This is an index of articles, essays and letters compiled by Michael R. Burch,
an editor, publisher and translator of Holocaust poetry, about the ongoing NAKBA
("Catastrophe") of the Palestinian people. The articles, essays and
letters below present facts,
rather than racist propaganda, and show what people we can trust—great
humanitarians like Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson
Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter, Sigmund Freud, Noam Chomsky and Albert
Einstein—have to say on the subject of human rights in general, and
specifically about the Nakba. The greatest Jewish
intellectuals of modern times, including Einstein, Freud and Chomsky, have
sternly and strongly criticized the unjust treatment of Palestinians, pointing
out that such injustices will invariably lead to increasing violence, which is what we
are seeing today. No one can expect the victims of ethnic cleansing and
apartheid to submit meekly to such horrors. If we want to end the violence, we
must first end the injustices which are the root cause. And there is a path to
peace, which can be explored here in five minutes or less of your time:
The Burch-Elberry Peace Initiative.
I lived as best I could, and then I died.
Be careful where you step: the grave is wide. —Michael R. Burch, "Epitaph for a Palestinian
Child" Einstein on Palestine ... Why did Albert Einstein turn down the presidency of Israel, and what did
the great Jewish intellectual, peace activist, pacifist and humanitarian have to say about the conflict between
Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs?
Einstein denied any superior rights for Jews, calling for "complete equality" for Palestinians as the "most important aspect" of Jewish
policy, saying: "The most important aspect of our policy must be our ever-present, manifest desire to institute
complete equality for the Arab
citizens living in our midst ... The attitude we adopt toward the Arab minority will provide the real test of our moral standards as a people."
Only cooperation with Arabs, led by "educated, spiritually alert" Jewish workers, he wrote, "can create a dignified and safe life."
He also said, "What
saddens me is less the fact that the Jews are not smart enough to understand this, but rather, that they are not smart enough to want
on Palestine ... What did Gandhi say about Palestine and the
conflict between Jews and Arabs? What would have had said if he had seen the
terrible suffering of the children of Gaza today?
If we are to have real peace in the world,
we will have to begin with the children.
Mattityahu "Matti" Peled
was called Abu Salaam, the "Father of Peace," by Palestinians who
knew him. Peled was an Israeli war hero and Aluf (Major General) who
became a strong advocate for a Palestinian state and a stern critic of Israel's
brutal occupation of the Palestinian territories, which he called "corrupting"
and a violation of the Geneva Conventions. He also called American aid to Israel
a "plague" that was "damaging" to Israel and far in excess of Israel's actual
Miko Peled is the son of Matti Peled (above).
He wrote a book, The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine, in which
he has supported his father’s.
Nurit Peled-Elhanan is an Israeli peace
activist. She is the daughter of Matti Peled and the sister of Miko Peled.
idealistic, principled young Israeli Jews who refuse to serve in a brutal army
of occupation when they graduate from high school.
Abedalrahman Elderawi lives in
Gaza. He is 32 years old and has
already lived through three devastating wars. He says, "These experiences have
had a dramatic effect on my life's outlook which will be apparent through my
poetry. Having graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor's degree in the English
Language, a diploma of translation, I have been utilizing my qualifications and
skills as a teacher. As an admirer of the depth of poetry, I have recently taken
to writing my own, which has been greatly influenced by my own in-depth
experiences." As we publish his poetry, Abed is about to open a school for
gifted student writers called The Voice of Gaza.
Ahmed Miqdad is a Palestinian poet who lives and writes in Gaza City. He writes
of his poetry collection Gaza Narrates Poetry: "I wrote my poems
through the latest war on Gaza which started in July, 2014 and lasted for
fifty-one days. I wrote them under the shelling and attacks of the Israeli
planes and tanks, under the hovering of the drones and the sounds of rockets and
heavy bombs, between the homeless civilians and between my little children. I
wrote these poems, with the lack of power and food, and with fear and stress."
two minutes to hear a young, eloquent Gazan boy's impassioned plea for justice ...
Palestinian women and children are not "terrorists," so why are they being
imprisoned and punished collectively, by Israel?
