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PAIX: "Palestinian Australian Information Exchange"

 



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Palestinian History:  From Deir Yassin to The Wall   

                   

  

At the beginning of the Palestinian Intifada an Australian citizen wrote fair and accurate comment. The comment was:

 

"Why do Australia and the world feel it is all right for soldiers to shoot and kill young Palestinian boys and girls, but not East Timorese ones? The question can be answered in two words: The Holocaust. We of the Christian West bear too much guilt for the 2000-year persecution of the Jews, culminating in the Holocaust. We are afraid of being accused of being 'anti-Sematic'. The Zionists understand this. That is one of the reasons we are continually reminded of the Holocaust." (David Cunningham, Letters to the Editor, The Age, 9 October 2000.)

  

Dear all,

  

The story of what happened to Palestinians in the village of  Deir Yassin 55 years ago is critical to understanding the current crisis taking place in the Middle East today.  Israeli historian Benny  Morris has said that the massacre at Deir Yassin  was the single most important event to precipitate Palestinian flight in 1948.

 

The focus of the Deir Yassin Memorial is to remind the world of the  Palestinian experience of loss, dispossession, humiliation, and oppression so that the histories of both Arabs and Jews can be acknowledged, for without acknowledgment there is little basis for peace.

 

Deir Yassin Remembered is led by a Board of Jews and non-Jews, men and women, who believe that the two nationalities living within historical Palestine (Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank) must recognize each other's humanity and desire to live in peace.  Both must recognize the history of the victims of the Nazi Holocaust and the history of the victims of these victims, namely the Palestinians who have been driven from their homes, brutalized and dehumanised for over half a century.

 

On May 2003, Israel's nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu joined Deir Yassin Remembered Board of Advisers. Mr Vanunu is currently serving an 18-year term in prison for having blown the whistle on Israel's nuclear weapons program.  But he is expected to be released next April 22nd.

 

This April DYR is running two campaigns.  The first involves our annual commemorations organized this year on the theme From Deir Yassin to the Wall.  In the UK it will culminate in a performance under the same name, directed by Nadim Sawalha and performed on Sunday April 4th at the Royal Geographical Society.

 

The second campaign is being run in partnership with Sabeel UK and is focused on the fact that this year Deir Yassin Day falls on Good Friday.  The campaign will center on the Christian community but we may take it beyond that.

 

In the middle of April DYR founder, Professor Daniel McGowan, UK director of DYR, Paul Eisen, and Asem Judeh will be travelling to Israel for the release of our Board member, Mordechai Vanunu, after serving 18 years in Ashkelon Prison, 11 of which were in solitary confinement. 

 

Telling the truth about Deir Yassin clarifies who is the victim and who is the victimizer in the horrible carnage taking place in Israel/Palestine every day. Repeating the facts and figures about the massacre at Deir Yassin -- arguably the most important single event in 20th centaury Palestinian history -- destroys the myths and the propaganda on which Zionism has been built. These endeavour to build a Jewish state in a multi-cultural land has failed. Today half of the people in the lands controlled by Isrĝael are not Jews; Israel is not a Jewish state; it is a state in which the privileged half of the population dominates the discourse and the lives of those who are not privileged.

 

Simon Wiesenthal once coined the slogan, "Hope lives when people remember."  That is true not only for those who remember the Holocaust, but for those who remember Deir Yassin.  For Palestinians, "remembering" the Holocaust will help them to understand the victim hood of those who have oppressed them and occupied them for so long.  For Israelis and other Zionists, "remembering" Deir Yassin will help them to understand the victimization of the Palestinians and why that must not be allowed to continue if ever there is to be peace between them.

 

For more information please visit DYR website www.deiryassin.org, for more information about Mordechai Vanunu please visit http://www.nonviolence.org/vanunu/

   

Asem Judeh

Melbourne, Australia

Mobile 0415 802 780

 

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PAX is here, PAIX is available above, and PAIS is coming to bring PEACE !

PALESTINE SUMMER ENCOUNTER

 

Holy Land Trust (http://www.holylandtrust.org) invites you to participate in the two-month Palestine Summer Encounter, an Arabic-training and volunteer program, starting on June 13th, 2004. The purpose of the program is to create a dialogue between members of the global community and Palestinians. During these two months, participants will learn Arabic with an intensive and competitive language-training program, partner with Palestinian non-profit organizations as a volunteer and have the opportunity to participate in 8 separate weekend excursions to visit Hebron, Nazareth, Jerusalem, Haifa and Jericho, the Dead Sea and other important sites throughout the region. 

Volunteer assignments will depend on your skills and interests but opportunities will likely be available in the fields of computers and technology, childcare, teaching English, serving as a writing tutor, sports, health and administration. Arabic classes, with teachers from a local college (Bethlehem Bible College), will be held four to five times a week in two hour blocks and should help participants develop a basic understanding of the language. Participants are also encouraged to live with Palestinian families during their stay, which will give them additional opportunities to practice their Arabic-speaking skills.

The Palestine Summer Encounter is designed to be highly affordable. Participants can register for one or two months. Registration fees are $75; the Arabic course (worth 2 units of college credit) is $150; accommodations with Palestinian families are $350 a month; guided tour sessions (all of which are optional) are $25 per tour, per person.  In all, we expect the Palestine Summer Encounter to cost participants between $1,800 to $2,500 for the entire two months.

Airfare is not included in this price. However, we encourage participants to make their travel arrangements through the Travel & Encounter program to take advantage of group flights. For participants who want to seek separate living accommodations, individual bed and breakfast rooms are available for $12 per night and hotel accommodations are available for approximately $35 per night for a single room.

However, we strongly encourage participants to take advantage of the opportunity to live with a Palestinian family to help them benefit from the added experience of sharing in the day-to-day lives of ordinary Palestinians.  

For online Registration: http://www.hlttravel.org/pse.html

Access to: http://holylandtrust.org/

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Holy Land Trust- Palestine

 Middle East Building #205, Manger Street

 Bethlehem - Palestine

 Tel:+972-2-276-5930

 Fax: +972-2-276-5931

 Email: palestine@holylandtrust.org

 www.holylandtrust.org