Israel prepares to transfer 70,000 Jerusalem Palestinians to West Bank i.d.’s

Israel/Palestine
on 22 Comments
silwan protest
Silwan residents, now facing transfer to the West Bank,
protest home evictions in 2009 (Photo: Oren Ziv/Active Stills)

This week Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat announced plans to strip IDs from 70,000 Palestinian residents of Jerusalem , and transfer them to the West Bank civil administration. Though not a physical transfer, this stripping of IDs will mark the largest en masse stripping of citizenship rights, since 1967, the Palestinian naksa, or “setback.”  Palestinians who were forced into exile as refugees, or were traveling abroad in 1967 were stripped of their Palestinians ID documents.

The Palestinians from East Jerusalem neighborhoods such as Silwan, whose status will be revoked, are already geographically annexed to a “greater Jerusalem” by the security wall.  The route of the wall cuts Silwan from other Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem that are east of the wall, and west of the Ma’ale Adumim settlement.

Haaretz’s Nir Hassan reported on December 23, the stripping of Jerusalem IDs coincides with the opening of a massive new checkpoint in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat, and the re-emergence of construction on a settler road connecting Jerusalem to Ma’ale Adumim.  Finishing the construction, combined  with the new checkpoint, would all but cut the West Bank in half– and complete the physical annexation of East Jerusalem.

Hassan writes:

Put the pieces together, and you get a picture of Israel erecting, at enormous expense, a major system of roads and checkpoints that would allow for the total separation of Palestinians and Israelis while also enabling the construction of Mevasseret Adumim, a neighborhood that would connect Ma’aleh Adumim to Jerusalem.

E1MapEng
E1 plan. A Jerusalem settlement bloc which would bifurcate the West Bank (Map: Ir Amim)

Mevasseret Adumim, located in what is called EI, currently has, “roads, electricity lines, traffic circles and lots for development,” according to Hassan. The transfer of 70,000 Palestinians, the new checkpoint, and the road construction all indicate that though development of Mevasseret Adumim stopped in 2007, plans to construct this settlement (which will break territorial continuity in the West Bank ) are back.
 

22 Responses

  1. justicewillprevail
    December 28, 2011, 10:44 am

    The construction of Apartheid Israel proceeds apace, without a cheep from the Western liberal democracies.

  2. GalenSword
    December 28, 2011, 11:10 am

    July 14, 1933 – Nazi Party is declared the only legal party in Germany; Also, Nazis pass Law to strip Jewish immigrants from Poland of their German citizenship.

    [The current Zionist action is more extreme for the colonial invader population is stripping the native population of residence rights step-by-step.]

  3. Dan Crowther
    December 28, 2011, 3:11 pm

    Stormin Norman Finkelstein talked about this recently, and I think Annie brought it up the the other day – this basically ends any hope of a palestinian state…..

    Short of a US threat to use violence against Israel and a crippling sanctions regime from international civil society – this just doesn’t end…..

    • Annie Robbins
      December 28, 2011, 3:25 pm

      dan, i wrote about norm and quoted him today in my new post Nada, zilch, finito– the media snowjob of mass proportions. also, discussed him and it several times in this comment thread. very important theme..really hope people are grasping the enormity of this issue.

      link to mondoweiss.net

      • Dan Crowther
        December 28, 2011, 3:29 pm

        YUP thats the one! ha :)

        annie to the rescue!

        And I totally agree with your basic premise: Look at these crazy orthodox! (while we quietly annex E. Jerusalem)

    • Hostage
      December 29, 2011, 5:34 am

      Stormin Norman Finkelstein talked about this recently, and I think Annie brought it up the the other day – this basically ends any hope of a palestinian state…..

      Everyone who compares Palestine to South Africa always skips over the Bantustan period and goes straight to the debate over the 1ss vs the 2ss. But it is much more likely that the Palestinian Solidarity movement will miss the opportunity Norman discussed and bring on a Bantustan era. Netanyahu will probably be reelected and he has already rejected the key provisions of Security Council resolution 1860 regarding reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah:
      *Stressing that the Gaza Strip constitutes an integral part of the territory occupied in 1967 and will be a part of the Palestinian state,
      *Calls for the unimpeded provision and distribution throughout Gaza of humanitarian assistance, including of food, fuel and medical treatment;
      *Encourages tangible steps towards intra-Palestinian reconciliation including in support of mediation efforts of Egypt and the League of Arab States as expressed in the 26 November 2008 resolution, and consistent with Security Council resolution 1850 (2008) and other relevant resolutions;

      Israel has been trying to destroy the economy of Gaza for years now with the total land/sea closure. Nonetheless, Gaza carries on with its tunnel traffic, like a character from a George Romero film that somehow refuses to die. So it can be argued that Gaza is dependent on East Jerusalem economically, but I think that claim can only be supported for the enclaves in the West Bank that are also intended to form a part of the Palestinian state.

      While Hamas and Fatah have embraced a state based upon the 1967 borders, the Solidarity Movement is rather stubbornly rejecting the on-going UN bid. For example, the Palestinian legal experts are simply ignoring the opportunity to leverage the UNESCO membership to deposit treaty accessions and press the ICC to take action on the State of Palestine’s pending criminal complaint. They would have to acknowledge and accept the existence of an occupied State of Palestine in order to pursue that course of action, so their silence indicates a strong preference for the 1ss.

