To Lord Balfour and Others,
By Dr El Taji
I’ve been planning to write to you for sometime now.. I know you will not get my letter, but my story is addressed to all those politicians who were, still are or will be in powerful positions across the world.
Lord Balfour, you coined the saying ” Nothing matters very much, and few things matter at all”
I am afraid I have to disagree with you and say ” Everything matters very much, even the minute things do…if not to us, to someone else.”
Here is my story:
My father passed away last week. He was Palestinian. He did not die in Palestine, he died as a Palestinian refugee, which he had been since 1948, until his death on the 22nd of January 2014. He lived his life waiting to return to his homeland, but he never did like many other Palestinians around the world.
Do you remember Palestine Lord Balfour?? Do you remember the Balfour Declaration on the 2nd of November 1917?? When you promised the Jews of the world a National homeland in Palestine?? Do you remember the British mandate of Palestine, which ended one day before the declaration of the State of Israel and The loss of Palestine.
Today, and since 1948, there is no Palestine, but there are The Palestinians, its original People, suffering from injustice, pain and oppression. They are either inside living under the oppression of the occupier or they are spread all over the world searching for a place of refuge..
Every Palestinian family has suffered and continues to suffer in one way or another. Brothers and sisters hold different nationalities for different countries, depending on where they were accepted as citizens and where they could find work. But, you know something, there is one passport they would like to have most, but they can’t, only because of your declaration and it’s supporters.. The Palestinian Passport. It’s true that Palestine does not exist on the map any more .. but you know something, it is engraved in the heart of every Palestinian around the world, Man or Woman, Young or Old. The old generations of Palestinians have never forgotten how their homeland was taken from them and by the way it is the first thing they make sure is fed to their new generations, before food. Although Palestinians have been in pain and suffering for a very long time, but you know how persevering and determined they are as a people…
Do you think that Nothing matters, when as a consequence of the Palestinian tragedy a very dignified head of a family stands in front of his tent in the refugee camp, waiting for food rations from the UN…I’m sorry, but It matters Mr. Balfour!! When you spend your whole life in a camp, it matters!! When you cannot travel, it matters!! When you cannot work, it matters!!
When you travel to the UK, and write Palestinian as a nationality, because you are and you have had family roots in Palestine for hundreds of years, it gets crossed out by the immigration officer and changed to Uncertain, or Stateless, because Palestine is not on the map any more, It Does Matter Lord Balfour !!
Did you ever experience the feeling of being a stranger in every country, even where you live, when you are asked “are you going back home?” when I cannot go back Home, it does matter!!
When, Palestinians just wish to visit The Land of their fathers and grandfathers, they get stopped and humiliated at the check points for no reason except that they are originally from this country……It Does Matter!!
When over 400 Palestinian villages get demolished, effaced and replaced by Jewish settlements…It does matter!!
I am afraid the world remains the same. People do not learn from their mistakes. Especially, politicians, they always claim that they would never allow injustice and crimes against humanity. But were they ever able to stop them or even control them, they are actually helping them grow, you know according to their own convenience and benefits.
Throughout history, Human beings committed disasters towards their fellow human beings, from crimes against the natives in America, to the slave trade, to the holocaust…to millions were and are still being killed in unnecessary wars….and the story continues. Today the world is much more advanced in weaponry which can kill much more and much faster. There are weapons that can destroy the world three times and more..the race for destruction continues.
Talks about human rights, equality, freedom, and justice continues but only for some people and not others again depending on the wishes of the political powers.
Today, we have an organisation called the United Nations, with an enforcing body called The Security Council….This is a non democratic body, which has five permanent members, and ten non permanent members. One of the permanent members can VETO any majority decision! Therefore, it is used as a political tool to enforce the will of the super powers.
There are a lot of conflicts in the Middle East among various factions, but you will find that the root of all the disturbances in the region is the injustice inflicted on the Palestinian People through the intervention of the super powers to enforce the interest of Israel.
I can see no solution in sight Lord Balfour, until we get Palestine back, and until all the Palestinian refugees, wherever they are, would return to their homeland.
Lord Balfour, my father was not a politician or a man in power, He was an honourable man who taught us to treat all people alike. He guided us to always ltell the truth, and refrain from exploiting others. He warned us from seeking power or money. He protected us from getting selfish, advised us to criticise ourselves, and alarmed us from extreme views and from hurting people.
My father was a TRUE PALESTINIAN AND THIS MATTERS TO US Lord Balfour!!!!
One day, not too distant, we will have a real proper united nations. It will be representing the whole world, and not only super powers. We will have a security council representing all nations and all continents, with rotation of its members. Resolutions will be taken according to majority votes. Each nation will hold a number of votes according to its population. We cannot have a nation of 1000 million having equal votes to a nation with 5 million,it would be an unfair representation of the people of the world, wouldn’t it?? One day we will have a World Court that would have true power to implement its rules. One day there will be JUSTICE, and I can see Palestine the Bride waiting for its People, the Palestinians… all Palestinians…. That Day is not far.
DR ABDEL RAHMAN EL TAJI