Why does Netanyahu keep winning?

by Gilad Atzmon

A few days ahead of the previous Israeli election, Haaretz’s lead writer Anshel Pfeffer,  authored a spectacular analysis of Israel’s current political deadlock: Israelis are going to the polls to decide whether they are ‘Jews’ or ‘Israelis.’ 

The first to point out the political  rivalry between ‘the Jew’and ‘the Israeli’ was  Shimon Peres who, after his narrow 1996 defeat,  lamented in a Haaretz interview that “the Israelis lost the election.” When Peres asked who won, he answered, “The Jews won.” Peres, who was born in Poland, saw himself as the ‘Israeli’ candidate, Netanyahu, who was born in Israel and served as a commander in the IDF’s top unit, was in Peres’ eyes, the political choice of the ‘Jews.’  Peres’s observation was spot on.  Politically astute and well imbued in early Zionist thought, Peres identified the emerging Identitarian conflict that was destined to break up Israeli society.

Pfeffer pointed out that in the 1990s Netanyahu was influenced by his American campaign guru, Arthur Finkelstein, to accept that “Jewishness” is the primary unifier for Israelis. This clearly applies to religious Jews but it is also true of those who regard themselves as secular and/or leftist.

While early Zionism can be understood as an uncompromising attempt to divorce the Jews from Jewishness, the ghetto and tribalism to make them “people like all other people,” the Israeli Right/Religious political call is openly driven by a nostalgic adherence to the myths of the shtetl and its walls, segregation and every other aspect of Jewish tribalism, chauvinism included. As bizarre as it may sound, Netanyahu’s transformation of Israel into a Jewish ghetto surrounded by walls and defined by a ‘Jewish National Bill’  makes him, by early Zionist standards, into an ardent anti Zionist.

According to Pfeffer,  when Netanyahu returned to power in 2009 and formed a right-wing/ religious coalition,  “the Jews prevailed” and have done so ever since.

On Monday, Netanyahu won a significant political and personal victory. He earned the votes of the people despite his complicated legal situation and some would even say, because of his legal complications. In this rivalry between the ‘Israeli’ and the ‘Jew,’ the ‘Israeli’ is beaten time after time and the ‘Jew’ consistently prevails.

The ‘Jews,’ as Shimon Peres referred to them,  see in Netanyahu a clear path towards a true spiritual homecoming. Being Likudnics can be realised as a true celebration of who and what they truly are. The ‘Israelis,’ on the other hand, were hoping for Gantz and Kachol Lavan to revive the early Zionist promise to be emancipated from what they are and to finally become people like all other Goyim whether this means nationalist patriots or cosmopolitan pacifist.  

The demography of the ‘Jewish’  camp and its ‘Israeli’ rival is pretty much separated.  Netanyahu is largely supported by Mizrahi Jews and the Israeli Religious sectors (the orthodox and settlers). Gantz and Kachol Lavan have managed to ignite the imagination of the old elites: the Ashkenazi and educated Israelis. The ‘Jews,’ as Peres referred to them, love Bibi because he manipulates the Goyim. He reduced America into an Israeli colony and practically a ‘side in the conflict’ (as opposed to an impartial negotiator).  They are proud of their Bibi and his ability to puppeteer world leaders. He bonds with the Diaspora and the Lobby, he also manages to keep American taxpayers’ dollars flowing. Bibi, as far as they can tell, is the best thing that happened in modern Jewish history.  

The ‘Israelis’ vote Kachol Lavan because they don’t like Netanyahu, they can’t stand the idea that his voters and they are considered ‘one people.’ The ‘Israeli’ shares little with the religious sectors, the settlers and even less with the ‘Jews’ who live in the periphery.   The ‘Israeli’ would like Netanyahu to be locked up behind bars and subliminally hope that his voters will evaporate into thin air.  Kachol Lavan is not a centre party. Its vision of the conflict is actually to the right of the Likud party and its vision of social matters is vague to non-existent.  It is more likely that its leaders, veteran IDF Generals, evoke amongst the ‘Israelis’ nostalgic memories of 1967: an Ashkenazi ruled state, committed to the Zionist mantra of the rejection of Jewishness.

But the ‘Israeli’ was defeated again on Monday.  Nostalgia for the most heroic moment in Israeli history didn’t seem to mature into the necessary revolution and Gantz may have finished his political role. It is likely that Kachol Lavan will disintegrate into its elements in the coming weeks.  

The phantasy of becoming ‘people like all other people’ has collapsed for two obvious reasons: 1. no other people want to be like all other people.  2. The ‘Israeli’ is far more Jewish than he or she is willing to admit.  

Arthur Finkelstein figured it out in the 1990s and Netanyahu continues to follow his campaign mentor, refining his political agenda in line with Judeo-centrism. In the state that calls itself the ‘Jewish State,’ the ‘Israeli’ is gradually becoming  rare, he has been supplanted by ‘the Jew.’

My battle for truth and freedom involves  some expensive legal services and security expenses. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me.


New Israeli laws threaten Palestinian civil society


At a protest in Tel Aviv an Israeli activist holds a sign in Hebrew reading:
“We won’t declare loyalty to discrimination and racism,”
October 2010. (Oren Ziv/ActiveStills)

Jillian Kestler-D’Amours, The Electronic Intifada, 6 December 2010

A bill recently proposed in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, requires organizations to pledge loyalty to Israel as “Jewish and democratic.”

The legislation continues the trend of anti-democratic laws spreading throughout the country and threatens the existence of civil society organizations working for Palestinian rights within Israel.

In a 4 November press release, Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, declared that

“This bill violates the right of freedom of association and freedom of expression of all Arab organizations in Israel, which seek through democratic means to change the political, legal and social status in Israel. It asks those organizations to express their loyalty to the Jewish state and therefore it is not just a discriminatory law but one that seeks to oppress the rights of the Arab minority.”

“This bill seeks, on a day-to-day basis, to limit and damage the work of Arab organizations. It will put them under ultra-nationalist, ideological interrogation and investigation, and it will question every serious action that they will take,” Adalah added.

The erroneously-titled “Bill for Protecting the Values of the State of Israel (Amendment Legislation) 2009” was proposed by Uri Ariel, a Member of the Knesset from the extreme right-wing National Union party, on 1 June 2009. The Ministerial Committee for Legislation discussed the tenets of the new bill on 7 November.

“Enforcing a worldview”

The amendments proposed in the bill will grant the Israeli Registrar of Companies “the authority to prevent the registration of a company that aims to undermine the Jewish and democratic character of the State of Israel,” according to the bill’s Explanatory Remarks. The Registrar would have the authority to impose a monetary sanction and even dismantle a company that violates this provision.

In Israel, according to the bill’s Explanatory Remarks, the “Jewish character of the state” takes precedence above all else. Therefore, any organization that is legally registered with the Israeli state must abide by this principle.

According to Ronit Sela, spokesperson for the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), the proposed bill is very problematic because the definition of what “Jewish and democratic” means can be subject to various interpretations.

“It’s not clear who the person or persons are who would be in charge of interpreting what [Jewish and democratic] means,” Sela said. “There’s a loophole through which people can just decide whether a certain group falls under this category, without the actual category being clearly defined. For example, an organization that wishes to act in a democratic way and promote full citizen rights to all Israeli citizens, it could still be interpreted in this proposition that such an organization will not be allowed to operate in Israel.”

She explained that ACRI sent a letter to ministers in the Israeli Knesset, urging them not to support the proposed legislation, which she described as only the latest “in a long line of anti-democratic bills that have been brought forth in the current Knesset.”

“I think we see an attempt by lawmakers to enforce a very specific worldview and delegitimize other worldviews. Anything that tries to narrow the work of Israeli civil society will by definition not leave a place in the public discourse for alternative world viewpoints and try to have everyone stand in line with this one worldview,” Sela explained.

Targeting Palestinian citizens

According to Sami Abu Shahadeh, the Coordinator of Darna, the Popular Committee for Housing Rights in Jaffa, the new bill is not only about the community organizations and companies it is purportedly targeting — it reflects a much wider trend of targeting the Palestinian minority in Israel.

“The state is thinking and dealing with the Palestinian minority as enemies. Now when you think of your citizens as enemies, you plan for them as enemies. This is why we are having this [development] of racist laws in the last few years and also all this racist political discourse all the time,” Abu Shahadeh said.

He added that every Israeli citizen is being asked to be loyal “according to [Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor] Lieberman’s agenda” and if Palestinians resist this push, they are either imprisoned or spoken about as a demographic threat to the Jewish majority.

“What’s really being done is that Israeli society is becoming more and more similar to fascist Italy of the 1930s. The right wing is controlling everything in the state, including all the important ministries and including the parliament. In the Israeli political arena, there is nothing called ‘the left,'” Abu Shahadeh explained.

Among the more repressive moves against Palestinian civil society in Israel was the May 2010 raid on the umbrella group Ittijah and the arrest of its executive director, Ameer Makhoul, who now faces a seven- to ten-year sentence for various “security” violations. But the persecution of Palestinian citizens of Israel isn’t confined to nongovernmental organizations — Palestinian political movements are also facing challenges.

“We continue to struggle because the struggle is essential, but of course the impact of the oppression is in general to oppress the population and make people think twice before they join the struggle,” said Yoav Bar, a member of the central committee of Abnaa al-Balad. Translated to “Sons of the Land,” Abnaa al-Balad is a Palestinian political movement working within Israel for the right of return for Palestinian refugees and the establishment of one secular, democratic state in all of historic Palestine.

Bar explained that while the Israeli authorities have for many years applied pressure and arrested Palestinian political activists, the difference lies in how openly anti-Palestinian today’s Israeli government is.

