ON VIDEO ~~ ISRAELI ATTEMPT TO JUSTIFY ITS RACISM

WHEN RACISM IS THE NORM

A new video portrays a ‘nightmare scenario’ in which Jerusalem residents elect a Palestinian mayor.

Israeli peaceniks release racist video to ‘save Jerusalem’

By Mairav Zonszein

One would think a group that calls itself “Save Jewish Jerusalem” would hail from the right side of the political spectrum. But when it comes to maintaining Israel’s demographic dominance, it seems there isn’t much of a difference between the Right and Left.

The initiative, which seeks to maintain control over Jerusalem through further disenfranchising its Palestinian residents, released a racist videoon Wednesday, portraying a scenario set in 2020 in which an Arab is elected mayor of the city, after its Palestinian residents (nearly 40 percent of the population) decide to vote in municipal elections. Despite having the right to vote, Palestinians have largely boycotted Jerusalem’s municipal elections for the last 50 years in protest of Israel’s occupation and annexation of East Jerusalem.

In the video, which its creators fashioned as a horror-thriller, revolves around a Palestinian political leader trying to convince a group of militants that the only way to get Jerusalem back is to do exactly what Netanyahu warned about on election day last March: go to the polling stations “in droves.”

After years of trying to kill Israeli Jews in a variety of ways, the leader tells the militants that it is time to “beat them using their own weapon: democracy,” and convinces them that every Palestinian resident in the city should take advantage of their right to vote in municipal elections, since they are the majority. (The video assumes that by 2020, Palestinians will constitute over 50 percent of Jerusalem’s population).

The video then shows a Palestinian man armed with explosives and guns walking to a polling station. When he arrives he puts down all of his weapons down and instead wields his new weapon — a blue ID card. The video then flashes to two months later, when the leader of the group has become Jerusalem’s new mayor. The leader is congratulated over the phone with an “Allahu Akbar” and “the Temple Mount is in our hands,” a direct reference to a similar quote by Lt. Gen. Mordechai “Motta” Gur, whose IDF division captured the Old City of Jerusalem in the 1967 War. A large picture of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem is seen behind the new mayor’s desk, straddled by photographs of Netanyahu and Rabin.

The video is offensive and blatantly racist, portraying all Palestinians from East Jerusalem as violent and solely interested in wiping out Jewish Israelis. It is as if the systematic discrimination against Palestinians in access to water, housing, classrooms, infrastructure does not exist.

“Save Jewish Jerusalem” advocates that Israel “disengage” from the 28 Arab villages it annexed in 1967 (which today comprise East Jerusalem), relinquishing the residency rights of around 200,000 Palestinians in order to “repair the damage of the 1967 historic mistake” and ensure Jerusalem can maintain a large Jewish demographic majority. From the website:

Most of the Palestinian Arab villages annexed to Jerusalem in 1967 will be excluded from the sovereign territory of Jerusalem. IDF and other security forces will enter and operate in the villages that have been separated from Jerusalem – just the way they are currently operating in villages and areas of the West Bank.

Thus the group proposes that East Jerusalem — which is already occupied as far as the world is concerned — be put under direct military occupation. The only difference is that it wants Israel to strip all the Palestinians who live there of their remaining rights, thereby making East Jerusalem just like the West Bank, expanding and entrenching occupation further. It even boasts that such a “disengagement’ would lift the “heavy economic burden on Jerusalem and Israel” by “saving taxpayers an estimated NIS 2 to 3 billion (about $525 to $788 million) per year.

And what about all the Jewish settlements built over the Green Line that have been annexed to the city? They get to stay: “Full sovereignty and municipal unity and uniformity will be in force on all Jewish Jerusalem, including Jewish neighborhoods built after the Six Day War. Jerusalem will also include the Old City, the “Holy Basin” and the original Jerusalem neighborhoods surrounding them.”

The group, Save Jewish Jerusalem, is mostly made up of former generals and other ex-military careerists and politicians (mostly male, mostly of Ashkenazi origin) who identify as part of the Israeli peace camp. It includes Shaul Arieli, one of the lead negotiators of the Geneva Initiative, and Ami Ayalon, the former Shin Bet head and Labor Party MK who launched a two-state peace initiative with Sari Nusseibeh in 2003. Last month the group launched a billboard campaign posted around Jerusalem with the messages, “Shuafat is not our Jerusalem,” “Jabal Mukaber is not our Jeruaslem,” in reference to two East Jerusalem neighborhoods. It is noteworthy that out of 33 founders, there is only one woman.

Other than its explicit racism, the video — and the initiative as a whole — is a total affront to the notions of civil and democratic rights, treating the right of individuals to have a say in who represents them as a privilege to be given or taken away. It completely disregards the reality on the ground for Jerusalem’s disenfranchised Palestinians, and assumes that further separation between Palestinians from Israelis will somehow make the city a safer place for all to live.

 

WATCH AS ISRAELIS CELEBRATE 49 YEARS OF JERUSALEM’S NAKBA

Tens of thousands of Israelis took hours to stream through the monumental Damascus Gate and weave their way through the alleys of the Muslim Quarter, eventually reaching their final destination, the holy Western Wall plaza, where they were treated to musical performances and a series of speeches by top religious and political officials.

‘Worship God By Nakba’: Jerusalem march celebrates Israeli occupation with messianic fervor

Dan Cohen and David Sheen FOR

The Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City was cleared of its Palestinian inhabitants on the eve of the Ramadan holiday, June 5, to make way for a flag procession by Jewish religious nationalists, celebrating Israel conquering the eastern half of the city 49 years earlier.

Store owners, street merchants, and shoppers preparing for that evening’s celebratory feast were driven out of the lanes that fell along the route chosen by march organizers and approved by Israel’s Supreme Court. From a safe distance behind police barricades, Palestinian residents of Jerusalem watched silently as ultra-nationalist Jews paraded through the quarter, singing songs of praise to Yahweh and calling for the ethnic cleansing of non-Jews.

Almost all of the shops along the march route shuttered their doors, while some took the added measure of taping over their door locks, to prevent paraders from sabotaging them, a common occurrence in previous years.

Tens of thousands of Israelis took hours to stream through the monumental Damascus Gate and weave their way through the alleys of the Muslim Quarter, eventually reaching their final destination, the holy Western Wall plaza, where they were treated to musical performances and a series of speeches by top religious and political officials.

A determination to assert Jewish sovereignty in the Muslim-majority areas of Jerusalem’s Old City was not the only cause of concern for some marchers. Opposition to a government plan to partition the Western Wall into gender-segregated and gender-mixed prayer areas also occupied some of the paraders.

In recent weeks, pressure from Netanyahu’s Ultra-Orthodox coalition partners convinced him to renege on his prior commitment to support the construction of a mixed-gender prayer area at the southern stretch of the Western Wall. The flag march was an opportunity for conservative religious forces to reassert their adamant opposition to any concessions to liberal Jews at the holy site.

Some marchers wore stickers and held aloft flags that criticized the proposed plan for an egalitarian prayer space. The traditionalist campaign materials read: “You don’t divide a heart – You don’t compromise on the Kotel [Western Wall]”. At the end of the march, Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch echoed these sentiments in a celebratory speech, claiming that the current layout of the site – gender-segregated according to Orthodox rules – should not be tampered with:

“May the call go out to all the Jews of the world, whoever and wherever they are: The Western Wall is a place that unifies and consolidates. It is forbidden to allow arguments to rip holes in the beating heart of the Jewish nation. Here we must act according the tradition of the House of Israel, the House of the father, the eternal tradition of Israel. At the Western Wall plaza, with God’s help, people will continue to pray next to one another, religious and non-religious, Jews and non-Jews. Because as it says, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer by all nations’ – because of unity, and because of Jewish tradition. From here we issue a call to leave the Western Wall as a unifier and a consolidator. We earned the kindness of God, in order to return here, for the sake of unity. Don’t ruin it!”

But Rabinovitch’s remarks were measured, bereft of some of the harsh language he has used in the past towards liberal Jews. One enthusiastic young parade participant sporting a gay pride sticker on her backpack was also spotted in the crowd. Her presence would seem to indicate that event organizers had sufficiently camouflaged their reactionary intentions, making the march more palatable to at least some liberal Zionists.

As Orly Noy reported last week in the liberal Israeli news site Local Call, there were concerted efforts to improve the optics of the march in the eyes of onlookers. Police reduced the size of the flagpoles they permitted to be carried into the Old City, confiscating planks that could be used to attack Palestinian people and property. Some Israeli youth sporting stickers calling to ethnically cleanse the country of Palestinians covered them up when they noticed they were being filmed.

But the theme of driving non-Jews out of Israel was not driven out of the march – it was only tamped down by authorities, in order to give the event a thin veneer of respectability. Stickers calling to expel Palestinians from the land reading, “There is no coexistence with them – Transfer Now!”, were freely distributed at the march by far-right activist Baruch Marzel. Jewish youth chanted “May your village burn!” as they marched towards the Old City. Once inside, they called to worship Yahweh by committing more Nakba’s, embracing the Arabic term for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians that Israel carried out in 1948.

By minimizing the most overt calls to kick Arabs out of the country, event planners managed to rebrand the country’s largest annual “Death to Arabs” rally as a family-friendly show of support for Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem. Those that stand to gain from the mainstreaming of the march, however, are not only advocates of one apartheid state, or advocates of fast-track-ethnic-cleansing. Also hoping to gain from the march’s normalization are advocates of building a Jewish temple on the al-Aqsa compound.

Once considered a marginal movement of messianists, Jewish Temple advocates have made major inroads in recent years. More Israeli Jews than ever before are visiting the compound annually, and increasing numbers of Israeli legislators are voicing support for a change in the status quo of the site. A long list of government officials, both religious and secular, have called to officially sanction Jewish religious rituals on the mount. WithTemple Movement leader Yehudah Glick entering the Knesset late last month as a member of the Likud list, efforts to apply Jewish sovereignty to the mosque compound are only expected to increase.

At the flag march itself, many of the participants wore T-shirts that prominently featured drawings of the Jewish Temple that messianists hope to build and T-shirts portraying the existing Islamic Dome of the Rock with calls for its elimination. At the massive celebration held in the Western Wall Plaza at the end of the march, one high profile Israeli official after another used the opportunity to call for the fulfillment of Jewish prophecies that call for a Jewish temple to be built where a mosque has stood for more than a thousand years.

Shmuel Rabinovitch, the rabbi in charge of the Western Wall site for over two decades, told the crowd: “We ask to be worthy of complete redemption, to return to the Temple Mount, pure and holy.” Rabinovitch added: “We are now living in the prophecy, and praying for it to be complete.”

