From Dorothy at New Profile (organization for the civil-ization of Israeli society)
I have so far found no updates about Khader Adnan today. If anything comes up will forward. Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to write or phone. We’ll know eventually if your endeavors and those of others have helped. I can only hope, along with all of you, I am sure, that it won’t be too late.
9 items below
Item 1 kicks off with an OCHA update about events in the OPT for February 1-7.
Item 2 is about Lifta (a Palestinian village near Jerusalem emptied of its residents in 1948) as it could be, had Israel not been a demographic state whose leaders care only about Jews, and try to destroy all evidence of Palestinian life here before 1948.
Item 3 is about a supposed ‘squatter’ who turns out to not have been one. We also learn that Israeli racism can be official, when some people by virtue of their ethnic background get better terms than others because of their ethnic background. The ‘squatter’ lives in I guess what could be called ‘upper Lifta.’ Palestinians who lived in the village are not allowed to return.
Item 4, Ethnic Cleansing in a Zionist fairyland, is about how Israel uses archeology to demolish Palestinian history in Jerusalem.
Item 5 informs us that Palestinians and international supporters removed barbed wire.
In item 6 Amira Hass tells us how ‘Saplings serve as Weapons.’
Item 7 and 8 are good news in the realm of bds. Item 7 reports on a victory at the University of Regina, and item 8 that Cat Power has cancelled her Israel performance.
Item 9 is a tremendously interesting and well-written piece on a horrid subject. ‘The threat of Military Provocation is real’ refers to provocation by Israel to induce Iran to start the war, all to the end of ethnically cleansing Israel of as many Palestinians as possible. You might not agree with the thesis, but the article is worth the read.
All the best,
By chance item 2 takes place in ‘upper’ Lifta. Item 3
Protection of Civilians Weekly Report | 1 – 7 February 2012
2 Haaretz Thursday, February 9, 2012
Latest update 04:43 09.02.12
Lifta’s imaginary future
Plans for a luxury development in an abandoned Arab village may have been scrapped – but dreams of restoring Lifta to its former glory are likely to remain just that.
By Esther Zandberg
The Jerusalem District Court did the right thing this week when it canceled an Israel Lands Administration plan to build a luxury residential neighborhood in Lifta that threatened to erase any memory of the Arab village.
Lifta, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, is the only abandoned Arab village in Israel that has remained intact since the War of Independence, and it has become a symbol of the destruction of the Palestinian community in this country. The only thing left to do now is to protect Lifta from architecture lovers and preservationists who paradoxically may cause the Palestinian memory of this place to vanish into oblivion, specifically as they attempt to preserve it.
The same would be true if Lifta were turned into a fake and toy-like tourist attraction like Old Jaffa, or preserved as a romantic “artists village” like Ein Hod or Ein Kerem, which were built on quaint Palestinian villages after their residents fled.
Following the court’s historic decision, here is a fantasy of what Lifta might have become – a scenario that could have remedied the historical injustice, even if only symbolically. This fantasy situation appeared in Haaretz a year ago during a previous round of discussions on Lifta’s fate:
Thanks to a plan the Israel Lands Administration promoted together with the families of original residents, the village has been reborn. The streets are bustling, tourism and commerce are thriving, and the old mosque has been refurbished. The 55 historic buildings in the village that were spared destruction have been renovated and converted to new uses, including a historical museum that Jewish and Arab students visit as part of their civics studies to learn Lifta’s story.
There are new homes in the village built in a variety of styles typical of Arab communities in Israel, and quite a bit of the original village’s authentic character has been lost. But even ardent advocates of preservation would have to agree that the historic justice carried out is worth the price.
This is all a fantasy, of course – a distant dream with no chance of being realized in Israeli reality even after the court canceled the Israel Lands Administration’s construction plans for the village. Like the administration’s plan, this fantasy is also political, and perhaps both lack planning logic. Still, some residents of nearby Arab neighborhoods long desperately for this.
3 Haaretz Friday, February 10.2012
Latest update 03:31 10.02.12
Jerusalem ‘squatter’ discovers that his home is rightfully his
Decades-old documents could stymie state’s plans to evict veteran residents from neighborhoods throughout the country.
By Nir Hasson
Tags: Jerusalem Tel Aviv Palestinians
The government has apparently evicted thousands of people from their homes illegally over the last several decades, documents from the 1950s and 1960s uncovered by an independent researcher reveal.
The research was conducted by Yoni Yohanan, who is facing eviction from his home in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Lifta after having lived there for 60 years.
