By Noor al Haqiqa
Snippits and Snappits
April 16, 2014
I posted this video about the creation of Canada Park in Israel several years ago but of course it was soon removed from public viewing. Finding this film was pivotal to my discovery of the true nature of Canadian politics regarding Israel. For some reason, naively, I was unaware of our involvement in much of the darker side of modern history; this opened my eyes.
Twenty-two years ago, CBC's Fifth Estate aired this powerful program on the origins of Canada Park, built on top of three Palestinian villages bulldozed by the Israeli army and paid for by 15 million dollars in Canadian donations to the Jewish National Fund who continue to maintain upkeep of the park.
Perhaps one day Canada will have a Bibi Netanyahu Bird Sanctuary in the Alberta tarsands.
In his speech at the Negev Dinner last month, Harper stated :
Before watching the movie, perhaps a witness account of Canada’s role in the ethnic cleansing of Israel, this report of the event might be of interest. And they speak of coming to a land and making the desert bloom! For shame! Read about the beauty which in their avarice and evil they destroyed. This was the beginning of the razing of Palestinian homes that has continued unabated until this day. Things are much worse today, the Israelis crueller, much more blatant. This fellow speaks as if shocked by what they were doing or had done. Now they look forward to the work and actively participate in activities that once left them shocked.
Aros Kenan, a reservist Israeli soldier, took part in the fighting in this region. This report has been sent to all Knesseth Members. This English version is from "Israel, a wasted Victory" Amikam Tel-Aviv Publishers Ltd, Tel-Aviv 1970, pp. 18-21.
"Beit Nuba village near Latrun,
The commander of my platoon said that it had been decided to blow up the three villages in the sector -Yalou, Beit Nuba and Amwas. For reasons of strategy, tactics, security. In the first place, to straighten out the Latrun "finger". Secondly, in order to punish these murderers' dens. And thirdly, to deprive infiltrators of a base in future.
One may argue with this idiotic approach, which advocates collective punishment and is based on the belief that if the infiltrator loses one house, he will not find another from which to wait in ambush. One may argue with the effectiveness of increasing the number of our enemies ~ but why argue?
We were told it was our job to search the village houses; that if we found any armed men there, they were to be taken prisoner. Any unarmed persons should be given time to pack their belongings and then told to get moving -get moving to Beit Sira, a village not far away. We were also told to take up positions around the approaches to the villages, in order to prevent those villagers who had heard the Israeli assurances over the radio that they could return to their homes in peace -from returning to their homes. The order was -shoot over their heads and tell them there is no access to the village.
The homes in Beit Nuba are beautiful stone houses, some of them luxurious mansions. Each house stands in an orchard of olives, apricots and grapevines; there are also cypresses and other trees grown for their beauty and the shade they give. Each tree stands in its carefully watered bed. Between the trees, lie neatly hoed and weeded rows of vegetables.
In the houses we found a wounded Egyptian commando officer and some old men and women. At noon the first bulldozer arrived, and ploughed under the house closest to the village edge.
With one sweep of the bulldozer, the cypresses and the olive-trees were uprooted. Ten more minutes pass and the house, with its meagre furnishings and belongings, has become a mass of rubble. After three houses had been rowed down, the first convoy of refugees arrives, from the direction of Ramallah.
We did not shoot into the air. We did take up positions for coverage, and those of us who spoke Arabic went up to them to give them the orders. There were old men hardly able to walk, old women mumbling to themselves, babies in their mother's arms, small children, small children weeping, begging for water. The convoy waved white flags.
We told them to move on to Beit Sira. They said that wherever they went, they were driven away, that nowhere were they allowed to stay. They said they had been on the way for four days now ~without food or water; some had perished on the way. They asked only to be allowed back into their own village; and said we would do better to kill them. Some had brought with them a goat, a sheep, a camel or a donkey. A father crunched grains of wheat in his hand to soften them so that his four children might have something to eat.
On the horizon, we spotted the next line approaching. One man was carrying a SO-kilogram sack of flour on his back, and that was how he had walked mile after mile. More old men, more women, more babies. They flopped down exhausted at the spot where they were told to sit. Some had brought along a cow or two, or a calf -all their earthly possessions. We did not allow them to go into the village to pick up their belongings, for the order was that they must not be allowed to see their homes being destroyed.
The children wept, and some of the soldiers wept too. We went to look for water but found none. We stopped an army vehicle in which sat a Lieutenant-Colonel, two Captains and a woman. We took a jerry-can of water from them and tried to make it go round among the refugees. We handed out sweets and cigarettes. More of our soldiers wept.
We asked the officers why the refugees were being sent back and forth and driven away from everywhere they went. The officers said it would do them good to walk and asked "why worry about them, they're only Arabs"? We were glad to learn that half-an-hour later they were all arrested by the military police, who found their car stacked with loot.
More and more lines of refugees kept arriving. By this time there must have been hundreds of them. They couldn't understand why they had been told to return, and now were not being allowed to return. One could not remain unmoved by their entreaties. Someone asked what was the point of destroying the houses ~why didn't the Israelis go live in them instead?
The platoon commander decided to go to headquarters to find out whether there was any written order as to what should be done with them, where to send them and to try and arrange transportation for the women and children, and food supplies. He came back and said there was no written order; we were to drive them away.
Like lost sheep they went on wandering along the roads. The exhausted were rescuing. Towards evening we learned that we had been told a falsehood ~at Beit Sira, too, the bulldozers had begun their work of destruction, and the refugees had not been allowed to enter. We also learned that it was not in our sector alone that areas were being "straightened out"; the same was going on in all sectors. Our word had not been a word of honour; the policy was a policy without backing.
The soldiers grumbled. The villagers clenched their teeth as they watched the bulldozer mow down trees. At night we stayed on to guard the bulldozers, but the entire battalion were seething with anger; most of them did not want to do the job.
In the morning we were transferred to another spot, No one could understand how Jews could do such a thing. Even those who justified the action said that it should have been possible to provide shelter for the population; that a final decision should have been taken as to their fate, as to where they were to go. The refugees should have been taken to their new home, together with their property. No one could understand why the fellah should be barred from taking his oil-stove, his blanket and some provisions.
The chickens and the pigeons were buried under the rubble. The fields were turned to desolation before our eyes, and the children who dragged themselves along the road that day, weeping bitterly, will be the fedayeen of 19 years hence.
That is how that day, we lost the victory",
“In fact, though you would never realize it, none of this park is even in Israel. This is part of the West Bank captured by Israel during the 1967 war. But the presence of Palestinians here ~ and their expulsion ~ is entirely missing from the signs.”
6. http://www.palestineremembered.com/al-Ramla/Imwas/Story260.html#REPORT%20ON%20THE%20RAZING%20OF%20EMMAUS, %20BElT%20NUBA%20AND%20YALOU%20IN%20196