By: Eileen Fleming
Impelled, compelled, and propelled by her faith as a progressive Christian, Eileen Fleming has journeyed four times to the Occupied Palestinian Territories since June 2005. She has met with democratically elected and NONVIOLENT members of Hamas, scores of Palestinian Christians and Muslims, and a few 21st-century prophets. The pages within this brave new work contain some of those interviews and her experiences listening to Christians, Muslims, Jews, secularists, anarchists, Nobel Peace Prize Nominees, and the whistleblower of Israel’s underground WMD Program. This fascinating portrait will open your eyes and heart, and you will look at the Middle East in a new light. “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.”
—John 8:32 Purchase at: Barnes and Noble
ISBN: 1432702548 $10.95
6 x 9 Paperback
There have always been Christians who have never abandoned the true teachings of Christ, such as the Quakers, Mennonites, some Catholics and Protestants who have faithfully denounced violence and cared for the poor. There have also always been Jews, Muslims, atheists, anarchists, secularists and other's who have lived lives that embody the message of Christ.
I have had the opportunity to meet some of these people in Israel and Palestine and they are the inspiration for this book and the reason why a nice Irish American "girl" like me journeyed into Occupied Territory.
An excerpt from:
Memoirs of a Nice Irish American 'Girl's' Life in Occupied Territory
By Eileen Fleming
The Red House
"On March 10, 1948, in Tel Aviv, eleven men had a meeting in the Red House headed by Ben Gurion. The eleven decided to expel one million Palestinians from historical Palestine. No minutes were taken, but many memoirs were written about that fateful meeting. A systematic ethnic cleansing of Palestine began and within seven months the Zionists managed to expel one half of all the Palestinian people from their villages and towns."-Dr. Ilan Pappe.
Dr. Ilan Pappe is Israeli born and a graduate of Hebrew University and Oxford who teaches at Haifa University. He is a well known revisionist or "post-Zionist" Israeli historian who has been both acclaimed and demonized. His most recent work is A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples which documents the expulsion of Palestinians as an orchestrated crime of ethnic cleansing.
On Nov. 8, 2006, on the seventh day of Sabeel's 6th International Conference; The Forgotten Faithful, Dr. Pappe spoke to over 330 International ecumenical Christians in the Ramallah Cultural Palace. His topic was the "Dynamics of Forgetting" and because of the "fierce urgency of now" [Rev. MLK, Jr.] the world is beginning to remember that once there was a Red House, where a most diabolical plan was hatched.
Dr. Pappe informed the crowd, "The Red House in Tel Aviv is gone now. It was a typical building in Tel Aviv that had all the characteristics of Mediterranean homes but with the local Palestinian architecture of the '20's. Today a USA Sheraton Hotel stands in its place. The Red House was the home of the Hagganah; a Jewish underground organization but before 1948 it was the home of a socialist movement, from which it received its name."
Haganah is Hebrew for "The Defense" and was a Jewish paramilitary organization formed in what was then the British Mandate for Palestine from 1920 to 1948. It began as a small group of "Jewish immigrants who guarded settlements for an annual fee. At no time did the group have more than 100 members until after the Arab riots of 1920 and 1921. The Jewish leadership in Palestine believed that the British, whom the League of Nations had given the Mandate of Palestine in 1920, had no desire to confront the Arabs about attacks on the Palestinian Jews, and thus created the Haganah to protect their farmers and settlements. The initial role of the Haganah was to guard the Jewish Kibbutzim and farms, and to warn the residents of and repel attacks by Palestinian Arabs.
In the period between 1920 and 1929, the Haganah lacked a strong central authority or coordination. Haganah "units" were very localized and poorly armed: they consisted mainly of Jewish farmers who took turns guarding their farms or their kibbutzim. Following the Arab 1929 Hebron massacre that led to the ethnic cleansing by the British authorities of all Jews from the city of Hebron, the Haganah's role changed dramatically. It became a much larger organization encompassing nearly all the youth and adults in the Jewish settlements, as well as thousands of members from the cities. It also acquired foreign arms and began to develop workshops to create hand grenades and simple military equipment. It went from being an untrained militia to a capable army."
The British did not officially recognize the Haganah,but the British security forces cooperated with it by forming the Jewish Settlement Police, Jewish Auxiliary Forces and Special Night Squads. By 1931, the most right-wing elements of Haganah branched off and formed Irgun Tsva'i-Leumi (the National Military Organization), better known as "Irgun" (or by its Hebrew acronym, pronounced "HaEtsel"). The members were discontented with the policy of restraint when faced with British and Arab pressure and "terrorists" in their own right. Irgun later split in 1940, and their off-shoot became known as the "Lehi" (Hebrew acronym of Lochamei Herut Israel, standing for Freedom Fighters of Israel, and also known by the British as the "Stern Gang" after its leader, Abraham Stern. Because the British severely restricted Jewish immigration to Palestine, in 1939 the Haganah created the Palmach - the Haganah's strike force, which also organized illegal Jewish immigration of over 100,000 Jews to Palestine.
Read more of the Excerpt
About Eileen Fleming
About the Author: Eileen Fleming is a social activist who seeks peace by pursing justice. Her essays and reports from the Occupied Palestinian Territories can be seen on the Web site WeAreWideAwake.org, of which she is the editor. She blogs for CrossLeft.org and is a correspondent for ThePeoplesVoice.org, OpEdNews.com. and Dissidentvoice.org.
She is the author of Keep Hope Alive, an imaginative retelling of the memoirs of a 1948 refugee from the Upper Galilee. All proceeds from that book have gone to plant olive trees in peace in Israel Palestine.
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