Saturday, September 29, 2012

Quaker Peace Testimony

We utterly deny all outward wars and strife and fightings with outward weapons, for any end or under any pretence whatsoever. And this is our testimony to the whole world.  George Fox -1661

Monday, September 24, 2012


September 24, 2012, Ann Arbor. Friends Fiduciary Corporation, the socially responsible investment firm serving over 300 Quaker institutions in the United States, has dropped its holdings in Hewlett Packard and Veolia Environment, multinational corporations that support Israel’s Occupation of the Palestinian Territories.

Hewlett Packard was removed from Friends Fiduciary’s investments because they provide information technology consulting services to the Israeli Navy, said Jeffery W. Perkins, the Executive Director of Friends Fiduciary. Veolia Environment, the world’s largest water privatization company, was removed because of “environmental and social concerns.” According to Global Exchange, Veolia provides segregated water services to Israeli settlers in the Palestinian Territories and runs a large landfill in the occupied Jordan River valley.

Friends’ Fiduciary’s decision to drop Hewlett Packard and Veolia follows on the heels of another important action, says Anne Remley of the Ann Arbor Friends Meeting, which initiated the divestment requests. In April, 2012, Friends Fiduciary’s removed Caterpillar Corporation from their list of socially responsible corporations based on the 360-year old Quaker Peace Testimony, which disavows support for war.

Friends were concerned that Caterpillar sells bulldozers to the Israeli army to be weaponized and used in the systematic demolition of Palestinian homes and civilian infrastructure. When this concern was brought to Friends Fiduciary, says Perkins, [Caterpillar] “would neither confirm nor deny the extent or type of modifications to the equipment sold to the Israeli military.”

The action of Friends Fiduciary in dropping these three firms marks a major breakthrough in the global campaign to hold corporations accountable for profiting from Israel’s human rights and international law violations in the Palestinian Territories.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mitt Romney's Plan for Palestinians


In a conversation with donors he thought private, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney laid out with startling clarity the American policy toward the Palestinians:

Romney typifies the American duplicity toward the 12 million Palestinians. His campaign speaks of a ‘two-state solution.’ But in private he admits that such a thing, involving giving Palestinians their own state, is “almost impossible to imagine.” So the talk of a two-state solution is just a smokescreen for keeping the Palestinians stateless.

What does it mean to be stateless? The UNHCR has laid out the situation. Imagine that you went out to a movie and when you came back home, you found that other people had moved into your house! What would you do? You’d call the police, right? You could always prove to a judge that the house belongs to you because it is registered as your property. So the police would arrest the home invaders and restore your property to you.

But if you didn’t have a state, if you were without citizenship, then what? What if the police sided with the home invaders, on the grounds that they were citizens? What if you had no place to register your property, since you have no state to hire bureaucrats and staff archives? What if the judge rules that you don’t really own your property, since you bought it before the current government came to power and your claim to it is not registered.

Then you could just be thrown into the street at will. Stateless people don’t really own property. They don’t have a long-term claim on water, or land, or health care.

The four million Palestinians under Israeli occupation are all stateless. In Gaza, 10% of the children are malnourished. The Palestinian families that the Israelis expelled from Palestine in 1948 and 1967 are living in refugee camps in Syria and Lebanon, and have no citizenship. In Lebanon they cannot for the most part work, own property or run legal businesses. They can’t travel because no one trusts them not to stay. Many are stuck in refugee camps, to which they were consigned by Zionist militias who then took over their homes and farms in Palestine. They are in Palestinian jail.


The Palestinians of Gaza are not just stateless. They are under a blockade even of civilians organized by their occupiers, the Israelis, which prevents them from exporting most of their products and consigns them to poverty. Their health conditions and services are deteriorating and lurching toward catastrophe. Healthwise, Gaza’s children are falling behind, suffering widespread food insecurity, malnutrition and anemia.

The Palestinians in the West Bank are being actively stolen from, their land and water gradually being taken from them by aggressive, armed Israeli squatters, who are Romney’s darlings. Israel bars Palestinians from 60% of the Palestinian West Bank, depriving them of access to farms and creating a deepening fiscal crisis.

This is the status quo that Mr. Romney feels he is boxed into accepting. The Palestinians just have to remain stateless, because if they established a state, it might make claims on Israel proper, and might bring in arms, and attack Israel.