Three years ago, the Yohanan family received a legal notice from the Israel Lands Administration asserting that they were squatting in the house illegally and demanding that they leave. That led Yohanan to devote the next few years of his life to trying to solve a legal-historical riddle: How can he have been squatting in his own house since the 1950s?
The answers that he found, several jurists said, may change the lives of tens of thousands of past and present residents defined as squatters – not just in Lifta, but also in Tel Aviv’s Sumail compound, Bat Yam’s Ramat Amidar neighborhood, Kfar Shalem, Givat Amal and other places. What these neighborhoods have in common is that all were Palestinian villages abandoned in 1948 and subsequently used to house new immigrants to Israel.
Putting new immigrants in abandoned Palestinian houses initially served two purposes: alleviating the country’s housing shortage, and preventing the Palestinians from returning. Since then, however, thousands of people have been evicted from these houses – either by the state, because it wanted to promote some new building plan, or by private entrepreneurs to whom the state sold the land.
Yohanan charges that for decades, the state concealed procedures that would have allowed the residents to acquire the legal right to their houses – but not from everyone: While thousands were evicted, thousands of others did acquire rights. “The procedures were honored for people of a certain color,” Yohanan said bluntly. In other words, Ashkenazim were allowed to legally acquire their houses; Sephardim weren’t.
Yohanan’s family came to Israel from Kurdistan in 1951 and moved to Lifta the following year. The documents he gathered show the severe poverty of Lifta residents, who didn’t even have running water or electricity. Inter alia, they include letters from Rachel Yana’it Ben-Zvi, the wife of Israel’s second president, who solicited donations to help them. “The President’s Residence doesn’t usually solicit donations,” she wrote in 1958, “but this time we were so shocked by our visit to Lifta … ”
By 1953, the family’s presence in the house had been recognized by the Jerusalem municipality; they have paid municipal taxes ever since. Yohanan and his nine siblings grew up there, and in time, after becoming a successful businessman, he turned the old house into a large, luxurious dwelling. But then, three years ago, came the blow: Due to a plan to turn Lifta into a luxury neighborhood (which was put on hold this week when the Jerusalem District Court overturned the tender the ILA had issued ), the ILA sought to evict the 13 families still living there, with no compensation and no negotiations.
For the residents – most of them now around 80 years old, Yohanan said – this was not just a disaster, but a humiliation: “Some said we’d give up the house if they just wouldn’t call us squatters.”
So he began researching the matter in an effort to save his house – or at least his honor. First, he bought a legal database and read “perhaps 1,000” court rulings, “but I didn’t find even one in which the court recognized [the residents’] rights.”
Then he moved onto archives – mainly the national archive and the Central Zionist Archives: “I’d come in the morning and stay until they kicked me out,” he says. He also contacted former senior ILA officials, who helped him gather material.
About six months ago, he hit pay dirt: a 1955 document written by the Finance Ministry that set down procedures for residents of houses owned by the state development authority, which had custody of all abandoned Palestinian houses, to acquire legal rights to them. Inter alia, the document stated that anyone who moved into such a house before March 15, 1953 had the right to obtain a contract for it without paying a “permit fee.”
“When I read that sentence, I stopped breathing,” Yohanan said. “My hair stood on end.”
Then he found another, no less dramatic, document: “Instructions for Selling Development Authority Assets 1960.” This document stated that residents must be given a chance to purchase their own dwelling, at a price set by the government assessor, before it can be sold to anyone else.
Yohanan has since shown these documents to several lawyers involved in proceedings between the ILA and “squatters,” and all said they had never before heard of the procedures they detail.
Attorney Gilad Harish, who wrote a legal opinion based on these documents, believes they could completely alter the balance of power between the residents and the state. The fact that residents were never informed of these procedures “illegally deprived them of their rights,” the opinion says, and residents who were evicted are thus entitled to sue the state for damages. That is true even if the eviction happened decades ago, it argues, because by law, if a significant fact “was concealed from the plaintiff,” the clock on the statute of limitations for civil suits starts running only once he discovers that fact. In short, thousands of families evicted over the last 60 years may now be entitled to sue.
Other jurists consulted by Haaretz also said these documents created a significant problem for the state in eviction cases.
Meanwhile, in part to due to the documents Yohanan found, the ILA has begun negotiating with Lifta residents on fair compensation for leaving their homes, and residents facing eviction from other such neighborhoods nationwide are now consulting Yohanan on their cases.
But the ILA said it still doesn’t recognize Lifta residents’ rights to their homes. The documents Yohanan found, it said, apply only to protected tenants – which the Lifta residents aren’t. Moreover, it said, the residents never paid the ILA anything for their property in all those decades, and the “permit fee” waiver is irrelevant to the ILA, which was set up only five years after that document was written.
