Monday, 22 September 2014
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Children's intifada in East Jerusalem

260 Palestinian children from East Jerusalem have been detained in the past few weeks, some one-third of all Palestinians arrested in the city during this time. Haaretz journalist Nir Hasson has dubbed this unprecedented situation a "children's intifada".

BDS victory! UEFA says no to Jerusalem tournament bid

UEFA rejected an Israeli bid to host the 2020 European Championships following a campaign by Palesti...

ICC blocked for Gaza residents

Israel, the United States and the PA have blocked Gaza residents from turning to the ICC for justice...

Israel tortures Gazans, targets Palestinian rights defenders

As part of its systematic detention policy against Palestinians since June, Israel is also torturing...

Expulsion order for PLC member Khalida Jarrar expires

Victory - the Israeli military deportation order expelling PLC member Khalida Jarrar from Ramallah t...
aicafe-23-september
Please join us at the AICafe on Tuesday 23 September from 7.30 p.m. for al Qaws: Sexual & gender diversity in Palestinian society with Haneen Maikey.
act-no-2020-uefa-european-championships-in-jerusalem
Urgent, act now! Tell UEFA to exclude Israel from the bidding to host matches for the UEFA European Football Championship 2020. Hosting decisions will be...

Jerusalem

Children's intifada in East Jerusalem...

260 Palestinian children from East Jerusalem have been detained in the past few weeks, some one-third of all Palestinians arrested in the city during...

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Children's intifada in East Jerusalem

Hebron

PHOTOS: Protest halts Israeli archaeological dig in Hebron...

Activists succeeded in temporarily halting Israel's archeological dig in Hebron's Tel Rumeida. As in other occupied Palestinian territory, such as Eas...

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PHOTOS: Protest halts Israeli archaeological dig in Hebron

Opinions

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.