1998 marks the 50th anniversary of the Nakba (cataclysm). In human terms, that year saw the mass deportation of a million Palestinians from their cities and villages, massacres of civilians, and the razing to the ground of hundreds of Palestinian villages. In commemoration of these capital events in Palestine history, the Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center brings you this visual tribute.
In studying the Jewish people, special attention must be given to the Jewish community. This peculiar social order has for twenty centuries impressed its indelible mark on every one of its members in every quarter of the globe; uncrushed by pressure from without, it has administered its affairs according to its own arbitrary laws, often in defiance and to the detriment of the government of the land. The authority of the Jewish leaders, originally derived from the ten commandments delivered to Moses,l had already in the time of Augustus been widely extended2 by a learned but unscrupulous priesthood 3 over an ignorant, superstitious people. In that age, while a struggle was going on between two rival sects, Pharisees4 and Sadducees,5 certain political clubs 6 were formed which concealed under a religious mask the grasping aims of a clique.7
These clubs were not slow to take advantage of their country's misfortunes. A few years later, during the siege of Jerusalem by Vespasian, they won, by the betrayal of the Jewish cause, the favour of the Roman conqueror,8 and were subsequently entrusted by the imperial government with the administration of Palestine.' Moreover, with the sack of
, the destruction of the temple, and the death of the patriotic leaders, the common people found themselves utterly dependent, in spiritual as well as civil matters, upon these same self-styled societies of the learned, who alone possessed the secrets of the priesthood and copies of the sacred texts. By interpreting, altering, and augmenting the rules and ritual these texts contained, and by a system of espionage and assassination,10 the new rulers established a strict control over the daily life of their co-religionists. Thus having taken hold of the Jewish people through the medium of the Roman authority, this clique easily placed its laws above the ten commandments, and formed a government whose control over its subjects was absolute.11 This government became henceforth known as the Kahal.12 Jerusalem
[By God's irreversible judgment the Jews were condemned and cast out of of the
Holy Landforever, two thousand years ago. The first dispersion of the Jews was in 70 A.D. and the second dispersion in 135 A.D. in the time since the prophecy of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ during His time on earth prior to His ascension into heaven. By the connivance of the Jews' Pharisee Rabbinic Academies in Palestine in the first century A.D. the Kahal was given its form to rule over the apostate Jews who had committed the unforgivable sin of Perfidy and Deicide against the true Messiah Jesus Christ during the time of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on earth.]
The dispersion of the Jews which followed in 135 A.D., instead of destroying the Kahal, served on the contrary to set it on a new and firmer basis, on which it has continued ever since. Wherever Jewish emigrants settled,13 they founded communities apart under the direction of the fraternities, and held to the precepts of the Talmud.(tm) Each community had its representative, its rabbi, its synagogue: it was a miniature Kahal. The different aims of these communities always found themselves intimately related with those of the central body upon which their existence depended.
For if the ruling clique or caste had begun by grinding down its own race," it now saw that, by drafting them into its organization, it could exploit the gentiles on a far grander scale." The number of fraternities was increased by the addition of trade unions, every trade in which the Jews engaged being represented. To strengthen its control and to advance the interests of the Jews as a whole, it developed and perfected that system of espionage which it still maintains.