Integrity — now you see it, now you don’t

Anyone who believes a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict hinges on the actions of Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu, might as well turn their attention elsewhere — The moral bankruptcy of both men was on full display at the White House yesterday.

If before engaging in their vacuous performance, they had cared to study what meaningful engagement actually looks like, they could have done nothing better than to witness a recent meeting between two very different men: Haim Bajayo, 75-year old Jew and Hebron’s Palestinian Mayor Khalid Al-Useili.

Ma’an reports:

An elderly Jewish man from Hebron has asked the city’s mayor to permit his burial in a Muslim cemetery when he dies, insisting that his body not be placed in one of the sites now controlled by Israeli settlers.

Haim Bajayo, 75, visited Mayor Khalid Al-Useili at his office in the southern West Bank city and described in detail how Jews and Arabs had generally enjoyed amiable relations until the arrival of tens of thousands of foreign immigrants from the 1920s until 1948, the year Israel was established and most of Hebron’s Jews fled to the new state established in their name.

Bajayo was born in Hebron in 1935 and grew up in its Daboya neighborhood with his family, which owned a home there and held official property documents until 1977. A decade after Israel seized control of the Palestinian city and began permitting its citizens to settle there, Bajayo ceremoniously ceded his home for the benefit of the Palestinian municipality. The mayor at that time was Fahd Al-Qawasmi.

“As long as [the settlers] are in Hebron, there is no chance of reaching an agreement” to end the six-decade conflict, he told the mayor. “I don’t want any of my property or my house back as long as Palestinian homes and lands are not returned. The same day the Palestinians regain what was taken from them in 1948, I’ll come to you and say, ‘I have a house … registered in the real estate department.'”

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4 thoughts on “Integrity — now you see it, now you don’t

  1. Norman

    Watching the video, reinforces my feelings that with peace, then the situation in the Middle East could develop into a dynamic region. Respecting the rights of each other, instead of stealing them, can go a long way to resolving the present day problems.

    I see the leaders being in Denial in Israel, to continue beating the drums of “we are being wronged, every time they suppress the Palestinians with force. How far will the madness go?

  2. Vicente V. Jungstedt

    Excellent article! Thanks for pointing out the “The moral bankruptcy of both men was on full display at the White House yesterday.”
    It was embarrasing to watch Obama and his empty rethoric. To watch him break phrases with a “aaaaaa”. He knows how decitful, empty, criminal, hypocritical he words were and how staged the whole meeting was. It was clear to everybody who watched it! Obama/Clinton/Biden speaking today and dog sh#ting in Washington DC means the same thing…

  3. John Somebody

    I just don’t see how so much of the world around me can believe that a state / society which depends on racism to exist, could have any right to exist. And as it needs to kill people, ( the wrong kind of Semites), in order to create an exodus of refugees, so it can steal their land, therefore it depends on genocide in order to exist.
    And could someone tell me how Israel could be an Apartheid state ? Under Apartheid, the state needs to parasitise it’s victims, so their presence is required. Israel does not need it’s victims to be present, it needs them to be gone. That means removed, or dead. Again, as that has to involve killing some for racist reasons, it is a Genocidal state, not an Apartheid one. This fits with the ANC view, that what’s done to Palestinians, is far worse than anything that was done to black S. Africans