One question that remains is who did know about these procedures. Yohanan noted that residents of Jerusalem neighborhoods like Katamon, Talbieh and Bak’a – who were generally well-heeled professionals – were somehow never considered squatters.
“I’m someone who succeeded in life, and I’ve never complained of discrimination,” he said. “But when you see these things, you want to scream.”
4 The Palestine Chronicle Friday, February 12, 2012
Ethnic Cleansing in a Zionist Fairyland
Silwan: Steadfastness are synonymous in the Palestinian soul. (Press TV)
By Vacy Vlazna
‘De-Arabizing the history of Palestine is another crucial element of the ethnic cleansing. 1500 years of Arab and Muslim rule and culture in Palestine are trivialized, evidence of its existence is being destroyed and all this is done to make the absurd connection between the ancient Hebrew civilization and today’s Israel. The most glaring example of this today is in Silwan, (Wadi Hilwe) a town adjacent to the Old City of Jerusalem with some 50,000 residents. Israel is expelling families from Silwan and destroying their homes because it claims that king David built a city there some 3000 years ago. Thousands of families will be made homeless so that Israel can build a park to commemorate a king that may or may not have lived 3000 years ago. Not a shred of historical evidence exists that can prove King David ever lived yet Palestinian men, women, children and the elderly along with their schools and mosques, churches and ancient cemeteries and any evidence of their existence must be destroyed and then denied so that Zionist claims to exclusive rights to the land may be substantiated.’ — Miko Peled, Israeli dissident.
Indeed, archaeology has become a state apparatus for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the Zionist fairyland aka the City of David Archaeological Park located in the Palestinian village of Silwan in East Jerusalem.
East Jerusalem is the proclaimed capital of the proposed Palestine state. It was illegally annexed by Israel in the 1967 war. Prohibiting annexation of territories gained by military conquest is one of the major principles of international law. The international community does not recognise Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem nevertheless over 50,000 illegal premises have been built for 250,000 illegal Israeli colonists.
The goal of the archaeological judaisation of Jerusalem is to transform Jerusalem into the City of David, the capital of Greater Israel by eradicating the mixed ethnic composition of the Palestinian and Jewish population of East Jerusalem to a solely Jewish identity and unifying East and West Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty.
This judaising in Silwan is executed by the Israeli government, the Municipality of Jerusalem, and the rightwing colonist (settler) organisation, Elad, through the revocation of residency rights, absentee property laws, discriminatory taxation policies, home demolitions, transfer of Palestinian residents, replacing Arabic place names with Hebrew names and the expansion of settlements which Richard Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, describes ‘as a form of ethnic cleansing ‘ which is defined as a crime against humanity under the statutes of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Furthermore Article 53 of the Geneva Convention states: “Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons.is prohibited.”
Financial support for judaising programmes comes from hundreds of moneyed Zionist organisations and foundations worldwide. In 2005, archaeologist Eilat Mazar announced she had discovered the palace of King David circa 10 Century BCE. The excavations in Silwan were funded by the Shalem Center whose Zionist neocons have invested heavily in the judaisation efforts to give historicity to the David myth. Shalem’s founder, Ron Lauder of the Estee Lauder empire, is an uncompromising Zionist extremist, a Likudnik and a major shareholder in Israeli TV Channel 10 as well as the current Chairman of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and President of the World Jewish Congress (JWC) which normalises the Israeli occupation. Curiously, in January, Abbas and Erekat had a closed meeting with Lauder in London even though the Palestinian team refused to meet with Netanyahu.
The Shalem Center has association with Sheldon Adelson, the casino billionaire who is a Likud supporter and a key financial backer of the Newt Gingrich campaign and Newt’s ‘Palestinians are an invented people’ idiocy. From 2007-9 the Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies in the Shalem Center was directed by Natan Sharansky who is now Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, a quasi-governmental organisation advancing Jewish immigration to Israel including the illegal colonies. Its 2008 the core budget was $314,760,000. The Jewish Agency was established by the World Zionist Organization (WZO) in 1929 founded on the commitment to warrant “The unity of the Jewish people, its bond to its historic homeland Eretz Yisrael, and the centrality of the State of Israel and Jerusalem, its capital “It acts as agent of the government in assigning land to Jewish colonists in the Israeli-occupied territories. Its new chairman is religious Zionist Avraham Duvdevani who served as head of the WZO’s Settlement Division, co-chairman of the board of the Jewish National Fund and a member of the Jewish Agency’s Executive. Over a quarter of WZO delegates are from Orthodox Zionists attesting to their sinister rising influence.
