Hebrew with English subtitles
Abdullah Ocalan, Cease Fire, Democracy, Ercan Ayboga, Herak Haifa, Kurdistan, Kurdistan Workers' Party, Left, Mossad, PKK, Popular Committees, Republic of Ararat, Socialism, Syrian Revolution, Turkey, Women's role
It is a hot summer on Haifa’s sandy beaches. Unlike the birds that come in the autumn from cold Europe, summer is the visiting season for people. Until recently the visitors were coming almost only from the rich countries, but, as the third world is now rising to the center of the world stage, we have the chance to meet people from many other places. This week, for the first time, we had a visitor from Kurdistan, Ercan Ayboga (*). As we hold a special warm place in our hearts for the Kurdish people as sisters and brothers in struggle, it was a great opportunity to learn more about Kurdistan, its people and their struggle.
With short notice, Herak Haifa called for an open lecture in Haifa AlGhad club, on Monday 10/6/2013. As I was writing the invitation, I had a problem. Should I write that Ercan comes from “Turkish Kurdistan”? It smacks of ownership. I’m always annoyed when I’m introduced as “coming from Israel”. One important thing that I learned in this lecture is to call the part of Kurdistan that is colonialized by Turkey “Northern Kurdistan”, as “Eastern Kurdistan” is held by Iran, the South by Iraq and the West by Syria. I always prefer to look at things through the eyes and the language of the oppressed people, even though the language that connected us in the lecture was English.
The report below is based on Ercan’s lecture but doesn’t claim to reproduce his very words. I also made some quick research and tried to tell a consistent story as much as I could. I hope you will find it informative as well as inspiring.
Kurdistan and the Kurdish people have a long history. Much of it is characterize by the Kurds having some level of self rule (or rule by their local feudal lords) – but under the influence of more powerful regional powers. For a long period Kurdistan was in the borderlands between the Ottoman Empire and Iran. The Kurdish language is close to Persian but many Kurds were integrated in the Ottoman state to the level that when they felt pressed by emerging Turkish nationalism few of the Kurdish lords called for restoration of the Caliphate.
The beginning of the twentieth century, and especially the new division of the region after the First World War, saw the emergence of new states guided by the principle of Nationalism. The Kurdish national movement was late to come, and confronted the fate of Kurdistan divided between the neighbors.
The establishment of Turkey as a national state, in a region that was mosaic of different ethnicities, religions and nationalities, was especially cruel, forged by genocide and systematic ethnic cleansing. At first the Turkish leadership succeeded to mobilize some Kurdish support against the Christian Armenian and Greek population in the name of Islam, but soon the Kurds encountered the fire of Turkish nationalism turned against them.
Between 1920 and 1938 there were several Kurdish rebellions against the Ottomans and against Turkey. In one rebellion in 1925 we already hear the complaints about the wiping of the name Kurdistan from the maps, about oppression of the Kurdish language and about forced population transfer.
Between 1928 and 1931 an independent Kurdish “Republic of Ararat” existed until it was crashed by the Turkish army. But none of these rebellions succeeded to unite all the Kurds, or even all the Kurds under Turkey’s rule, in a single independence movement. Turkey had a clear military advantage and cruelly crushed each rebellion with severe consequences to the fighters, their political leaders and the civilian population.
In 1937 and 1938, in the oppression of the Dersim rebellion, (Dersim is an area in North West Kurdistan from where our guest Ercan came), about half the regions’ population was wiped out in massacres and almost all the rest was deported by force. Between 1925 and 1965 North Kurdistan under Turkey’s control was declared a military area and foreigners were banned from entering.
After 1938, as the independence movements were crashed, about a third of some 20 million Kurds in North Kurdistan immigrated (most of them since the sixties) to other areas in Turkey and many Kurds succumbed to forced Turkization.
The roots of the current Kurdish freedom movement are in the radicalization of students and other sectors of society in Turkey in the seventies of the previous century. Since then the most influential force in the Kurdish movement is the Kurdish Workers Party – known by its initials as PKK and officially founded in 1978 – and its leader Abdullah Ocalan. For this reason it is important to understand what is special about this organization.
