The last Iraqi soldier to have fought against Israel in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War that saw the establishment of the State of Israel and the displacement of 700,000 Palestinians from their ancestral homes, passed away peacefully on Friday.
Haj Hussein Muhammad Al-Samarrai passed away at the age of 95 surrounded by his children and grandchildren in his ancestral hometown of Samarra, 125 kilometres north of the capital Baghdad.
Al-Samarrai was known for recounting his stories and memories from the battles he fought at the age of 24 in 1948, as a part of what he believed was a sacred struggle to defend Palestine from Jewish colonialism, and to preserve the Palestinian people on their own lands.
Al-Samarrai’s family members and loved ones told the Arabi21 news website that they were surprised by how much Palestinian media outlets took note of and marked the passing of their aged hero. The fact that Palestinians remembered Al-Samarrai’s role in defending their rights and honour lifted the spirits of the family at a difficult and painful time.
A member of his family said:
Our dearly departed never forgot, and even at an advanced age, the battles that he took part in as a soldier in the Iraqi Armed Forces. He reached Lake Tiberias but after that the Iraqi army was ordered to withdraw
His family said that they viewed him as an exemplar and someone whom they were deeply proud of. According to the Al-Samarrai family, he would always recount his wartime stories to his children and grandchildren, and remember with pride his time in Palestine.
Al-Samarrai had to leave his hometown recently in order to receive treatment as far away as Erbil, rather than being welcomed in the capital Baghdad, a city far closer to him, as a hero and treated there. Upon returning to Samarra, he fell into a coma before passing away.
The aged warrior’s family expressed the pain they felt at the state of affairs of their country, Iraq, and how the Iraqi military has departed from its valiant roots since the illegal US invasion in 2003. The Iraqi armed forces fought Israel in Palestine proper in 1948, and again on the Golan Front in Syria during the 1973 October War.
Al-Samarrai was a combat engineer with the Iraqi Fifth Brigade, who fought with distinction and managed to save many Palestinian lives in Jenin and elsewhere.
Iraq’s military efforts to protect Palestine have been immortalised by the presence of many graves belonging to Iraqi soldiers on Palestinian soil. These Iraqi men gave their lives so that Palestine may be free.
Secret Soviet Reveals: Wiezmann Outlined the Nakba as Early as 1941 ~ Gilad Atzmon, Whatsupic.
Whatsupic — Forthcoming in G. Gorodetsky (ed.), A Red Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s: The Diaries of Ivan Maisky, 1932-43.
Introduction by Gilad Atzmon
The following is a unique historical document. It is an extract from The Diaries of Ivan Maisky, the Soviet Ambassador to Britain from 1932 to 1943. As far as I am aware this is the debut online appearance of this invaluable document.
Maisky, a former Menshevik of Jewish origin, kept a highly personal diary. He recorded conversations with five British prime ministers, as well as with many other prominent British politicians.
In this extract, written on 3 February 1941, Maisky recounts his brief meeting with the Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann, later the first president of Israel. Maisky provides crucial insights into the history of Zionism including the brutality of the Jewish plan for Palestine and the Middle East. Noticeably, the document reveals that an intention to expel the Palestinians was explored by Zionist leaders as early as 1941.
Weizmann begins the meeting with a business plan. “Weizmann came to discuss the following matter,” says Maisky, “at present Palestine has no market for her oranges – would the USSR take them in exchange for furs? It would be easy to sell the furs through Jewish firms in America.” Establishing a Jewish nation is a cheerful event, but if is even better if one can earn some shekels on the side. Clearly, even in 1941, Zionism saw itself as part of a global financial venture.
Weizmann was clearly troubled by ‘the English’. “The English” Weizmann complains, “don’t like Jews.” While the “Palestinian Arabs are the kind of guinea pigs the (British) administrator is used to,” Says Weizmann. “The Jews reduce him to despair. They are dissatisfied with everything, they ask questions, they demand answers …But the main thing is that the administrator constantly feels that the Jew is looking at him and thinking to himself: “Are you intelligent? But maybe I’m twice as intelligent as you.”
