May 15, 2010

RCPJ takes up Palestinian cause on Al-Nakba Day

Elaine Kinch and Pat Chaffee at RCPJ's peace vigil Saturday

Racine was introduced to an unfamiliar word in the protest lexicon Saturday by the Racine Coalition for Peace and Justice.

The word is "Al-Nakba," and it means "the catastrophe" in Arabic -- the day in 1948 when Israel was created and  700,000 Palestinians were driven out of their homeland.

The RCPJ, which has been a monthly fixture at the corner of Highways 20 and 31 protesting the war in Iraq, took up the new cause today, because May 15 is Al-Nakba Day in the Arab world.

Borrowing protest signs from Peace Action Milwaukee, seven members of RCPJ stood for an hour, hoping to educate those driving past. It was a mostly losing battle; what few reactions they garnered with pro-Palestinian signs -- like No U.S. $$$ for Israeli occupation of Palestine -- were more of the thumbs down variety; one driver shouted "Nazi" as he waited for the light to change.

Pat Chaffee took pains to point out, "We're not talking about Jews; we must distinguish between Israel and Jews."

Elaine Kinch said the vigil was about "peace and justice." The creation of Israel forced out more than 700,000 Palestinians. "Today there are 7 million refugees who can't return where they came from."

"When Israel was created, it started ethnic cleansing," she said.

A solution will be difficult, since turning the clock back 60 years to restore Palestinian homelands would displace the European Jews who came when the State of Israel was created on May 14, 1948, by the United Nations' partitioning of Palestine.

Corky Gerard of the Milwaukee Peace Action Coalition, said, "You can't pick and choose which historic claim to support." If you went by history, he said, "Native Americans would probably own your house."

"I don't think there will ever be a peace, because the Israeli government doesn't want it," he said.

Kinch said "you have to divide" Israel to create states for both Jews and Palestinians. Chaffee said this would be impossible, because of the "Swiss cheese" of opposing settlements.

For a fuller explanation of Al-Nakba, go here. Gerard also recommends a documentary film, Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land, about the U.S. media and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.



    They just love The Jews and never hurt a fly

  2. Very sad situation.

  3. wing nuts!

  4. *"When Israel was created, it started ethnic cleansing." This quote is incorrect. Ethnic cleansing existed long before 1948.

    To say otherwise is indicative of a lack of understanding of history.

    *"We're not talking about Jews; we must distinguish between Israel and Jews."

    In the culture of many nations the middle east and africa, one's ethnic identity and spiritual identity are tied to one's national identity. Americans commonly misunderstand this and try to separate the different components. While that may be simple for us, since "separation of church and state" is ingrained in our national heritage, it is certainly not the case for the nations/people being discussed in this article.

  5. Seven individual protest!

    I protested my lawn mowing today - there were no cameras.

  6. After Israel was created in 1948, the surrounding Arab countries "forced" the Arabs in Israel to leave, so that they could attack Israel and destroy the Jewish State. The Israelis did not drive out the Arabs that were living in Palestine. From the day the State of Israel was created the policy of the Arab States in the region was the total destruction of Israel. In 1948 a tiny new country was invaded and subsequently defeated the Arab armies of Egypt, Trans Jordan, and Syria, without any allies or other military support. For those who feel bad for the Palestinians, ask yourself this question. Where is the help from other Arab countries? Other than funding Hezbollah, who is attacking Israel, where is the aid for the poor downtrodden Palestinian?

  7. Good point, Anon 9:29pm.

    Some have said that the lack of support (including refusal to welcome Palestinians into their borders) is a strategy that they employ to make prolong the suffering of the Palestinians so that the world will have an image of Palestine as a victim and Isreal as an aggressor.

  8. Looks like some members of the Obama Administration State Department got out of Washington for the weekend. Thanks to them for supporting tourism in Racine County!

  9. “We plan to eliminate the state of Israel and establish a purely Palestinian state. We will make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion. . . . We Palestinians will take over everything, including all of Jerusalem.”