“They don’t try to disguise the racism under the pretext of security or whatever, so every time there are new laws in the Knesset that are outrageously anti-Arab and anti-democratic. I don’t think it was more democratic before but now I think that basically the government is weak and they cannot be strong against other states like they used to be. They can’t attack Lebanon. They can’t attack Syria. So they are finding a way to be strong by attacking the Palestinian civilians under their rule,” he said.

Bar added, however, that a positive consequence of the Israeli state’s oppression is how unified the Palestinian community inside Israel has become.

“I think that it makes Palestinians feel more conscious of the national struggle and [Israeli] oppression. And in general, people are more conscious and more unified in rejecting the Zionist racism,” he said.

Redefining organizations

Haya Noach is the director of the Negev Co-Existence Forum, a joint Jewish-Arab organization that works for the full equality and rights of citizens in the southern Negev region.

She explained that if lobbying the Knesset against the proposed bill does not succeed and the Israeli government approves it, all nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) operating inside Israel might have to rethink their work process in the future.

“The question is what will be done with the Arab NGOs,” Noach said. “The whole configuration of NGOs might be changed. [We may have to] decompose NGOs according to the law, and work outside, not as an NGO, but as a group of activists. Then we don’t have to ask permission.”

Noach added that the Israeli public needs a trigger to stop being complacent and resist what’s happening at the government level inside Israel. But unfortunately, she said, the incentive isn’t there.

“[People] are not concerned about the occupation. They are not concerned about [other] citizens. They are not concerned about anything,” she said.

“It’s like a nightmare. And it’s not happening right now because the Knesset is very right-wing and the Israeli public is not there. It’s not a good time for Israel right now.”

Originally from Montreal, Jillian Kestler-D’Amours is a reporter and documentary filmmaker based in occupied East Jerusalem. More of her work can be found at

Nakba and the Two State Solution: Unrealistic ‘Realism’

And yet, all these things aside, the Nakba continues unabated.

By Dina Jadallah

On the surface and viewed from the perspective of dominating powers, their designated minions, and entrenched cohorts, it may appear that the Nakba is diminishing. Several facts corroborate that view:  the passage of time, the very dispossession and dislocation of millions, the tendency of official Palestinian “leadership” to accept whatever scraps they are given, the seemingly insurmountable military superiority of Israel and its main backer, the United States, to name a few. Discursively also, talk of the Nakba has been curtailed, especially among official Palestinian Authority officials and Arab governments. It has been increasingly replaced by details and technicalities that avoid dealing with the crux of the Palestinian predicament. 

Details and technicalities are evident in “negotiations” and “discussions” over the Two State Solution, settlements (stop, don’t stop, temporary freezes, natural growth,…), Jerusalem, municipal control of various services, collection and distribution of taxes, policing and security forces, road blocks, fences, airspace, percentages, companies, and so many other minutia. They serve to obscure the original and much larger issue at stake, namely, liberating Palestine. 

By focusing exclusively on the Two State Solution and its accompanying and derivative details, it becomes possible (for some) to lose sight of the origin of the ongoing Palestinian predicament:  namely, the Nakba.
The details are a method of exercising power over Palestinians. (1) They are evident, not only in the obvious control mechanisms that I just listed, but are also apparent in the very “negotiations” that took and take place between Israel / US and the Palestinians. From Madrid, to Oslo, to Taba, to Camp David, to the Road Map, to the current indirect Proximity Talks – one side has maps and details and conditions and rules, while the other side pleads, accepts, capitulates, and frequently, adopts the very language used by his oppressor.

An illustration of the above is Mahmoud ‘Abbas’ frequent references to “peace and security,” “growth,” and “stopping the settlements,” forgetting that the real issues are right of return, liberating the land, and an end to racist and usurping ideologies and governments. Another example is ‘Abbas’ recent reference to the land of historical Palestine as the land of the tanakh. In other words, he acceded to Netanyahu’s racist demand that Palestinians recognize Israel as “Jewish homeland” by buying into the Zionist myth that Jews were the original inhabitants of the land.

Yet another instance of Palestinian leadership adopting the language and reasoning of their oppressor was evident in the speech delivered by ‘Abbas at the opening of the third round of Fateh’s Revolutionary (not) Council.  ‘Abbas insisted on the Two-State Solution.  He even warned that “the idea of the so-called One State Solution has started leaking (tatasarrab) among people, because hope on the [real] ground is diminishing bit by bit…  The question to the Israeli side is: do you want two states on the 1967 borders?  We are ready.  But if you don’t want, then you are responsible for what happens after that.” (Al-Jazeera (Arabic), 4/24/2010, “Abbas clings to the Two State Solution and Hamas Rejects.”)  He continued his advice to Israel by saying that “the choice of peace needs brave Israeli leadership.”

Few were surprised by his obvious concern for the Israel’s well-being, least of all Israel and the United States.  It is equally probable that there are countless Palestinians, Arabs, and believers in a just solution who are not surprised that he seems to have forgotten that liberating Palestine also needs brave leadership.

Instead, ‘Abbas addressed his rivals in Gaza, calling on them to accept the Egyptian proposal for Palestinian reconciliation and praising Hamas’ efforts at stopping the launching or rockets directed at Israel.  He also urged Palestinians to abide by “peaceful popular resistance,” assuming that it is possible for anything peaceful to co-exist with a stage of siege, daily attacks, continued usurpation, racism, and so forth. 
In truth, this is a new term with an old meaning: a submission that is rationalized by “realism.”

Facts exist but cannot speak. There is a whole system and class of people, “experts,” “leaders,” institutions and organizations that mediate what they will mean.  They will assign words to the meanings/facts. And somewhere else, in the dominated part of the world, a different people who are oppressed and/or excluded from this system of control, stand perplexed and outraged that a diametrically opposite word was assigned and repeated, hijacking their facts, their meanings, their reality. 

The facts are a product of social, historical, oppositional, economic, and political circumstance.  Those who live them know the right word for the real meaning. But others assigned as “leaders” over them, dutifully transpose and impose the altered terminology. The new word becomes the new normal, the “realistic,” the quick deal that we can consume immediately, forever destroying the original source.
This is precisely what the Two State Solution and its details entail.

And yet, all these things aside, the Nakba continues unabated, growing in significance and in numbers. Most conspicuous is the demographic growth in the number of Palestinians who are descendants of the Nakba, whether they are refugees, settled, or unsettled. To those we must add more numerical growth due to the continued displacement and dispossession of Palestinians in present-day Israel as a direct result of Israeli military orders, exclusionary laws, banishment, forced exile, dispossession, house demolitions, and so forth.

Conceptually also, the Nakba strengthens. This is evident in emergent groups, discourses of counterhegemony, resistance movements, and the growing International Boycott Divestment and Solidarity (IBDS) movement. There is a palpable change in the international perception of Israel that emerged during and after its assault on Gaza. (2) This has forced Israel to launch a diplomatic propaganda campaign, “Brand Israel,” to repair the damage to its image. 

The fact that the hundreds of thousands of refugees in Gaza were direct products of the Nakba of Israeli establishment over their ancestral homes is significant. The fact that Israel was unable to accomplish any of its political goals in Gaza, despite the wanton destruction, also has important repercussions.

Thus, the Nakba, directly or indirectly, continues to be a catalyst for a continuing re-evaluation of Israel’s position as a dominating power.

Militarily, the last several wars that Israel has launched against Lebanon and Gaza have made obvious its weaknesses.

Furthermore, it is amply demonstrable in the world today that military superiority is no solution to determined and organized resistance and insurgency.

Thus, there is hope in recognizing the persistence of the Nakba. It stands as an event in human history that exists beyond the reach of dominating systems – even though the latter may have caused it. This makes change possible and limits the power of a hegemonic or dominating system. The Nakba is a historical reality that refuses to go away, providing the fuel for emergent movements and resistance.

Nevertheless, dominant powers continue their efforts to marginalize the Nakba as a central unresolved crisis.

Just in time for the commemoration of the Nakba, U.S. mediator George Mitchell is meeting with Israeli and Palestinian officials (after Palestinian officials sought and got approval from Arab officials), in order to start the process that will lead to so-called indirect proximity talks that were announced by U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.  The Washington Post reported that Mitchell is trying to break the stalemate “in recent months,” (3) perhaps forgetting that, from the perspective of most Palestinians, there has not been progress, in fact there has been retrogression, on the “solution” to the conflict since Madrid and Oslo happened almost two decades ago.

According to the article, “For the Palestinians, the two paramount issues are territorial borders — precisely how much of the West Bank Israel will surrender and the future of Jerusalem.”

Yet again there is confirmation that externally designated Palestinian “leaders” are making a complete mockery of the Nakba, not even referencing that the crux of the problem is the dispossession of millions of people and the usurpation and colonization of Palestinian land. 

When one listens to the words of a Mahmoud ‘Abbas or a Salim Fayyad, it becomes obvious that it makes no difference who among the “leaders” of the Palestinian Authority (PA) talks.  The content is the same, for they are simply delivery mechanisms and not the creators of the message.  (The same applies to most other Arab leaders.)  Having reached the inevitable terminus of the Peace Process and the Road Map and their interminable negotiations, they are now clutching the straw of the Indirect Proximity Talks. 

‘Abbas, desperate to sustain a role for himself, was busy throwing the hot potato to equally ineffectual Arab leaders. 

The latter, if they do anything at all, they pass on the hot potato to the United Nations or some future conference of the Arab League.  In other words, they try to freeze the hot potato to death.

Such “leaders” do not acknowledge that there is no justification for the assumption that a Two State solution is a teleological goal.  It has failings that must be examined in light of new forms of reasoning, new events, and new practices. (4) For while, the “vision” of the Two State is “legitimate” in “the international consensus,” legitimacy is in the eye of the beholder.  “Whose consensus?” is a legitimate question. What about the point of view of the people who most affected by this consensus?