David Lau, one of Israel’s two chief rabbis, and the son of a former chief rabbi, said: “Already by next week, as we are graced with the Pentecost holiday, grace us with making a pilgrimage, as we were graced by your first steps to stand here, grace us by showing us the construction of the Temple and cheer us with its renovation, returner of priests to their [Temple] worship and Levites to their singing and music-making.”

Moshe Leon, Jerusalem city councillor, said: “Here, facing the site of the Temple, as we set our eyes towards the holy mount, we all pray for a full redemption, to the building of the Temple speedily, in our era.”

Uri Ariel, Israel’s Minister of Agriculture, said: “Between the river and the sea will only be the State of Israel. There are not two states west of the Jordan. And the Temple Mount is ours! And it is not to be divided, not with the waqf (Muslim religious authorities), and not with anyone else! Sovereignty is within the power of the State of Israel, it must use it and implement it all the way. We say to Prime Minister Netanyahu, it is time for sovereignty. It is time for sovereignty on the Temple Mount.”

The underlying ideology of the march was best exemplified by the only event speaker who is not a resident of Israel, but rather its primary patron, the United States: Simon Falic. Chair of a large chain of duty-free stores in the US, Simon “Simcha” Falic was honored with a slot on the program because his family is the top contributor to the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, which manages the Jewish holy site, under the auspices of the prime minister.

Last week, Ha’aretz investigative reporter Uri Blau revealed that the Jerusalem Day flag march is funded by Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office. In years past, Blau has also exposed that the Falic family is the top contributor to Netanyahu’s personal election campaign, and also the top contributor to Lehava, a violent Jewish Supremacist street gang that follows the teachings of far-right Rabbi Meir Kahane and attacks mixed Jewish-Arab couples. Lehava regalia and other Kahanist identifiers were spotted along the parade route and amongst the Western Wall revelers.

At the Western Wall celebration, Falic reassured the crowd that Israel’s 49-year military occupation of territories conquered in 1967 is morally justified. He also urged Israelis to visit Mount Zion in far greater numbers:

“Forty-nine years ago, the Israel Defense Forces conquered Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria. We should be proud of it! There is no shame in it! Better to be conquerer than conquered. They say we have 70,000 participants here today. Next year: 170,000 are waiting for you. There are more devout friends waiting for you. Brothers, come, we need half a million people here.”

The directive to increase the number of Jews who visit the al-Aqsa mosque compound is a declared tactic of the Temple Movement. Vastly expanding the Jewish presence on the site is part of its strategy to create the political pressure necessary to force the Israeli government to alter the status quo of the site and permit augmented Jewish activity there.

Once exclusive control of the mount has been wrested from the hands of the Jordanian waqf, Jewish messianists hope to build a Yahwist temple on the site, replacing prayer with daily animal sacrifices and turning Israel’s somewhat-secular ethnocracy into a full-fledged Orthodox theocracy. Under religious rule, all non-Jews who refuse to sign a contract committing themselves to a special subset of Jewish laws reserved for gentile subjects would be deported or put to death.

By discouraging only the most overt manifestations of base racism while simultaneously infusing the event with ultra-nationalist sentiment and messianic fervor, organizers managed to frame the parade as moderate and mainstream, even though the march route dispossessed Palestinians temporarily and marchers openly voiced unbridled hopes of soon dispossessing them permanently.

HOW CAN WE BE LOYAL TO THE OCCUPIER?

A new bill to be introduced in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, next week would permit the cancellation of a person’s permanent residency on grounds of “disloyalty” to Israel.

A proposed law would allow Israeli authorities to expel Palestinians from occupied Jerusalem on grounds of “disloyalty.”( Mahfouz Abu Turk APA images)

A proposed law would allow Israeli authorities to expel Palestinians from occupied Jerusalem on grounds of “disloyalty.”( Mahfouz Abu Turk APA images)

Why should Palestinians in Jerusalem be loyal to their occupiers?

A new bill to be introduced in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, next week would permit the cancellation of a person’s permanent residency on grounds of “disloyalty” to Israel.

Last October, the prime minister’s office announced that the government had decided to revoke the residency of “terrorists,” a policy that would almost exclusively affect Palestinians living under military occupation in East Jerusalem.

When Israel occupied East Jerusalem in June 1967, formally annexing it in 1980, it decreed that Palestinians living there were “permanent residents,” as if they had moved to Israel as immigrants, rather than Israel violently imposing itself on them.

This residency status is vulnerable to revocation and requires Palestinian Jerusalemites to fulfill certain conditions to maintain it that are never applied to Jews.

Under international law, Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem is null and void.

“Disloyalty”

While more than 14,000 Palestinians from occupied East Jerusalem have had their residency revoked since 1967 – usually because they might have temporarily moved elsewhere to study, work, be closer to family or get married – none has yet lost their residency for alleged acts of “terror” or disloyalty.

In 2011, Israel did expel several members of the Palestinian Legislative Council from Jerusalem on the grounds that they belong to Hamas. It also regularly bans Palestinians from the city on grounds of “security.”

A handful of Palestinians have been threatened with revocation for breach of loyalty, but their cases are still subject to court proceedings.

In advance of a legislative meeting on 17 January, when the new bill is to be discussed, the Israeli human rights organization HaMoked has written to Yehuda Weinstein, Israel’s attorney general, to emphasize the illegality of the law.

HaMoked warned that the bill, proposed by lawmaker Oren Hazan, will not only seek to legalize the revocation of the permanent residency of those convicted of “disloyalty,” but also of their relatives and spouses.

Hazan, who admitted last year to fabricating information in an attempt to discredit a group that documents Israeli abuses against Palestinians, is a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party.

Disloyalty is not defined in Hazan’s bill, nor is it clear why Palestinians living under military occupation owe any duty of loyalty to their occupiers.

The Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits an occupying power from forcibly transferring civilians from their homes.

In 2011, Israel approved the Citizenship Law, that allows courts to revoke the citizenship of those convicted of treason, terrorism or espionage.

However, citizenship can only be revoked in cases where the person has dual citizenship.

Palestinians in East Jerusalem with permanent residency are not citizens of Israel and often carry no other citizenship or passport.

Under threat

In the meantime, Israel’s high court has refused to intervene on behalf of four Palestinians from East Jerusalem whose residency Israel is threatening to revoke.

In November, Silvan Shalom, then interior minister, notified four Palestinian young men, who are currently in Israeli custody for allegedly committing attacks, that he intends revoke their residency under the 1952 Law of Entry, which he claimed allows him to revoke the residency of individuals who “breach allegiance to the State of Israel.”

HaMoked filed a petition with the high court on behalf of the four men to challenge the revocation. Israel responded that the petition was premature since the interior ministry had not yet made a final decision regarding their cases.

Punishment without trial

The four Palestinians whose residency is in jeopardy are currently in prison awaiting trial. Two of them carry Jordanian citizenship, according to HaMoked’s court filings, while two are stateless.

But the threatened loss of residency does not depend upon their conviction, HaMoked attorney Dalia Kersteinpreviously told The Electronic Intifada.

Three of the Palestinians are accused of manslaughter by throwing stones at cars, allegedly causing one driver to have a heart attack and fatally crash his vehicle.

The fourth is accused of an armed attack on a bus in West Jerusalem which left three dead.

Blatant discrimination

The policy of revoking the Jerusalem residency of Palestinians is as blatantly discriminatory as Israel’s practice of punitively destroying the homes of relatives of Palestinians accused of attacks. Neither revocation of residency, nor punitive demolitions are ever applied to Jewish suspects or their relatives, no matter what crimes they commit.

On 7 January, the high court ruled in favor of the state, that the men’s court challenge could not take place before the interior ministry had issued a final decision on their expulsions.

At the same time, the court acknowledged the serious implications of such a move.

“There is no doubt that the revocation of permanent residency visas of East Jerusalem residents raises constitutional and administrative issues of great weight,” the court wrote.

It remains to be seen whether these legal concerns will stand in the way of Israel’s ever harsher measures against Palestinian Jerusalemites.

As it has with the punitive demolitions, Israel’s highest court has often acted as an enabler and champion of Israel’s abuses of Palestinians rather than a check on them.

#SettlersRule ~~ 3 GENERATIONS TO BE EVICTED TODAY IN EAST JERUSALEM

Stay tuned to #StopNora’sEviction for updates

Sign petition to stop eviction HERE

This short video highlights the struggle of Nora Sub Laban and her family to stay in their home in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Israel plans to evict them as soon as 14 December from the house they’ve lived in since 1953, so it can be taken over by a group of Jewish settlers whose aim is to create a Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.

Three generations face imminent expulsion from Jerusalem home

The family has already faced two attempts this year by Israeli occupation forces and settlers to remove them from their home, which is steps from Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque.

“The simple fact is that our house in particular is being targeted because it is the last Palestinian household left in the building and the neighborhood. If we are evicted, Ateret Cohanim will have a huge property [in the Muslim quarter] that is only inhabited by Israeli settlers,” Nora’s son Rafat Sub Laban told The Electronic Intifada in March, referring to one of the settler groups that is spearheading the takeover.

“This case sits within a context where hundreds of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem are at risk of forced displacement due to settler activities” in Jerusalem, the United Nations special rapporteurs on the right to housing and the human rights of Palestinians wrote last April.

Unsurprisingly, Israel’s legal system, rigged to favor the settlers, has failed to protect the family’s tenure in the house.

The video was released by the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU) as part of the #StopNorasEviction campaign.

Almost 32,000 people have signed a petition calling on international agencies to pressure Israel to halt the eviction.

That may be the only hope, but time is running out.

“I’ve lived through my life watching my neighbors and family being slowly pushed out of the city,” Nora says in the video.

Now she and two generations of her family, including young children, face expulsion as well.

IMEU is asking people to stay tuned to the hashtag #StopNorasEviction and to its Twitter and Facebook accounts for more on its campaign to draw attention to the imminent eviction of the Sub Laban family.

PALESTINE ON THE ROAD TO BECOMING A LAND WITHOUT PEOPLE

 THE NAKBA CONTINUES … 

The following is a repeat of what happened in another era ….. read the timeline HERE

One of the original mantras of the zionist movement was “A land without a people for a people without a land”

Netanyahu is on the verge of making that a reality ….

HE MUST BE STOPPED NOW!

Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu recently raised the possibility of canceling the residency status of the 80,000 Palestinians living in East Jerusalem neighborhoods on the other side of the separation wall. Shuafat refugee camp and Kafr Aqab would be among the affected neighborhoods.

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PM considers canceling residency of 80,000 East Jerusalem Palestinians

Netanyahu raises possibility in cabinet meeting of canceling residency status of East Jerusalem Palestinians who live on other side of the separation barrier sparking criticism from ministers.

Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu recently raised the possibility of canceling the residency status of the 80,000 Palestinians living in East Jerusalem neighborhoods on the other side of the separation wall. Shuafat refugee camp and Kafr Aqab would be among the affected neighborhoods.

Netanyahu brought up the need to address the situation in East Jerusalem’s neighborhoods beyond the wall during a cabinet meeting that took place two weeks ago.

“There is no enforcement there, no law,” Netanyahu said. “We need to examine the possibility of canceling their residency. There needs to be a discussion about it.”

The prime minister also raised the need to examine how law enforcement and security can be improved in these neighborhoods through the deployment of extra police and army units.

The neighborhoods in question are within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries but lie outside the wall and are considered extremely problematic from a security perspective.

However, since there has been no further discussion of the issue it is not yet certain whether this is a serious plan.

Netanyahu’s proposal drew responses from a number of ministers, who were surprised to hear him talk of disengagement.

MK Israel Katz had originally raised the topic of the neighborhoods beyond the wall, saying that the area had been abandoned. In response, Netanyahu suggested the possibility of preventing entry to the rest of Jerusalem from those areas.

“That is a far-reaching decision which requires a referendum, because it would involve giving up territory,” Katz remarked in response to Netanyahu.

Other lawmakers taking part in the discussion said that the matter affected residents with blue identity cards and that they could not simply be cut off on a whim.

It was subsequently agreed that a special session would be convened to discuss the fate of the neighborhoods beyond the wall.

“Netanyahu spoke about a situation which he seems not to fully understand,” a minister said after the cabinet meeting. “We are talking about an unequivocal division of Jerusalem.”

“All of Netanyahu’s lies have been exposed,” said MK Yoel Hasson of the Zionist Union. “After throwing the periphery into the gutter, Netanyahu decided to break another one of his election promises.

“There will no longer be a united Jerusalem. Hysteria and indulgence have brought us to the decision of the Prime Minister’s Office to disengage from East Jerusalem,” Hasson continued.

“This comes without the backing of the international community, without the agreement of the people and with terror spreading throughout the streets,” he added.

Jerusalem Police erected a concrete wall along a street between the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Armon Hanatziv and Jabal Mukaber in the east of the city last week. The move was billed as an attempt to put a stop to frequent stone-throwing and throwing of Molotov cocktails at homes in the area.

At the time, the Jerusalem municipality clarified that the wall was a temporary measure aimed at reducing injuries and damage to property in stone-throwing incidents.

Source

THE ISRAELI SOLUTION ~~ CONCRETE APARTHEID

Netanyahu officially divides Jerusalem Image by Carlos Latuff

Netanyahu officially divides Jerusalem
Image by Carlos Latuff

SEPARATION RATHER THAN NEGOTIATION

Dividing Jerusalem: Concrete walls separate Jewish, Arab neighborhoods

Police set up temporary wall in East Talpiot in effort to stop barrage of Molotov cocktails from nearby Jabel Mukaber.

Police set up a tall concrete wall at a small area of the East Talpiot (Armon HaNetziv) neighborhood in Jerusalem on Sunday in an effort to stop the constant barrage of Molotov cocktails being thrown from the nearby Jabel Mukaber.

The six concrete slabs were erected at an area known as “The balcony,” where a house has been bombarded with dozens of firebombs over the past year.

The new wall is meant to be a temporary construction, with writing on it indicating it is “a temporary mobile police barrier.” It did not prevent pedestrians from leaving or entering.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the barrier would remain “for as long as needed” and that it could be lengthened based on security needs.

The Zionist Union, the biggest party in the opposition, slammed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying: “Netanyahu officially split Jerusalem today, and proved that strong speeches were one thing, and actions were a completely different matter.”

“Netanyahu, who warned that ‘if Herzog and Livni were in charge, we’d need armored vehicles to travel to the Western Wall,’ has led to a situation in which Jerusalem was divided on his watch, Jews are afraid to go to the Western Wall, and police and soldiers are securing main streets and malls,” a statement from the Zionist Union went on to say.

“Netanyahu has lost the ability to maintain the security of the citizens of Israel and to keep Jerusalem united and safe – and he must go home.”

East Talpiot has been the focus of the ongoing wave of terrorism and violence and has suffered several attacks and attempted attacks.

The most serious of the attacks was on Wednesday when two terrorists boarded bus 78 and started shooting and stabbing everyone on board. Two men were murdered: Alon Goberberg and 78-years-old Haviv Haim, who lives in the neighborhood, and whose wife Shoshana is still hospitalized in serious condition. One of the terrorists was killed and the other wounded.

In another attack, a 16-year-old from Jabel Mukaber stabbed a Border Policeman asking for identification. The policeman was lightly wounded.

In light of the recent wave of violence, with most of the terrorists coming from East Jerusalem and quite a few of them from Jabel Mukaber, Israel’s Security Cabinet authorized the Israel Police to impose a partial closure at flashpoints in the capital.

The Cabinet also authorized deploying more troops to the city – including increasing and expanding the police’s operational capabilities and recruiting 300 additional security guards for public transportation.

In addition, more police and IDF forces were deployed to major cities and roads, and more troops were sent to sensitive spots on the West Bank separation border.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also instructed the Defense Ministry to work on plans to complete the separation barrier, particularly in sensitive areas like southern Mount Hebron.

Source

DEMOLISHING THE OCCUPATION

Israeli authorities have carried out around 370 demolitions of Palestinian property in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank since the start of 2015, displacing an estimated 432 residents, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Aggressive Urbanism: Urban Planning and the Displacement of Palestinians within and from Occupied East Jerusalem

Aggressive Urbanism: Urban Planning and the Displacement of Palestinians within and from Occupied East Jerusalem

Israel issues demolition order for mosque in East Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli municipality officials delivered a demolition order Friday to the al-Qaaqaa Mosque, a house, and a studio apartment in the Silwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, local sources told Ma’an.

Majdi al-Abbasi, from the Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan, said that Israeli municipality members delivered a demolition order to the al-Qaaqaa mosque in the Ein al-Luza area of the neighborhood.

The mosque, built three years ago, is a 110 square meter space that serves 5,000 worshipers.

Al-Abbasi added that the Israeli municipality also delivered a demolition order to a studio apartment and its facilities. The studio belongs to Iyad al-Abbasi and was built 12 years ago.

A demolition order was also delivered to a home housing six people.Earlier this week an Israeli court ruled to demolish a football field and its facilities in Silwan, a local committee said.

The ruling includes the demolition of a 1.5 dunam (.4 acre) sports field as well as a neighboring warehouse and animal shed.Silwan is one of many Palestinian neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem that is seeing an influx of Israeli settlers at the cost of the demolition of Palestinian homes and eviction of Palestinian families.
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Israeli authorities have carried out around 370 demolitions of Palestinian property in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank since the start of 2015, displacing an estimated 432 residents, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
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Thousands of Palestinian residents are at risk of losing their homes, as members of the current right-wing Israeli government continue to champion longstanding policies to obtain a Jewish majority in East Jerusalem.
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East Jerusalem was occupied by Israel in 1967 in a move never recognized by the international community, and four decades of Israeli policy in the area have neglected the Palestinian community while fostering the growth of Jewish settlement.

SEPARATE ~~ BUT NOT EQUAL

Statistics released this week by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel paint a devastating picture of neglect, urban blight and underdevelopment in East Jerusalem, the historic heart of Palestinian life, all a result of nearly five decades of Israeli policies, with over 75 percent of Palestinians living below the poverty line compared to the national Israeli average of 21.8 percent.

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Decades of neglect leave East Jerusalem mired in poverty, violence

By: Charlie Hoyle FOR

Decades of chronic under-funding, discriminatory planning rights, and unequal access to services have left the Palestinian community in Jerusalem mired in poverty, according to statistics published by a civil rights group, with youths subject to increased police brutality and arrests since last summer’s demonstrations in the city.

Statistics released this week by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel paint a devastating picture of neglect, urban blight and underdevelopment in East Jerusalem, the historic heart of Palestinian life, all a result of nearly five decades of Israeli policies, with over 75 percent of Palestinians living below the poverty line compared to the national Israeli average of 21.8 percent.

The group released the statistics —taken from the Jerusalem Municipality, Israeli Police, the Central Bureau of Statistics, and other official agencies — to coincide with Jerusalem Day, a largely right-wing Israeli national holiday to celebrate the “liberation” and “reunification” of the city following what is internationally recognized as the illegal occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967.

For Palestinians, the day is a painful reminder of their historic loss, displacement, and on going marginalization.

Despite having lived under Israeli rule for 48 years, Palestinians are classified as permanent residents, not citizens, and lack political representation at a national level. The community largely chooses to boycott local municipal elections — in 2013 around 1 percent of Palestinians voted — and are essentially political orphans, with no Israeli or Palestinian political body representing their interests.

The result is recurring neglect of the 300,200 Palestinians in East Jerusalem, who form 36.8 percent of the city’s total population.

“These (Palestinian neighborhoods) are places where roads haven’t been repaired for years, where schools haven’t been built, where there is crime and garbage. In that sense you do wonder what the municipality thinks is the future (for East Jerusalem),”Ronit Sela,Director of ACRI’s Human Rights in East Jerusalem Project, told Ma’an.

In terms of public services, 36 percent of Palestinian households are not connected to the water network,43 percent of the classrooms in the municipal system are defined as inadequate, and there is a shortage of 30 kilometers of sewage pipes in Palestinian neighborhoods.

There are only eight post offices in East Jerusalem, compared to 40 in West Jerusalem. Furthermore, Palestinians can access only 9 infant healthcare centers in the city compared to 26 for Israelis, and poverty rates for children are 53 percent higher for Palestinian children, with 8,501 defined as “at risk.”

The dropout rate for Palestinian students in East Jerusalem in 12th grade — where students are 18 years old — is 33 percent, nearly 24 times higher than the dropout rate in the Hebrew education system, which stands at 1.4 percent, and despite forming 36.8 percent of the population — and paying residential and commercial taxes — only 10-13 percent of the overall municipal budget is invested in East Jerusalem,according to rights group Ir Amim.

“Palestinians in Jerusalem suffer first and foremost from the fact there is an on going conflict and Israeli authorities control every aspect of their lives,” Sela says.

Social workers in East Jerusalem say that the myriad of social and political problems can often affect individual Palestinian families directly, with many suffering from having one son in prison and another dropping out of school without qualifications, amid a backdrop of economic marginalization.

“East Jerusalem is not a tiny piece of land or territory, but Israeli policies have been to limit the space where Palestinians can reside, to limit the space where Palestinians can have commercial life or industry and, with the separation barrier, fragment the areas where Palestinians are living and where the center of the community is,” Sela says.

