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Irish Solidarity Delegation Concludes its Visit to Palestine. January 24, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Israel, Palestine.


Irish Solidarity Delegation Concludes its Visit; PCHR Honours the Delegation and Other International Solidarity Activists

Saturday, 19 January 2013 00:00

The Irish delegation, hosted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), concluded its visit to the Gaza Strip on Friday, 18th January 2013. The delegation conducted a number of meetings and field activities during its visit. PCHR honoured the members of the delegation, as well as other international activists working in the Gaza Strip for their role in supporting the rights of the Palestinian people.

The 9 member Irish delegation from Irish civil society organizations and the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign arrived in the Gaza Strip on Monday 14th January 2013. They held a number of meetings with Mr. Raji Sourani, Director of PCHR; Mr. Jaber Weshah, Deputy Director for PCHR Branch Affairs; Mr. Khalil Shaheen, Head of Economic and Social Rights Unit; and Ms. Lydia de Leeuw, Head of International Unit. Mr. Sourani discussed the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), especially in the aftermath of the latest Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip and the admission of Palestine as a non-member observer State in the United Nations General Assembly. Mr. Sourani also discussed the ongoing Israeli violation of the rights of the Palestinian civilians, particularly with the continued total closure imposed on the Gaza Strip and its grave economic and social consequences on the civilian population.

The delegation made a number of field visits, including to Shifa Hospital in Gaza; the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and its Ambulance and Emergency Department; al-Hilal Sports Club; Gaza Seaport; the Fishermen Syndicate; the Palestinian NGO Network in the Gaza Strip; and the UNRWA headquarters in the Gaza Strip. The delegation also met with the representatives of the aforementioned organizations and discussed the economic, social and political situation in the Gaza Strip and the material damage inflicted on its infrastructure following the latest Israeli offensive.

PCHR organized a ceremony for members of the delegation, which was attended by a number of the international activists in the Gaza Strip and PCHR’s staff. Fintan Lane, coordinator of the Irish delegation, expressed his appreciation of PCHR’s role and efforts in monitoring human rights in Palestine, “Gaza has a rich history and distinguished culture. The closure is a humanitarian catastrophe, but not of natural reasons; it is man-made and it is a policy that can only be changed via political action. The tireless and great willpower and determination of the Palestinian fishermen to defy the Israeli assaults and violations is a model that requires our support for protecting their rights.”

On his part, Mr. Raji Sourani praised the role and efforts of the international solidarity delegations in supporting the Palestinian cause and the rights of the Palestinian people. Mr. Sourani also expressed his deep appreciation for the international activists who decided to face the Israeli offensive and document the attacks of the Israeli forces. Mr. Sourani awarded members of the delegation PCHR’s souvenir plaque. He also presented PCHR’s souvenir plaque to a number of international activists for their role in documenting the alleged Israeli violations of human rights and war crimes committed against the Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip; the recipients are: Mr. Iddie Marmish, from Britain; Ms. Rosa Sciano, from Italy; Mr. Sarah Kats, from France and Ms. Teresa Modirmot.


1. Jack - January 24, 2013

no mention of Hamas

or rocket attacks



Ed - January 24, 2013

No punctuation? Are full stops antisemitic too?


WorldbyStorm - January 24, 2013

Way ahead of you Jack. Before posting that up I did a little digging on the PCHR – being anything but a fan of Hamas myself, and discovered its sponsors, etc, etc. Perhaps you should too before attempting to paint it as something a moment’s investigation would reveal that it isn’t.


2. meqdadtaheri - January 26, 2013

We all want peace, and yet, after more than a century of conflict, the struggle between these two related nations remains more intractable than ever. Why?

Because each side is entrenched in its own narrative, to the exclusion of the other’s.

