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Stealing ancient Palestinian artefacts

Zionist entity ‘Israel’ has frequently stolen and acquired ancient artifacts from the occupied Palestine using its occupation forces,unauthorised dealers and looters.

SaebPress/Bethlehem

Residents of Bethlehem district, are accusing ‘Israeli’ occupation forces of illegally seizing an ancient artifact from their town. 

THE ANCIENT BAPTISMAL FONT

The incident took place in the southern occupied West Bank ancient town of ‘ Khirbet Tuqu, which is said to be the birthplace of the biblical prophet Amos, and is home to a number of Byzantine-era archaeological sites. 

Video footage, taken by residents of ‘Khirbet Tuqu’, shows ‘Israeli’ occupation forces escorting a large flatbed truck out of the village in the middle of the night. On the truck is the massive stolen stone of baptismal font that dates back to the sixth century A.D., that was once part of an ancient church in the village. 

The unique stone, which has been widely  studied by the Palestinian specialists, is easily identifiable in the video.  The baptismal font is reported to be one of three rare basins of its kind. The other two were found in the Church of Nativity, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, and the Church of Beit Jibrin, an ancient Palestinian village near Hebron that was forcibly depopulated in 1948, by Zionist terrorist Ganges.  

The font was seen placed for long at the site of the ancient church in ‘Khirbet Tuqu’, the ancient town of Tuqu‘, before being stolen by unauthorised dealers using a huge forklift in 2000.

PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi tweeted the video of the seizure, calling it “typical.” “Israel steals our land & resources, plunders our archaeological/historical sites, appropriates our cultural heritage & seeks to eradicate all evidence of our identity & continuity in our ancestral homeland–a settler-colonial attempt at erasing evidence of the indigenous,” she said. 

Palestinian news agencies reported that just few days before the stealing of the baptismal font, ‘Israeli’ occupation forces seized 700 acres of Palestinian land around the Herodion Mountain south of Bethlehem. 

In 2002, Tuqu‘ Municipality managed to retrieve the font and placed it in the vicinity of the mayor’s house, pending the construction of a local museum.

Zionist entity ‘Israel’ has frequently stolen and acquired ancient artifacts from the occupied Palestine using its occupation forces,unauthorised dealers and looters.

Zionist entity ‘Israel’ has been accused of stealing ancient Palestinian artefacts in the past, the Zionist entity ‘Israel’ has been using archaeology as a key tool in reinforcing its bogus territorial claims to historic Palestine, to give them a veneer of historical and religious legitimacy.

Today, there are almost 834,000 armed ‘Israeli’ colonialist settlers living in colonies in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

International law, Geneva, Hague and UNESCO Conventions prohibit Zionist entity ‘Israel’ as an occupying power from assuming ownership of occupied West Bank antiquities or transferring such artifacts out of the territory. To date the occupation forces has looted and seized tens of thousands of artifcats from Gaza strip during the period of Gaza’s occupation and hundreds of thousands looted artifacts from the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, which were occupied by the Zionist entity in 1967.

SaebPress /WAFA

Culture & Arts

Ghassan Kanafani, the era of revolutionary Palestinian media

Palestine’s Ghassan Kanafani, a writer, artist, journalist and politico has left a lasting legacy in the Arab world.

Ghassan Kanafani
Ghassan Kanafani, the Palestinian revolutionary.

Some of the biggest names in the world of literature – Dickens, Hemingway, Garcia Marquez – got their start in journalism. Their reporting tends to be forgotten; their prose is what lives on.

Ghassan Kanafani is a name you can add to that list. Kanafani was a Palestinian writer who, through books like Men in the Sun, humanised the Palestinian condition of dispossession and displacement. He was, however, first and foremost a journalist.

Palestine’s Ghassan Kanafani, a writer, artist, journalist and a revolutionary has left a lasting legacy in the Arab world.

He was also a product of 1960s Beirut – a period when the city was a magnet for young reporters, revolutionaries, migrants and misfits, as well as host to the Palestinian leadership in exile. It was in Beirut that Kanafani produced Al Hadaf, a forward-thinking Palestinian magazine, that has been somewhat lost in the mists of time.

The Listening Post‘s Tariq Nafi reports from Beirut, Lebanon, on the legacy of Ghassan Kanafani and the era of Palestinian revolutionary media. 

Contributors:

Refqa Abu-Remaileh – Professor of modern Arabic literature and film, Director of “PalREAD – Country of Words” project, Free University of Berlin

Elias Khoury – Novelist and playwright

As’ad AbuKhalil – Professor of political science, California State University

Source: Al Jazeera

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Culture & Arts

Justice for Palestine, Jews Step Forward.

These are the moral voices of bravery and justice inside JEWS STEP FORWARD

This indie documentary highlights twenty-four moral voices within the American Jewish community speaking on behalf of justice for the indigenous Palestinian people.  Directed and produced by Elika Rezaee and Marjorie Wright, this powerful, truthful, controversial documentary has been screened at festivals around the world.  It has been recognised by the 2016 justice Awards Festival and given a certificate of merit as the best “Human Rights, War and Peace film in the category Documentary Feature” by the sixteen International Film Festivals.

“Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of the colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change. Each time a person stands up for an idea, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, (s)he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centres of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”– Robert F. Kennedy. These are the moral voices of bravery and justice inside JEWS STEP FORWARD.