Police brutality, arbitrary law enforcement
 *
Alongside chronic poverty and economic marginalization, one of the major changes since ACRI’s 2014 report on East Jerusalem are the increasingly draconian police and municipal measures introduced against Palestinians following months of clashes following the murder of 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir last July by Israeli extremists.
 *
In the second half of 2014, ACRI reported that over 1,184 Palestinians were detained in East Jerusalem, including 406 children, with indictments submitted against 338 of those arrested.
 *
“Police violence is harsher and the state prosecution is asking for minors to be put under arrest for longer periods of time even before indictments. They keep them in prison custody for longer,” Sela says.
 *
Around 314 of the 338 Palestinians served with indictments — including 122 children — have been imprisoned since their detention as the charges for “disruption of public order” and riot-related offenses are processed, which adds up to months in jail before a sentence has even been passed.
 *
Israeli police forces have also provided the Jerusalem municipality with the names of hundreds of suspects wanted for alleged involvement in the demonstrations in order to increase enforcement measures against them, ACRI says, essentially a way of blacklisting Palestinian residents in civilian life.
 *
Some of the enforcement measures are childishly arbitrary, with ACRI reporting one example of municipal inspectors issuing a fine for the negligible offense of littering the streets with sunflower seeds.
 *
Other measures, however, are much more serious, with municipal officers issuing demolition orders and fines to Palestinian businesses and homes.
The Hagihon water company, theTax Authority and the National Insurance Institute are also all involved in enforcing arbitrary measures against Palestinian suspects, which were described by ACRI as “collective punishment” and the “abuse of the municipality’s enforcement powers.”
 *
In addition to the mass arrests — the largest number in East Jerusalem since the Second Intifada — police tactics have become notably more aggressive since last summer’s demonstrations, with the increased use of black sponge-tipped bullets since the summer, a harder, heavier, and more dangerous variant of the blue sponge-tipped bullet, which had been used almost exclusively before last year’s unrest.
 *
Use of the black variety of the bullets has been responsible for the loss of vision in at least one eye of five Palestinian children during the end of 2014, the youngest of whom was six-years-old.
 *
One youth, 16-year-old Muhammad Abd Al-Majid Sunuqrut, was killed in September after being struck with the riot control measure in East Jerusalem, which is used almost exclusively against Palestinians.
 *
ACRI also reported that at least three journalists clearly identified as media workers were hit in the head, face and shoulder by sponge bullets during demonstrations, in contravention against orders prohibiting aiming at the upper body, or children.
 *
The police tactic has also caused arm fractures, jaw fractures and internal injuries such as spleen tears, with one 30-year-old Palestinian born blind since childhood in one eye left completely blind after being shot with a sponge-tipped bullet.
 *
Directives for use of the more dangerous black bullet were only drafted in January 2015 after a request from ACRI, a full six months after their regular use against Palestinians.
 *
Israeli police also regularly used “Skunk” water in Palestinian neighborhoods, spraying the putrid-smelling liquid into houses, restaurants, and cars, with many residents having to temporarily evacuate their homes until the smell subsides.
 *
In October and November, Israeli forces blocked the main entrances to three major Palestinian neighborhoods — almost unthinkable in the West Jerusalem neighborhoods of Rehavia or the German Colony — restricting the movement of 50,000 Palestinians.
 *
In April, Israeli police then used cement blocks to seal the neighborhood of al-Tur following clashes, preventing the movement of residents and hindering crucial services such as ambulances and school buses.
 *
Struggling to stay in the city
 *
Alongside chronic poverty and punitive police and municipality tactics looms the constant threat of displacement, with Palestinians struggling to remain in the city amid legislation which prohibits planning and building, and punishes violations with eviction and demolitions.
 *
In 2014, 98 structures were demolished and 208 Palestinians were forcibly displaced, ACRI says.Since 2004, over 2,115 Palestinians have been left homeless by demolitions in East Jerusalem.
 *
Around 20,000 houses — accounting for 39 percent of East Jerusalem homes — lack a building permit and therefore could be issued a demolition order by the municipality at any point, leaving Palestinian families vulnerable and unable to plan for the future.
 *
The residency status of 107 Palestinian residents of Jerusalem was also revoked in 2014, adding to the 14,309 since Israel’s 1967 occupation of the city, meaning Palestinians whose families date back centuries in the city are no longer allowed to return.
 *
Despite five decades of Israeli polices designed to slowly displace Palestinians in Jerusalem, the community forms nearly 40 percent of the city’s population,leaving it unclear as to what the municipality, and indeed the government, has planned, considering that it will unlikely ever concede political control of the Old City.
 *
In 2014, Israel’s government approved for the first time in history a five year plan for East Jerusalem with a budget of 300 million shekels ($78 million).
 *
However, a third of the budget was to be allocated to “security,” with the remaining 200 million not nearly enough to reverse decades of deliberate neglect.
 *
“In order for real and meaningful changes to transpire, a fundamental change of attitude must take place among Israeli authorities,” ACRI said in the report.
 *
“They need to see the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem as human beings whose dignity must be maintained, whose lives must be protected and whose human rights must be promoted, even as the conflict continues to bleed on the streets of Jerusalem.”

GOOGLE ERASES ISRAEL FROM THE MAP

Yesterday I reported about some serious ass kissing from Google towards Israel …. today it was discovered that they erased Israel from the map completely:)

Ra’anana mayor finds that biography abstract of well-known Israelis that appear on Google searches in English neglect to mention Israel.

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 Google search lists Rivlin’s birthplace as ‘Jerusalem, Palestine’

Ra’anana Mayor Ze’ev Bielski was shocked when his Google search of President Reuven Rivlin came up with the information that the president was born in the State of Palestine.

“While working on a speech ahead of President Reuven Rivlin’s visit to Ra’anana, we typed his name in English in Google, and then we were shocked to see it says he was born in ‘Jerusalem, the State of Palestine,'” Bielski said.

“At first I couldn’t believe it, because Rubi Rivlin is the symbol of Israelism. But when we kept searching, we found that when my name is typed into Google it says I was born in Palestine, and the same is written about famous actress Natalie Portman, the Oscar winner who was also born in Jerusalem.”

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Bielski continued Googling and learned that if you type names of other well-known Israelis in English, the Google search engine offers an abstract of their biographies, listing them as being born in Palestine.

These search results, however, do not appear on every computer – or perhaps were changed since – as Ynetnews Google searches for Rivlin, Portman and Bielski all came up with their birth place listed as just “Jerusalem,” without the addition of “Palestine.”

The places of birth or death, however, do not list the country as “Israel,” either, but rather just the city name. For example, when searching for first Israeli prime minister David Ben-Gurion, the search engine’s abstract listed his birth place as “Płońsk, Poland” but for his place of death, only “Tel HaShomer, Ramat Gan” is listed.

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“Israel for them doesn’t exist,” Bielski said. “I really hope this is human error and not an intentional attempt to make Israel ‘disappear.'”

The President’s Residence said Thursday it will seek clarifications from Google.

 

Source

INCITEMENT TO VIOLENCE GETS STAMP OF APPROVAL FROM ISRAELI SUPREME COURT

Don’t miss my earlier post …. We are supposed to ‘love’ these people (sic)

Participants in Jerusalem Day parade, a show of strength for the religious right. Photo by Tali Mayer

Participants in Jerusalem Day parade, a show of strength for the religious right. Photo by Tali Mayer

Thousands of Israelis waving Israeli flags participate in the annual Jerusalem Day march of flags entering the Old City through the Muslim Quarter and making its way to the Western Wall. Jerusalem Day marks the reunification of the city following the 1967 Six-Day War.

Last year, marchers were caught on video shouting “Death to Arabs” and “Muhammad is dead.”

Israel’s Supreme Court rejects removing Muslim Quarter from Jerusalem Day route

The annual Jerusalem Day march will still go through the Muslim Quarter of the Old City after the Supreme Court rejected a petition to change its route.

The court ordered police to arrest any participants who shout racist slogans or engage in violence or vandalism during Sunday’s march. Arab residents of the Old City must be given full access to their homes and businesses during the march, the ruling also said.

“With a heavy heart, we reject the petition,” Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein reportedly said.

The petition was filed by the Israeli NGOs Ir Amim and Tag Meir.

Last year, marchers were caught on video shouting “Death to Arabs” and “Muhammad is dead.”

Thousands of Israelis waving Israeli flags participate in the annual Jerusalem Day march of flags entering the Old City through the Muslim Quarter and making its way to the Western Wall. Jerusalem Day marks the reunification of the city following the 1967 Six-Day War.

From JTA

HaAretz report HERE

Also see update on THIS POST from the archives …

The ‘White Man’ in question just received a gun licence from the Jerusalem Municipality …. he is now legally allowed to kill!

Surely he will be a participant in the upcoming march … with his gun in hand.

WE LIVED IN PEACE TILL THE WHITE MAN CAME

83 YEAR OLD PALESTINIAN THROWN TO THE WOLVES IN JERUSALEM

yes-you-can

Let’s see how Bibi explains this to Congress …

Israeli authorities on Sunday ordered 83-year-old Palestinian grandfather Ayyub Shamasnah and his family to voluntarily evacuate their home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah before next Sunday in compliance with a final supreme court decision.

Israel orders Palestinian family to evacuate Sheikh Jarrah house

(MaanImages)
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JERUSALEM (Ma’an) – Israeli authorities on Sunday ordered 83-year-old Palestinian grandfather Ayyub Shamasnah and his family to voluntarily evacuate their home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah before next Sunday in compliance with a final supreme court decision.

Shamasnah lives with his wife, 75, children and grandchildren in a two-room, 65-square-meter house targeted by Jewish settlers who have already evicted several Palestinian families.

The family moved to Sheikh Jarrah after they were displaced from Qatanna village in northwest Jerusalem during the creation of Israel in 1948. They initially paid rent to Jordanian authorities, who were responsible for East Jerusalem until 1967 when Israel occupied the city.

Since 1968, the family has paid rent to Israeli authorities as protected leaseholders.

In 2011, the Israeli government’s Custodian for Absentee Property started legal proceedings to evict the Shamasnah family, claiming their rental contract expired in 2008. In May 2013, an Israeli court postponed the eviction until further discussions.

The court suggested during a hearing in May that the family could remain in the property until the elderly parents die, but settlers who are targeting the property once the family is evicted refused the proposal, according to the owner’s son Muhammad.

Speaking to Ma’an Sunday, Muhammad said that the Israeli supreme court decided in August 2013 that his family should evacuate the property before Jan. 3, 2015 to be delivered to the Israeli settlers.

