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This Is Our Land: US Embassy Move Riles Nakba Refugees From West Jerusalem


US Politics & Gov't  (tags: US embassy, jerusalem, nakba, Palestine, Refugees, Donald Trump, Nakba-dispossession, Nakba Day, U.S. media-news-coverage, Palestine, occupied Palestine-Jerusalem, annexation Palestinian lands-West BankRe, middle-east, world )

Fly
- 125 days ago - middleeasteye.net
Palestinians who fled western neighbourhoods and villages in 1948 say Trump has no right to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital



   

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fly b (26)
Tuesday May 15, 2018, 2:53 am
‘This is our land’: US embassy move riles ‘Nakba’ refugees from West Jerusalem. (Video)
14 May 2018

Palestinians who fled western neighbourhoods and villages in 1948 say Trump has no right to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital

JERUSALEM - Naime Al Sheik Ali was just nine years old when her father told her that they had to leave their Palestinian village of Beit Thul in order to save their lives.

Just a few hours later, at midnight on 1 April 1948, Jewish paramilitary forces were in the hills surrounding Beit Thul, situated a few kilometres to the west of Jerusalem city.

“When they came they started shooting so we fled,” Al Sheik Ali told Middle East Eye, recalling the events of 70 years ago that have shaped her life to this day.

That night, Al Sheik Ali became one of 700,000 Palestinian refugees displaced by Jewish forces during the Arab-Israeli war of 1948 in which Israel declared its independence on 14 May.

A map showing Jerusalem's borders as defined in UN Resolution 181 in 1947 (UN)


Many of the refugees ended up in camps across Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, the West Bank and even in East Jerusalem, where they continue to live with their descendents, bringing the number of refugees to more than five million today, according to UNRWA, the United Nations agency responsible for Palestinian refugees.

Mohammed Abu Kaya, whose name has been changed to protect the privacy of his family, is a third-generation refugee. The massacre orchestrated by Jewish forces in the West Jerusalem village of Deir Yassin is what scared Abu Kaya’s grandfather into fleeing his home within the inner city.

At least 110 people, including women, children and elderly residents, are estimated to have been killed by Lehi and Irgun militia fighters in their assault on Deir Yassin, a key village on the road between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, on 9 April, 1948.

'The same will happen to you'

“When the massacre started the [paramilitaries] took a kid and strapped him on an army jeep and drove him around different neighbourhoods of Jerusalem, saying ‘the same will happen to you if you don’t leave,'" Abu Kaya said, retelling his grandfather’s story to MEE. His grandfather and his family fled to Egypt.

Also in West Jerusalem is the neighbourhood of Arnona. Like many Palestinian population centres in 1948, Arnona was seized by Haganah fighters, the main Jewish paramilitary force in British Mandate-era Palestine.

Now an upscale Israeli district, Arnona is also where the US Consulate building is located. It is here the US government will temporarily move its embassy from Tel Aviv on 14 May, coinciding with the day Palestinians commemorate the Nakba, or "catastrophe", referring to the mass expulsion in 1948.

Israel claims Jerusalem as its “undivided capital”, while Palestinians claim the city as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Posters hang outside the consulate building that will house the US embassy from 14 May (AFP)

But not a single country currently has its embassy in Jerusalem because such a move is widely considered to violate international law.

Under United Nations Resolution 181, which in 1947 set out the conditions for the partition of Palestine into an "Arab State" and a "Jewish State", Jerusalem was to be administered by the UN under a "special international regime".

The 1949 armistice agreement that formally ended the first Arab-Israeli war divided the city along the "Green Line" into Israeli-controlled western areas, and Jordanian-held East Jerusalem, which included the Old City.

Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war is widely recognised as illegal and violates further United Nations resolutions.

For Palestinians then, sovereignty over the city is not something for leaders of other countries to determine, as US President Donald Trump did when he announced the embassy move in December.

But Abu Kaya said that Trump, in declaring Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, had at least removed the “fig leaf of American diplomacy” that had allowed Washington to style itself as a mediator between Israel and the Palestinians.

“The US is not being an honest broker, not now and will never be,” he said.

The US is not being an honest broker, not now and will never be

- Mohammed Abu Kaya

There are arguments the US embassy move has killed any possibility of a two-state solution, which would grant Palestine a state with its borders along the Green Line and East Jerusalem as the capital.

This solution is a rhetoric pushed by the majority of the international community, including the UN, as well as by the Palestinian Authority – the governing body in the West Bank.

But the two-state solution is not favourable for the Palestinian refugees who fled their villages in 1948, or during the 1967 war.

