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Israel “steals, hijacks, falsifies… enslaves, threatens, kills, and destroys”

Op-ed by Imtiyaz Diab:
Headline: “The Palestine Sunbird”
     [The writer reports that an Israeli commission has sent requests to international organizations to change the name of a bird now called the “Palestine Sunbird” and begin calling it the ”Orange Sunbird”.] “’Orange Sunbird’! That’s what [Israel] wants to call it! It wants to kidnap [the bird] from us, and it has set up a special commission to promote the name change. This commission has sent letters to all international unions and organizations that deal with nature, in order to pressure them into changing the name.
That is how it [Israel] steals, hijacks, falsifies, alters, lies, dries up, bulldozes, rips out, demolishes, sucks up, dissolves, runs rampant over, enslaves, threatens, kills, and destroys.
I first heard about the chairman of the Palestine Wildlife Society when following a news report about Ibrahim Fawzi’s defensive measures to deter Israel from harming the ‘Palestine Sunbird’ and [his efforts] to keep the name as it is [currently] registered in international institutions. [He could mount] this [defense] since Palestine attained full membership in the international Via Campesina movement after 13 Brazilian activists examined Palestine’s commitment to its trees, birds, and wildlife… and with their own eyes saw the settler’s blatant hostility to anything green and to any winged creature that flies under the clouds.
Nothing will deter Israel from changing the bird’s name, and its authorities are still working to have the name changed in the registries of international institutions – just as it did with the Palestinian embroidery that it presented to western Ambassadors as if it were part of its own heritage, and just as it did with the falafel that it serves on its holidays and at its celebrations, as a blue and white flag waves over the [falafel] balls.
Does defending the Palestine Sunbird and declaring it a national symbol not necessitate our preparing legal dossiers and negotiation files needed to make this issue a red line in negotiations for a permanent settlement between us and them? Yes it does, because Israel will not compromise when it comes to inventing history and names, trying to prove its historic existence. This is very different from the Palestinians and the Arabs who have believed that strong evidence is sufficient to protect their existence.
A Palestinian international attorney who is familiar with Israel’s colonialist mentality has advised that ‘the Palestinian president must relate most seriously to negotiations concerning our national symbols in nature.’
If not, Israel will not rest until it gains control of the Sunbird’s name, and its fate becomes that of the Hula Painted Frog that people thought became extinct 50 years ago when the Zionist movement dried Lake Hula and converted it into settlements. That wiped out hundreds of species of fowl and wildlife and a unique ecosystem that had included this Palestinian frog that reappeared suddenly after heavy rainfall, the likes of which had not been seen in this region for many years. The Painted Frog did not disappear as a result of any natural disaster or sudden climate change. Rather, [it disappeared] after the land was captured from its rightful owners, after they [the owners] were driven out, after a large group of them were killed, and after the Al-Ghawarneh tribe disappeared completely from the region...
Scientists do not know where the Painted Frog hid for half a century. I think that during all those years it was hiding under its stolen house, like its Palestinian owner who was uprooted from that same place, and had to live in forgotten refugee camps, waiting for the Palestine Sunbird [who will] carry Palestinian nature’s missive to the world.”


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