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A Coverup for What's Really at Stake in Palestine

Assassination, Israel's Cover-up for What's Really at Stake in Palestine

By Genevieve Cora Fraser*

Assassination!! My, my, how Israel loves assassination! Perhaps its part of a special Zionist democratic impulse, a sort of over enthusiastic way of making their point perfectly clear, this need to kill. Let's call it a vote for death. For example, during the first Intifada Israel Defense Forces broke the arms and legs of little children who threw stones. Now doctors serving in Palestine report that little children, lots of them, many as young as five years old, are being shot in the head and heart. That's a statement too. No doubt about their intent, though they love to make excuses. Oh, the child was caught in the crossfire; or the kid had a bomb; or a dreadful accident, what a pity! You get the picture.

But this special impulse, though most recently expressed by the brave use of Israeli helicopter gunships firing rockets at the deaf and blind wheelchair-bound spiritual leader of HAMAS - who happened to be paralyzed from the neck down, is nothing new. It's so very, very predictable, so very, very Israel. And like a giant ape thumping his chest, Sharon as representative of the Israeli people, the civilized face it shows to the world, has vowed to keep on with Israel's assassination spree until terrorism is wiped clean from the collective face of Palestine. This of course will be when Israel has succeeded in killing every last man, woman and child.

But, I think I've figured it out. I think I know what's really in aback of all this killing. It's the money. Lot's of it. Israel still hasn't anted up the reparation it owes Palestinians for stealing Palestine. Of course, they tried to cover their tracks. How? Why, by assassination, of course, and by the phony laws they passed like the Absentee Property Laws of 1948 and 1950 where the brand new state of Israel shifted the legal definition of what constituted abandoned land from the land itself to the owner. Instead of declaring land to be 'abandoned,' Palestinian Arabs were declared 'absentee' and their property, including bank accounts, could be seized by the state. This occurred even if the Arabs in question were at home in their beds! (You know, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Didn't Israel rob the banks in Ramallah recently?)

But the coup de maitre was cooked up shortly after the UN created the office of UN mediator for Palestine. The sticking point was that a peaceful plan beneficial to Palestine as well as Israel was to be created, not a plan that would serve only the interests of Israel. History tells us that the UN chose as their mediator Count Folke Bernadotte (Count of Wisborg), a Swedish diplomat and nephew of King Gustavus V. The Count was fluent in six languages. He had gained international recognition through his work as head of the Swedish Red Cross during World War II. Israel they thought would be honored that such an illustrious world figure was appointed to mediate.

But Bernadotte was not to Israel's liking. He insisted on the right of the Arab refugees to return to their homes in Jewish-controlled territories at the earliest possible date. But worse still he filed a report which called for the "payment of adequate compensation to those choosing not to return to their former homes." As a result, the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine (UNCCP) was created. The day after he signed his report, Bernadotte was assassinated in Jerusalem by "Fatherland Front" militants, a group associated with the Fighters for the Freedom of Israel and led by Yitzhak Shamir and a few of his buddies. One week later they issued a statement warning others not to repeat the mistake.

From the beginning, Israel loved its strong (arm) men. Clearly being an assassin didn't hurt Shamir's career, and later as Prime Minister, he strongly supported illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. By the late 1980s, protests by Palestinians in the occupied territories had begun. Hundred of Palestinians and a smaller number of Israelis were killed. The foundation for today's ugly chapter had begun.

Getting back to the money, Michael R. Fischbach reports in "Records of Dispossession - Palestinian Refugee Property and the Arab-Israeli Conflict," that in 1962, the UNCCP's land expert, Frank E. Jarvis, devised a plan to compensate refugees that never was made public. The study estimated that a total compensation package would cost some $1.125 billion in 1962 dollars. This figure included the value of abandoned land and moveable property; interest on this amount; an amount for changes in the value of currency; the value of public property that should have conveyed to the refugees; and a 'disturbance allowance' covering lost income."

Imagine what that would cost by today's monetary standards? What Israel needs is NEVER to be put in a position where they will be forced to pay. It is imperative that the world remain distracted. Mr. Sharon, so who exactly have you chosen to be next on the assassination hit list?


*Genevieve Cora Fraser is a poet, playwright and journalist as well as an environmental and human rights activist.

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