The right of return for refugees is enshrined in the United Nations General Assembly resolution 194 (III), passed in December 1948, but Palestinian refugees know their return will not be possible if historical Palestine is split into two nations.

What is important to stress at the time of the US embassy move to a neighbourhood in West Jerusalem is not the death of a two-state solution, but the fact it will be situated on land stolen from its legal owners in 1948.

'All of Jerusalem has been occupied'

Amany Kalify, a coordinator for the Grassroots Jerusalem Local Mobilisation and Network, sees “hypocrisy” in the position of most countries that recognise the 1948 borders of Israel while condemning its further annexation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1967.

“What has been occupied by Israel in 1948 is legitimate [under international law] and what has been occupied by Israel in 1967 is illegal and illegitimate. For me as Palestinian I don’t make this distinction between areas; for me all of Jerusalem has been occupied and occupied twice,” Kalify told MEE.

“In both cases it’s Palestinian land, I don’t think it should be a question whether it’s inside the Green Line or outside, it should be a question within the context of Palestine. This colonial project did not start in 1967,” said Kalify.

“Even based on international law… refugees have the right to return to their land, but this was never fulfilled. International law will never bring justice to Palestinians.”

Palestinian refugee Al Sheik Ali agreed: “This land is our land, no one has the right to do what they want in this land, whether they are American or Israeli. Trump said Palestine belongs to the Jews. He doesn’t have the right to say that.”

At the same time Palestinians mourn the Nakba, Israel celebrates the 70th anniversary of its “independence”.

According to a statement issued in February by the US Embassy in Israel, the opening of the embassy offices on 14 May within the existing consulate compound in Arnona is only temporary.

“In parallel, we have started the search for a site for our permanent embassy to Israel, the planning and construction of which will be a longer-term undertaking,” the statement said.

It leaves the question as to why the US government had to rush the embassy move if the location was going to be temporary.

“This is what the US is telling the Zionist government: it’s an important year for you, the 70th year since the establishment of Israel... it’s saying we’re supporting you in this project, of the Zionist regime, telling the world Israel has the right to occupy the whole of Palestine,” Kalify said.

Embassy on Palestinian land

The plot on which the US embassy will eventually be built, situated in the al-Baqa al-Fawqa neighbourhood of West Jerusalem, is also land appropriated by Israel from its Palestinian owners.

The land was originally owned by Maqdissian Taham al-Khalili and her sister Husseini al-Fetyani, who purchased it in the 1920s.

According to a report by Al Jazeera, a contract was signed between Israel and the US in 1989, leasing the land out for 99 years, at $1 a year. Within the contract Israel outlined the land would be used for an embassy.

When al-Khalili passed away, the ownership of the land was passed to her son Ali al-Fetyani who then, before his death, handed it on to his son Daoud al-Fetyani who still possess the proof of ownership documents.

MEE contacted Daoud al-Fetyani though he declined to be interviewed.

Israel maintains a law of custodian absentee property, which takes custody of land left absent by Palestinian refugees who had to flee their homes.

Abu Kaya explained the law as a way for the Israeli government to hand private Palestinian property to Jewish settlers, and also in this case, the US government.

This law is relevant to the land owned by the al-Fetyani family, as the original owners fled outside the country.

“They can easily do whatever they want [with the land] between the US and the state of Israel,” said Abu Kaya.

“All the families are in the same boat, [it applies to all] the properties that were stolen from the people who fled.”

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/our-land-us-embassy-move-riles-palestinian-refugees-west-jerusalem-2027680826

More: How Israel is 'cleansing' Palestinians from Greater Jerusalem

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/how-israel-cleansing-palestinians-greater-jewish-jerusalem-800323791
 

Colleen L (3)
Tuesday May 15, 2018, 8:33 pm
Such sad news. tRump has created so much uproar. He's acts are like he's playing the devil on Earth who loves torturing us all across the world. Thanks Fly
 

fly b (26)
Wednesday May 16, 2018, 3:03 am
The West’s pampering of Israel will lead to the next Gaza massacre.
15 May 2018

The contrasting images coming out of Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories on Monday could not have been starker – or more disturbing.

Faced with protests at the perimeter fence in Gaza, Israeli snipers killed dozens of unarmed Palestinians and wounded more than 2,000 others, including children, women, journalists and paramedics, in a hail of live fire. Amnesty, the international human rights organisation, rightly called it a “horror show”.

Such horror is now so routine that TV anchors could only headline the news as the worst day of bloodshed in Gaza in four years, when Israel massacred civilians in its last major military assault.

Already gasping from the chokehold of Israel’s decade-long blockade of Gaza, local hospitals are now collapsing from the weight of casualties.