In addition to its leftist ideology, Ercan mentioned two significant factors that played a role: The PKK cadres, though initially students, were drawn mostly from the poor classes and always remained committed to the defense of the poor peasants and workers; In 1980, when there was a military coup in Turkey and many of the activists had to go to exile, the PKK leadership preferred to gather its forces and set its main new bases in the Arab countries of Lebanon and Syria, not going to the comfort of Europe where other left organizations gradually lost their revolutionary perspective.
This helped to forge an alliance and common thinking with the Arab and Palestinian left, most significantly with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). In many aspects the Kurdish movement followed the steps of the Palestinian National movement – the adoption of Marxism and the perspective of National liberation as part of a global movement for social liberation; The adoption of armed struggle as a central tactic which came as a response to the military coup and intense repression; Since the beginning of the 90’s there was a new turn toward mass struggle, which, according to Ercan, was influenced by the success of the first Palestinian Intifada.
The PKK was more successful from the Palestinian left in becoming the main force of the Kurdish national movement, maybe because the Kurdish cause seemed to be a lost case and there was less competition and outside meddling. Now the Kurdish national movement, with the PKK at its center, is a school of its own. It is building on the ground and developing theory for a progressive national movement that adjusts to changing circumstances and tries to get the best for its people.
Through 35 years of heroic struggle the Kurds paid a very high price. It is estimated that 3,500 villages and towns were destroyed and millions became refugees. Tens of thousands of martyrs paid with their lives. Today, according to Ercan’s estimation, there are about 10,000 Kurdish political prisoners out of a total of 12,000 political prisoners in Turkey.
In 1998, after pressure and threats of war from Turkey, Syria expelled Ocalan and there was no state that will give him official refuge. In an international man-hunt operation with the help of (or orchestrated by) the Israeli Mossad, Ocalan was arrested in Kenya on February 15, 1999, and handed over to Turkey. In spite of being sentenced to death (later substituted by imprisonment for life) and being held in harsh conditions, most of the time in isolation, he is still the main leader of the Kurdish freedom movement. On March 21, 2013, it was Öcalan which declared the new ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish state, in the framework of new negotiations for a peaceful solution that will protect the rights of the Kurdish people.
An important achievement of the Kurdish freedom movement is that it is not confined to one region, one organization or one sector of the population. Since the beginning of the nineties the armed struggle is only one tool for the building of an expanding popular base. It begun with mass funerals for martyred freedom fighters, continued with mass demonstrations and clashes with the repressive forces, went on to the organization of legal political parties, the participation in local government, declaration of cease fires and peace initiatives. The celebration of Newroz, the Kurdish New Year, became a yearly major patriotic event with mass participation of hundreds of southlands and sometimes even millions.
One important aspect that distinguishes the PKK and the modern Kurdish freedom movement is the prominent role of women in all aspects of the struggle and on all levels. In a society that is mostly rural and conservative, Kurdish women fight side by side with their male comrades. It is estimated that women are around 30% of the PKK fighters. A similar proportion of women may also be found in the PKK’s leading bodies and in other parties and mass organizations. In 1994, Leyla Zana, the first Kurdish member of the Turkish parliament was arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of treason and terrorism after she dared to speak the Kurdish language in parliament.
Popular support and the possibility to legally organize opened new opportunities and fields of action in front of the freedom movement. Ercan expanded his explanation about the establishment of elected local authorities as a field where local people can organize and the movement can prove that it can serve the masses in a good way and to good purpose. It also exposes the movement to the danger of corruption by some of its own local leaders – and tests its ability to fight this corruption. Here the importance of the socially progressive character of the movement and the commitment to the interests of the poor people is essential for success.
He talked about the concept of popular democracy that the movement tries to promote. Elected councils start at grassroots levels. They include direct representatives of the people as well as political parties and civil society. Here again the role of women is essential. The direct involvement of the popular masses in the councils keeps them at tune with the political organizations and keeps the organizations in full awareness of the needs and sentiments of the people. All this is used to look for practical solutions to the issues of economic development, defense of democratic rights, cultural identity and social justice.
With all these achievements, the parties that are identified with the liberation movement receive just about half the popular vote in elections in North Kurdistan. There are still conflicting local identities and interests and scars from the long years of repression and struggle. Some 40% of the Kurdish vote goes to AK, the Islamic party that governs Turkey over the last eleven years. And, as mentioned before, almost half of the Kurds of northern Kurdistan now leave in other regions of Turkey. These facts are taken into account by the freedom movement when it comes to propose a political solution.