“Thus, the family received a letter last Thursday from the settlers’ lawyer demanding that they comply with the court decision, or otherwise they will be evacuated by force.”

According to Muhammad, the Israeli authorities claim that the house was a Jewish property before 1948, and after the Palestinian Nakba all Jewish properties were entrusted to the Jordanian government’s Custodian for Absentee Property.

Then after the annexation of Jerusalem in 1967, the properties were entrusted to Israeli government’s Custodian for Absentee Property.

He added that his father had paid rent to both the Jordanian and Israeli authorities as protected leaseholders.

Then in 2011, he added, the family was surprised with the Israeli government’s Custodian for Absentee Property starting legal proceedings to evict the family claiming their rental contract expired in 2008.

In response, the family submitted court documents which proved they paid rent according to a contract signed in 1977. The family also submitted evidence that they had lived in the house since 1972, but “failed to give evidence they had lived in the house before 1968.”

 

Source

TURMOIL IN JERUSALEM DUE TO THEIR STUPIDITY ( THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT’S)

Nothing more, nothing less!

Nothing more, nothing less!

Almost every conversation in East Jerusalem over the past few weeks has ended with the statement: “They are stupid” – meaning the Israeli government is stupid to behave in such-and-such a way toward Palestinian Jerusalem.

How easy it is to prevent escalation in Jerusalem

Palestinians are generous when they attribute Israel’s policies to the stupidity of its leaders.

Palestinians burn tires during clashes with Israeli border police in East Jerusalem, November 5, 2014. Photo by AP

Palestinians burn tires during clashes with Israeli border police in East Jerusalem, November 5, 2014. Photo by AP

Almost every conversation in East Jerusalem over the past few weeks has ended with the statement: “They are stupid” – meaning the Israeli government is stupid to behave in such-and-such a way toward Palestinian Jerusalem. If they would just make it easier to obtain construction permits, they say, if they would add just a few percentage points to the budget, if they would not beat demonstrators so savagely, if they did not trump up traffic violations, for example, then the clashes would not spread like wildfire.

This is the consecutive third week with no age restriction on people attending Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and everything went quietly. Got that? No humiliations and restrictions, no rioting.

The definition of the government’s actions as stupid is a fairly common act of generosity on the part of Palestinians, the generosity of the native-born. It is the generosity of those who are well planted in the villages and neighborhoods that have turned into slums, sealed ghettos; neighborhoods that are a mixture of wide roads for the Jews, open areas where Palestinian construction is prohibited, kitschy villas and ordinary apartments that cost 400,000 dollars, because the housing shortage is so severe. If you are Palestinian, that is.

Stupidity is beyond the control of the stupid person. The poor fellow was born that way. Stupid people can be replaced and their stupid actions set right. Those who say “this is stupidity” do not say it is malice; those who diagnose stupidity do not say it is a premeditated crime. It is a demonstration of generosity when the words used to describe Israel’s policy in East Jerusalem have run out. How many times can we say apartheid, discrimination, silent transfer, expulsion, racism, exclusion, dispossession, assault, impoverishment, weakening?

Stupidity? Here are a few fundamentals of Israel’s policy in Jabal Mukkaber:

In 1967, the village of A-Sawahra was divided into two parts. One portion remained inside the West Bank, while its western portion (including Jabal Mukkaber) was included within Jerusalem’s borders and annexed to Israel. But the inhabitants continued to be members of the same tribe, marry within the tribe and bury their dead in the same cemetery on the western side.

The settlement of Nof Tzion, on the outskirts of Jabal Mukkaber in East Jerusalem. Photo by Eyal Toueg

The settlement of Nof Tzion, on the outskirts of Jabal Mukkaber in East Jerusalem. Photo by Eyal Toueg

In 1993, traffic restrictions and checkpoints began to divide the eastern portion of the village from its western part. Since 2000 and after the construction of the separation fence, the barrier between members of the tribe and members of the same families has become hermetic.

As the BIMKOM – Planners for Planning Rights nonprofit organization wrote in its survey of East Jerusalem’s neighborhoods, Jabal Mukkaber is under the most extreme construction restrictions of all the Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. Most of the area is off-limits for construction, and in the few places where it is allowed, no building permits are issued. The amount of open areas (not slated for development) set by the plans that apply to the neighborhood is exceptional, even compared to other East Jerusalem neighborhoods. The planned system of roads is so meager that it leaves most of the neighborhood utterly inaccessible.

In the western Sawahra neighborhood, which is close to the separation barrier, only one-quarter of the area is zoned for residential purposes. The housing shortage is so severe that young people are postponing their wedding dates or remaining in their parents’ homes. The areas slated for expropriation from Sawahra for the purpose of paving the eastern ring road, most of whose users will not be from the neighborhood (read: Jews), are larger than the total area of the neighborhood’s roads.

On top of the expropriations carried out in the 1970s for constructing the East Talpiot neighborhood, Nof Tzion, a well-planned, well-kept settlement for Jews only, was built a decade ago in the heart of the neglected half-village of Jabal Mukkaber. The planning goes back to the 1980s. Fifty dunams (some 12 acres) were originally under Jewish ownership. Sixty-five dunams (16 acres) of land were expropriated from Jabal Mukkaber for the large neighborhood, which would be suitable for the waves of immigration from the former Soviet Union. The buildings are six stories high – about 130 percent of construction – while the Palestinians on the other side are allowed only 25 percent, or two floors.

There is no stupidity here. This is a crime of discrimination being committed deliberately, with malice aforethought. It is no invention of Benjamin Netanyahu or Nir Barkat or Naftali Bennett. The intellectual property rights belong to the governments of Labor and the “moderate” Likud.

To say that the Israeli governments are stupid after 50 years – or almost 70 years – of living under their rule is an act of psychological repression, with a bit of hope for redress. The last thing that can be said of the country’s leaders and high officials is that they are stupid. To say that we, the Jews, are stupid is to throw us a last rope of rescue from ourselves and our policies.

Expired tear gas

Residents of Isawiyah and Jabal Mukkaber noticed that the canisters of tear gas that the Israel Police generously have been firing at them to subdue their demonstrations were stamped with the date 2005. Text on the canisters also read that they were suitable for use five years from the date of manufacture. So they fear that the tear gas is even more harmful than usual and will damage their health and that of their children, sick people, elderly people and pregnant women, particularly when it is fired among the residential buildings.

But the Israel Police, in its response to Haaretz, wanted to reassure the worried targets of the tear gas: “The expiration date written on the gas canisters does not refer to the gas that is used, but instead to other parts of the canister.” The police say further that the gas does no harm, but merely causes irritation of the mucous membranes.

JERUSALEM; THE UNHOLIEST CITY IN THE UNHOLY LAND

Uri Avnery

Uri Avnery

The Unholy City is more divided than ever before.

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  The Unholy City

Uri Avnery

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IN its long and checkered history, Jerusalem has been occupied by dozens of conquerors.

Babylonians and Persians, Greeks and Romans, Mamluks and Turks, Britons and Jordanians – to mention just a few.

The latest occupier is Israel, which conquered and annexed Jerusalem in 1967.

(I could have written “East Jerusalem” – but all of historical Jerusalem is in today’s East Jerusalem. All the other parts were built in the last 200 years by Zionist settlers, or are surrounding Arab villages which were arbitrarily joined to the huge area that is now called Jerusalem after its occupation.)

This week, Jerusalem was in flames – again. Two youngsters from Jabel Mukaber, one of the Arab villages annexed to Jerusalem, entered a synagogue in the west of the city during morning prayers and killed four devout Jews, before themselves being killed by police.

Jerusalem is called “the City of Peace”. This is a linguistic mistake. True, in antiquity it was called Salem, which sounds like peace, but Salem was in fact the name of the local deity.

It is also a historical mistake. No city in the world has seen as many wars, massacres and as much bloodshed as this one.

All in the name of some God or other.

JERUSALEM WAS annexed (or “liberated”, or “unified”) immediately after the Six-day War of 1967.

That war was Israel’s greatest military triumph. It was also Israel’s greatest disaster. The divine blessings of the incredible victory turned into divine punishments. Jerusalem was one of them.

The annexation was presented to us (I was a member of the Knesset at the time) as a unification of the city, which had been cruelly rent asunder in the Israeli-Palestinian war of 1948. Everybody cited the Biblical sentence: “Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together.” This translation of Psalm 122 is rather odd. The Hebrew original says simply “a city that is joined together”.

In fact, what happened in 1967 was anything but unification.

If the intent had really been unification, it would have looked very different.

Full Israeli citizenship would have been automatically conferred on all inhabitants. All the lost Arab properties in West Jerusalem, which had been expropriated in 1948, would have been restored to their rightful owners who had fled to East Jerusalem.

The Jerusalem municipality would have been expanded to include Arabs from the East, even without a specific request. And so on.

The opposite happened. No property was restored, nor any compensation paid. The municipality remained exclusively Jewish.

Arab inhabitants were not accorded Israeli citizenship, but merely “permanent residence”. This is a status that can be arbitrarily revoked at any moment – and indeed was revoked in many cases, compelling the victims to move out of the city. For appearance’s sake, Arabs were allowed to apply for Israel citizenship. The authorities knew, of course, that only a handful would apply, since doing so would mean recognition of the occupation. For Palestinians, this would be paramount to treason. (And the few that did apply were generally refused.)

The municipality was not broadened. In theory, Arabs are entitled to vote in municipal elections, but only a handful do so, for the same reasons. In practice, East Jerusalem remains occupied territory.

The mayor, Teddy Kollek, was elected two years before the annexation. One of his first actions after it was to demolish the entire Mugrabi Quarter next to the Western Wall, leaving a large empty square resembling a parking lot. The inhabitants, all of them poor people, were evicted within hours.

But Kollek was a genius in public relations. He ostensibly established friendly relations with the Arab notables, introduced them to foreign visitors and created a general impression of peace and contentment. Kollek built more new Israeli neighborhoods on Arab land than any other person in the country. Yet this master-settler collected almost all the world’s peace prizes, except the Nobel Prize. East Jerusalem remained quiet.

Only few knew of a secret directive from Kollek, instructing all municipal authorities to see to it that the Arab population – then 27% – did not rise above that level.

KOLLEK was ably supported by Moshe Dayan, then the Defense Minister. Dayan believed in keeping the Palestinians quiet by giving them all possible benefits, except freedom.

 

A few days after the occupation of East Jerusalem he removed the Israeli flag which had been planted by soldiers in front of the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount. Dayan also turned the de facto authority over the Mount over to the Muslim religious authorities.

