on May 12, 2012 By: Abbas Hamideh

Assalamualaikum. Hello everyone. It is quite an honor and joy to be here as a representative of Al-Awda, The Palestine Right To Return Coalition an organization fully dedicated to the Palestinian Refugees Right to Return to their ancestral homeland Palestine.

Special thanks to the energetic organizers for having me here at this 64th Amsterdam Nakba Commemoration Sadika Arab, Imane Mahi, Rachid Aznedan and of course my fellow Palestinian Doc Jazz and everyone else involved in putting this event together.

I would like to acknowledge and make mention of the Palestinian hunger strikers before going on any further who some have been on their 74 days of hunger strike in Israeli prisons. This would not be a Palestinian event otherwise if we didn’t pay our respects to them. It is important to acknowledge their courageous sacrifice at this event!

The Moroccan love of Palestine and enormous support is evident here at this gathering! There is a deep connection between the people of Morocco and the Palestinian people and be sure that the Palestinian people are taking notice of this phenomenal solidarity! And I know that many of you do not consider this work as simply a solidarity measure but consider it your cause and your duty! The Palestinians are grateful for this as we all know Palestine is part and parcel of the Arab World therefore in fact an Arab cause and that is clearly reflected on our national flag. Our Palestinian flag represents Arab Nationalism we take pride in that and the very reason it was adopted as our national symbol. Palestine was always Arab and will remain proudly Arab no matter what others call it in their delusional minds.

The Nakba:

The Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe) was well orchestrated long before it occurred in 1948 which caused the dispossession and ethnic cleansing of many Palestinians from their beloved ancestral villages in order to make way for a so called Jewish homeland. The story often fantasized by zionists is that Palestine was a “land without a people for a people without a land.” The fantasy does not explain the theft, massacres, mass forced expulsion of the original inhabitants of the land (The Palestinians) who were unquestionably the indigenous people of the land.

One well known example that ignited the Nakba was the village of Deir Yassin in which I am a direct descendant of. My father and grandparents were survivors of the massacre at Deir Yassin that occurred on April 9, 1948.

My father, Fakhri Quasim Hamideh was a survivor of the massacre at Deir Yassin on April 9th 1948. Like most Palestinian refugees, his greatest wish since his forced expulsion in 1948 was to one day be able to return to his village in Palestine. Unfortunately 53 years later, on February 7, 2001, while driving himself to his regular doctor visit, he passed away at an Israeli check point in Ramallah. My Father was receiving kidney dialysis treatment on a regular basis at the Ramallah Hospital. Due to the delay at the Israeli check point that day he could not get through in time. He went into cardiac arrest and passed away inside his vehicle despite all efforts trying to get through the check point. There were witnesses who explained this to the family including the Palestinian ambulance medics and hospital officials in Ramallah. We flew to Palestine the next day for burial procedures and met with the hospital administration. My Dad was laid to rest in Ramallah away from his village of Deir Yassin. His dream to Return was now passed on to his children, the descendants of his beloved village of Deir Yassin!

Brief History of Deir Yassin before the massacre:

For centuries the village of Deir Yassin (3-miles West of Jerusalem) was a peaceful place in Palestine. The Arabic word Deir means monastery. In the early 18th century around 1742 a nomadic Arab Bedouin and his family settled in this village. His name was Al-Sheikh Muhammad Al-Yassin. The village was named after Sheikh Muhammad Al-Yassin and known ever since as Deir Yassin.

The Massacre at Deir Yassin, April 9, 1948:

In 1948, Zionist preparations for the massacre at Deir Yassin had begun. The Terrorist Zionist/Jewish Stern Gang put forward a proposal to massacre the residents of the village in order to show the Arabs what happens when the Irgun and Stern Gangs unite in their operations. One of the aims of the attack was to “break Arab morale” and create panic throughout Palestine. Deir Yassin overlooks Jerusalem from it’s high mountain point. Taking Deir Yassin was militarily strategic to Zionist plans to empty Palestine of its indigenous inhabitants.

In the early morning of April 9, 1948, the peaceful village of Deir Yassin was attacked and its inhabitants massacred by the Terrorist Zionist Irgun and Stern Gangs led by Manachem Begin and Benzion Cohen, respectively. The Irgun and Stern gangs butchered everyone in their way, men, women (and some were pregnant), and children, to empty the entire village. The massacre was designed to terrify Arabs beyond the village of Deir Yassin so that they would run away and thus be driven out of their homes. This explains why the Zionist/Jewish death squads did not bury the men, women and children they killed. They left the dead bodies to be seen and frighten other Palestinian Arabs. Those who were still alive were taken by the Zionist Terrorist gangs and loaded into trucks with their hands tied and eyes blindfolded. They were paraded through the streets of Jerusalem while other Zionist/Jews applauded and celebrated the dehumanization of Palestinian Arabs.