One need only to look at borders, roads, contiguity, sovereignty dimensions, economic sufficiency, and so forth to realize that the Two State Solution is hardly “realistic.” While the Palestinian Authority is entrenched in political quietism, self-censorship, and obeisance, they nonetheless must confront the effects of that path. This particular “pragmatic” approach, being a product of its dominating system, cannot envision and does not admit that it cannot have power over everything. 

The weakness of this “realistic” approach is that it cannot anticipate or deal with change.  It cannot account for peoples’ abilities to imagine an alternative future society. It cannot admit that some can perceive and analyze the nature of power and oppression in their present societies, thereby making it possible to counteract the details and to resist internalization of dominating ideologies. (5)

Dominating systems do not and cannot combat resistance or insurgency or rebellion effectively every time. 
The PA and the dominating system of which it is a functionary must ultimately face the truth that concepts and facets of what is considered “authoritative” and “traditional” is frequently ambiguous and contestable.  Authority is valuable only insofar as it offers choices for society. Choices that must be viable for its future welfare. Otherwise, other “traditions” and “authorities” will emerge.  This is precisely the fate that is facing the Two State solution.

Putting aside any moral and ethical arguments against the Two State solution, all the facts on the ground are obliterating a potential second state. Even within this putative proto-state, Israel is obliterating this possibility. A recent example was reported by Amira Hass on 4/22/2010 in Ha’aretz. Israel began implementing a new military order, No.1650, regarding the Prevention of Infiltration (Amendment No. 2).  It defines “a Palestinian with a Gaza Strip address as a punishable infiltrator if he is found in the West Bank.”  This is the latest in a series of steps to sever Gaza from Palestinian society.  It is also part and parcel of Zionist laws enacted at Israel’s founding, such as the Law of Return and the Law of Present Absentees, and so forth, whose aims are to control space and to fragment and dispossess Palestinian society.

The economy of the proto-state under the Palestinian Authority’s Two-State path is also illustrative of the non-realism and non-viability of the purported goal.  It may serve as an indicator of what is entailed in the future if this “vision” of a Two State is pursued any longer. 

The latest economic figures released by the Arab League Economic Report on the Palestinian Occupied Territories in 2009 clearly show the deterioration.  Here are a few examples.  Between 1999-2008, Palestinian real inflation-adjusted GNP fell off a cliff by 35% to $1,108.  A significant factor in that is the multitude of Israeli restrictions, land confiscations (the West Bank lost 15% of its agricultural capacity due to the apartheid wall), destruction of trees and farmland, and so forth that have led to a sharp decline in olive oil production.  Real per capita income fell by almost 21% to $1,284.  The services sector grew to a record 76.8% of GDP with all that this entails in terms of declining productive capacity of the overall economy. This is also reflected in the fact that the trade deficit grew by 14% to $3.032 billion. Unemployment is now officially recorded at 16% in the West Bank and 49% in Gaza. 

Also contributing to the dependency (and ensuring political obedience), external revenue, including remittances and global financial aid grew sharply to reach $2bn, much of it spent internally on PA commitments to civil servants and security personnel. 

A UN Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People, held in Vienna by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People on 3/24/2010, corroborated and added to the statistics provided by the Arab League report. (6)  Mahmoud El-Jafari, Dean and Professor of Economics at Al-Quds University noted that there are twin budget and trade deficits. The ratio of imports to exports stands at 60%.  He added that absolute poverty rates stood at 57.3 %, according to 2007 figures (i.e. pre-Gaza assault – whose damage is estimated at 25% of GDP).  In Gaza, 76.9 % are under the national poverty line. 

The comments made by Mahmoud Elkhafif, Coordinator of Assistance to the Palestinian People Unit at the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), revealed that post-Oslo, there has been an “integration” of the Palestinian and Israeli economies.  These have been hugely advantageous to Israel at the expense of the Palestinians. Israel takes advantage of Palestinian land, water and labor as it simultaneously isolates Palestinians from their historical economic partners in the Arab countries.  Moreover, the Paris Protocol framework for economic relations has produced a semi-customs union in which the PA could not have its own currency, monetary, or trade policy. Israel determines value added tax, collects it and, depending on how cooperative the PA is perceived, pays it to the PA. But even in good times, he said, the payment was just 60% of the figure owed. 

Elkhafif concluded with the disturbing indicator of the extent of exploitation: that in the 1980s, Israeli income had been 7.5 times that of Palestinians and was now about 17 times higher. 

Any reasonable assessment of this situation would see the proof in the pudding, so to speak. Why ‘Abbas and his cohorts cling to the Two State solution can only be attributed to factors that do not and will not benefit Palestinian society or national aspirations.

The other side of the coin is Israel.

The last several wars that Israel has launched against Lebanon and the Palestinians have revealed a serious decline in its capacity to accomplish its military and political goals.  Despite the wanton destruction wreaked by its vastly more superior military, the image/myth of its invincibility has been irrevocably shattered. 

This topic has been dealt with extensively elsewhere, so I will not dwell on it here.  Instead, I would like to offer a few examples to consider in re-assessing Israel as well as the “realistic” position of why Arabs and Palestinians must capitulate to its demands.

It is well-known that Israel needs the assistance of the United States, to shield it from approbation in international venues such as the UN, and to help it financially, militarily, economically, in research and development, and so forth.  Israel is also failing in the key category of providing guaranteed results to empire.  Prominent among those failures is its inability to impose peace on its terms, nor to wage war from which it is confident to emerge as victor. This is not to dismiss its indisputable military superiority, but it does indicate that it is no longer enough or even capable of achieving its political goals. 

It is therefore time to re-assess the “realistic” approach. For many years now, the dominant view of Israel in much of the Arab world has reflected an internalization of the myth of Israeli superiority, not morally or ethically, but militarily and economically. Conveniently, it was parroted and propagated by successive different Arab governments in order to rationalize and justify the shirking of their historic responsibility to help Palestinians in achieving self-determination and independence based on the liberation of all usurped land.  

But ultimately, the historically insurmountable reality that is the Nakba stands. It is distressing that the Palestinians as a people, need to remind their so-called leaders as well as most other Arab leaders, of their lived reality which has struggled for decades to ensure that their fundamental and inalienable rights are not forgotten or whittled away by the pseudo pragmatic reality of a Two State solution. Once again, for those who may have forgotten, these are:  the right to their land and a national home, the right of return, the right to determine their own destiny, and the right to compensation for dispossession and the horrors and crimes of occupation.

– Dina Jadallah is an Arab-American writer and artist. She studied political science at Georgetown and the University of Chicago. She is the author of numerous articles dealing with political developments in the Arab world.  Her work was published at Palestine Chronicle, Counterpunch, Ramallah Online, and Global Research, among others. She contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. Contact her at: d.jadallah@gmail.com.

(1) These details may remind some readers of Michel Foucault’s theory of power. His theory of (pouvoir et savior) analyzes how systems of control work by confinement from the inside. Their functioning depends first on the continuity of the institutions that confine and second, on the proliferation of justifying technical ideologies for the institutions. These technical ideologies may be discourses, such as is evident in talk and conduct related to the roadmap, the peace process, security, development through privatization, and so forth. But that power needs detail in order to work. For example, in the case of the confinement of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, these would consist of the proliferation of road blocks, military orders, fences, curfews, long lists of what will be allowed to pass through the siege on Gaza, and so forth. Foucault has no role for classes, economics, insurgency and rebellion in societies, however. And this is the reason for the circularity and the trap – there is no escape within his conception of this type of power.
(2)  This is apparent in various international polls. See for instance this large European Union poll.
(3) See The Washington Post.
(4) Several have written about this topic. Notable among them is Ali Abunimah’s One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse (2006). 
(5) My statements are based on Chomsky’s insightful critique of Foucault. It offers a way out of the trap of a dominating system. He argued that a sociopolitical battle can be waged with two objectives: 1) persons and groups can imagine an alternative future society that is based on a more just conception of human nature; and 2) that persons and groups have the ability to perceive and analyze the nature of power and oppression in their present societies. Both of these together may lead to resistance and counterhegemony, thus providing a way to escape the trap.
(6)  See unispal.un.org.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

“So when I hear Hamas declaring that it would stop an Israeli invasion of Gaza, I just shake my Head.”

A Comment by SUN TZU, I mean TON TFUUUU (Tony Sayegh)

Well, the “Resistance” with all the bravado, bluster and huffing and puffing by Hamas lasted…….one day! I guess Habila got the message from Israel and he didn’t want to be killed or captured. This is what happens when a resistance movement becomes a political movement; just ask Fatah. Celebrate the new truce NOW!

Guess What?

But she started the whole thing??

He is Anti Iran, the first Islamic FORT though Baathists used to call him “Mulla Tony”, and “HE BLOG FOR PALESTINE”

He is Anti Syria, the Last Arabic Fort and “HE BLOG FOR PALESTINE”

The same “Knight” who turned his ass to Gaza in 1967, and never returned, mocked Hamas Knights for confrontinting “Tanks, Helicopter Gunships and Missiles”

 ……Excuse Me, But This is Mass Suicide, Not Resistance Damn It! God Gave You a Brain; Use It!!” he said.

When asked: What Hamas can do, he farted: “You ask, what can Hamas do? At a minimum hide, in the face of a superior force.”

So, “when he heard Hamas declaring that it would stop an Israeli invasion of Gaza, he just shaked his Head.”

The same “Knight” (I mean RAT) who mocked Hamas Knights for not hiding in Gaza,  Mocked Hamas for having “Their Head in the Sand When it Comes to Defending Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque”

Hamas should use it’s “Tanks, Helicopter Gunships and “Mickey Mouse” Missiles” to Defend Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque. As if seculars, not Islamists who are defending the Aqsa. 