Therefore, the Palestinians must be kept in an almost slave-like state of no citizenship rights. Romney seems not to know that the PLO recognized Israel or that many Palestinian officials have been praised by Israel’s security forces as good partners, such as Salam Fayad. Romney is reasoning from facts not in evidence. That the West Bank Palestinians would flood their own country with weapons and use them to attack nuclear Power, Israel, makes no sense to me.

Romney’s logic would have told against the Camp David peace process. Couldn’t the Egyptians have loaded up with missiles and hit Israel, once they had initially made peace?

But Romney’s hopes of kicking the Palestinians down the road are cruel and impractical. It is not right to keep the Palestinians of the Occupied Territories stateless forever, or to allow squatters to usurp their property.

From the 9/11 attacks to the embassy burnings of this past week, the US pays the price for supporting the subjection of the Palestinians in widespread hatred for it from the Muslim world.

And, the Israeli colonization of the Palestinian West Bank has not only made the two-state solution impossible (Romney is right, at least, about that). It has imperiled Israel, which certainly will increasingly be boycotted by the rest of the world for running an Apartheid state (actually much worse than old South Africa’s Apartheid).

It turns out that what Romney is kicking down the road is not a can. It is a live grenade.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Top Myths About Iran's Nuclear Enrichment Program

Mideast Expert Juan Cole stresses again and again in his talks that Iran has never threatened to destroy Israel (see Myth #3). Yet this false claim is repeated in the U.S. media by everyone from Fox News to PBS.

By Juan Cole:

1. Iran’s civilian nuclear enrichment program is alleged by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to be a stealth nuclear weapons program. But there is no evidence at all for this allegation, and it was contradicted by Netanyahu’s own Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, who admitted that Iran has not decided to initiate a nuclear weapons program. Israel’s chief of staff, Benny Gantz, has also admitted that Iran has not decided to build a bomb.

2. It is often argued that Iran does not need nuclear power. But it uses some petroleum for power generation, and Iranians are driving more and more. There is every prospect that what happened to Indonesia, which now uses all its own oil in addition to importing some, will happen to Iran. Iran’s energy exports provide a crucial financial cushion, allowing the country to remain independent. Other oil giants, such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, are also building nuclear power plants. There is nothing illogical or unusual about Iran going in this direction.

3. It is alleged that Iran has threatened to annihilate Israel. It has done no such thing. Iran has a ‘no first strike’ policy, repeatedly enunciated by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has expressed the hope that the ‘Zionist regime over Jerusalem” would ‘vanish from the page of time.’ But he didn’t threaten to roll tanks or missiles against Israel, and compared his hopes for the collapse of Zionism to the collapse of Communism in Russia. Iran has not launched a conventional war of aggression against another state in all of modern history. Israel aggressively invaded Egypt in 1956 and 1967 and Lebanon in 1982 and 2006. The list of aggressive wars fought by the US, including the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, is too long to detail. So why is Iran being configured as the aggressor?

4. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has given a formal ruling or fatwa against nuclear weapons, saying
“The Iranian nation has never pursued and will never pursue nuclear weapons. There is no doubt that the decision makers in the countries opposing us know well that Iran is not after nuclear weapons because the Islamic Republic, logically, religiously and theoretically, considers the possession of nuclear weapons a grave sin and believes the proliferation of such weapons is senseless, destructive and dangerous.”
5. Some have alleged that Khamenei is lying in his fatwa, in accordance with a Shiite doctrine that allows pious dissimulation. The permission to lie about religion does not apply where there is a Shiite state able to protect Shiites.

6. No, the International Atomic Energy Agency, on inspecting Iran, did not alleged evidence for bomb-making. It certified that no uranium has been diverted to a weapons program.

7. It is often argued that Iran’s nuclear program might spur an arms race in the Middle East. But it is Israel’s arsenal of 400 nuclear warheads that has spurred the arms races. Iraq’s experiments with enrichment in the late 1980s until 1991 were a direct result of knowledge that Israel was given the bomb by France, Britain and the US. If a non-nuclear Iran is so important, why won’t Israel respond to repeated requests by Middle Eastern countries for a nuclear-free zone in that region?