      So it’s much more realistic in my opinion to discuss the on-going Bantustan era.

      • Dan Crowther
        December 29, 2011, 11:54 am

        Thanks to you Hostage, very informative post ( per usual)

        to be clear, i didnt mean to advocate an opinion on 1s vs 2s – i think it is far too premature, israel shows no signs of caring about the law, let along adhering to it – continual pressure, BDS seem to be what people of conscience should be focusing on…..

      • Hostage
        December 29, 2011, 12:55 pm

        – continual pressure, BDS seem to be what people of conscience should be focusing on…..

        My point is that there is nothing stopping people of conscience from demanding an end to the killing and inhumane acts through the application of the available international penal sanctions. There wasn’t any criminal court in the Hague with jurisdiction over the crime of apartheid and 120 members states in the era of South African apartheid, but that is no longer the case.

      • Dan Crowther
        December 29, 2011, 1:40 pm

        Good point. Cheers!

      • Dex
        December 31, 2011, 5:04 am

        I respectfully disagree Hostage: I think the Palestinian Solidarity Movement (PSM), and those other supporters of one-state, see the conflict for what it is: a settler-colonial conflict. In other words, an intra-territorial conflict, not the extra-territorial conflict that the two-state paradigm has long presupposed. As such, advocats of binationalism tend to be more realistic, a point reflected in a strategy that: 1) is clear 2) has a coherent methodology 3) is far less compromised/corrupted by the ‘peace industry’ that emerged in the post-Oslo years 4) acknowledes the pre-1967 roots of the conflict and 5) addresses all key issues of the conflict.

        I understand your point about leveraging what little political/diplomatic clout Palestinian have, such as with their recent accession to UNESCO, but there is very little proof to think that international law will be any more effective moving forward than it has been over the past 40 + years for them. On the contrary, it can be argued that principally relying on such a mechanism, for as long as Palestinians have, has actually hurt their cause because it potentially delayed the growing international solidarity movement we see today, which, history proves, is what brings down structures of power. That stated, I can certainly understand how easy it is/was to rely (too) heavily on international law, considering it is a principal feature in today’s international system. But Palestinians have all the resolutions, laws, and conventions they need to have won their case — hands down — but we all know what that has gotten them. Thus, I believe International law should be “a” feature of the movement to restore Palestinian rights, not “the” feature. We have to utilize it, but be realistic about its tangible effectiveness.

        The Bantustan era you mentioned already exists — has existed for decades. Understanding that we cannot just roll back to the 1967 borders at this point, those who cannot let go of the two-state fantasy (such as Norman Finkelstein, who I respect in many ways) are doing a great disservice to the Palestinian cause; because, let’s face it, Israel does its greatest damage during the interim periods: those periods in which the parameters of Oslo, ICJ opinions, and UNSC Resolutions should have been implemented.

        I believe the PSM and other one-state supporters tend to better understand these realities, and have changed their conceptualization of the conflict as these realities have become set in stone (literally). Let’s not forget: virtually everyone gave the Oslo process a fair chance — even those such as Edward Said, who always supported the idea of binationalism — but it is time to change our thinking/strategy. Most of us have done so, but I often wonder when those who cling to the two-state position, such as Finkelstein and Chomsky, will finally see what a rapidly growing number of people around the world see.

        Below is a short, interesting read from Joseph Massad regarding the UN bid (which, if anyone has noticed, has disappeared from the radar):

        link to aljazeera.com

      • Hostage
        December 31, 2011, 12:22 pm

        I respectfully disagree Hostage: I think the Palestinian Solidarity Movement (PSM), and those other supporters of one-state, see the conflict for what it is: a settler-colonial conflict. In other words, an intra-territorial conflict, not the extra-territorial conflict that the two-state paradigm has long presupposed.

        But that’s a non-sequitur. It’s perfectly acceptable and legal for a State to colonize its own territory and only Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention applies to intra-territorial conflicts. As Finklestein has noted, that isn’t the accepted consensus view of the nature of the conflict.

        The Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that Israel has been engaged in an international armed conflict since the first intifada. That opinion is shared by the majority of the international community of states and the other High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions. The penal sanctions against war crimes, crimes against humanity, and colonialism contained in the Geneva Conventions and their protocols were incorporated in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

        According to JVP: The Palestinian civil society BDS call, now led by the Palestinian Boycott National Committee on behalf of its constituent organizations and unions, which represent the majority of Palestinian civil society, has three stated goals:
        *an end to the occupation;
        *equality for Palestinians now living in Israel; and
        *recognition of Palestinian refugees’ right of return.

        So, there’s no endorsement of a one state or two state solution in that agenda. There’s no reason for people of conscience to wait and allow more citizens of the State of Palestine to be persecuted and killed by citizens of Israel in the pursuit of one Statist model or the other. The ultimate goal is simply enjoyment of equal human rights in every state in the region.

