Let's talk about Sderot...or is it Najd?
So let's talk about Sderot, that town in Israel that the Israelis claim as the main symbol justifying starving 1.5 million dirt-poor civilian refugees in Gaza, murdering almost 1000 now (by the time I'm done typing maybe we'll be over that number) and wounding thousands more innocents while flattening entire neighborhoods and massacring entire families. Sderot is a symbol for the Israelis, the poor innocent town getting rocketed for supposedly no reason. But here's the thing: Israel wants us to believe that its cities and towns have no history before they supposedly showed up and made the desert bloom. Well, allow me to disabuse that notion.
You see, Sderot isn't really Sderot. Sderot is Najd (نجد), a village of Palestinian farmers. In 1948, it was a farming village of 719 people. The village and its agricultural lands occupied 3355 acres, 93.3% Arab owned, 3.6% Jewish owned (there were several Zionist collective farms in the area that were said to be on friendly terms with Najd and other area villages, though there was no one Jewish in Najd), and 3% public land. Walid Khalidi in his seminal book "All That Remains" gives some historical background on page 128:
"The village stood on an elevated spot on the southern coastal plain, and overlooked the agricultural lands aroud it. Several secondary roads linked it to the coastal highway at points between al-Majdal and Gaza, as well as to the villages in the vicinity. Its name meant "elevated ground" in Arabic. In 1596, Najd was a village in the nahiya of Gaza (liwa' of Gaza), with a population of 215. It paid taxes on a number of crops, including wheat, barley, and fruit, as well as on other types of produce and property such as goats, beehives, and vineyards. [Hut. and Abd.:144]
Edward Robinson, an American biblical scholar who travelled in the area in 1838, noted that Najd lay south of a wadi. He observed the villagers winnowing barley by throwing it into the air against the wind with wooden forks. [Robinson (1841) II:371] In the late nineteenth century, Najd was a small village with a well and a pond [NAA Note: see the remains of the irrigation pool here and here]. [SWP (1881) III:260] As its population grew during the mandate period, it expanded northwestward. The village population was Muslim, and children attended school in the village of Simsim (see Simsim, Gaza District), 2 km to the northeast. The residents of Najd worked primarily in agriculture and animal husbandry. Fields of grain and fruit trees surrounded Najd on all sides. Fruit trees were concentrated on the north and northeastern sides--where irrigation water was available from wells--and in the beds of the wadis that crossed the lands. In 1944/45 a total of 10 dunums was devoted to citrus and bananas and 11,916 dunums were allocated to cereals; 511 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards. Khirbat Najd was located south of the village and contained rough, stone foundations of ancient buildings, vaults, and cisterns.
So Najd was a thriving little agricultural village that had been around for hundreds of years, even if its education for the kids was sub-standard, but then that was a direct effect of the British authorities conscious decision to keep the native Palestinians poorly educated by under-funding their school system (read Ilan Pappe's "A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples" for more on that). So what happened to Najd, why does no one hear of Najd in the headlines today, where did Sderot come from? Let's turn to Khalidi (referencing the infamously racist advocate of more ethnic cleansing, but still meticulous, Benny Morris) and Israeli historian Ilan Pappe who describe the ethnic cleansing of Najd and the surrounding areas. First Khalidi, again page 128:
The villagers of Najd were expelled on 13 May 1948, just before the establishment of the state of Israel. Israeli historian Benny Morris writes that the inhabitants of nearby Simsim were expelled at the same time by the Palmach's Negev Brigade.
And Pappe on page 146-7 of his "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine":
By the beginning of June, the list of villages obliterated included many that had until then been protected by nearby kibbutzim. This was the fate of several villages in the Gaza district: Najd [NAA's emphasis] Burayr, Simsim, Kawfakha, Muharraqa and Huj. Their destruction appeared to have come as a genuine shock to nearby kibbutzim when they learned how these friendly villages had been savagely assaulted, their houses destroyed and all their people expelled. On the land of Huj, Ariel Sharon built his private residence, Havat Hashikmim, a ranch that covers 5000 dunams of the village's fields.
Despite the ongoing negotiations by the UN mediator, Count Folke Bernadotte [NAA Note: later assassinated - because he insisted on trying to return Palestine's innocent refugees to their stolen lands - by Zionist 'Lehi' terrorists with the explicit approval of future Israeli terrorist Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir], to broker a truce, the ethnic cleansing moved on unhindered. With obvious satisfaction Ben-Gurion wrote in his diary on 5 June 1948, 'We occupied today Yibneh (there was no serious resistance) and Qaqun. Here the cleansing [tihur] operation continues; have not heard from the other fronts.' Indeed, by the end of May his diary had reflected a renewed interest in ethnic cleansing. With the help of Yossef Weitz, he compiled a list of the names of the villages taken, the size of their lands and the number of people expelled, which he meticulously entered in his diary. The language is no longer guarded: 'This is the list of the occupied and evicted [mefunim] villages.' Two days later, he convened a meeting in his own house to assess how much money had meanwhile been looted from the banks of the 'Arabs', and how many citrus groves and other assets had been confiscated. Eliezer Kaplan, his minister of finance, persuaded him to authorise the confiscation of all Palestinian properties already taken in order to prevent the frenzied wrangling that was already threatening to break out between the predators who were waiting to swoop down on the spoils.