    Yasser Arafat

    A true Peace Maker

    Ahmad Ragab, columnist for the Egyptian newspaper Al-Akhbar, wrote a comment that pleased him so much that he printed it twice over, on April 20 and April 25, 2001:

    "Thanks to Hitler, of blessed memory, who on behalf of the Palestinians, revenged in advance, against the most vile criminals on the face of the earth. Although we do have a complaint against him for his revenge on them was not enough."

    Another great man!

    Yes Israel simply should quit defending itself because the Palestinians only want peace

  10. Of all that goes on around Racine County every weekend, this is the event that drew Pete and his camera?

  11. Elaine Marie Kinch5/16/2010 12:22 PM

    By May of 1948, although the Zionists had ethnic cleansed one third of the Palestinian villages, Israel wanted more land than the UN had "given" it, and it wanted all this land without the Palestinian people----Muslims and Christians. So it continued its war, now to include "indiscriminate raiding...and atrocity", including night time attacks.
    It is true that some Palestinians fled out of panic when neighboring villagers were massacred. This was intended by the Zionists gangs because then they only needed to loot and destroy the Palestinian homes, churches and mosques. See Ilan Pappe's book "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine".
    An Irish journalist and others have looked into the claim that Arabs had demanded that Palestians leave Palestine so the Arab forces could attack Israel. This is totally untrue and in fact the opposite was the case, as the historical record shows. See "Deliberate Deceptions" by Paul Findley.
    To understand the struggle in Palestine and Israel, one has to understand its root, which is the Nakba. But this ethnic cleansing still continues and even mainstream media covers it, going on right now in East Jerusalem, and over a year ago in Gaza.

  12. Gee great choice of supporters for your cause. Too bad Hitler and Stalin are dead you could use them to!

  13. Anyone know how many Billions of dollars have been given to the Palestine Authority over the last say 5 years?
    Is it true as the Palestinians live in filth the children of Arafat were living in France?
    Is it true that Palestinians are not allowed to live outside of camps in Syria and other Arab countries?

  14. It is not difficult to know the truth. There are many ways to discover it, if you dare. I would suggest that all of the naysayers go to the West Bank and Gaza to see for themselves how Israel is "protecting" itself and who it is that is really trying to ethnically cleanse the area of Palestine of the people who NEVER LEFT. To claim an area as belonging to oneself, when history shows that it is the Palestinians who have lived in the land for thousands of years, is fiction! And they remain, despite the horrendous treatment by the state of Israel. We shall overcome!

  15. Usual gang of idiots... If it isn't Israel it's some other cause. Always anti US.
    The Kinchs are professional protestors, I sure would love to follow that money trail.
    They seem to have enought cash to protest. Must be nice to have a secure income and dump on the people who provided that income to you.

    It's about time for their next series of letters to the JT. It's been at least a week.
    One week Eileen the next Ricard.

  16. Here is a quote from an article by an American Jew for your consideration: (See the entire article at the OIA website)

    Moshe Neeman
, Editor
 Israeli Occupation Archive

    Today, the Nakba Day – “day of the catastrophe” – designated by Palestinians to commemorate the loss of their country, in 1948, to the newly-created State of Israel...

    I am an American Jew and a former Israeli who was born after the Holocaust and the creation of Israel. Throughout my childhood, the most memorable question posed by my parents, my grandmother, and an entire generation whose relatives perished in the Holocaust was “What did other nations, including the US, do when our families were taken to ‘the Ovens?’”

    For the past 43 years, Israel has been occupying Palestinian and other Arab lands conquered in 1967. Since then, and especially in the past 20 years, a campaign of ethnic cleansing has been vigorously underway, one which at times borders on genocide.

    Notwithstanding the sophisticated propaganda effort carried out by Israel and its international allies, a careful examination of actions taken daily by Israel (“facts on the ground”) and their consequences, which are clearly identifiable and readily measurable, shows that Israel is methodically replacing the Palestinian population of Palestine with a Jewish population. This is not new. Looking back in time, one sees a pattern, and direct connection between this and the 1948 period called the Nakba.