        As such, advocats of binationalism tend to be more realistic . . . I understand your point about leveraging what little political/diplomatic clout Palestinian have

        I don’t think you do understand. The Palestinians haven’t been relying on the international criminal law system for +40 years, because there wasn’t one before 2002. The US and Israel have always claimed that the problem is a political one that can only be resolved through a negotiated settlement concluded outside the framework of international law. The ICC only started trying its first criminal cases in 2005 and the number of member states has nearly doubled since then.

        Israel and its supporters have delayed action on the Palestinian Operation Cast Lead criminal complaint since 2009 by relying on the standard argument that Palestine isn’t a State, and is thus incapable of accepting the Court’s jurisdiction. I can supply dozens of links to stories and editorials expressing outrage that President Abbas requested a six month delay on the initial HRC vote on the Goldstone Report, but the solidarity movement has never said a word in support of the Palestinian efforts in the ICC. Here’s a story which says Israel had threaten Abbas: Diskin to Abbas: Defer UN vote on Goldstone or face ‘second Gaza’
        link to haaretz.com

        There are still no outraged editorials from solidarity activists or Palestinian legal experts about the delay in investigating the Palestinian criminal complaint regarding the on-going attacks and siege on Gaza now that UNESCO has recognized the State of Palestine. Hamas and Fatah have both announced their willingness to accept a state within the 1967 borders. Who does the PSM represent, and why should Statist goals be a more important consideration than ending the armed conflict and sparing human lives?

        The Bantustan era you mentioned already exists

        I’ve already said that repeatedly right here at Mondoweiss, but the situation has gotten worse, not better. The written submissions and findings of fact in the 2004 ICJ Wall case mention nearly every constituent act of the crime of apartheid. There is a criminal court in Geneva with general jurisdiction over the offense, but the people who usually scream the loudest about it and Israel’s violation of international law are embarrassingly silent about that subject.

        International law is simply the set of rules adopted by the majority of the international community of states to govern their mutual relations. The law is whatever the community of states happen to say that it is. Finklestein and others are trying to draw attention to the fact that the majority or consensus view is that the Israeli occupation regime is illegal; that the legal status of the territory really isn’t disputed; that after the UNESCO vote, there are two recognized states between the Jordan and the Mediterranean and there is window of opportunity to end the armed conflict on the basis of a two state solution by simply accepting the existing consensus point of view.

      • Dex
        January 2, 2012, 6:27 am

        The “consensus” argument is one I constantly hear Finkelstein and others make. Though I think it is well-intended, it is misguided and plays right into the hands of Israel and the US. Why? Because we operate in an international “system” of states, not an international “society” of states — regardless of how much those from the rationalist school of thought would like to posit the idea. So in your (often informative) reference to int’l law, I think you fail to recognize the one dimension that is the driving force in this system of states: power.

        So while the “consensus” view of the conflict may be that of a two-state paradigm, we have to question the nature of this consensus; for it too is often a function of that same power. A clear example of this is the Oslo Accords, the parameters of which shaped today’s consensus view. But would you dare argue that Oslo was in any substantive way fair to Palestinians? As I am sure you know, Arafat was eager to participate in Oslo as a self-serving way to 1) blunt the rising power of a young, grassroots leadership that emerged during the first intifada and 2) achieve the int’l legitimacy he had long sought. For Israel, Oslo was a way to curb the pressure it received internationally for its brutal repression of the largely non-violent first intifada. This allowed it to conveniently develop its dual discourse strategy over the next two decades: the first at the international level using the rhetoric of “peace,” and the second at the domestic level using the rhetoric of expansionism. Though Israel is/was motivated by the latter, it was the former that allowed it to contribute to the process of consensus-building.

        Today, we are operating in a reality in which negotiations take place over the size of Palestinian territory, which you, Finkelstein, and virtually everyone under the sun, agrees is undisputed Palestinian land. This means that the size of Israel can only increase, and the size of a future Palestinian state can only decrease. So pointing to the ICC, the Geneva Conventions, and Israeli high court decisions is fine, and, as I’ve stated, Palestinians should definitely use these tools to their advantage in terms of asserting their rights, but let us not be misguided in thinking that this should be the foundation on which Palestinians must make their claims. Possessing rights in a legal or abstract sense is one thing, but being able to have those rights implemented is another. Palestinians have had their rights affirmed and reaffirmed time and time again, but the fact that they cannot seem to get these rights implemented is a function of power.

        I think those who support BDS, PSM, and/or the one-state solution understand this dynamic better than those like Finkelstein, who tend to be stuck in a mode of thought/reason that is rigid and unable/unwilling to change with the realities of the conflict. Again, Palestinians have countless binding UN Resolutions, Conventions, and other sources of law that unequivocally support their cause, but what have they achieve as result? Sure, writing editorials or letters to the ICC cannot hurt, but, realistically, how much can it help, considering the US and Israel does not recognize the jurisdiction of the court?

        It should be remembered that the BDS movement, the PSM movement, and the one-state solution movement only emerged as a result of the failure of Palestinians to have their rights implemented through the mechanisms you (understandably) advocate. But to continue to silently wait for the slow wheels of justice to turn by putting complete faith in a system that has yielded virtually zero tangible results because it has been hijacked by power is unwise. I believe these new movements understand that the old top-down approach to peace is not possible; it is now clear that only a bottom-up approach will give Palestinians the rights/freedom/justice they deserve.