Jews were allowed into the Temple compound only in small numbers and only as quiet visitors. They were forbidden to pray there, and forcibly removed if they moved their lips. They could, after all, pray to their heart’s content at the adjoining Western Wall (which is a part of the compound’s ancient outer wall).

The government was able to impose this decree because of a quaint religious fact: Orthodox Jews are forbidden by the rabbis to enter the Temple Mount altogether. According to a Biblical injunction, ordinary Jews are not allowed into the Holy of Holies, only the High Priest was allowed in. Since nobody today knows where exactly this place is located, pious Jews may not enter the entire compound.

AS A result, the first few years of the occupation were a happy time for East Jerusalem. Jews and Arabs mingled freely. It was fashionable for Jews to shop in the colorful Arab market and dine in the “oriental” restaurants. I myself often stayed in Arab hotels and made quite a number of Arab friends.

This atmosphere changed gradually. The government and the municipality spent a lot of money to gentrify West Jerusalem, but Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem were neglected, and turned into slums. The local infrastructure and services degenerated. Almost no building permits were issued to Arabs, in order to compel the younger generation to move outside the city borders. Then the “Separation” Wall was built, preventing those outside from entering the city, cutting them off from their schools and jobs. Yet In spite of everything, the Arab population grew and reached 40%.

Political oppression grew. Under the Oslo agreements, Jerusalemite Arabs were allowed to vote for the Palestinian Authority. But then they were prevented from doing so, their representatives were arrested and expelled from the city. All Palestinian institutions were forcibly closed down, including the famous Orient House, where the much admired and beloved leader of the Jerusalem Arabs, the late Faisal al-Husseini, had his office.

KOLLEK was succeeded by Ehud Olmert and an Orthodox mayor who didn’t give a damn for East Jerusalem, except the Temple Mount.

And then an additional disaster occurred. Secular Israelis are leaving Jerusalem, which is rapidly becoming an Orthodox bastion. In desperation they decided to oust the Orthodox mayor and elect a secular businessman. Unfortunately, he is a rabid ultra-nationalist.

Nir Barkat behaves like the mayor of West Jerusalem and the military governor of East Jerusalem. He treats his Palestinian subjects like enemies, who may be tolerated if they obey quietly, and brutally suppressed if they do not. Together with the decade-old neglect of the Arab neighborhoods, the accelerated pace of building new Jewish neighborhoods, the excessive police brutality (openly encouraged by the mayor), they are producing an explosive situation.

The total cutting-off of Jerusalem from the West Bank, its natural hinterland, worsens the situation even more.

To this may be added the termination of the so-called peace process, since all Palestinians are convinced that East Jerusalem must be the capital of the future State of Palestine.

THIS SITUATION needed only a spark to ignite the city. This was duly provided by the right-wing demagogues in the Knesset. Vying for attention and popularity, they started to visit the Temple Mount, one after the other, every time unleashing a storm. Added to the manifest desire of certain religious and right-wing fanatics to build the Third Temple in place of the holy al-Aqsa Mosque and the golden Dome of the Rock, this was enough to create the belief that the holy shrines were indeed in danger.

Then came the ghastly revenge-murder of an Arab boy who was abducted by Jews and burned alive with gasoline poured into his mouth.

Individual Muslim inhabitants of the city started to act. Disdaining organizations, almost without arms, they started a series of attacks that are now called “the intifada of individuals”. Acting alone, or with a brother or cousin whom he trusts, an Arab takes a knife, or a pistol (if he can get one), or his car, or a tractor, and kills the nearest Israelis. He knows that he is going to die.

The two cousins who killed four Jews in a synagogue this week – and also an Arab Druze policeman – knew this. They also knew that their families were going to suffer, their home be demolished, their relatives arrested. They were not deflected. The mosques were more important.

Moreover, the day before, an Arab bus driver was found dead in his bus. According to the police, the autopsy proved that he committed suicide. An Arab pathologist concluded that he was murdered. No Arab believes the police – Arabs are convinced that the police always lie.

Immediately after the Synagogue killing, the Israeli choir of politicians and commentators went into action. They did so with an astonishing unanimity – ministers, Knesset members, ex-generals, journalists, all repeating with slight variations the same message. The reason for this is simple: every day the Prime Minister’s office sends out a “page of messages”, instructing all parts of the propaganda machine what to say.

This time the message was that Mahmoud Abbas was to blame for everything, a “terrorist in a suit”, the leader whose incitement causes the new intifada. No matter that the chief of the Shin Bet testified on the very same day that Abbas has neither overt nor covert connections with the violence.

Binyamin Netanyahu faced the cameras and with a solemn face and lugubrious voice – he is a really good actor – repeated again what he has said many times before, every time pretending that this is new recipe: more police, harder punishments, demolition of homes, arrests and large fines for parents of 13-year old children who are caught throwing stones, and so on.

Every expert knows that the result of such measures will be the exact opposite. More Arabs will become incensed and attack Israeli men and women. Israelis, of course, will “take revenge” and “take the law into their own hands”.

For both inhabitants and tourists, walking the streets of Jerusalem, the city which is “joined together”, has become a risky adventure. Many stay at home.

The Unholy City is more divided than ever before.

ISRAELI STYLE PEACE PROCESS UNFOLDS ON THE STREETS OF JERUSALEM

The clashes and arrests across Jerusalem came after days of intense security across the city, where Israeli police have deployed heavily amid four months of tensions between local Palestinians and occupation authorities.

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'Peace or Peaces' by Latuff

‘Peace or Pieces’ by Latuff

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28 injured as clashes rage across Jerusalem overnight
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A Palestinian protestor throws a burning tire during clashes with Israeli
forces at the Qalandia checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem
on Oct. 31, 2014 (AFP Abbas Momani)
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JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — At least 28 Palestinians were injured as clashes with Israeli forces continued into the late hours of the night on Friday across Jerusalem, as anger over a series of killings by Israeli police boiled over into the streets of the city’s Palestinian neighborhoods.Clashes broke out in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Silwan, al-Issawiya, al-Tur, and Wadi al-Joz, as hundreds marched and fought pitched battles with security forces in anger over the killing of Mutaz Hijazi, 32, early Thursday, as well as the killing of Abd al-Rahman al-Shaludi, 21, the week before.Both men were suspected by authorities of involvement in violent incidents targeting Israelis. But Palestinians have been outraged by their killings, highlighting that instead of being arrested both were shot dead by police on sight.

An autopsy on Friday revealed that Mutaz Hijazi, 32, was shot 20 times by different officers and left to die on his rooftop, as Israeli police refused to allow locals to reach him — and later forced an ambulance to surrender his body, before returning it to the family late Thursday.

On Friday evening, Israeli forces raided the area around Hijazi’s home al-Thawri neighborhood in Silwan, and locals told Ma’an that soldiers attacked a tent set up by the mourning family where friends and relatives were dropping in to offer condolences.

Israeli forces reportedly fired stun grenades, tear-gas canisters, and rubber-coated steel bullets at mourners gathered at the tent, and several men and women suffered severe tear gas inhalation while many others were injured by rubber-coated bullets.

Activist Jihad Oweida told Ma’an that one mourner, Attiya Shabbaneh, was injured by shrapnel from stun grenades in his face and was taken to al-Maqasid Hospital for treatment.

In the Bir Ayyub neighborhood, Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated steel bullets and tear-gas canisters at more than 200 Palestinian youths who had gathered to visit the mourning tent set up in Hijazi’s home.

Many suffered from excessive tear-gas inhalation and one was injured and received a fracture in his foot. A Palestinian youth identified as Rami Salah was detained by Israeli forces.

An official responsible for ambulance and emergency services at the Palestinian Red Crescent, Amin Abu Ghazaleh, told Ma’an that 28 Palestinians suffered from light injuries, including from rubber-coated steel bullets injuries and tear-gas inhalation, while three were taken to hospitals after they were hit at close range with rubber-coated steel bullets in the head, legs, and stomach.

In the al-Issawiya neighborhood, meanwhile, dozens suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation after Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters heavily during clashes that erupted as Israeli forces detained an unidentified Palestinian.

Clashes also erupted in the Sur Baher village, Wadi al-Jouz neighborhood, and other neighborhoods in the Old City of Jerusalem.

An Israeli police spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment.

Old City security tight

Also on Friday, Israeli police released the director of the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, Jawad Siyam, along with Yazan Siyam, Muntaser Faraj and Mahmoud Gaith who were all detained Friday on charges of “assaulting” Israeli settlers in September.

It was unclear why the arrests had taken place more than a month after the alleged assault, but some have speculated that the arrests were related to the political nature of the work of the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, which focuses on resisting settler encroachment in the neighborhood of Silwan.

The four were released on the condition to pay a 500 shekels bill each, and were sentenced to house arrest until next Monday.

The clashes and arrests across Jerusalem came after days of intense security across the city, where Israeli police have deployed heavily amid four months of tensions between local Palestinians and occupation authorities.

Police, some in riot gear, guarded a series of checkpoints leading from the Old City’s outer gates all the way to the Al-Aqsa compound, an AFP correspondent said.

They checked identity papers of people passing between the barricades, both those on their way to pray and those who worked nearby.

Zuheir Dana, 67, said he was unable to get from his shop to his home.

“I wanted just to get home, which is about 50 meters (yards) away from the Al-Aqsa compound, but police didn’t let me through,” he said.

“It’s been bad every day here since Ramadan,” he added, referring to the Muslim holy month that fell in July.

Markets in the Old City, normally bustling on a Friday morning, were nearly deserted due to the security measures.

The security measures followed the unprecedented complete closure of the Al-Aqsa mosque compound — the third-holiest site in Islam — for the first time since 1967, which ignited protest across the Arab world and even from the United States.

Palestinian community officials say the wave of unrest gripping the city is fueled by a sense of hopelessness resulting from Israel’s policies in occupied East Jerusalem, which have left many young people with a sense that they have nothing to lose.

The arrests of hundreds over summer for participation in protests against Israel’s massive assault on Gaza — which left nearly 2,200 dead in the tiny coastal enclave — has only added fuel to the fire.

Although Palestinians in East Jerusalem live within territory Israel has unilaterally annexed, they lack citizenship rights and are instead classified only as “residents” whose permits can be revoked if they move away from the city for more than a few years.

They face discrimination in all aspects of life including housing, employment, and services, and are unable to access services in the West Bank due to the construction of Israel’s separation wall.

East Jerusalem is internationally recognized as Palestinian territory, but Israel occupied it in 1967 and later annexed it in a move never considered legitimate abroad.