A few kilometres away, meanwhile, Israelis were partying.

So-called “liberal” Tel Aviv was busy “chicken dancing” with Netta, who had just won the Eurovision Song Contest and gave a free open-air performance to celebrate.

And in Jerusalem, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was glad-handing a bevy of US officials, including Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and policy adviser. They were there to beam for the cameras as the US opened its embassy in the occupied city.

The move pre-empts negotiations over the city’s fate and sabotages Palestinian ambitions for East Jerusalem to become the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Netanyahu’s grin said it all. As he mouthed platitudes about “Middle Eastern peace”, he finally had Washington’s blessing for all of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. And next year Europe will give its implicit blessing too by hosting the Eurovision Song Contest there.

But amid the euphoria, a few Israeli commentators understood that politics is about more than power – it’s about imagery too. The champagne-quaffing in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem while Gaza drowned in blood left a profoundly sour taste in the mouth.

There was more than a whiff of hypocrisy too in statements about “defending borders” from a state that has refused to declare its borders since its creation exactly 70 years ago – as well as from a Netanyahu government currently trying to establish a Greater Israel over the Palestinian territories.

But the hypocrisy was not restricted to Israel and Washington, which parroted Mr Netanyahu’s talking points.

There was an ugly equivocation from other western leaders. They spoke of “regret”, “tragedy” and “concern at the loss of life”, as though an act of God had struck Gaza, not an order from Israeli commanders to quell the Palestinian urge for freedom with live ammunition.

Equally dishonest was talk of the “need for restraint from both sides” and “clashes”, as though the protesters had been tussling with Israeli soldiers in hand-to-hand combat rather than being coldly picked off through telescopic sights.

Israeli politicians and media have desperately searched for a moral justification for these executions. They have talked of “kite terrorism” and a supposed stone-throwing threat to soldiers positioned hundreds of yards away.

While thousands of Palestinians have been executed or maimed, how many Israelis have been harmed in the past six weeks of Gaza’s protests? Precisely none.

This is a strange kind of terror.

The reality is that tiny Gaza is becoming rapidly uninhabitable, as the United Nations has repeatedly warned. For more than a decade Israel has blockaded it from land, air and sea, while intermittently pummelling the enclave with missiles and military invasions.

A senior New York Times correspondent tweeted on Monday that Gaza’s Palestinians looked as though they had a “death wish”. But two million Palestinians – a population rapidly growing – are inmates in what is effectively a shrinking prison, whose store rooms are almost bare.

Tens of thousands of them have shown they are prepared to risk their lives not for some death cult but to win freedom, the most precious human impulse of all.

And they have preferred confrontational, non-violent resistance as a way to shame Israel and the world into recognising their plight.

And yet instead, Israel has stripped them of all agency by falsely claiming that they are pawns in a game by Hamas to pressure Israel.

But in so far as Hamas is trying to influence Israel, what is its aim?

Last week, a gloating Israeli media reported that Hamas was quietly appealing for a long-term truce with Israel, effectively renouncing the Palestinians’ right to violently resist Israel’s occupation.

It would not be the first time. But whereas once Hamas sought a truce in return for a two-state solution, now it is said to have requested simply an end to the blockade and a chance to rebuild Gaza.

Even this minimal concession is rejected by Israel. Instead an Israeli minister responded to Monday’s slaughter by proposing that Israel assassinate the Hamas leadership.

Israel may be without remorse, but are western leaders feeling shamed?

Apart from South Africa and Turkey, none has so far withdrawn an ambassador. There are no calls for embargos on sales of arms, no demands for war crimes investigations, no threats of trade sanctions.

And no plans, of course, for the kind of “humanitarian intervention” western governments have keenly promoted in other parts of the Middle East where civilians are under threat.

For seven decades, the west has pampered Israel at every turn. The lack of any meaningful punishment for violating Palestinian rights led directly to Monday’s massacre.

And the failure to inflict a price on Israel for this massacre – in fact, the reverse: visible rewards with a relocated US embassy and the chance to host the Eurovision Song Contest – will lead to the next massacre, and the one after.

Handwringing is not enough. It is time for anyone with a conscience to act.

https://www.jonathan-cook.net/2018-05-16/gaza-protests-israel-massacre/
 

fly b (26)
Wednesday May 16, 2018, 10:59 am
UK: Jews deliver message of condemnation to Israel

In a message to world leaders, international organization of Orthodox Jews against Zionism reiterates support for Palestine.