        There is a fundamental difference between “ending the armed conflict” (to use your words) and resolving it in a sustainable, equitable way.

      • Hostage
        January 2, 2012, 3:41 pm

        Every time that I read an article or editorial by an activist complaining about Israel’s violations of international criminal law, I completely tune-out anything else the author says about informal BDS approaches to the problem – if there is no corresponding demand that pressure be applied to investigate and prosecute the persons responsible in the International Criminal Court. There are obvious parallels to the recent Penn State scandal and the people there who decided to handle the situation outside of the criminal justice system. Palestine has always been handled outside of the framework of international law and the Nuremberg principles.

        Congressman Baird was absolutely correct when he pointed out that “Those Children Deserve To Have Someone Ask Why They Died!” and I don’t care if that upsets some BDS activist’s apple cart and the one state paradigm. link to youtube.com

        The ICC was established over US objections. The same thing applies to the definition of aggression that was adopted during the 2010 ICC review conference. When it enters into force, it will allow the Court to act even when the Security Council fails to make a determination about a case involving one of the member states that have opted-in to the Court’s protections. Observers have noted, that the more the US dislikes the Court, the more the majority of the member states like it. So we shouldn’t forget that the ICC has its own international personality and that neither the US nor Israel can veto its decisions.

        You are overlooking the events that led up to the Oslo Accords and the limited five-year objective of that agreement. The General Assembly had been describing Israel’s continued occupation of Arab territories in violation of UN resolutions as an example of aggression. The other members of the Security Council finally got fed-up and convened the 9th Emergency session of the General Assembly in 1982. The General Assembly formally condemned US arms sales to Israel and its use of the veto to protect Israel from international sanctions. The General Assembly also demanded that an international peace conference be convened to propose a solution. The US claimed that would derail its own private channel of negotiations conducted under the Camp David framework.

        During the Gulf War, the PLO supported Sadaam Hussein’s proposed linkage of the withdrawal from Kuwait to an Israeli withdrawal from the Occupied Arab Territories. Bush Sr. rejected the proposal but committed to address the issue after the war. In the meantime, the members of the Arab Quartet withdrew their financial support from the PLO and treated Palestinians as an enemy fifth column. Israel exploited the situation to extend a lopsided proposal to the weakened PLO for a five year interim autonomy agreement, pending full implementation of resolutions 242 and 338. Oslo was employed to head-off a possible multilateral solution from developing as a result of the Madrid Peace Conference. So at the end of the Oslo era, instead of implementing 242 and 338, Netanyahu deployed the IDF to lay siege to Arafat’s headquarters and threatened to go to war if a Palestinian state emerged.

        The Accords lapsed on September 13, 2000 and were repeatedly declared null and viod during the al-Aqsa Intifada. In 2004, activists failed to pressure the PLO into submitting the ICJ decision to the ICC Prosecutor. The unnatural status quo has been propped-up , as usual, by an ad hoc political process conducted outside the framework of international law, including US dominated Middle East Quartet Road Map, and the Annapolis Conference. It’s way past time for Palestinian activists to target international legal institutions as the first resort to continued war crimes and crimes against humanity.

        Palestinians should definitely use these tools to their advantage in terms of asserting their rights, but let us not be misguided in thinking that this should be the foundation on which Palestinians must make their claims. Possessing rights in a legal or abstract sense is one thing, but being able to have those rights implemented is another.

        That’s platitudinous bullshit. The only reason Israel can blockade and imprison Palestinians for years on end and massacre them from time to time with absolute impunity is because their leaders know that there is no Palestinian Simon Wiesenthal who will hunt them for the rest of their days and see to it that they are prosecuted.

      • Dex
        January 2, 2012, 6:34 pm

        I think your assertion that the BDS approach to the conflict is insufficient because it does not utilize the ICC the way you see fit is a bit silly, to be perfectly honest. I have never once read something — either in an article, scholarly journal or book — or seen an interview with a BDS/PSM/binational activist that openly renounces using the framework of international law to achieve Palestinian rights. What I have read/seen, however, is these same activists point out the very simple fact that Palestinians have been unable to get these rights implemented for decades, and it is time to develop and implement a new strategy to achieve such – one that maneuvers around the political process that most that support Palestinians rights despise.

        Now you seem to believe that the ICC will somehow be more effective than past UNSC/GA Resolutions, the Geneva Conventions, ICJ opinions, etc. Perhaps you are right – in fact, I hope you are right – but marginalizing these same activists for using an alternative approach is unfair. Again, this movement sprang from the fact that, for decades, the mechanisms we have in place to resolve these specific issues have proven inept. So, yes, the Palestine-Israel conflict is unique, in that, it operates outside the scope of int’l law, but I argue this is a function of power, something you did not address in your reply. Understanding this reality, I think BDS activists – apple carts and all – have made a conscious decision to reassert the poles of justice using a bottom-up approach.