 

DEMOLISHED DREAMS ~~ THREE HOUSES ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WALL (VIDEO)

Short documentary about life in Jerusalem on the other side of the wall

 

 

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The short documentary ‘3 Houses’ was filmed in Ras Khamis and Ras Shahada, Jerusalem neighborhoods that were cut off from the rest of the city when the Separation Barrier was built in 2002. Since then, these neighborhoods and the tens of thousands of people who live there have been utterly neglected by the Jerusalem municipality. In 2013, the desperate situation in this no-man’s-land was even further exacerbated when the municipality announced its intent to demolish the homes of thousands of residents.

CREDITS:
Directed and Edited by Omri Shenhar
Producers Ronit Sela and Marc Grey
Cinematographers Hanna Abu Saada and Issa Qumsiya
Sound recording by Shiraz Rashmawi
Sound design by Yuval Shenhar
Music by Yehezkel Raz
Additional instrumentation Gilad Weiss
Online editor Ron Lindenbaum
Finished at Edit Post Production Studios, Tel Aviv
Produced by The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)
Produced with the support of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Tel Aviv

For further information about ACRI and its work in East Jerusalem, visit us online at
acri.org.il/en/category/east-jerusalem/

Donate to help ACRI support Human Rights in Israel and the Occupied Territories: tinyurl.com/lnjuf6g

ISLAM MUST RESPOND TO AUSTRALIA’S NEWEST POLICIES REGARDING THE STATUS OF JERUSALEM

 

This week, the Australian Attorney-General George Brandis said in a speech that his country ought to stop viewing East Jerusalem as an occupied city.

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Muslims must respond to Australia’s latest affront

By Khalid Amayreh in Occupied Palestine
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The Arab world, if indeed there is still an entity as such, and Muslims around the world must respond in a meaningful manner to the latest affront coming from Australia.
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This week, the Australian Attorney-General George Brandis said in a speech that his country ought to stop viewing East Jerusalem as an occupied city.

Brandis is notorious for his racist views and xenophobia. Some of his critics have already described him as “Nazi-minded.” The Australian press recently quoted him as saying that “people have the right to be bigots,” which made racist and anti-immigration groups in Australia ecstatic.

Unfortunately, much of the man’s vindictive chauvinism is reserved for Arabs and Muslims. His remarks about E. Jerusalem encapsulate a morbid mind-set not unlike that of the people who wanted to create the Third Reich.

We Palestinians don’t wish to harm our or Arab-Muslim relations with the people and state of Australia.

However, Brandis by embracing the illegitimate Israeli view that East Jerusalem is not an occupied territory and that the city is part of the criminal Israeli state has actually gone beyond the pale. For us, this is no less than a political adultery and it can’t be forgiven or allowed to pass.

Not only he has seriously offended 1600 million Muslims, including over half a million in Australia itself, he has actually flown in the face of international law and numerous resolutions by the United Nations and UN Security Council which all ruled that East Jerusalem is illegally and unlawfully occupied by Israel.

Hence, the repulsive statement by Brandis must be condemned in the strongest terms and rejected by the Australian government.

However, given that government’s record in dealing with Arab and Islamic issues, especially the Palestinian problem, there is little hope that Australia would rethink this offensive decision.

Unfortunately, Australia has always been among the most extreme western states in displaying hostility to the Palestinian cause. Its propensity to appease Zionist whims is probably unmatched by any other western country. Even Germany, which has sought relentlessly to atone for the holocaust by effectively embracing Jewish Nazism, and Britain, which inserted the venomous Jewish snake into the Palestinian child’s cradle, doesn’t recognize East Jerusalem as part of Israel. Hence, the audacity and offensiveness of Brandis’s remarks.

Arab-Muslim reactions:
It is not enough to voice our displeasure to the Australian government over this manifestly hostile move. We must make it unmistakably clear to that distant state that Jerusalem is our soul and heart and that the Holy City is the ultimate inviolable Red Line. We must not have normal relations with Australia unless its government reconsiders this provocation.

We are not bereft of the means to respond effectively to this premeditated insult. The size of the Muslim world’s trade with Australia is estimated to be in the billions of dollars. Australia exports livestock to Muslim countries worth of hundreds of millions of dollars per year.

If we proved to the Australian government that our national and religious dignity is worth so much, then that government might reconsider its unprovoked hostility to our people.

But the proverbial ball is not in the Australian government’s court. It is squarely in our court, both as people and as nation-states.

That is why we must make it abundantly clear to the government of Australia that it has a few weeks to rescind its odious decision or else we would stop all our imports from that country.

We surely can do without Australian lamb meat. There are numerous other destinations from which we can import lambs.

Needless to say, when the choice is between an Australian lamb meat meal, soaked in hatred and hostility for our paramount causes and our religion, and the First Qibla of Islam, Muslims ought to know rather innately which choice to take.

Otherwise, Australia and other like-minded countries would be correct in treating us this way because those who don’t respect themselves are not entitled to be respected by others.

For me and my family, from this moment we will not buy anything produced in, made by or exported from Australia.Australia must be treated by all Arab and Muslim states as an enemy state until it rescinds its hateful step toward our people and our faith.


Khalid Amayreh is a veteran Palestinian journalist
living in occupied Palestine
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THE BORN AND BRED NON CITIZENS OF JERUSALEM

 Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
aa-Israeli-apartheid-illustration
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Israel classifies Jerusalem natives as noncitizens
 

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM  — The Israeli ministry of interior has come up with a new plan to expel the Palestinian natives of occupied Jerusalem from their city through classifying them as “noncitizens,” lawyer Ahmed Roweidi revealed. Roweidi stated on Tuesday that the Israeli interior ministry started to specify periods for the residence of the natives in Jerusalem and classified them as noncitizens who are susceptible to deportation anytime. Roweidi described this new measure as a prelude to a new ethnic-cleansing campaign against the Palestinian natives in the holy city. He affirmed that a number of Jerusalemite citizens went lately to the Israeli occupation authority to renew their IDs and noticed that the word “resident” was added into the new cards with an expiry date for their residence in the holy city.
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The response …
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Jerusalemite groups: The natives of Jerusalem are citizens, not residents

 

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, The higher Islamic commission and the council of awqaf and Islamic affairs in occupied Jerusalem said that the Palestinian natives of Jerusalem are citizens and can never be residents.

This came in a statement released on Saturday by the two Jerusalemite institutions in response to a recent Israeli measure classifying the Palestinian natives of Jerusalem as residents and not citizens in new IDs issued by the interior ministry.

The new Israeli IDs given to the Palestinians in Jerusalem do not only identify them as residents, but also they are provided with an expiry date for their residence in their holy city.

The higher Islamic commission and the council of awqaf and Islamic affairs condemned the Israeli measure as racist and urged the Palestinians in the holy city to uphold their legitimate rights, protect their homes and property and defend their holy sites.

They highlighted that the Palestinians in the holy city are its native citizens and their citizenship cannot be decided by the Israeli occupation regime, for they are deeply rooted in their city.

 

 

Both reports FROM

THE TEMPEST THAT ZION PRAYED FOR

Freezing cold winds, rain and threats of snow is what Jerusalem is experiencing today. That’s fine for those living in homes or apartments, but what about those living in tents or on the street? Even worse than the storm itself are the ongoing illegal activities of zionism in East Jerusalem neighbourhoods, Sheik Jarrah in particular. The evictions from private homes continue due to the implementation of lebensraum; Israel’s ‘final solution’ in motion … a policy that is supposedly opposed to by the West and the EU, but still in motion nevertheless.
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For some background on this almost forgotten struggle, I present here a three year old Op-ed from The New York Times;
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Not all Israelis agree with this policy. For over a year, hundreds, sometimes thousands, of Israelis and Palestinians have been gathering in Sheik Jarrah on Fridays to protest the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes. Israeli courts have deemed these nonviolent demonstrations to be legal, but this has not stopped the police from arresting protesters.

In a cruel historical twist, nearly all of the Palestinians evicted from their homes in Sheik Jarrah in the last year-and-a-half were originally expelled in 1948 from their homes in the West Jerusalem neighborhood of Talbieh. In the wake of the Six-Day War, Israeli courts ruled that some of the houses these Palestinian refugees have lived in since 1948 are actually legally owned by Jewish Israelis, who have claims dating from before Israel’s founding.

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Who Lives in Sheik Jarrah?

By KAI BIRD
Published: April 30, 2010
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AS a boy, I lived in Sheik Jarrah, a wealthy Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem. Annexed by Israel in 1967 and now the subject of a conflict over property claims, my former home has come to symbolize everything that has gone wrong between the Israelis and Palestinians over the last six decades.

Despite talk of a slowdown in Israeli construction in East Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, Jerusalem’s mayor, toured Washington earlier this week and told officials that the expansion into Arab neighborhoods is going ahead at full speed.

As a result, “The battle line in Israel’s war of survival as a Jewish and democratic state now runs through the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem,” writes David Landau, the former editor of the Israeli daily Haaretz. “Is that the line, at last, where Israel’s decline will be halted?” I hope so.

My family lived in Israel from 1956 to 1958, when my father, an American diplomat, was stationed in East Jerusalem. We lived in the Palestinian sector, but every day I crossed through Mandelbaum Gate, the one checkpoint in the divided city, to attend school in an Israeli neighborhood. I thus had the rare privilege of seeing both sides.

At the time Sheik Jarrah was a sleepy suburb, a half-mile north of Damascus Gate. One of my playmates was Dani Bahar, the son of a Muslim Palestinian and a Jewish-German refugee from Nazi Europe. Before the establishment of Israel in 1948, such interfaith marriages were uncommon, but accepted. Another neighbor was Katy Antonius, the widow of George Antonius, an Arab historian who argued that Palestine should become a binational, secular state.

The Sheik Jarrah of my youth is gone; Mandelbaum Gate was razed by Israeli bulldozers right after the Six-Day War in 1967 that united Jerusalem. But the city remains virtually divided. Few Jewish Israelis venture into Sheik Jarrah and the other largely Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, and few Palestinians go to the “New City.”

Today East Jerusalem exudes the palpable feel of a city occupied by a foreign power. And it is, to an extent — although much of the world doesn’t recognize Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refuses to halt the construction of new housing units for Jewish Israelis in the Arab neighborhoods. “Jerusalem is not a settlement,” he recently told an audience in Washington.

Not all Israelis agree with this policy. For over a year, hundreds, sometimes thousands, of Israelis and Palestinians have been gathering in Sheik Jarrah on Fridays to protest the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes. Israeli courts have deemed these nonviolent demonstrations to be legal, but this has not stopped the police from arresting protesters.

