Deir Yassin Remembered
Semitic Blood Feud

"Come, let us go down and confuse their language, 
that they may not understand one another's speech." 
				   - Genesis 11:7 
Why such discord between Arab and Jew?
Descended from Semites of Chaldea
via Noah's son Shem -
both "Shem-ites" through and through;
Abraham, of Shem's line, their patriarch
Arabs - scions of Ishmael, his first son
Jews – scions of Isaac, his second;

Science confirms this Biblical lore:				
Quoth Harry Ostrer, NYU geneticist: 
"Jews and Arabs are all really 
children of Abraham
and all have preserved their 
Middle Eastern genetic roots
over four thousand years."

Muslims hold themselves the true heirs
of God's covenant with Abraham
granting Canaan and more to his seed;
The Bible deeds it to the 
line of Jacob, son of Isaac, 
re-named "Israel" by God;  
Muslims imply Jews
wrote it in their own interests
contravening the eldest son's rights
and forfeited being Allah's chosen
by immoral behavior and
backsliding into paganism;

Ishmael, they maintain,  
migrated east of  Canaan
built the Kaaba to their one god
in Mecca with Abraham;
sired twelve sons
progenitors of twelve Ishmaelite tribes;

Israel, the Bible relates,
followed his twelve into Egypt 
where the Hebrews languished for centuries
till Moses led them through a wilderness
of backsliding and hardship
to their promised land 
where they vanquished the Canaanites 
(descendents of Canaan, Noah's cursed grandson)
allotted the land to their twelve tribes
uniting as the Kingdom of Israel about 1000 BC
ruled by Saul, David, finally Solomon 
who built a great temple to their one god in Jerusalem;

After 70 years the kingdom of Judea
- capital, Jerusalem- 
split away from
Israel to the north
- capital, Samaria -
Ergo, "Judea and Samaria"
To modern Jewish nationalists.

Hebrew dominance proved fleeting:
by 722 BC Samaria had been invaded and destroyed
	- Judea by 586 BC -
by armies of Assyria and Babylon, 
who knocked down the temple
and sent most Jews into captivity in Babylonia; 
The Persians routed the Babylonians 
Freeing the Jews to rebuild their temple;

Alexander the Great came to dominate
fomenting revolt in 167 BC
and a hundred-year revival of Judea
conquered by Romans in 63 BC;
All told, 518 years of Jewish sovereignty
over more or less of Canaan.
Anno Domini 1: birth of Jesus 
line of David - Abraham - Shem - Noah - Adam;
To Judaism: imposter, mere mortal, not the prophesied messiah
To Islam: great prophet, not divine
To nascent Christianity: Messiah, Son of God:
treat one's neighbor as one wishes to be treated
		- equally -
no 'eye-for-an-eye'
They killed the messenger;
the message endures:
measure for measure in matters of rights
       but not in matters of wrong.

The Jews revolted in 70 AD
the Romans put them down
smashed their second temple
renamed the place Syria Palaestina
to dissociate it from Jewish sovereignty
harkening back to references
by Heroditus to 'Palaistine'
and Aristotle to 'Palestine'.

Rome ruled with an iron fist through the fourth century;
Its fall didn't restore Jewish sovereignty:
Christian Constantinople dominated into the seventh
named it 'Palaestina' 
oppressed the Jews harshly:
taxed them disproportionately
banned them from Jerusalem
prohibited them from owning slaves
building synagogues
holding public office
marrying or converting non-Jews  
and goaded their people to destroy
synagogues and Jewish property.
In 570 AD the Prophet Muhammad 
- line of Ishmael-Abraham-Shem-Noah-Adam -
was born into the Ishmaelite tribe Kedar 
father of Islam, third Abrahamic religion
he brought monotheism to Arabia
uniting it under Islam;

In 638 his successors 
(like him, tolerant of Judaism and Christianity)
deposed the Byzantines 
ended the Jews' persecution
let the "People of the Book" return to Jerusalem;
helped them clean up the ruins of their second temple.
Treated tolerably, Jews were nonetheless second fiddle 
to the newcomer Muslims who
considered themselves truer to God;
They continued to call the region Palestine  
dubbed Jerusalem "al-Quds"
   - the noble, sacred place -
and erected their Dome of the Rock 
where Muhammad was taken up to heaven
        to convene with the prophets:
        supposed site of the temples.