        Now this doesn’t mean that a parallel strategy pursuing legal avenues should not be utilized. I think that most activists supported the recent UN bid, but were rightly skeptical about its chances for success. Perhaps this is why you didn’t see the editorials you wish you had on the matter. Personally, I supported the Palestinian UN bid, if for no other reason, then the fact that it exposes Israel and the US in an even greater way, but believed that power-politics would prevent achieving any substantive result in terms of creating a viable Palestinian state. Just look at the intense lobbying by the US in the Security Council in the run-up to the vote; where did that vote go, by the way? Your long description of the lead up to Oslo – grandstanding notwithstanding — is a prime example of this ability by Western states to use their prestige/power/influence to prevent int’l institutions from implementing the “consensus solution.” That is why the US can block/veto UN decisions at every turn, and Israel could exploit the pre-Oslo situation and manipulate the processes of Oslo itself in the way it did.

        “Platitudinous bullshit” aside, they can do this with impunity because they know they have the power to get away with it. And it is not because there is no legal pit bull out there chasing them down – the possibility of being arrested in London is not so frightening to Israel leaders because they know that, by pulling the right strings, that possibility inevitably goes away – but because they have not yet felt enough pressure to think or act otherwise. I would argue that last decade of BDS/PSM activism has done more to put the fear of God in Israeli leaders, who have been on the defensive in terms of the international sphere, using damage-control and trying to rebrand itself, then any rights Palestinians have on paper.

        All that said, I don’t think it has to be one or the other way. I support incorporating multiple strategies, as long as they are coherent. But at the end of the day, I believe the bottom-up approach to a conflict that has such an astounding asymmetrical power-balance will be more effective than a top-down approach.

      • Hostage
        January 2, 2012, 9:11 pm

        I think your assertion that the BDS approach to the conflict is insufficient because it does not utilize the ICC the way you see fit is a bit silly, to be perfectly honest.

        Yes, I’m suggesting that the Jewish boycott against Nazi Germany wasn’t nearly as effective as the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg.

        Seriously, like Finklestein, I support BDS within the framework of international law. In the case of South Africa, the ANC was lucky enough to obtain formal sanctions and arms embargoes. There is no UN or US arms embargo against Israel, despite a guaranteed majority in the General Assembly and provisions of the US Arms Export Control Act that permit sanctions against persistent human rights violators. There are formal trade and economic sanctions against Iran for imaginary offenses, when the Israeli nuclear weapons program exposed by Vanunu goes completely ignored.

        In fact our lawmakers use the U.S. Code to punish the Palestinians, prolong the conflict, and authorize the use of military force in the “Hague invasion clause” to liberate any American or citizen of a U.S.-allied country, like Israel, being held by the ICC. link to hrw.org

        I have never once read something — either in an article, scholarly journal or book — or seen an interview with a BDS/PSM/binational activist that openly renounces using the framework of international law to achieve Palestinian rights.

        The ICC Prosecutor devotes several pages to the raging dispute surrounding Palestine’s statehood and its impact on Palestine’s ability to validly accept the jurisdiction of the ICC as a non-member state under the provisions of Article 12(3).
        *http://www.icc-cpi.int/menus/icc/structure%20of%20the%20court/office%20of%20the%20prosecutor/comm%20and%20ref/palestine/summary%20of%20submissions%20on%20whether%20the%20declaration%20lodged%20by%20the%20palestinian%20national%20authority%20meets
        *http://www.icc-cpi.int/Menus/ICC/Structure+of+the+Court/Office+of+the+Prosecutor/Comm+and+Ref/Palestine/

        President Abbas has obtained formal recognition from the majority of existing states and has explained in a NY Times Op-Ed that the bid for recognition from the UN organization would pave the way for the internationalization of the conflict as a legal matter, not only a political one.
        *http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/17/opinion/17abbas.html

        In the past, the ICC Prosecutor and President of the Assembly of States Parties have both indicated that if Palestine obtains observer state status or recognition from the UN organization, the ICC will react accordingly or that Palestine will be able to become a party to the Rome Statute and request that crimes committed on its territory since July 2002 be investigated.
        *http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904060604576575002527221120.html
        *http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1061595

        Palestinian activists like Ali Abunimah and Omar Barghouti responded by falling all over themselves claiming alternately that a) UN recognition of a Palestinian make-believe state would be a fantasy devoid of any meaning; to b) editorials which falsely claimed that recognition of a State of Palestine was dangerous because it would prevent the PLO from representing refugees within the UN organization and incorrectly reporting that the application for membership didn’t address that issue.
        *http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/04/2011413152522296883.html
        *http://mondoweiss.net/2011/09/the-un-application-for-the-state-of-palestine-and-the-future-of-the-plo.html

        Electronic Intifada has dozens of articles alleging that Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid. link to electronicintifada.net

        People who insist on running a civil society anti-apartheid campaign, while eschewing formal investigations and prosecutions for the crime obviously risk being accused of exploiting the “apartheid analogy” for propaganda purposes.

        where did that vote go, by the way?

        The Palestinian leadership used a little known feature of international treaty law that was designed to prevent permanent members of the Security Council from using power politics against them. Now that it is a full member of a UN organization specialized agency, UNESCO, it can ratify or file accessions to multilateral treaties, like the Rome Statute of the ICC. But more importantly, its existing 2009 non-member state Article 12(3) Declaration accepting the Court’s jurisdiction must be considered valid.

