Israeli Police – part of the problem

Yesterday, on Salah ed-Din Street (the Champs-Elysees or Fifth Avenue of East Jerusalem, only very crowded, quite delapidated, and not at all chic, unless you like good coffee), it was absolutely crowded with cars and pedestrians in advance of the coming week-long Muslim Eid holiday.

Even at the best of times, people don’t walk on the sidewalks in Palestinian areas. Usually, there isn’t very much of a sidewalk anyway. But, it’s just so much more convenient to walk on the streets.

Women in black robes made of synthetic fabric and embroidered in Turkey or China, with tightly wrapped synthetic scarves, were pushing their multiple young children out out ahead of them, in between parked cars, hoping to make the oncoming traffic stop to let them cross without any moment of waiting.

As is usually on busy days, there were no parking spaces, it was impossible to get close to the already-full parking lots, and there was a solid line of double-parked cars in the right-hand traffic lane.

As is also usual on Fridays during prayer time, when there are a lot of people travelling in their cars to get to Al-Aqsa Mosque, and on the eves of big holidays like the one coming up, there is a special police action to ticket cars. Hundreds of tickets can be issued in one fell swoop.

What happened yesterday is an undercover Israeli police unit, driving an Eldan rented car, swooped right in front of me when I was already in my car, seat belt buckled, and switching gears to move forward in traffic, after I stopped for an extremely brief period of time in front of the Educational Bookshop. The driver was wearing a black t-shirt and black sunglasses. The passenger was in a dark navy blue shirt and trousers, tucked into black combat boots. This was a uniform I had never seen before. He jumped out before his car even stopped, and raced towards me in a frightening and commanding way.

He had two other people he was accosting at the same time. So, he took my passport and walked off to deal with the other cases, and kept me waiting just as if I were at a checkpoint.

Continue reading Israeli Police – part of the problem

Olive oil, security considerations, and the Rachel Corrie trial in Haifa

This is humor. But, like all the best humor, this has a firm basis in reality.

It is also brilliant writing.

It is uniquely insightful reporting.

Dr. Hatim Kanaaneh, a retired doctor from the Galilee in northern Israel, an Arab-Palestinian citizen of Israel, has been covering the Rachel Corrie trial in Haifa, Israel’s northern port.

Rachel Corrie’s parents are suing Israel for a symbolic one dollar for a careless military investigation into the death of their daughter who was crushed by an IDF D-9 bulldozer as she was trying to prevent the demolition of a Gazan home in 2003.

This post, dated 9 November, and entitled “Obsessed with Fear”, is a perfect description of the security anxieties that attend the most mundane daily activities.

All sorts of things enter into consideration of how best to go about getting from Point A to Point B, as Dr. Kanaaneh documents:
This year the crop is good. A friend from Jerusalem had asked us for two jerry cans of fresh olive oil direct from the press. Raja Shehadeh was scheduled to have a book launch in Jerusalem and we decided to kill two birds. That morning, the next session of the Rachel Corrie case was being held in Haifa. We loaded the olive oil and headed to Haifa to start the day with this third bird. Knowing our friends in Jerusalem to be olive oil connoisseurs we loaded the new fifty-liter Italian-made stainless steel special container that we had purchased for our own use in the trunk of the car and headed out for a day of adventure and Palestinian camaraderie.

“But there was a hitch: how much hassle will the security guards at the entrance to the parking area under the Haifa court building give us? Will they insist on opening our overnight bags? How alarming will the empty container seem to them? Will they insist on verifying the nature of the liquid contents of the two jerry cans? Will they alert the special explosive experts in the Haifa police department? Will they hold me till the end of the proceedings? Will I miss the Corrie case session altogether? Might chemical analysis of the oil reveal traces of fertilizer, perhaps the explosive type? And what if the sneaky farmer who sold me the olive oil at the press had tampered with the olive oil? Recently there has been some friction between the youth of our two clans in the village. What if he decided to take revenge on me? And I had let him load the two oil containers in the trunk of my car in my absence. Who knows what he could have thrown in the trunk while I was busy sipping coffee with the press owner and talking nonsense about the year’s olive crop? I worried myself sick. That sneaky son of a bitch!

Continue reading Olive oil, security considerations, and the Rachel Corrie trial in Haifa

Quote of the Day – 11th in our series

81 percent of the ammunition used in the IDF’s Operation Cast Lead attack on Gaza was precision-guided, we now learn.

IDF Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi said yesterday at something called the “International Artillery Conference” in Zichron Ya’akov, Israel, that “When fighting in densely populated areas, our major challenge is distinguishing innocent civilians from the enemy. When such a differentiation is impossible, we are required to adjust our ammunition to the changing battlefield and build a clear fire-operating policy. The IDF’s current operating methods rely on substantial usage of precision-guided ammunition, such as the ammunition used in operation Cast Lead. Such technologies allow us to minimize the unwanted damage caused to the civilian population (81% of the ammunition used in during operation Cast Lead was precision-guided). One of the challenges we will face in our future will be the development of a small, precise yet deadly war head, able to directly hit the target, while minimizing collateral damage”. This is posted on the IDF Spokesperson’s website, here.

