JEWISH NATIONAL FUND DOES MORE THAN JUST PLANT TREES IN ISRAEL

Go to any zionist function in New York and you will see tables with these little blue collection tins on them…
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It’s the Jewish National Fund’s way of collecting your hard earned dollars to plant trees in Israel …. but that’s not all, look what else they are doing;
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JNF delays eviction of Palestinian family from East Jerusalem home

Eviction order initially issued requiring the 12 members of the Sumarin family to be out of the property by Sunday; Jewish National Fund has been trying to evict them since 1991.

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The Sumarin family in their contested Silwan home earlier this month.
Photo by: Michal Fattal
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At the last minute on Thursday night, the Jewish National Fund announced a delay in the eviction of 12 members of a Palestinian family from the house where they’ve been living in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan. An eviction order had initially been issued requiring the Sumarin family to be out of the property by Monday.

Police and bailiff’s office officials had already toured the house, preparing for the possibility that the family would have to be physically removed from the premises. A Jewish National Fund subsidiary, Himnuta, has been trying to get the family out of the house since 1991, saying it owns the premises having acquired it that same year. The house had previously been acquired by the Custodian of Absentee Properties, after original owner Musa Sumarin passed away in 1983 and his three heirs were all living abroad.

The JNF attempted to downplay its connection to the site, referring inquiries to Elad, a group that has been bringing Jews to live in East Jerusalem and obtaining leases for much of the property Himnuta acquired in Silwan.

Following an initial report on the matter ten days ago by Haaretz, the left-wing groups Rabbis for Human Rights and the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement launched a campaign against the JNF, including its American affiliate. The campaign was also launched in the United Kingdom by the left-wing Jewish organization Yachad.

Following the campaign, the JNF announced that it was not a party to the eviction case, claiming that Elad had pursued the action without any connection to the Jewish National Fund.

Their announcement also took Rabbis for Human Rights to task for not checking the facts. The statement said the JNF had leased the property where the Sumarin family is living to Elad in the early 1990s, as a result of Elad’s archaeological activities in the area. The JNF said it has no control or responsibility for what was done at the property and any issue is between the Sumarin family and Elad.

The legal documents in the eviction action, however, show that Himnuta, a wholly-owned JNF subsidiary, was the party that brought the current legal action.

The eviction action has been going on for 20 years, before four different courts, and in each case Himnuta was the plaintiff in the matter; Elad was never a legal party to the action. Himnuta is also pursuing two other eviction cases in the neighborhood. It should be noted, however, that the lawyers representing Himnuta represented Elad in other eviction actions in Silwan.

For its part, the JNF said the court ordered the Sumarin family to leave the premises in 2006 and family members have rebuffed efforts to seriously discuss a resolution of the case. Nonetheless, the JNF said, additional time would be granted to resolve the issue. Elad did not comment.

 

Source

HUMANITARIAN ZIONISM ~~ ‘KILLING ME SOFTLY’

A 12-member Palestinian family has been ordered to vacate its house in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan within two weeks.
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They used to come in the middle of the night to illegally evict Palestinian families from THEIR homes, now they give two weeks notice…
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How humanitarian is that?? (sic)
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Palestinian family given two weeks to vacate East Jerusalem home

Himnuta, subsidiary of Jewish National Fund, set to evict the Sumarin family, transfer house to settlers; Himnuta trying to evict family since 1991, says it owns the house they are living in. 

A 12-member Palestinian family has been ordered to vacate its house in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan within two weeks.

The party behind the eviction is Himnuta, a subsidiary of the Jewish National Fund, which has been trying to get the Sumarin family to leave since 1991. Himnuta claims the house where the Sumarins are living actually belongs to it.

The custodian general confiscated the house from its original owner under the Abandoned Property Law about two decades ago and transferred it to the Development Authority, a state agency. Not long afterward, in the early 1990s, the Development Authority made a deal with Himnuta under which Himnuta received Palestinian land and houses in Silwan in exchange for land near Wadi Ara that the JNF transferred to the state.

Shortly after obtaining these houses, Himnuta leased most of them to Elad, a group engaged in settling Jews in East Jerusalem that also runs the nearby City of David national park. Left-wing activists and Palestinian residents of the neighborhood believe the Sumarin house will also eventually be transferred to Elad, since it is located right at the entrance to the City of David.

Several of the surrounding houses are owned by Elad and have been populated with Jews, and the lawyers who represented Himnuta in the Sumarin case have also represented Elad in many similar cases.

There have been various legal proceedings over the Sumarin house, which produced verdicts both for and against the family. Finally, in 2005, Himnuta filed suit to evict the Sumarins.

The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court accepted the suit in January 2006, apparently due mainly to negligence by the family’s attorney, which never filed a defense brief. The court ordered the Sumarins to vacate the house and pay Himnuta NIS 1 million in compensation.

For several years thereafter, Himnuta took no further action. But about two months ago, it applied to the Bailiff’s Office and obtained an eviction order from this agency. The order requires the Sumarins to leave by November 28 or face forcible eviction. Meanwhile, the amount of compensation they owe Himnuta has grown to NIS 2 million.

On Sunday, agents from the Bailiff’s Office came to the house with a police escort to seek information from the family. “They asked how many rooms there are, where the back door is and who lives in the house,” said Ahmed Sumarin, 28.

Another family member said that one of visitors added, “In another two weeks, there will be a mezuzah here.”

“I don’t know what to do if they come with force,” said Ahmed Sumarin. “This is our home. My grandfather still lives here. Where will we go? If they take your home away, you can only go onto the street.”

On Tuesday, the family’s new attorney, Muhammad Dahleh, plans to file a request to annul the verdict. “This whole proceeding was mistaken,” he said. “Had a defense brief been filed, it would have been possible to do a lot.”

The Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity movement, which has been helping the family, said that Himnuta’s “eagerness to throw people out of their home in the service of the settlers is another expression of the current government’s thuggish rule. We’ll continue to suffer from the destructiveness of this racist policy until the public rises up against a government that sabotages our future.”

 

Source

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Killing Me Softly …..

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VIDEO ESSAY ~~ THE SHEIKH JARRAH CHRONICLES ~~ AN OCCUPATION WE DON’T SUPPORT

A Palestinian teenager whose family is forced to give up part of their home and live under the same roof as a family of settlers. He comes of
age in the face of unrelenting tension with his neighbors and unexpected cooperation with Israeli allies in his backyard.
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An American-born Israeli mother who to her own surprise becomes involved in the demonstrations after her children are arrested for protesting.
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A Palestinian community organizer from Sheikh Jarrah who spearheads the involvement of local women in the movement while facing the risk of losing her own home to the settlers.
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A former Israeli soldier from a religious background who only several years after his combat service in the West Bank finds himself taking on a leading role in the protests.
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Source

WE WERE SLAVES IN EGYPT … WE ROAMED THE DESERT FOR FORTY YEARS … NOW LET’S EAT!

