Occupying E.J’lem, one room at a time
This altogether latest (and most ludicrous) example of unjust property theft in E.J’lem show just how far some Zionist settlers will go, once again backed by a court. Moriel Rothman has the story:
Last month, as last minute wrangling over the Democratic Party platform offered Americans a front-row seat to the farce that often accompanies discourse about Jerusalem, events in the holy city reached their own new level of absurdity, though with far more serious and immediate consequences.
Early on Sunday, September 2, Jewish settlers took over a single room in a Palestinian house in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras al-Amud. Backed by the decisions of Israeli courts, and protected by both the Jerusalem police and the Modi’in Ezrahi, a government-subsidized private security force that guards Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem, the settlers seized the property and began to lay the groundwork for the eventual expansion of the adjacent Ma’ale Zeitim settlement. Like other East Jerusalem settlements, Ma’ale Zeitim, the biggest of its kind within a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem, is largely funded by American billionaire Irving Moskowitz.
The settlers’ claim to the room was based on alleged Jewish ownership of the property before 1948. The Israeli court system – regarded internationally as a bulwark against Israel’s increasingly conservative legislative and executive branches – held this claim as sufficient justification for the settlers to take over private Palestinian property and erect a barbed wire fence down the middle of the family’s yard.
There is no denying the fact that there were Jews who lived and possessed property in East Jerusalem before 1948. Just as there were, of course, thousands of Palestinians whose homes were located inside what is now Israel, and who today possess deeds to those lands. Yet the idea of a Palestinian family getting permission from Israeli courts and protection from the Jerusalem police while they “reclaim” a house in West Jerusalem is unthinkable, for a single reason: in Jerusalem, and in the Israeli legal system, there is one set of laws for Jews and another for Palestinians. Separate and unequal.
Read the rest.