The Shalem Centre works closely with Elad the right-wing hardline colonist organization and militia that advocates illegal Jewish colonial settlement in East Jerusalem acquiring, in cahoots with the Jewish National Fund and its subsidiary Hemanuta, Palestinian properties often through threats, false depositions, forged documents, posthumous witness signatures and militant house takeovers.
Elad is mainly funded by the tax-exempt ‘charities’ Ir David Incorporated and the Irving Moskowitz Foundation which illegally funnel monies to Zionist political objectives. Moskowitz, the casino magnate, is a hardcore Zionist and founder of the Friends of Ateret Cohanim which finances Jews to live in East Jerusalem and owns about 70 properties in the Muslim Quarter. Daniel Luria, its chief fund-raiser commented “Our [fund-raising] activity in New York goes solely toward land redemption.” In 2005, Ateret Cohanim instigated, without license, an archaeological project tunneling 20 meters toward the Al-Aqsa compound causing damage to Palestinian homes in violation of the law.
Elad was given, without tender, exclusive control over the City of David Archaeological Park including a tunnel network that is being dug around and under the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Elad’s lucrative tours of the historic sites, although there is no historical evidence of David or Solomon’s existence, spout historical fabrications from the Jewish biblical narrative such as the Byzantine water pit that is falsified as Jeremiah’s pit. The 8000 year old Palestinian-Canaanite narrative is glossed over.
In December 2011, Australian listeners were treated to a fantasy tour of the so-called Palace of David by ABC presenter Rachael Kohn and archaeologist Avner Goren both of whom gushed forth fairytales about the mythical king absurdly comparing him to George Washington and sidestepping his dubious authenticity by urging trust in the Bible.
In archaeological circles there is an ongoing controversy about whether Biblical texts can be equated to history. In the 70s William Dever suggested that rather than Biblical Archaeology, the term Syro-Palestinian Archaeology (note not Syro-Israeli) was more appropriate and is used in academic circles.
Archaeologists who follow the Minimalist or Copenhagen school “conclude that the books of the Hebrew Bible were written during the Persian (or Hellenistic) period. The historical books actually contain made-up stories (that may have exploited some vague, ancient legends) through which the local organized refugee population provided itself with a mythic cover-(hi)story that linked it to the land and to a religion. This conclusion has two important corollaries: (1) Bible narratives about the political, social, and intellectual world of ancient Israel from Abraham to the temple’s destruction lack probative value. (2) Any narrative about what actually happened to the real people living in the central mountain areas of ancient Israel during what archaeologists call the Iron Age must, accordingly, be based on archaeological data alone. No other authentic sources for their history are available.”
It is widely accepted that the Bible originated in the 7th Century BCE, 300 years after David and other historical aberrations encompass the palaces officially ascribed to Solomon in Megiddo which are dated long after Solomon’s time. Cities conquered by Joshua in the 14th century BCE were destroyed well before that era. Daniel Gavron comments that “The story of Abraham’s journey from Ur of the Chaldees, the Patriarchs, the Exodus, Sinai, and the conquest of Canaan, all these were apparently based on legends…” In 2004, Yuval Goren admitted he examined ” a seemingly endless line of fake biblical texts of various kinds. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of such forgeries referring especially to the time of the First Temple. It will not be an exaggeration to say that the disciplines of biblical history and archaeology have been contaminated to such an extent that no unprovenanced written source seems to be reliable anymore.”
Proof of David’s existence rests on a piece of stone found at Tel Dan in northern Galilee (not Jerusalem) inscribed with the words ‘Beit David’ which could mean House of ‘David’ or ‘Beloved’ but not King David conclusively as with the sherd found at Tel Safi with the name ‘Goliath’ which “almost certainly did not belong to David’s Goliath, if it does say “Goliath” then it shows that there was such a personal name used in the region at approximately the correct chronological period.” The first ancient reference to an Israelite king is found in an 8th Century BCE Assyrian document recording “King Ahab of Israel sent 2,000 chariots and 10,000 soldiers.”
Sumud (steadfastness) life and land are synonymous in the Palestinian soul. King David may be a myth but it is the modern indigenous Palestinians, outcasts in their own land, who stand alone with the stone of sumud in their hands daily facing off the militant aliyah hordes backed by the Zionist Goliaths of multi-billion dollar empires, by Christian Zionist offerings, by the servile US Congress, by a depraved UK and EU and by a contemptibly inadequate United Nations.
– Dr. Vacy Vlazna is Coordinator of Justice for Palestine Matters. She was Human Rights Advisor to the GAM team in the second round of the Acheh peace talks, Helsinki, February 2005 and was coordinator of the East Timor Justice Lobby as well as serving in East Timor with UNAMET and UNTAET from 1999-2001. She contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.