Tomorrow night at sundown Jews throughout the world will celebrate the Festival of Succot.

A non Jewish visitor to Jerusalem this week might get the impression that the entire city stands in solidarity with the homeless people illegally evicted from their homes by settlers. Nothing could be further from the truth.
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Tents have appeared (actually booths) in preparation of the Festival.
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Family homes were STOLEN, many families have been living in makeshift tents for over two years…. and neither the Municipality of Jerusalem nor the Palestinian Authority gives a damn. As winter approaches, a new meaning is given to the term ‘settlement freeze’ as these homeless literally freeze in their abodes.
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This year’s festivities were threatened after Egypt announced it will not be exporting palm fronds to Israel, one of the Four Species mentioned in the Torah. BUT, in the true hypocrisy of the Jewish state, the government will be allowing the export of the fronds from the Gaza Strip, proving that the siege on Gaza is political rather than security related. Report on that HERE
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Israel OKs import of lulavim from Gaza

After Egypt bans export of palm fronds ahead of Sukkot, government quickly approves import from Strip. Left-wing groups, foreign officials say potential deal proves Gaza blockade is political rather than security-related

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Succot without the palm frond is like Christmas without the tree … perish the thought. But, thankfully the hypocrisy of zionism itself saved the day.

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Some rambling thoughts that I wrote about Succot a few years ago can be read in the following post … THE ROOTS OF PREJUDICE AND HOW TO COMBAT IT

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Now, LET’S EAT!

Happy Holiday!!

DAY 15,840 OF #OCCUPY PALESTINE (PLUS) /// PHOTOS AND VIDEO

 Day 23 of #Occupy Wall Street ….
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There is no comparison to the two occupations… one is for social change and civil liberties, the other is for destruction, murder and land grabbing… One is receiving world wide support daily, the other is condemned worldwide.
THAT’S THE DIFFERENCE …. see for yourself
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Just one recent example of the terrorism the Palestinians have to put up with…
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Brutal eviction of Palestinian family in Jaffa caught on tape

An Israeli-Arab family from Jaffa said Thursday they plan to file a lawsuit against the police, after officers used what appears to be excessive force to evict them from a south Tel Aviv house they were squatting in on Tuesday. In an amateur video taken at the scene, a group of YASSAM riot police can be seen wrestling with Sameer Kassem, 34, as he holds his four-year-old daughter in his hands: The video shows police kicking and punching Kassem while he lies on the ground, and one officer puts his sister, a Muslim woman wearing a veil, in a headlock and throws her to the ground. No social workers or female police are present at the scene, even though it constituted the eviction of a family with young children … Sameer said he and his family have been homeless since May when his mother, who used to help him with his expenses, died and he could no longer pay rent. He said that he, his wife, and their five children moved to the vacant house on Salameh Street about two weeks ago after someone set their tent at the Shtayim park on fire.
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While at Wall Street …. here are some of the faces in the crowd…. not a terrorist among them;
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 Some of the people photographed here have been in Zuccoti Park since the first week of the occupation, others are just visitors drawn to see the community that has been created in support of this movement.
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Photos originally posted AT

YOU THINK THE COPS AT WALL STREET ARE BRUTAL?

 That is the ‘norm’ in occupied Palestine…
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 Brutal eviction of Palestinian family in Jaffa caught on tape

An Israeli-Arab family from Jaffa said Thursday they plan to file a lawsuit against the police, after officers used what appears to be excessive force to evict them from a south Tel Aviv house they were squatting in on Tuesday. In an amateur video taken at the scene, a group of YASSAM riot police can be seen wrestling with Sameer Kassem, 34, as he holds his four-year-old daughter in his hands: The video shows police kicking and punching Kassem while he lies on the ground, and one officer puts his sister, a Muslim woman wearing a veil, in a headlock and throws her to the ground. No social workers or female police are present at the scene, even though it constituted the eviction of a family with young children … Sameer said he and his family have been homeless since May when his mother, who used to help him with his expenses, died and he could no longer pay rent. He said that he, his wife, and their five children moved to the vacant house on Salameh Street about two weeks ago after someone set their tent at the Shtayim park on fire.
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LET’S NOT FORGET THE OTHER OCCUPATION

 Wall Street is not alone. Neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem are also under occupation…
Here is just one of them;
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About the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of E. Jerusalem
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In the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, Israeli NGOs and state authorities have worked more than a decade to evict 550 Palestinian residents from their homes in order to build a Jewish settlement, rationalizing that prior to 1948 there was a Jewish neighborhood in the same location. Sheikh Jarrah brings the stories of local residents, themselves Palestinian refugees, the owner of the land and Israeli solidarity activists, who struggle against this eviction which is part of the ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem.
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Source

PALESTINIAN ACTIVISTS GEAR UP FOR INDEPENDENCE DEMOS

Applying to the United Nations for such recognition is not merely the Palestinian people’s right, it is the sole remaining constructive step for countering unending negotiation and the threat of increased violence. As Israelis who support the Palestinian struggle for independence, it is our duty to express our backing for the Palestinian initiative.
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(Art: Nidal El Khairy)
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Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity movement gears up for big Palestinian independence demonstration

Posted by Alex Kane
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Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem–As they do every Friday afternoon in occupied Jerusalem, the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity movement demonstrated July 8 against illegal Jewish-only settlements in Jerusalem that continue to displace Palestinians and diminish any remaining hope that a state of Palestine could have East Jerusalem as its capital.

What made this march slightly different, though, is that the hundreds of activists who marched in Jerusalem and chanted outside the homes of settlers who have evicted Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah were eagerly looking ahead to next Friday.  On July 15, the solidarity movement is calling for a large, joint Jewish-Arab demonstration in support of a Palestinian state and the current effort for United Nations recognition of that state.  Their call reads:

Today it is clear that genuine negotiation is not going to happen under the current government. Even if the Europeans and the Americans drag Bibi to another round of talks, there will be no outcome. For a long time now, negotiations have been nothing more than yet another means of perpetuating occupation. There is no choice for anyone advocating for an end Israeli control over the Palestinians other than supporting the only realistic way left to achieve this goal: recognition of an independent Palestinian state.

Applying to the United Nations for such recognition is not merely the Palestinian people’s right, it is the sole remaining constructive step for countering unending negotiation and the threat of increased violence. As Israelis who support the Palestinian struggle for independence, it is our duty to express our backing for the Palestinian initiative.

The leaders of the movement, in between Arabic chants of “From Sheikh Jarrah to Bil’in, free, free Palestine,” were busy inviting the demonstrators who showed up in the scorching heat to join them next Friday.  Both the Israeli and Palestinian activists involved with the Sheikh Jarrah protests hope it marks a significant display of support for a free and independent Palestine.  It’s part of many efforts across Palestine to prepare for September and what could happen next.

“We are looking towards September, and the possibility of a popular uprising around Palestine,” Daniel Argo, an Israeli leader in the movement, told me.