Imagine the the Danish Cartons subcontractor is worried about Al-Aqsa!!

The same Rat criticised Hamas for “lack of secrecy”… and, and… ,

Several months ago he dropped his bombshell claming that Shalit release is imiment, and you know that Shalit is still with Hamas Knights in the burrel callled Gaza, even after the release of Hamas MP’s and Women prisoners,

The Same Rat who spread the Zio-Propaganda about the assasination of Imad Mugniyah, is disappointed withAssad’s call for rejional alliance” He claimed it shall deliver a joint Syrian-Iraqi-Turkish-Israeli-U.S.-Iranian military exercises pretty soon?
Celebrate the “New Middle East” now; or else! he farted.

Assad’s call delivered. “Using the words of one Turkish newspaper, Erdogan’s brave outburst was anOttoman slap in the face of Israel”.”

“Zionism played a pivotal role in effecting the downfall of the Ottoman state after Sultan Abdul Hamid II adamantly refused repeated Jewish solicitations for a national Jewish home in Palestine.”

For him, the Two Competing Ideologies (arab nationalism and islam} have failed and failed badly. So he hates to see both Arab nationalism (Syria), and Islamists (Turkey, Iran, Hamas, Hezbulah) emerging, and pushing Greater Mollistine behind the Wall

River to Sea Uprooted PalestinianHe is Anti Hamas, the last Palestinian Fort, and “HE BLOG FOR PALESTINE”

New Israeli order allows for mass expulsion from West Bank

Mel Frykberg, The Electronic Intifada, 7 May 2010

After finishing his prison sentence, Ahmed Sabah was deported to the Gaza Strip, away from his family in the West Bank. (Wissam Nassar/MaanImages)

RAMALLAH, occupied West Bank (IPS) – Several Palestinians have set up a protest tent in no-man’s land in the northern Gaza Strip, near the Erez border crossing into Israel, as they protest their deportation from the Israeli occupied West Bank into Gaza where Hamas authorities have refused them entry.

Tens of thousands of other Palestinians face a possibly similar predicament in the near future. This follows a sweeping new Israeli military order which allows for the expulsion of Palestinians or foreigners whom Israel considers to be in the West Bank illegally as “infiltrators.”

Fadi Azameh, 19, from Hebron in the southern West Bank, was arrested at his place of employment by the Israeli military last week, held briefly at a military base before he was expelled to Gaza.

Azameh was born in Gaza but his family left the coastal territory and settled in the West Bank 12 years ago. He had not been back since.

Ahmed Sabah, a 40-year-old prisoner from the northern West Bank town of Tulkarem was also deported to Gaza after serving a lengthy prison sentence in an Israeli jail.

His wife and son, whom he had not seen since the boy was a baby, were informed that Sabah would not be attending a joyful reunion they had planned after he had already been released in Gaza.

The two Palestinians are refusing to leave the tent and have pleaded for international intervention in their case.

The Hamas authorities for their part have stated that they would not allow them into Gaza as this will encourage Israel to proceed with its policy.

The “infiltrator” order could affect thousands of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank who were born in Gaza — or those who had their ID documents issued in Gaza — but moved years ago to live in the West Bank where they now have families and where their employment and educational facilities are based.

Palestinian identification papers in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are formally issued by the Palestinian Authority (PA), but Israel controls the population registry and must approve most changes, including relocation from Gaza to the West Bank.

Thousands of other Palestinians from Jordan and abroad who have reunited with family members in the Israeli controlled territory could also be effected.

Many of those originating in Jordan married West Bank spouses and moved to the Palestinian territory where they subsequently started families.

Other Palestinians with foreign passports who have opened up businesses, creating work opportunities in an area where unemployment remains high, also risk deportation.

Foreign nationals not of Palestinian descent and without Israeli visas could also be targeted.

Israel has been trying to crack down on pro-Palestinian foreign activists and those working with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Several were deported earlier in the year when heavily armed Israeli troops raided their apartments at night.

Foreign NGO workers based in the Occupied Palestinian Territories have complained of difficulties in getting their work permits and residence visas renewed by the Israeli authorities.

Israel’s new military order applies even to “Area C” of the West Bank which under the 1993 Oslo Accords falls under the full civil and military control of the PA.

Critics have argued that Israel is trying to solidify the geographical and political divide between the PA controlled West Bank and the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip. Others say this could be a precedent for ethnic cleansing of the West Bank.

Israeli extremists and right-wingers have long supported the expulsion of Palestinians from the occupied West Bank to Jordan which they argue is the “real Palestinian State.”

A number of Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations have written to the Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, demanding the postponement of the order’s implementation pending “a serious and comprehensive discussion on the matter.”

The Israeli rights group HaMoked states that the new order is intended to serve as a “High Court bypass” mechanism, facilitating deportation in similar cases in the future.

“The army must bring candidates for deportation before the committee within eight days, while they can be deported without judicial review within 72 hours. At the same time, the candidates for deportation are not allowed to appeal to the committee, or to any court, during these eight days,” says the organization.

The Fourth Geneva Convention imposes an absolute prohibition on the forced removal of civilians from their homes, the violation of which is deemed an especially grave breach of the Convention.

Meanwhile, in a continuing development Gazans challenging Israel’s “no-go security zones” along Gaza’s borders with Israel continue to be wounded and killed as they try to access their agricultural land, much of it situated in the fertile areas along the border.

Last week Ahmed Deeb, 21, from Gaza bled to death after Israeli soldiers shot him in the leg, rupturing his femoral artery, with a “dum dum” bullet which fragments inside the targeted area upon impact.

The week before, Maltese national Bianca Zammit, 28, was also shot in the leg as she filmed one of the growingly frequent non-violent protests against Israel’s self-declared buffer zones.

In another incident of Gazans dying to live, four tunnel workers were killed, and several hospitalized in a serious condition, in southern Gaza after Egyptian security forces threw explosives into several smuggling tunnels linking Gaza with the Sinai Peninsula.

Due to Israel’s crippling economic blockade of the coastal territory — in conjunction with the Egyptians — the tunnels represent a vital supply line for desperately needed daily goods for the impoverished territory.

Working in the tunnels also provides Gaza’s poor with a means of income in an area where unemployment is rife.

All rights reserved, IPS — Inter Press Service (2010). Total or partial publication, retransmission or sale forbidden.

Two deportees in Gaza stage sit-in at Erez

[ 05/05/2010 – 09:33 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)– Two Palestinians deported by the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) to the Gaza Strip have refused to comply with the banishment and staged a sit-in at the Erez crossing in northern Gaza on Tuesday.

Wa’ed society for prisoners said that Ahmed Abu Shalluf and Farid Shaaban were demanding their return to their hometowns.

It said in a statement that the deportees appealed to concerned societies and institutions to immediately intervene to save their lives and to send them back to their families in Beer Sheba, south of Palestine occupied in 1948.

The society warned of the deterioration of both deportees’ health conditions since they suffer from chronic diseases and are in need of urgent surgeries.

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21st Century Mass Expulsion

21st Century Mass Expulsion

Wednesday, 21 April 2010 15:50 Added by PT Editor Omar Ghraieb
090513061553SFRPBriefing on the Israeli Order regarding Prevention of Infiltration (Amendment No. 2) and the Order regarding Security Provisions (Amendment No. 112) passed on Tuesday, April 13 2010.

April 21, (Pal Telegraph – By Nasim Ahmed) Behind the euphuism, ‘prevention of Infiltration’ lies a horrible truth which Israeli officials are trying desperately hard to conceal. This simple truth is a truth that has been cardinal throughout Israel’s existence and continues to do so. It’s a truth that connects the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948 and the recent military order that would result in the forced expulsion of many thousands of Palestinians. It’s the truth that Israel was founded on a policy of systematic population transfer and it has been committed to this policy ever since its inception.

This simple fact is a natural outcome of Israel’s central creed, ‘redemption of the land with as few of the indigenous people as possible’. Since its inception its central creed has been efficiently carried out through modern methods of population transfer and land appropriation. This explains why, even as rhetoric and politics change, expulsion and dispossession continue through various methods.

Its strategy commenced with a total denial of Palestinian as a people. Since than over many decades, Israel has developed and refined policies to disperse imprison and impoverish the Palestinian people, in a relentless effort to destroy them as a nation. It has industrialized Palestinian misery through ever more sophisticated systems of curfews, checkpoints, walls, permits and land grabs. It has transformed the West Bank and Gaza into laboratories for testing the infrastructure of confinement, human resolve and the limits of human despair.
Throughout history Israel rarely missed an opportunity to implement its core principal of population transfer and it has relentlessly pursued this course through its many wars, creeping colonization in the form of settlement building, a regime that combines occupation, apartheid and colonization.

Israel’s entire legal structure in the occupied territory is designed to serve this end. Since 1967, in order to control the occupied Palestinian population, Israel enacted more than 1,200 military orders and has altered the administrative and legal situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory in violation of international humanitarian law. Other parts of the occupied West Bank, including eastern Jerusalem, were annexed by Israel immediately after the 1967 war and colonization of the occupied city is ongoing in violation of international law. Its military regime has in effect legalized the illegal.

In securing its aspiration and maintain Jewish privileges over the land Israel enacted the Law of Return (1950), the Law of Absentee Property (1950), the Law of the State’s Property (1951), the Law of Citizenship (1952), the Status Law (1952), the Israel Lands Administration Law (1960), the Construction and Building Law (1965), and the 2002 ‘temporary’ law banning marriage between Palestinians in Israel and Palestinians of the occupied territories. In consistent with this trend it enacted in April 2010 two further military orders, Order regarding Prevention of Infiltration (Amendment No. 2) and the Order regarding Security Provisions (Amendment No. 112).

