Thou shalt not steal

[Broadcast on Paradigm Shift 4zzz fm 102.1 friday at noon 15 May 2015]

al nakba 2015Sixty-seven years ago today 700,000 people were driven from their land, their villages, their towns. Their expulsion was later sanctioned by United Nations recognition of the new state of Israel. Palestinians were a peaceful people, they comprised different religions including Islam, Christianity and Judaism.
They did not owe any special allegiance to a nation state.
That was for Europeans who resisted invasion and foreign domination by building countries with powerful armies and weapons of mass destruction.
But these people did have connection to the land, they called it Bilad.
In 1948 oranges were grown in a small village 15 kilometres south of Jaffa, it was called al-Jammasin. My friend Khalil lived there with his Mum and Dad, Aunties and Uncles who grew the famous Jaffa oranges on land owned for generations by his family.
They grew citrus long before Jaffa oranges were grown in California and exported in bulk to foreign markets.
What happened to the people who belonged to this ancient place? Why were their villages stolen? Why were they driven out? Who uprooted and burnt their orange and olive trees? The United Nations handed this land over the apartheid state of Israel at a time when national liberation struggles were defeating colonialism. Why?
Only fifteen years later the United Nations handed West Papua over to Indonesia. And right here, 237 years after colonisation West Australian and South Australian governments are forcibly removing aboriginal people from their homelands.
Today’s Paradigm Shift is about land theft and occupation, in Palestine, here in Australia and to our north, in West Papua. We present an interview that Eliza and I did in 2012 with Khalil who describes the events where his family were driven from their land.
There is an interview I did earlier in the week with Rosa from Justice for Palestine about the remembrance of these events at 5pm in King George Square today.
There is also an interview Andy did with Ronny Kareni, a West Papuan refugee from Melbourne.
And importantly I will play a speech made by Brisbane Aboriginal activist Sam Watson in King George Square on 2nd May about aboriginal connection with country. Aboriginal people and their supporters gathered in numbers on that day to say NO to forced closures of aboriginal communities in Western Australia and South Australia
So let us begin with the interview Eliza and I did with Khalil who survived the terrible events of 1948 in Palestine.
Ian Curr
May 2015

Listen to PShift at

kev carmody – thou shalt not steal
phil monsour – ghosts of deir yassin
george telek – WEST PAPUA
Blue King Brown – Born Free

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