The PKK went through ideological struggle, trying to adjust its view of the world, its political platform and praxis to the changing world map as well as to local conditions. An attempt to change the orientation of the movement to give up socialism and turn toward the US was rejected. But significant adjustments were made.
Now the main goal of the movement is not separation of North Kurdistan from Turkey but participation in the design of a new decentralized democracy. It could be good for the Kurds, let them control their own affairs, but also for the rest of the people in Turkey.
Around this line the Kurdish parties now try to build new alliances with different progressive and democratic movements and parties in Turkey. For this reason Kurdish activists also participated in the new popular protest movement that was ignited in Istanbul and spread all over Turkey. The connection to the mass movement was all important to them, in spite of the participation of some extreme nationalist and fascists in the movement and the call by some elements for restoration of military rule.
The movement in North Kurdistan has significant influence over the Kurdish people in other regions. In Syria the main Kurdish party, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) is associated with the PKK. They regard themselves as part of the Syrian revolution, even though they don’t belong to any of the current leadership coalitions of the Syrian opposition. In South Kurdistan traditional leaderships still play a major role and progressive forces are still small – but in East Kurdistan there are stronger protest movements, based on the youth, which are more radical and democratic.
A similar concept of democratization and de-centralization, people’s power from bottom-up, is also promoted for the larger region. It was conceived as a framework for the solution not only of the Kurdish question but of the needs to get rid of tyranny and find a way for all the diverse religions, national and ethnic groups to live together.
As part of this concept, the Kurdish movement initiated the Mesopotamia Social Forum. They are interested to promote discussion and build cooperation with other movements in the region. Maybe this is what brought Ercan to far-away Haifa.
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(*) Ercan Ayboga (pronounced almost Erjan) is a hydraulic engineer who has lived in Germany and in North-Kurdistan; the latter is his home country. He coordinates on international level the campaign against the destructive Ilisu Dam on the Tigris and is part of the ecologic movement in Kurdistan. Furthermore he is engaged in the Mesopotamian Social Forum (MSF) which brought together in 2009 and 2011 parts of the civil Kurdish and Middle East society. He writes regularly for different Turkish, Kurdish and German newspapers and journals on ecological and political issues.
I have a neighbor. He is a quiet man, working hard in construction and after work he would stay with his family. You rarely even see him in the neighborhood. One morning I saw him sitting in the street – he had a story to tell.
He is from Jenin. He married in Hallisa (our Haifa neighborhood) and came to live with his wife here. They are already married for some twenty years but he couldn’t get his papers right. As the occupation gets old, so do many of its victims. So, that night, my neighbor felt his heart was betraying him and hurried to the hospital. Apparently it was not that bad. After checking him and verifying that he was no dying, the doctors in the hospital called in the police, which, at 3:00 am, drove him to Jenin (some 45 km south east of Haifa) and threw him on the other side of the army block. In the morning he was already back in Hallisa, but didn’t go to work, so I had the chance to hear the story.
I wondered about the doctors. How the hell would they call the police to take the man in the middle of the night? Many healthy people would have a heart attack just to see the police at such an hour, to say nothing about being thrown away beyond the army lines in the middle of the night. My neighbor survived this experience – but probably the next time that he will feel his heart stuttering he will think twice before going to the hospital – so he actually may die from this harsh experience.
* * *
Today (6/6/2013) – as Adalah was opening a photo exhibition about the lives of victims of Israeli racist citizenship law – I learned that the doctors that called the police to take my neighbor were not alone. Apparently they were “just following orders” – or working according to the standard procedure in Israeli hospitals.
Fatma, the women that agreed to tell the attending public about her plight, was not expelled like my neighbor. She is a special case – she has a court order preventing her deportation. (Probably this is why she agreed to talk while most other victims prefer to stay anonymous). But she told how, just two hours after she was operated on in an Israeli hospital, police was coming to arrest her and throw her in the Palestinian Bantustan. She needed the fast intervention of her lawyer to be released.
* * *
The fact that Adalah, The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, moved from the legal struggle against the law in Israel’s Supreme Court to sponsoring a photo exhibition is a vivid illustration of the failure to defend the most basic Human Rights within the legal framework of Apartheid Israel. The law passed initially in 2003, banning family unification of Israeli citizens with residents of the 1967 occupied territories. It was justified as a temporary “security” measure at the height of the second Intifada. The courts, at the first hearing, had hard time justifying the allowance of such temporary measure of “collective punishment” and wholesale denial of rights to take place.
