Wednesday, 03 September 2014
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10% increase in Palestinians displaced by home demolitions

823 Palestinians were forcibly displaced since January 2014 by home demolitions, a 10% increase compared to the same period in 2013. Since June Israel has also increased punitive demolitions, mostly in Hebron against political activists. Home demolitions as a weapon against Palestinian unity...

ACT! Join boycott movement, make an impact!

Share new page on the Palestinian BNC website entitled Make an Impact! Use the information to answer...

July "most bloody and violent month" for Palestinian press

Nine Palestinian journalists and one media activist were killed in the month of July, rendering it t...

Injuries, arrests in West Bank clashes

Clashes broke out throughout the West Bank on Sunday and Monday as Israel continued its repression o...

Palestinian teen in critical state after police shooting

Tensions are high in the Wadi al Joz neighbourhood of East Jerusalem after Israeli police shot and c...
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Please join us at the AICafe on Tuesday 2 September from 7.30 p.m. for Black September and the Middle East Today with Dr. Mohammad Farhat.
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Share new page on the Palestinian BNC website entitled Make an Impact! Use the information to answer questions and be even more effective in your...

Jerusalem

Palestinian teen in critical state after police shooting ...

Tensions are high in the Wadi al Joz neighbourhood of East Jerusalem after Israeli police shot and critically injured a Palestinian teenager during a...

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Palestinian teen in critical state after police shooting

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

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Live now as we think humans should live...

People ask me about politics and claim it is too complex. I say it is simple and predictable.

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Live now as we think humans should live

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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.