This military order is part of a series of steps implemented by Israel to empty the West Bank of Palestinians, especially by removing them to Gaza. It will cause tens of thousands of Palestinians to be deported from the occupied West Bank. The orders substantively changed the definition of “infiltrator” and in effect apply it to anyone who is present in the West Bank without an Israeli permit. The orders do not define what Israel considers a valid permit. The vast majority of people now living in the West Bank have never been required to hold any sort of permit to be present in their own land and a demand to do so is preposterous.

There are tens of thousands of people at risk, who pose no security threat whatsoever they’re just trying to lead their lives. The order will turn them into criminals – making it criminal for them to be present in their own home –As a consequence it will tear away at the fabric of life in the West Bank.

The order classifies people without the right Israeli paperwork as “infiltrators”. The wording of the order has been amended from the original order drawn up in 1969 which even back then was in contravention of international law. The definition of “infiltrator” was then: “A person who entered the area knowingly and unlawfully after having been present in the east bank of the Jordan, Syria, Egypt or Lebanon following the effective date (of the order being given).” Under the new order this is to be changed to: “Infiltrator – a person who entered the area unlawfully following the effective date, or a person who is present in the area and does not lawfully hold a permit.”

The orders are worded so broadly which theoretically would allow the military to empty the West Bank of almost all its Palestinian inhabitants. The document itself does not specify exactly what is meant by “a permit’’ and leaves Palestinians at the mercy of Israeli hands.

Such an indiscriminate proposal is criminally indifferent to the composition of the Palestinian people. Since the expulsion of the Palestinian people from their land in 1948 the vast majority are forced to live as refugees in host countries across the Middle East and many have also been forced to flee to other parts of the world. The nature of Diasporas is such that people are forced to live under various different regimes with many different challenges and the community functions under extreme difficulty. Such challenges have not stopped Palestinians from returning to their land and living as Palestinians in Palestine.

This indiscriminate assault on the Palestinian family and the Palestinian community contravenes not just international law but basic humanity. The average Palestinian family has global ties and this military order is granted to separate Palestinian families. This will have huge implications threatening pain, anger and frustration to be vented on the streets.

As many as ten different human rights group condemned these measure including Btselem and a number other Israeli ones. They’ve raised grave concerns over its future impact where tens of thousands of Palestinians can conceivably be thrown out of their homes. The human rights organizations have also mentioned its immediate impact, which will be felt in the immediate future by two distinct groups of Palestinains; those from Gaza and Palestinians and non Palestinians from other countries married to Palestinians in the West Bank. Suspected “infiltrators” could also be jailed for up to seven years under the new orders. Furthermore anyone being removed might also have to pay for the cost of their own deportation.

Implicit in the order also is Israel’s effort to fragment the Palestinian cause and hasten Palestinian ‘politicide’. Gaza and the West Bank are single entities and Israel has no jurisdiction and legitimate rights to alter that fact.

Palestinians in Gaza and Palestinians in the West Bank are all Palestinians just like British citizens in London and British citizens in Birmingham and there is no moral and legal authority to prejudice the rights of one over the other. Dividing the Palestinian people is a reckless attempt to dissolve the Palestinian cause into manageable units with the intention to prejudice and maybe even scupper final status negotiations.
Israel’s policy of annexation known’s no bounds. It continues to behave like a rogue state with wanton disregard for Palestinians and international law. The international community should not be surprised at this new development as this is just another manifestation of its core tenet coursing through human history and no doubt it will continue to exhibit many more of its ugly features in years to come.

These military orders belong in an apartheid state not in a so called democracy. They are products of a world view based on racist assumptions and not the values of human rights and human freedom.

The international community, if it’s serious about peace and the rule of law, should not accept this military order simply because of its insipid attempt at mass expulsion of Palestinians. No propaganda should be allowed to deter the fact that this is nothing but 21st century legalized mass expulsion. In essence it’s a product of a creed that seeks systematic transfer and expulsion of Palestinians from their land; when war is not an option, when open population transfer is internationally intolerable it seeks other means that is less conspicuous.

The West knows this is occupied territory and Israel through its occupation contravenes international law every day without any compunction and yet it is rewarded with a likely membership to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Rewarding Israel when Israel is little short of a pariah state has been a constant theme and is also the root cause of the constant failure to bring peace and justice to the region. Peace requires justice and justice is never served by double standards in statement and action.
By: Nasim Ahmed (British Middle East Researcher)

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Israeli ID order set to criminalise Palestinians

Saturday, April 17, 2010 at 3:59AM Gilad Atzmon

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Palestinians face a the third wave of expulsions


Thursday, 15 April 2010 17:40
Oraib Rantawi

When he began his first period in office in 1996, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received advice from a group of scholars and experts. Under the chairmanship of Richard Perle, one of the staunchest of US Zionist neo-conservatives, the group aimed to formulate an alternative strategy to Oslo-Taba, which was associated with the Israeli leaders Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres. The primary recommendation of the Perle group was “the withdrawal from the terms and references of the peace process as illustrated in Oslo and Taba”. Netanyahu, and his successors, have been faithful to this recommendation, in terms of the implementation of Defensive Shield and the reoccupation of the West Bank and a return to the unilateral policy of imposing “facts on the ground” through confronting the international community; all, of course, at the expense of the legitimate human rights of the Palestinian people.

Today, after a year or more in office for the second time, Netanyahu is taking another strategic step on the way to destroying the Oslo accord, what preceded it and all agreements that followed. The Order issued by the military and Israeli courts to expel about 70,000 Palestinians who live in their own land on the occupied West Bank is intended to erase all traces of previous agreements between the Israelis and Palestinians. In the process, whatever has been achieved through these agreements, as modest as the achievements are, will be destroyed including the return of thousands of Palestinians and the relatively free movement between the West Bank and Gaza which has become a haven for all those hounded by settlement bulldozers and the decisions of military courts in Jerusalem.

If the far-right government succeeds in implementing its racist resolution, the Palestinians will face a third wave of official mass displacement – ethnic cleansing – following the disaster of 1948 and the setback of 1967. The latest military Order will have serious repercussions, not only in Palestine but also in countries that will have to take in these new-old refugees.

However, perhaps the most serious aspect of this move by Israel in terms of content and timing, is that it carries the seeds of a “final solution” to the “problem” of Palestinian demography which haunts the Zionist state. The right-wing, which does not want the Palestinians to exercise their right to self-determination and build an independent state under the slogan of “two states for two peoples”, also totally rejects the alternative of “one state for two peoples”. The solution, as those of the right see it, is the deportation of the indigenous population, not only from Israel and within the “Green Line”, but from the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza , all of which constitute the territory of the prospective Palestinian state. This ethnic cleansing will complete the process started in 1948, which has been gaining momentum ever since.

In terms of its timing, the Order coincided with the intensification of attacks on Jerusalem and Palestinians’ holy sites – Christian and Muslim – in a clear demonstration of Israel ‘s insatiable greed for grabbing land after expelling its population. In this sense, the military Order is tantamount to a declaration of war on the Palestinian people and their legitimate national rights, and the Arab nation as a whole, particularly the “Ring States” adjacent to Palestine.

Netanyahu is “de-legitimizing” the presence of 70,000 Palestinian citizens in their homeland in order to legitimise the presence of more than half a million illegal colonial-settlers on Palestinian land in Jerusalem and the West Bank . By doing so he is not only administering a coup de grâce to the “peace process” but also giving the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip, as well as supporters of justice for the Palestinians in the West, a stark choice: either join the absurd negotiations and the vain pursuit of the “only strategic peace option”; or engage in an alternative strategy combining political activity and resistance to meet the requirements of the moment and promote the Palestinian national interest. In other words, Palestinians are being told to roll over and die; Israel has no intention of allowing a Palestinian state to come into being within the pre-1967 borders or any other borders. This third wave of expulsions could signal the beginning of the endgame.

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Salman Abu Sitta – Hasbara or Za’bara

Via Palestinian Free Voice

4/16/2010 06:32:00 PM Posted by Editor Publisher Hiyam Noir

Erasing Palestine Ownership

Salman Abu Sitta

“The world will be a better place, and justice will have a chance to prevail, when Hasbara is recognized as it really is: merely Za’bara. When truth shines, it expels the clouds of myths’.”

Part of the First Word War
To maintain a façade of moral code, you do not kill a friend, you kill an enemy. You do not rob another man’s house, you recover your long-forgotten property. These are the principles adopted in all wars and conflicts. That is why it was always the mission of the aggressor to depict the target of killing, i.e. the enemy, as an evil, bad person or people who deserve to be defeated, and if killed, that would be a natural end for their bad behaviour. Similarly it was the mission of the occupier to claim that he is not robbing someone else but merely recovering back his property which he neglected to do for centuries.

Nobody perfected this art of deception, or double-speak, better than the Zionist agents. How else could you explain the success of a Hungarian man, like Herzl, sitting in a Vienna Café, and professing that a Jews’ State will be established in 50 years in a faraway land he had never lived in?

His success, almost solely in Europe at the time, was manifested by convincing colonial powers of the advantages of supporting his colonial project and convincing their people, the Europeans, that this conquest, killing, plunder and destitution of a people is a divine will, a miracle and a victory for western civilization.

Nobody had to create so many myths and falsehoods in their endeavours more than the Zionists. The reason is simple: they did not have credible facts to prove their case, so they had to invent dubious alternatives, relying on the readiness of the gullible people and the opportunistic politicians to believe them.