Those who believe that the racially driven expulsion of the Palestinians from their land in 1948 was the result of a series of tragic events, can discover from Maisky’s diary that in 1941 an ethnic cleansing plan had already been outlined. Maisky writes in his diary: “For the only ‘plan’ which Weizmann can think of to save central European Jewry (and in the first place Polish Jewry) is this: to move a million Arabs now living in Palestine to Iraq, and to settle four or five million Jews from Poland and other countries on the land which the Arabs had been occupying.”
“I expressed some surprise about how Weizmann hoped to settle five million Jews on territory occupied by one million Arabs,” Maiky writes.
“’Oh, don’t worry’, Weizmann burst out laughing. ‘The Arab is often called the son of the desert. It would be truer to call him the father of the desert. His laziness and primitivism turn a flourishing garden into a desert. Give me the land occupied by a million Arabs, and I will easily settle five times that number of Jews on it.’”
It is painful that this ethno-centric approach prevailed. Seven years after this intimate meeting in London, the new Israelites expelled the vast majority of the Palestinians. Those Palestinians and their descendants remain dispossessed and many of them are forced to live in refugee camps in the region. Those who managed to evade expulsion were then and continue to be subject to Israeli racial discrimination and daily abuse.
Forthcoming in G. Gorodetsky (ed.), A Red Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s: The Diaries of Ivan Maisky, 1932-43.
3 February 1941
A few days ago I had an unexpected visitor: the well-known Zionist leader Dr. Weizmann. He is a tall, elderly, elegantly dressed gentleman with a pale yellow tinge to his skin and a large bald patch on his head. His face is very wrinkled and marked by dark blotches of some kind. His nose is aquiline and his speech calm and slow. He speaks excellent Russian, although he left Russia forty-five years ago.
Weizmann came to discuss the following matter: at present Palestine has no market for her oranges – would the USSR take them in exchange for furs? It would be easy to sell the furs through Jewish firms in America.
I answered Weizmann by saying that off hand I could not say anything definite, but I promised to make enquiries. However, as a preliminary reply, I said that the Palestinian Jews should not place any great hopes on us: we do not, as a rule, import fruit from abroad. I was proved right. Moscow turned down Weizmann’s proposal, and I sent him a letter to that effect today.
In the course of the conversation about oranges, Weizmann talked about Palestinian affairs in general. Furthermore, he spoke about the present situation and the prospects for world Jewry. Weizmann takes a very pessimistic view. According to his calculations there are about 17 million Jews in the world today. Of these, 10-11 million live in comparatively tolerable conditions: at any rate, they are not threatened with physical extermination. These are the Jews who live in the US, the British Empire and the USSR. Weizmann spoke about Soviet Jews in particular: ‘I’m not worried about them. They are not under any threat. In twenty or thirty years’ time, if the present regime in your country lasts, they will be assimilated.’
‘What do you mean, assimilated?’ I retorted. ‘Surely you know that Jews in the USSR enjoy all the rights of a national minority, like the Armenians, Georgians, and Ukrainians and so on?’
‘Of course I know that’, Weizmann answered, ‘but when I say “assimilated”, all I mean is that Soviet Jews will gradually merge with the general current of Russian life, as an inalienable part of it. I may not like this, but I’m ready to accept it: at least Soviet Jews are on firm ground, and their fate does not make me shudder. But I cannot think without horror about the fate of the 6-7 million Jews who live in central or south-eastern Europe – in Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, the Balkans and especially Poland. What’s going to happen to them? Where will they go?’
Weizmann sighed deeply and continued:
‘If Germany wins the war they will all simply perish. However, I don’t believe that the Germans will win. But even if England wins the war, what will happen then?’
