Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Flying into Tel Aviv?
Then Don't Forget That It's Usurped Palestine!
By Stuart Littlewood
Redress, Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, March 12, 2012
Stuart Littlewood explains why people of conscience, principle
and respect for justice and the truth will always see Palestine as Palestine
and will not forget that what is known as “Israel” is an extraneous implant
build on the blood and ruins of a nation.
Flying into Tel Aviv? Then it’s “Welcome to
The other day someone kindly sent me an
old link to an
aviation forum where an irate passenger had written: "This morning (6 May
2003) on a flight from Rome to Tel Aviv, after landing the pilot announced
in the microphone: ‘Welcome to Palestine’. I think this is the most
disgusting thing for a pilot to say."
A crime against humanity
It led to a long and
acrimonious argument with many demanding dire punishment for the Alitalia
But he had a valid point.
Lydda, rooftop view about 100 years ago
Ben-Gurion airport, which serves Tel Aviv, was formerly Lydda airport.
Lydda, a major town in its own right during the British mandate, was
designated Palestinian in the 1947 UN Partition. In July 1948 Israeli
terrorist troops seized Lydda, shot up the town and drove out the
this report by Donald Neff we’re told how, as part of the ethnic
cleansing, the Israelis massacred 426 men, women and children. A total of
176 of them were slaughtered in the town's main mosque. Of all the
blood-baths, they say this was the biggest. See also
this for lurid details. Here’s an extract:
Out of the 19,000 people who
used to call Lydda home, only 1,052 were allowed to stay.
Rabin, the Nobel Prize winner, wrote in his diary soon after Lydda's and
Ramla's occupation: "After attacking Lydda, Ben-Gurion would repeat the
question: what is to be done with the population?, waving his hand in a
gesture which said: Drive them out!... (Soldier of Peace, pages
The remainder were forced to walk into exile in the scalding July heat,
leaving a trail of bodies – men, women and children – along the way. The
cruelty, on top of being robbed of everything, was horrific.
Let’s wipe ‘em off the map
attack on Lydda was led by Israel's great ‘hero”, Moshe Dayan, who was later
to become defence minister and foreign minister, and witnessed by two
American news correspondents. One recorded that "practically everything in
their way died. Riddled corpses lay by the roadside." The other wrote that
he saw "the corpses of Arab men, women and even children strewn about in the
wake of the ruthlessly brilliant charge".
The murder spree was
followed by systematic looting. Israeli troops carried away 1,800 truck
loads of Palestinian property. Jewish immigrants then flooded in and Lydda
was given a Hebrew name, Lod.
So Israel has no real right to
Lydda/Lod/Ben-Gurion airport – it was stolen in a terror raid, as was
another town we hear so much about – Sderot.
Insult to our patron saint
That's where, say
Israel’s propagandists, Hamas rockets have been “raining down”. And that’s
the main plank of their efforts to justify the bloodshed Israel has
inflicted on the people of Gaza.
They use it ad nauseam to
brainwash the media and their own people. Their stooges, returning to these
shores after their indoctrination, repeat it here. They have studiously
counted and broadcast the number of erratic, home-made Qassam rockets coming
into Israel, without ever admitting to the huge number of missiles, bombs
and shells that Israel's high-tech military fires into Gaza with much more
Those sympathetic to Israel should know that Sderot
has no business being where it is. It’s built on the lands of a Palestinian
village called Najd, which was ethnically cleansed by Jewish terrorists in
May 1948, just before Israel was declared a state and before any Arab armies
arrived to defend the Palestinians. The 600-plus villagers were forced to
flee for their lives. It happened at the fag-end of Britain’s watch as the
mandated government, when they were packing up to leave. This and many other
atrocities were committed while no-one was looking.
owned over 90 per cent of the land in Najd. According to UN Resolution 194
and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, they have a right to return
home. But as we have come to expect, Israel refuses to recognize the rights
of others and will not allow them back. Anyway, what is there for them to
return to? The 82 homes in Najd were bulldozed as part of Israel’s wipe-‘em-off-the-map
Najd was one of 418 Palestinian villages and towns ethnically
cleansed and erased by Zionist Jews. Its inhabitants presumably became
refugees in nearby Gaza and their families are probably still living in the
miserable camps there. The irony is that some of them could have been
manning the rocket launchers.
