Monday, May 17, 2004

Notes from the SAS's May 17, 2004 evening event

Posted May 19, 2007 4:53 PM

Received this via email

Notes from 5/17/2004 6:30-7:30 pm at UCI Flagpoles
SAS event with 3 speakers

1948 Speaker: Khaire denne Abuljebain (Osama Abuljebain’s grandfather?):

- “4 million refugees”?
- “Some things to note on destruction of houses in Rafah in Gaza Strip”
- Recognizes British and Allies won against Ottomans and thus gained rights of control of Palestinian Mandate area
- All nations except Palestinian Mandate got independence
- Promises were made to Palestinians
- Residents were “Canaanites and 7th century Muslims”
- Minorities: Christians and Jews
- Lived in Jaffa in early 30’s – no Zionists then
- In fact, intermarriages between Muslims and Jews
- Immigration of Jews led to fight against Zionists
- “Palestine was full”
- 1914 census: Jews were 8% of population
- “Laws were imposed requiring villagers to sell their land to Jews”
- Then 1947 decision: Palestine should be partitioned
- “US Administration and Truman helped impose” solution, “although not practical”
- “Partition took Arab land and gave it to Jews”
- Brought about fights
- “Divided land ½ to Arabs and ½ to Zionists”
- “Jews then took everything”
- “Intifada is to get rid of Jews in Gaza and West Bank”
- “We have a right to fight but no one is listening to us”
- “We have laws of UN but no one is listening”
- “France tried to expel Nazi occupiers”
- “Fighting to send Jewish occupiers out of our land”
- “British gave all the guns and arms to Jews”
- “I had a shell to my leg and had to leave”
- “Now 8 million Palestinians, 4 million refugees…some in Arab world”
- “Bush promised to help with state of Palestine”
- “Aim is to create democratic state for all – Jews and Arab”
- “Want to create a real state”
- “if scattered, not a real state”

Jerusalem presenter:
- “Occupied in 1948, and against the rule in 1967, annexed”

1967 Speaker: Omar (UCI Person)
- “Oslo was our hope”
- “As a small child, I listened to the radio: ‘Israelis won’, ‘Arabs won’ – no one was sure”
- “There was a rumor that in 1948 there were lots of massacres by Jews of Arabs”
- “My father had a choice: to be or not to be a refugee”
- “In 1967 while Arab tanks retreated, we were told that the Arab armies were making a maneuver.”
- “There was a helicopter overhead with a speaker that said ‘surrender, surrender, the Israeli army is coming’”
- “My parents were hurt by war in 1948 and now in 1967”
- “Israelis came to our door”
- “There was a rumor that the Jews will rape and kill, but in reality the Israelis took all the private cars”
- “70 km were annexed from Palestinians for Jerusalem”
- “We were under special emergency laws”
- “They changed the curriculum in the schools”
- “My father took me out of the schools and instead sent me to the West Bank, to Bethlehem, to study the Jordanian curriculum”
- “Had municipal elections”
- “Settlements have vast percentage of West Bank”
- “Then there were Jewish terrorist attacks against Arab leaders – some killed and maimed – they then cancelled the elections”
- “Tribal leaders tried to form governments, but a boycott prevented success.”
- “Since 1967, no economic development or health services in Palestinian areas”
- “Under UN rules, Israel responsible for such things.”
- “This only created resentment.”
- “The first intifada was less violent and had more hope”
- “Sharon’s plan had a huge resistance to it”
- “There are hundreds of settlements with lots of investments”
- “A joke from the territories: there are dilapidated cities and nice highways. If your street has holes in it, you must be in a Palestinian area. If you have a nice street, it must lead to a Jewish settlement.”
- “There is no difference between today and 1967”

Jericho speaker:
- “Hopes were raised for my independence, but developments and checkpoints created fragmentation and daily siege”

2000 speaker (VP of SAS?):
- “I have not lived there and experienced it”
- “My family lives there and I have seen the effects”
- “I worked for the Arab Association for Human Rights”
- “There is a sense of community and strength”
- “’History is a people’s memory’ – Malcom X”
- “The daily struggle adds to our identity…gives hope…despite dehumanization of our culture”
- “Our cause lives in people who believe in peace, equality, and justice”
- “It is felt by all who have felt discrimination, racism…”
- “Equality doesn’t exist”
- “So many misconceptions covering reality have blinded Arabs and Israelis both”
- Witnessed attempt to transport $2,000 of medical equipment through a checkpoint – doctors held at gunpoint while Israeli solders destroyed half of it.
- “People cannot receive proper medical aid”
- “I recently could not go into the territories because they were closed”
- “In Ramallah, people collect everything in big bags and cross illegally”
- “Now we have a wall”
- “Palestinians cannot cross the wall but Jews can”
- “Wall divides us as human beings”
- “The misconception is that Jews, Palestinians, and Christians cannot live together. This is not true – everybody in Nazareth lives in peace.”
- “The wall divides us but we need to stay united”
- “I remember riding in a car from the airport in Palestine while 8 years old. There were sporadic cactus plants surrounded by trees. I asked about the cactus plants and was told that the cactus plants were symbols where arab villages once stood. Every year, the Israelis cut them down, but they always grow back bigger and stronger.”
- “I know this the next time the Israeli army gets gun happy and guns down 13 high schoolers.”
- “This is the universal cause for freedom, justice, and equality.”

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