DOES AIPAC RULE OVER AND ABOVE THE US SUPREME COURT?

Image by Bendib

Image by Bendib

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For a decade an American/Israeli family has fought the United States government for the ‘right’ to have their Jerusalem born son’s US Passport listing ISRAEL as his birthplace. Meanwhile, US citizens of Palestinian heritage cannot ask for a passport stating they were born in PALESTINE. 

For that same decade, the US government has maintained that While Israel calls Jerusalem its capital, few other countries accept that. Most, including the United States, maintain embassies in Tel Aviv. Palestinians want East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, as capital of the state they aim to establish alongside Israel in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. … that is until yesterday when the Supreme court reached a decision on the matter. (see report below)

Possible compromise would allow Jerusalem-born Americans to list ‘Israel’ as their place of birth, but passport will include disclaimer saying the place of birth is not intended to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem.

In reality, that very same Supreme Court should consider doing away with duel citizenship, and stop issuing Passports to non citizens. As it stands now, these people either have or will have the right to vote in US elections.

Obviously, it is in the interest of AIPAC and its affiliates to make sure that never reaches the Court itself.

If Israel goes down, America goes with it

If Israel goes down, America goes with it

Supreme Court divided on Jerusalem passport case

Possible compromise would allow Jerusalem-born Americans to list ‘Israel’ as their place of birth, but passport will include disclaimer saying the place of birth is not intended to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem.

News Agencies VIA

WASHINGTON – The US Supreme Court appeared closely divided on Monday as it considered whether Congress overstepped its authority in passing a law designed to allow American citizens born in Jerusalem to have Israel listed as their birthplace on passports.

Congress passed the law in 2002 but the government has never enforced it. Seeking to remain neutral on the hotly contested issue of sovereignty over a city holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians, the State Department allows passports to name Jerusalem as a place of birth, with no country name included.

The parents of a Jerusalem-born 12-year-old boy, US citizen Menachem Zivotofsky, have waged a long court battle to have his passport state he was born in Israel.

At issue is the longstanding US policy that the president, not Congress, has sole authority to provide American recognition of who controls Jerusalem, a city claimed both by Israelis and Palestinians.

Twelve-year-old Menachem and his parents sat through the hour-long argument that seemed to split the court along ideological lines. The liberal justices on the nine-member court appeared willing to accept the Obama administration’s argument that changing the wording on passports would damage the American role as a broker of peace in the Middle East and undermine the president’s credibility.

The conservative justices were more skeptical of the argument put forth by Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr., and were more sympathetic to the parents, Ari and Naomi Zivotofsky. They seemed open to the argument by Alyza Lewin, the family’s lawyer, that the passport language would not change US policy toward Jerusalem.

Justice Antonin Scalia readily agreed with Lewin. “This is not recognition. It just has an effect on the State Department’s desire to make nice with the Palestinians,” Scalia said.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, often the court’s swing vote in close decisions, is likely to again find himself in that role.

Kennedy signaled some support for the government, saying if the case rests on the determination that the law indicates recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem, the State Department “should be given deference.”

However, he also indicated a possible compromise in which the law is enforced but the government adds disclaimers in passports saying the place of birth is not intended to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem.

Verrilli doubted such a disclaimer would be effective. He called the status of Jerusalem among the most vexing issues in the region.

The State Department maintains the law violates the US Constitution’s separation of executive and legislative powers. It says a loss for the government in the case would be seen around the world as a reversal of US policy that could cause “irreversible damage” to America’s ability to influence the region’s peace process.

That argument appeared to gain traction with the liberal justices, including the court’s three Jewish members: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan. Kagan said Jerusalem’s status is so contentious that any development, no matter how minor, “is a big deal” in the Middle East.

“Right now, Jerusalem is a tinder box because of the status of and access to a particular holy site,” Kagan said.

Kagan likened the statute to a “very selective vanity plate law,” referring to customized car license plates. She noted that Jerusalem-born US citizens of Palestinian heritage cannot ask for a passport stating they were born in Palestine.

Of the conservative justices, Antonin Scalia seemed most supportive of the family, saying foreign policy concerns should not be taken into account when deciding whether Congress had authority to pass the law.

“If it is within Congress’s power, what difference does it make whether it antagonizes foreign countries?” Scalia said.

While Israel calls Jerusalem its capital, few other countries accept that. Most, including the United States, maintain embassies in Tel Aviv. Palestinians want East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, as capital of the state they aim to establish alongside Israel in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Two years ago, the justices rejected lower court decisions that called the matter a political issue that should be resolved by Congress and the president without the help of the courts.

The federal appeals court in Washington then struck down the law as an unconstitutional intrusion by Congress on the president’s authority over foreign affairs.