When Barack Obama visited Sderot (he
didn't have the gumption to drop in on Gaza and shoot the breeze with the
Hamas boys) he spouted the well-worn mantra backing Israel's right to
protect its citizens from rocket attacks. "If somebody was sending rockets
into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I would do everything
to stop that, and would expect Israel to do the same thing." Yes, well said,
Obama. But let's hope you wouldn't be so stupid or arrogant as to settle
your family on land stolen from your neighbour at gun-point.
Getting back to Ben Gurion’s
air travellers, there's another reason for British Christians as well as
Muslims to take a very dim view of the thieving, destruction and ethnic
cleansing of Lydda. It's the birthplace of our patron saint, George.
George was a Palestinian born at Lydda and brought up in the Christian
faith, although some sources think he was born in Cappadocea (Turkey) and
taken home by his mother to her native Palestine when his father died.
Either way, he is inextricably linked to Lydda. He decided on a
soldiering career, joined the Roman army at the time of Emperor Diocletian
and rose to high rank. He became one of the emperor’s favourites, as his
father had been, but when Diocletian’s fanatical slavishness to the Roman
gods got out of control and he began slaughtering innocent Christians George
stood up to be counted for his religious beliefs. He denounced the emperor
and tore up his orders. Not surprisingly, he was arrested, imprisoned and
George was told his life would be spared if he made
sacrifice to the Roman gods. He was offered riches if only he'd renounce his
Christian beliefs. Instead, he prayed to his Christian God, who immediately
responded, so we're told, with thunderbolts and fireballs and an earthquake
that shook the ground and destroyed the temple buildings. That sealed poor
George’s fate. He bore his ordeal – being dragged through the streets,
stretched on the rack, poked with red-hot irons, cut to ribbons on a wheel
of swords, and dunked in quicklime – with such fortitude that Diocletian’s
wife converted to Christianity on the spot. This matrimonial upset caused
her to be condemned to death too.
The Romans were expert
martyr-makers. George was finally beheaded at Nicomedia on 23 April 303 and
buried at Lydda. He was soon a cult figure among soldiers around the world.
In 494 George was canonized and became the warrior saint for many worthy
The earliest known reference to him in Britain was in an
account by St Adamnan, the 7th century Abbot of lona, who probably heard the
story from a French bishop returning from Jerusalem. George was adopted by
Richard the Lionheart as his personal saint in the Crusades. Later, King
Edward III made him the patron saint of England and dedicated the Order of
the Garter to him.
St George’s cross is England’s flag and it’s
incorporated into the Union flag. Lydda, therefore, was and always will be
of great importance to the English and indeed the British as a whole. The
Crusaders built and rebuilt a church there which was dedicated to him. It
was destroyed by Saladin during the Third Crusade in 1191 and the church
that stands there now dates from 1872.
George – Al-Khadir – is also
patron saint of Bethlehem and a figure sacred to Muslims and Christians
alike. As one elderly Muslim Arab told me, George is special – he’s the only
saint who could ride a horse. Stone carvings of George on horseback can to
be seen in the Church of the Nativity and above the doors of many Bethlehem
He’s also patron saint of Portugal and of certain cities in
Spain, and of Moscow and many other places – a really popular guy. The
Israelis ought to have had more respect.
It seems fitting to remember
these things as we approach St George’s Day, 23 April.
So I salute
that unnamed Alitalia pilot. Welcome, travellers, to Lydda and Palestine!
And may St George protect you.