Nearly twelve hundred years
of Muslim supremacy ensued;
The Islamic empire spread afar
interrupted in 1099, when the Crusaders descended 
butchering and exiling Jerusalem's Arabs and Jews.
In 1187 Saladin, sultan of Egypt, retook the city
and let them return to live in peace
until 1517 and control by the Islamic Ottoman Sultanate,
that gave them freedom but little security till 1908
when the secular Young Turks took that empire by coup
and commenced to oppress Palestine's Arabs and Jews;
Arabs, especially, endured persecution at their hands
	fueling their desire for a state.
Centuries of upheavals scattered Palestine's people
Arabs closer to home; 
Jews more widely roamed,
often persecuted in their new locations: 
in Europe and Asia many lived in destitution
like many oppressed, New World became their destination.
In the sixteenth century, fleeing inquisition in Portugal and Spain,
		some returned to Palestine
many wound up in New Amsterdam –  New York's now the name;
Greeted coolly, conditions more humane;
German Jews began arriving in America before the Civil War;
into the twentieth century: two hundred thousand more: 
First, young men peddling sundries door to door
couldn't get married before without a trade or profession 
which required special permission;
Once established, they sent for those they left behind -
fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters,
grandmothers and grandfathers, sweethearts for kissing:
All these needy thronged America's golden door.

Post-1880, many times more
fleeing pogroms in Russia and lands it controlled
seeking refuge and security from terrors untold:
Latvians, Lithuanians, Ukrainians and Poles;
from the gigantic ghetto known as the Pale
overland they trekked, embarked, and set sail
for glittering shores of fabulous tale:  
American democracy would end their travail!
They found safe harbor – their lives could unfold;
though some met anti-Semitism, most got their rights
put down roots, flowered, though not free of strife:
a big improvement over their old way of life.

As the twentieth century neared
Theodor Herzl sounded a new note:
Jews never could be safe without
a national home, a sovereign state of their own:
Zion, the land of Israel, resurrected in Palestine.
Jews would reign supreme:
though Arabs were a ten to one majority
immigration would change the scene
Jews would be more numerous and powerful
so none could interfere with their work or worship
in their own nation;
Arabs would be treated well enough -
they'd adapt and adjust, as surely they must;
benefit from Jewish transformation 
of the those waste lands and rude shops 
into flourishing farms and factories;
But the Arabs also wanted their own state
so how Herzl's Zion-ism/land of Israel-ism could work
         was difficult to contemplate.

Turn of the century - America restricted Jewish immigration: 		
literacy tests, health checks, hard assets, job prospects -
far more hurdles than most seeking admission;
These restrictions resulted from suspicion
they might bring in communism:
The Reds had backed them against Czarist oppression
so many did identify with the politics in question;
but it was blown into a vast conspiracy
of rich, powerful Jews to achieve world mastery
by the likes of Henry Ford and Father Charles Coughlin
making it even harder for them to get in;
Still, nearly a million did between 1900 and 1910.
But now they had another place to go
increasingly making Ottoman Palestine their goal;
The Arabs grew restless as they began to realize 
the aim of these Zionists was to gain the upper hand
make them second-class citizens in their own land;
Asher Ginzburg, Jewish author, wrote that they
"...walk with the Arabs with hostility and cruelty,
unjustly encroaching on them, 
shamefully beating them for no good reason,
and even bragging about what they do..."
With the attitude that all Palestine was theirs by right 
the Zionists were setting the stage for a fight;
the Arabs petitioned the Ottomans to stop their immigration
but it came to naught, to their growing frustration,
redoubling their desire for their own nation;

Thus, when WWI loomed they sided with England
revolted against the Ottomans
on promise of their own state in Palestine;
Many Jews also fought beside England 
for favoring their hopes for a homeland.
When the war was won
and the British took over Palestine
they found their troubles had only begun.

In 1920 America reformed immigration
based on how many were there in 1890 from each nation;  
So most eastern European Jews, Johnny-come lately, 
	   - faced a closed door -
flooding to Palestine, they caused tremendous uproar
among Arabs fearing for their future.
When a hundred thousand Jews had arrived
Arab majority was reduced to seven to one
feeling threatened, they rioted across Palestine
	    taking several Jewish lives.  

The Churchill Commission tried to reassure them in 1922
but really did more to accommodate the Jews:
It reaffirmed Britain's backing for a Jewish homeland
their numbers could continue to expand
but the Arabs hadn't really been promised a state 
in Palestine at any prior date.

In '23 Ze'ev Jabotinsky elaborated Zionist strategy:
Jewish sovereignty over all Palestine must be attained
Arab recalcitrance could not be unlearned	
To protect Jewish colonists they must make an 'iron wall'
of military might around their settlements
Arab attacks to completely forestall
Then they would see
the futility of contesting
Jewish supremacy
petition for sufferance
though it cost them their dignity;
Jews would respond with magnanimity
they'd live ever after in Herzlian harmony
Jews making the desert bloom
Arabs benefiting from Jewish industry and perspicacity.