        So groups like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Al Haq, and etc. should be screaming to high heavens because the ICC Prosecutor still hasn’t publicly acknowledged that fact and taken the appropriate action on all of their Operation Cast Lead communications.

        The Legal Affairs Section of the UN Secretariat explains that the development of the Vienna formula occurred because of situations exactly like the current one, where a permanent member of the Security Council is abusing the veto:

        But when a treaty is open to “States”, how is the Secretary-General to determine which entities are States? If they are Members of the United Nations or Parties to the Statute of the International Court of Justice, there is no ambiguity. However, a difficulty has occurred as to possible participation in treaties when entities which appeared otherwise to be States could not be admitted to the United Nations, nor become Parties to the Statute of the International Court of Justice owing to the opposition, for political reasons, of a permanent member of the Security Council. Since that difficulty did not arise as concerns membership in the specialized agencies, where there is no “veto” procedure, a number of those States became members of specialized agencies, and as such were in essence recognized as States by the international community.

        — Summary of Practice of the Secretary-General as Depositary of Multilateral Treaties link to treaties.un.org

  4. American
    December 28, 2011, 3:55 pm

    Yep, as Allison said Israel has been deporting and stripping and transfering Palestines all along…ever inventing new ways to do it.

    Israel expels first Palestinians under new military edict
    By Jean Shaoul
    27 April 2010
    Israel has deported two Palestinian men to the Gaza Strip under a new military regulation that came into effect two weeks ago restricting the right of Palestinians to live in the West Bank. The new regulation is a charter for ethnic cleansing that could lead to the expulsions of tens of thousands of Palestinians. It is the latest step restricting Palestinians’ freedom of movement and residency rights based on their Palestinian ID card.

    Ahmad Sabah, a 40-year-old Palestinian, was the second person to be deported under the new policy. He was sent to Gaza after serving nine years in an Israeli jail, instead of being released to the West Bank where his immediate family was waiting for him, because his ID card was issued in Gaza.

    His family said that Sabah, who was arrested in 2001 for “security offences” against Israel, has no connection to Gaza and has refused to leave the border crossing in protest at his treatment. ”It is my right to return to my wife and family”, he said.

    The Israeli military authorities said in a statement, “The individual’s release to the Gaza Strip was done in accordance with the Prison Service’s decision and in light of the location of his place of residence, and was not due to a repatriation order issued by any military commander.”

    The legislation contravenes the 1949 Geneva Convention on the treatment of occupied populations and breaches the undertakings given by Israel to the Palestinian Authority under the Oslo Accords.

    Sabah’s deportation follows that of Saber Albayari, who was deported to Gaza after undergoing medical treatment in an Israeli hospital on Wednesday. Albayari had been living in Israel for the past 15 years, but was sent to Gaza when Israeli authorities discovered that he had been born there.

    The two cases presage future deportees being sent to Gaza, whose entire population Israel has kept under siege and where life is a living hell. Up to 70,000 Palestinians could be at risk of deportation under the military order.

    Under the new decree issued by the Israel Defence Force (IDF), anyone who enters the West Bank illegally is defined as an infiltrator, as is “a person who is present in the area and does not lawfully hold a permit”, and will be deported from the West Bank and Israel within 72 hours. Alternatively, they will face indictment—by the military courts—on charges carrying prison terms of up to seven years, without any right of appeal to civilian courts. The military may also order the infiltrator to pay for the costs of his or her detention, custody and expulsion.

    The order extends the original 1969 definition of an infiltrator, which originally applied only to those illegally staying in Israel after having passed through countries then classified as enemy states—Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria.

    The term infiltrator also applies now to Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, visitors who are citizens of countries with which Israel has friendly relations such as the United States and Israeli citizens, whether Arab or Jewish. It is up to IDF commanders to determine exactly who is an infiltrator.

    This is likely to entrap anyone holding an ID card issued in Gaza and their West Bank-born children, those born in the West Bank or abroad who for some reason lost their residency status, and foreign-born spouses of Palestinians. Since 2000, Gazans in the West Bank have been declared as illegal if they have Gazan addresses, and many, including some born in the West Bank, have been deported to Gaza.

    Naturally, the term ”infiltrator” does not apply to Jewish settlers illegally colonising Palestinian land or residing in “outposts” that have not been authorised by the Israeli authorities.

    This new restriction comes on top of earlier restrictions on Palestinians’ right to move freely within the Occupied Territories. They have long required special authorisation to enter the Jordan Valley and more recently to enter areas near the Security Wall, even if their homes are there.

    The order overturns the agreements under the 1993 Oslo Accords and overrides the Palestinian Authority’s jurisdiction over its citizens. Since 2007, when Hamas forestalled a coup by Fatah and took control of Gaza, the authorities have treated Gaza and the West Bank as two separate entities, restricting Gazans’ right to live, work, study or even visit the West Bank. A military diktat, without even the fig leaf of military legislation, requires Palestinians with an address in Gaza to request a permit to stay in the West Bank.

