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Israel is "dismantling Palestinian “affiliation and identity”, lies ex-Israeli Arab MK - "Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre are desecrated, the right of people to carry out religious ceremonies is violated"

Official PA TV program Topic of the Day, broadcast from Nazareth on the 104th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration





Chairman of the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel and former Israeli Arab MP Muhammad Barakeh: This [Balfour] Promise (i.e., Declaration) constitutes the colonialist foundation of the Zionist movement, of the Zionist project, not only as a settler project but also as an economic and military spearhead in the Arab region in general…


I want to direct attention to a date that not many remember and that was marked a number of days ago – the memorial day of the Kafr Qassem massacre on Oct. 29, 1956 (see note below -Ed.). Two things happened on this day – we remember Kafr Qassem, but it was also the day the Tripartite Aggression (i.e., the 1956 Sinai War) against Egypt began. Israel, Britain, and France launched an attack to bring down the government of pan-Arab [Egyptian] President Gamal Abdel Nasser. In other words, this Zionist project’s goal was to clear the Palestinians from their land, to establish a colonialist entity on the Palestinian land, and to remain like a spearhead controlling the throats of the Arab peoples. This was by creating forces cooperating with the West or weaving plots with the West, and by creating a threat to the [Arab] governments that were liable to threaten this project. What has changed in these 104 years [since the Balfour Promise]? This project is not a memory. It is still being implemented on the ground to this day…


But what was possible in 1948 is no longer possible today, since the Palestinian people has picked itself up – it has the PLO and international experience. In other words, the idea of [population] transfer no longer exists as it did. Therefore, they are carrying out another project – a project of transferring and expelling [Palestinians] from the affiliation and identity, dismantling the identity. We see this in the Interior (i.e., Palestinian term for Israel) through the crime [in the Arab sector] and the like, and in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip we see this through imposition of a blockade, through the poverty, and through placing a ceiling of aspirations for the Palestinian people – to get through the day with a slice of bread and living securely for that day…


Even the cultural and religious rights are being violated. It is true that they speak about freedom of worship in Jerusalem as if Israel is protecting it. What freedom of worship are they talking about? The Al-Aqsa Mosque is desecrated, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is desecrated, the right of the people to carry out their religious ceremonies is violated. Not only is our right being violated at our holy sites, but they also want to share these sites with us.”



The Balfour Declaration of Nov. 2, 1917 was a letter from British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Baron Rothschild stating that "His Majesty's government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." In 1922, the League of Nations adopted this and made the British Mandate "responsible for putting into effect the declaration," which led to the UN vote in favor of partitioning Mandatory Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state in 1947. In response, Britain ended its mandate on May 15, 1948, and the Palestinian Jews, who accepted the Partition Plan, declared the independent State of Israel. The Palestinian Arabs rejected the plan and together with 7 Arab states attacked Israel, in what is now known as Israel's War of Independence.


Kafr Qassem Massacre – With the outbreak of the Israel–Egypt war in Sinai Israel on Oct. 29, 1956, Israel imposed a curfew on Arab villages for security reasons. Israeli border police were given orders to shoot anyone who broke the curfew, and 43 Israeli Arabs of the village of Kfar Qassem, including women and children, who were outside the village and unaware of the curfew were shot and killed. An Israeli military court determined that the soldiers had a duty to disobey the order as it was manifestly illegal. The families of those killed were compensated financially, the border policemen were prosecuted and sentenced to prison - but pardoned after one year, and the brigadier commander was given a symbolic fine. This massacre is condemned in Israel and is considered a seminal event in its history that is studied in the Israeli army at all levels. In addition it is taught in Israeli schools and efforts are being made to increase its study. Former Israeli President Shimon Peres formally apologized for the massacre in December 2007, and President Reuven Rivlin has condemned it, calling it a “terrible crime” that weighs heavily on Israel’s collective conscience.