Other Jewish notables - Martin Buber, Judah Magnes, 
Henrietta Szold, Rabbi Elmer Berger and more- 
said a better way was one state with equal rights for all
Jews and Arabs would live cooperatively  
no matter who the majority, who the minority
for it would be a constitutional democracy:
Arabs would be treated with civility
Jews would not meet with hostility
but enjoy peace and security.

In 1924 America further tightened immigration:
eighty thousand European Jews migrated to Palestine
Sooner or later they'd dominate again:
as the majority they'd no more beg clemency, 
be abused, insulted or demeaned:
there would be Jewish supremacy.
The Palestinian Arabs reacted ferociously
fearing for their rights, disappointed in their hopes
for a state amid Palestine's gentle slopes;
Afraid of losing their sacred al-Aqsa Mosque
they attacked their blood brothers wantonly
killing and destroying, for they could not cope
with impositions that threatened their hopes;   		
The Jews responded measure for measure
fearing for their security
which, mirage-like, receded into obscurity
as they clung to their chauvinist tendencies.
Many were quick to condemn the Arabs
sought concurrence from notable Jews like
	   - Sigmund Freud -
who declined, from a broader perspective.
Gathering Storm
America virtually halted immigration during the Great Depression:
no work for its own: excluding became an obsession;
Tragedy ensued: Aryan supremacists tormented Europe's Jews
accused them of aiding the Allies in the First World War,
labeled them shysters, criminals, and more; 
Many could see what was in the offing
and vainly petitioned America for admission;
Nazi persecution built to a crescendo
a quarter million fled to Palestine
increasing Palestinian anxiety to intolerable degree:
by '33 they outnumbered Jews only three to one.
In '36 they revolted with even greater fury;

The British put the matter to a committee:
the Peel Commission proposed Palestine's partition
into ethnic Arab and Jewish states;
The plan was vilified by both sides
for it meant huge transfers of Palestinian Arabs and Jews 
with 180 Arabs uprooted for every Jew     
no sooner proposed - withered and died.

In late '38 Hitler turned loose his goons
to smash Jewish property on nightmarish Kristallnacht
FDR tried to increase immigration flow
	- Congress said no -
In '39 the US turned away the Saint Louis and four other ships
carrying Jews needing safe harbor after arduous trips
across the Atlantic seeking welcoming shores
forced to turn back to Europe once more;
four countries reluctantly took them in
three fell to Hitler and his henchmen
so most landing there soon met their end.

Congress also refused twenty thousand Jewish children
which hardly bestowed honor on it.
America accepted Jewish intellectuals more readily
but most were denied jobs at white universities
and went to teach at Southern black schools
where they found common ground
with others acquainted with oppression; 			
Thus Jewish influence on the Civil Rights movement 
through vital contributions
to the NAACP - Urban League - CORE - SNCC.

By the end of the 'thirties, millions of Jews were
endangered in Europe
excluded from America
unwelcome in Palestine 
where the British had abandoned partition
and cut their immigration more than in two;
	What was a poor Jew to do?
WWII exploded
tragedy ensued
millions of Jews and other unfortunates were
rounded up
shipped to stark camps to labor and starve
or murdered without qualm by the Nazis;
Hundreds of thousands were confined to grim ghettos
hemmed by walls topped with glass and barbed wire 
guards controlling everything going in and out
rations under two hundred calories a day
fuel cut to the bone
sanitation abominable
water unclean
thousands died of disease and starvation;

With '43, the Warsaw ghetto uprising:
realizing their next stop was the death camps 
valiant Jews took up arms against their tormentors;
though they fought desperately and bravely 
with arms smuggled through
secret passageways and tunnels
the Nazis burned them out of buildings 
gassed them out of dugouts
cut them down like cornstalks  
railroaded survivors to Treblinka or Majdanek 
to await the fate of death camp internees.

War over, camp survivors knew not where to go
most wouldn't go home for the memories it would hold;
most doors were closed, Palestine's too narrow
Zionist extremists like the Stern Gang				
commanded by Yitzhak Shamir 
future prime minister of Israel
- mother and sisters died in the Holocaust -			
tried to force the door:
assassinated British officers 
and Swedish Count Bernadotte
- UN mediator, rescued 31,000 from the death camps -
bombed British headquarters in King David Hotel
killing 91 officers and civilians as it fell; 
claimed: gave fair warning 
the British disagreed angrily;
yet most Jewish Displaced Persons, A.K.A. DPs, 
languished in the camps, craving opportunities.

