By James M. Wall
Samia Khoury has been my friend since before the first Intifada. My first of 20 trips to Palestine and Israel, always as a journalist, was in 1973. All too slowly, since that first trip, I grew to grasp the depths of the harsh reality of Israel’s oppressive military occupation of the Palestinian people.
I first met Samia Khoury when I attended a board meeting of the Palestinian Sabeel organization. We have remained in touch through our blogs and through personal notes. Through these exchanges with Samia, she has kept me informed on the politics and cultural life of Palestine.
I have quoted from Samia in Wall Writings from time to time. She has connected me to life in Palestine under occupation. What she does not know is that she has also tempered my anger over the governments of Israel and the United States, an anger she also feels I am sure, but handles with grace and if I may quote Job, “patience”.
She epitomizes the steadfastness (in Arabic, sumud), of the Palestinian people under occupation. which anyone open to human suffering, knows is an illegal, brutalizing, and well-orchestrated colonizing Israeli plan, to steal the land and imprison the people of Palestine.
Her most recent posting is such a masterful statement of this current moment in Palestine that I felt I must share it with my Wall Writings family. Since I am sharing it in its entirety, and not through quotes, I wrote and asked her permission to reprint it.
I also asked her for a few words to introduce her to my readers, She gave the permission and offered this introduction and explanation of her posting title:
“I started it as “Deal of the Century”, and that is how it was posted on my blog, but then many of my recepients were being blocked, so I changed the title to “Bribery”
“I am a retired community volunteer and maintain a blog of reflections from Palestine. I used the same title for my blog as my book, Reflections from Palestine: a Journey of Hope. Samia”
I told her I would use her preferred title. Here from Samia Khoury’s blog is:
The Deal of the Century
by Samia Khoury
The US administration has never been supportive of our cause as Palestinians. And I specifically say the administration because we have a lot of support from the public, the main stream churches, the civil society, as well as many Jewish Americans.
The United Nations records show clearly that it was the Veto of the US at the United Nations that has hindered the implementation of the UN resolutions that would have guaranteed our rights as Palestinians, basically the right to return to our homes from which we were evicted by force or had to flee for our lives in 1948.
We were never even offered compensation, and Israel continues till this day to deny its responsibility for our plight.
But never has an administration been so blatantly pro active in its humiliation of the Palestinians and ignoring their rights like this present administration. It actually violated international law so as to offer Israel all that it wants on a silver platter.
First by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and moving the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, then by cutting all US Aid that started flowing into the country after the Oslo agreement between the PLO and Israel was signed.
Yet the US found it very timely to close the offices of the PLO in the USA, as well as cutting aid to UNRWA, the organization which was established by the United Nations to take care of the basic needs of the Palestinian Refugees until they were able to realize their right of return.
So it seems like “this great democracy in the world” is taking its clue from “the only democracy in the Middle East.” I still remember how Mr. Netanyahu in his theatrical presentation at the UN General Assembly Meeting in September 2018 thanked the president of the USA for pulling out of the agreement signed with Iran during the term of Mr. Obama, while sending a message to Iran that Israel knows what they are doing.
Will Israel be the force behind the US to wage a new war against Iran this time. Nothing would be surprising now that more American troops have already been sent to the bases in the region.
Ironic indeed that the US has waged so many wars on other people’s lands in the name of democracy, while Israel continues to hold a whole population under occupation, and it has recently passed the Nation State Law in its Knesset that would deprive 21% of its citizens most of their basic rights.
While the US has the liberty to impose sanctions on countries that do not abide by its rules, it takes harsh measures against any individual, or body that promotes the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) against Israel for violating international law, in the same way that Israel does.
After seventy one years of dispossession and fifty two years of a brutal occupation, we get a novice in political issues to come up with the “Deal of the Century.” First they humiliate us, then they starve us and now they want to further humiliate us by bribing us into accepting money for our rights in a conference in Bahrain.
Thank you, but no thank you. In our ethics lessons, we were taught that those who bribe and those who accept the bribery are just as guilty. But who will convict the guilty in this case?
It goes without saying I am an ardent admirer of fellow Jerusalemite Samia as well as those blessed with ethical and moral rectitude who cannot turn a blind eye to Israel’s crimes. Silence is complicity, let alone the obscenity of support Israel gets from those in the corridors of power in the western world, as well as the misguided Christian Zionists.
Thank you, James, for publishing the timely and excellently-stated commentary by Ms Samia Khoury. She is a Palestinian gem, indeed and she has demonstrated persistent Palestinian “Sumoud” (Resistance).through, both, speech and action. She has also been a key figure in raising the voice of Palestinian Arab Christians in condemning Israeli occupation and exposing its apartheid system.
I highly recommend obtaining her book, “Reflections From Palestine”.
I am blessed to have met Samia and have kept in touch since she visited my state a few years ago. I regret that was after I had visited the Holy Land with my church group. My disgust, outrage has no boundaries toward Israel, US, Britain, etc who have supported the atrocities of illegal colonialism of Palestine.
So good to read Samia’s words in your blog…two of my favorite commentators on the scene over there. I agree that she exhibits patience and kindness…when I am ready to scream! Thanks to you both.
Like Jim Wall, I have known Samia Khoury for several decades. She has helped me understand the anguish and pain felt by Palestinians whose property has been confiscated and whose freedom of movement has been severely curtailed by successive Israeli governments. I have learned that this courageous Christian woman is a citizen of the world whose voice is to be trusted.
Thanks for giving space for Samia’s excellent summary of where we are with the outrageous Kushner/Trump/Netanyahu scheme to terminate Palestinian political and human rights. Hopefully, there will be more of a massive grass roots effort in the US that will resist this deceitful Zionist charade that Samia exposes but it is a reminder that we all need to mobilize pressure on or oru elected officials in the US, as the source of the problem is here. Thanks Jim and Samia, Don Wagner
I knew Samia Khoury since I was born. You see, she is my sister and about a year older than me. I am proud of her capabilities, achievements, resilience and mostly her compassion. She lives in Jerusalem, about 20 miles away from where I live in the West Bank. But I do not see her often because of the military barrier between Jerusalem and the West Bank. That is the occupation that Samia writes often about – an occupation that has been going on for more than fifty years but with no clear expiration date!