8. Iran has actually reduced its stockpile of low-enriched uranium at 19.75%, turning it into plates to fuel its medical reactor (which is what Iran has all along said it was doing with that uranium). Iran lost its source of uranium fuel for the medical reactor when Argentina ceased producing and supplying it. (Note that no one put sanctions on Argentina or threatened to bomb it when *it* was enriching uranium to that level).

9. Netanyahu is implicitly arguing that Iran’s activities are the source of the region’s problems. But his insistence on keeping millions of Palestinians stateless and without basic human or property rights, and his creeping annexation of Arab Jerusalem, site of Islam’s third holiest site, are what inspires hatred in the Muslim world not only for Israel but for the United States. Hard line fundamentalists are so easy to convince of malevolent American intentions toward Islam because the United States has been so cooperative in screwing over the Palestinians and in the Israelization of all of Jerusalem. That the US press let Netanyahu get on American television and not answer questions about the illegal Israeli squatting on Palestinian land and continued depriving of the Palestinians of statehood is a testimony to how the American mass media has abdicated its responsibility to inform the American public.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Special Place in Hell

As the rhetoric of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu grows more bellicose, Israelis are worried that a war with Iran would mean the death of all that they love. The atmosphere of doom, described here by Ha'aretz columnist Bradley Burston, reminds us of the U.S. at the height of the Cold War.

At the local shopping mall, as I took a number to receive shoebox-size personal protection kits against weapons of mass destruction, I found myself thinking about farewells.
And about Benjamin Netanyahu.
I found myself thinking about war with Iran, the war which, if it starts soon, will be Netanyahu's war. I found myself relating differently to everyone I met, everyone I know, everyone I love. The way you might if you were saying goodbye.
The way you might if their entire future, and yours, were in the hands of one man. And one decision.
The day I waited for my family's anti-nerve gas atropine and for masks against chemical and biological warfare, the prime minister asked for air time from Israel's major television channels in order to lay out his position on Iran, and to emphasize that he has yet to make a decision on whether or not to bomb.
Before he decides, he should spend a few moments with the people with the numbers in their hands. He should see what's in their eyes. He should listen to the gravity in their humor. He should look straight at the infants and the old people and the women in their eighth month, and at the people his own age, already bereaved and broken by wars that have taken their parents, their siblings and best friend's children, and, in recent years, even their grandchildren.
This is one of the things that line of people is telling him:
Mr. Netanyahu, before you bomb Iran, say goodbye to everyone you know. Say goodbye to everyone you love. You know you won't be able to protect all of them from the retaliation that will surely come. Everyone you know is a target. Everyone you love is in range.
Some of the rockets with high explosive warheads will get through the missile shield. And even if you and a few of your loved ones are sealed into the most sophisticated shelter yet devised, not one of you is immune. When it's over, when you get back to the surface, this will be a different country, and someone you care about may well have been torn dead by a rocket warhead, or crushed under the weight of a building.
Your son’s best friend, your wife’s whole family, the families of your cook, your driver, your bodyguard. The guys you grew up with. Their children, and theirs. Say goodbye to them, every last one of them. Now, before you give the order. Before it’s too late.
The moment you give the order, there will be nothing you can say to them. To us. We won’t listen, nor should we.
It won't matter then, all these arguments we have over why you insist on pursuing this. Whether it was a bluff that went ballistic, or a tragic thirst for a place in history. We won't have time then for talk about how the elections for the American president figured in your decision, or how you related to, or did not, the opinions of spymasters and generals and diplomats.
When it all comes down, we won't be able to spare the strength or the time to despise you for what you did to all of us. We will be too busy then with the instruments of grief and the debris of loss.
At the mall, they give out no numbers to get the chance to tell you what they think. The people I was standing with think you've got this one all wrong. Most of the people in lines all over the country feel the same way. Listen to them now. You have the power to be their judge, jury, and executioner. The least you can do is look them in the eyes and ask if they have any last words.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Democratic Leaders Undermine Israeli-Palestinian Peace and Their Own Procedures

From Foreign Policy in Focus
Stephen Zunes, September 6, 2012

Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called for a third voice vote on an
amendment to the Democratic Party platform which states that an undivided
Jerusalem "is and will remain the capital of Israel.”

