In 1969, two years after Israel invaded and occupied all of Jerusalem and the remaining areas of Palestine, it was clear that the Arab World was incapable of recovering the lands stolen by Israel’s colonization in 1948. The Palestinians stood up on their own and began to defend themselves against Israel’s brutal aggression. To commemorate the event, the Palestine Liberation Organization and al-Fatah issued special postage stamps in 1969 that were used on postage to remind the world of Zionism’s brutality and the contravention of the civil rights of millions of Palestinian civilians
By Ray Hanania
Israel’s creation was imposed on the people of Palestine beginning in the 1920s under the direction of the pro-Jewish government in London, England that continued through World War II and the Mandate given to Britain by the League of Nations.
The British and their Western allies never really considered giving Palestinians control of their own country and they instead embraced publicly the relocation of World Jews to Palestine, in a large part because of Western anti-Semitism. None of the Western countries wanted the Jews to immigrate to their countries, including during and after World War II during the Nazi-driven Holocaust with took the lives of 6 million Jews and 18 million other ethnic nationalities.
In 1948, after the Zionist movement declared its state in Palestine, not only in the area assigned under the United Nations Partition to the “Jewish State” but nearly 47 percent of the area designated to be the “Arab State.” Although Israel claims it was attacked by the Arab World, the truth is between 1930 and 1948, Jewish immigrants in Palestine under the banner of Zionism, launched a terrorist campaign that targeted Christian and Muslims civilians and the British Mandate occupiers.
By the time the Arab States did officially react, declaring war on Israel on May 15, 1948 after Israel declared its statehood, Jewish forces had used terrorism to cleanse as many Arabs as possible from the proposed Jewish State area and from the Arab State area, including occupying West Jerusalem, which was to be an international city.
Israeli propaganda has twisted the truth and the historical facts ever since, and politics has determined which narrative, the truth of the destruction of Palestine, called al-Nakba (the Catastrophe) or the lie of Israel’s birth as “a land without a people for a people without a land” — the official slogan of the Zionist terrorist movement at the time.
Between 1948 and 1967, the Arabs resisted Israel’s efforts to cleanse Christians and Muslims from Israel and Israel’s theft of Palestinian owned lands. In 1967, Israel invaded the remaining lands of Palestine in a war provoked by empty Arab World rhetoric and Israeli expansionist plans designed years before by Israel’s generals. And in 1969, Palestinians took over the control of their own destiny, taking control of the Palestine Liberation Organization that had been set-up in 1964 by Egypt’s President Gamal Abdul Nasser, and advocate of Arab Nationalism.
To commemorate their defensive war against Israeli aggression, Palestinians, led by Yasir (Yasser) Arafat, launched a new PLO that used the same violence that Israel used against Palestinian civilians to force Israel to recognize the rights of Palestinians. Arafat was the leader of al-Fatah (Fateh) (al-Harakat al-Tahrir al-Filastin) — the Arabic word Fatah (Fateh) means “opening” or “conquering” or “victory” — which dominated the PLO which included smaller factions of resistance organizations that were all committed to freeing Palestine from Israeli occupation, brutality and oppression.
The PLO was recognized in 1974 by the world through the United Nations as “the sole legitimate representatives of the Palestinian People,” and began working to respond to Israeli military aggression and strikes against Palestinian targets in Palestine, the Arab World and around the world.
Israeli propaganda cast the Palestinians as “terrorists,” but the real terrorist were Israel and its military government which imposed a form of Apartheid on non-Jews in Israel and a brutal oppression that violated the Rule of Law on Palestinians living in the lands occupied in 1967.
In 1993, Arafat and the PLO agreed to recognize Israel in exchange for Israel recognizing the PLO as the beginning of a peace process signed with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. But in 1995, Rabin was murdered by a fanatic follower of Benjamin Netanyahu who quickly took control of Israel and Israeli politics and began undermining the Oslo Peace Accords and reimposing harsh oppression against Christians and Muslims in Palestine, in violation of the Oslo Peace Accords signed by Arafat and Rabin.
To commemorate their struggle against Israeli war crimes and oppression, the Palestinians issued postage stamps as one means of reminding the world of their rights in Palestine that were taken away from them by foreign Jewish immigrants under the direction of the British Mandate.
Those stamps are considered rare, but the spirit that they represent remains strong today as protestors and civil rights advocates around the world work to expose the lies of the Netanyahu Government and of militarist Israel..
Palestine will never be gone, despite the brutality of the Israeli military i murdering thousands of civilians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, or the Israeli theft of civilians lands throughout both Israel and Palestine.
One day, Palestine will be free and Palestinians will overcome the oppression of the militarist Israel which has targeted Christians and Muslims for continued persecution.
The postage stamps remind us of the injustice of Israel, the lies of Israeli propaganda, and the racism of Zionism that oppresses Christians and Muslims who have as much right to the land of Palestine and Israel as do Jews.
But justice doesn’t always come through the signing of a peace process, especially one broken by Israel.
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia as the Special US Correspondent for the Arab News at www.ArabNews.com, the TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appeare in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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