Too often, Saleh feels, Palestinian history is on display for people other than Palestinians themselves, something which can be remedied by nurturing the connection of diasporic Palestinians to their homeland. He hopes the PalestineMuseum.US will become a space where Palestinians can be proud of their history. “We want every Palestinian to feel that they belong,” he continued.
But what about the left? Is there any objection to the plan on that basis? None, apparently. Haneen Zoabi, the besieged Palestinian member of Knesset, said at the Jerusalem Fund yesterday in Washington that Israel has gone so far right that it is unrecognizable to those who remember it ten years ago. Plans that were extremist ten years ago are now in the center: for instance, the idea of transferring Palestinian citizens of Israel to a Palestinian sovereign/entity/bantustan in the West Bank.
It has become increasingly difficult for Palestinians to establish a family and live in East Jerusalem. According to the “temporary order” implemented in 2003, Palestinians from the West Bank who marry an Israeli citizen (including those from East Jerusalem), cannot obtain Israeli citizenship or residency. They can only receive “temporary permits” under extremely rigid criteria that must be renewed every year. Family unification permits were completely canceled for Jerusalemite-Gazan couples in 2008.
The UN human rights commissioner, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, has sent letters to an estimated 150 international and Israeli businesses warning them that they may be included in a UN database of companies involved with illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.
But for me, painful questions need to be answered. Not why they died, but why were they massacred as refugees? After 69 years, has the world already forgotten? How can we allow a situation where a person’s only claim to humanity is a refugee identity card? These questions have haunted me and they have yet to receive answers.
The Newton schools, it seems, crossed over long ago to the dark side. In 2007, for example, the Social Awareness Club at Newton South High School had the audacity to extend a speaking invitation to Noam Chomsky, who addressed “an estimated 140 students about the Iraq war”. At the time, Chomsky was employed at the little-known Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a hub of extremism not far from Newton.
The United Arab Emirates has been using Israeli security companies for years to build their own security state. They have been assisting Mossad with deporting Fatah and Hamas exiles back to face Israeli courts. The Saudis appear to have resurrected Prince Bandar’s plan of intimate ties with Tel Aviv, only to counter Iran. The Egyptian state, under military rule once more, is as close to Israel as it has ever been and is far more brutal than Israel in preventing aid entering Gaza. Only Qatar, Iran and Turkey seem at all interested in freeing the Palestinian people.