After our people’s humiliation through the streets of Jerusalem, they were taken back to Deir Yassin and lined-up against a wall and systematically sprayed with gunfire and killed. Fifty three orphaned children were literally dumped along the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem where they were found by Hind Husseini. She took them to her home, which is located behind the current American Colony Hotel, and they became the first class of “Dar-al-Tifl-al-Arabi” orphanage.

A few weeks later “Israel” declared itself a state and was recognized almost immediately as such by American President Harry Truman. With the exception of a few, the graves of the martyrs of Deir Yassin will not be known because they were bulldozed by the “State of Israel” apparently to make way for new Jewish settlers. The terrorist criminals who perpetrated the Deir Yassin massacre were never punished or brought to justice. Instead, they were rewarded and one former leader of the Irgun, Menachem Begin, became Prime Minister soon after. Later, the renowned war criminal Ariel Sharon continued to carry out the slow genocide set in motion by the European/US Zionist project against Arab countries that continues until this day. Morton A. Klein of the Zionist Organization of America published a report entitled Deir Yassin “History of a Lie” that claims that there was no massacre at Deir Yassin. To deny Deir Yassin, is like denying the Nazi Judeocide in Europe during World War II. The massacre at Deir Yassin is as true as the Nazi holocaust in Europe.

The village of Deir Yassin was only one of many massacres perpetrated by the Zionists and “Israelis” to terrorize the indigenous people of Palestine. Other Palestinian towns and villages where massacres occurred include Ein Karem, Kakoun, Tantura, Yaffa, Safad, Sufsaf (115 people massacred at the wall of Sufsaf Mosque), Haifa, Tiret Haifa, Jibsu and many more. The Sufsaf residents witnessed their second massacre in Shatila refugee camp in Lebanon 34 years later in 1982. The war criminal Ariel Sharon was directly responsible for that massacre.

Contrary to the Zionist myth that “the old will die and the young will forget,” 64 years later some of our elders may have died but the young still remember! The descendants of Deir Yassin, the Palestinian refugees and people on the ground at home and elsewhere continue to struggle for the time when we can claim our absolute, sacred, individual and collective Right to Return to our original homes and lands.

UN Resolution 194 affirmed the right of Palestinians to return to their homes and lands. This resolution was further clarified by UN General Assembly Resolution 3236 which reaffirmed in Subsection 2: “the inalienable right of Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted, and calls for their return.” The Palestinian “right to return” is specifically to their original homes and lands and not simply what maybe designated as a Palestinian State in the future.

Working towards the Right of Return of Palestinian Refugees:

Palestinians around the world like us here today are not just commemorating the 64th Nakba of the Palestinian people but are also simultaneously celebrating 64 years of resistance and perseverance. Our mission is not to just commemorate and remember what happened to our people during the Palestinian catastrophe but to work towards rightfully returning home to Palestine. We remember but we still fight and endure towards our inalienable right to return.

From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free!

Thank you!

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64th Amsterdam Nakba Commemoration

64th Amsterdam Nakba Commemoration
By: Abbas Hamideh

Under the theme “Niet Normaal” (Not Normal) Moroccan activists in solidarity with Palestine organized the 64th Nakba Commemoration (Palestinian Catastrophe) in Amsterdam which was held in a Moroccan community center in an area heavily populated by the people of Morocco. At the helm of this event were organizers Sadika Arab, Imane Mahi, Rachid Eznaden (Moroccan activists) and Palestinian Tariq Shadid aka Doc Jazz.

I was invited by these organizers and activists to participate in this 64th commemoration of the Palestinian Nakba in Amsterdam to speak on behalf of Al-Awda, The Palestine Right Return Coalition (www.al-awda.org) an orginaztion I have been involved in since its inception dating back to the year 2000 based in the United States. Being a direct descendant of the village of Deir Yassin and son/grandson of survivors of the Deir Yassin Massacre which occurred on April 9, 1948 igniting the Nakba, I was asked to speak in particular about Deir Yassin something I often do at Palestine events and of course the Right of Return of Palestinian Refugees.

It was an interesting journey for me to arrive in Amsterdam for my very first time not in Europe but in the Netherlands. I immediately met with my Facebook and Twitter friends whom I’ve known for quite a while and some for a couple of years communicating via social media on our computer and smart phone screens. The time had come where we met in person for our common passion on Palestine for an important event that most Palestinians especially those active in the Palestinian struggle participate in annually in and around May 15 of every year which officially marks the Palestinian Nakba.

