Zochrot

The distance between District Six to Ajjur

Salah and Aslam are longing to return // Eitan Bronstein/Rana Bishara/Eleonore
Salah and Aslam are longing to return // Eitan Bronstein/Rana Bishara/Eleonore

I lived here, in District Six, until I was ten years old/My parents were born here, in Ajjur village.
 
Our house was near the northern edge of the neighborhood.  The whites lived on the other side of the street/My father explained that our house was in the southern part of the village.
 
Today, as you can see, there’s a small parking lot there, and a wall/You can see that only a heap of stones is left.
 
The area remained empty, so we can return, and we will.  My father filled out the application forms and I hope he’ll soon build us a new home in District 6/I want to return to Ajjur even though I was never there.  I’ll return with my wife and daughters.
 
My father was in jail because he was active politically against apartheid/I was jailed by Israel for activities opposing the occupation.
 
The neighborhood will develop and again be inhabited by people of different backgrounds, like it was when I was a child/I want to live here along with my neighbors from the A’ida refugee camp.  Jews will live near the village, as in the past.
 
Aslam Levy talks to us as he stands next to a map of the District Six drawn on the floor of the museum at Cape Town that preserves its history.  He cries when he remembers how his family tried to keep him from knowing his father was jailed/Salah Ajarma is filled with optimism when he sees a new neighborhood arising from the rubble of the one destroyed by the apartheid regime.

 

Cape Town, 6/2/2012

7 comments

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Manny wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Thanks for your comments Ben.I adrime your proposal, but the sticking issue as Shmuel noted, is unnecessary as a sticking issue. That is of removing the settlers. Why not propose that they stay as Palestinian citizens, comprising a 10% minority?If they were just kicked out, there is a strong element of theft of their property. Maybe the land was stolen in some process (some, not all), but the buildings were built, paid for, maintained, improved, lived in, home.I disagree with the contention that the right of return for any descendant of anyone that was a Palestinian is lawful. As you stated, the only nearly comparable time frame resulted in compensation, not reform.The international law is NOT CLEAR on the extent and statute of limitations of right of return, and particularly if there were no preceeding nation/state, and then precedent would be the next clarifying indication of law.The condition of Lebanese Palestinian refugees is reported to be atrocious, and retained as stateless in spite of three generations of being born within a sovereign jurisdiction.

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