In a stunning violation of its own rules, the wishes of the majority of delegates at its national convention, and positions taken by the United Nations and virtually every country in the world, the Democratic Party leadership pushed through an amendment to its platform early during its proceedings on Wednesday, with barely half the delegates present and without allowing for any discussion or debate, stating that Jerusalem "is and will remain the capital of Israel” and should be “undivided.”

The language, as foreign policy analysts noted, is in "in direct opposition to longstanding U.S. policy on Jerusalem" that the status of the city should be determined by talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, both of whom desire Jerusalem as their capital, and that the city should not be unilaterally recognized as the capital of either Israel or Palestine until then. Most observers have recognized that a workable two-state solution would include having Jewish-populated western Jerusalem recognized as the capital of Israel and the predominantly Arab part of eastern Jerusalem—currently under Israeli military occupation—as the capital of a Palestinian state.

The amendment to the platform, however, ignores Palestinian claims to the city completely, which—combined with the insistence that the city be “undivided”—could be interpreted as a call for exclusive Israeli control. By contrast, a recent poll showed that Democrats by a nearly 2:1 margin believe that Jerusalem should be divided between Israelis and Palestinians rather than controlled exclusively by Israel.

Virtually no country currently recognizes Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. Neither the United States nor any other country currently has its embassy in Jerusalem—nearly all foreign embassies are located instead in Tel Aviv.

Convention chairman and Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa put the amendment to the floor, along with another amendment to include mention of God in the platform, for a voice vote, noting that a two-thirds majority was necessary for adoption of the amendment. He looked surprised when the “nay” votes appeared to outnumber the “aye” votes. He called the motion a second time with the same results. He then called the motion a third time, still way short of the required two-thirds majority and probably still short of even a simple majority, but he claimed that the motion had somehow received at least two-thirds vote anyway and declared the motion carried.

Outraged delegates in the majority started booing at the chair for his extraordinary abuse of power. The media jumped on the unprecedented discord in what had until then been a very unified and orderly convention, while leading Republicans and conservative commentators began claiming that Democrats were “booing God and Jerusalem.”

As an illustration of the depth of the dishonesty in the Democratic Party leadership, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman and Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz claimed that the vote was “absolutely two-thirds” and that "there wasn't any discord." Afterwards, CNN’s Anderson Cooper observed that the DNC chair must live in an "alternate universe.”

Pushing through the amendment was in part a reaction to Republican criticisms that the Obama administration—despite providing record amounts of taxpayer-funded military aid to Israel’s rightist government and blocking the United Nations from challenging Israeli violations of international humanitarian law—was somehow not supportive enough of Israel. It appears, then, that President Obama and other Democratic leaders were more concerned about assuaging right-wing Republicans than honoring the beliefs of members of their own party or following their own convention rules.

Indeed, the Democratic leadership was so desperate to push through this right-wing amendment that the chair was willing to lie in front of a nationally televised audience that an amendment had passed by a two-thirds majority voice vote when it was obvious to any viewer or listener that, despite three separate attempts, it had not. And they did so despite the likelihood that it would create a chaotic and angry scene on the convention floor that the media and the Republicans would exploit to the fullest.

It was also a demonstration of just how determined the Democratic Party leadership is to undermine the Middle East peace process and weaken international law, even if it means running roughshod over their members and thereby hurting their chances in November.

The craven way in which the Jerusalem amendment was pushed through demonstrates that the Democratic Party is not a democratic party. It has shown to the world an essentially authoritarian mindset, both in terms of its willingness to undermine international law in its support of the expansionist goals of allied right-wing governments as well as its willingness to ignore its own rules and overrule the majority of the elected delegates at its national convention.

This raises some critical questions for Democrats as we move into the final three months of the 2012 campaign: If the leadership refuses to respect party members, why should party members respect the leadership? And why should ordinary Democrats work to re-elect leaders who put their own right-wing agenda ahead of the beliefs of the party’s more progressive majority?