Take the slogan: “Palestine is a land without people”. It was terra nullius, they say. Of course, Zionists knew that people lived there and built over 1000 towns and villages, most are 2000 years old, according to Eusebius the Bishop of Caesarea (313 AD) who recorded them. Yet Zionists submitted a map to the Versailles Peace Conference in 1919, showing Palestine as ‘a grazing land for nomads’. They presented this map to the colonial powers, particularly the British and the French. The irony of course is that the British had finished their voluminous survey of Palestine, 40 years earlier, in 10 volumes, listing 12,000 historical sites including towns and villages, and the French finished their survey through their scholar, Victor Guerin, in 1863, who produced 8 volumes of his journey to almost every Palestinian village. Yet they chose to believe the Zionists and hoodwinked their public to support this ‘noble and moral’ conquest, in churches, newspapers and public debates.

What then is the meaning of terra nullius? It does not mean (to them) an empty land. It means that those who live there do not matter, they are worthless. It is like clearing woods from dry bushes and insects.

These are the exact words of Herzl,

“If we move into a region where there are wild animals to which Jews are not accustomed – big snakes etc. – I shall use the natives, prior to giving them employment in the transit countries [read: expulsion], for the extermination of these animals.”

Of course he did not say this in his published book, only in his then unpublished diary.

Balfour said as much:

“… in Palestine, we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country. Zionism [is] of profounder impact than the desires and prejudices [not the rights] of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit this ancient land.”

How was this colonial project in Palestine packaged in the diplomatic language? In Balfour Declaration, they called it a “home” for the Jews, national at that, not a state to the exclusion of the inhabitants of the country, in Palestine, not of Palestine. What about those inhabitants? Of course, there is a reference to them: “without prejudice to the existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”, all 92 percent of them. A civilized afterthought indeed.

If your home and family are threatened by an unwelcome flood of (Jewish European) immigrants and you rise to fight it, you are called a “bandit”. Your house is destroyed, your supplies are burnt, your son and father are killed or imprisoned. That is what the British did in 1939.

Ten years later, when the Zionists depopulated 675 Palestinian towns and villages and committed over 70 massacres, during al Nakba ethnic cleansing, some people naturally tried to return home, at least to rescue an old father, to water the garden or to feed the animals left behind. No one believed the exile would last over a couple of weeks. These returnees were shot by Israelis on the spot. Complaints were made to the Mixed Armistice Committee that those killed were “infiltrators”, by the very same people who “infiltrated” Palestine only a few years earlier.

Thus conventional wisdom would have it that those who waded into the shores of Palestine from a smuggler’s ship in the darkness of night are not “infiltrators”, they are the masters of the land, and the real house owners who were expelled from their homes and tried to return home are “the infiltrators”.

Twenty thousand five hundred days later this ruse is still applied. At the time of writing, Israel issued Military Order No. 1650 (Second Amendment) in which seventy thousand Palestinians residing in the West Bank from other parts of Palestine are liable to be deported as “infiltrators”. By the same analogy, an Italian from Napoli found living in Rome under the Nazi occupation in WWII would be liable to be deported to Albania as an “infiltrator”. One must concede that the crime of ethnic cleansing, regularly described by the Israeli propaganda machine as “transfer of population”, has now reached new heights of sophistication. It is now called “Prevention of Infiltration”.

A story is often told about Ein Haud, a lovely small village south of Haifa, with beautiful stone houses. Its population was expelled but they managed to remain within Israel. They built shacks on the opposite hill, looking every day at their houses, now occupied by artists from Romania who turned it into an “artists colony”. Their land and houses were confiscated under the Absentees Property Law of 1950. “Absentees” means the expelled refugees.

The logic is that the state of Israel takes over the property of those who are “absent”, because they “abandoned” their property, probably to spend their lovely exile days at the Riviera, not a refugee camp. Hence it is the duty of a “democratic” state to take care of their property (to use, rent, utilize) for the benefit of Jews only. This logic does not allow for the fact that they are absent because they were expelled. If they returned, they will be shot as “infiltrators”.

The irony has no end. If somehow the village inhabitants remained in the area conquered by Israel, they have to be counted and given IDs. Therefore they are “present”. But their property must be confiscated because they are “absent”. Hence they acquired the oxymoron appellation of “present-absentees”.

Wonders never cease. One of those “present-absentees” from Ein Haud could not bear it. So one day he walked across to the opposite hill and knocked on the door of his house. A Romanian artist answered. The owner asked who he was:

– I am Ephraim

– Where are you from Ephraim?

– From here of course, Ein Haud. Why do you ask? Who are you any way?

– I am Abu Ahmed, from Romania.

The massive ethnic cleansing of Palestine, which took place in 1948/49, the year of al Nakba (Catastrophe), unprecedented in modern history, has to have an appropriate name in the Zionist lexicon which hides its ugliness. They called it “War of Independence”, which is precisely what the Palestinians were engaged in since Balfour’s Declaration of 1917, that is, since the betrayal of the Allies and the collusion with the Zionists to deprive them of their homeland. This Zionist term was adopted, by Jewish immigrants who infiltrated Palestine, to describe the ethnic cleansing of the original inhabitants of Palestine. It was widely accepted by the West. Mercifully, cracks now started to appear in this edifice of deception. Now it is against the law in Israel to mention al Nakba. The monopoly remains exclusively for the deception.

The Green Line is often used to describe the line dividing Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) in the West Bank and Gaza. What is this line? Why it is green? Its proper name is the “Armistice Line of 1949”. It is the line at which Israeli invading forces stopped in 1949, whereby 78% of Palestine was conquered. That was a big jump from 5.5% Jewish-owned land during the Mandate and in excess of 24% over the suggested allocation of the Partition Plan. Israel signed 4 Armistice Agreements with Arab countries. Article 2 of these agreements states clearly that this line does not confer or deny rights to either party and has no legal meaning. No military forces are allowed to cross it, hence the armistice. It is simply a line separating Palestine that was occupied in 1948 from that occupied in 1967. Israel did cross it in 1967 in violation of international law. To obscure the legal meaning of the line and its crossing, it was dubbed by Israel as the Green Line, the colour of the pencil used by Israel on its maps. This simple device of renaming the line enables Israel to imply in its media machine that it has not violated any law and has not conquered any land. Thus, Netanyahu can announce boldly in CNN interviews that Jews should be able to live anywhere (in Palestine) without fear of contradiction. Now Israel removed this line altogether from its maps.

How could you steal a whole cake and eat it? You first steal half a cake. With no deterrent, you steal the other half. You eat the whole cake under the ‘principle’ that the two halves must be “unified” (in your stomach).

Israel occupied West Jerusalem in 1948 and East Jerusalem in 1967. Israel claimed that the city must remain “unified” under its control. The “unification” tag is meant to disguise the fact that both acts are not only illegal in view of international law, but, surprisingly, they are contrary to Israeli founding laws.

Israel’s Declaration of ‘Independence’ states that its international legitimacy, feeble as it was, rests on the Partition Plan recommendation. But this Plan never puts Jerusalem under Israel. Israel occupied West Jerusalem, Lydda, Ramle, Galilee and parts of the south in violation of the Partition Plan. Israel’s admission to the UN membership was conditional upon its compliance with the Partition Plan and the return of the refugees’ resolution. It never complied. Needless to say that the occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is a clear violation of “the inadmissibility of military conquest”. Yet the “unification of Jerusalem” is touted by Israel and AIPAC as the justification to build anywhere (for Jews only) “in Israel’s eternal capital, which is not a settlement”.

Similarly, occupation of the West Bank is labeled as “liberation of Judea and Samaria”. The Apartheid Wall, condemned by the International Court of Justice, is named the “security fence”. The redeployment of occupation forces is described as “withdrawal”.

Nothing can be more misleading than the withdrawal from Gaza Strip. Israel controls its land, above it, below it and around it. Gaza starvation has been described by Israeli officials as “putting the population on diet”, a new device for slow death designed not to make world headlines.

The real name of this tragedy is “war crimes” and “genocide” according to articles 6 and 8 of the Rome Statute of 1998 creating the International Criminal Court. These two articles describe exactly the situation in Gaza.

The Gaza Palestinians are promised water, food and medicine and (partial?) removal of the blockade if they comply with the Quartet conditions: recognizing the Israeli occupiers and ceasing the resistance to them. Blair did not spare a media microphone without bleating into it that $ 4.5 billion are waiting to rebuild demolished Gaza if only Palestinians accept the Quartet conditions.

Blair is a patent liar. The media believed him or acted so. No official, no journalist, no learned ‘expert’ tells him he is lying. Only one man. Alvaro de Soto, the UN Mediator, in his End of Mission report, in May 2007, says in para 79, that the Quartet never imposed any conditions. These are US and European Union conditions based on their own policies, using UN and Russia as a shield for their demands.

A familiar name on TV screens is Sderot, the Israeli settlement, the victim of kitchen pipe projectiles which broke a window and killed one person in 8 years. Sderot mayor expresses his perennial fear of the unbelievably crowded Gaza Strip, the hotbed of terrorism, and is visited by dignitaries from European capitals and US Congress.

None of these dignitaries know, or wish to declare, that Sderot is a settlement built on the land of Najd village, whose expelled population lives mere two kilometers away in a refugee camp. They are throwing their home-made projectiles on their own land, at its occupiers, in a symbolic gesture to assert their right for their homes in the occupied land.

Those dignitaries lament the crowded conditions in Gaza, the misery, the poverty and the hopelessness. They shake their heads in sorrow. The brave ones visit Gaza in a whirlwind tour of two hours, with no contact with the real people, huddled by UN relief officials, to protect them from being devoured by the hungry people.

