Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mubarak 0 - Lifta 1 !


Palestinian village LIFTA east Jerusalem ethnically cleansed in the NAKBA 1948

To all our supporters:

On the 11th of February, two events took place which may seem unconnected at first glance but which would hopefully result in a new vision for the status quo in the Middle East.

Hosni Mubarak of Egypt fell from (dis)grace and was interned in his fake settlement of Sharm El-Sheikh close to his partner-in-crime Israel after 30 dark years of rule over Egypt, a country whose youth have woken up recently to declare a new dawn for this and future generations. Mubarak should not be allowed to simply 'retire' in the luxury of his palace there, but should be brought to trial for crimes against his own people.

The other event which took place only hours before Mubarak fell, was the filing and uploading of our Lifta Application to the 2012 World Monument Watch List (WMW). This application was filed with all your 2845 signature which you, hopefully and passionately, appended to the Save Lifta Campaign we launched last year. This campaign is part of other courageous campaigns by groups such as F.A.S.T and Zochrot who opposed Project 6036 launched back in 2005 to turn lifta into a luxury development for Jews only. Their opposition to this disgraceful project formed the backbone of their legal battle to stop Project 6036 in its track, but failed.

Last month, the Israel Lands Administration (don't you love the name?) launched a tender for the acquisition of plots of land in Lifta by private developers. This is nothing short of outright theft of private land that belongs to the original owners of Lifta at the time of their expulsion in 1948. Some of them are still alive today and their families have every right to return to their homes and properties.

We are hopeful that the filing of our application to the 2012 WMW List will go a long way to achieving the goal of the Liftawis to return to their beloved Lifta. Their rights are but an extension of the Right of Return of the Refugees to their homes from which they were expelled during the Nakba of 1948.

The success of our application and the fall of Mubarak should send shockwaves across the region and particularly across Palestine to signal a warning to the PA that justice and democracy which erupted in Tahrir Square will easily sweep across Sinai, Gaza, the Naqab and all the way to Ramallah with no less fury than that which the youth of Tahrir Square peacefully steadfastly expressed.

Mubarak down. Lifta up.

Antoine Raffoul

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