For me as soon as I landed and got off the plane I felt as if I have landed in Morocco due to the Moroccan influence in the part of Amsterdam (West) I was in. As promised by some activists I indeed felt as if I was home. It was very interesting to see not only the Moroccan side but the Islamic influence in the area as well where it was almost impossible to miss. Traditional Muslims were everywhere and highly visible not only on the streets but they rode their bicycles, vespas (motor bikes), rode the trams and buses. It was literally a piece of Morocco. For me living in the United States my entire life and rarely exposed to such measures or modes of transportation this was very intriguing to me especially a high concentration of Arab/Muslims. Of course to those who lived in Amsterdam this was something extremely normaal (normal).

The time had come for the actual Nakba event in Amsterdam on May 12, 2012 and finally once arriving with a local friend of mine Dina who helped in navigating the location we met with fellow Palestinian Tariq Shadid aka Doc Jazz who was smiley as ever and as expected an extremely humble Palestinian. Doc Jazz and I have been close friends for a while via social media and kept constant communication regarding Palestine related events and issues. Palestinian flags were immediately present in the room, sound system and band equipment for Doc’s performance after the speakers, Arabic Oud instrument player all ready to roll for this event in the diaspora. Coincidentally the master Oud player was the infamous political cartoonist who created Handala Naji al-Ali’s cousin. Having a family member of the iconic Palestinian Naji al-Ali present in the room for this important event (especially playing my favorite musical instrument) gave me this incredible vibe and energy.

The event was almost immediately packed with people in attendance who came to support this important function especially for such a staunch pro Zionist city and country. As someone who’s been involved in Palestinian activism for a very long time this was a good sign for the Palestinian struggle in general especially after the constant battles of fighting smear campaigns against not only Palestinians but those in solidarity with the plight of the Palestinian people. I was personally elated with the Moroccan solidarity which filled the room as expected! Wonderful Moroccan food was also served like fish and chicken stuffed patties amongst other delights. The hospitality was awesome!

At the beginning the event ice breaker kicked off with some phenomenal Oud playing and some serious heartfelt Palestinian tradition revolutionary songs! People in attendance were clapping in harmony with the Oud instrument. As a Palestinian this brings both high emotions and at the same time an incredible amount of energy. These are Palestinian folk songs our parents heard before us and also passed down to us. These are songs of pride, persistence, and revolution like no other. This is the part where I would say you must be Palestinian to truly understand the importance and energy of such Palestinian meaningful folk songs. It is something that the Palestinian soul connects with!

The solidarity speeches came from some Dutch activists, talks of trips to Palestine by Moroccan activists and one in particular Hanane who spoke about her recent denied entry to Palestine (moderated by Sadika Arab) via the Israelis due to not succumbing to their very intrusive tactics of violating visitors by wanting their personal security codes and passwords to their computers and phones. She was banned from entering for 10 years for not offering her personal security password on her phone after spending a night in detention at Ben Gurion Airport. A trademark of “The only democracy in the Middle East.” Doc Jazz spoke about anti normalization with the zionist state and the importance of not normalizing with a racist and fascist ideology. All the speeches and talks were communicated in the Dutch language except my speech on Deir Yassin and the Right of Return along with a mention of the current Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli prisons which was in English. The great thing was that everyone in the room spoke English as well due to English being a second language in the Netherlands.

After all the talks and speeches on Palestine Commemorating the Nakba the evening continued with some awesome Palestinian Dabkeh that forced Doc Jazz and myself to perform the Palestinian dance due to being the very few Palestinians at the event (Amsterdam has hardly any Palestinian residents). The Dabkeh dance looked great to the majority of the Moroccans there but rest assured Doc and I were relieved that there weren’t Palestinian Dabkeh experts in the room because our experience in the Dabkeh was very basic…

The event finale was obviously the Doc Jazz performance! Tariq Shadid also known as Doc Jazz is a very skilled Palestinian surgeon, singer, artist and activist. Coming all the way from the UAE gave his usual phenomenal performance with his very unique songs on Palestine, freedom and justice! The crowd was definitely in excitement mode and some also participated in singing along with Doc Jazz as they were his fans from his Facebook and Twitter pages. You can easily find Doc Jazz on Facebook and Twitter or check out his award winning website http://www.docjazz.com where you will also find his songs of course.

