The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on November 10, 1968 · Page 238
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 238

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, November 10, 1968
Page 238
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Page 238 article text (OCR)

.IB Gist CONTINUED of young Israelis and Arabs these and other questions. Below and on the nex t page are representative statements from four of these people two Arabs and two Israelis. MOHAMMAD ABDUL MAHFOUZ 28, clerk in Jerusalem. When I was only 8 I remember having to leave my home. I remember the gunfire and my mother and sister crying, and I remember that I was never able to go back to that home. I've since found out that this former home was 12 miles west of Jerusalem in the village of Sarees, what the Israelis now call Shoresh. My father was a farmer there and owned something like 40 acres. But they forced him to leave. They forced all of us to leave. For five years, we went from one town to another in Jordan. Finally in 1953 we settled in a United Nations refugee camp called Camp Kalandria just north of Jerusalem. We've been living here ever since. Actually, it's not so bad compared to other refugee camps, like those in Gaza. We used to have only one room for the four of us and now we have two. There is no water indoors and no electricity. But at least I have a job and we have money for food and clothes. There used to be about 6000 people in Kalandria. In the June war about half of them fled. Some new people who had their villages destroyed came and took their place. They are lost people. One of these newcomers was telling me the other day how he would not We in America have come to regard the conflict as one between East and West, between Arabs and Israelis. But it is more than that. It is also a conflict between refugees: Israeli refugees, who after 2000 years in the wilderness have returned to claim their nation, and Palestinian Arab refugees, who were driven from their land. Both peoples are determined to live in the Holy Land. The Arab countries insist that Israel allow the refugees to return and that the territories taken in June 17 be relinquished. The Israelis have made it clear that they will not permit most of the Arab refugees to return, nor will they give back some of their new territories, such as the Old City of Jerusalem. They are, however, willing to discuss the refugee and territorial problems in detail if the Arab countries will negotiate with them directly. So far, the Arabs have refused. What is the possibility of peace in the Middle East? Are the recent Arab terrorist bombings within Israel, and subsequent attacks by Jewish mobs on Arab passersby, a sign that the conflict is becoming more and more irresolvable? Above all, are the young Jews and Arab refugees, who have grown up in a world where Israel has existed as a nation recognized by the United Nations, more or less willing than their parents to solve the conflict by peaceful means? parade has just returned from a visit to the Middle East where we asked dozens move from this camp even though it is legally in land governed by Israel, and even though he hates Israel. He would not move because here he is so close only a few miles from where his old village used to be. He said he can still smell his land from here. We all feel like this; even those who left 20 years ago, like myself. I would never go back to my land, though, as long as it is governed by Israel. But I am hoping and planning to go back. The only solution for Palestinian Arabs is that we all go back. Right now we feel as though we're living in a prison. To travel to Jericho, only 25 miles away, I must get a permit from the Israeli government. And wherever I am, I must carry my identification card. If I don't have it, I am put in prison until somebody comes with it. No, there is no hope of living at peace with the Israelis, even if they gave back what they took in June and I believe they would give back some of it if they were guaranteed fixed borders. We could not live at peace with them. They will never allow all the refugees to return and we will never be satisfied until we do. But let's assume they let us all come back; it still would be no good. We would be forced to live as second-class citizens, distrusted and hated. Things have gone too far. We have fought three wars. Only people unfamiliar with the situation think there can be peace. MUNTHER HAMMAD ALSALHI 23, student in Cairo, Egypt. My only memories until last June were of Gaza. have been told by the people who raised me that my parents used to live near Tel Aviv. I don't know. There was a time when I wanted to know who my parents were, whether they were alive or dead, and where I came from. I have stopped asking those questions. I know only that until last June I spent all my life in Gaza with hundreds of thousands of other Palestinian Arab refugees. Almost all of us were driven out of Gaza last June. Some went to the west bank of Jordan, now occupied by Israel. Others went to Jordan itself. I came to Cairo to study. My ties are to my people the people I grew up with in Gaza. Their dreams are my dreams. We waited 20 years in Gaza. Now we will have to wait some more. We know Israel will never leave the country they stole from us. Their dream is to go right on expanding. The only way we can get back our lands is with force. Everybody knows this. That's why we admire Al Fatah Al Fatah is one of the major Palestinian Arab terrorist groups. They are risking their lives for all of us. Even those who are religious and who don't like to talk about violence, agree with Al Fatah. You go ahead and put what you want-in your newspaper, but that's the way it is. You can tell the Americans that as long as they give the Israelis arms we will be their enemies. Why do they do it? What is wrong about people wanting to live on the land of their grandfathers? Why is it right for people to come from Germany and Poland and Morocco and take our land? You tell me that. Please don't misunderstand me. I am not against the American people. It's just the policy of their government that makes us enemies. I am not even against Jews. Jews who live in America or France are fine. It's the Zionists who have taken our land that are my enemies. And it's the Zionists we will throw out. I don't know when. I know only that we will never stop fighting until we free Palestine. URIEL CENOSSAR 25, member of Israeli Kibbutz Hazorea. I am a "Sabra" our name for anyone who is born in Israel. My parents came to Israel in 1932. They were students in Berlin, and Hitler was just coming to power. My parents were not very religious, but they were Zionists and dedicated to the idea of a Jewish homeland. They came with several of their university friends from Berlin. The first few years here were really hard. There were no roads and no trees, just swamps. Each morning they would ride by burro out to their fields and each night they would return home which was a tent and eat a dinner of bread, jam, olives and fruit. And often there was the fear of an Arab attack. My first memory of an Arab attack was in 1948 when we got our independence. I was only 5 then. I can remember my parents putting me with all the other children in a guarded cave. I didn't get to see them again for many days, and of course I was very scared. It wasn't until years later that I found out that the Arabs had come within a few miles and a few mortar shots of our settlement. Even today, we've got these Arab terrorists setting mines on our roads and as you've just seen bombs in our major cities. I don't agree with those Israelis who took out their anger on innocent Arabs who happened to be near the scene of the bombings, but after all this, it's understandable that we're angry. And it's understandable that we don't want the Arab refugees to come back, I'll admit that in some cases we drove them off their lands during the wars. But, actually, most of them left willingly, thinking they'd come back after Israel was beaten. If they came back now, many Jews would no longer have a place to live. And besides, even if we could trust them to live peacefully, their birth rate is so high they would soon outnumber us. Personally, I believe we could take back some, but most of them would have to be absorbed in the Arab countries. As for the land we conquered in June 1967, I'm in favor of giving certain parts of it back. Right now there's nobody to PARADE NOVIMBU 10, 18 The Arab refugees irreconcilable, dreaming of only one thing: return to old homes. I j ''.' i : 1 ' , It.?.., ..MS .a:, 24

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