Did any one of those distinguished visitors ask why is Gaza Strip crowded and miserable? It is crowded because it is where the population of 247 Palestinian villages, the victims of ethnic cleansing in 1948, were crowded in an open air prison with an area of 1% of Palestine. They are crowded at a density of 6,000 persons per square kilometer whereas Sderot mayor and co. roam their land at a density of 6 persons per square kilometer.

Let them go back to their land and you will have no crowd, no poverty and no “terrorism”. If you do not like that, give them what the Israelis have: F16 and Merkava tanks. “Terrorism” will stop and a nice lovely war will begin.

Israel gives itself the license to destroy any village and kill its people under the rubric “pre-emptive operation”, sometimes called “retaliation”. Under this principle, you are allowed to think that your neighbour has nasty looks and he may one day decide to kill you. So you decide to take action at once by catching him unaware and kill him. You do not need to see advancing tanks. You do not need any proof. Your mental mindset is enough, especially if you are a racist. That was the explanation given by Israel for the killings in Bureij camp, Qibya, Samou’ and a dozen other places. This policy entered the language of international diplomacy as a respectable word. You see it now splashed on the newspapers’ headlines, although it is in stark violation of the word and spirit of the UN Charter.

From the above examples, it is clear that the media manipulation and the loaded terminology are the undeclared army of the Zionists. This kind of army cannot be pinned down by Goldstone, Dugard or Falk. But it commits crimes just the same.

The Hasbara, fabricating Israel’s lilly-white image, is a refined art. Its tools have been exposed recently in the Israel’s Project’s Secret Hasbara Handbook at the link:

No need to elaborate. But for those who are keen to know the facts, and they are luckily increasing in number, for those good people around the world who are guided by their moral compass and for the Palestinians of course, carriers of the burden of untold truths, for all those, the Israeli Hasbara is best described by a similar sounding Arabic word, Za’bara, which means: meaningless, convoluted loud words.

The world will be a better place, and justice will have a chance to prevail, when Hasbara is recognized as it really is: merely Za’bara. When truth shines, it expels the clouds of myths.

Salman H. Abu Sitta (b. 1938) is a Palestinian researcher and writes about Palestinian refugees and Palestinian right to return to Palestine.

Abu-Sitta was born in Bir al-Saba’ (“Beersheba”), British Mandate of Palestine, in what is now the Southern District of Israel. After making a 40 kilometer journey to his home on foot from his boarding school, Abu-Sitta escaped a few days later with his family to Gaza and joined the first wave of Palestinian refugees. Abu-Sitta moved to the prestigious al-Saidiya secondary school in Cairo where he graduated with “excellence”, ranking first in Egypt. After graduating from Cairo University’s Faculty of Engineering in 1958, Abu-Sitta went to the United Kingdom to continue his post-graduate studies, receiving his PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of London.

* Former member of Palestine National Council (20 years).
* Researcher on refugee affairs and author of over 200 papers on the subject.
* Director of international development and construction projects.
* Founder and President of the Palestine Land Society (PLS).[3]
* General coordinator of al-Awda the Palestinian Right of Return Coalition

Abu-Sitta, has spent 40 years digging for any detail of information about, or related to, Palestine before, during and after the creation of Israel. Abu-Sitta’s self-imposed mission has encompassed not only documenting al-Nakba, but also ensuring that “the memories and identity of the occupied homeland are never lost”. The documentation process began when he was 30 years-old, when he stumbled on the memoirs of the Turkish chief of Beersheba, when Palestine was under Ottoman rule. The document dated back to the early years of the last century.

“It sort of started from there, and it has never stopped,” Abu-Sitta says. “I kept collecting all and any material on every inch of my homeland.”

Published works

* The Return Journey (2007) Palestine Land Society ISBN 0954903412
* Atlas of Palestine, 1948 Palestine Land Society (January 2004) ISBN 0954903404
* The Palestinian Nakba 1948: The register of depopulated localities in Palestine (Occasional Return Centre studies) (1998 reprinted 2000) Palestinian Return Centre ISBN 1901924106
© PalestineFreeVoice Copyright reserved 2003 – 2011
Intellectual Rights Retained

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

Israel’s Infiltration Prevention Bill


Those most at risk have ID cards showing Gaza their birth place.

By Stephen Lendman

International law protects refugees and asylum seekers, Article I of the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees calling them:
“A person who owning to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of their nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail him/herself of the protection of that country.”

Post-WW II, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was established to help them.

To gain legal protection, they must:
— be outside their country of origin;
— fear persecution;
— be harmed or fear harm by their government or others;
— fear persecution for at least one of the above cited reasons; and
— pose no danger to others.

The Knesset’s 1950 Law of Return grants every Jew worldwide the right to live in Israel as a citizen. Yet no refugee law exists, despite Israel being a signatory to the 1951 UN Convention. Instead, unpublished Ministry of Interior procedures and secret inter-ministerial determinations are made on a case-by-case basis.

As a result, Israel has the lowest percent of requests granted (for temporary, not permanent status) compared to western states – 1% in 2005, under 0.5% in 2006, and in 2007, 350 refugees got temporary protection, 805 others were denied, and 863 were under review, after which most were rejected.
Legitimate refugees aren’t granted permanent status. At best, they get temporary limited stay permits, bi-annually renewed if it’s determined that country of origin dangers remain. Most often, however, they’re summarily denied (including for women and children) or imprisoned for extended periods under very harsh conditions.

Yet according to international law, Israel is legally and morally bound to help them, although it may establish laws and procedures to do it. Consistently, however, its record is shameless as the least hospitable nation compared to western ones.

Israel’s 1954 Prevention of Infiltration Law was enacted to criminalize fedayeen freedom fighters, deny Palestinians their right of return, and deport them if they came. Now there’s a new proposal to replace the old law, the Infiltration Prevention Law, one the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) calls:
“one of the most dangerous bills ever presented in the Knesset.” If passed, Israel’s international law obligations will end under proposed provisions to imprison refugees for up to 20 years, even if they committed no crime, or summarily deport them to potential death in home countries. In addition, human rights organizations and activists helping them may also be criminally prosecuted.

Besides mocking democratic freedoms (including for Jews) and international laws, this bill takes Israel one step closer to fascist rule, an accelerating track fast with each new policy.

In its February 2010 report, titled “The Infiltration Prevention Bill: Lies and Reality,” ACRI separates truth from fiction, explaining the bill’s dangers.


Advanced by the Defense Ministry, Deputy Minister MK Matan Vilnai presented it to the Knesset plenum in May 2008, after which it passed its first reading by a 21 – 1 majority. In June 2009, under a new government, a continuity rule was applied to consider it. On February 3, 2010, the MK-headed David Azoulay Internal Affairs Committee began deliberations.

Its main provisions include:
— “infiltrators” (including legitimate asylum seekers) may be imprisoned for up to five years;
— those from adversary states (including Darfur, Sudan), may be imprisoned for up to seven years;
— ones with weapons, including an ordinary pocket knife, may be jailed for up to 20 years;
— organizations or individuals providing medical care, food or water, legal help, and/or shelter are subject to the same penalties;
— border crossing officers may summarily deport infiltrators to Egypt, giving them no chance to apply for asylum;
— if not immediately deported, they’ll be detained indefinitely; even if their home country is a war zone, they won’t be released;
— they may be held up to two weeks or longer before judicial review if they even get one; and
— women and children will be treated like men.

If the bill passes, Israel’s notoriously shaky safe haven status will end for non-Jews.
According to estimates, up to 20,000 asylum seekers are currently in Israel, 85% from Sudan and Eritrea – the latter country Israel’s Justice Ministry calls a dictatorship with widespread violations of human and political rights, including imprisonments without trial, religious persecution, and disappearances.
Sudanese refugees come mainly from two conflict zones – Darfur and South Sudan.

“Lies and Reality:” Fiction and Facts

“They aren’t refugees. They are labor infiltrators.”
According to former Immigration Authority head, Yaakov Ganot, “In our examinations, I would say that 99.9% of them are here for work. They’re not asylum seekers. They are not at any risk.”
The prime minister and various other officials repeat the lie. Israel’s media report it, and people believe it. In contrast, the UN gets a different story – like keeping two sets of books, one real, the other fake.

Fact Check:

Israel tells the UNHCR that 90% of asylum seekers are legitimate refugees, the world body then publishing what it calls “accurate, relevant and up-to-date statistics.” In contrast to Israeli policy, it says Islamic Shari’ah affirms the right to asylum. It represents:
“the deep-rooted Arab traditions and customs which have served as a solid foundation for the protection of those in need, and stresses that Shari’ah embraces a number of humanitarian principles which are at the heart of international refugee protection (UNHCR 2010 Regional Operations Profile – Middle East).”

“Based on our examinations, they are not refugees.” Israel claims it follows accepted asylum review procedures and makes honest determinations.

Fact Check:
Israel lies. In fact, 90% or more of applicants aren’t checked, mostly from Sudan and Eritrea. In contrast, according to a UN report, 96% of Eritrean requests were granted worldwide, and many western states routinely admit Sudanese refugees.

Israel grants collective “temporary protection,” what ACRI calls:
“an unstable status without any real rights – that protects them from deportation, and refuses to conduct individual examinations of asylum requests, which would allow it to recognize asylum seekers as refugees.”

Previously, Israel followed the same procedure for legitimate Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, and Ivory Coast refugees, and by so doing, claims “there are no refugees in Israel” – by excluding them from the asylum system.

Currently, only a small number of requests are reviewed, most rejected. In fact, since 1948, Israel accepted only 190 asylum seekers as legitimate refugees.
In 2008, according to UNHCR figures, France accepted 9,648, Canada 7,554, Germany 5,902, and Israel 4.

Israel protects refugees. On January 21, 2010, Ynet quoted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying, “Israel will remain open to war refugees,” at the same time claiming the state rejects illegal migration, not legitimate asylum seekers it won’t abandon.

