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Israeli Apartheid Structures
Apartheid Comes to New Jersey PDF Print E-mail
Mar 05, 2007 at 12:00 AM
by Saifedean Ammous
The Columbia Spectator March 5, 2007

It was a cold Sunday morning in Teaneck, N.J. Some two-hundred-odd Jewish-Americans were entering the Orthodox synagogue Congregation B'nai Yeshurun where they were to hear a sales pitch by the Amana Settlement Movement aimed at convincing them to buy homes in illegal Israeli settlements.

America, the land that gave the world the separation of church and state, is hosting an auction where only members of one religious group can buy property.

And here I am, a Palestinian who grew up hundreds of meters away from some of these very settlements. I cannot buy any of these houses and am not admitted into the auction room. Literally and figuratively left out in the cold, I light a cigarette and get over it immediately; being denied entry is not an entirely novel experience for a Palestinian.

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Down the Explusion Highway PDF Print E-mail
Feb 15, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Clearing the Jordan Valley of Palestinians

By Amira Hass [Counterpunch, February 15, 2006]

“Someone who apparently had an especially sarcastic sense of humor decided to officially name the Jordan Valley Road, Route 90, the ‘Gandhi Road.’ The reference is not to Mahatma Gandhi, but to Rehavam Ze’evi, who advocated ‘transfer’ — the expulsion of the Palestinians from their land. Perhaps he understood that this was indeed the appropriate name for the eastern road. For not only on this road, but throughout the enormous and beautiful expanse of the Jordan Valley and the eastern slopes of the hills, there is an oppressive sense of absence, loss, and emptiness.

The Palestinians have disappeared from the valley, aside from a few thousand who live there plus some to whom Israel agrees to give daily entrance permits for various reasons. It is not even possible to include the approximately 35,000 residents of Jericho among those remaining, because the Israel Defense Forces forbids them to travel northward of Area A, where they live...”

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Israel unveils plan to encircle Palestinian state PDF Print E-mail
Feb 08, 2007 at 12:00 AM
by Chris McGreal [Guardian Unlimited, February 8, 2006]
  • Olmert says he will keep control of Jordan valley
  • Pullouts likely as acting PM follows Sharon's vision

“The acting Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, said yesterday that he plans to annex the Jordan Valley and major Jewish settlement blocks to Israel in drawing new borders, according to a television station that recorded an interview with him yesterday.

In Mr Olmert's first policy statement since he succeeded Ariel Sharon last month, Channel 2 television said that he made clear he intends to carry through his predecessor's vision of creating an emasculated Palestinian state on Israel's terms.

If the Jewish state were to annex all of the Jordan Valley, which is dotted with small settlements, it would leave a future Palestinian state on the West Bank entirely surrounded by Israel and without a direct link to neighbouring countries...”

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Noted Arab Citizens Call on Israel to Shed Jewish Identity PDF Print E-mail
Feb 07, 2007 at 12:00 AM

by ISABEL KERSHNER

JERUSALEM, Feb. 7 - A group of prominent Israeli Arabs has called on Israel to stop defining itself as a Jewish state and become a "consensual democracy for both Arabs and Jews," prompting consternation and debate across the country.

Their contention is part of "The Future Vision of the Palestinian Arabs in Israel," a report published in December under the auspices of the Committee of Arab Mayors in Israel, which represents the country's 1.3 million Arab citizens, about a fifth of the population. Some 40 well-known academics and activists took part.

They call on the state to recognize Israeli Arab citizens as an indigenous group with collective rights, saying Israel inherently discriminates against non-Jewish citizens in its symbols of state, some core laws, and budget and land allocations.

The authors propose a form of government, "consensual democracy," akin to the Belgian model for Flemish- and French-speakers, involving proportional representation and power-sharing in a central government and autonomy for the Arab community in areas like education, culture and religious affairs.

The document does not deal with the question of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, where an additional three million Palestinians live under Israeli occupation without Israeli citizenship. The aim of the declaration is to reshape the future of Israel itself.

The reaction of Jewish Israelis has ranged from some understanding to a more widespread response, indignation. Even among the center-left, where concern for civil rights is common, some have condemned the document as disturbing and harmful. On the right, Israeli Arabs have been accused of constituting a "fifth column," a demographic and strategic threat to the survival of the state....

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Olmert: We must separate from Palestinians, draw final borders PDF Print E-mail
Feb 08, 2007 at 12:00 AM
by Aluf Benn and Lilach Weissman [Ha'aretz, February 8, 2006]

“In his first interview since becoming Acting Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert on Tuesday revealed the core of his political agenda as the country’s leader, stressing that Israel must separate itself from the Palestinians within an agreement that would draw its permanent borders.

Speaking with Nissim Mishal on Channel 2 TV, Olmert said ‘reality today obliges us to separate ourselves from the Palestinians and to remodel the borders of the State of Israel and this is what I will do after the elections.’