In a cruel historical twist, nearly all of the Palestinians evicted from their homes in Sheik Jarrah in the last year-and-a-half were originally expelled in 1948 from their homes in the West Jerusalem neighborhood of Talbieh. In the wake of the Six-Day War, Israeli courts ruled that some of the houses these Palestinian refugees have lived in since 1948 are actually legally owned by Jewish Israelis, who have claims dating from before Israel’s founding.

The Palestinians have stubbornly refused to pay any rent to these “absentee” Israeli landlords for nearly 43 years; until recently, their presence was nevertheless tolerated. But under Mr. Netanyahu, a concerted effort has been made to evict these Palestinians and replace them with Israelis.

This poses an interesting question. If Jewish Israelis can claim property in East Jerusalem based on land deeds that predate 1948, why can’t Palestinians with similar deeds reclaim their homes in West Jerusalem?

I have in mind the Kalbians, our neighbors in Sheik Jarrah. Until 1948, Dr. Vicken Kalbian and his family lived in a handsome Jerusalem-stone house on Balfour Street in Talbieh. In the spring, the Haganah, the Zionist militia, sent trucks mounted with loudspeakers through the streets of Talbieh, demanding that all Arab residents leave. The Kalbians decided it might be prudent to comply, but they thought they’d be back in a few weeks.

Nineteen years later, after the Six-Day war, the Kalbians returned to 4 Balfour Street and knocked on the door. A stranger answered. “He was a Jewish Turk,” Dr. Kalbian said, “who had come to Israel in 1948.” The man claimed he had bought the house from the “authorities.”

That year the Kalbians took their property deed to a lawyer who determined that their house was indeed registered with the Israeli Department of Absentee Property. Under Israeli law, they learned, due compensation could have been paid to them — but only if they had not fled to countries then considered “hostile,” like Jordan. Because in 1948 they had ended up in Jordanian-controlled Sheik Jarrah, the Kalbians could neither reclaim their home nor be compensated for their loss.

The Kalbians eventually emigrated to America, but their moral claim to the house on Balfour Street is as strong as any of the deeds held by Israelis to property in Sheik Jarrah.

If Israel wishes to remain largely Jewish and democratic, then it must soon withdraw from all of the occupied territories and negotiate the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza with East Jerusalem as its capital. And if not, it should at least let the Kalbians go home again.

Kai Bird is the author of “Crossing Mandelbaum Gate: Coming of Age Between the Arabs and Israelis, 1956-1978.”

ASSOCIATED PRESS DECIDES FINAL STATUS OF JERUSALEM

Even The New York Times seems to disagree with their report;

Hours after the publication of this post, the text of the AP report on The New York Timeswebsite was changed removing the reference to Jerusalem as an “Israeli” city. It now states:

Hamas, meanwhile, has gained new support among Palestinians following eight days of fighting with Israel in November, during which Israel pounded the seaside strip from the air and sea, while Palestinians militants for the first time lobbed rockets toward Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

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Propaganda or news? Associated Press names Jerusalem an “Israeli” city

Submitted by Ali Abunimah

A Palestinian man and his son walk in front of the rubble of their house after it was demolished by Israeli occupation authorities in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Tur on 5 November 2012.

(Mahfouz Abu Turk / APA images)

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The Associated Press today seemingly awarded Israel sovereignty over Jerusalem.

An AP report posted by The New York Times and numerous other publications, on a rally held by the Fatah movement in the Gaza Strip today, claims:

Hamas has gained new support among Palestinians following eight days of fighting with Israel in November, during which Israel pounded the seaside strip from the air and sea, while Palestinians militants lobbed rockets toward the Israeli cities of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv for the first time.

Another instance of the AP report, published on the Time website refers to “the heartland Israeli cities of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.”

No country in the world, including the United States, formally recognizes Jerusalem as part of “Israel.”

The AP’s influential stylebook states:

Jerusalem stands alone in datelines

In other words, no country is identified. It is one of only a handful of non-US cities for which the stylebook makes this exception.

Fear of the facts

Under the 1947 UN Partition resolution (181) which Israel alleges grants it international legitimacy, the entirety of the city of Jerusalem was designated a “corpus separatum” – an international zone belonging to neither the Arab nor the Jewish states that the resolution envisaged, but which were never created according to its terms.

During the 1947-48 Nakba, as Zionist militias conquered most of historic Palestine far beyond the boundaries envisaged in resolution 181, they ethnically cleansed and conquered western Jerusalem, expelling its Palestinian residents and seizing and settling their property.

Many countries, for example the UK since 1950, recognize Israel as having “de facto authority” but not “de jure” sovereignty over the areas of Jerusalem occupied by Zionist militias in 1947-48.

No legal validity

In 1967, Israel conquered eastern Jerusalem then annexed it, an action that has been rejected unanimously and repeatedly in international law. UN Security Council Resolution 465 of 1980, for instance, declares:

all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity and that Israel’s policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and also constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

Israel, endlessly indulged and coddled by the so-called “international community,” has been able to flout this and many other resolutions with total impunity, as it continues its violent process of ethnic cleansing, land theft and settlement, with the goal of turning Jerusalem into an exclusively Jewish city.

A major part of its effort to violate Palestinian rights and international law has been to market Jerusalem – in defiance of legal, geographical and demographic facts – as an “Israeli city.”

Many media organizations – intimidated by constant bullying by Zionist groups – have succumbed to referring to Jerusalem as “disputed” rather than “occupied” in order to mask the facts and appease anti-Palestinian critics.

It looks like the influential AP has gone a step further and is now fully on board with Israeli propaganda.

Update 20:12 UTC: New York Times deletes reference to Jerusalem as “Israeli” city in AP report

Hours after the publication of this post, the text of the AP report on The New York Timeswebsite was changed removing the reference to Jerusalem as an “Israeli” city. It now states:

Hamas, meanwhile, has gained new support among Palestinians following eight days of fighting with Israel in November, during which Israel pounded the seaside strip from the air and sea, while Palestinians militants for the first time lobbed rockets toward Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

No editor’s note or correction documents the change but it is confirmed by screenshots made by The Electronic Intifada.

The change has not been made on other major publications carrying the AP report including Time and USA Today.

Written FOR

JERUSALEM’S ROAD TO OBLIVION

s-MIDEAST-ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS-large

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There is an expression ‘divide and conquer’, but in Israel they say ‘conquer and divide’. This is not because of the fact that Hebrew is read from right to left, but because that is how zionism operates. First they conquered the homes and lands of the Palestinian people, then they divided them to insure that they remain under occupation. We see evidence of this daily because of the wall of apartheid that has literally cut off all of Palestine from the rest of Israel, and from each other.

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As if that is not bad enough, the newest tactic is to build roads that run through the centre of Palestinian villages cutting off access for the residents from those living on the other side. The following describes what is taking place today in occupied Jerusalem …

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The village residents will not benefit from the new road, whose main beneficiaries will be West Bank settlers from Gush Etzion who will be able to drive to Jerusalem’s center or Tel Aviv without stopping at a single traffic light.

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New Jerusalem highway to cut Arab neighborhood in half

Construction of highway through Beit Safafa is based on plans drawn up 22 years ago, although no detailed plan for the road was submitted and no permits for the bridges above it were issued, according to municipal officials.

By Nir Hasson
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Beit Safafa highway construction
A resident of East Jerusalem’s Beit Safafa overlooking the highway construction works yesterday.Photo by Emil Salman
 

The Jerusalem municipality is constructing a highway running through the Arab neighborhood of Beit Safafa, cutting the pastoral area in the south of the city into two.

The road, passing mere meters away from residents’ homes, will not only ruin their quality of life but will cut many of them off from the mosque, bakery, nursery school and other facilities located a few minutes’ walk away. They will now have to travel a long way via roads, underpasses and bridges to get to the other side of the village.

The highway’s construction is based on plans drawn up 22 years ago, although no detailed plan for the road was submitted and no permits for the bridges above it were issued, according to municipal officials.

The village residents will not benefit from the new road, whose main beneficiaries will be West Bank settlers from Gush Etzion who will be able to drive to Jerusalem’s center or Tel Aviv without stopping at a single traffic light.

Ten days ago Attorney Kais Nasser filed an administrative petition against the municipality and its Moriah development company, demanding to halt the construction work and replan the road. Since he filed the petition the residents say the construction has speeded up.

The road is being built on the basis of a plan from 1990, when the city confiscated the residents’ lands for this purpose. But two later master plans for the Jerusalem district stipulated the city must submit detailed plans to build the road before beginning construction. A detailed plan was made for the road section near the Malha mall and the Gilo neighborhood, but no such plan was submitted for the section going through Beit Safafa.

Consequently, the people whose lives will be forever changed by the new road were not given a chance to submit objections or demand compensation.
The construction in Beit Safafa began although the confiscation process of the lands on which the road is to pass has not been completed, and before building permits have been issued for the bridges. The city maintains the road’s construction was approved in 1990. But since then the city issued building permits to houses built very close to the planned route in violation of planning regulations requiring to remove homes from roads of this size.

Alla Salman, who lives meters away from the planned road says since the petition against the road was filed, the construction in the neighborhood has accelerated. About 50 trucks carrying earth enter and leave the village daily, he says.

The work continues until 7 P.M., forcing people living near the site to suffer constant noise and dust.

All the trees in the small orchard in Salman’s yard will have to be cut and a few meters from his balcony the city plans to build an eight-meter acoustic wall, which the city says is a “concession” to the residents.

Mohamed Salman, the family’s father, aged 77, will no longer be able to walk to the mosque or bakery a few minutes’ walk away, and the neighborhood’s small children will have to walk hundreds of yards further and cross a bridge to get to their nursery school.

“There’ll be a separation wall like in the West Bank, in the middle of Beit Safafa,” says Ala Salman. “It’s a great injustice.”

The city responded that the road is a major project with “a high economic value.” It said the residents will benefit from the road and be able to enter it at either intersection on the village outskirts.

Source

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The above took me back to something that happened almost 30 years ago;

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I was a new immigrant to Israel and had to go to special classes to learn Hebrew. The students were divided into study groups of four to work together on special assignments. In my group, there was a young Palestinian man named Osama. We became close friends which continues until today.

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Our group took turns at working together in each other’s homes. There was some reluctance on the part of the others to go to Osama’s home despite his willingness for us to go there. He constantly referred to his village as “his country”. His home was in Beit Safafa, the village described above.

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Finally, the entire group agreed to visit ‘his country’. It was an eye opener for all of us. Here we were in an Arab village in the heart of Jerusalem, yet we were in a different country, a country called Palestine. We were welcomed into Osama’s home by his loving family and treated with the most delicious Palestinian dishes reserved only for special holidays.

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When I read the above report I wept for Osama’s family and neighbours. It brought to light the need for a Palestinian State which would put an end to the occupation and devastation of ‘THEIR country’.

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