16.05.2018

LONDON

The anti-Zionist Neturei Karta organization has delivered a message of support and solidarity to Palestine as well as one of criticism and condemnation to Israel over its treatment of Palestinian civilians.

In a meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Monday evening, Elahanan Beck, the chief rabbi of Neturei Karta, said “we have to realize and understand -- helping the state of Israel is not in the favor of Jewish people”.

“The Zionists say they want to make a safe haven for Jewish people, they want to help Jews… but this is untrue. The most dangerous place today for Jewish people -- not to speak for Palestinians, but even for Jews -- is in the state of Israel,” Beck said.

Praising Erdogan for withdrawing Turkey’s ambassador to Israel after the opening of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, Beck said: “If you want to help the Jewish people, follow the example of what the Turkish president did: withdraw your ambassador from there and come out in the clear”.

Tensions have risen in the region after President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December and ordered the opening of a new U.S. embassy in the disputed and occupied city, a decision that has earned him global criticism and has broken many agreements regarding Jerusalem’s status.

At least 62 Palestinian demonstrators on the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel who were protesting the embassy’s inauguration were killed Monday by the Israeli Defense Forces.

The killings have sparked a global outcry, with many world leaders condemning Israel, which claimed it was in self-defense.

“We are against the state of Israel. We are against occupiers, and we have to bring peace to the region,” Beck added.

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/uk-jews-deliver-message-of-condemnation-to-israel/1147384
 

fly b (26)
Wednesday May 16, 2018, 3:07 pm
Al-Nakba
A series on the Palestinian 'catastrophe' of 1948 that led to dispossession and conflict that still endures.

"The Nakba did not begin in 1948. Its origins lie over two centuries ago…."

So begins this four-part series on the 'nakba', meaning the 'catastrophe', about the history of the Palestinian exodus that led to the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948, and the establishment of the state of Israel.

This sweeping history starts back in 1799 with Napoleon's attempted advance into Palestine to check British expansion and his appeal to the Jews of the world to reclaim their land in league with France.

The narrative moves through the 19th century and into the 20th century with the British Mandate in Palestine and comes right up to date in the 21st century and the ongoing 'nakba' on the ground.

Arab, Israeli and Western intellectuals, historians and eye-witnesses provide the central narrative which is accompanied by archive material and documents, many only recently released for the first time.

Editor's note: Since first running on Al Jazeera Arabic in 2008, this series has won Arab and international awards and has been well received at festivals throughout the world.

EPISODE ONE:

For Palestinians, 1948 marks the 'nakba' or the 'catastrophe', when hundreds of thousands were forced out of their homes.
But for Israelis, the same year marks the creation of their own state.

This series attempts to present an understanding of the events of the past that are still shaping the present.

This story starts in 1799, outside the walls of Acre in Ottoman-controlled Palestine, when an army under Napoleon Bonaparte besieged the city. It was all part of a campaign to defeat the Ottomans and establish a French presence in the region.

In search of allies, Napoleon issued a letter offering Palestine as a homeland to the Jews under French protection. He called on the Jews to ‘rise up’ against what he called their oppressors.

Napoleon’s appeal was widely publicised. But he was ultimately defeated. In Acre today, the only memory of him is a statue atop a hill overlooking the city.

Yet Napoleon's project for a Jewish homeland in the region under a colonial protectorate did not die, 40 years later, the plan was revived but by the British.

EPISODE TWO:

On 19 April 1936, the Palestinians launched a national strike to protest against mass Jewish immigration and what they saw as Britain’s alliance with the Zionist movement.

The British responded with force. During the six months of the strike, over 190 Palestinians were killed and more than 800 wounded.


Wary of popular revolt, Arab leaders advised the Palestinians to end the strike.

Palestinian leaders bowed to pressure from the Arab heads of state and agreed to meet the British Royal Commission of Inquiry headed by Lord Peel.

In its report of July 1937, the Peel Commission recommended the partition of Palestine. Its report drew the frontiers of a Jewish state in one-third of Palestine, and an Arab state in the remaining two-thirds, to be merged with Transjordan.

A corridor of land from Jerusalem to Jaffa would remain under British mandate. The Commission also recommended transferring where necessary Palestinians from the lands allocated to the new Jewish state.

The Commission's proposals were widely published and provoked heated debate.

As the Palestinian revolt continued, Britain’s response hardened. Between 1936 and 1937, the British killed over 1,000 Palestinians; 37 British military police and 69 Jews also died.

EPISODE THREE:

Few Palestinians, if any, could have imagined they were to become victims of what would later be called "ethnic cleansing".

After 30 years of British rule, the question of Palestine was referred to the United Nations, which had become the forum for conflict.