Should the lovely Palestinian
girl below have to suffer, and perhaps die, so that robber barons can take her
family's land and water without paying for it? It was grotesquely wrong when
Native American women and children walked the Trail of Tears so that white
supremacists could steal their land, water and natural resources. And it is just
as grotesquely wrong for completely innocent Palestinian women and children to
suffer a similar fate today, for the same reasons. Israel has already taken more
than 80% of the land of Palestine without paying for it. Anywhere else in the
world that would be called armed robbery and ethnic cleansing. If we want peace rather than
ever-escalating violence in the Middle East, it is past time to be honest about
the real reason for 911 and the subsequent wars: the wild racial injustices of
Israel and its superpower patron, the United States government.
Amud Annan is the Hebrew code name of Israel's latest attack
on the women and children of Gaza. Amud Annan means "Pillar of Fire"
and it left Gaza in flames.
Raneen Yousef Arafat is a
four-year-old Palestinian girl who was killed by an Israeli airstrike on Gaza by
this ghastly "Pillar of Fire."
was the 11-month-old son of a BBC journalist who was incinerated by
Israel's "Pillar of Fire."
The births of all things are weak and tender,
therefore we should have our eyes intent on beginnings. —Michel de Montaigne
As an Israeli, I have come to understand:
there is no way to love Israel and reject a two-state peace,
no way to love Israel and reject Palestine. —Yael Dayan, daughter of Moshe Dayan, Israel's most famous general and Defense Minister
The Elders on Palestine ... What do today's Elders—Nobel
Peace Prize laureates Jimmy Carter, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu—have
to say about Israel and the Palestinians?
Gideon Levy has been called the "most hated man in Israel." Could
because he speaks the truth to power?
Nurit Peled-Elhanan is an Israeli peace
activist and the daughter of Matti Peled, an Israeli Aluf
(Major General) who was called Abu Salam (“Father of Peace”) by the Palestinians
who came under his jurisdiction when he was the military governor of the Gaza
Strip. She is the sister of Miko Peled, a peace activist who has written book
called The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine, in which
he has supported his father’s and his sister’s views.
even in her eighties, is concise and clear: "It is we, the Palestinians, who
have the right to defend ourselves."
Israel claims the right of "defense" against terrorism, while practicing
terrorism on a much larger, daily, systematic basis. What Israel lacks is a
national sense of justice. The U.S. went through a similar period of national
brat-hood, when it denied justice to Native Americans and African Americans. The
result was massacre after massacre and the Civil War, with more than a million
casualties and much of the nation in flames. Large-scale racial injustices will
always result in large-scale violence on both sides. Here on planet earth, peace
requires justice and justice requires equality. So Israel has still not learned
the first and most important thing about democracy, which is the need for
equality and justice.
Moshe Sharett, Israel's second Prime Minister, once asked: "Do people consider
that when military reactions outstrip in their severity the events that caused
them, grave processes are set in motion which widen the gulf and thrust our
neighbors into the extremist camp? How can this deterioration be halted?"
His questions are rhetorical, because military "solutions" cannot correct
large-scale racial injustices. Only fair, nonracist laws and courts can correct
racial injustices. But like the Confederacy, Nazi Germany and apartheidist South
Africa, the nation of Israel has refused to create fair, nonracist laws and
If you don't believe the Elders,
please read what
Jewish humanitarian organizations have to say. It speaks worlds that so many Jewish
organizations have been created specifically to oppose the racist policies and actions of the government of Israel.
Why are so many Israelis, Americans and international peace activists using their bodies
as "human shields" to protect Palestinian farm families from Jewish "settlers"
and the Israeli military, deep inside Occupied Palestine?
Oliver Tambo was a
leader of the African National Congress in its fight to end apartheid in South
BLAKEis our choice as the most important poet of all time, for a surprising reason.
What would the great poet, artist, engraver, printer, inventor, humanitarian,
visionary, prophet and mystic have said about the current situation of the
Children of Gaza?