Here he began to set out his fears. The English – and especially their colonial administrators – don’t like Jews. This is particularly noticeable in Palestine, which is inhabited by both Jews and Arabs. Here the British ‘high commissioners’ undoubtedly prefer the Arabs to the Jews. Why? For one very simple reason. An English colonial administrator will usually get his training in British colonies like Nigeria, the Sudan, Rhodesia and so on. These places have a well-defined pattern of rule: a few roads, some courts, a little missionary activity, a little medical care for the population. It’s all so simple, so straightforward, so calm. No serious problems, and no complaints on the part of the governed. The English administrator likes this, and gets used to it. But in Palestine?
Growing more animated, Weizmann continued:
‘You won’t get very far with a program like that here. Here there are big and complex problems. It’s true that the Palestinian Arabs are the kind of guinea pigs the administrator is used to, but the Jews reduce him to despair. They are dissatisfied with everything, they ask questions, they demand answers – and sometimes these answers are not easily supplied. The administrator begins to get angry and to see the Jews as anuisance. But the main thing is that the administrator constantly feels that the Jew is looking at him and thinking to himself: “Are you intelligent? But maybe I’m twice as intelligent as you.” This turns the administrator against the Jews for good, and he begins to praise the Arabs. Things are quite different with them: they don’t want anything and don’t bother anyone.’
And then, taking all these circumstances into account, Weizmann anxiously asks himself: ‘What has a British victory to offer the Jews?’ The question leads him to some uncomfortable conclusions. For the only ‘plan’ which Weizmann can think of to save central European Jewry (and in the first place Polish Jewry) is this: to move a million Arabs now living in Palestine to Iraq, and to settle four or five million Jews from Poland and other countries on the land which the Arabs had been occupying. The British are hardly likely to agree to this. And if they don’t agree, what will happen?
I expressed some surprise about how Weizmann hoped to settle five million Jews on territory occupied by one million Arabs.
‘Oh, don’t worry’, Weizmann burst out laughing. ‘The Arab is often called the son of the desert. It would be truer to call him the father of the desert. His laziness and primitivism turn a flourishing garden into a desert. Give me the land occupied by a million Arabs, and I will easily settle five times that number of Jews on it.’
Weizmann shook his head sadly and concluded: ‘The only thing is, how do we obtain this land?’
*Dr Chaim Weizmann, President of the World Zionist Organisation and the Jewish Agency for Palestine, 1921–31 and 1935–46; President of the State of Israel, 1949‑52.
68 years of the UNRWA history of directing and managing the disaster of the Palestinian refugees should be studied again in a different way than the hypocritical one of the UN !!! 67 years of the Palestinian misery that is not only going on but deteriorating and deepened in lots of places of the diaspora other than Gaza !! Why has the UNRWA failed in its “humanitarian” work? To what extent is the UNRWA itself responsible for founding and creating the Palestinian ongoing suffering? What has been the real role of the UNRWA since it was founded ?
In order to understand the role of the UNRWA in managing, if not participating in creating our eternal misery, a critical way of thinking and analyzing is needed. There is an urgent need for a historic preview and review for the core of the UNRWA’s “benevolent” aids. When and who established the UNRWA? How it was established and for what purpose? To what degree it has succeeded and how it has failed?
The hypocritical discourse of the UNRWA would tell you that they have done a great “human work” in aiding the Palestinian refugees in all aspects of their life (and they did) starting from urgent aids of food to working programs, helping the refugees to settle (tents, materials and whatever), educational aids of building schools and managing them plus training the stuff… hospitals and mobile clinics…. and all what you can dream of “human” aids in your nightmares !! Fine, great “human” job!!
Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict, UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, was established by United Nations General Assembly resolution 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949 to carry out direct relief and works programmes for the Palestinian refugees.
However, this superficial discourse of hypocrisy doesn’t work anymore.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt (enough time before the actual cleansing of Palestine) put it in December 1942 , “I actually would put a barbed wire around Palestine, and I would begin to move the Arabs out of Palestine…. Each time we move out an Arab we would bring in another Jewish family…” And this was exactly what happened with planned massacres !!
