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Jerusalem to New York: Feel The Hate and Know The Love

April 30th, 2010

eileen fleming

Today in Jerusalem, Haaretz reported “far-rightists from the West Bank settlement of Yizthar on Thursday marched through a neighboring Palestinian village and attacked local homes, to avenge a series of arrests by Israel Police earlier in the day.

“Extreme right-wing activist Baruch Marzel issued a statement in response to the arrests, saying that the Israel Defense Forces were 'out to get' the settlers. Extremist settlers declared the ‘price tag’ campaign following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's declaration of a temporary freeze in West Bank construction late last year.

“Yitzhar has been at the forefront of the settler movement's campaign, which calls for violent retaliation for government restrictions on Jewish building in the West Bank. Residents have launched numerous attacks on Palestinians, including an arson attack on a mosque in December 2009. The IDF vowed last week to take serious steps to curb settle violence at Yitzhar, with assistance from local police and the Shin Bet security service's Jewish unit, set up to thwart violence by extremist settlers.” [1]

In “Feeling the Hate” Max Blumenthal’s newest series, he begins, “1500 Jewish extremists rally on 4/25/10 in Midtown Manhattan against President Barack Obama's call for an Israeli construction freeze in East Jerusalem and demand unlimited rights to colonize the occupied Palestinian territories.”

Feeling the Hate in New York

Among the far right demonstrators were members of The Republican Jewish Coalition, the Zionist Organization of America, Z Street, Americans for a Safe Israel, Christians United for Israel, and Manhigut Yehudit, an anti-democratic group that calls for theocratic rule over Israel.

Max reported “supporters of Manhigut leader and Likud politician Moshe Feiglin distributed fliers promoting Feiglin's upcoming campaign for prime minister of Israel. An open advocate of ethnic cleansing who has proposed depriving the Palestinians of drinking water, Feiglin recently called Vice President Biden "a diseased leper."

“While the pro-settler elements rallied in Manhattan, their counterparts from the radical Kahanist movement in the Hebron-based settlement of Tel Rumeida rampaged through Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem, inciting violent confrontations while announcing their intention to rid the area of its historical Arab presence. Dov Hikind, a Democratic New York Assembly member who represents Orthodox Jewish areas in Brooklyn, is a longtime supporter of Baruch Marzel, the settler leader who orchestrated the provocations in East Jerusalem.” [2]

The explosive settler situation in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, has been filled with violent outbreaks and confrontations, between settlers versus the police and the Palestinians they evict from the homes they believe they are entitled to.

In the neighborhood stands a newly erected community center with a plaque "Dedicated to the Children of Shimon Hazadik Neighborhood" from a Dr. Rubin Brecher and family of Lawrence, New York.

According to Jewish tradition, Shimon Hazadik (which means 'The righteous') was the High Priest at the time of Alexander the Great. He reminded the people of what's important in the world and he used to say: "On three things the world stands: the Torah, on Service [prayer] and on acts of kindness."

The settlers taking over the Sheikh Jarrah area have garnered international censure from the European Union, the United Nations, Britain and months ago, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the Israeli evictions "deeply regrettable" and urged "the government of Israel and municipal officials to refrain from such provocative actions." [3]

The Al-Kurd family was evicted from their home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in November 2008, just prior to my first visit there. My last visit was on June 10, 2009.

Mrs. Al-Kurd, known as Um Kamal [mother of Kamal] and her recently deceased husband Mohammed had lived in the neighborhood from 1956 until the morning of November 9, 2008 when the Israeli police enforced a court order that evicted them.

When I returned to the tent on June 10, 2009 and asked Um Kamal where her calm strength and perpetual smile came from, she gestured to the sky and responded, "Allah: God gives me."

Maher Hannoun, a neighbor who would also be evicted a few months later interjected, "Um Kamal is a strong woman because she has a strong connection to this land where we both were born! Even for millions of dollars we would never sell our land, our hopes, our dreams! We are here legally and we have a contract that was signed between the government and UNWRRA, but what gives us the real power to fight is seeing all the people who come to be with us here believing in human rights. We need every one to carry our message around the world that this is our home and we will never leave here.

"In Gaza they attacked with F16 tanks. In Jerusalem they attack with evictions and transferring property. More than 500 homes in this neighborhood have already received eviction notices. They are building 200 settler units and an American Israeli company named Nahalat Shimon Builders is behind it."

Nahalat Shimon is also the name of a settler group and a real estate company.

On August 2, 2009, "Israeli riot police wielding clubs kicked out two Palestinian families from their homes in occupied east Jerusalem on Sunday, defying international protests over Jewish settlement activity in the area. Clashes erupted after police moved in at dawn around the homes in the upmarket Arab district of Sheikh Jarrah following an Israeli court decision ordering the eviction of the 53 Palestinians, including 19 minors.

“I was born in this house and so were my children,” said Maher Hanoun, whose family was evicted along with the neighboring Ghawi household. “Now we are on the streets. We have become refugees.”

"The Supreme Court ordered the evictions following an appeal by the Nahalat Shimon International settler group, which claimed Jewish settlers have title deeds for the properties, despite UN and Palestinian denials. Jerusalem authorities have also given permission for the construction of about 20 housing units in Sheikh Jarrah, in defiance of global calls for a halt to all settlement activity in occupied east Jerusalem and the West Bank." [4]

The Al Khurd family had lived in their home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood since the days when east Jerusalem was under Jordanian control. The United Nations upon contract with Jordan allotted them the land after they became refugees when they were expelled from their home in west Jerusalem by Zionists during the 1948 war.

