Saturday, April 24, 2010

Israeli Ethnic Cleansing of "Infiltrators", by Which They Mean Palestinian Families

CarolynC has an important diary up at FDL/The Seminal describing the latest legal moves by Israel to remove Palestinians from the West Bank, deporting them to the Gaza gulag, where they are jammed into one of the most densely populated, and immiserated, small regions on the planet.

Binyamin Netanyahu’s project to colonize East Jerusalem gained momentum with the first eviction of a Palestinian, Ahmad Sabah, from the West Bank to Gaza, forcibly separating him from his wife and children. Juan Cole writes that his deportation kicks off Netanyahu’s plan to ethnically cleanse the West Bank of Palestinians, making more room for Israeli colonists. He adds that Gaza, a poverty-stricken region blockaded by the Israelis, appears to have become the chosen dumping ground for the Palestinians Netanyahu plans to deport.

In an article entitled "IDF Order Will Enable Mass Deportation From West Bank," Haaretz confirms that the purpose of the policy is to enable the exile of large numbers of Palestinians to Gaza:

A new military order aimed at preventing infiltration will come into force this week, enabling the deportation of tens of thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank, or their indictment on charges carrying prison terms of up to seven years.

Despite some tut-tuts by the Obama administration, the Israelis maintain overwhelming support from the U.S. Congress, including key Democrats. In fact, as CarolynC's article points out, Sen. Chuck Schumer went apoplectic over even the most mild-mannered criticisms by the State Deparment about how Israeli actions were harming the "peace process."

On a day in which President Obama again failed to label the 1,500,000 deaths in the Armenian Genocide as “genocide,” this story of ethnic cleansing in another portion of the former Ottoman Empire is an ominous foreshadowing of greater violence and retribution to come. The actions of Congressional Democrats such as Sen. Schumer are despicable.

This is a speed-up of ethnic cleansing of the West Bank and Jerusalem that has been going on for some time. One of the most ominous aspects of the new military order is the expansion of who is considered an “infiltrator” — a word meant to conjure up the worse sorts of connotations, and place anyone so labeled as a person that can be treated with extreme prejudice.

From the Haaretz article:

The new order defines anyone who enters the West Bank illegally as an infiltrator, as well as “a person who is present in the area and does not lawfully hold a permit.” The order takes the original 1969 definition of infiltrator to the extreme, as the term originally applied only to those illegally staying in Israel after having passed through countries then classified as enemy states – Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria.

The order’s language is both general and ambiguous, stipulating that the term infiltrator will also be applied to Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, citizens of countries with which Israel has friendly ties (such as the United States) and Israeli citizens, whether Arab or Jewish. All this depends on the judgment of Israel Defense Forces commanders in the field....

Another group expected to be particularly harmed by the new rules are Palestinians who moved to the West Bank under family reunification provisions, which Israel stopped granting for several years.

The actions of the Israeli government must be condemned, and the military order rescinded. Congress must hear from its constituents that the policy of Israeli ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the West Bank is not supported by the American people.

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