June 2, 2007
By Mazin Qumsiyeh • 9:00 PM EST
Ed. note: Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh, a tireless advocate for peace everywhere, especially in the Middle East, posted this at his Human Rights Web. Since it discusses precisely 40 years of time, I have cross posted it here. KK
Those who planned the 1967 "six day war" (Al-Naksa in Arabic) 40 years ago and we the people who lived there could not foresee its ramifications on lives of Israelis and Palestinians let alone Americans and Iraqis today.
I was a 10-year old kid growing up in the Shepherd's field at the time the occupation began and my memories of the initial onslaught are vivid. After I immigrated to the US in 1979, I still go almost every year and still maintain residency there. I saw it get worse and worse every year from 1967 (and I dread my trip this summer).
What can be said after 40 years of illegal occupation, after over 250,000 Israeli Jewish colonial settlers in the West Bank, after over 18,000 of our homes demolished, after causing massive economic dislocation (unemployment is at twice what it was for Americans during the Great depression), after over 11,000 Palestinian political prisoners now in Israeli jails, after over 10,000 fellow Palestinian civilians killed?
What can be said after the remaining Palestinians are squeezed into shrinking ghettos after much of their best lands was confiscated? Should we focus on the price the occupiers also paid (especially since the introduction of the phenomenon of suicide bombings 10 years ago)?
Should we focus on the price the world has paid including the unfolding tragedy in Iraq (and now the Israel lobby is pushing for a war on Iran)? How about the over $1 trillion that Israel cost the US in these 40 years?