Tag Archives: Jewish

Israel Admits – Wow! Israel admits it revoked residency rights of a quarter million Palestinians

That search engine technique is full of surprises.  I’d searched ‘Mossad admits’ before the last post, but hadn’t searched ‘Israel admits’.  But as an afterthought, I searched it.  Turned up a lot, including an international Jewish news site:

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-admits-it-revoked-residency-rights-of-a-quarter-million-palestinians-1.435778

Israel admits it revoked residency rights of a quarter million Palestinians

Many of those prevented from returning were students or young professionals, working aboard to support their families.

By | Jun. 12, 2012 | 1:18 AM | 31
Palestinian children in Hebron looking on as Shovrim Shtika lead a tour of the city.

Palestinian children in Hebron looking on as Shovrim Shtika lead a tour of the city, Feb. 26, 2012.Photo by Michal Fattal

Israel stripped more than 100,000 residents of Gaza and some 140,000 residents of the West Bank of their residency rights during the 27 years between its conquest of the territories in 1967 and the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1994.

As a result, close to 250,000 Palestinians who left the territories were barred from ever returning.

Given that Gaza’s population has a natural growth rate of 3.3 percent a year, its population today would be more than 10 percent higher, had Israel not followed a policy of revoking residency rights from anyone who left the area for an extended period of time. The West Bank’s population growth rate is 3 percent. Many of those prevented from returning were students or young professionals, working aboard to support their families.

The data on Gaza residency rights was released by the Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories this week, in response to a freedom-of-information request filed by Hamoked – The Center for the Defense of the Individual. In its letter, COGAT said that 44,730 Gazans lost their residency rights because they were absent from the territory for seven years or more; 54,730 because they did not respond to the 1981 census; and 7,249 because they didn’t respond to the 1988 census.

It added that 15,000 of those deprived of residency are now aged 90 or older.

In May 2011, Haaretz obtained the figures on West Bank residents who were stripped of their residency rights. The report noted that Israel had, for years, employed a secret procedure to do so. Palestinians who went abroad were required to leave their identity card at the border crossing. Unlike those from Gaza, who were allowed to leave for seven years, these Palestinians received a special permit valid for three years. The permit could be renewed three times, each time for one year. But any Palestinian who failed to return within six months after his permit expired would be stripped of his residency with no prior notice.

Former senior defense officials told Haaretz at the time of that report’s publication that they were unaware of any such procedure.

Today, a similar procedure is applied to East Jerusalem residents: A Palestinian who lives abroad for seven years or more loses his right to return to the city.

GOGAT’s letter to Hamoked regarding the Gaza natives said that there are various ways for Palestinians to get their residency restored, and in fact, some of those Gazans who lost their residency rights later regained them. However, it added, it lacks the resources to comply with Hamoked’s request to be told the specific reason behind each such restoration.

Since many of those who lost their residency rights from 1967 to 1994 in both Gaza and the West Bank were students or young professionals, their descendants today presumably number in the hundreds of thousands. Of the original people affected by the policy – nearly 250,000 – many have since died. But several thousands who were affiliated with the PA were granted the right to return in 1994; still other Palestinians have since been allowed to return for a variety of reasons.

Among the more prominent West Bank residents who have been barred from returning are the brothers of the PA’s chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, who went abroad to study and subsequently lost their residency. They now live in California. Erekat said that having learned from their experience, he was careful to return to the West Bank periodically while he was studying abroad, so as to keep his residency permit valid.

Hamoked, which learned of the existence of this policy by chance while investigating the case of a West Bank resident jailed in Israel, charges that stripping tens of thousands of Palestinians of their residency – and thus effectively exiling them permanently from their homeland – is a grave violation of international law.

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Bigotry, counter-bigotry, and civility

Good morning readers. Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

I stirred up a nest of hornets with the last two posts, the first being an attempt at unbiased observations concerning everything I’ve understood through observation during my lifetime, as well as extensive reading on Jewish, Christian, western civilization, Moslem, and ancient history.  The post wasn’t intended as an attack against the state of Israel, an indictment of Jews, anything of the sort.  Even in the re-reading of it I can find nothing to support such a claim.

Nevertheless, wossname, leanpower,  a man with strong Israeli ties who, himself, is in the business of designing, manufacturing and selling war weaponry, accused me of something considerably stronger than simple anti-Semitism.  I responded in anger, and for that I apologize.   That second post.

The issue of whether or not I’m an anti-Semite is of no importance.  The larger question of whether the viewpoints I expressed in the first post are an indictment of anti-Semitism against the holder of those views, however, is indeed an important question in the modern world.  Though not to me, personally.  I have no investment in modern Israel and my views are of zero importance to anyone.

But I’d offer the suggestion that the responses to what was said in the first post contained evidence that, if I don’t fully understand the issues [and provided my views are the result of a lack of information, as opposed to being a result of a bias against Jews in general] I’m in good company among a lot of other people within the US and elsewhere.

The problem is further complicated by the fact that only a tiny piece of the western world has ever read Biblical texts, know nothing of the times surrounding the Jewish Revolt, know nothing of the times preceding WWII when the discussions began concerning a Jewish state in the Middle East.  Know nothing about the floods of Jews fleeing Germany and its neighbors during the 1930s into Spain, Portugal, the Middle East, anywhere willing to accept them.  Know nothing of the starving hoards of Jews begging all the great powers to give them refuge, and the trickle of acceptance.

The miniscule dribble of acceptance by the powers for thousands of Jews without homes, many without money, food and clothing, asking for help.  And a response amounting to refusal by default.

Seems to me the post-war context for the formation of the Israeli state is trapped within that pre-war reality, and the post-war general recognition of what had come to pass in Germany, Poland and other Axis-occupied areas  for those who didn’t flee.

Given the ignorance and horror of all that within the general non-Jewish population, the acute awareness, on-the-other-hand, by Jews, it’s not difficult to understand why discussion of the issues become heated.  If modern Israel and its behavior as a nation weren’t so crucially involved in US foreign policy, the entire matter would be better left alone.  Better left to be settled by Israel and the surrounding countries.

From my perspective, that is not the case today.  Even with the care I take to isolate myself from world news I frequently see Israel threatening to bomb, say, Iran.  Bomb it whether the US approves, or disapproves.  Which would almost certainly expand to US involvement, and quite possibly a lot of other countries.

Which is to say, evidently modern Israel is willing without the consent of the US to lead the US by the nose into conflicts the US mightn’t find to be within its own best interests.  Or to allow Israel to be destroyed without the support of the US, which Israel is acutely aware won’t happen.

In that context is it acceptable for a US citizen to have viewpoints differing from those manifested in the behavior of the modern Israeli state?  Is it possible to examine and criticize, even wrongly, the policies of Israel if that examination leads to a conclusion that Israel has other alternatives than constant war?

Is it possible to examine and express these views, even if the views are developed partly out of ignorance, without being a Jew hater?  An anti-Semite?  A follower of the beliefs of the ELDERS OF ZION lunatics?

What I believe is of no consequence to anyone.  Israel and Washington DC don’t call me for advice on these matters.  So the post, whatever I might have said in it, was of zero value except to arouse an Israeli militarist to play the race card to stifle any expression of perspectives other than the Israeli one.

I withdraw from the whole affair.

Old Jules

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