On 29 November 1947, the UN General Assembly met to devise a plan for the partition of Palestine. UN Resolution 181 divided Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish state, with Jerusalem as an internationalised city.

The Jewish state was granted 56 percent of the land; the city of Jaffa was included as an enclave of the Arab state; and the land known today as the Gaza Strip was split from its surrounding agricultural regions.

But making the proposed Arab state all but proved impractical in the eyes of many Palestinians.

When the draft resolution was presented for voting, Arab newspapers ran a 'name and shame' list of the countries that voted for the UN partition plan, and Arab protesters took to the streets.

Following the partition resolution, Britain announced it would end its mandate in Palestine on 14 May 1948.

EPISODE FOUR:

In early 1948, Jewish paramilitary forces began to seize more land in Palestine. By the end of July, more than 400,000 Palestinians had been forced to flee their homes, and their plight as refugees had just begun.

In May of that year, Swedish diplomat Count Folke Bernadotte had been appointed as the UN Mediator in Palestine. His mission was to seek a peaceful settlement.

The Count surveyed devastated Palestinian villages and visited refugee camps in both Palestine and Jordan. The scale of the humanitarian disaster became apparent, as he witnessed cramp living conditions, long queues for basic food and scarce medical aid.

Count Bernadotte was no stranger to human disaster; with the Red Cross he had rescued over 30,000 prisoners of war from Nazi concentration camps. Now he advocated the Palestinian's right to return to their homes.

In a report dated 16 September 1948, he wrote:

"It would be an offence against the principles of elementary justice if these innocent victims were denied the right to return to their homes, while Jewish immigrants flow into Palestine, and, indeed, at least offer the threat of permanent replacement of the Arab refugees who have been rooted in the land for centuries."

The Count's first proposal argued for fixed boundaries through negotiation, an economic union between both states, and the return of Palestinian refugees - the proposal was turned down.

On 17 September, the day following his UN report, Count Bernadotte's motorcade was ambushed in Jerusalem. He was shot at point blank range by members of the Jewish Stern gang.

Al Nakba Debate:

The historic struggle for Palestine is characterised as the claims and counter-claims of Arabs and Jews, but one factor that is often overlooked behind the Palestinian 'nakba' or 'catastrophe' of 1948, is the part played by an old imperial power, Britain.

So, whose interests were best served by the British in Palestine? How did it honour its mandated duty of care? and what were the calculations and miscalculations it made in redrawing the map of Palestine, and reshaping its history?

The 65 years of the Israeli statehood, continue to cause conflict and controversy.

The history is written by the victors, who are the rewriters of history as new information, new documents, and new historians, come to light. It is time to examine how history itself is the battleground for the hearts and minds of new generations today.

To discuss the historic events that led to the 'nakba', the birth of Israel, and the making of history, we are joined by Rosemary Hollis, former head of the Middle East programme at the Royal Insitute of International Affairs; James Renton, senior lecturer in History at Edge Hill University and author of The Zionist Masquerade: The birth of the Anglo-Zionist alliance 1914-1918 ; and Avi Shalam, a professor of International Relations at Oxford University and author of the Collusion across the Jordan: King Abdullah, The Zionist Movement, and the Partition Of Palestine.

Source: Al Jazeera

https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/specialseries/2013/05/20135612348774619.html

https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/specialseries/2013/05/20135612348774619.html

http://www.palestineremembered.com/index.html
 

fly b (26)
Wednesday May 16, 2018, 3:55 pm
In Bethlehem, hundreds of children, women and men marched from Nisan Square to the gate in the apartheid wall separating them from Jerusalem. This unarmed protest was immediately met by brutal force. Border police fired at protesters with a vehicle mounted tear-gas cannon. People ran into alleyways suffering from the effects of the gas.
On the 14th May 2017, the day the new US embassy to Israel was due to open in Jerusalem, protests were held across Palestine.

May 16, 2018
Protesters soon regrouped, setting up a burning barricade to protect themselves from Israeli forces. Border police shot into the crowd with tear gas and foam baton ammunition. Both these types of ammunition are potentially lethal.


All of this deadly crowd control equipment is of the type supplied to Israeli forces by US company Combined Systems. The company have been the target of solidarity protests in the US.

International Solidarity Movement volunteers were present, and saw several people being treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.

Women were at the forefront of the demonstration, with affinity groups of women strengthening the barricade and protesting in the street. Some activists brought a large wooden door to protect themselves from tear gas and baton rounds.