Hasib Nashashibi, of the Ensan Center for Democracy and Human Rights [an NGO coalition of Palestinian Muslim and Christians] explained to me, “When Jordan controlled this land and the UN granted privileges to the Palestinian refugees including those from west Jerusalem, such as education, health care, and relief and development; they also allowed the refugees to give up some privileges and receive a home and land deed instead. Jordan never fulfilled their obligation to send the written documentation that these west Jerusalem refugees are land owners and not tenants. Now the Israeli’s are trying to make them refugees for the second time!”

Since East Jerusalem’s occupation by Israel in 1967, the Oriental Jews Associations and the Knesseth Yisrael Association have been waging a brutal take over of the Khurds’ home, claiming that the land originally belonged to Jews.

In 1972, they succeeded to register the land in their name with the Israeli Land registrar. In 1999, settlers burst into the home and set up an occupation in a wing of the house that belonged to the couple’s son, Raed. The Khurd family hired lawyers and have spent a fortune in court battles and in 2006, the Israeli court finally revoked the claim of ownership by the settlers. However, on February 25, 2007 the Israeli Supreme Court issued an order to evict the settlers but it was never enforced!

In Israeli law, all of Jerusalem, including the eastern half of the city, is considered to be the “indivisible” capital of the Jewish state and religiously fundamentalist settlers have been claiming land all over occupied East Jerusalem based on title deeds that pre-existed 1948.

Since Israel became a state 531 Palestinian villages have been destroyed and 750,000 Palestinians were made refugees in 1948, and Israel continues to make more!

President George W. Bush became a willing collaborator in this on going injustice in his infamous 2004 exchange of letters with Ariel Sharon. Bush agreed that Israel would not be expected to return to the armistice lines of 1949 and declared that Israel would be able to hold on to its “population centers” in the West Bank. This is nothing more than Orwellian spin that attempts to justify the established settlement blocs for every one of them are illegal under international law.

"Michshol Hafrada" is Hebrew for "The Separation Wall" and separation translates to Apartheid in Africana.

The Wall has divided Palestinians from Palestinians and has stolen their aquifers, denies them access to their land, jobs, families and holy sites and for every mile it consumes over $1.25 Million USA Tax dollars.

The International Court of Justice deemed the Wall illegal but no president has yet demanded Israel to tear down their wall!

The so-called Holy Land is a Swiss cheese of land locked enclaves; known as Bantustans in Africana. Jewish only colonies have been implanted to divide the Palestinian neighborhoods throughout occupied territory. Over 100,000 Palestinians are trapped and then daily humiliated and tortured at the over 600 checkpoints that deny them access to their families, land, jobs, resources and holy sites.

Since 1967, Israeli forces have bulldozed over 24,000 dwellings -averaging eleven people per unit- usually because they interfere with settlement expansion.

Israel attempts to justify their immoral actions with three distinct categories:

1. Collective Punishment: Homes of suspected terrorists-in reality that is anyone who opposes the occupation- as well as the families of suicide/homicide bombers.

These punitive actions amount to 15% of the over 22,000 homes destroyed since 1967.

2. Administrative demolitions for lack of building permits: Israel refuses to issue any and this accounts for 25%. In occupied east Jerusalem one out of four Palestinian homes have a demolition order.

3. Security: The blanket reason given for all of Israel’s injustices and illegal actions.

On December 20, 2006, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who received a Nobel Peace Prize for his relentless work confronting and challenging South Africa's Apartheid regime was quoted in The Guardian: "I've been deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy Land. I have seen the humiliation at the checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about…Israel will never get true security and safety through oppressing another people. A true peace can ultimately be built only on justice…If peace could come to South Africa, surely it can come to the Holy Land."

I imagine the prophets and Shimon Hazadik would remind "the children" who are taking over the neighborhood that,

"From Moses to Jeremiah and Isaiah, the Prophets taught...that the Jewish claim on the land of Israel was totally contingent on the moral and spiritual life of the Jews who lived there, and that the land would, as the Torah tells us, 'vomit you out' if people did not live according to the highest moral vision of Torah. Over and over again, the Torah repeated its most frequently stated mitzvah [command]: "When you enter your land, do not oppress the stranger; the other, the one who is an outsider of your society, the powerless one and then not only 'you shall love your neighbor as yourself' but also 'you shall love the other.'" [5]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipOtpwr09ck

God's Side and The 9th of Av: Number 9, Number 9, Number 9

1. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1166210.html
2. http://www.alternet.org/rights/146655/watch_ultra_zionists_
take_manhattan_and_demand_the_holy_land

3. http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0804/p06s12-wome.html

4. http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2009\08\03\story_3-8-2009_pg4_6

5. Rabbi Lerner, TIKKUN Magazine, page 35, Sept./Oct. 2007

--
Eileen Fleming, Producer "30 Minutes with Vanunu" and "13 Minutes with Vanunu" Founder of WeAreWideAwake.org Staff Member of Salem-news.com A Feature Correspondent for Arabisto.com and Dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/ Author of "Keep Hope Alive" and "Memoirs of a Nice Irish American 'Girl's' Life in Occupied Territory" and BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu's FREEDOM of SPEECH Trial and My Life as a Muckraker: 2005-2010 | www.youtube.com/user/eileenfleming Only in Solidarity do "we have it in our power to begin the world again."-Tom Paine

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