  4. estebanfolsom

    Hangman
    by Maurice Ogden

    “1. Into our town the Hangman came, Smelling of gold and blood and flame. And he paced our bricks with a diffident air, And built his frame in the courthouse square.
    The scaffold stood by the courthouse side, Only as wide as the door was wide; A frame as tall, or little more, Than the capping sill of the courthouse door.
    And we wondered, whenever we had the time, Who the criminal, what the crime That the Hangman judged with the yellow twist of knotted hemp in his busy fist.
    And innocent though we were, with dread, We passed those eyes of buckshot lead — Till one cried: “Hangman, who is he For whom you raised the gallows-tree?”
    Then a twinkle grew in the buckshot eye, And he gave us a riddle instead of reply: “He who serves me best,” said he, “Shall earn the rope of the gallows-tree.”
    And he stepped down, and laid his hand On a man who came from another land. And we breathed again, for another’s grief At the Hangman’s hand was our relief
    And the gallows-frame on the courthouse lawn By tomorrow’s sun would be struck and gone. So we gave him way, and no one spoke, Out of respect for his Hangman’s cloak.
    2. The next day’s sun looked mildly down On roof and street in our quiet town, And stark and black in the morning air Was the gallows-tree in the courthouse square.
    And the Hangman stood at his usual stand With the yellow hemp in his busy hand; With his buckshot eye and his jaw like a pike And his air so knowing and business-like.
    And we cried, “Hangman, have you not done Yesterday, with the foreign one?” Then we fell silent, and stood amazed, “Oh, not for him was the gallows raised.”
    He laughed a laugh as he looked at us: “Did you think I’d gone to all this fuss To hang one man? That’s a thing I do To stretch a rope when the rope is new.”
    Then one cried “Murder!” and one cried “Shame!” And into our midst the Hangman came To that man’s place. “Do you hold,” said he, “with him that was meant for the gallows-tree?”
    And he laid his hand on that one’s arm. And we shrank back in quick alarm! And we gave him way, and no one spoke Out of fear of his Hangman’s cloak.
    That night we saw with dread surprise The Hangman’s scaffold had grown in size. Fed by the blood beneath the chute, The gallows-tree had taken root;
    Now as wide, or a little more, Than the steps that led to the courthouse door, As tall as the writing, or nearly as tall, Halfway up on the courthouse wall.
    3. The third he took — we had all heard tell — Was a usurer, and an infidel. “What,” said the Hangman “have you to do With the gallows-bound, and he a Jew?”
    And we cried out, “Is this one he Who has served you well and faithfully?” The Hangman smiled: “It’s a clever scheme to try the strength of the gallows-beam.”
    The fourth man’s dark, accusing song Had scratched our comfort hard and long; “And what concern,” he gave us back. “Have you for the doomed — the doomed and Black?”
    The fifth. The sixth. And we cried again, “Hangman, Hangman, is this the man?” “It’s a trick,” he said. “that we hangmen know For easing the trap when the trap springs slow.”
    And so we ceased, and asked no more, As the Hangman tallied his bloody score. And sun by sun, and night by night, The gallows grew to monstrous height.
    The wings of the scaffold opened wide Till they covered the square from side to side; And the monster cross-beam, looking down, Cast its shadow across the town.
    4. Then through the town the Hangman came, Through the empty streets, and called my name — And I looked at the gallows soaring tall, And thought, “There is no one left at all
    For hanging, and so he calls to me To help pull down the gallows-tree.” So I went out with right good hope To the Hangman’s tree and the Hangman’s rope.
    He smiled at me as I came down To the courthouse square through the silent town. And supple and stretched in his busy hand Was the yellow twist of the hempen strand.
    And he whistled his tune as he tried the trap, And it sprang down with a ready snap — And then with a smile of awful command He laid his hand upon my hand.
    “You tricked me. Hangman!,” I shouted then, “That your scaffold was built for other men… And I no henchman of yours,” I cried, “You lied to me, Hangman. Foully lied!”
    Then a twinkle grew in the buckshot eye, “Lied to you? Tricked you?” he said. “Not I. For I answered straight and I told you true — The scaffold was raised for none but you.
    For who has served me more faithfully Then you with your coward’s hope?” said he, “And where are the others who might have stood Side by your side in the common good?”
    “Dead,” I whispered. And amiably “Murdered,” the Hangman corrected me: “First the foreigner, then the Jew… I did no more than you let me do.”
    Beneath the beam that blocked the sky None had stood so alone as I. The Hangman noosed me, and no voice there Cried “Stop!” for me in the empty square.”

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