Similarly, Sara Benninga, a well-known Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity activist who spoke at this year’s J Street conference, said, “It’s an ongoing struggle.  We have our high points, and next week is definitely going to be a high point–a big march of many Palestinians and Israelis together…It is the choice of the Palestinian nonviolent struggle to go down this road, and we in solidarity with them are supporting their decision.”

The July 8 demonstration also came on the same day that international solidarity activists attempted to fly to Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv and declare their intention to visit the occupied West Bank.  Israel deployed a beefed-up security presence, while civilian Israelis beat up and spit on the activists.  The Israeli authorities also detained and deported many activists; some remain in Israeli prison currently.

“The fact that Israel is trying to deny access to peaceful activists coming to visit Palestine, to express solidarity, just shows how much Israel is threatened from the nonviolent, joint struggle.  It gives us more power to continue because we know this is our right, and eventually, we’re going to win,” said Benninga.

Written FOR

ISRAEL’S NEW PLAN TO UNITE JERUSALEM

Complete zionist control!
The weekly violence in al-Bustan can be attributed to the Israeli settlers who are gradually taking over more and more Palestinian homes in the area, and who are supported by the Israeli army, police force and the Jerusalem municipality itself.

Israeli bill to give settler group authority in Silwan

Palestinian children observe a protest of an archaeological convention organized by settlers in Silwan, September 2010.

A new Israeli parliamentary (Knesset) bill that would give direct control of national parks to private organizations is causing alarm amidst Jerusalem-area activists, who say that its underlying aim is to provide legitimacy to a right-wing Israeli group’s control of an archeological site in East Jerusalem.

“[It] is quite incredible that Knesset members would go ahead and privatize one of the most important public assets in order to save one settler group,” said Orly Noy, the spokesperson for Israeli nongovernmental organization Ir Amim, which monitors governmental policies and actions in Jerusalem. “But on the other hand, it also indicates that they do understand that what’s going on today is illegal,” she told The Electronic Intifada.

The situation in question involves Elad, a private, right-wing Israeli settlement organization that controls and manages the City of David National Park, an archeological site just outside Jerusalem’s Old City. The site sits at the foot of the Haram al-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary, the third holiest site in Islam, known to Jews as the Temple Mount.

Located at the entrance to the Wadi Hilweh neighborhood of the East Jerusalem village of Silwan, the City of David is said to represent the location of biblical Jerusalem, which was captured by King David more than 3,000 years ago.

According to the City of David website, Elad, also known as the Ir David Foundation, “is committed to continuing King David’s legacy as well as revealing and connecting people to Ancient Jerusalem’s glorious past through four key initiatives: archaeological excavation, tourism development, educational programming and residential revitalization.”

In July 2010, Ir Amim and various academics and civil servants submitted a petition to the Israeli high court against the Nature and Parks Authority, the Ministry of Nature Preservation, the Jerusalem municipality and the Elad organization, demanding that the City of David be removed from Elad’s control.

“The petition refers to an un-transparent agreement, a contract between the authorities for the Nature and Parks Authority and Elad which transferred all the management authorities in this national site into the hands of Elad,” Noy explained.

“We claim that this is not just highly inappropriate in light of Elad being an extreme right-wing organization, but according to our understanding, it is completely illegal. National parks should be managed by statutory bodies, meaning the [Israeli Nature and Parks Authority],” she added.

Led by Israeli Knesset member Israel Hasson, the new bill — which would give any private, nonprofit organization the right to manage national parks — was initially presented as an effort to help the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority manage the many national parks under its responsibility.

The Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz reported, however, that MK Hasson admitted that the bill was prompted by Ir Amim’s petition against Elad. “I don’t see why, because of some political agenda, an organization that knows how to do it can’t be allowed to continue running a national park,” Hasson said (“Despite jurists’ opposition, government to privatize national parks,” 21 March 2011).

According to Orly Noy, Elad’s control of the City of David is problematic because it “gives Elad an incredible basis to promote its political agenda in a very aggressive way in Silwan, which is the heart of Palestinian Jerusalem and a very sensitive and strategic place.”

“Elad also gets to decide who gets excavations, where do they dig and most importantly, how are the findings being presented and interpreted. This gives them the ability to establish the narrative of the place as an exclusive Jewish one, disregarding the amazing diversity of the site’s history,” she added.

Israeli settler take-over of Silwan

The City of David website states that Elad — an acronym for El Ir David, “To the City of David” in Hebrew — was founded in 1986 by David Be’eri, a former deputy commander of the Duvdevan Special Forces Unit, an Israeli army unit that conducts undercover operations in the occupied West Bank.

According to a May 2009 report released by Ir Amim titled “Shady Dealings in Silwan,” Elad’s first actions in Silwan were the takeover of Palestinian homes and the settlement of Jewish families therein.

This was accomplished both through an unwritten agreement between Be’eri himself, the Jewish National Fund and Hemanuta, a subsidiary of the Jewish National Fund, and through the use of Israel’s Absentee Property Law, the report states (“Shady Dealings in Silwan“ [PDF]).

The Absentee Property Law, passed in 1950, allows the Custodian of Absentee Property — an Israeli governmental body under the umbrella of the Ministry of Finance — to take possession of land formerly belonging to internally and externally-displaced Palestinian refugees who fled or were expelled during and after the establishment of the Israeli state in 1948.

It is estimated that as many as 800,000 Palestinians were forced to flee during this period. According to Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, “assessments by Israel, Palestinian institutions and UN agencies as to the extent of the properties taken pursuant to this [Absentee Property] law range from around 2 million dunams to 16 million dunams [a dunam is the equivalent of 1,000 square meters] of land” (“Adalah to Attorney General and Custodian of Absentee Property: Israel’s Sale of Palestinian Refugee Property Violates Israeli and International Law,” 22 June 2009).

The “Shady Dealings” report states that David Be’eri himself posed as a tour guide in the late 1980s in order to gain information about Palestinian homes in Silwan. In one such instance, dating back to September 1987, Be’eri and the Israeli Lands Administration exerted pressure on the Custodian of Absentee Property to declare the Abbasi house — a Palestinian home in the Wadi Hilweh neighborhood that comprised nine apartments and two warehouses — an absentee property.

“Members of Elad broke into the house in the middle of the night while the family was sleeping. The intruders suspended themselves by rope from a window in the roof, broke door locks, threw furniture into the courtyard and ascended on the roof, where they broke into song and dance and waved the Israeli flag in the light of the breaking day,” the report states.

While the Jerusalem District Court later found that the Abbasi home didn’t constitute absentee property after all, legal procedures are still ongoing and Elad-affiliated Israeli settlers continue to live in the house.

“Altogether, in this manner 68 properties in East Jerusalem were transferred to the hands of right-wing organizations, including 14 in Silwan that were transferred to Elad … All in all, the State and the Jewish National Fund gave Elad 36 dunams of the total area (about 116 dunams) of the City of David/Wadi Hilweh, or one quarter of the neighborhood’s land,” the report finds.