It took the British Occupiers only and exactly thirty years to accomplish their promise to ethnically cleanse Palestine from its natives and bring Zionist settlers in their place starting from their Balfour Declaration in 1917 up to declaring the “state de facto” of the Zionist entity in the Partition Plan in 1947!!!
To do [the ethnic cleansing], the Zionist leaders needed a systematic plan to “cleanse” the land for Jewish habitation only. It began with a detailed registry or inventory of Arab villages the Jewish National Fund (JNF) was assigned to compile. The JNF was founded in 1901 as the main Zionist tool for the colonization of Palestine. Its purpose was to buy land used to settle Jewish immigrants that by the end of the British Mandate in 1948 amounted to 5.8% of Palestine or a small fraction of what Zionists wanted for a Jewish state. Early on, Ben-Gurion and others knew a more aggressive approach was needed for their colonization plan to succeed.
It began with the JNF Arab village inventory that was a blueprint completed by the late 1930s that included the topographic location of each village with detailed information including husbandry, cultivated land, number of trees, quality of fruit, average amount of land per family, number of cars, shop owners, Palestinian clans and their political affiliation, descriptions of village mosques and names of their imams, civil servants and more. The final inventory update was finished in 1947 with lists of “wanted” persons in each village targeted in 1948 for search-and-arrest operations with those seized summarily shot on the spot in cold blood.
The idea was simple – kill the leaders and anyone thought to be a threat the British hadn’t already eliminated quelling the 1936-39 uprising. It created a power vacuum neutralizing any effective opposition to Zionists’ plans. The only remaining obstacle thereafter was the British presence Ben-Gurion knew was on the way out by 1946 before it finally ended in May, 1948.
From the very beginning in 1917, the British Occupiers were aware of what they are doing as they were hectic in devastating the Palestinian social, economic and national structure (SPECIALLY during the 1936-9 uprising and onward) while building and reinforcing (with the help of the Zionist World Movement) a strong and modern Zionist society with stable economy and powerful army on the rubble of the intentionally and systematically devastated Palestinian society. By the end of WW2, (specially at the eve of 1947) the Palestinians society was lurching and exhausted due to the British constant suppression and the Zionist terrorist attacks. It was depleted with no clear leadership nor any ability to resist the coming Zionist ethnic cleansing which was clear to be done even before UN declared the de facto Zionist state.
It was clear for the “benevolent” UN what is going on in Palestine and the most important it was full aware of what will happen in the coming year; almost a month before Partition Plan (through which Palestine was divided into two states) and even before establishing the UNRWA, the UN established the UNRPR fund in preparation for funding ethnically cleansing Palestine from its natives, that they were fully aware of the cost of the devastation they (with the help of the Zionist terrorist gangs) are going to accomplish in the following year of 1948, the year in which most of the ethnic cleansing was accomplished and funded by the UN and later managed by the UNRWA !!!
The UNRWA role in ethnic cleansing:
Lots of the Palestinian leaders were aware of the dirty work the UNRWA was established to do, like what Samihah Khalil (the former presidential candidate) said in the early 50s that the UNRWA is bribing the Palestinian refugees to stay away in the diaspora and not to fight back home!!
Three major parties played a decisive role in preparing for, and accomplishing, the ethnic cleansing of the native Palestinians after depleting their power and national structure, these parties are; the Zionist terrorist groups, the British-led Arab Legion (which was responsible for protecting the eastern boundaries of the colonized Palestine) and the UN (with its different funds and agencies)
The Zionist terrorists were to do the dirty job of massacring the exhausted natives and terrorizing them to run away leaving their homes and land. During 1948 over 70 planned massacres were committed by the Zionist groups such as the massacres of Deir-Yassin, Gebia, and lots of others in which they intended to expel the natives and demolish their villages (as there were over 540 villages were demolished) to prevent the exhausted and terrorized villagers from fighting back !!