In the photos to follow, the pictures on the left are from the Jewish Shoah
("Catastrophe"), while the pictures on the right are from the
("Catastrophe"). The Germans make the Jews a "special case" during the
Holocaust, and you can see the results on the left. Now Jews
have made the Palestinians a "special case" and you can see the results on the
right. Only the gullible believe what racist oppressors say about
their victims. We cannot afford to believe racist propaganda and the
prevailing fictions any longer.
Poems for Gaza is
an attempt to save the children of Gaza by asking, "How
can innocent children be punished collectively for the 'crime' of having been
born 'wrong' ... are we that blind, that stupid, that indifferent to human
suffering? If not, why not act today?"
Mother Israel, Father Palestine contains two interesting stories about
beyond-the-grave messages received from Golda Meir, the former prime minister of
Israel who has been called "Mother Israel." The article also contains
fascinating glimpses of Yasir Arafat, who might be called "Father Palestine,"
at a time when he was trying to avoid being assassinated by the government of
Israel and people within his own organization.
Herzl, Hitler and the Children of Gaza
discusses the disturbing similarities between Adolf Hitler, the
prophet-evangelist of Nazism, and Theodor Herzl, the prophet-evangelist of
Zionism. Will the fate of the children of Gaza be the fate of the children of
Auschwitz, if the world fails to save them?
The two sets of pictures immediately above are of the "little boy with his hands
up" (on the left) and two Palestinian boys (on the right).
Reuven Moskovitz ... The testimony of a Jewish Holocaust survivor
who received the 2001 Mount Zion Award and the 2003 Aachen Peace Prize.
Avraham Burg: the
Prophet-Poet of Judaismtells the tale of a former
(interim) President of Israel, Speaker of the Knesset, and chairman of the
Jewish Agency and World Zionist Organization who has provocative ideas about the
future shape of Israel, Judaism and Zionism. Why is one of Israel's leading
politicians asking Israel to stop using the Shoah to excuse the Nakba?
Who the hell was Furkan
Dogan, and why should we care? Should we care about an 18-year-old peace
activist who was summarily executed by the government of Israel in international
waters for the "crime" of being aboard a ship that was trying to deliver
humanitarian aid to the suffering people of Gaza?
What would Jesus say?
"Does Jesus Love Me?" is a poem written from the perspective of a
Palestinian child suffering at the hands of Christians and Jews who claim
all the favor of God for themselves.
Israeli Apartheid is the result of a comprehensive fifteen-month legal study
of the policies and actions of the government of Israel,
by people who know an awful lot about apartheid: South Africans.
"Long Live Palestine" by LowKey
... What does a young English-Iraqi rapper who longs for justice have to say
about the governments of Israel and the US denying human rights and freedom to completely innocent
Palestinian women and children?
I am a patriotic American. I love my country and its people. But I do not want my government to
hypocritically preach "democracy" and "equal human rights" to the
rest of the world, while funding and supporting this new, ongoing Holocaust that has left millions of
innocent Palestinian women and children living on the margins of existence,
inside concentration camps with walls twice as high as the Berlin Wall.
These walls have been paid for by the hard-working but gullible
American taxpayer. These are not "security" walls, but dividing, conquering, killing walls. They separate
women and children from hospitals and doctors. Innocents
are dying in the shadows of those ominous walls. What if they were our children? When will
"Never again!" and refuse to support and fund such atrocities?
In the Shadow of Rachel's
Tombis the story of one Palestinian family's struggle for
survival in the shadow of Bethlehem's "security wall." Why have the
tax dollars of American Christians been used to change the birthplace of Jesus
into a new Gulag?
If you have any doubts about the terrible injustices and brutality of the
current Israeli regime, please read what Dan Almagor
has to say, by clicking his hyperlinked name. Almagor is a leading Israeli
songwriter who has written many patriotic songs commissioned by the
government of Israel. But he is also an honest man who doesn't shirk or shrink
from the truth.
who died in 2005 at the age of 69, was one of Israel’s most beloved writers. She
was also acclaimed for her courage as a peace activist who was "deeply involved
in the cause of Palestinian human rights."
As Mike Burch worked on the poetry page of Dahlia Ravikovitch, he experienced
An Especially Eerie Convergence that sheds light on the connection between
9-11, two terrible wars, and the fate of Palestinian women and children.