Today, it is estimated that approximately 400 Israeli settlers live amidst Silwan’s 40,000 Palestinian residents. The Wadi Hilweh Information Center has produced a map of the planned park superimposed on a birds-eye-view of the village.

Settlement impact in Silwan palpable

One Friday in late April, nearly 200 Silwan residents gathered for midday prayer at a protest tent in the village’s al-Bustan neighborhood. Only a few minutes after the prayer ended, a familiar scene unfolded: young Palestinian men clashed with Israeli police who, in full riot gear, shot sound grenades, rubber bullets and tear gas into the densely-populated area.

The clashes lasted for almost five hours.

“They [have] arrested us and arrested our children. They pushed us into the corner,” explained Fakhri Abu Diab, head of the al-Bustan Popular Committee, moments before the clashes began on 29 April. “We’re suffering psychological things, social things. Now we have no choice,” he told this reporter.

The weekly violence in al-Bustan, Abu Diab said, can be attributed to the Israeli settlers who are gradually taking over more and more Palestinian homes in the area, and who are supported by the Israeli army, police force and the Jerusalem municipality itself.

“[The Elad organization takes] homes and they have a religious agenda and they do not want us. We have no communications between us and between them but they have support from the Israeli government, the Jerusalem municipality,” Abu Diab said.

In 2004, the Jerusalem municipality unveiled its plan to build a new national park on land in the al-Bustan neighborhood. This park — which is said to represent King David’s ancient gardens — would necessitate the eventual demolition of 88 Palestinian homes and the forced eviction of nearly 1,000 residents.

“Because King Solomon traveled here 3 or 4,000 years ago, they want to turn this area into national gardens. We’re not against King Solomon or King David or whoever, but we said, ‘Who’s more important? The humans, the people, or the gardens?’” Abu Diab said.

“If the municipality of Jerusalem wants to make gardens, they can do it in an open area. But we know that they have a political agenda and they want to make settlements around the Old City and push us outside of this area,” he added.

According to Israeli archaeologist Yonathan Mizrahi, the Israeli Antiquities Authority has to date never conclusively stated that the King’s Garden is even located in the al-Bustan neighborhood.

“The Israeli Antiquities Authority is not saying that this is the place where the King’s Garden used to be. Definitely we’re not expecting to find a major archaeological find in this valley of al-Bustan,” Mizrahi, who is a member of Emek Shavek, a group of archaeologists and activists that examines how archaeology is being used in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“The story of the past is not one story. If you understand that this past belongs to everybody — to the Palestinians, to the Israelis and maybe to the international community — you can understand that you cannot come to a community and say that you want to demolish part of [the] neighborhood because of the past,” Mizrahi told The Electronic Intifada.

Mizrahi explained, however, that by controlling the past, right-wing Israeli organizations like Elad are providing legitimacy to Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem and distorting the layered history of the area.

“[They are] coming and saying, ‘we are controlling the past [and] we have [legitimacy] to the present because of this past. Also the past shows that the Palestinians, they are irrelevant to this place and actually the Palestinians are the ones that behave like settlers because they have no roots here. The roots are ours.’ That’s how it’s been represented,” Mizrahi said.

“By having this power, it definitely can give you lots of options [for] how to increase your hold on the land. According to my understanding, the power of the past is a major tool in this conflict. And unfortunately, so far it’s in the hands of the right-wing in Israel and it’s a very important tool for them.”

Israeli-controlled ring around the Old City

According to the “Shady Dealings in Silwan” report, Israeli control of important archaeological sites in East Jerusalem doesn’t end at the City of David National Park.

Instead, a plan to build and connect nine parks “around the Old City, from the slopes of Mount Scopus in the north through the Mount of Olives, King’s Valley (the al-Bustan neighborhood) in Silwan to the Valley of Hinnom in the South,” is underway.

“In many cases, it aims to prevent Palestinian growth,” Ir Amim’s Orly Noy explained. “In East Jerusalem, nothing that the Israeli government or the Israeli authorities do can be seen as apolitical. Everything has political goals to deepen the Israeli grasp [on] East Jerusalem.”

According to Fakhri Abu Diab, who was born in the al-Bustan neighborhood in 1962 and has lived there ever since, the impact of Israeli settlement activity in Silwan is devastating and will likely only get worse, before it gets better.

“We don’t know if they’re coming to demolish homes. It’s very, very difficult, but we will never leave,” he said.

“My children, I couldn’t persuade them to live with the other side with peace,” he added. “My children said, ‘How can we live with the other side, the Israelis, in peace if they want to demolish my life, my future, my home?’”

Source

THE ONGOING NAKBA ~~ SEE IT LIVE ON VIDEO

It is now forbidden by Israeli law to teach about the Nakba in schools or hold public events commemorating the horrors of 1948…..
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BUT THIS IS LEGAL…
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Zionist backpack squatters evict Palestinian granny from her home and force her to sleep rough

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Just imagine if this was YOUR grandmother.
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Video found AT

THEY WANT TO DRIVE US TO THE SEA

The settlers have been able to expand their hold in the neighborhood because prior to 1948 there was a Jewish neighborhood in Sheikh Jarrah. The court recognized the right of Jews who inherited properties to reclaim their properties. Since then, the settlers are working hard to convince the owners of the properties to sell them the rights so that they could evict the Palestinians and populate the area with Jewish families.

We often hear the zionists cry out that ‘the Arabs want to drive the Jews to the sea’…. but the reality remains that the zionists themselves are doing exactly that to the Arabs. One by one, family by family, Palestinian families are being driven from THEIR homes in Occupied East Jerusalem to make way for illegal Jewish settlers.


These Palestinians are also crying out about their plight….. but no one seems to hear them, no one is listening. In this case, the problem is real, not a ploy to get billion$ from the West to protect what isn’t theirs. In this case, the homes in question belong to the families in question. This is the Nakba continued…..

Jerusalem council set to approve Jewish housing in Arab neighborhood

Several Palestinian families in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah will be evicted to pave way for two new buildings meant to comprise 13 apartments.

The Jerusalem Municipal Committee for Planning and Building is expected to approve Monday the construction of two buildings that will include 13 apartments for Jewish residents in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem.

Backing the plan are settler organizations who currently occupy three homes in the neighborhood. Following the plan’s approval, it will be necessary to evict a number of Palestinian families living on the site in order for construction to commence.

Settlers evict Palestinians from their home in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem, December 1, 2009  

Settlers evict Palestinians from their home in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem, December 1, 2009.

Photo by: AP

The planning committee is also expected to approve a new access road south of Har Homa, which will enable the expansion of the neighborhood.

According to the plan to be brought today for approval, two buildings will be razed in the western part of the neighborhood where, until now, nearly no Jews live. In its place, two new buildings will be built. One will have 10 apartments and the other, three.