And so it went, ethnically cleansed villages, lands, and properties were being divided up by the mafia don and arch-terrorist David Ben Gurion. Among which were the lands of Najd. Back to Khalidi telling the fate of Najd, page 128 again:
Two settlements were established on village lands: Sderot (110103), founded in 1951 to the south of the site; and Or ha-Ner (112107), founded in 1957 closer to the site, to the northeast...The surrounding lands are cultivated by Israeli farmers.
And so it was, Najd was ethnically cleansed, its lands stolen by other farmers, the Israeli kibbutzim who were so sympathetic doing nothing to demand their former neighbors be allowed back, instead the Israelis divvied up the stolen property for themselves like the thieves they were.
But you say it was so long ago, its ancient history, we have enough problems now, why bring this up on top of it all? Because friend, the Israelis may have tried to erase Najd with Sderot, they may have tried to pretend it never existed and get on enjoying their stolen property pretending it wasn't stolen, but...you see the people of Najd didn't cease to exist. Those 719 villagers from 1948 had had children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren and as of 1998 they numbered an estimated 4400. And in fact, the people of Najd are closer than you think to today's headlines. The village elder (or Mukhtar in Arabic meaning "chosen") was Hajj Muhammad Ahmad Mahmud Jasir (you can see his picture here) and he was pushed out at gunpoint with his family by the Palmach terrorist gangs to the Gaza Strip, where impoverished and penniless they settled in the Jabalya refugee camp. Jabalya, does that sound familiar? It should, Jabalya refugee camp, a dirt-poor pit of Zionist-created misery in northern Gaza is now under non-stop Israeli bombardment and was the site of the latest infamous Israeli massacre of dozens of civilians at UN school that had been designated a safe site (after the Israelis dropped leaflets everywhere saying they intended to flatten these people's neighborhoods and refugee camps) and which the Israelis had specifically been given the coordinates of:
This is not just an irony of history, that the Israeli/Zionist terrorists first ethnically cleansed these people, stole their lands for themselves, pushed these people into squalid refugee camps just a few miles away, and now have begun to bombard these same poor people with the most advanced weapons on earth for the crime of resisting their oppressors. It is not mere irony. It is the key to the solution. The Israelis you see feel stuck too. They don't have a problem shedding the blood of Palestinians over and over and over. And they don't have a problem ethnically cleansing people. But the problem is, they've now pushed 1.5 million innocent people (including the few thousand of Najd) into a tiny little box, from which they don't know what to do with them. They can't push them into Egypt because they have a Quisling collaborator there (Mubarak) whose rule they don't want to de-stabilize, and in any case they know the Egyptians who have a real military (even if pitiful compared to Israel's) would really fight back if they tried to do that. No one else in the world will take these people in and in any case these Palestinians keep up with this stubborn notion that they want to stay in Palestine, even Gaza!
So they can't ethnically cleanse them again from the last little corner of Palestine they've held onto, and they don't quite feel up to the task of simply slaughtering all 1.5 million in one swoop because it wouldn't allow them to maintain (either to themselves or to others) the myth of their moral purity. So instead, what do they do? They just keep provoking the people in Gaza. They cut them off from the sea and fishing livelihood, they cut off their fuel and electricity, they cut off their food, they cut off their medicine. And then, facing starvation at the hands of Zionism and with the full acquiescence of the world who aids the Zionists, the Palestinians desperately fight back. Which the Zionists then use as their excuse to kill more Palestinians. If they can't kill them all at once, they can at least kill more than they used to. And maybe just maybe the Israelis hope, they'll magically disappear. They don't care how, die under US-supplied missiles or emigrate or just...somehow disappear. For now, just kill as many as you can and claim the moral high ground of Sderot. Which was never Najd you see. And the people of Najd don't live in Jabalya you see, almost within eyesight of Najd. Where the people of Sderot who stole their lands live claiming victimhood.
Madness isn't it? Zionist lunacy to live in such a violent, hate-filled world of stealing from the poor and killing them because they aren't of your religion. It's insane.
But I said in the name of the village of Najd and Sderot built on top of it there is the solution. And there is. An insanely simple one. Easy to do. If one simple mental barrier is broken down. A mental barrier. Let the people of Najd...walk home. It'll probably take a couple of hours granted. And the people who call the place Sderot today, well they'll have to learn to share. And accept that they live in a place that for hundreds of years was called Najd, and that its people today still call Najd. And once they do that, the solution is there. The rockets stop. The people of Najd don't want to launch rockets at their own home town. Nor do they want to kill anyone. They just want to live. They don't want to starve, they don't want to be bombed, they want to live, in the only homes they have. In Najd.
You see, the solution is simple. Treat everyone as an equal human being, and share. It's a simple lesson I try to teach my kids every day. Yo Israel, think you can teach your people that? Or would you rather just go on murdering and starving innocent people and watching rockets fall on your people who now live in Najd?