When asked what concessions Israel would be prepared to make, Olmert said ‘we will separate from the majority of the Palestinian population living in the West Bank. This will force us to evacuate territories currently held by the State of Israel.’

‘We will hold on to the major settlement blocs (in the West Bank). We will keep Jerusalem united,’ he said...”

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Noted Arab Citizens Call on Israel to Shed Jewish Identity PDF Print E-mail
Feb 07, 2007 at 12:00 AM

by ISABEL KERSHNER

JERUSALEM, Feb. 7 - A group of prominent Israeli Arabs has called on Israel to stop defining itself as a Jewish state and become a "consensual democracy for both Arabs and Jews," prompting consternation and debate across the country.

Their contention is part of "The Future Vision of the Palestinian Arabs in Israel," a report published in December under the auspices of the Committee of Arab Mayors in Israel, which represents the country's 1.3 million Arab citizens, about a fifth of the population. Some 40 well-known academics and activists took part.

They call on the state to recognize Israeli Arab citizens as an indigenous group with collective rights, saying Israel inherently discriminates against non-Jewish citizens in its symbols of state, some core laws, and budget and land allocations.

The authors propose a form of government, "consensual democracy," akin to the Belgian model for Flemish- and French-speakers, involving proportional representation and power-sharing in a central government and autonomy for the Arab community in areas like education, culture and religious affairs.

The document does not deal with the question of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, where an additional three million Palestinians live under Israeli occupation without Israeli citizenship. The aim of the declaration is to reshape the future of Israel itself.

The reaction of Jewish Israelis has ranged from some understanding to a more widespread response, indignation. Even among the center-left, where concern for civil rights is common, some have condemned the document as disturbing and harmful. On the right, Israeli Arabs have been accused of constituting a "fifth column," a demographic and strategic threat to the survival of the state....

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Worlds Apart - Israel and South Africa PDF Print E-mail
Feb 06, 2007 at 12:00 AM
by Chris McGreal [The Guardian, February 6, 2006]

Israelis have always been horrified at the idea of parallels between their country, a democracy risen from the ashes of genocide, and the racist system that ruled the old South Africa. Yet even within Israel itself, accusations persist that the web of controls affecting every aspect of Palestinian life bears a disturbing resemblance to apartheid. After four years reporting from Jerusalem and more than a decade from Johannesburg before that, the Guardian’s award-winning Middle East correspondent Chris McGreal is exceptionally well placed to assess this explosive comparison. Here we publish the first part of his two-day special report.

“Said Rhateb was born in 1972, five years after Israeli soldiers fought their way through East Jerusalem and claimed his family’s dry, rock-strewn plot as part of what the Jewish state proclaimed its ‘eternal and indivisible capital’. The bureaucrats followed in the army’s footsteps, registering and measuring Israel’s largest annexation of territory since its victory over the Arab armies in the 1948 war of independence. They cast an eye over the Rhateb family’s village of Beit Hanina and its lands, a short drive from the biblical city on the hill, and decided the outer limits of this new Jerusalem. The Israelis drew a line on a map - a new city boundary - between Beit Hanina’s lands and most of its homes. The olive groves and orchards were to be part of Jerusalem; the village was to remain in the West Bank...

Four decades later, the increasingly complex world of Israel’s system of classification deems Said Rhateb to be a resident of the West Bank - somewhere he has never lived - and an illegal alien for living in the home in which he was born, inside the Jerusalem boundary...

If Rhateb is not legally resident in his own home, then he is defined as an ‘absentee’ who has abandoned his property. Under Israeli law, it now belongs to the state or, more particularly, its Jewish citizens. ‘They sent papers that said we cannot sell the land or develop it because we do not own the land. It belongs to the state,’ he says. ‘Any time they want to confiscate it, they can, because they say we are absentees even though we are living in the house. That’s what forced my older brother and three sisters to live in the US. They couldn’t bear the harassment.’

There are few places in the world where governments construct a web of nationality and residency laws designed for use by one section of the population against another. Apartheid South Africa was one. So is Israel...”

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Gaza's Ark organizers remain determined after attack
Gaza's Ark was badly damaged and partially sunk by a large explosion  at about 3:45 AM Gaza time on April 29th. No-one was injured. Mustafa Abu Awad, the guard who was on duty at the time, was taken to the hospital for tests and he has now been discharged.

The Ark was in the port of Gaza being readied to put to sea in June. Whether and when the boat can be repaired is something we will not know for sure until it can be pulled out of the water for inspection.

Awad said he had been warned to leave the area by an anonymous caller. "I was [sleeping] near the boat and someone phoned me -- an unidentified caller. I answered and he told me: 'Mustafa, leave the boat right now because we are going to blow it up.'"
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