In both cases Chaim Silverstein, a well known figure in right-wing circles in Jerusalem, is proposing the plans to the municipality. The companies behind the project are registered in the United States, and are probably front companies set up by right-wing activists in order to transfer funds for the purchase of real estate in Israel.

Silverstein has power of attorney rights in both companies, Debril and Velpin.

For the past 18 months there has been a struggle between Arabs and Jews over the activities of settlers in Sheikh Jarrah and against efforts to evict Palestinian families from the neighborhood.

The settlers have been able to expand their hold in the neighborhood because prior to 1948 there was a Jewish neighborhood in Sheikh Jarrah. The court recognized the right of Jews who inherited properties to reclaim their properties. Since then, the settlers are working hard to convince the owners of the properties to sell them the rights so that they could evict the Palestinians and populate the area with Jewish families.

A Supreme Court ruling in 2001 included the possibility of applying for Jewish property rights in the western portion of the neighborhood, and right-wing activists announced that they intended to expand their activities in the area over that portion of Sheikh Jarrah.

“Continuing Jewish settlement in Sheikh Jarrah will seriously harm relations with the Palestinians and will break all agreements that Jewish neighborhoods will remain under Israeli sovereignty and Arab neighborhoods will be under Palestinian sovereignty,” says Yosef Alalu, a Meretz city councillor.

Source

CHANUKAH IN EAST JERUSALEM; DOGS, BULLDOZERS AND TEAR-GAS

It seems that the only difference between the nazis and the zionists is the colour of the film used…

Then…
Nazi dogs attacking a Jewish man!

Now…
Israeli Army’s dog attacking a Palestinian woman!

Are Israelis learning from history….. or NOT

Israelis Unleash Dogs on Palestinians!

Israeli forces have unleashed their dogs on the Palestinians decrying the oppressive policies Jerusalem implements on the occupied Palestinian territories. 

The forces used the “savage” animals, sound bombs and tear gas to suppress the protest which erupted before the Israeli troops razed two residences in the Arab neighborhood of Issawiya to the ground, the Palestine News Network (PNN) reported Tuesday. One of the protesters sustained injury from a dog attack and four other Palestinians were tear-gassed by Israeli forces, AFP reported.

Israeli military also flattened one building elsewhere in East al-Quds (Jerusalem), PNN said, adding that home owners destroyed one residence in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood to avoid the demolition fee imposed by Israeli authorities.

Israel claimed its existence in 1948 during full-scale military operations against the Arab world, forcing 711,000 Palestinians to leave their homeland.

 

In 1967, Tel Aviv went on to occupy and later annex the West Bank and East al-Quds, the promised capital of the future Palestinian state, in defiance of the international community’s refusal to recognize the annexation. Estimates in 2008 put the number of the refugees at over 4.6 million. 

The network cited an al-Quds-based think tank as saying that 3,655 Palestinians, including 807 women and 1699 children, would be forced out of East al-Quds in the next year as a result of the demolitions.

 

AMERICA’S 3 BILLION DOLLAR UNWINNABLE BET

The outside observer might be under the impression that it is the Palestinians, not the Israelis that have been preventing the establishment of a long lasting, just Peace in the region.

The New York Times has joined those confusing facts with fiction by publishing the following today;  JERUSALEM — The pledge by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to push for a new, one-time-only freeze of 90 days on settlement construction in the West Bank represents a bet by the Israelis and the Americans that enough can be accomplished so that the Palestinians will not abandon peace talks even after the freeze ends. Read the entire article HERE.
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The Israeli government has maintained since day one that Jerusalem is the ‘eternal capital’ of Israel. The Americans (Canadians as well) have silently refuted that by not building their embassies there, but rather in Tel Aviv, supposedly not to insult the Palestinians. But their attempts at that are transparent as they moved their consulate from East Jerusalem to a ‘safer’ part of town in the Jewish section of the city. The new consulate opened early last month.

Following are reports that clearly show the reality of the situation at hand, it’s not just the settlements in the Occupied West Bank that are the problem, it’s the very status of Jerusalem itself…. and it’s definitely not the Palestinians that are preventing that Peace from becoming a reality. Promises of war planes and settlement freeze promises that we know will not be kept will not stop the ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem.

This week in Silwan: clashes, raids, arrests, and demolition orders

Israel Continues Assault on East Jerusalem’s Issawiya

Israel steps-up pressure on Issawiya village with blockades



Lest we forget the ongoing struggle in Sheikh Jarrah…

Sheikh Jarrah: one year of protests:

On November 12, approximately 400 Palestinian, Israeli and international activists marked one year of Friday afternoon protests in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. Demonstrators were met by Israeli soldiers and police, and a group of Israeli settlers that have taken over homes in the neighborhood.


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Following is a report that shows the ‘solution’ offered by the American government;

US government offers Israel $3 billion weapons deal in exchange for 3-month settlement freeze

by Saed Bannoura

After US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with the Israeli Prime Minister on Friday, the US set out an offer of additional military assistance to Israel in exchange for a 90-day moratorium on new settlement construction in the West Bank. Construction already in progress on hundreds of units of housing would be allowed to continue during the ‘moratorium’, which also does not include East Jerusalem.

Israeli settlement of Ofra (photo by bigpeace)

Israeli settlement of Ofra (photo by bigpeace)

Some Palestinian analysts say the US offer is weak, as it does not pressure Israel in any way to adhere to past signed agreements or international law, but merely forestalls the inevitable failure of ‘peace talks’ between two vastly unequal players. Some have even suggested that this is an attempt by the US to bribe Israel to do what it is required to do under international law.

Since the ‘moratorium’ would not include East Jerusalem, where the majority of current construction of Israeli-only homes and displacement of indigenous Palestinian residents is taking place, some Palestinians feel that it is only a token gesture that does not in any way address their concerns.

In exchange for the temporary, partial moratorium on construction, the Israeli military would receive a gift of 20 F35 fighter jets, worth $3 billion, from the US. The US-made jets that Israel already has have been used for aerial bombardment of Palestinian civilian areas in violation of international law, and to drop missiles on Palestinians that Israel claims are ‘wanted’ for crimes against Israelis – but instead of being tried and convicted, they are extrajudicially assassinated by missiles, in violation of international law.

The US government also promised Israel that after the 90-day moratorium, they would not seek an extension, and settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem (all of which is illegal under international law) could continue unabated.

This offer is an attempt by the US to get Israel to return to the negotiating table, after their refusal to renew a moratorium on new settlement construction resulted in a breakdown of talks with the unelected branch of the Palestinian Authority led by the Fateh party.

All settlement construction by Israel in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a signatory. The Convention prevents the transfer of civilian populations onto land that was seized by military force. The land in question is Palestinian land that was seized by Israel in 1967, and has been occupied by the Israeli military ever since.

