Saturday, March 31, 2007

Day of the Land - A Lasting Stand for Liberation and Return

(Free Palestine Alliance - USA)

March 30, is Day of the Land ("Yaoum Al-Ard") for the Palestinian people.

In 1976, Palestinian Arab masses within the areas colonized by Zionism in 1948 rose up in the Galilee (Al-Jaleel) in a popular rebellion against land expropriation and Zionization of Palestine. From that day, March 30th has become the embodiment of the oneness of the Palestinian people in the face of exile, destitution, and attempted theft of our national identity. Successive uprisings have since taken place, mostly within 1967 borders, just as they have been all over Palestine since the turn of the 20th century in opposition of consecutive colonial policies.

It is a day to celebrate the relentless resistance of a people facing conspiracies at the hands of a tripartite assault: US imperial designs, the Zionist movement, and despotic Arab functionaries. Only yesterday, functionaries wearing the garbs of national leaders, completed their assembly in Riyadh, the heart of the Arab peninsula (Al-Jazeera Al-Arabiyya), as they convened the Nineteenth Arab Summit for the purpose of reaffirming the so-called "Arab Initiative", which capitulates in total to the demands of Israel and the US State Department. In addition to transforming Arab land into playgrounds for invading armies, another key part of this presumably Arab plan is to open wide the Arab gates for Zionist normalization while simultaneously using linguistic acrobatics and detractions, like "finding a solution of the refugee problem", or "solving the refugee problem in accordance with international law", to terminate the Palestinian Right of Return.

We warn that any language that explicitly avoids supporting the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees to their original homes and property along with payment of all due compensation, is an attempt to maneuver around this non-negotiable and inalienable right. We also warn of language that talks about a Palestinian state within 1967 border and remind all that Palestinian land is not divisible.

These same leaders also had the audacity to speak of Arab unity and to issue a fake criticism of the US ongoing destruction of Iraq. As if we are to forget that it is these very functionaries who either opened Arab gates for the US armed forces to overtake Iraq, or rode in as conquerors of Iraq on US Humvees, and who continue to make Arab lands available for US imperial military bases. They are the ones who watched from the sidelines as Israeli forces swept into Lebanon scorching the land and people, some even cheering the Israelis to finish the job quickly; although to their dismay, Israel instead was dealt a major defeat. They are the ones who bartered Palestine and its people for crumbs at the back doors of the White House, while watching successive policies of strangulation further cripple the besieged Palestinian people. And as they speak of "unity", in reality they are implementing US designs of sectarianism and de-Arabization, pitting even families against each other, as evident in Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon.

Our Day of the Land is a sustaining challenge to these very political programs. It is a unifying cry that insists on the Arab belonging of Palestine despite the passage of time. It is our people's stance for history to record that we are one and indivisible.

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