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Culture & Arts

Venezuela What Next?

Hugo Chavez Mausoleum

SaebPress – Belfast
By Fra Hughes 

Fra Hughes

There is a radical quarantine in place in Venezuela at the present time as the COVID 19 Coronavirus appears to gain a foothold in the country.The fear at this time is for the Barios, in the capital Caracas, which may be susceptible to the virus, as they are among the most densely populated and poorest parts of Venezuelan society.

The people who live there might pay a heavy price in sickness and death.


As if the county was not going through enough at the moment, as the continued economic political and financial sanctions placed on the democratically elected government of Nicholas Maduro, by the European Union and the North American administration continue to take a toll, now the extra burden of fighting the virus is being placed on the state’s finances and health service.

Public political discussions in Caracas


In the early days of the pandemic, the Venezuelan government sent planes to neighbouring countries to allow Venezuelans to return home.


Countries like Columbia at first refused to facilitate this passage of people, this repatriation. They soon changed their mind and were then actively encouraging Venezuelans to return home, many of whom were sick.

Buses transporting the people home from Columbia were tested and found to be contaminated by the virus leading to many more infections and concern from the Venezuelan government and the people that their citizen’s, sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, may have been deliberately infected in order to further burden the Venezuelan state.
A pass is now required, for essential travel only, for anyone moving between cities in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus.


The health service is free in Venezuela and the government on behalf of the people is working very hard to contain and control the virus to protect the population.
The economy is under huge pressure as many things are now bought and sold in American Dollars.


Inflation due to sanctions and black marketeering caused by those profiteering from the political turmoil in order to put pressure on the government has caused the national currency the Bolivar to devalue substantially.


The guaranteed monthly minimum wage in Venezuela is approximately  800,000 Bolivars that equates at the present time to about 4 Dollars.
A bottle of wine, Gato Negro, costs 17 Dollars. This is indicative of how precarious the economy has become.


Many people have to find a second job or perhaps create their own employment, making bread to sell, or cheese or some other home-based work.


Thankfully the government is continuing with the CLAP food distribution programme, with Local Committees for the Supply and Production of food.
An elderly person, for example, paying 50 cents, one Dollar being equivalent to approximately 2240.000 Bolivar, to the CLAP food aid programme, was able to receive  5 packets of cornflower, 3 kilos of rice,4 kilos of beans, a box of 30 eggs 5 kilos of sardines and a kilo of milk.


There are also subsidised farmers markets run by the state,
In order to survive, for many, it is essential to use the government subsidised food market. This is a crucial lifeline for the most vulnerable.

In the regular supermarkets, 30 eggs cost 600,000 bolivars approximately 2.5 Dollars


Food inflation in Venezuela is dramatic . Huge efforts are being made to develop food sovereignty, whereby Venezuela becomes self-reliant on food production and require no food imports. Farmers are now growing indigenous foods that have for many years been replaced by foreign imports.

Food Sovereignty International delegation

Petroleum is now free for trucks delivering food and ambulances. It is possible, one day per week to fill your car, with gasoline for less than 1 dollar for 45 litres of fuel.
Water electricity and telephone payments are not being sought from those who cannot afford to pay them.


Unlike western capitalist economies where if you fail to pay, the service is withdrawn, the services in Venezuela are being kept in place as the people support the government, the government supports the people.


The recent shipments of gas petroleum from Iran along with fuel supplements will enable the petrochemical industry in Venezuela to regain its impetus and stimulate the economy.Alongside the oil, Iran and China are sending technical experts to repair and renew the oil infrastructure and an Iranian supermarket with food sent from Iran will soon open for the first time.


It is hoped that the current relationships that are strengthening and deepening between Iran, China, Russia and Venezuela will continue.A new Petrochemical company similar to Venezuela’s CITGO may operate between Venezuela and China, thus replacing the oil export contracts, which previously went to North American companies to China.China requires a huge amount of oil and gas to complete its economic infrastructure programme and the completion of the One Belt One Road economic transport route through Eurasia and Africa.


An economic boom could be on the horizon if Venezuela and its government can withstand the sanctions, gaining enough time to see this process through.

At this time there is a land dispute between Venezuela and neighbouring Guyana.


Guyanas indigenous population was first occupied by the Dutch and then by the British.


Guyana gained freedom from the United Kingdom in 1966. It is the only country in South America to have English as its official language. Guyana has a diverse population. In order to populate and exploit the land, Britain brought several different nationalities to colonise the region.


With a population of less than  800.000 but with huge mineral gas and oil reserves within the boundaries of the Amazon, America and Britain are supporting Guayana in the claim for land that Venezuela has since its Independence in 1824 has claimed belong to them.


With elections on December 6, this year to the National Assembly it is hoped the extreme right will lose some of its seats and more moderate opposition to the government may be elected. The continuing efforts by  North America to facilitate a coup against the democratically elected government of Maduro means there is still much concern for the future in Venezuela.

It can only be hoped that the goodwill of the people and the governmental programme for progressive growth in the economy will prevail.
That the security situation will improve and Venezuela can withstand the onslaught of European and American sanctions.


Having recently completed over 3 million social housing units, with increased literacy rates , decreased child mortality rates, improved health, education and welfare for millions of Venezuelans, there are many reasons to be hopeful that democratic socialism will triumph over undemocratic illegal sanctions.

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