Since then the law was extended for already ten years and expanded to prevent family unification with citizens of some other Arab countries (and Iran). The security pretext gave way to the openly racist “demographic” motivation. Most Israeli legislators got used to enjoy the political benefit of being openly racist and the courts were packed with more right wingers and settlers and stopped blushing while giving its stamp of approval to openly racist laws.
* * *
The Citizenship Law stands out as a symbol of inhuman cruelty – even among Israel’s long array of racist laws – despite the tough competition. Maybe because the right to family life is such a basic thing that we are all used to take for granted. Forcefully state intervention to separate husband and wife, preventing them from living together with their children – well, any of you can imaging how much it undermines the very basics of human lives.
Another daunting aspect of the law, which was described in detail in the exhibition photos as well as in the stories that we heard at the opening, was the way that the devil of racism settles as a permanent influence in the middle of each home of the “interrupted families” – and there are about 15,000 – 20,000 families directly involved. And the devil is also in the details: Children that can’t visit their grandparents that live a few kilometers away; being forbidden from driving a car; being denied medical treatment. Sometimes the devil of racism enters the victims themselves – we were told of women that suffer from a violent husband but don’t dare to complain – or to run away – as they might be expelled and not allowed to see their children again.
* * *
There was some good news also: As of 2013, even as ethnic cleansing is still the main Israeli goal, it should be easier for people with only temporary entry permit to find a legal job. So medical treatment is still a taboo – it is a clear offence against Israel’s Jewish identity and danger to its Democratic Jewish character – but oiling the wheels of Israeli capitalism is another thing.
* * *
All the speakers in the ceremonial opening failed to give even a glimmer of hope. They tried everything over the last ten years and there is no way to change the law. There is no way that the Jewish state will be democratic (or just human) for other people also.
What they failed to say was the most obvious thing: If the system is uncorrectable it should be abolished and replaced by a better one. In a united democratic free Palestine, everybody will be able to marry his choice of heart and live with the people he chooses. (How come we forgot to write this in the ODS program? Sure only because it is too obvious to need writing…)
On November 12, 2012, Nazareth based writer, Jonathan Cook, published a long interview in Mondoweiss with the secretary general of the National Democratic Alliance, Awad Abdel Fattah. While I recommend the reading the whole interview, I bring here some excerpts concerning Abdel Fattah’s support for the One Democratic State (ODS) as the goal of the Palestinian struggle, the political context in which this goal is raised and its implications. I omitted the questions, added sub-titles and tried to collect the most relevant sentences – but all the rest is Abdel Fattah’s words as they appear in the interview:
Our traditional strength derived from the fact that we, as a community, survived the ethnic cleansing of 1948 [the Nakba]. We remained in our homeland, even as it was transformed into a Jewish state.
But today, our strength derives from something different: we pose the biggest challenge to Israel’s claim to be a democracy.
We live in a complex relationship both to Israel and to the wider Palestinian people, and therefore historically we have tended to assume we should be led by the Palestinian national leadership rather than seek to have an active voice ourselves.
But changing political circumstances – the failures both of the Palestinian national leadership to remain united and clear-sighted and of Israel to engage in a meaningful peace process – make that an irresponsible position to maintain.
The struggle for real coexistence between Palestinians and Israelis requires not just brotherhood but confronting Israel’s colonialism and its institutional and law-sanctioned racism.
In my view, if we try to achieve equality without strengthening our national identity first, we risk losing both our civil and national rights.
But our vision must extend beyond the local, the parochial. Our fight for our national rights inside Israel also, of course, has a relevance to the larger Palestinian national movement. Given the current impotence of that movement, it is our duty to take a significant role. Some Palestinian intellectuals even suggest that, given our familiarity with Israeli society, we have the potential to become the most dynamic part both of the national movement and of the struggle for a truly democratic alternative.
Our demands must be based on the principle of equality and not on the basis of separation and partition. Ronnie Kasrils, a South African Jew who became a military leader in the ANC, told me he had warned the PLO at the time of the Oslo Accords to reject the idea of partition. He pointed out that the ANC had rejected the Bantustans, a very similar formula to Oslo.