(Source of report)


It’s times like this that I wish I had the resources and know-how to produce a YouTube video (which I am sure would be removed within minutes) in the style of ‘We Con The World’…. showing how the entire world is being conned by the Israeli and US governments…. at the expense ($3,000,000,000) of the US taxpayer.

DIRECT DEMOLITION TALKS

Even as the Direct ‘Peace Talks’ were taking place in Washington last month between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority, demolition talks were taking place in the backrooms of the Jerusalem municipality. Following are the results…..

Israel Hands 231 Orders Targeting Arab Homes In Jerusalem

by Saed Bannoura

Local sources in Jerusalem reported Monday that the Israeli Authorities handed 231 demolition orders on Monday targeting Arab and Palestinian homes in several neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem.

Jerusalem Protest - Palestine-Info
Jerusalem Protest – Palestine-Info

The orders target homes in Shu’fat, Silwan, Al Bustan, Beit Hanina, Al Esawiyya, Wadi Al Dam, and the Al Ras area in Wadi Al Joz, and other neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem.


Several Palestinians were wounded on Sunday during clashes that took place while the Israeli police was handing orders for the demolition of Palestinian homes in Silwan and Al Bustan neighborhoods, south of the Al Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem.

Undercover forces of the Israeli army also invaded East Jerusalem and clashed with local residents.

Also on Monday, hundreds of residents protested near Bab Al Amoud in East Jerusalem, and expressed their rejection to the Israeli polices against the Palestinians, their homes and the holy sites in the city.

They also carried pictures of elected Hamas legislators in Jerusalem, who have been protesting at the Red Cross in Jerusalem since last July, after an Israeli court decided to revoke their identity cards and ordered their expulsion from the city.

Source via Uruknet

ISRAELI SUPREME COURT GIVES GO AHEAD TO EVICT MORE PALESTINIAN FAMILIES

To date the struggle had focused on the eastern part of the neighborhood. Three families have thus far been evicted from the area and 25 more are under threat of eviction.

One of the Palestinian families that could be evicted from their

homes as a result of a September 26 court ruling.

Photo by: Michal Fatta

Dozens of Arab families may be evicted from East Jerusalem neighborhood under court ruling

Judges reject appeal by Palestinians claiming to own a large plot in the western portion of Sheikh Jarrah, enabling settlers to move ahead with plans to build in the area.

A Supreme Court ruling Sunday may allow settler groups to move into dozens more homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

Justices Yoram Danziger, Esther Hayut and Miriam Naor unanimously rejected an appeal by Palestinians claiming to own a large plot in the western portion of the neighborhood. The court ruled that the custodian general, and other owners, including settler representatives, succeeded in proving they owned the property.

The decision means the properties’ owners will be able to initiate proceedings for the eviction of dozens of Palestinian families living on the property.

Moreover, the settlers will be able to move ahead with plans to build in the area.

Aryeh King, one of the leaders of the settlement movement in East Jerusalem said yesterday that in two days three Palestinian families whose leases are ending are expected to be evicted from their homes. The plan is for Jewish families to move in.

King also said that he is advancing a project to build dozens of housing units for Jews in the neighborhood.

Sheikh Jarrah has been a bone of contention between Jewish groups – who call the neighborhood Shimon Hatzadik after the ancient rabbi they believe is buried there – and Palestinians living there. Tensions have risen over the last year as the court has allowed Jewish groups to reclaim homes they said they were forced to leave after 1948, thereby allowing them to evict Palestinian families in favor of Jewish ones.

To date the struggle had focused on the eastern part of the neighborhood. Three families have thus far been evicted from the area and 25 more are under threat of eviction.

Settlers ready to claim plots

However a settler group had made preparations to claim plots in the western segment.

Following the Six-Day War, the custodian general took over the homes and the properties in the area. Over the years the custodian general restored some of the properties to the legal Jewish owners. Other properties were bought by groups that identify themselves with the settlers – either directly by the custodian general or by the inheritors.

Among those owning property in the neighborhood is American businessman Irwin Moskowitz, who is considered an important patron of settlement activity.

Yithzak Memo, another right-wing activist involved in settlement in the western portion of the neighborhood, also bought property in the area.

King says that right-wing groups own about half the homes in the neighborhood.

In 1997 Palestinians sued, arguing that the property on which Jews settled in the 19th century had not been sold to them but leased and that the ownership remained Palestinian. In 2006 the Jerusalem District Court rejected the suit and they appealed to the Supreme Court.

Sunday the Supreme Court rejected their appeal and ruled that Jews are the owners of the homes. The ruling, written by Danziger, states that the Palestinians failed to prove the terms of the lease between the original owners and the Jews who lived in the neighborhood.

Evidence that payments for the lease were made were rejected by the court as constituting evidence that the Jews did not buy the property.

The legal significance of the ruling is that the status of the Palestinians living in the eastern portion of the neighborhood is now the same as that of those living in the western side – subletting Jewish owned property.

Sources familiar with the issue say that henceforth it will be easier for settler groups to evict Palestinians from the area.

Source

JERUSALEM HAS BECOME A CITY OF TENTS

A non Jewish visitor to Jerusalem this week might get the impression that the entire city stands in solidarity with the homeless people of Shiekh Jarrah. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Tents have appeared (actually booths) in preparation of the Festival of Succot that starts this evening at sundown.

Unfortunately, the plight of the Shiekh Jarrah residents  no longer is a news item, except for the weekly demonstrations that take place there.

Family homes were STOLEN, they have been living in tents for over a year …. and neither the Municipality of Jerusalem nor the Palestinian Authority gives a damn. As winter approaches, a new meaning is given to the term ‘settlement freeze’ as these homeless literally freeze in their abodes.


Here you can see a report of what has been going on with the Shiekh Jarrah struggle…. and what you can do to support these innocent victims of ethnic cleansing. If you are one of those visitors I mentioned above, take a sidetrip to the Municipal Offices in the centre of town and register your disgust at this situation in this city. You are also invited to join in at the demonstration mentioned below….

What is in a name? ‘Solidarity’ and the joint struggle in Israel/Palestine

by Joseph Dana

From the standpoint of joint Palestinian-Israeli struggle, this Friday’s ‘solidarity Shiekh Jarrah’ gathering in Tel Aviv raises important questions about the direction of the Shiekh Jarrah movement and especially the use of the term ‘solidarity’. The movement is moving to the center of Israeli political protest and away from the joint character of the struggle which has typified it for the past year. In what way is “solidarity” achieved by moving what is labeled as a ‘joint Palestinian-Israeli struggle’ to Tel Aviv, the most ethnically pure Jewish places in the country? Why is the protest not moved to Nablus, Beit Umar, Iraq Burin, Nil’in or even Jaffa? In West Bank villages, Israelis can come and show ‘solidarity’ while in Tel Aviv, travel for Palestinians is something of a problem to say the least. Having a protest in Tel Aviv is not in itself a bad development. The problematic here is the term ‘solidarity’ when the protest is not moved Palestinian villages and only to Israeli cities. In our conflict, solidarity must be expressed in the places of occupation by invitation of those which are occupied.
Flyer for the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Protest in Tel Aviv Flyer for the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity gathering in Tel Aviv