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Arab Villages Bulldozed From Our Memory

By Gideon Levy
Ha'aretz, Aug. 31, 2012

Remains of a mosque in Salama, now Kfar Shalem.
Remains of a mosque in Shalama, near Kfar Shalem   Photo by Alex Levac

A small metal sign adorns the tiny power station at the center of Jerusalem Boulevard, Jaffa: "T.P. Faisal." It's testament to a recent past that has been erased.
T.P. is easy: it stands for command station in Hebrew. And Faisal? Negligence on the part of some clerk left physical evidence of the original name of the adjacent Yehuda Hayamit Street on a machine. Faisal Street briefly became 54th Street, and shortly thereafter Yehuda Hayamit Street.
"Yehuda Hayamit" is the name given to a rare Roman coin that, in time, was revealed to be a fake. So, in order to suppress the memory of the recent past of Palestinian ruins, the names of the sites are exchanged for names that hint at a more distant past. In other words, switch the king with a coin, even if it's counterfeit.
I wouldn't have noticed the sign had it not been for the new guidebook "Omrim Yeshna Eretz" ("Once Upon a Land," published by Zochrot and Pardes Publishing). It is a bilingual tour guide, in Hebrew and Arabic, to what is left and - mainly - what was erased, almost without a trace. A journey through time and consciousness, 18 tours to some of the approximately 400 Palestinian villages and urban neighborhoods, whose residents fled or were expelled in 1948. Most of their homes were wiped off the face of the earth immediately afterward, generally without even a sign remaining of them. This guidebook arrives now to remind and acquaint, though it is doubtful whether many Israelis will take its tours. After all, the Nakba - the "catastrophe," as Palestinians call it - has practically been outlawed here.
This week we followed the book's walking tour of underground Tel Aviv - the city that in 2012 is still afraid to mention on its official logo what it is called in the language of its Arab residents. From Yaffa to Shaykh Muwannis, via Salama, Al-Manshyya, Summayl and Jamassin; from Jaffa to Ramat Aviv, through Kfar Shalem, the City, Givat Amal and Bavli, as they were renamed. Yes, even our beloved city, whose reputation for enlightenment and openness is world renowned, is built in part on ruined villages, and it is unwilling to acknowledge it.
Jerusalem Boulevard, which grew increasingly ugly over the years, until it became the ugliest boulevard in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, was once Jamal Pasha Boulevard, and also Al-Nazha Boulevard. "The King Messiah is in Israel," it says on the bus crossing the boulevard, blowing clouds of smoke on the ficus trees. We won't dwell on the streets named after rabbis in the Arab city that became mixed, yet where there are barely any streets with Arab names.
We turned into the nearby village of Salama, aka Kfar Shalem. There, betwixt the new apartment towers and old invaded homes, the past still peeks out. The main street is named for Mahal, a Hebrew acronym for the overseas volunteers who fought here during the 1948 war, in which the village was abandoned and destroyed. Some 7,800 people lived here. "Kahane was right," reads the slogan smeared on the wall of the abandoned mosque. Israel does not violate the sacred sites of other religions. In recent years a hidden hand made several holes in the mosque's dome. Entrance to the mosque is barred on all sides.
The Shamrock Group of Los Angeles built a public garden, a contribution to the community. In the playground nearby, use of the equipment is permitted from age 14 and up. According to the testimony of refugees from the Arab village, the Yatim family, a cemetery stood here. If, in Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv University is currently building its new dorms on the grounds of the old Shaykh Muwannis cemetery - only part of which has been fenced off, and left neglected, off the parking lot of a sensitive security facility - then why should we complain about a Kfar Shalem playground that arose on graves? Amid the ancient eucalyptus trees, there is no remnant or sign of those graves. At the entrance to the playground, a notice marks the end of the 30-day mourning period for the late Yisrael Rosh Hodesh.
The home of the mukhtar, or village elder, does remain standing, but only the verandas remain of the Arab construction. All the rest is whitewash and add-ons, just like a sizable number of the neighborhood's invaded homes. The mukhtar's house can be found on Asa Kadmoni Street (named for a major and combat soldier in the Paratroops ), at the corner of Harahag Yosef Tzubiri (the chief rabbi of Yemenite Jewry ). The old village school is now a municipal rehabilitation institution. The apartment tower now going up on the edges of the former village is called "Tel Avivi - your corner in the city."