    According to international law, Israel has no jurisdiction over the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan and East Jerusalem, and its legislation is null and void.

    HaMoked, the human rights organisation, first brought the new order to light last November. It has asked the IDF to delay the order, given “the dramatic change it causes in relation to the human rights of a tremendous number of people,” and wrote a letter to Ehud Barak, the defence minister, signed by 10 other groups, protesting that “The orders are worded so broadly such as theoretically allowing the military to empty the West Bank of almost all its Palestinian inhabitants.”

    The order is part of a broader Israeli policy of ethnic cleansing aimed at reducing the number of Palestinians in both Israel and the Occupied Territories and increasing the number of Jewish immigrants, who were a minority even in the area originally designated by the United Nations in 1947 as the Jewish state under the Partition Plan. This policy, which is being accomplished by both military edicts and civilian law, is a longstanding one.

    Three pieces of legislation enacted after the establishment of the Israeli state—the Absentees’ Property Law, the Law of Return and the Israel Citizenship Law—stripped the right of those Palestinians who had fled or were driven out of their homes to return, while allowing unrestricted immigration and automatic citizenship of Jews from all over the world. Even those Palestinians who did not leave only became citizens of the new state under the 1952 Israel Citizenship Law, and they were subject to military rule until 1966. Tens of thousands of Palestinians remained stateless in Israel until 1982.

    Following the 1967 War, Israel subjected the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) to military rule that lasted until 1981 and treated all Palestinian residents of the OPT as non-citizens and foreign residents. The majority had Jordanian nationality. A quarter of a million Palestinians who were not in the OPT during the war were not allowed to return, and 150,000 were stripped of their ID cards when their exit visas expired. Israel used emergency regulations inherited from the British Mandate to deport 1,522 Palestinians between 1967 and 1992.

    Israel’s illegal annexation of East Jerusalem in 1967 and the Golan in 1981 meant that Palestinians came under Israeli civil rule and were declared residents, not citizens, of Israel. Application to become a citizen was subject to discretion of the minister of the interior, who has complete control over who can become a citizen.

    Israel has used a 1974 regulation to deprive many Palestinians who live in East Jerusalem of their IDs and residency rights if they have been absent for more than seven years and have been granted permanent residency or citizenship rights elsewhere.

    In 1988, when the Palestinian National Council called for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza alongside Israel, King Hussein of Jordan surrendered his claim to the West Bank and his administrative and legal ties to it. He revoked the Jordanian citizenship of the West Bankers, a violation of their human rights under Article 15/1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, so that 1.5 million Palestinians became stateless. They have even fewer rights than refugees.

    The Oslo Accords ended Israel’s control over Palestinian affairs, including restrictions on the right to travel and return to their homes in Palestinian-controlled areas, although Israel controlled all border crossings. More than 100,000 returnees were issued with Israeli ID cards.

    But Israel re-imposed the restrictions and froze all applications for family reunification after the outbreak of the intifada in September 2000, following Ariel Sharon’s provocative entry into the Al Aqsa compound and the breakdown of the Camp David talks in July 2000. The resumption of the brutal military occupation and the imposition of lockdowns, curfews and roadblocks closed down the economy, creating untold poverty and misery for the majority. More and more Palestinians left the West Bank and Gaza.

    Far-right Israeli politicians have called for the transfer of all Arab Israelis out of Israel, while Kadima leader Tzipi Livni suggested that they move to the new Palestinian entity when or if it were established. More recently, some politicians have called for Arabs to be stripped of their Israeli citizenship.

    Such a policy flows inexorably from the establishment of state based on religious exclusivity. The Zionist state must employ the most ruthless measures to ensure that the Palestinians in the OPT and Israel itself do not constitute a majority, as is expected within a decade.’

  5. Henry Norr
    December 28, 2011, 6:03 pm

    Allison wrote: “The Palestinians from East Jerusalem neighborhoods such as Silwan, whose status will be revoked, are already geographically annexed to a “greater Jerusalem” by the security wall. The route of the wall cuts Silwan from other Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem that are east of the wall …”

    I think it’s wrong to suggest that the Palestinians of Silwan would lose their Jerusalem IDs under Barkat’s recent proposal. That proposal involves changing the boundaries of “Greater Jerusalem” so the parts of it that are east of the apartheid wall would cease to be part of the city and would instead fall under the authority (such as it is) of the Palestinian Authority. That’s why the 70,000 or Palestinians who live in those areas would lose their Jerusalem IDs.

    As the second part of the quoted passage implies, however, Silwan is west of the wall, and it’s certainly not an area the Israelis want to turn over to the PA – on the contrary, they’re doing their damnedest to keep it, just without Palestinian residents.

    The Jerusalem Post’s report on Barkat’s proposal says the major neighborhoods it would affect are Kafr Aqab, the Shuafat refugee camp, Semiramis, Zughayer and Atarot.

    • Jeffrey Blankfort
      December 28, 2011, 10:22 pm

      Henry’s post reminds me that following Israel’s triumph in 1967 it immediately expanded the boundaries of Jerusalem to three times its historic size and included it as a non-negotiable part of Israel. While the new “borders” that move created have never been officially recognized internationally they have been de facto, thanks largely to the acquiescence of the US that it’s refusal to move its embassy there does not excuse.

