Every year since 1976, on March 30, Palestinians around the world have commemorated Land Day. Though it may sound like an environmental celebration, Land Day marks a bloody day in Israel when security forces gunned down six Palestinians, as they protested Israeli expropriation of Arab-owned land in the country’s north to build Jewish-only settlements.
The Land Day victims were not Palestinians from the occupied territories, but citizens of the state, a group that now numbers over 1.6 million people, or 20.5 percent of the population. They are inferior citizens in a state that defines itself as Jewish and democratic, but in reality is neither.
On that dreadful day, in response to Israel’s announcement of a plan to expropriate thousands of acres of Palestinian land for “security and settlement purposes,” a general strike and marches were organized in Palestinian towns within Israel, from the Galilee to the Negev. The night before, in a last-ditch attempt to block the planned protests, the government imposed a curfew on the Palestinian villages of Sakhnin, Arraba, Deir Hanna, Tur'an, Tamra and Kabul, in the Western Galilee. The curfew failed; citizens took to the streets. Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as those in the refugee communities across the Middle East, joined in solidarity demonstrations.
In the ensuing confrontations with the Israeli army and police, six Palestinian citizens of Israel were killed, about 100 wounded, and hundreds arrested. The day lives on, fresh in the Palestinian memory, as in 1976, the conflict is not limited to Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but is ever-present in the country’s treatment of its own Palestinian Arab citizens.
The month following the killings, an internal government paper, written by senior Interior Ministry official Yisrael Koenig, was leaked to the press. The document, which became known as the Koenig Memorandum, offered recommendations intended to “ensure the [country’s] long-term Jewish national interests.” These included “the possibility of diluting existing Arab population concentrations.”
Israel has been attempting to “dilute” its Palestinian population - both Muslims and Christians - ever since.
the situation is as dire as ever. Racism and discrimination, in their rawest forms, are rampant in Israel, and are often more insidious than physical violence. Legislation aimed at ethnically cleansing Palestinians from Israel is part of public discourse. Israeli ministers do not shy away from promoting “population transfers” of Palestinian citizens - code for forced displacement.
Do liberals tend to dislike zionists? I'm a bit confused because I joined a liberal FB page and it said zionists would be banned. I ended up leaving obviously.
That’s an excellent question. Unfortenetely there are many ignorant people in the world who view the Israel-Palestinian Conflict from a very skewed perspective. Where on the far-right, we face anti-semitism on the far left Jews often face anti-semetism conceled within a mask of anti-Zionism.
Many of these people are not aware that a wide spectrum of political beleif exists in Israel and in the Jewish community. Intensified by racist propaganda from the Zionist/Israeli-right and anti-Israel/BDS propaganda from the far-right Muslim world, many folks on the left often do not see the complicated nature of the Conflict. For example, many “anti-Israel” groups online typically post photos of children in Syria and argue that they were taken in Gaza. They see stories posted by far-right groups (on both sides of the Conflict) and see them as fact.
I am a very proud Zionist and a liberal person. One of my major goals (and hopefully many of your goals) is to stamp at the notion that Zionists can only be extremely right wing. I am very open in social circles and online that I am a Zionist, hope and pray for peace, condemn the Occupation AND terror aimed at Israel from Palestinians and other groups, and I hope and pray for a viable and economically stable Palestinian state that recognizes the State of Israel (and visa-versa).