When the PLO was established in the 1960s, it was an important and unifying organization that embodied the character of the Palestinian nation and ended fragmentation. But it was given a monopoly over resources and decision-making that corrupted the mainstream leadership. Its humiliating compromises aborted the Palestinians’ main objective: the establishment of a single secular, democratic state in Palestine.
We have lost the consistency and clarity of the strategic goal that directed the South African resistance: the abolition of racism and the achievement of full equality. The Palestinian elites, on the other hand, began by proposing a single state and ended by demanding a state on just 22% of Palestine and accepting Israel as a Jewish state. Recently, Mahmoud Abbas, the PA chairman, has again suggested he is ready to compromise on the right of return.
If you talk to former ANC leaders who have visited Israel and the occupied territories, they will tell you that, in fact, Israel is more dangerous and brutal than its South African counterpart. The Israeli regime originally sought to purge the land of its indigenous population precisely so that it could declare itself a democratic state and become part of the Western democratic family, which lent it every means of support. The expulsion of about 80 per cent of the Palestinian people from the 1948 borders Israel created was the first instance of racial segregation. One can therefore say that the Palestinians are at the same time the victims of Israel’s Jewishness and its democracy.
Those of us who talk about a one-state solution in the Israel-Palestine context are often dismissed as utopians. But the case of South Africa shows things can change fast and without warning.
While it is true that the Zionist colonialist regime has gained momentum on the ground since Oslo, it has also increasingly lost its legitimacy in the eyes of the world. Particularly important is the fact that many people are waking up to the idea that Israel is an apartheid state and that it deserves a resolution no different from what happened in South Africa. Racist regimes are illegitimate and cannot survive.
The debate about one state is being revived by Palestinians, even among those who have yet to accept the idea. But one of the problems is that the PA is still using this discussion as a way to frighten Israelis. The demand for justice and equality should not be used as a scare tactic: in fact, we should be making the argument that one state would be good for Israelis too.
The overriding goal now is to reunite all the Palestinian people, wherever they are, under one project – to incorporate marginalized groups like the Palestinians in Israel and the refugees into one comprehensive struggle. It’s time to unite all groups and individuals who embrace the democratic option in a single movement.
As the (NDA) party’s secretary general, I have to take the initiative and push the debate towards the ANC’s approach. I have always been a believer in a single state as the most just and ethical solution to the conflict.
In the context of the two-state solution proposed by Oslo, collective rights became essential, as there could be no equality without these rights. This was reflected in the demand of the NDA for self-determination for the Palestinian minority in Israel through a cultural self-rule under our party’s slogan of a “state for all its citizens”.
Some of us in the party were skeptical from the start both about the Oslo process – I personally never gave up on one democratic state and so preferred not to run for the Knesset myself – and about it being possible to reform the Jewish state. We assumed it would never sanction such a challenge. But for those members, including myself, the goal of the struggle itself was to clarify these matters, forcing the state of Israel to reveal its true nature through its need to retaliate against our legitimate and democratic demands.
But now with the irrelevance of the two-state solution, we as Palestinians in Israel have to rethink our approach. We have to respond.
Our duty now is to take as our starting-point the universality of the struggle by Palestinians – in Israel, in the occupied territories, in exile – against Zionist colonialism. The correct response to our shared situation is a struggle for a one-state solution. This is based on an understanding that an end to Israel’s colonization of the occupied territories will not transform Israel into a normal state that can treat its non-Jewish citizens equally.
Think about the problems our party, the most innovative on this issue (ODS), has faced. As founders of the NDA, we resorted to allusion rather than to clarity on this point…
But the debate has started to gain momentum because the reality gets clearer every day. Those interested in the conflict can no longer ignore the fact that Israel’s so-called temporary occupation of the West Bank and Gaza has proved to be permanent.
The eruption of the second Intifada was an expression on a mass-scale of the frustration of Palestinians in the 1967 occupied territories with the Oslo process.
Also, Palestinians in Israel have hundreds of thousands of relatives living in exile as refugees. They have a profound stake in a just solution not only for themselves but also for the wider Palestinian people.
Israel’s racist practices, coupled with its two bloody wars against Lebanon and besieged Gaza in 2006 and 2008, have led many observers, academics and political activists around the world to redefine Israel as a colonialist-apartheid regime. Because all Palestinians, including those living in Israel, are subject to a unitary system of oppression, we need a unitary form of redress. Racism, apartheid and colonialism are illegitimate and therefore need to be dismantled.
