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In 1948 the Nakba was carried out by the military, in 2013 it continues in courtrooms

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Moriel Rothman uses the Shamasneh family eviction case in Sheikh Jarrah as an example of how the dispossession of the Palestinian people continues today, albeit in less dramatic fashion than 65 years ago.

From Rothman’s Times of Israel post “The Shamasneh Case: How the Nakba Continues Legally in East Jerusalem“:

The Nakba, which will be commemorated tomorrow, on May 15th, is characterized by the Israeli government’s intentional expulsion or transfer of parts of the Palestinian population. This was done in 1948 en masse and by the military, with widespread violence under the banner of desperation. It is done in 2013 in suits and with a great calm, house by house (and sometimes village by village), through jurisprudence and law and under the banner of Israeli democracy.

Tomorrow, as we in Israel remember (or try our best to to ignore) Nakba Day, let us also grapple with the thought that the Shamasneh family is facing a small scale Nakba of their own, that if the courts decide to rule in favor of the settlers, the Shamasneh family will be expelled from their own home and replaced by Jewish settlers whose goal seems to be to ensure that “Shimon HaTzadik” (as it is also called by the Jerusalem Municipality’s Light Rail) is a Jewish neighborhood, and that the name “Sheikh Jarrah” is added to the list of Palestinian villages and areas that once were, before some version of the Nakba reached them, and are no longer.

(h/t Nima Shirazi)

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3 Responses

  1. Stephen Shenfield
    Stephen Shenfield
    May 15, 2013, 6:27 pm

    The contrast implied in the title is exaggerated. Who enforces the court orders? Whoever does it, armed force can be used if required. The only difference between now and 1948 is that now the legal formalities are (at least sometimes) observed before Palestinians are forcibly expelled, while in 1948 they had to be improvised after the event.

  2. Rudolph
    May 15, 2013, 10:23 pm

    It is never easy for a country to honestly address its wrongs. War in 1948 was inevitable — primarily due to the goals of Zionism. It is long past due for some measure of justice to be done. Perhaps if more Jews were informed of the following, more empathy could be generated for displaced and soon-to-be-displaced Palestinians:
    -“In July 1948, Ben Gurion gave orders for the operations in Lydda and Ramleh: ‘Expel them!’ he told Yigal Allon and Yitzhak Rabin — a section censored out of Rabin’s memoirs, but published thirty years later in the New York Times.”
    -“During the [1948] war Zionist forces committed abuses so terrible that David Ben-Gurion…declared himself ‘shocked by the deeds that have reached my ears.’ In the town of Jish, in the Galilee, Israeli soldiers pillaged Arab houses, and when the residents protested, took them to a remote location and shot them dead.”
    -“[J]ews committed far more atrocities than the Arabs and killed far more civilians and PoWs in deliberate acts of brutality in the course of 1948.″

  3. pabelmont
    May 16, 2013, 10:22 am

    In fact, Israel’s gov’t and its army have many times refused to honor court orders (e.g., orders to allow Palestinians inside Israel to return to their homes). I’ve always supposed that USA’s courts would be obeyed when they ordered the gov’t. I’ve always supposed that in this regard Israel was different.

    However, in these days of “national security” and emergency, it is not clear. Anyhow, the USA’s courts are kow-towing to the gov’t whenever the latter runs up the flag of “national security”, “classified information”, “gov’t secrecy”, etc.

    So perhaps the issue of the gov’t disobeying the court does not arise because of the court’s flabbiness.

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