Bitter Harvest is the title of a book on Palestine modern History by Sami Hadawi. The edition I am handling at the moment for research reasons is the fourth edition since its first publication in 1967. For most, Sami Hadawi is not a name referred to by today’s scholars as a historian bringing a real first hand perspective on Palestine. As many others of his Palestinian peers he has been excluded from western narrative on the Palestine Israel question. Even for us Palestinians, we tend to know the narrative of historians as great as Ilan Pappe, and consider them major reference not knowing in the first place that Palestinian historians exist and contributed way too much. Sami Hadawi’s contribution is not just in his scholarly excellence, but also in his living experience as someone born in Jerusalem in 1904 and has worked as the official land valuer during the British Mandate period. His documentations have served as a real lived story of someone who experienced first hand and directly expulsion and becoming a refugee. A story that more than half of the Palestinian population share. A story of expulsion and inborn injustice and a never-ending exile.
In the introduction, written more than thirty years ago, Hadawi bitterly analyses and explains the situation for what it is and how it is so simply and straightforward, in a manner that only brings more bitterness to the reality we live. The clarity of the situation since the beginning and he we insisted and still insist on missing.
Bitter Harvest tells the story of partitions of countries against the will of people. About the continuous proven experience of such wrong and inhuman acts. The tragedy, destruction and suffering in harvests when it is done.
The recognition of the world to the error of its judgment in its partition of the holy land maybe an expired notion that is continued to be realized. The Zionist propaganda has fallen in its own evil, and the world today has seen for itself the exploitation of the notions of peace and suffering Israel has hidden itself behind for all the decades since its existence on the Palestinian lives. Its murders, its crimes, its expulsion of a nation are no longer the only existing fear of what is remaining of the Zionist plan.
What Hadawi warns about is the Zionist dream in the words of one of its engineers starting with Ben Gurion whose statement: “ to maintain status quo will not do. We have set up a dynamic state, bent upon expansion.,” he continues in his ambitious statement and deeds in what followed in 1952 when he said: Israel… has been established in only a portion of the land of Israel. Even those who are dubious as to the restoration of the historical frontiers, as fixed and crystallized from the beginning of time, will hardly deny the anomaly of the boundaries of the new state “.
If Ben Gurion statement were not enough, Herut party leader back then said: “ I deeply believe in launching preventive war against the Arab states without further hesitation .by doing so, we will achieve two targets: firstly, the annihilation of Arab power, and secondly, the expansion of our territory.”
Reality proved the real intention of the Zionist movement that is not exactly what the Zionist congress in 1921 passed as a resolution stating that: “ solemnly declared the desire of the Jewish people to live with the Arab people in relations of friendship and mutual respect and, together wit the Arab people, to develop the homeland common to both into a prosperous community which would ensure the growth of the peoples. “
While Israel successfully occupied all of Palestine forcefully, it continued to launch its propaganda convincing the world public opinion that the Palestine tragedy was really a territorial dispute between the neighboring Arab states and Israel, with the latter determined to push the Jews into the sea, and annihilate the state of Israel. And it continued to brand Palestinian resistance movements as terror organization, starting from the PLO and stopping today by Hamas.
Hadawi explains bitterly what peace means to Israel. Again, an important sour explanation of a model we are living for real today. For Israelis he says: “ peace means recognition by the Arab states of Israel I sovereignty over existing Israeli occupied territory; the removal of the Arab boycott; the opening of the sues canal to Israeli shipping; and Arab acquiescence in the diversion of the waters of the river Jordan even though it is detriment of Arab rights and interests. By achieving these objectives, the Israelis hope to improve their economy and provide greater man power through new immigrants, for ultimate realization of their dream of an “empire” from the Nile to the Euphrates”. As for the Palestine Arabs whom they expelled and dispossessed, this is a matter they claim, which was the result of alleged Arab aggression against the Jewish state. Such being the case, they say, it is for the Arab governments, not Israel, to find a home for the Palestine Arabs. “
If Hadawi wrote this in 1967, two decades after the creation of Israel, and he saw it so clear as water. How come it missed the whole Arab image of the situations? Arabs who practically live on conspiracy theories. How could they after decades of experiencing the ugly face of Israeli occupation against Palestinians and Arabs as well, haven’t got it yet.
In a previous millennia or an upcoming one, Hadawi word would have been perceived as a prophecy, as that of Youssef dream of a designated reign.
As we are living today in an Arab split and inner bloody and territorial disputes, Israel is achieving what peace agreements didn’t achieve to it. Actually peace process caused Israel to. Sacrifice its major men, such as Rabin and afterwards the unforgiving dismantling of Sharon to Gaza.
In 1948m Israelis assassinated the late UN mediator Count Folke Bernadotte because of his recommendations for a solution of the Palestine problem not in conformity with Israeli ambitions. He warned the security council that: “ it could not be ignored that unrestricted immigration to the Jewish area of Palestine might, over the period of years, give rise to a population pressure and to economic and political disturbances which would justify present Arab fears of ultimate Jewish expansion in the near east,” he added: “ it can scarcely be ignored that Jewish immigration into the Jewish area of Palestine concerns not only the Jewish people and territory but also the neighboring Arab world.”
If this was as obvious since the very beginning, how come the Arab world insists to ignore blindly today.
As Israelis are deliberately and freely roaming inside the Arab world in Iraq, Jordan, Syria. Egypt who paid the highest price in killed soldiers with Israeli wars, is opening a free hand for Israeli dominance over the borders they paid high in proclaiming in Sinai, or maybe that was as a scene of an unreal victory of a war that only caused more sacrifice of humans who don’t count for Arab governments. While Egyptians who fought for the freedom of Palestine, and waves with the flags of nationalism and refused normalization with Israel and assassinated their president for that agreement, stand today in an embarrassing position of denial, and naively and bashfully enter the Israeli buffer zone of begging for peace in accordance to Israeli standards without admitting. Media whitewashing Jews and Israel in an embarrassing propaganda to even Israelis.
Israel is publically supporting created extremist groups such as Daesh and equipping different disputing gangs with arms and training and we are watching Arab blood being shed pathetically and empathetically by Arabs themselves.
The gulf each day gets closer to a public normalization with Israel, closing it a few days ago by a bold shameful announcement by the Saudi billionaire prince Walid ibn talal who proudly and shamelessly declared his visit to Israel and his intention to cooperate on security and military deals with Israel.
The Palestinian PA is also shamelessly insisting on confirming that the security of Israel comes first, and its intelligence and police work night and day to secure Israel and to terrorize Palestinians by detentions and arrests that are hideous and no one really knows the destiny of those behind Palestinian detention posts.
Hadawi started his introduction with a brilliant epic story of King Solomon’s partition case with the two mothers who claimed a child to be theirs. When he ruled that the child would be cut in two, the real mother refused and the false agreed.
This is the story of Palestine and the dispute with the unlawful claiming mother Israel. The partition of Palestine resulted in the tragedy we continue to live in today. First as Palestinians … and very soon as Arabs.
The difference in the tragedy that befell on Palestinians seven decades ago was that Zionism was new. The Jews were really suffering in Europe. History was still being written by the unknown power of that period that wasn’t determined yet. We could have blamed the lack of knowledge and resources. The lack of knowing and experiencing the Zionist movement.
The tragedy that will befall us together with the Arab world today is, that we know. Israel after seven decades proved its vicious reality that continues to spill its evil on the land and the people … and tragically … Arabs insist on digging the earth underneath them, and give the Zionists an easier end to the Arab own failure.