Israel’s “mass Palestinian displacement in Jerusalem” examined by Canadian Friends of Peace Now webinar on February 21

Israel is on a rampage in East Jerusalem, destroying Palestinian homes every week, while at the same time announcing new homes for Jews only. It is part of a program which Israel officially calls “Judaization”. In effect, it is a kind of “ethnic cleansing”. Palestinians are not killed, of course, just forced to leave their homes, in an effort to remake the traditionally multiethnic and multireligious city of Jerusalem into a “Jewish City” and the capital of the Jewish State. For Canadian Friends of Peace Now, a liberal Zionist organization, things are going too far. Check out their webinar on Sunday February 21. Read more…

Over 1,000 Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem are under imminent threat of being thrown out of their homes,” according to Canadian Friends of Peace Now. (CFPN). “Israeli settlers, supported by governmental bodies, are utilizing unjust and out-dated laws to gain title to properties in the historic Palestinian neighbourhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan. A growing number of families are being served with eviction notices.”

The Threat of Mass Palestinian Displacement in East Jerusalem A CFPN webinar, Sunday, February 21, 1:00 p.m. To register click here

Hagit Ofran, widely recognized as one of Israel’s foremost experts on the settlement enterprise will discuss the settlement-related issues in East Jerusalem. “Hagit is utterly brilliant, deeply principled, intellectually honest, and knows more about settlers/settlements and the legal/bureaucratic mechanisms behind them than anyone. Any opportunity to hear her and learn from her should be seized!“, says Lara Friedman of the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP).

Hagit will be joined by Kutaybah Odeh, a Palestinian Silwan resident facing eviction to explain “how the system is stacked against the Palestinians, the hardships they suffer, what the settlers aim to achieve and the wider consequences of their actions.”

But in fact it’s more than just a “system stacked against the Palestinians.” It’s a system which is illegal under international law, and which Israel has arbitrarily imposed upon them.

The “Judaization of Jerusalem” actually began in 1948… and continues to this day

According to the UN Partition plan, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and the surrounding area (outlined by a red line) was to be a neutral zone called a “Corpus separatum’. However Zionist forces ignored that and conquered West Jerusalem (in blue) expelling almost ALL Palestinians living there. In 1967 Israel seized the rest of Jerusalem and has been slowly expelling Palestinians ever since.

According to the 1947 UN Partition plan, which divided historic Palestine into a “Jewish State” and an “Arab State’, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and surrounding area had a special status. It was not to be part of either state, but a special entity under international auspicies to guarantee access to the city holy to the 3 Abrahamic religions – Chrisitianity, Judaism and Islam. The area was to be a neutral zone, which the UN called a “corpus separatum”.

But the Zionist forces were not content with sharing. They wanted to make Jerusalem their capital and pressed on their military advantage eventually taking over West Jerusalem from which they expelled most of the Palestinians. (see video below with George Baramke, expelled along with his family in 1948 from a wealthy area of Jerusalem)

Eighty three year old George Baramke remembers well when Zionist forces expelled him and his family from their house in West Jerusalem in 1948. The fine old house is still standing and festooned with Israeli flags. The house was confiscated and his family was never given any compensation for it.

In Israel and the occupied territories, Jews can recover property they lost in 1947-1948, but non-Jews cannot.

After 1967, Israel took over the rest of Jerusalem and ever since has continued a program of “Judaization” of Jerusalem, which consists of pushing out Palestinians and building more and more accomodation reserved for Jews. That process has intensified in recent years.

The Zionist dream of making Jerusalem into a purely Jewish city has not diminished. The CFPN webinar will bring us up to date on the most recent developments and the imminent threat to thousands of Palestinians.

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Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) is the weekly newsletter of Peter Larson, Chair of the Ottawa Forum on Israel/Palestine (OFIP). It aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about Canada’s response to the complicated and emotional Israel/Palestine issue with a focus on the truth, clear analysis and human rights for all. Readers with different points of view are invited to make comment.

Want to learn more about us? Go to http://www.ottawaforumip.org.

7 comments

  1. Certainly looks like a combination of Israel ethnic cleansing, apartheid, moving settlers into into occupied terrtotories and other war and crimes against humanity against Palestine ians which the ICC should be investigating with Canada’s support.

  2. Your account of the 1948 war in Jerusalem is very incomplete. If the Zionists hadn’t broken the siege of Jerusalem, all the Jews living there would have been killed or displaced.

    As it was, all Jews were expelled from the old city of Jerusalem, Silwan, and Sheikh Jarrah. Wherever Arab forces succeeded, every Jew was killed or expelled.

    Nobody was fighting for the corpus separatum, not the Zionists, not the British, not the Jordanians and not the Palestinian Arabs.

    1. Hey David,
      Again thanks. I appreciate serious disagreements expressed seriously.

      I agree that nobody “wanted” the corpus separatum. The Palestinians didn’t want any of their land taken over by outside forces. The Zionists wanted all of it, including jerusalem. The corpus separatum was a compromise.

      In the event, the Zionist forces were too strong for the Palestinians. They wanted all of Jerusalem and wre able to take over about 1/3 of it. Expelling all the Palestinians who were living there. in the fighting, the jews in East Jerusalem and surroundings fled to the West.

      Then in 1967, Israel took over the rest of Jerusalem. Unlike 1948, they did not attempt to expell all the Palestinians at once. Instead they have been slowly expelllng them, week by week ever since.

      Do you disagree?

      1. I do disagree. After 1967 Israeli citizenship was offered to all the Arabs living in the part of Jerusalem that was annexed to Israel. This was not an attempt to expel them, but rather an offer to include them in the political life of the state.

        Tens of thousands of East Jerusalem Arabs took up that offer while the majority did not. The status of those who did not can be precarious and I oppose that. I concede that the present government also makes it difficult for Arab residents of East Jerusalem to take up Israeli citizenship today by dragging out the process for years and making insufficient resources available to process applications promptly. If it were up to me I would reverse the onus. Israeli citizenship would be extended to all Arab residents of East Jerusalem unless they explicitly refused it.

        I’m hopeful that Ra’am will be included in the next Israeli government and that having a seat at the cabinet table will make it more likely that Israeli Arabs will have their concerns addressed. This should hopefully include the issue of citizenship for Arab residents of Jerusalem.

        That said, it shouldn’t be impossible for Jews to buy homes in parts of Jerusalem with an Arab majority. And Arabs should be able to buy homes in areas with a Jewish majority.

  3. A Palestinian friend, resident of Jerusalem, once told me that his family was offered Israeli citizenship but refused it because they did not want to relinquish the passports that they already had. They treated it as a kind of “forced conversion”. They felt that the military seizure of Jerusalem was illegal and they did not want to be forced to accept it.

  4. A few years ago, Israel revoked citizenship from Palestinians in east Jerusalem and replaced it with residents, which means that they basically have no rights.

  5. East Jerusalem is occupied territory illegally annexed by Israel. Therefore imposing Israeli citizenship is irrelevant and illegal, whether or not it was offered to Arab Palestinians, just the Judaization of East Jerusalem is illegal and could constitute war crimes against humanityby 5he occupying power which ICzcvshld investigate.

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