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Saturday, May 15, 2004

What's twice as pathetic as a refugee?
A refugee "twice over"

Palestinian Refugees Twice Over Mark 'Catastrophe'
By Shahdi al-Kashif

GAZA (Reuters) - For Mohammed al-Bassiouny, the war over Israel's creation in 1948 spelled lifelong misery in a dead-end refugee camp. But as fellow Palestinians on Saturday marked the 56th anniversary of the time they call the Nakba or "catastrophe" Bassiouny felt doubly dispossessed, having just lost his three-storey breeze-block house in the Gaza Strip (news - web sites) to an Israeli army raid.

"My home is gone, the home also of 40 of my relatives, half of them children. All this, the Israelis destroyed," he told Reuters by telephone from Rafah camp.

Throughout Gaza and the West Bank, Palestinians stood with heads bowed as sirens wailed from minarets at noon. They then marched in their thousands bearing banners with the names of Palestinian townships now either razed or renamed in Israel.

The annual show of mourning was especially resonant in Rafah, where at least 12 Palestinians died in weeklong fighting.

Israel, which lost seven soldiers in Rafah, withdrew its forces from the camp on Saturday after demolishing dozens of buildings it said had concealed gunmen. Palestinian officials said hundreds of residents had been made homeless.

The Gaza bloodshed, like a vast Israeli barrier going up in the West Bank, has all but dashed Palestinian hopes of statehood on the land Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

Israel claims the right to strike against militants leading a 3-1/2-year old Palestinian uprising -- especially Islamic groups still bent on the destruction of the Jewish state.

Arabs went to war in 1948 over a U.N. resolution dividing Mandate Palestine into two states, one Jewish, the other Arab. They said it was unfair to lose what they deemed ancestral lands to accommodate Jews seeking a state, after the Nazi Holocaust, in what they saw as a return to their ancient Jewish homeland.

(there's more)

This time, rather than patiently point out the twisted lies, the historical distortions and the popular misconceptions, I'm going to lean on my hero, Zev Jabotinsky, who wrote the following almost a hundred years ago:
We constantly and very loudly apologize... Instead of turning our backs to the accusers, as there is nothing to apologize for, and nobody to apologize to, we swear again and again that it is not our fault... Isn't it long overdue to respond to all these and all future accusations, reproaches, suspicions, slanders and denunciations by simply folding our arms and loudly, clearly, coldly and calmly answer with the only argument that is understandable and accessible to this public: "Go to Hell!"?
Jabotinsky was a smart Jew and he saved many lives, warning people in the 1930s about the approaching catastrophe ... I think we should follow his sage advice. Will they pay attention to an email that says, "Go To Hell"? - not unless there's more than one.
From: Anne Lieberman
To: Reuters
Sent: Saturday, May 15, 2004 11:12 PM
Subject: "Palestinian Refugees Twice Over Mark 'Catastrophe'"

With regard to the above-referenced article, found at Yahoo News
and in the spirit of Jabotinsky,


Anne Lieberman
Boulder, CO