Magnes, Buber and Einstein proposed a plan in '46:
A hundred thousand DPs should be admitted to Palestine:
	- one state, with equality for all -
Arabs need not fear Jewish immigration and supremacy 
Jews need not fear Arab domination and ascendancy:
Truman favored the emergency immigration
but would not support their recommendations
for real democracy in that fractious situation;
Knowing the danger of immigration without equity, 
the Brits wouldn't support their proposal
      	- except in its entirety -
thus that hopeful plan died
    without being tried.
Ethnic Nationalism
Elated, the Zionists
pressured Truman to back a Jewish state
though it wasn't something to which he could relate:
having been called on by Lessing Rosenwald
whose American Council for Judaism opposed an ethnic state;
When Weizmann lobbied Truman to back it,
Truman said he opposed a state based on Judaism 
for the same reason he opposed one based on Islam
	- or any other religion -
But Rosenwald could not carry the day:
in '47, as the UN considered Palestine's partition
into Jewish and Palestinian Arab nations
the Jewish minority (Arabs still two to one)
getting biggest and best piece of the pie
      - Arabs the rest, generally dry -
Truman bowed to Zionist pressure 
  - and the desire to be re-elected -
and threw US weight behind that scheme for ethnic states
which the UN approved after considerable debate.

The Zionists accepted the piece allotted to them
               (it needn't be the end)
It even had a slight Jewish majority
  - not enough to ensure supremacy -
The Palestinians refused to participate in partition:
as the majority all Palestine should be theirs;
Fearing more expansion by Jewry
they struck out at Hebrew citizenry
to which the Zionists responded with alacrity
blowing it into civil war;
In May '48 the Zionists declared their state of Israel
penning lofty resolutions in its Declaration of Establishment:
	- to be faithful to the UN charter -
           - to grant equal rights to minorities -
not clarifying how others could be equal under Jewish supremacy.
	(They weren't alone: the Arabs claimed Jews 
	    would be equal under their sovereignty).
In any case, the Zionists have not made their promises law
                 - by drafting a constitution -

The new nation flung wide its gates to Europe's Semitic DPs
Five Arab nations 
– Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon -
came to the aid of the Palestinians;
but their armies were poorly organized and not highly motivated.
The Zionists drove them well beyond the partition lines 
along with three quarters of a million Palestinian refugees
terrorized by attacks at villages like Deir Yassin
killing scores of women, children and elderly
perpetrated by the Irgun -
(disowned, renounced,
half-heartedly opposed
by the Zionist establishment) 
leader Menachem Begin
-future prime minister of Israel
Nobel Peace Prize winner
parents and brother died in the Holocaust-
claimed all Palestine belonged to the Jews:
   Zion -  the Land of Israel - Israel's land

The new Semitic refugees fled to the West Bank and Gaza
poor remnants of Palestine
beyond the armistice Green Line
and to neighboring nations where they were confined
to squalid camps devoid of design;
barred from returning home
by the forces of Zion:
catastrophe they call
      the Nakba.

When the smoke cleared and armistice was signed
Israel controlled 77 percent of Palestine
with a Jewish majority over eight to one
that would endure into the new millennium
as the refugees were denied re-entry;
Jerusalem was divided: West - Jewish; East - Arab; 
As for Israel's Arab minority
pledges of equality were history;
Einstein refused its presidency
because it discriminated against them; 
Perhaps they, too, would leave the country.

Did victory achieve Jewish security?
evoke Jewish magnanimity a la Jabotinsky?
Zionist obduracy brought raids by Arab DPs 
in quest of their old homes and properties
killing many Jewish men, women and children
Israel hammered them
- eye for an eye and then some -
arousing Egypt's military,
which took over the Suez Canal in '56
arousing more Jewish anxiety:
how could their ships pass enemy territory?
Israel lashed out at Egypt
(preemptive strike, not aggression)
thus its second war
since its birth eight years before
ending in stalemate
thousands dead in its wake.

