Wednesday, 23 July 2014
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Dozens of Palestinians wounded overnight in West Bank clashes

Clashes took place overnight in the southern West Bank between Palestinians protesting the Israeli attacks on Gaza and Israeli soldiers. Dozens of Palestinians were wounded. A general strike throughout the West Bank, called for by the political parties, will be held Tuesday. 

Shooting fish in a barrel

Hamas leadership claimed a five hour humanitarian ceasefire proposed by the United Nations would com...

DOCUMENT: ANC calls Israeli ambassador to leave the country

Following nationwide protests across South Africa against the ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza (Israe...

African Literature Association supports academic BDS

In the 2014 African Literature Association (ALA) meeting in Johannesburg, the ALA approved a resolut...

Israelis to EU: pressure Israel to accept Hamas' truce terms

On Sunday July 20th, a group of more than 200 Israeli citizens sent a letter to the European Council...
aicafe-22-7-gaza
Please join us at the AICafe on Tuesday 22 July from 7.30 p.m. for a movie screening about Gaza - To Shoot an Elephant.
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Join the Nobel laureates, artists and public intellectuals in calling for an immediate military embargo on Israel. Sign the petition here.

Jerusalem

Israeli to release three of the suspects on the killing of Muhammad Abu Khdeir...

Barring any unusual developments, three of the six suspects arrested for the murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir will be released on a seven-day house arres...

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Israeli to release three of the suspects on the killing of Muhammad Abu Khdeir

Hebron

Hebron: a hostage city...

Since June 12, when three Israeli teenage settlers went missing north of Hebron, Israeli authorities have placed and kept the Hebron district under cl...

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Hebron: a hostage city

Opinions

Shooting fish in a barrel ...

Hamas leadership claimed a five hour humanitarian ceasefire proposed by the United Nations would come into effect in Gaza on Tuesday morning, hours be...

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Shooting fish in a barrel

Politico

Israeli Society

Economy of the Occupation

Human Rights

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Maintaining a Jewish state at refugees' expense

Created on 12 January 2012

While much has been said about the “Prevention of Infiltration Bill” that the Israeli parliament passed on Monday night, its deep connection to the Palestinians’ plight has been mostly ignored.

 

refugee-protest-tel-avivrefugee-protest-tel-aviv

Protesters at a demonstration this week in Tel Aviv against the amendments to the 1954 Prevention of Infiltration Bill (photo: Leehee Rothschild)


The new law, which subjects any African refugee who attempts to enter the state of Israel to three years (or longer) in prison without trial or due process, is an amendment to the 1954 Prevention of Infiltration Law that defines an infiltrator as anyone who:


“has entered Israel knowingly and unlawfully and who at any time between the 16th Kislev, 3708 (29th November, 1947) and his entry was -

(1) a national or citizen of the Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Saudi-Arabia, Trans-Jordan, Iraq or the Yemen ; or

(2) a resident or visitor in one of those countries or in any part of Palestine outside Israel ; or

(3) a Palestinian citizen or a Palestinian resident without nationality or citizenship or whose nationality or citizenship was doubtful and who, during the said period, left his ordinary place of residence in an area which has become a part of Israel for a place outside Israel.”


In other words, the 1954 law targeted Palestinian refugees, who were evicted from their homes during the 1947-1948 nakba and attempted to return to their lands in the new state of Israel. These are refugees that Israel created and, in violation of international law and numerous UN resolutions, Israel continues to leave these people without a homeland.


But in both Israeli history and the contemporary media, the Palestinian refugees are not refugees—they are “terrorists” or “infiltrators,” intent on destroying the “Jewish and democratic” state.  While a very small number of Palestinian refugees were, indeed, militants, the vast majority were people whose sole “crime” was acting upon their desire to return to their lost homes.


Today, the language the state of Israel and the local media use to describe African refugees is equally misleading. For the most part, they are not called “refugees” or “asylum seekers”—even though Israel tacitly acknowledges their status by not deporting them. They are called “infiltrators” who pose a “threat” to the state. Additionally, they are falsely labeled by the state and media as work migrants.


At the end of the day, the justification for both the 1954 Prevention of Infiltration Law as well was the new amendment is one and the same – the maintenance of the Jewish character of the State of Israel. Thus, in the name of the Jewish majority, the state of Israel deprives refugees, whether Palestinian or African, of their most basic human rights.