The first challenge is to break the imbalance of forces created by the “peace process”, which has left deep flaws and distortions in the consciousness of many in the Palestinian elites. They came to be one of benefactors of the peace industry, and therefore had an investment in accepting the de facto division and fragmentation of the Palestinian people. Palestinians must rediscover the values of national liberation and the spirit of anti-colonial resistance that the national movement championed for decades.
It is worth noting that scores of Israeli anti-Zionist intellectuals have recently come up strongly in favor of one democratic state. Though they are on the margins of the margins of Israeli society, they add a vital moral dimension to the struggle for justice. They are integral to a united movement for a truly democratic solution, which ensures the emancipation of the Palestinians from this most dangerous form of colonialism. Israeli Jews will only be able to live in safety when they accept that they are part of the region and not of the West.
It is a long time that we, secular supporters of the Syrian Revolution in Palestine, feel that we have to raise our voice in the street. It is not easy. First of all, we are always busy with the daily struggle to defend Palestinian rights again Israeli Apartheid. Actually the “Palestinians for the Syrian Revolution” group that was formed in Haifa at the beginning of 2011 was all but dissolved as the activists were preoccupied with organizing support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strikes.
The supporters of the Assad regime don’t suffer from this problem. They made a habit of coming to all sorts of Palestinian Patriotic Demonstrations with the regime’s flag and pictures of the Syrian tyrant – and make a show in the middle of the demonstration at the expense of national unity. In the day of the land, 30/3/2013, in the central demonstration with many thousands in Sakhnin, about a dozen of “Shabiha”, after making their show to the cameras, attacked the crew of Al Jazeera and cause a mass brawl as people from the public jumped to oppose them. In the March of Return, in 16/4/2013, the Islamic movement preferred not to join the march in order to avoid a quarrel. The supporters of the revolution, on the other side, like the real mothers in King Solomon’s judgment, will not split the Palestinian patriotic struggle to make their point.
So it was good that the date was set for us by the international solidarity movement to Friday, 31.5.2013. We met at the demonstration against the evacuation of Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah (also in occupied Jerusalem) on Friday, May 17, and planned to stand in Bab Al’Amud – symbolicly named Damascus Gate – on the 31st.
After the call for the demonstration was published on Facebook, many of the supporters of the demonstration received direct and blatant threats. Shabiha supporters were not ashamed to say they will come and attack the demonstration just in front of the occupation army that is heavily present at occupied AlQuds. For us it was a problem again. Palestinian leftists and democratic activist are used to confront the army and the police, ready to be beaten or arrested, but not used to the idea of being attacked by members of their own public.
Only the hard core of the revolution’s secular supporters finally arrived in Bab Al’Amud today at 18:00 – some fifty youth, about half of them women, from AlQuds, Yaffa, Haifa and many other places all over Palestine and some Syrians from the occupied Golan heights.
We raised the Palestinian flags along the Flags of the Syrian revolution and chanted the known, beloved slogans of the heroic freedom loving Syrian people. When someone tried to raise “against us” the Syrian regime’s flag, one of the demonstrators told him: “Let me raise it, it is the flag of Syria and we all honor it” – and she carried it all along the demonstration between the flags of the revolution, shouting for the toppling of the bloody dictatorship.
It seems there was no organized attempt to bring in the Shabiha, but some people in the crowd that gathered tried to attack the demonstration. They were swiftly outnumbered by other people from the public, held and removed from the scene. Nobody in the demonstration was attacked or even had to intervene against the disruption. It was the best feeling after this tense week – to see that a random public in a busy Palestinian market street would defend us and effectively dismantle any provocation.
Some people that just happened to pass in the street, some women, some religious types, some youth, all joined the vigil, carried the banners and joined the chanting.
The Palestinian people suffered so much from oppression, carry such a long experience in struggle and the heavy price that you have to pay for your freedom, that they are they people best poised to understand the Syrian people and live with them the hope and the pain of the revolution.
Before we went home we were plotting the next demonstration, on Sunday 2/6, in front of the Jordanian embassy in Tel Aviv – in solidarity with the Jordanian prisoners in Israeli jails who are on hunger strike against their harsh treatment.