Posted on February 14, 2024, by & filed under Latest News 2, News.

I'm at the demolition of the home of Fakhri Abu Diab (on the left), one of the long-time leaders in the struggle to save the East Jerusalem Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan.

Fakhri and his neighbors face the double threat of demolition to make way for an Israeli archeological park and settlers violently taking over Palestinian homes with the backing of the municipality, the courts and the the police. 88 homes have been slated for demolition, Fakhri and his family living in a state of apprehension and fear since 2010, when they received the demolition order. Today they woke up to the ominous sounds of police and a jack hammer outside their door. Still in their pajamas, they were given 15 minutes to remove as many possessions as they could.

House demolitions lie at the center of Zionism's project of Judaizing Palestine, transforming an Arab country into a Jewish one, replacing the indigenous Palestinians with Jews.

Reflect on this: In the wake of the 1948 Nakba, Israel systematically destroyed 530 Palestinian villages, towns and urban areas inside what became Israel - some 52,000 homes of (Arab) Israeli citizens(!), and seized 90% of their land. Demolitions continue inside Israel until today.

Between the beginning of Israel's occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza in 1967 and today it has demolished another 360,000 Palestinian homes - almost 300,000 just in Gaza in the past four months.

These are devastating and damning numbers, but still numbers. To comprehend the human tragedy of losing your home, look at Fakhri as he gazes at his home being demolished. Resigned, sad, uncomprehending - and not a "terrorist." In 99% of the cases, "security" had nothing whatsoever to do with the demolitions. As in Fakhri's case, the motive is to displace Palestinians from places Israelis covet. Every demolition is a crime against humanity, a blatant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. And as demolitions are part-and-parcel of the destruction of the Palestinian people and the taking of its land over the past 76 years, they represent a process of genocide, the ultimate crime.

Our homes are our most intimate, sacred spaces, where we and our families seek security, nurture a loving atmosphere (our home), keep our most intimate things and memories. Imagine your home being demolished, losing your family albums, your kids' toys, your most cherished possessions, your family papers. Where would you go? How could you rebuild a family space?

Look once again at Fakhri and imagine what he is thinking and feeling. Then multiply his and his family's tragedy 360,000 times.