Once begun, the whole ugly business took six months to complete. It expelled about 800,000 people, killed many others, and destroyed 531 villages and 11 urban neighborhoods in cities like Tel-Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem. The action was a clear case of ethnic cleansing that international law today calls a crime against humanity for which convicted Nazis at Nuremberg were hanged. So far Israelis have always remained immune from international law even though names of guilty leaders and those charged with implementing their orders are known as well as the crimes they committed.
The British-led Arab-Legion (the army of TranJordan led by L. Gen Glubb , i.e. the British occupation force) was to facilitate the ethnic cleansing during the theatrical war of 1948, and to prevent the already expelled villagers from coming back fighting for their existence. The Arab-Legion was the strongest Arab forces (though it was far more weak than the British supported and facilitated Zionist Army) and the only one that can wage and maneuver attacks against the Zionist army. Though there ware courageous and great individual fighting and sacrifice of the Arab-Legion specially around Jerusalem, the role of this British-led force is to facilitate evacuation Palestine from the natives and prevent the already expelled from fighting back as they asked the Palestinians to run away to Jordan for a few weeks till they (the British-led Legion) liberate Palestine for them !!! Jordan, actually was established by the British Occupation force to be the home for the expelled Palestinians and to protect the eastern borders of the zionist entity. This way, and before the 1948 theatrical war, the Arab-Legion helped expelling the Palestinians from their homes!!! Funny and theatrical history of the 1948 Nakba !!!
The third party, which is our beloved UNRWA, (as the executive arm of the UN) also had a decisive planned role in evacuating Palestine for the sake of the Zionist settlers, and also to manage a permanent life for them away from their demolished villages and stolen land !!!
As we mentioned before, in 1947 (even before declaring the Division Plan, and at the time most of the Palestinians were still in their villages living a semi-normal life and still not ethnically cleansed yet) the UN was fully aware of what they are preparing to and what is going to happen in the next year, the year of the actual ethnic cleansing. In preparation for this, the UN first established the UNRPR fund to facilitated cleansing the Palestinians, and second, (pursuant to expelling the vast majority of the Palestinian people) established our beloved UNRWA !!!
The UNRWA role was to help the Palestinians manage their misery away from their home, to let them forget about their stolen homeland, to prevent them from fighting back to their homes and villages !!! It was clear for the UNRWA that its role was created to last, was created to manage the misery of those refugees, to keep them away in the Diaspora… and accordingly its “benevolent” aids were to be dedicated to create a permanent infrastructure for the refugees to stay into the misery they were expelled to, for the refugees to start a new life leaving their land and homes for the Zionist colonizers!!This was the sole and the only reason for which the UNRWA was established; to manage (the crisis of) the misery of the Palestinian refugees away from their homeland and to facilitate creating Israel. Its role is to clean the mess that the Zionist terrorist created, to clean the blood-smeared Zionist hands from our blood, to take off the economic and the moral burden off the Zionist terrorists… otherwise how can we explain what the UNRWA is doing since 60 years? What have they done to prevent the holocaust of Gaza lately other than cleaning the mess the Zionist have committed? Helping to silence the Palestinian refugees with trash of “humanitarian” aids after the Zionist couldn’t silence them with their terror !!!
After 60 years of constant lying and hypocritical discourse, I got the right to ask; What has the UNRWA done to me personally other than managing my eternal misery? What is hidden under their magical hat to surprise me with and silence me more, for me to swallow the bitter taste of stealing my home while, still after 60 years, I still live a few kilometers away from my demolished home, and still they bring Russian “jews” (if they are jewish, anyway) settlers to enjoy my garden !!! What has the UNRWA been doing other than silencing me, managing my misery and facilitating the establishment of the Zionist entity on my own homeland, and cleaning off the mess the Zionist terrorists commit every couple of years ???