vrijdag 16 mei 2008

Inwoner Abu Gosh: "De Britten wilden dat wij elkaar zouden uitmoorden"

Tussen alle verhalen over de oorlog tussen de Joden en de Palestijnse Arabieren in 1948, is hier een opvallend ander verhaal, van de 74-jarige Israëlische Arabier Said Jabr.
Helaas is het op weinig plaatsen zo verlopen...

Times Online - May 10, 2008

'The British wanted us to kill each other'
The old British Army base, a small sandstone fort, stands abandoned on a hill in Abu Ghosh, an Arab village just southwest of Jerusalem. Said Jabr was 14 when the British pulled out.
"It was on the 14th or 15th of May. I remember exactly that the British commander came to Ali Saleh, the village mukhtar (elder), and said they were going to leave and warned us to be ready," he recalled from his family home in Abu Ghosh. "Thirty-five armed villagers walked into the base to take command. But the British commander went at the same time to the kibbutz and told them the same thing.
"The British left one tank in front of the army base. Then a few tanks driven by the Haganah (the fledgling Jewish army) drove up and surrounded the army base. But we had great relations with the local kibbutzim – we believe in friendship and protecting a neighbour's property, no matter who they are – and the leaders of the kibbutzim. . . came to the village. They met the mukhtar, drank coffee and reached an agreement that the villagers would leave the base and the Haganah would take over. The British commander was waiting in the remaining tank to see what would happen. He saw the Abu Ghosh villagers leaving the base and shaking hands with the Haganah members, and he said, 'F****** Arabs'. Our impression was that he wanted us to kill each other. Thank God the people from both sides resolved the issue peacefully."
Mr Jabr proudly displays the Hebrew shield he was awarded by the kibbutz. It shows two hands shaking – a token of thanks and friendship.

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