Archive for November, 2016

Nov 07 2016

A century after the Balfour Declaration

Published by under Articles,Palestinian politics

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By Daoud Kuttab

November 2 is etched in the minds of Palestinians and Arabs as a dark day. November 2, 2017, will mark the 100th anniversary of the date when a British official promised a Zionist leader a Jewish state in a country that was already inhabited by Palestinians, including Palestinian Jews.

Palestinians and their supporters are planning a year-long series of activities to mark this date with the aim of reminding the world of the injustice that befell the Palestinians nearly one century ago.

In 1917, in a letter to Lord Rothschild, the head of the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland, British foreign secretary Arthur James Balfour made the promise of a state for Jews, but conditioned it with a request that existing communities would not be “prejudiced” by such a state.

“His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country,” the text of the declaration reads. Continue Reading »

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Nov 01 2016

Why 30 Palestinians celebrated Jewish holiday with settlers

Published by under Articles,Palestinian politics


By Daoud Kuttab

Following the participation of a group of Palestinians in a holiday celebration at a nearby Jewish settlement, Palestinians have been asking themselves a simple question: Why would a population under occupation that bears the brunt of the settlement enterprise visit their occupiers?

The event over the Jewish Sukkot holiday on Oct. 19 was widely covered by the media. Mayor of Efrat Oded Revivi told French news agency AFP that 30 Palestinians who live near the Jewish settlement accepted the invitation. Sukkot is a weeklong Jewish holiday during which participants build a hut and pray for rain. Palestine and Israel suffer from a water shortage.

The Washington Post reported in detail Oct. 20 what happened when Palestinians participated publicly in the holiday events at Efrat with gun-toting settlers and Israeli army officials.

Once the story was made public, the Palestinian security service on Oct. 21 arrested four of the Palestinians who had attended the settlers’ event. Bethlehem Governor Muhammad Taha told Israeli Army Radio that the four were accused of behavior that encourages “normalization with Israel,” which according to the governor is a violation of Palestinian law. It is unclear, however, why these four Palestinians were arrested, but it seems they were among the leaders of the group that attended the event. Continue Reading »

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