Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Remembering Land Day

On March 30, 1976 many Palestinian citizens of Israel protested plans by the Israeli government to expropriate about 40,000 dunams of land. Sadly Israeli police personnel  from the army and the police cracked down on these protests and six Palestinian citizens of Israel were killed. Since then these protests are commemorated every year by Palestinians as Land Day.

HWA's WCG mentioned these protests in one article published in August 1978. The article was scare mongering that the State of Israel would no longer be able to achieve a decisive victory in an armed confrontation. Among the reasons cited for this in the article was the Palestinian citizens of Israel in the Galilee. (In the article the death toll is listed as twelve but other sources have the death toll at six.)
As if all that were not enough, there is today a Palestinian Arab majority in Israeli western Galilee. It was quiet in the 1967 and 1973 wars, but the bitterness and violence of the 1976 Land Day riots, which were only put down at a cost of 12 dead, suggest that it may be, optimistic to count on this again. (Moshe Ben Simcha, Good News, August 28, 1978, p. 16.)
They were not riots. Those Palestinian citizens of Israel were protesters trying to prevent the Israeli government from expropriating 40,000 dunams of land.

It is unfortunate that the violent deaths of twelve people is here portrayed simply as a threat to the State of Israel. What about the lives of these people? What about their families and friends?

WCG's Good News provides the following information about the author.
Moshe Ben Simcha, a member of the Church living in Israel, is a researcher and Middle East affairs correspondent for the Jerusalem Post. (Good News, August 28, 1978, p. 16.)
He wrote one other article discussing Saudi Arabia in the October 9, 1978 issue of Good News. He appears not to have written anything else for HWA's WCG. Perhaps he learned that HWA was not all he claimed to be and quietly left.

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