Israel held onto the conquered Palestine land
but security receded like a mirage
Raids by the new Palestine Liberation Organization, a.k.a. PLO 
      - originally seeking one state with freedom for all- 
became incessant and intolerable
often targeting Jewish civilians.
The Jewish state's reprisals
- tooth for a tooth and then some -
united four Arab nations against it
Egypt blockaded an Israeli port and mobilized its army;
In June, '67, Israel struck first again out of profound anxiety
    (preemptive strike, not aggression)
destroying Egypt's planes on the ground
enabling it to rout them and their Iraqi, Syrian, and Jordanian allies
		-in six days - 
When the dust settled Israel occupied the rest of Palestine:
the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem
  -where many Arab DPs were confined-
which it would not yield despite directives from the UN
to which it had pledged fidelity.
Having conquered all Palestine and more:
-Egypt's Sinai and Syria's Golan Heights -
in its third major war, 
would the Jews now enjoy security 
   or were more hostilities
	   in store?
The Special Relationship
America stood increasingly with Israel in its latest war:
its public had been steeped in Holocaust history
through the televised trials of the Nazi persecutors,
and had noted the Jews' efficacy
in routing their more numerous enemies.
Thus US aid to Israel burgeoned
sealing a special relationship
to have momentous consequences:
first, the assassination of a '68 presidential candidate
	     for favoring Israel.

Israel held tight to Sinai, Gaza and the West Bank;
In quest for all the Land of Israel,
it annexed the Golan Heights and
East Jerusalem, the prospective Palestinian capital,
and began colonizing the West Bank and Gaza:
First, Jewish villages abandoned when the '48 war began 
then to make Jewish East Jerusalem expand
all in defiance of UN resolutions
	   world opinion
and international law deeming it illegal
to acquire territory by conquest
or transfer your citizens thereto.

No longer hoping for reconciliation
the PLO shifted its aim from one state to two
precipitating more attacks by its militants.
Israeli reprisals led to the '69 War of Attrition
Egypt got advanced weapons from Soviet ministries
launched a fourth war on its arch-enemy
which petered out as Israel grew wary
of involving the Soviet military.

PLO extremists attacked targets abroad:
blew up emptied airliners to punish America;
murdered Israeli athletes at the '72 Olympics;
Many other hijackings, bombings and killings
showed there was little they would not do.

In '73 Egypt made a surprise attack
to drive Israel out of Sinai - destroy them in fact
Israel was on the ropes
America rushed planes and supplies
without which the Zionist state might have died;
Thus it kept the Golan, West Bank and Sinai
having survived its fifth war in 25 years;
For helping the Zionist nation 
in its latest confrontation
The US endured the Arab oil embargo of '73
that raised hell with its economy
choking growth and feeding inflation,
which economists term stagflation.

In '79 America got further entwined
in the morass of Palestine;
Carter brokered peace between Egypt and Israel
	- Sinai being returned to Egypt -
but the plight of the Palestinians was left unresolved
causing outrage among other Arab nations
who ostracized Egypt for its self-serving actions
and further inflamed Palestinian militant factions.

Evicted from Jordan in '71,
the PLO found new haunts in Lebanon
launched rockets and raids on the Zionist state
which, as always, was quick to retaliate
with the sixth war since its establishment;
Invading amid Lebanon's civil war
backed by America once more		
allied with the Lebanese Christian Phalange
against the Muslim partisans
it cornered the PLO in that war-torn land;	
America arranged its evacuation to Tunisia
leaving thousands of Palestinian refugees
to be massacred by the Phalange
let into the camps
by Israeli units who stood by
shooting flares in the sky;
Again America didn't escape unscathed:
its embassy was bombed, then a barracks
killing hundreds of Marines
on a peace keeping mission to that hellacious scene
according to Tom Friedman
     -Pulitzer Prize winner-
for siding against the Muslims
in that grim internecine.

In the 'eighties, US aid to Israel reached billions per year;
Jewish immigration to Israel stayed strong
American Jews finding it the place to go;
Yet fear lingered near – Iraq, the latest bugaboo:
Were they making A-bombs to do Israel in? 
So Zion launched its planes to take out an Iraqi reactor
and make Saddam a non-factor.

Arab violence grew rampant in the mid-'80s
ANO fanatics 
half-heartedly opposed
by the PLO
organized by Abu Nidal, Palestinian refugee
of wealthy Jaffa family
(miles of citrus groves expropriated in the Nakba)
reduced to poverty in Gaza, then the West Bank 
enraged by the '67 arrival of Israeli forces
recruited angry young men from the camps
who shot and bombed passengers
checking in for flights to Tel Aviv;
Hijacked and bombed Pan Am 73 
for US bombing of Libya 
and may have made the bomb 
that brought down 103
over Lockerbie.
In '86 Stern Gang Shamir
became Israel's prime minister   		
Determined, like Begin, to prevent a Palestinian state
he pushed Jewish colonization of the Occupied Territories
	- 280 thousand settlers by '93 -
Brought in foreign labor putting Palestinians out of work
sending them into the streets
in the uprising known as the First Intifada;
The PLO offered peace for a state 
- which America looked upon favorably -
but Shamir focused on crushing the uprising
and bringing in hundreds of thousands of Soviet Jews
     - knowing the land and resources they'd need -