5 Haaretz Friday, February 10, 2012
Latest update 03:31 10.02.12
Saplings serve as weapons in battle for West Bank land
Saplings cost money, and Women in Green urges its supporters, both in Israel and abroad, to supply it. The goal: to redeem state lands ‘on which Arabs are planting.’
By Amira Hass
Tags: West Bank Israel settlements Israel occupation
Sharon Katz of the Women in Green organization defined the situation well in a YouTube clip the group posted on April 7, 2011: “We are in a battle in a war of agricultural terrorism.”
Residents of the village of Al-Khader, imprisoned between the West Bank settlements of Alon Shvut and Elazar, have already stopped counting the number of battles. Every Palestinian landowner has a thick file full of documents attesting that he and his family owned the land many years before Women in Green founder Nadia Matar was born in Antwerp, Belgium. The files also contain copies of their complaints to the police against the settlers trespassing on their land.
The weapons in this battle are saplings, irrigation systems and plastic sheeting to keep the water from evaporating. The saplings have been uprooted repeatedly, but Women in Green keep planting them – and full-grown olive trees as well. Once, the Palestinians uprooted those, but the women soon planted six more trees. And then another six.
On Tu Bishvat – the Jewish Arbor Day, which fell on Tuesday – a man in a mask (“to protect my lungs” ) surveyed the hundreds of saplings planted since October 2010 on land belonging to Yassin Da’dua of Al-Khader and Sauad and Fatma Sanad of Artis. Armed with no visible weapon but a camera, he bestrode the battlefield where Women in Green members say Arabs attacked them in the past. Another bearded man, looking equally unafraid, was replanting uprooted saplings.
Soon, an army jeep arrived, followed by a vehicle from Israel’s Civil Administration in the West Bank. A Civil Administration officer emerged; the Palestinians call him “Assad.”
Women in Green claims the Civil Administration dismantled the outpost they are trying to build there. “Assad” indeed sought to determine where new saplings had been planted, but so far, all his agency has done is issue eviction orders from a few plots it deems “state land.” Despite all the police complaints, the forces of law and order have yet to do anything to stop the takeover of the Da’dua and Sanad families’ lands.
On November 5, 2011, Sauad Sanad went with her sister and her sister’s husband to the Kiryat Arba police station to complain that settlers trespassing on their land had beaten them. To their shock, they were arrested on suspicion of having attacked the settlers. They refused to post bail, remained in jail until evening and were released only on condition that they not go near the land for two weeks. When they returned, they found new saplings there.
Police also opened an investigation into Da’dua, after settlers trespassing on his land claimed he assaulted them on April 1, 2011.
Saplings cost money, and Women in Green urges its supporters, both in Israel and abroad, to supply it. The goal: to redeem state lands “on which Arabs are planting.”
The money buys not only saplings, but also irrigation systems and even wooden benches inscribed with the donor’s name. One such bench is redeeming land that Da’dua, 52, can remember from his childhood: He used to accompany his father to tend the family’s vineyard there.
Sauad Sanad says these hills, and the valley between them, are the first sight she ever remembers seeing. Her father, a resident of Artis, bought a plot of land here from an Al-Khader resident in the early 1950s; in the 1980s, before he died, he transferred it to his two daughters. Along with the land, he bequeathed them a one-room stone house he built in 1959. The house still stands, though it is scorched where someone set it on fire several years ago.
Between the terraces are some barren, blackened grapevines. “After 15 or 20 years, the vines get tired,” Da’dua explained. He and his family began uprooting them two or three years ago; they then planned to let the land lie fallow for two years, after which they would replant.
Instead, it is being “redeemed” by Jews on the pretext that is “uncultivated” and “empty.” In one plot, Sanad said, the settlers even uprooted her grapevines and destroyed the terraces. “Now we’re afraid to uproot the existing vines and continue improving the soil,” Da’dua said.
They are also afraid to bring their grandchildren there, due to an incident on January 1: After “Assad” tried to tell three settlers to leave, more settlers arrived, with dogs, and a fight broke out, Da’dua said. Sauad Sanad’s back still hurts; her sister’s wrist was cracked. The dogs attacked the children and tore their clothing.
]They called the army and the police, who indeed came – and told them this was a closed military zone, so they had to leave.
6 Palestine News and Information Agency –WAFA
Palestinians, Supporters Remove Barbed Wire Settlers put on Arab land Date : 11/2/2012 Time : 17:13 [remainder of this post was removed when I emailed it to wordpress – to read complete posts from Dorothy and others at New Profile, please go to http://www.newprofile.org/english/ and subscribe to the e-list]