The Shiekh Jarrah movement has become an Israeli demonstration which is using the term ‘solidarity’ for its own purposes of rallying new Israeli recruits. Again, this is not a bad development per se despite the obvious perversion of having an Israeli protest in the heart of occupied Palestinian land. Because of this perverse location, I think that Israelis are willing to show up in larger numbers complete with their own notions of cultural relativity. The psychological barriers that exist regarding entrance to the West Bank as a civilian are deep in the Israeli mind despite their relatively short period of gestation (even in the 1990’s Israelis were traveling in great numbers to the West Bank to hike and buy food, etc.). Thus, the effect of having a protest in Palestinian territory and even having some Palestinians involved provided a necessary spark to ignite something which could have been truly revolutionary in Israeli-Palestinian joint struggle. However, the desire to attract more Israelis has ultimately destroyed the joint Palestinian-Israeli element of movement. Protesting in Tel Aviv is the most profound manifestions of this sad development because of its isolation from Palestine and Palestinians.

The embrace for a two state solution by some aspects in the Sheikh Jarrah movement also raises a problematic linguistic questions about the use of the term ‘solidarity’. By definition, the two state solution seeks a split between Israel and Palestine. It is the ultimate realization of the Zionist dream to have a state of only Jews. It is hard to see notions of solidarity in what is a clearly racist platform for a creation of an ethnically pure state. Officially, the Sheikh Jarrah movement has not supported a two state solution but the common chants of “Shiekh Jarrah is Palestine” leave little doubt as to the platform of the movement.

Israelis have the unique position (read privilege) to support the popular non-violent struggle of Palestinians in the West Bank against the occupation, settlements and separation wall. Palestinians have extended an open hand to Israelis to join their struggle which takes place only one hour from Tel Aviv. Many Israelis have answered this call but it has only been a drop in the sea compared with the number of people that harbour ‘left’ opinions in Israel about the occupation and prospects for co-existence through grassroots work. Shiekh Jarrah had the opportunity to energize these people with ‘left’ opinions and lead them in the direction of genuine solidarity with Palestinians struggling against the crippling occupation. Yet, the movement has made the decision to focus energy on exhibiting ‘solidarity’ in places where Palestinians by and large can’t enter. It comes down to one’s definition of solidarity.

Source

COMMEMORATING ONE YEAR OF THE SHEIKH JARRAH STRUGGLE

Marking a year to the evacuation of Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah, on August 6th the solidarity movement held a dozen events all over the country, a march of almost 1000 people in Tel Aviv and a huge vigil in Sheikh Jarrah.

Sheikh Jarrah Turns One while Dozens are Attacked with Tear Gas in Bil’in

By Joseph Dana

Another week of demonstrations across the West Bank with one very important milestone. It has been exactly one year since the stuggle in Sheikh Jarrah began with the forcible eviction of Palestinians from their homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood. To mark the day, protests in the name of solidarity were held in eight locations throughout Israel including a 700-person strong demonstration in Tel Aviv. At four in the afternoon, the protests culminated in a peaceful demostration in Sheikh Jarrah. It is unclear where this struggle will lead in the coming year but what is clear that Shiekh Jarrah has opened a new space of protest for the Israeli left. Despite my personal feeling that the Sheikh Jarrah protest is increasingly becoming a place for the Zionist left in Israel to continue its program of double speak, I tip my hat to the truly courageous activists who have poured their heart and soul into the grassroots movement in Sheikh Jarrah. These people inspire me and I believe that they will be able to keep at bay sinister elements which are trying to hijack the protest movement in Jerusalem in the name of Zionism.

While Sheikh Jarrah was celebrating its first year, dozens were met with tear gas in Bi’ilin. According to the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee press release:


Dozens of demonstrators marched against the wall and in solidarity with Jerusalem and Sheikh Jarrah, and were attacked by soldiers with rubber-coated bullets, tear-gas and concussion grenades. Three were injured. Dozens of demonstrators marched against the wall and in solidarity with Jerusalem and Sheikh Jarrah, on the two-year anniversary to the state-sponsored eviction of two Palestinian families from their homes by Jewish settlers. The protesters, Palestinians, Israelis and internationals as one, marched through the village’s streets on their way to the wall, carrying flags and pictures of the prisoners of the popular struggle, chanting slogans of national unity and against the occupation and specifically the attack on Jerusalem. As they arrived to the gate in the wall, demonstrators found soldiers in large forces positioned both behind concrete barricades, seemingly ready for battle, and right behind the gate, which they have shut closed with razor-wire. Three people were lightly injured as a result of the army’s attack – two in the arm from tear-gas projectiles and one in the head from a baton blow.

Similar demonstrations were held in Ma’asara on Friday:

Roughly sixty people marked Hiroshima Day in the weekly demonstration in alMa’asara today, but were prevented from reaching their lands, which were declared a closed military zone. This week’s march was joined by many solidarity activists from around the world, including delegations from France and Canada. As the march descended from the village into the road leading to the path of the Wall, protesters were met by a small group of soldiers who presented them with a closed military zone order and tried to stop the procession. The demonstrators ignored the soldiers and continued walk, overwhelming them with their numbers, but were soon after met by a much larger contingent of soldiers and armored military jeeps. As they could advance no more, protesters sat on the ground, making speeches, chanting and singing. The demonstration then dispersed with no incident.


The question remains in my head; where we will be a year from now? Will there be a ‘new’ Shiekh Jarrah? Will Shiekh Jarrah grow into a center-left Zionist animal? Will the spirit of solidarity grew between Israelis and Palestinians and spread throughout this region? Who knows but we should count the last year of protest in Sheikh Jarrah and its growth as a success.

Source

NAZIS HUMILIATE POLISH JEWS, CONFISCATE PROPERTY

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The above were taken in nazi occupied Poland during the holocaust….. (IN 1938)


The following is in zionist occupied Jerusalem during the holocaust….. (TODAY)

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Police, settlers take over Jerusalem home

Jerusalem –  Israeli settlers accompanied by police took over a building in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem early Thursday morning, evicting families from three of the building’s apartments.

Israeli National Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said two Jewish families entered the Old City home “based on documents claiming that they owned the property.” He described the eviction as proceeding without incident.

After the families entered the homes, police requested the documents upon which the eviction was carried out, and according to Rosenfeld they were being “examined by police to determine whether they are accurate or not.”

If the police deem the documents to be valid, he explained, they would be transferred to Israeli courts.

Fatah official for Jerusalem Affairs Hatem Abdel Qader told Ma’an Radio on Thursday afternoon the the documents presented to police were fake. He said that the families who entered the homes were part of a Jewish group that lost a lawsuit in 1996, wherein they sought to take over the same home but failed to sufficiently prove ownership.