Iraq, Israel's old enemy
kept seeking Mideast hegemony
another threat to Israel and the oil supply
But this time the Jewish state wouldn't have to fight:
America would handle this strife;
It misled Saddam into invading Kuwait
implied it would look the other way if he took that tiny state;
When he did, Father Bush rounded up the neighborhood 
(except the Israelis – this didn't involve them)
to throw him out for good;
Saddam laid some Scuds on Israel
making the Jews fearful;
Said he'd exit Kuwait if Israel exited Palestinian territories;
Father Bush ignored him and fired away
sending Iraqis fleeing in bloody disarray
But he stopped midway - let the cad get away  
Perhaps another Bush could finish the job someday.
Peace Process
Seeking to end the feud
Father Bush held a conference in Madrid;	
It settled nothing but got the brothers together
to consider trading land for peace.
In ninety-three, accords reached in Oslo
adopted by Bill Clinton 
seemed promising indeed:
Israel would withdraw in stages
from the Territories;
The PLO would acknowledge Israel's
right to exist/the rightness of its existence
        	  - and cease its attacks -
But Zionist drive to make all Palestine the Land of Israel
                    was too strong:
Settlements kept expanding, withdrawals dragged out
	 - which America did nothing about - 
	      but kept bankrolling Israel;
A Zionist fanatic machine-gunned a crowd of Muslims
         	               - at prayer -
all making it impossible to suppress Palestinian attacks 
	    and new cycles of violent feuding;
Another rabid Zionist killed Israel's prime minister
	   - for supporting the peace accords -
putting the final nail in the coffin of that hopeful proposal.
Thus the Palestinians got control of but a fraction of those lands
      		  - Israel kept the rest -
	      making its settlements expand.

By '96 Israel hadn't had a war in over six years;
Pro-Palestinian Hezbollah of Lebanon rekindled fears 
loosing rocket barrages across Zion's northern frontier
at villages where Jews lived in fear;
Israel invaded (seventh war 
since its birth 48 years before)
gave Hezbollah hell
killed hundreds of civilians: 
hundred-six sheltering in a UN building
which Israel and the US blamed on Hezbollah
	- human shielding -
World outcry stopped that little war 
leaving things about the way they were before.

In 2000 Bill Clinton took another stab:
Sat them down at Camp David refuge
Israel's Barak appeared willing to forgo some of Zion
 	- for peace and security -
He sort of proposed the Arabs get ninety-one percent
of the Occupied Territories (ten percent deferred)
the Jews nine: fertile land full of their settlements 
swapped for an equal area of Israeli desert;
He also demanded much of East Jerusalem 
	  (calculated deal killer?)
Arafat rejected his gambit without making a counter;
Thus the best hope for peace foundered 
and the settlements continued to burgeon.
Tooth for a Tooth
The new millennium -
a second Palestinian uprising:
disillusioned with the 'peace process'
dismayed at failing to get a state
denied the right to return
angry over Israel's relentless settlement expansion
(365 thousand settlers by 2001)
Hamas sent suicide bombers into Israeli buses, clubs and cafes:
putting the 'safe haven'
in great disarray.
Israel responded with characteristic ferocity
ripping ramshackle refugee camps
where militants fought amid civilian abodes
giant 'dozers ran amok/rockets slammed thunderously
	  in Nablus and Jenin
where militants battled to the end.
Israel claimed it warned civilians to flee;
many couldn't escape shells and falling concrete debris
victims, Israeli claimed, of more
	- human shielding -
Though Magnes and Buber have passed away
is real democracy yet possible in Palestine?
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel
Jews Against the Occupation
Rabbis for Human Rights
American Jews for Just Peace
Jewish Voice for Peace
and many other organizations
-Jewish, Muslim and Christian-
in and outside Israel
continue their quest	
for justice, equality and freedom
genuine democracy – one state or two -
transcending ethnic nationalism
in that conflict-torn land; 
But theirs is an uphill struggle against
the Zionist/Land of Israel establishment
	its American enablers
	and Arab extremism.
Brilliant dawn illumines skyscraper thickets
giant metal birds slam twin silver towers
silhouette holes/fiery billows/hard copy confetti/suicide leapers  
stupendous collapses, debris avalanches
down man-made canyons;
Witnesses too stunned to cry
for 3000 came to work not to die;
Nation in shock, demanding
Why such horror from innocent blue sky?