Its faults notwithstanding, one must admit that Israel has taken some steps since the Oslo Accords toward acknowledging the Palestinian suffering. These steps are reflected in school books, in the media, and through other informational outlets. The Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza, for instance, are now referred to as “Palestinians,” and most Israelis would like to see a Palestinian state emerge. The fact that Israeli voters don’t reflect these wishes has to do with fears of surface-to-air missiles two miles from Ben-Gurion International Airport, and scarred memories of blown-up buses and pizzerias.

The Palestinians, unfortunately, have done little to allay Israeli fears. While Palestinians clamor for the removal of onerous checkpoints and barriers, militant attempts to penetrate these barriers and attack Israeli civilians have not ceased at all since the second Intifada. Similarly, school books and speeches, in Arabic, have grown radical, to the point of portraying Israel’s very existence as a crime. Little has been done to acknowledge the Jewish roots in Palestine.

The fact is that the Jewish presence in Palestine goes much farther back than most Palestinians, as well as Arabs and Muslims in general, would be willing to admit.

Before 1948, Palestine was ruled by a series of empires. Before that Palestine was Judaea—a Jewish country. Jews have lived in Palestine continuously for more than 3,300 years. “Palestine” was the name given to the Jewish homeland in the second century by the Romans, in an attempt to break the Jewish adherence to the land. This was a century after the Jewish temple was destroyed and more than a million Jews were massacred.

The Jews stopped fighting the Romans only after they had no more fighting men standing. As Evangelist William Eugene Blackstone put it in 1891, “The Jews never gave up their title to Palestine… They never abandoned the land. They made no treaty, they did not even surrender. They simply succumbed, after the most desperate conflict, to the overwhelming power of the Romans.”

The Jews persisted through the centuries under the various empires, after the Arab invasion of 635AD (which they fought alongside the Byzantines), and after the Crusade massacres of the 11th Century, which decimated much of their population. They never stopped returning, and their numbers recovered. In the 19th century, before the Zionist immigration, Jews constituted the largest religious group in Jerusalem.

Few Palestinians realize that Jewish customs, religion, prayers, poetry, holidays, and virtually every walk of life, documented for thousands of years—all revolve around Judaea/Palestine/Israel. For thousands of years Jews have been praying for Jerusalem in every prayer, after every meal, in every holiday, at every wedding, in every celebration. The whole Jewish religion is about Jerusalem and the Land of Israel. Western expressions such as “The Promised Land,” and “The Holy Land,” did not pop out of void. They have been part of Western knowledge and tradition dating back to the beginning of Christianity and earlier.

After the Crusades, the Jews—including many who have returned over the centuries—lived peacefully with Arabs, often in the very same villages, as in Pki’in, in the Galilee, until the Zionist immigration of the 19th and 20th Centuries. Article 6 of the PLO Charter specifically calls for the acceptance of all Jews present in Palestine prior to the Zionist immigration. These Jews were simply another ethnic group in a region composed of Sunnis, Shiites, Jews, Druz, Greek Orthodox, Catholics, Circassians, Samarians, and more. Some of these groups, like the Druz, Circassians, Samarians, and an increasing number of Christians, are actually loyal to the Jewish State.

Incidentally, genetic studies consistently show that Zionist immigrants (a.k.a., Ashkenazi Jews) are closely related to groups that predate the Arab conquest, like the Samarians, who have lived in Palestine for thousands of year.

Palestinian denial of these facts may lead to events such as the ones brilliantly depicted in Jonathan Bloomfield’s award-winning book, “Palestine,” in which actual history and predicted events are thinly veiled as fiction.

If, as the current Palestinian narrative goes, the Jews are not a people indigenous to Palestine but rather an invading foreign colonialist body, then they must be fought until they are removed from this land. Anything short of that, by any standard, would be injustice.

Thus, war and bloodshed will continue until the Palestinians start acknowledging the Jewish narrative, and the fact that Jewish roots in Palestine date back thousands of years, long before the Arab invasion.


WorldbyStorm - January 26, 2013

Not to be rude, but I see you’ve cut and pasted and posted the above across the internet. Wouldn’t it be better if you engaged perhaps with the substance of the OP in a bit better detail.


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