  6. Annie Robbins
    December 28, 2011, 6:20 pm

    they don’t waste any time, via seham’s twitter Israeli Authorities Close Mosque, Kindergarten and Shops in Silwan

    JERUSALEM, December 27, 2011 (WAFA) – The Israeli authorities Tuesday closed Al-Ain Mosque, the oldest mosque in Silwan, a nearby kindergarten, and several shops located in the main street of Wadi Helwa, in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan until a further notice, according to WAFA correspondent.

    He said that the closure order was issued under the pretext of “ensuring public safety and fearing of further collapses, following the collapse that took place on Monday near the mosque.”

    Head of the Committee for the Defense of Silwan, Fakhri Abu Diab expressed concern over this decision, especially as the reason behind the collapses, whether the Monday’s collapse or the previous ones, is the Israeli ongoing digging of tunnels under the neighborhood to connect it to the old city.

    He warned of the Israeli authorities intentions to close several more shops and homes in the area in order to seize the area and displace its residents, aiming to judaize the neighborhood of Wadi Helwa, the closest neighborhood to al-Aqsa mosque from the south.

    He called on the Palestinian residents of Silwan to exercise the highest level of vigilance and caution of the Israeli plans, which are targeting their presence in the area.

    Abu Diab appealed to the local and international communities to promptly intervene to put a stop to the Israeli dangerous plans targeting al-Aqsa mosque and the Palestinian existence around it.

    rust never sleeps

  7. Talkback
    December 29, 2011, 5:41 am

    Israel’s way of whitewashing Nazi crimes.

  8. Sheldonrichman
    December 29, 2011, 9:37 am

    I am sickened.

  9. Walid
    December 30, 2011, 3:23 am

    Why the surprise? The Zionists, especially master “transferrist” Ben-Gurion, had been talking the language of transfer since 1937 and haven’t stopped making it happen since then. What is sickening, Sheldon is that when this started, Zionists weren’t only talking to themselves about doing but actually discussing it with Arab leaders and how much money would be involved. At the time, the location of choice for moving out the Palestinians was Iraq and talks about it headed by the Saudis involved transferring Jews from Iraq to Palestine to offset the Palestinian labour force that would be lost by the transfer. Only the Jews’ shortage of cash prevented it from happening. Down the transfer road a bit later on in the early 50s, the subject was again revived by the Zionists to do a number on the Christian Palestinians of the upper Galilee this time by moving them to Argentina.

    Israel Shahak, PhD, the late Professor Emeritus at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, in an Spring 1989 article published in the Journal of Palestine Studies titled “A History of the Concept of ‘Transfer’ in Zionism,” wrote:

    “By 1951, Israel had signed cease-fire agreements with the neighboring Arab states and had a Palestinian population that represented only a fraction of its pre-1947 numbers. In autumn of that year, Weitz [Yosef Weitz, former Director of the Jewish National Fund] met with Moshe Sharett (28 August 1951), the Israeli minister of feoreign affairs, to discuss the ‘project of transferring or of contributing to the emigration of the Christian Arabs of the upper Galilee to South America…’ Sharett was to bring this idea of ‘transferring’ Christian Arabs before the prime minister, Ben-Gurion. On 31 August Sharett’s secretary notified Weitz that Ben-Gurion had given his agreement and authorized the project. However, on 13 November 1951 Weitz recorded that that very day he had had an interview with the prime minister in order to obtain his special blessing before going to Argentina, the place to which the Christian Palestinians were to be ‘transferred.’ When reminded of the idea, the prime minister remarked ‘that it was a splendid idea, and very important.’ On 30 November, Weitz was in Buenos Aires where, in the Israeli legation, he consulted with three Jewish agronomists who had been in Argentina for a long time to draw up a schedule for his tour of a few provinces in connection with the ‘transfer’ plan.

    After completing his Argentine tour, on 5 February 1952 Weitz was back in Jerusalem to discuss the matter with Ben-Gurion. The prime minister’s primary concern was that the Christian Church would surely oppose the project, but that, nonetheless, ‘We must do it.’ And the process began at once. On 6 March, Witz, together with another official of the JNF, was in Jish, a Christian village in the Upper Galilee, trying to ‘persuade’ its inhabitants to emigrate to Argentina. The first meeting was unsuccessful, but Weitz returned for a second meeting, the results of which he recorded on 8 March. Weitz relates how he tried again to describe Argentina as the best of all lands, but his listeners sat in silence until the end, when one Palestinian remarked, ‘No country is as good as this country of ours. Even our mountains are better than the plains over there. Even the rock can grow plants, and every stone produces a crop.

    The plan of ‘transfer’ of the Christian Palestinians to Argentina had apparently failed, as witnessed by the subsequent silence on the matter by Weitz. However, from other information, it is known that it was pursued for some months, using the means described above as well as through offers of considerable bribes, but again without success. The authorities were unwilling to employ extreme forms of pressure against Israeli citizens, and therefore, the plan was allowed to die.”

    For other that and other more recent stories of transfer, including the gem by Lieberman:

    link to israelipalestinian.procon.org

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