Bush the son declared it unprovoked
actions of madmen bent on world domination
al-Qaeda their nefarious organization.
Ignoring their resentment
of America's troops in Muslim lands
and its special relationship with Israel,
he attacked their hideouts and training camps
in remote Afghanistan, land of the Taliban.
Peace Making/Wall Building
In '02 Palestinian moderates
and all Arab nations - including Iraq -
       (yes, Saddam as well)
extended the olive branch to Israel:
Do a little justice by the Palestinians -
end its occupation
remove its settlements
allow them a corner - under a quarter - of Palestine
a capital in East Jerusalem
for the refugees, a just solution -
and they'd grant the security
that has eluded Israel so long
establish normal relations
resume trade
reconnect transportation;
In short, end the Semitic blood feud;
Israel brushed it aside – 			
"End the occupation," "Land for peace" all over again:
impossible to
give up Judea and Samaria 
forgo any part of Zion.
They'd make their own security
        not alter priorities.

Bush the son gave it a whirl:
Palestinians need a state
Israel - security.
They'd get there via the Road Map			
step by step simultaneously:
the Palestinians would end violence and corruption
the Israelis would stop building settlements and exit Arab cities
pretty much Oslo all over again; 
The Palestinians were eager to set out
    - though extremists dissented -
Israel threw up roadblocks: 
wouldn't stop building
until the Palestinians 
ended all violence
turned in their weapons
and forgot about returning:
guaranteed deal breakers
certain to inflame Palestinian militants
whose attacks intensified as the settlements expanded;
Bush focused on getting Israel to stop building 
but its lobby exerted intense pressure 
on him and on Congress
so he shifted to demanding
an end to Arab violence
putting his grand plan in Limbo:
       Road Map to nowhere.

Israel started a tall wall 
(Jabotinsky recall)
to keep out the bombers
confine the Arabs to cantons
confiscate more land
link its settlements to itself; 
The attacks abated as it encircled. 
Scanning for more threats
Israel homed in on Iraq again:
Advocates for Israel in the Bush administration
convinced him it was an al-Qaeda lair
whose WMD threatened world peace;
So he rounded up a coalition and laid it on Saddam;
petitioned everyone but Israel to help depose that despot 
	(couldn't look like this was for them)
Eight years before that war was more or less won
forty-five hundred Americans had seen their last sun
thousands more could neither walk nor run
US treasury drained of funds
yet WMD - Iraq had none 
and al-Qaeda was Johnny-come-lately;
Thus Iraqi blood continued to flow
long after the coalition decided to go;
but Saddam was dead - Israel had one less bogey 
and Father Bush's job finally seemed done.

Back to Afghanistan and Pakistan
        - grim war on hold - 
Defeating the gritty Taliban
overshadowed finding the terrorists
as war ground on in that rugged land;
Over a decade after W ordered its start
Barack was trying to keep Afghanistan from falling apart;
though his drones took out terrorists one by one
too often two replaced each thus undone
too often they took out weddings or boys having fun;
But Obama did take out Osama
   which helped his re-election.  

Despite all this military activity
Israel still lacked security;		
In '06, after border altercations
Hezbollah, backed by Iran, rained rockets once more
re-kindling anxiety in Israel's north
Forty-four Jews killed, many more wounded;
Israel again launched full-scale war
killing hundreds of militants
Lebanese civilians - far more
before retreating to lick its wounds -  
just another cycle of feuding.

Iraq subdued, Hezbollah quieted		
      - threats proliferated -				
Israel suspected Syria was developing The Bomb -
safe haven again existentially threatened;
In '07 its jets blasted a suspicious building:
Syria claimed it was a storage depot
and spirited off the wreckage
      so we'll never know.

Fed up with failure of Fatah party leaders to 
end Israel's occupation 
stop its settlements
achieve statehood
through peace processes and negotiation,
the Palestinians elected a Hamas party legislature;			
America cut off aid to their government	
as Hamas refused to renounce violence against Israel	
and acknowledge the rightness of its existence;
Civil war in '07 resulted in 
Fatah controlling West Bank zones
Hamas - Gaza
from which Israel had removed its settlers
	- but not its domination -
Gaza Ghetto Uprising
Security remained elusive for the 'safe haven':
Hezbollah fired rockets sporadically
Israel responded reflexively;
others flew from Gaza ghetto at the ethnic state 
that was cooping one and a half million in that small space
more prison than home for those virtual inmates
hemmed by walls, barbed wire, cameras and tanks 
food and fuel cut to the bone					
sanitation abominable
water unclean				
blockaded, imports and exports throttled
harassed by sound grenades and sonic booms
terrorized by drones and rockets
targeting supposed militants
killing civilians nearby; 
unemployment monumental
forced to smuggle goods
- likely guns and explosives, too -
through treacherous tunnels;
condemned for firing crude rockets
frightening Jews but doing minimal damage;