East Jerusalem was illegally occupied by Israeli forces in 1967. Since then, the Israeli state and Zionist settler movements have claimed all of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and have embarked on campaigns and policies to marginalize and uproot Palestinian communities. Palestinian neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem, such as Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah, are currently resisting evictions, settler harassment and racism. Donald Trump’s relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem supports these apartheid policies. The protest in Bethlehem was just one of many protests by Palestinian communites across the West Bank, Gaza, and the territories occupied by Israel in 1948, intended to show Palestinian opposition to the embassy relocation.

http://palsolidarity.org/2018/05/bethlehem-protests-the-us-embassy-relocation/
 

fly b (26)
Wednesday May 16, 2018, 6:02 pm
The nightmare of proving that you live in East Jerusalem.
May 16, 2018

Scenes from the overcrowded Israeli Interior Ministry office in East Jerusalem, where Palestinian residents of the city must regularly ‘prove’ they still live there or face displacement and exile.

By Amer ‘Aruri

Inside the the Wadi al-Joz Interior Ministry office in East Jerusalem, an elderly man holds a one-year old child. She is crying because of the cramming and pushing among those lined up at the ministry’s outer gate. “Where is the child’s mother?” I ask. He responds that the mother is crying too, and she can’t carry her child. “I am the child’s grandfather,” he says.

Another man tells him: “The child is going to die in your hands, poor thing. Why don’t you ask the security guard to open the door?” I take the girl from her grandfather to enable him to climb through the rotating metal door from the outside, screaming at the security guard to open the door for him. The security guard tells him to shut up and get off the door. The grandfather takes the child back, lifting her for the security guard to see how badly she is crying. People inside and outside the building start to yell, and the security guard is compelled to open the door, allowing the grandfather and his grandchild to enter.

What about the mother? The women at the “women’s line” would not allow her to cut in line, as they themselves have been standing there for a long time. So the grandfather asks the men to make room for the mother of the child. They do not hesitate, showing chivalry and compassion, and step aside to allow the sobbing mother to pass.

A young man stands next to me, repeatedly saying that he is going to the Ministry of Labor and not the Interior Ministry. He says he fears he won’t be able to make it there before 12 p.m. in order to prove that he showed up on time, which means he won’t get his unemployment benefits for the entire month. All of a sudden, the young man does something that everybody else disapproves of: the second the gate leading to the women’s line is opened, he cuts in line to enter the building. The women begin cursing at him. “You animal, you have no honor,” they yell. The poor guy tries to explain himself.

People are stuck to each other, trying to find an opening to get to the entrance and make it into the building. Then a woman screams: “Open the door you scumbags! You animals!” The woman holds a crying child in her hands, and yells that her husband is waiting for her inside, asking to be let in. People tell her to call her husband and ask him to speak to the security guards.

Upon entering through the rotating metal door, which looks like a contraption for rinsing chickens,, the security guard begins shouting at the men and women in their respective lines, ordering them to stand behind a red line. He threatens that no one will go through unless we all stand behind it. Every now and then, a security guard yells —“Is there anyone going to the Ministry of Labor?”— and lets those holding the proper documents go through. Some who are in fact going to the Interior Ministry claim they are going to the Ministry of Labor to cut the long line and get closer to the red line.

A scuffle erupts between a 50-year old and a 20-year-old man. The younger man has had it with people who are crossing the line under false pretenses. He starts screaming that he is going to the Ministry of Labor, and begins pushing his way through to get nearer to the red line. The older man notices and picks a fight with him. They begin threatening each other, causing people to intervene.

After crossing a security check, people become calmer and kinder; they know that they’ve made it. They are closer to the hall where their applications will be processed. From here on, people can have a sip of water or go to the restroom because they know they are carrying a number slip that no one can take away.

The employee who hands out our number tells me that I don’t have an appointment. I show him a message from the Interior Ministry asking me to confirm my appointment, which I have done. The employee hands me another number and orders me to wait for my turn to be called. An hour later, at 2:30 p.m., the information desk calls my name and informs me that my appointment was at 11:45. I tell the man at the desk that I was unable to get through due to the overcrowding outside. He hands me another number and asks me to wait, again, for my name to be called.

My son and I have not had anything to eat since we arrived at the ministry at 10 a.m. I call my wife and ask her to bring us some food. At 3:30 p.m. she arrives and hands me some sandwiches and juice through the exit door. A man waiting for his turn asks me where I got the food. I explain and offer him some of my sandwich, but he declines, and instead calls someone to ask that they bring him something to eat.