I commend the brave and committed organizers in Amsterdam and everyone who participated in this spectacular event commemorating the 64th Nakba in Amsterdam and for keeping the flames of Palestine alive and well! The continuation of the Palestinian Nakba is definitely Niet Normaal (Not Normal)! It was extremely difficult saying goodbye to such fine activists who share a common bond in the Palestinian struggle. To me this is usually the most difficult part after concluding an event as I hold those who actively struggle for Palestine near and dear to my Palestinian heart!

Until Return and Liberation of Palestine from the River to the Sea!

Follow Abbas Hamideh on Twitter: @Resistance48
Facebook: Abbas Falasteen Hamideh

Follow Al-Awda, The Palestine Right To Return Coalition on Twitter: @AlAwdaPRRC

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Action Alert for Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh!

[Please read, respond and forward widely!]

URGENT ACTION NEEDED FOR POLITICAL PRISONERS BILAL DIAB AND THAER HALAHLEH!

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right To Return Coalition calls on all people of
conscience to take immediate action to try to save the lives of Palestinian
political prisoners Bilal Diab 27, and Thaer Halahleh 33, who have been on
the longest Palestinian prisoner hunger strike starting February 28, 2012
(68 days, surpassing Khader Adnan). All the current Palestinian hunger
strikers have been illegally detained by Israeli authorities under the guise
of “administrative detention” without any charge or trial whatsoever.

To protest their ill-treatment in Israeli detention and ongoing humiliation
of Palestinians who resist the illegal occupation, and to protect their dignity and dignity of all Palestinians, like Adnan Khader and Hana’a Shalabi before them, Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh began a hunger
strike 68 days ago.

The Israeli kangaroo court system has systematically denied their court
appeals to release them from prison without regard to their severe and
dangerous medical conditions. This has been common practice by the Israeli
court system for Palestinians who courageously challenge Israel’s brutal
occupation.

Please join the voices and support around the world to save The lives of
Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh along with the other numerous hunger strikers
and demand their immediate release from prison! Take action now!

Please write to President Obama and voice your concern and demand that the US administration intervene for the immediate release of Bilal Diab and
Thaer Halahleh from administrative detention. You can use the online form
at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments

Call US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: (202) 647-4000 or Office of Near East Affairs: (202) 647-7209. Demand that the Secretary intervene for the immediate release of Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh from administrative
detention.

Organize Rallies at your local Israeli Embassies.

Help spread awareness through social media and to all your contacts as you
deem fit after you take action!

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
PO Box 131352
Carlsbad, CA 92013, USA
Tel: 760-918-9441
Fax: 760-918-9442
Fax Toll Free: 866-619-2090
E-mail: info@al-awda.org
WWW: http://al-awda.org

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition (PRRC) is the largest
network of grassroots activists and students dedicated to Palestinian human rights. We are a not for profit tax-exempt educational and charitable
501(c)(3) organization as defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of
the United States of America. Under IRS guidelines, your donations to PRRC
are tax-deductible. To donate, please go to:
http://www.al-awda.org/donate.html and follow the instructions. To become a member, go to http://al-awda.org/membership.html

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Commemorating Deir Yassin, Palestine 64 Years Later

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Commemorating Deir Yassin, Palestine 64 Years Later
By: Abbas Hamideh
April 9, 2012

My father, Fakhri Quasim Hamideh was a survivor of the massacre at Deir Yassin on April 9th 1948. Like most Palestinian refugees, his greatest wish since his forced expulsion in 1948 was to one day be able to return to his village in Palestine. Unfortunately 53 years later, on February 7, 2001, while driving himself to his regular doctor visit, he passed away at an Israeli check point in Ramallah. My Father was receiving kidney dialysis treatment on a regular basis at the Ramallah Hospital. Due to the delay at the Israeli check point that day he could not get through in time. He went into cardiac arrest and passed away inside his vehicle despite all efforts trying to get through the check point. There were witnesses who explained this to the family including the Palestinian ambulance medics and hospital officials in Ramallah. We flew to Palestine the next day for burial procedures and met with the hospital administration. My Dad was laid to rest in Ramallah away from his village of Deir Yassin. His dream to Return was now passed on to his children, the descendants of his beloved village of Deir Yassin!

Brief History of Deir Yassin before the massacre

For centuries the village of Deir Yassin (3-miles West of Jerusalem) was a peaceful place in Palestine. The Arabic word Deir means monastery. In the early 18th century around 1742 a nomadic Arab Bedouin and his family settled in this village. His name was Al-Sheikh Muhammad Al-Yassin. The village was named after Sheikh Muhammad Al-Yassin and known ever since as Deir Yassin.