Fact Check:
Following its “Hot Return” policy, Israel summarily deports refugees, including ones legitimately fearing grave harm or death. The Infiltration Prevention Bill formalizes this practice, without review, at the discretion of untrained soldiers – in violation of international law.

Israel bogusly claims the Infiltration Prevention Bill won’t alter its Refugee Convention obligations.

Fact Check:
Israel never observed them. The proposed bill makes it policy with provisions in fundamental violation, including prohibitions against:
— deporting refugees to home countries where their lives or freedoms could be threatened – the principle of non-refoulement;
— discriminating against asylum seekers based on nationality;
— denying them free access to judicial review and legal help;
— denial of review requests;
— restricting free refugee movements;
— their access to employment; and
— imprisoning them.

The bill is the only way to detain criminals or security threats.

Fact Check:
The 1952 Entrance to Israel Law addresses these issues fully. Suspects may be detained if they threaten Israeli security or its citizens, ACRI noting:
“….the proposal to formalize the ‘Hot Return’ policy indicates that the (proposed) law’s objectives do not relate to security. The State of Israel detains individuals that threaten (it) and is not quick to deport them.”

Refugees pose a security threat. On January 21, 2010, Ynet reported that:
“IDF officers told Netanyahu that Al Qaida and its offshoots may attempt to send Sudanese refugees across the Egyptian border and into Israel with the aim of setting up terror cells in the Jewish state.”

Fact Check:
No Israeli asylum seeker was ever charged with terrorism or an attempt to commit it. Claiming it is a lie. In 2006, when Darfur refugees began arriving, Israel detained them as security threats, later lifted, as unjust and unwarranted, by court order in August 2007. Making false claims now is an attempt to gain public support for the oppressive new bill.

Illegal migrant workers enter Israel from Egypt and must be stopped, Netanyahu quoted by Ynet on January 21, 2010 saying: “Israel will not let its borders be used to flood the country with illegal migrant workers.”

Fact Check:
In 2009, Israel gave work permits to 25 times more migrants than refugees requesting asylum. In fact, numbers seeking work are rising while those wanting refuge status are declining.

Refugee arrivals deteriorated employment conditions in cities like Arad and Eilat, again Netanyahu quoted by Ynet on January 21, 2010 saying:
“They are causing socio-economic and cultural damage and threaten to take us back down to the level of the Third World. Anyone walking around Arad, Eilat, or even south Tel Aviv today, can see this wave, and the change it is creating, with their own eyes.”
Israel claims they work for low wages, displace Israelis, force down pay scales, and cause social unrest.

Fact Check:
The Olmert and Netanyahu governments, in fact, sent refugees to Arad and Eilat. In 2007, the “Gedera-Hadera” restriction was introduced, was binding for 18 months, and prohibited refugees from living north of Gedera or south of Hadera. Violators were arrested, the idea being to force them to less desirable peripheral areas against their will and keep them there.

They’re not given formal work permits or rights so employers can freely exploit them with below minimum wages, no benefits, and poor working conditions.

On October 22, 2008, a Jerusalem Post.com report headlined “Israel has the highest poverty in the West,” saying:

“OECD report(s that) 1 in 4 Israelis (live) below the poverty line – 2.5 times the average in the developed world….The report also stated that Israel’s socioeconomic divide was the third highest, below Turkey and Mexico, and Israel was criticized by OECD for the failure of its fiscal policies to bridge the gap between rich and poor. (In recent decades) economic growth….benefitted the rich more than the poor,” what’s been happening in America since the 1970s at an alarming rate, Israel mirroring its closest ally.

OECD demands a tough infiltration policy. Again Ynet, January 21, 2010 quoting Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz saying:
“Even OECD representatives who visited last week noted that the large number of foreigners here hurts Israeli society.”
He and Netanyahu also claim cracking down on infiltrators will make it a stronger candidate for OECD membership.

Fact Check:
OECD criticizes Israel’s asylum policy and recommends it be elevated to international standards. Mentioned is the low number of recognized refugees, no “public integration or support program,” and other serious flaws need correcting.

All refugees want permanent Israeli residency.

Fact Check:
Of the 190 refugees Israel accepted since 1948, over 100 left according to UNHCR figures. In 2007, the Olmert government granted temporary status to the first 500 Darfur arrivals. Since then, many left and others plan to as well. The reason according to ACRI:
“Many western countries have refugee and migrant quotas. Unlike Israel, they understand their international obligation and invest resources in absorbing refugees. A main condition for filing an emigration request is legal residence in the country (where) filed. By refusing to review asylum requests by Eritrean and Sudanese refugees, Israel is withholding their chance to emigrate to another country, where many of their relatives have already settled.”

Most asylum seekers trapped in Israel “can not return to their home countries and can not emigrate to other countries that absorb immigrants.”

In sum, ACRI calls the proposed Infiltration Prevention Bill “a form of abuse, not a policy.” It bogusly says legitimate refugees are security threats.

During the Olmert administration, an inter-ministerial team was established to formulate clear asylum policy, including status, health, employment, welfare, education, and other issues. In August 2009, it was disbanded with no conclusions after its head, Yaakov Ganot (also in charge of the Immigration Authority) was appointed Transportation Ministry director general.

With no clear policy, the Netanyahu government now promotes the Infiltration Prevention Bill as a “magical solution,” one that will harm refugees and for many returned home cause their deaths.
The following human rights organizations call on Israel “to withdraw this bill and formulate a proper asylum policy:”

ACRI, Amnesty International, Aid to Refugees and Asylum Seekers (ASSAF), Hotline for Migrant Workers, African Refugee Refugee Development Center, Israel Religious Action Center – Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism, Kav LaOved (Worker’s Hotline), and Physicians for Human Rights.

Israel mocks fundamental international law principles, and won’t consider them unless nations with enough clout apply strong pressure, something very much absent in giving its government a free pass.

New Military Order Defines West Bank Palestinians As “Infiltrators”

On April 11, a Hamoked Center for the Defense of the Individual (hamoked.org) press release headlined:

It requires all West Bank residents (including native born ones) get IDF-issued permits. Order No. 1650 (Prevention of Infiltration) and Order No. 1649 (Security Provisions) were issued in October 2009 as amendments to a 1969 Order No. 329 (Order regarding Prevention of Infiltration) declaring “infiltrator” state enemies from Jordan, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon would be imprisoned and/or deported.

Potentially, the IDF may now “empty the West Bank of almost all its Palestinian inhabitants.”
Further, this was done quietly, raising concerns about secret implementation “without public debate or judicial review.” The term “infiltrator” was substantively redefined, applying it “to anyone (in) the West Bank without an Israeli permit.” It refers to “person(s) who entered the Area (meaning the West Bank) unlawfully (or) who (are) present in the Area and (do) not lawfully hold a permit.”

Effective April 13, anyone without an IDF-issued one is “presumed to be an infiltrator.”

Up to now, with few exceptions, Palestinians didn’t need one. That’s changed, and so is their residency status, Hamoked explaining:
— the order’s language is broad and vague, giving the military wide discretion;
— this action was handled secretly;
— no valid permit definition is given;
— it violates Fourth Geneva’s Article 49 prohibiting:
“Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country….”
— the military may prosecute, imprison, and/or deport anyone called an “infiltrator” – without judicial review;
— deportations may be executed within 72 hours of order issuances or sooner, and those affected may be imprisoned until deported;
— individuals first affected may be Palestinians Israel wishes to transfer to Gaza, even those born in the West Bank or legally relocated there;
— foreign passport-holding spouses of West Bank residents abroad are likely to be targeted; “This category includes tens of thousands of individuals;”
— foreign nationals called “infiltrators” may be jailed for up to seven years; and
— potentially the entire Palestinian West Bank population is vulnerable, including legitimate East Jerusalem residents.

Besides HaMoked, other Israeli human rights groups condemning the new military order include B’Tselem, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), Rabbis for Human Rights, and others.

On April 11, Haaretz writer Amira Hass expressed alarm in her article headlined, “IDF order will enable mass deportation from West Bank,” saying:
“A new military order aimed at preventing infiltration will come into force this week (April 13), enabling the deportation of tens of thousands of (West Bank) Palestinians….or their indictment carrying prison terms of up to seven years.”

Those most at risk have ID cards showing Gaza their birth place, those born in the West Bank or abroad who lost their residency status, Palestinians unable to prove their legitimate status, foreign-born spouses, and anyone Israel chooses to target for any reason. In the past, Israeli civil courts prevented their deportation. Military courts now have sole jurisdiction.

“The new order defines anyone who enters the West Bank illegally as an “infiltrator,” as well as ‘a person who is present in the area and does not lawfully hold a permit.’ ” It states:
“a person is presumed to be an infiltrator if he (or she) is present in the area without a document or permit which attests to his (or her) lawful presence in the area without reasonable justification. (Documentation must be) issued by the commander of IDF forces in the Judea and Samaria area or someone acting on his behalf.”

East Jerusalem Palestinians are also affected as well as citizens of allied countries and Israeli citizens, Arab or Jew. Of course, only Palestinians are at risk and perhaps Jews with non-Jewish spouses.
Military commanders have sole discretion. The potential fallout may be catastrophic if this order is maximally implemented.

The IDF Spokesman’s Office said:
“The IDF is ready to implement the order, which is not intended to apply to Israelis, but to illegal ‘sojourners’ (meaning thousands of Palestinians) in Judea and Samaria (aka the West Bank).”
Along with the Infiltration Prevention Bill, potential mass Palestinian deportations and/or imprisonments takes Israel a step closer to full-blown fascism. It’s already well along like its close Washington ally.

– Stephen Lendman contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. Visit his blog at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. Contact him at: mailto:lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net..

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