At 4:45 p.m., I finally get called to finalize my application for IDs for myself and my 15-year-old son. The ministry employee asks me for as many documents as she can handle to prove that I am, in fact, a resident of Jerusalem. I hand her water and electricity bills, municipal tax bills, salary slips, and my housing lease. She asks for proof that I have medical insurance, but I tell her I don’t have such proof other than a magnetic card, which leaves her unimpressed.

She asks my son and me some personal questions, giving the whole thing a feeling of a military interrogation. When was the first time you left the country? Do you own a house in the West Bank? What are the names of your wife’s nephews? Why is your water bill so low?

At 5:20 p.m., having proven my Jerusalem residency, we are finally done and able to go back home to Beit Hanina. Until next time.

Amer ‘Aruri is an East Jerusalem field researcher for B’Tselem

https://972mag.com/the-nightmare-of-proving-that-you-live-in-east-jerusalem/
 

fly b (26)
Wednesday May 16, 2018, 6:12 pm
Related story: Jerusalem by the numbers: Poverty, demolitions, and exile.
By Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man May 13, 2018

Israeli border policemen stop and check Palestinians going out of the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Issawiya, on October 15, 2015. Israel set up checkpoints in the Palestinian neighbourhoods of east Jerusalem and mobilised hundreds of soldiers as a collective punishment after recent attacks by Palestinians. (Activestills.org)

Israeli border policemen stop and check Palestinians going out of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, October 15, 2015. (Activestills.org)

The following is a collection of facts, figures, and statistics about Jerusalem compiled and published on the occasion of “Jerusalem Day.” Nationalist Israelis mark Jerusalem Day on Sunday to mark the anniversary of the conquest of East Jerusalem and the Old City in 1967. The celebrations include the “march of the flags,” where flag-bearing Jewish revelers march through the Palestinian neighborhoods of the Old City, chanting racist, violent and ultra-nationalistic slogans. Any counter protest by Palestinian residents is rarely tolerated by police.

While Jewish Israelis celebrate the “reunification” of Jerusalem, data shows that the city is anything but unified. From concrete walls that separate to budgets that discriminate, East Jerusalem and West Jerusalem — despite being a part of the same municipality — are hardly the same, let alone a unified city. Palestinian residents of Jerusalem are just that – residents; they were not granted Israeli citizenship and do not have the right to vote in national elections, do not hold Israeli passports thousands have had their right to live in their home city revoked with the stroke of a pen.

Discrimination:
•In 2013, the last year for which there is data available, only 10 percent of the Jerusalem municipal budget was earmarked for the city’s Palestinian residents. Five divisions of the municipality earmarked a mere 5 percent of their budget to Palestinian Jerusalemites. (IA)
•There is a shortage of at least 2,557 classrooms for Palestinian children in East Jerusalem. The city is building 37 a year. At that pace it would take nearly 70 years to close the gap. (IA)
•While there are 19 welfare offices serving the Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem, only four welfare offices are located in Palestinian neighborhoods. (IA)
•Only 59 percent of Palestinian households in East Jerusalem are officially connected to the water grid. (IA)

More:
https://972mag.com/jerusalem-by-the-numbers-poverty-demolitions-and-exile/
 

fly b (26)
Thursday May 17, 2018, 8:51 am
Events for 17 May 2018

Pensacola: Pensacola Stands for Palestine!
May 17 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Plaza, N Palafox St
Pensacola, FL United States

Regina: Emergency Rally for Gaza
May 17 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Victoria Park, Victoria Park
Regina, Canada

Milan: Protest for Palestine outside the RAI
May 17 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
RAI office, Corso Sempione
Milan, Italy

Siena: Rally in Solidarity with the Palestinian People
May 17 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Piazza del Duomo, Piazza del Duomo
Siena, Italy

Cologne: 70 Years of Nakba – Solidarity with the Palestinian people
May 17 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Hauptbahnhof – Köln, Hauptbahnhof
Cologne, Germany

Saint-Etienne: Rally in support of the Palestinian People
May 17 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Place d’Hotel de Ville, place d'Hotel de Ville
Saint-Etienne, France

http://samidoun.net/events/2018-05-17/


Events for 18 May 2018

Toronto: Emergency Action for Palestine at Chrystia Freeland’s Office
May 18 @ 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Chrystia Freeland’s Office, 344 Bloor St W
Toronto, Canada

Venice: Mobilization Against the Giro d’Italia
May 18 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Via Brigata Aosta and Via Zateri, Via Brigata Aosta and Via Zateri
Nervesa della Battaglia, Italy

NYC: Nakba Day 2018 – Rally and March for 70 Years of Resistance
May 18 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Times Square, Times Square
New York, NY United States

Cleveland: Nakba70 – Gaza – Jerusalem
May 18 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Public Square, Public Square
Cleveland, OH United States