The Massacre at Deir Yassin, April 9, 1948

In 1948, Zionist preparations for the massacre at Deir Yassin had begun. The Terrorist Zionist/Jewish Stern Gang put forward a proposal to massacre the residents of the village in order to show the Arabs what happens when the Irgun and Stern Gangs unite in their operations. One of the aims of the attack was to “break Arab morale” and create panic throughout Palestine. Deir Yassin overlooks Jerusalem from it’s high mountain point. Taking Deir Yassin was militarily strategic to Zionist plans to empty Palestine of its indigenous inhabitants.

In the early morning of April 9, 1948, the peaceful village of Deir Yassin was attacked and its inhabitants massacred by the Terrorist Zionist Irgun and Stern Gangs led by Manachem Begin and Benzion Cohen, respectively. The Irgun and Stern gangs butchered everyone in their way, men, women (and some were pregnant), and children, to empty the entire village. The massacre was designed to terrify Arabs beyond the village of Deir Yassin so that they would run away and thus be driven out of their homes. This explains why the Zionist/Jewish death squads did not bury the men, women and children they killed. They left the dead bodies to be seen and frighten other Palestinian Arabs. Those who were still alive were taken by the Zionist Terrorist gangs and loaded into trucks with their hands tied and eyes blindfolded. They were paraded through the streets of Jerusalem while other Zionist/Jews applauded and celebrated the dehumanization of Palestinian Arabs.

After our people’s humiliation through the streets of Jerusalem, they were taken back to Deir Yassin and lined-up against a wall and systematically sprayed with gunfire and killed. Fifty three orphaned children were literally dumped along the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem where they were found by Hind Husseini. She took them to her home, which is located behind the current American Colony Hotel, and they became the first class of “Dar-al-Tifl-al-Arabi” orphanage.

A few weeks later “Israel” declared itself a state and was recognized almost immediately as such by American President Harry Truman. With the exception of a few, the graves of the martyrs of Deir Yassin will not be known because they were bulldozed by the “State of Israel” apparently to make way for new Jewish settlers. The terrorist criminals who perpetrated the Deir Yassin massacre were never punished or brought to justice. Instead, they were rewarded and one former leader of the Irgun, Menachem Begin, became Prime Minister soon after. Later, the renowned war criminal Ariel Sharon continued to carry out the slow genocide set in motion by the European/US Zionist project against Arab countries that continues until this day. Morton A. Klein of the Zionist Organization of America published a report entitled Deir Yassin “History of a Lie” that claims that there was no massacre at Deir Yassin. To deny Deir Yassin, is like denying the Nazi Judeocide in Europe during World War II. The massacre at Deir Yassin is as true as the Nazi holocaust in Europe.

The village of Deir Yassin was only one of many massacres perpetrated by the Zionists and “Israelis” to terrorize the indigenous people of Palestine. Other Palestinian towns and villages where massacres occurred include Ein Karem, Kakoun, Tantura, Yaffa, Safad, Sufsaf (115 people massacred at the wall of Sufsaf Mosque), Haifa, Tiret Haifa, Jibsu and many more. The Sufsaf residents witnessed their second massacre in Shatila refugee camp in Lebanon 34 years later in 1982. The war criminal Ariel Sharon was directly responsible for that massacre.

Contrary to the Zionist myth that “the old will die and the young will forget,” 64 years later some of our elders may have died but the young still remember! The descendants of Deir Yassin, the Palestinian refugees and people on the ground at home and elsewhere continue to struggle for the time when we can claim our absolute, sacred, individual and collective Right to Return to our original homes and lands.

UN Resolution 194 affirmed the right of Palestinians to return to their homes and lands. This resolution was further clarified by UN General Assembly Resolution 3236 which reaffirmed in Subsection 2: “the inalienable right of Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted, and calls for their return.” The Palestinian “right to return” is specifically to their original homes and lands and not simply what maybe designated as a Palestinian State in the future.

WE WILL RETURN!

Follow Abbas Hamideh on Twitter: @Resistance48

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Honoring the Palestinian Hero and Martyr Abdel Qadir al-Husseini 64 years later!

Today we remember our Palestinian Hero, Commander Abdel Qadir al-Husseini who was martyred at the Battle of Qastal on April 8, 1948 while leading the Arab resistance against Zionist forces. His fighters went on to briefly re-capture al-Qastal from the well armed and backed Jewish terror group the Haganah near the village of Deir Yassin after his death. As he predicted the village of Deir Yassin was slaughtered and fell after his death. His monumental funeral was held and attended by hundreds of Palestinian resistance fighters during the well orchestrated massacre and ethnic cleansing of Deir Yassin the next day on April 9, 1948. Lest we forget our Palestinian Arab Heroes!

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