Palestinian defendants proved to an Israseli court that the home was owned by Kamal Handal and rented by Qarsh family, Abdel Qader said.

“This armed burglary is considered an attack on a Palestinian home and will not pass silently,” he official added.

Evicted family members gathered at the home on Thursday afternoon, and were shortly thereafter joined by ten or more settlers, all hoping to gain access to the home. Israeli police stationed outside the building prevented both residents and settlers from entering, witnesses said.

The home, two stories with 11 small family apartments, is owned by the families of Suleiman Handal, rented by Kamal Qarsh and located in the As-Sa’dieh neighborhood near the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Three of the apartments housed families, totaling 50 residents. It was not immediately clear how many were taken out of the home. According to Fatah Revolutionary Council Member Demitri Delani, many of the women and children refused to be evicted and remained in their homes with barricaded doors.

By noon, Rosenfeld said he believed there were no Palestinians in the home.

Delani said the settlers now occupy five homes, and he fears the building could be taken over as a settler Yeshiva explaining that the building was a school before 1967, after which it was converted into apartments.


Source

FEELING THE LOVE IN JERUSALEM

Image Copyleft by Carlos Latuff

Remember the video ‘Feeling the Hate in Jerusalem’? It was banned by YouTube for portaying too true a picture of zionism….. but you can still see it HERE.

Thankfully, what is shown there is not the norm, nor does it represent a true picture of Israelis, in fact, most in that clip were imports from the ‘Good Ole USA’.

Below you can see another side of Israeli society, ones that cares about it’s fellow citizens, ones that care about Palestinians and ones that have been fighting for Justice in East Jerusalem for over a year now……

PALESTINIAN DESTRUCTION

Israeli police and border police officers prevent a Palestinian woman from entering the house of her relatives that is about to be demolished in East Jerusalem

Destroying the Palestinian state

Israeli settlement expansion continues to make a mockery of efforts to reach a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, writes Khalid Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem


While the rest of the world talks about a peace process, and while President Barack Obama raises false hopes of a resolution to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, Israel is working frantically to create irreversible facts in occupied East Jerusalem as well as across the West Bank.

These facts, which take the form of tens of thousands of Jewish settler units built all over the occupied city and beyond, are changing the demographic features and overall panorama of East Jerusalem in particular.

Jerusalem is not just another town. It is extremely sacred to more than 1.5 billion Muslims around the world, being home to some of Islam’s holiest shrines. Hence, progressive Judaicisation of the town by Israel is likely to drastically complicate any future effort to find a peaceful settlement to the conflict.

One Palestinian intellectual related to the situation in Jerusalem by saying that “it is now open-ended conflict similar to the Muslim quest to rid the city of the Franks in the 11th and 12th centuries.” “This strife might take several decades, even a century or more, but it must end with the dismantling or destruction of something called Israel,” said one resident of Hebron in the southern West Bank.

In a far-reaching interview with Al-Ahram Weekly, cartographer and demographics expert Khalil Tufakji argued convincingly that the situation in East Jerusalem has already reached the point of no return. “If someone tells you that it is still possible to have a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, don’t believe him. This is more of a fantasy than a realistic vision. It is a mantra that is near totally detached from reality.”

Tufakji explained that Israel had already confiscated 87 per cent of East Jerusalem, leaving only the built-up area, which doesn’t exceed 13 per cent of the city seized in Israel in 1967. “Even this small area is the subject of unrelenting daily harassment by Israel for the purpose of forcing us to abandon our property for Jewish settler interests.”

Tufakji pointed out that Israel has adopted two plans aimed finalising the process of making Jerusalem Israel’s eternal and undivided capital. The first plan is called Jerusalem 2020, and envisages the construction of more than 58,000 settler units within the confines of East Jerusalem by the year 2020. The second plan is known as Jerusalem 30/A and envisages a growth in Jewish population by tens of thousands for the purpose of making Palestinians a small and shrinking minority in their own city.

“They plan to make Jerusalem a favoured city, a city that would attract Jews from everywhere. And in order to implement this vision, they are offering a lot of inducements, including hefty tax reductions, easy housing conditions, mortgage allowances as well as enhanced infrastructure and attractive employment opportunities.”

Tufakji said Israel was also planning to expand the borders of the city in all directions to the point where the Arab population wouldn’t exceed 12 per cent, whereas the Jewish population would reach an unprecedented 88 per cent. The realisation of this daring plan will take the form of a campaign of ethnic cleansing of Arab demography in Jerusalem.

“Their tactic is designed to confine as much as possible Arab inhabitants into the smallest amount of land. In addition, they will dramatically step up demolitions of Arab homes and withdraw residency rights from as many East Jerusalemites as possible in order to empty the city of its Arab residents and consequently obliterate its Arab-Muslim identity.”

Israel has already withdrawn residency rights from as many as 70,000 Arab residents, citing a host of concocted pretexts and justifications, such as travelling abroad or involvement in vague security violations. Since 1994, Israel has demolished nearly 1000 large buildings in East Jerusalem.

Tufakji pointed out that unmitigated Israeli pressure, coupled with Israeli policy of narrowing Arab horizons, has caused the size of the Arab population within the walled town to dwindle to 175,000 while the Jewish population skyrocketed to 200,000 plus. The Weekly asked Tufakji if he thought that the Palestinian Authority was playing on borrowed time as far as saving Jerusalem was concerned.

“Unfortunately, it is too late for Jerusalem for the time being. Others might say the same thing with regards to the West Bank as well. In the final analysis, we are talking about objective facts on the ground. To simplify things for your readers, I can say that Israel has killed the possibility of a true Palestinian state. And if anyone tells you that Jerusalem will become the capital of a prospective Palestinian state, don’t believe him.”

Tufakji added that Israel, under the rubric of disingenuous peace talks with a weak and demoralised Palestinian leadership, was changing the face of the occupied Palestinian territories so much that any Palestinian entity that might be established would be “severely deformed” and “looking very, very ugly.” “True, I am not a politician, but one doesn’t have to be a great politician to see the facts and the scandalous situation here.”

This week, Israeli sources reported that US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed that Israel would be able to keep up settlement expansion but without making public announcements to that effect. On 12 July, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the Jerusalem Municipal Planning Committee approved construction of 32 new settler units in East Jerusalem. The paper quoted a member of the committee as saying that “we will continue to build everywhere and in every neighbourhood in Jerusalem.”

Netanyahu, who has just wrapped up a “successful visit to Washington,” has assured pro-settler coalition partners that he won’t extend the half-hearted moratorium on settlement expansion construction due to expire on 27 September. The Israeli media quoted Netanyahu as saying that “a promise is a promise, a date is a date and a goal is a goal.”

Meanwhile, the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah continues to dither on whether to rejoin direct talks with Israel as insisted upon by Netanyahu and demanded by Obama. With peace talks having gone on for years with no result, one must wonder what now can convince the Palestinians to give negotiations one more chance.

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