Fardin Mohammadi explains what it's like to
be a young Muslim in the United States on the anniversary of 9-11.
Liz Barger's Letter from Gaza (Almost) is the account of what
happened when an American peace activist tried to enter Gaza bearing Christmas gifts for the suffering children
there. Unfortunately, the governments of Israel, Egypt and the United States
Israeli Racism and Jim Crow Laws ... Americans had to learn the
hard way that racism invariably leads to violence on both sides. This
interview explains the real reasons for the violence in Israel: rampant racism,
Jim Crow laws and kangaroo courts.
Roll Call of Shame begs the question: why has the United State unilaterally
vetoed 42 United Nations resolutions that might have brought relief to
multitudes of completely innocent Palestinian women and children?
Independence Day Madness ... Why did Israel hijack the Spirit of Humanity?
Why did a former US presidential candidate end up in a notorious Israeli prison,
alongside a Nobel Peace Prize laureate?
The Aftermath of the Flotilla
is the account of what Anna Baltzer, a Jewish-American peace activist,
saw and heard in Palestine, after Israel attacked the Gaza Flotilla in
international waters, killing nine Turkish peace activists.
is one of the leading poets of the Palestinian resistance.
Mum: Email from an Israeli Prison Cell ... This is an interesting missive from a young Australian peace activist who ended
up in an Israeli prison after trying to stop the demolition of a recently
deceased Palestinian woman's house. It seems Jewish "settlers" are scanning
obits for newly dead Palestinians, then rushing up with mallets to destroy their
houses, while the poor souls are still lying in the morgue. To illustrate the
macabre unreality of the situation, the peace activist's Jewish tour guide told her,
"We politely make it impossible for them to live here." But there is nothing
"polite" about demolishing people's houses, much less those of families who have
just lost loved ones and haven't had time to properly mourn or bury them.
Le Trio Joubran is the story of one Palestinian family's musical
success despite Israel's fierce, repressive racial oppression.
What Does the
Bible Say? ... Does the Bible say Christians should support Jews, no matter
how cruelly and unjustly they treat their neighbors? Would Jesus have driven
700,000 Palestinian farmers and their women and children from their homes,
leaving them homeless and destitute?
Root Causes and Parallels ... What is a Holocaust? Are there parallels
between what the Palestinians suffer today, and what the Jews suffered during
the Holocaust? Why did Thomas Jefferson have a lecture on "morality" preached to
one of his slaves while he was being whipped for stealing nails, when Jefferson
had robbed him of his life, liberty and ability to pursue happiness? If
something is rotten in Denmark?
The Robin Hood of the West Bank ... Why are people using their bodies as
"human shields" in Gaza and the West Bank, and why are these Good Samaritans the
ones going to jail?
Zion ... Why pro-Israel propaganda makes no sense to someone with a
logical mind and a handle on the facts.
The Genesis of Armageddon ... An annotated version of a white paper
published by Jews for Justice in the Middle East about the ongoing conflict
between Israeli Jews and Palestinians. Does anything we've been told to
believe about Israel and the Palestinians actually hold water?
How Palestine Became Divided ... An annotated version of the Wikipedia
article explaining how the Nakba ("Catastrophe") began when Palestine was
divided by a United Nations mandate.
Logic 101 suggests simple, logical ways
Israel and the United States can avoid destroying the world in the process of
making it "safe" for "democracy."
The Samson Option ... Does the government of Israel intend to use
nuclear blackmail when the world finally says "No more!" to its denial
of basic human rights and dignity to the Palestinians?
Is this how Americans want their tax dollars spent? The results have included
two fruitless, unwinnable wars on Muslim soil, while World War III and a nuclear
Armageddon now loom ahead for our children and grandchildren.
Unless we re-think things, and change our course of action, one day we will
inevitably see such pictures of American children. This will be the price of
American hypocrisy, of our wanting to have our cake and eat it too, of preaching "equal rights" and "democracy" to all the world, while denying
equal rights and democracy to millions of Palestinians, who happen to have 1.5
billion Muslim brothers and sisters who do not agree with our bigotry,
intolerance and hypocrisy.