The Zionists pounded their Hamas nemesis
by land, air and sea
turning neighborhoods to rubble
crushing living human beings
dropped blazing white phosphorus
melting flesh to the bone
defying rules of war
a hundred civilians and fighters dead for every Israeli;
while Barack and Hillary joined the cry:			
     'Israel has a right to defend itself!'
Persian Peril
Iraq: undone
Syria: out of commission		
Lebanon: at bay
Iran: next target of Israeli suspicion
Zion's US lobby and neocons rallied to its cause:
That supporter of Hezbollah and Hamas
denier of the Holocaust		
threatened to wipe Israel off the map
when he said the occupation regime
must vanish from the page of time.
Developing nuclear weapons!
Ultimate threat to the safe haven!
(Though it signed the non-proliferation treaty			
which Israel refused to
having nukes of its own
per Mordecai Vanunu,
its former nuclear technician.)	

Israel pushes America to take action 
      - military preferably -
to eliminate these supposed WMD;
Perhaps recalling the Iraq fallacies
drained by two wars
Obama declines 
   - at least temporarily-
invokes harsh sanctions out of expediency;			
Israel keeps pressing for military action
    -fueling Iran's desire for nukes-
and might do so itself
were it not problematic for its fighters
        to fly there and back.

In any case, Obama reassures Israel
knowing Zionist support pivotal		
in election and re-election; 
For the Palestinians, lip service:
deserve a state of their own 
living in peace beside Israel
boundary the Green Line;
But when Israel's prime minister 
declared that indefensible 
Barack looked at the floor and said nothing
at that image so laughable:
a nation with the fourth greatest military
back-stopped by America
fortified by a tall concrete wall
security cameras, watchtowers and all,
endangered by impoverished refugees
and third-rate powers.

The Palestinians persisted:
petitioned for UN member state status in '11 
vital step in their quest for independence; 
But America's black president
and black woman ambassador
opposed their freedom bid  
claimed it would bypass the peace process
Israel drags out interminably
buying time to 
colonize those territories
creating "irreversible"

Having learned to take what they can get
and bide their time
the Palestinians settled for member state status in UNESCO
  - UN organization for education, science and dialogue -
(America again led the opposition by
cutting off funding to UNESCO.)			
The Palestinians didn't let it drop: 
Late in '12 the General Assembly by overwhelming majority
upgraded them to 'observer state'
despite more US threats to withhold funds;
Israel again accused the Palestinians 
of bypassing the 'peace process'
and withheld taxes collected from them;
The Palestinians were willing to resume talks 
but first had to raise their status.
Down the Road
What outcome, Semitic feud?
one democratic state?
not "Land of Israel" 
not "Land of Palestinians"
but of all its inhabitants?
After all the 
blood spilled
can the blood brothers bury the hatchet
forgive, forget, amicably relate
as one functional state
	in the foreseeable future?

If not one, perhaps two
side by side in peace and security?
Despite lip service to a Palestinian state
Israeli leadership appears dead set against 
conceding part of 'Zion'
to make it a reality;
Pledges notwithstanding, 
it shows little inclination to grant equality 
to its Arab citizens.
Similar vows
in the Palestinian Declaration of Independence
precede definition of Palestine as an Arab state
without squaring the circle:
How could non-Arabs be equal in
     a state of Arab sovereignty?

History suggests
Zionism cares little for peace processes
or international law;
Its settlements and soldiers
increasingly confine Palestinians
behind barriers and guards;
Should this continue
(why might it not?)
all Palestine will indeed be the land of Israel:
Jewish colonization ubiquitous
Arabs confined to Gaza-like ghettos
 - or permanently exiled -
blood brothers and sisters
separate and unequal
animosity smoldering
foreign threats unrelenting
Zion's arsenal burgeoning
war unending
Armageddon pending?
Herzl's utopia discredited
Jabotinsky's wall materialized
Magnes and Buber unheeded
Sermon on the Mount disregarded
Semitic feud reconfigured: 
        Apartheid Zion.
Gregory M. DeSylva
April, 2013

Deir Yassin Remembered

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