    This is most clearly evident throughout the West Bank, where Jewish settlements and the settler population have increased dramatically. Every day presents a new opportunity for Jewish settlers to encroach just a bit further into populated Palestinian areas, “a dunam here and a dunam there,” as the old (pre-1948) Zionist expression goes – referring to quarter-acre size parcels of land acquired by Jews bit by bit, by all sorts of ways. At the same time, Palestinians are still pushed out of lands in the Negev and elsewhere within pre-1967 Israel, whenever “appropriate circumstances” present themselves – as has been the case since before 1948.

  17. To all members of RCPJ who own homes in Wisconsin - each one of you "owns" land that the white man displaced Native Americans from in the 19th Century. Each of you needs to immediately find out which tribe and give back all of your homes and land to that tribe, otherwise you are hypocrites.

    Or are you going to pretend that a century and a half changes things?

  18. For all the anonymous folks...Afraid???

    This from "the only democracy in the Middle East"!

    Earlier today, Israeli military authorities denied Noam Chomsky entry into the West Bank across the Allenby Bridge. He was to deliver a lecture at Bir Zeit college and visit the West Bank as a guest of Mustafa Barghouthi.

    The Association for Civil Rights in Israel slammed the Interior Ministry for "using detention and deportation to prevent a man from expressing his opinion", calling it "characteristic of a totalitarian regime."

    "A democratic country where freedom of expression is a guiding principle does not close in the face of criticism or ideas that are not comfortable and does not deny entry to guests only because it does not accept their opinions. Instead, it deals with these opinions through public discussion," said ACRI in a statement.

  19. Joyce Guinn - are you going to renounce ownership of your property in Wisconsin? Are you committed to being a part of the problem?

    Oh yes Joyce, we are so afraid of you and your group. Is your phone number and address listed? Otherwise "Joyce Guinn" is as anonymous as, well, "Anonymous".

  20. Anti Semitism on display

  21. Kinch's are the nuttiest people in town - if they are for it you can be sure you should be against it.

  22. Elaine Marie Kinch5/17/2010 12:19 PM

    The problem is the Government of Israel, not the Jewish people. The last commentator has the two confused.

    Yes,some of our ancestors ethnic-cleansed the Native Americans. But as Americans we cannot justify giving Israel 8 million a day in our tax dollars to do the same to the Palestinians.

    Another, or possibly the same anonymous commentator thinks the Palestinians want all of their land back. He, or she, is not aware of the historic compromise of 1988 where the Palestinians accepted that Israel would keep 78% of Palestinian land. Israel however rejected that offer.

    According to the Angela Godfrey-Goldstein, a Jewish member of the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions, Israel wants all the land it can get, and the Palestinian Christian and Muslim people are in their way.

    All the Palestinians are asking for is for Israel to abide by International Law and scores of United Nations resolutions.

  23. Elaine - in the amount of time you spent outside with signs, you could have used Google to find out what Native American's property your house sits on, found and spoken to a tribal elder, and made arrangements to transfer the title to your home to the tribe. Time's a wastin'!

  24. Muslims have Saudi Arabia, Jordan, parts of India, China, Russia, and a whole host of other little middle eastern countries. They have a HUGE portion of the globe. But they INSIST on focusing on a teeny tiny strip of land called Israel.

    Really, they need to get a life. For cripes saks, just leave Israel alone.

  25. Thanks to the group who supports peace and spends a lot of their time @Hwys 20 and 31. From the comments I've read following your article, there are a lot of uninformed or misinformed people who need to be aware of whats really happening in the world.
    Ethnic cleansing has been around for a long time; will your nationality (or mine) be next?

  26. who was there first - jews (3000 bc) or muslims (600 ad)?

  27. I am in agreement with those arguing that the protesters from RCPJ who were involved in this protest should give up their houses. They should probably also give up their jobs and anything of monetary value. You see, everything that they own or have was obtained through the oppression of another race. The land that they are standing on, the land that they live upon - all ripped from the hands of my ancestors. The inheritances that they have been given; the advantage that they have had academically, socially, and politically in this society - all brought to them as a result of the use and disrespect of other races by the generations before them. I refuse to hear people simply because they have loud voices. Until I see ACTION that addresses that wrong, I will not hear them at all. It is far too convenient to protest "injustice" half a world away, then go home each day to the house, land and life that were brought to you by oppression, slavery and ethnic cleansing.