Should Americans have "more equal" rights than Palestinians?
Should Israeli Jews have "more equal" rights than Palestinians?
Do Americans and Jews have the right to deny equal rights and justice to
Palestinians, on their native soil?
It is their land, not ours. What right do we have to dictate terms to them,
there? How would we feel if the children above were our children? What if our
been deprived of human rights and the protection of fair laws and
courts, so that they became the helpless prey of ruthless men? What would we do,
honestly? We too, would commit acts of terrorism (called "war") against the
oppressors of our children, until those oppressors changed their behavior. How
many Japanese and German children died during World War II? Those were acts
of terror required to bring the ruthless leaders of rogue nations to heel.
Americans need to understand that when our government, in conjunction with the
government of Israel, causes millions of innocent Palestinian women and children
to suffer unbearable hardships and humiliations, we become like the gullible Germans
who followed Hitler and his Nazi goons to their doom. As the Germans and
Japanese once did, today Jews and Americans indulge in evil, absurd
romantic fantasies of "superiority" to Muslims. How is
the "American way" better, if we don't know better than to cause the suffering and
deaths of multitudes of completely innocent women and children?
Do we want the future to remember us the way it remembers Hitler and his racist
cronies, who flooded the world with propaganda about the glorious "superiority"
of Germany and its white Aryan Christian "supermen"? Don't we sound suspiciously
like the Nazis, when we merely claim to have a "superior" civilization and
"superior" system of government, when the horrifying pictures above clearly say otherwise? What did
those innocent Palestinian women and children ever do to us, except have the
temerity not to be born American Christians or Israeli Jews?
Shall we claim that God is on our side? Does God side with the oppressors of
innocent women and children? Shall we expect 1.5 billion Muslims to assume that
we are correct about God being on our side?
Wouldn't it be far better to simply abandon hypocrisy, and do the right things?
Jesus reserved virtually all his condemnation for hypocrites who had one set of
rules for themselves and another set of rules for everyone else. He said the
blind would lead the blind into the ditch. Perhaps we should consider the
pictures above and ask ourselves if he might have been right.
If we truly want peace, we cannot be heartless, hypocritical
oppressors of women and children, or, as with any schoolyard bully, someday
someone will stand up to us. Why are innocent women and children being
humiliated, beaten, abused, spat on, and all too often killed, by racists who
demand that we supply them with hundreds of billions of dollars in financial aid
and advanced weapons? Why do these people not simply do what we Americans did
ourselves: abandon racism, grant everyone fully equal human rights,
without exception, and establish fair laws and courts? Why should my son
fight in World War III or live through a nuclear Holocaust (if such an
existence can be called "life") when it is the duty of every government on earth
to establish equal rights and justice? The
Palestinians are not a "special case" but human beings with self-evident rights.
Israel is not a "special case" either. Why should any nation be exempt from
establishing equal rights and justice? Why should American children pay
for the sins of Israel with their their lives? Let Israelis do what Americans did,
and establish equal rights and justice for everyone, or let Israel stop acting like Pharaoh,
and let the Palestinian people go.
Here's how we can address the problem without unnecessary violence:
The Path to Peace in the Middle East. "Simple" does not mean "easy,"
but the first step to peace through justice may be simpler
than almost anyone realizes. You may be the person to help
make it happen. And it will be exactly the same first step that helped the
United States solve its terrible, deep-seated problems with racial injustice, only a few
years ago. Please consider doing what you can to help the world avoid more
unnecessary wars, by achieving peace through justice.
Map 1 of 1946 Palestine shows more than 90% of the land belonging to Palestinians; at this point Jewish settlers had paid for most of
the land they occupied
Map 2 of 1947 U.N. partition plan of Israel and Palestine; the land in the white areas was not "given" to Israel; Israeli Jews
took the additional land
Map 3 of 1967 borders of Israel and Palestine; these are the "1967 lines" aka as the "1949 armistice lines"; once again Israeli Jews
took the additional land
Map 4 of 2000 borders shows how Israel keeps taking land outside its legal borders, creating discontiguous Palestinian