Northwest of here was the Al-Manshyya neighborhood: 12,000 residents in 1948, 20 coffeehouses, 14 carpentry workshops, 12 bakeries, 10 laundries, four schools, three bicycle stores, three pharmacies and two mosques - only one of which, Hassan Bek, is still standing.
"This tour was written for my daughter, Amalia. She is 4 years old today," Norma Musih, one of the editors, states in the book, "but I've been thinking about how I would tell her about Al-Manshyya ever since she was born. I want her to know that here in Tel Aviv, by the sea that she loves so much, there was once a neighborhood in which children like herself lived, people who had full lives, desires, hatreds, loves and dreams. I want to tell her, without burdening her with the terror of the expulsion and the destruction. I want her to know, but I also want to protect her. That is why I am writing this tour for her."
Of the sea of buildings visible in the old photograph by Kurt Brammer, only Hassan Bek mosque, the Etzel Museum and the train station remain. The park is called Gan Hakovshim (Conquerors' Park ), as is the parking lot and the adjacent street. At least a modicum of honesty. Alongside them rise the towers of Tel Aviv's "City." "When I look at these homes, I can imagine for a moment also the missing homes that once stood beside them," Musih writes. "Can you picture the houses that reach from Neveh Tzedek all the way to the sea? ... Let's close our eyes once and imagine how this whole place could look like if the people who lived here and their families were to return."
The Turkish-built train station - because only the Ottomans have left a trace here - is now the prime yuppie site of Tel Aviv, known as Hatahana. The historical signs and antique photographs tell of the Turks and Templers who were here. Not a word about the Palestinians. But what are those crowded houses visible in the station background, in the photographs hanging on the beautifully restored buildings? Al-Mahta neighborhood, the station neighborhood, where Arabs resided. Meanwhile, there is a new enterprise at Hatahana: a digital journey into the past, and also "Dancing at Hatahana," every Thursday.
North of there, Summayl: 190 homes before the 1948 war, farming and citrus trees, a school (destroyed ), cemetery (destroyed ) and sheikh's tomb (destroyed). Mitham Semel, they once tried to call it. Now you find Migdal Ha'mea, the Histadrut labor federation buildings, Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium and the Heichal Yehuda synagogue, on the kurkar sandstone tel that was once a village. The nucleus of the village actually remained on the kurkar cliff; now it is a pile of single-story homes whose legal present is unclear, their future shrouded in mist and their past whitewashed. Only a blackberry bush, in the heart of the bustling metropolis, provides a reminder of bygone times. "Tel Aviv is down there, not here," comes the cry of one resident who tries to get rid of us. Here they don't like people with cameras and notebooks.
As in Salama, so it is here, in Jamassin and Shaykh Muwannis: the Arabs' homes turned into Jews' real estate disputes. On the synagogue's bulletin board hangs an invitation to attend a ceremonial redemption of the firstborn donkey with Rabbi Yisrael Lau. North Tel Aviv, 2012.
Northwest of there, not far from the luxury Akirov Towers, are the remnants of the "buffalo towers" village, aka Jamassin. "We recommend that you wander around between the low homes," the book writes, "amid the local vegetation that is reminiscent of a wild jungle, and try to imagine how, more than 60 years ago, hundreds of Palestinians lived here who are no longer here today." The present-day shantytown neighborhood on the site, Givat Amal, lies hidden on the cliff, at the foot of the Yoo Towers.
In contrast to other villages, nobody knows for sure where Jamassin's 1,200 refugees fled to from here. Now it serves, among other things, as a car graveyard: countless junked autos hide in the reeds and among the brambles. The houses are fenced, giving the semblance of a Brazilian favela, with a few tidy gardens behind the fences, and a sea of warning signs - No Entry, No Parking, Barking Dog, Private Property - exactly like in Salama and Summayl. Here, too, the whitewash, the renovations and the expansions have completely covered the original Arab construction.
Finally we drive to Shaykh Muwannis. My home stands on the village's land; the irrigation pool of Pardesiya is the pool I swim in today. I've already written enough about this over the years. In the wake of a letter I received, exactly three years ago I met with the elderly Salah al-Muhur, a refugee from Shaykh Muwannis, who now lived in the tiny village of Al-Hafira, near Jenin. "Are you Levy?" he asked me on the steps of his house. "Maybe you know Levy from Kiryat Shaul, who was a bus driver? We were friends for many years." Muhur dreamed of visiting the village of his birth one more time, but his dream went unfulfilled.