Israel's 50th Anniversary Gala in May Brings No Joy to Palestinian Hearts

By Ruther, Rosemary Radford | National Catholic Reporter, March 27, 1998 | Go to article overview

Israel's 50th Anniversary Gala in May Brings No Joy to Palestinian Hearts


Ruther, Rosemary Radford, National Catholic Reporter


In May 1998 Israelis and Jews around the world will celebrate 50 years of the building of the State of Israel since its founding in May of 1948. Hundreds of thousands of Jews, and friends of Israel will flock to the country to join in the lavish celebrations. The Palestinian people, huddled in their impoverished enclaves only a "stone's throw" away from this jubilation, will remember a very different reality: El Nakba, or "the catastrophe."

For Palestinians these last 50 years have been a disaster in which they have been impoverished, robbed of their lands, marginalized in or expelled from the country of their ancestors. In 1948 the army of the newly founded State of Israel drove out almost a million Palestinians from their homes and lands, leveling more than 400 villages. Many Jewish immigrants from Europe were moved into the remaining houses of Palestinians in the towns and cities of what became the state of Israel.

Jewish land ownership, which had been only 10 percent before the 1948 war, rose to 90 percent as the Jewish state confiscated the lands of Palestinians they Claimed had become "absentees," even though many were still present as refugees. United Nations resolutions affirming the rights of Palestinians to return to their lands or be compensated were ignored. Swedish Count Folke Bernadotte, the U.N. representative who was preparing the case for this resolution, was assassinated by Israeli army leaders.

This disaster has continued to grow for Palestinians in the intervening 50 years. Confiscation, of Palestinian land continues both within Israel and in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. Some 73 percent of these regions occupied by Israel in 1967 have been taken over for Jewish settlements or for roads that link these settlements to each other; while bypassing the Palestinian enclaves. Only Jews are allowed to use these roads, while Palestinians are limited to roads that are often poorly paved and are continually blocked by checkpoints.

With the so--called "peace process," inaugurated in 1993, Israel has sought to institutionalize this new stage of land confiscation, eventually annexing the expropriated regions of the West Bank and Gaza into Israel while leaving Palestinians in small, crowded "homelands" without access to adequate water, land or employment. Although these Palestinian regions are supposedly under the Palestinian Authority, no real sovereignty is granted to them. The purpose of the Palestinian Authority is to police its own people, surrounded by the Israeli army that maintains the checkpoints that enclose these regions, closing them off or entering them any time they see a "disturbance."

Palestinians today live in militarily enforced ghettos where the majority have no access even to the other Palestinian regions, much less to the state of Israel. To move out of their enclaves to visit Jerusalem or other areas defined as Israel demands permission cards that most Palestinians are denied. Even those with permission cards are denied exit whenever some disturbance or anticipated disturbance -- including times of special celebration in Israel -- impel the Israeli government to declare a "closure" of the territories.

In my recent trip to Israel/Palestine, I spent a day with my friend Jean Zaru, a Christian Palestinian leader, in her home in Ramallah. Jean lives on a hill in Ramallah that has been home to her family for generations. Although she travels all over the world to conferences, such as the meetings of the World Council of Churches, she is unable to visit Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. She cannot legally enter the southern Palestinian zones of Bethlehem, Hebron or Gaza. Even travel within the Ramallah region is often restricted by closed settler areas or by closures that cut her off from Palestinian regions to the north, such as Nablus or even Bir Zeit, where the main Palestinian university is located.

From Feb. 9-15 Sabeel, a Christian Palestinian Liberation theology center in East Jerusalem sponsored a conference titled "Jubilee: What Does the Lord Require? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Israel's 50th Anniversary Gala in May Brings No Joy to Palestinian Hearts
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.