Congress and the White House have argued for decades over support for Israel’s position on Jerusalem.

In 1995, Congress essentially adopted the Israeli position, saying the US should recognize a united Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In 2002, lawmakers passed new provisions urging the president to take steps to move the embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv and allowing Americans born in Jerusalem to have their place of birth listed as Israel.

President George W. Bush signed the 2002 provisions into law but noted that “US policy regarding Jerusalem has not changed.” President Barack Obama has taken the same stance.

A ruling is due by the end of June.

The case is Zivotofsky v. Kerry, US Supreme Court, 13-628.
Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Presented here is a report about the harassment of a Palestinian/American WHO LIVES IN THE UNITED STATES ….. obviously AIPAC or the ADL couldn’t care less …. but hopefully you do.

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Free Rasmea Odeh, political prisoner

By Angela Davis*

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Rasmea Odeh is fighting for her citizenship and for her freedom. She is scheduled to appear in federal court in Detroit today on charges of “unlawful procurement of naturalization.”

As her supporters emphasize, her arrest and prosecution are politically motivated and are clearly designed to disrupt the Chicago Palestine human rights community.

In the early morning hours of Oct. 22, 2013, Homeland Security agents arrested the 67-year-old Odeh, an American of Palestinian origin, at her home in the suburbs of Chicago.

On the same morning she was indicted in federal court, based on responses to questions posed on a 10-year-old naturalization application. Odeh has been an American citizen for the last decade.

Only now, when the Chicago activist community has effectively raised awareness of Israel’s apartheid system and its violation of international laws, have immigration authorities decided to challenge her status as a citizen. In light of success of the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment campaign, this case reeks of political payback.

Federal authorities allege that Odeh did not disclose her arrest in Palestine 45 years ago by an Israeli military court, an institution that has a long record of human rights violations.

At that time of her arrest, Odeh was forced into a confession while being subjected to physical and sexual torture, some of it perpetrated in front of her now deceased father.

Odeh never committed a crime, and her arrest and conviction by an Israeli military court was unlawful.

Odeh is not the only Chicago activist who has been targeted in the recent period. In 2010 anti-war activists — several from the Chicago area — were subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury about their support of Palestinians and Colombians.

It is revealing that Assistant U.S. Attorney Barry Jonas, who is leading the investigation of the 23 activists, was in the courtroom on the morning Odeh was arrested, actively consulting with the assistant U.S. attorney who presented her case.

Jonas has an even longer history of targeting Palestinians. He was the prosecutor in the case of the Holy Land Five, who were the heads of the largest Muslim charity in the U.S. before 9/11. He succeeded in getting inordinately long prison sentences for the five men, who provided charity to children in Gaza.

The conviction of the Holy Land Five was based on “secret evidence,” withheld from the defense and on the testimony of Israeli witnesses in disguise.

Targeting 67-year-old Odeh at this point, 10 years after she received her citizenship, appears to be retaliation for the growing successes of the Palestine solidarity movement. Her case is being tried in federal court instead of immigration court, where such cases are normally heard.

She faces 10 years in prison as well as the revocation of her citizenship and deportation.

For decades, Odeh has been an upright and contributing member of her community.

She has worked with the Chicago-based Arab American Action Network, an advocacy and social service agency, supervising programs and coordinating its Arab Women’s Committee, a 600-member group that actively defends civil liberties and immigrant rights.

Targeting a person who has been such an active proponent for positive change is a serious setback for civil rights and militates against democracy and justice.

The time has come for progressive people to demand that Barry Jonas and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Chicago and Detroit cease their witch hunts of the Palestine solidarity communities and end political prosecutions, which undermine the constitutionally protected right to dissent.

As a person with first-hand knowledge of the devastation wrought by politically motivated prosecutions — during the era of COINTELPRO, I was falsely charged with three capital offenses — I see Rasmea Odeh’s case as a continuation of the embarrassing history of decades of suppression of social justice activists in the U.S.

The courts are being used to retaliate against Palestinian activism. As many people in Chicago and Detroit once joined the call to “Free Angela Davis,” I hope they will now join the campaign to “Free Rasmea Odeh.”

*Angela Davis is a renowned activist and distinguished professor emerita of History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies at the University of California Santa Cruz.

 

Written FOR

2 Comments

  1. Ponce said,

    November 4, 2014 at 17:05

    We all know that “those” people do control the White House hence the nation…..90% of what happens in the US is because of them and 75% of what happens in this world is beause of them.

    How many of those Israelis American traitors are in high positon in the US government?……count and you will never finish.

    V

  2. Winslie Gomez said,

    November 6, 2014 at 10:10

    Reblogged this on HAPLOGROUP – bit that makes us human..


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