Chicago: Jan Schakowsky – Justice for Palestinian Protesters
May 18 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Jan Schakowsky’s Office, 5533 N Broadway St
Chicago, IL United States

Rome: Rally for Palestine at the US Embassy
May 18 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Piazza Barberini, Piazza Barberini
Rome, Italy

Nottingham: Gaza – Stop the Massacre
May 18 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Brian Clough Statue, King Street
Nottingham, United Kingdom

Tampa: Emergency Rally to Reject US Embassy Move and Israeli Massacres
May 18 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
N 56th St and East Fowler Ave, N 56th St and East Fowler Ave
Temple Terrace, FL United States

http://samidoun.net/events/2018-05-17/

Events for 18 May 2018

NYC: Nakba Day 2018 – Rally and March for 70 Years of Resistance
May 18 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Times Square, Times Square
New York, NY United States

Cleveland: Nakba70 – Gaza – Jerusalem
May 18 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Public Square, Public Square
Cleveland, OH United States

http://samidoun.net/events/2018-05-18/

Events for 19 May 2018

Glasgow: End Israel’s Bloody Massacre in Gaza
May 19 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Buchanan Steps, Buchanan Steps
Glasgow, United Kingdom

London: End British Support for Israel! Solidarity with Gaza!
May 19 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Barclays Bank London, Tottenham Court Road 190
London, United Kingdom

Cardiff: Gaza – Stop the Massacre
May 19 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Nye Bevan Statue, Queen Street
Cardiff, United Kingdom

Bonn: 70 years of expulsion and occupation are enough!
May 19 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Münsterplatz, Münsterplatz
Bonn, Germany

Clermont-Farrand: Nakba – Gaza – BDS Demonstration
May 19 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Place de Jaude, Place de Jaude
Clermont-Farrand, France

Montpellier: Stand with Gaza – Protest the Massacre
May 19 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Place de la Comedie, Place de la Comedie
Lyon, France

Florence: Protest to support Palestine and its resistance
May 19 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Piazza di San Marco, Piazza di San Marco
Florence, Italy

Hamburg: Freedom for Palestine – Stop the Massacre in Gaza!
May 19 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Hamburg Hauptbahnhof, Hachmannplatz
Hamburg, Germany

Milan: March in support of Palestinian Resistance
May 19 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Piazza San Babila, Piazza San Babila
Milan, Italy

http://samidoun.net/events/2018-05-19/

Events for 20 May 2018

Anaheim: Nakba 70 and the Great March of Return
May 20 @ 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
611 S Brookhurst St, 611 S Brookhurst St
Anaheim, CA United States

Boston: Commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Nakba in Palestine
May 20 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
City School, 614 Columbia Road
Dorchester, MA United States

http://samidoun.net/events/2018-05-20/

http://samidoun.net/events/
 

fly b (26)
Thursday May 17, 2018, 9:23 am
Bethlehem protests the US embassy relocation.
May 16, 2018

On the 14th May 2017, the day the new US embassy to Israel was due to open in Jerusalem, protests were held across Palestine.

In Bethlehem, hundreds of children, women and men marched from Nisan Square to the gate in the apartheid wall separating them from Jerusalem. This unarmed protest was immediately met by brutal force. Border police fired at protesters with a vehicle mounted tear-gas cannon. People ran into alleyways suffering from the effects of the gas.

Protesters soon regrouped, setting up a burning barricade to protect themselves from Israeli forces. Border police shot into the crowd with tear gas and foam baton ammunition. Both these types of ammunition are potentially lethal.

All of this deadly crowd control equipment is of the type supplied to Israeli forces by US company Combined Systems. The company have been the target of solidarity protests in the US.

International Solidarity Movement volunteers were present, and saw several people being treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.

Women were at the forefront of the demonstration, with affinity groups of women strengthening the barricade and protesting in the street. Some activists brought a large wooden door to protect themselves from tear gas and baton rounds.

East Jerusalem was illegally occupied by Israeli forces in 1967. Since then, the Israeli state and Zionist settler movements have claimed all of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and have embarked on campaigns and policies to marginalize and uproot Palestinian communities. Palestinian neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem, such as Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah, are currently resisting evictions, settler harassment and racism. Donald Trump’s relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem supports these apartheid policies. The protest in Bethlehem was just one of many protests by Palestinian communites across the West Bank, Gaza, and the territories occupied by Israel in 1948, intended to show Palestinian opposition to the embassy relocation.

http://palsolidarity.org/2018/05/bethlehem-protests-the-us-embassy-relocation/
 
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