What could a “small, precise yet deadly war head, able to directly hit the target” be?

Penance by laundry – Irish "Magdalene" laundries

The story doesn’t get better.

The truth about the ice cold, damp, grim, dark and immeasurably cruel saga of the Irish child penitentiary system is still unfolding.

The latest news concerns the Irish “Magdalene Launderies”.

Mary Magdalene — once reputedly a sex worker reviled by society, though this is now being described as a “misidentification” of her “sins” — became one of the closest associates or disciples of Jesus, according to the Gospel stories.

If memory serves, children were told stories of her washing the feet of Jesus with her hair [shown uncovered in most images — or, was it her “tears”?], as a mark of the most humble penitance.

If only that was all the “morally errant” girls of Ireland had to do… But, in the some quarters of the Irish Catholic Church, there was no forgiveness for girls who were identified as “morally errant”.

The Associated Press reported from Dublin today, which is posted here, that a new report compiled by the Irish Human Rights Commission says that “Ireland’s civil authorities for decades dumped women — often teenagers being punished for petty crimes or becoming pregnant out of wedlock — into the so-called Magdalene Laundries, a network of 10 workhouses that operated in independent Ireland from the 1920s to the mid-1990s”.

There has been no investigation, yet, into a system where girls “disappeared into the Magdalene laundries system like it was Pinochet’s Chile”.

Continue reading Penance by laundry – Irish "Magdalene" laundries

Israel denies entry to Swedish MK who could have testified to Turkel Commission because he was on board the Mavi Marmara

Israeli authorities have denied entry today to a Swedish MK who was on board the Freedom Flotilla’s Mavi Marmara on 31 May, when Israeli Naval forces launched an interception and boarding attack that ended with 9 dead — all Turks, one of them a 19-year-old American high school student.

According to a report by Agence France Presse today, a Swedish member of Parliament of Turkish origin, Mehmet Kaplan, “was ordered to leave minutes after his plane landed in Israel because he had ‘failed to follow procedure’ and obtain an entry visa in Sweden, ministry spokeswoman Sabine Hadad told AFP. Dror Feiler, an Israeli artist based in Sweden who has relinquished his Israeli citizenship, was also expelled upon arrival at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, Hadad said … Passengers detained in the raid on the flotilla were later released after signing a letter ‘in which they pledged to obtain authorisation to enter Israel from Israeli embassies in their respective countries’, Hadad said”. This news report is posted here.

Just last week, the Turkel Commission appointed by the Israeli government to look into the international law aspects of the “maritime incident” has just repeated its invitation for anyone on board the Mavi Marmara to testify: “The Commission wishes to remind the public of the notice from 21 October 2010, in which we called upon any eye witnesses with relevant information and/or documentation for the Commission’s mission, who are willing to testify. (This invitation is posted here) The Commission will be accepting such submissions no later than 15 November 2010″.

These two men could apparently both have testified about what happened on board the Mavi Marmara during the Flotilla fiasco.

It is not clear that they would have agreed to do so — a number of the activists who were on board apparently have a problem with the idea of accepting what they see as the commission’s flawed mandate.

The Palestine Information Center reported tonight that “Dror Feiler, the spokesman for the Swedish ship that was part of the Flotilla, told the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper on Friday that he would file a complaint on behalf of 11 Swedes against the Israeli leaders on 8th November with Tel Aviv police and the Israeli prosecutor. He explained that the complaint would be filed against Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu, his war minister Ehud Barak, and his Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi. The charges would include armed robbery, kidnap, detention, and assault and battery, Feiler elaborated”. This report can be read in full here.

YNet reported that Feiler was coming to get his saxophone back — it was confiscated, along with his telephone and cameras, and never returned: ” ‘Preventing my entry wouldn’t be logical, but I am aware that it’s hard to count on the logic of Israeli authorities, so there is certainly a fear that they won’t let me enter’, he says. ‘It would be strange. After all, I was born in Israel, my mother lives in Israel and I have friends and family there. It’s my right to enter and explain to anyone who wants to hear what the aim of the flotilla was and why I work overtime against the policies of the Israeli government’.” This is posted here.

Haaretz wrote that “The Turkish-born MP Mehmet Kaplan and artist Dror Feiler were detained at the Ben Gurion International Airport upon landing, on the grounds that they were barred for 10 years due to their participation in the May 2010 flotilla. Both were among the dozens of flotilla passengers taken in to custody following Israel’s deadly raid … Feiler, who currently lives in Sweden, also took part in the flotilla, though not on the Mavi Marmara ship where nine Turkish activists died in clashes with Israeli naval commandos. He has given up his Israeli citizenship but has been permitted to return to the country dozens of times since. This was the first time he was denied entry … ‘Anyone who took part in the flotilla will not be permitted into Israel’, said Sabine Hadad, spokesman for immigration authorities. ‘They know this. They should have contacted the embassy before arriving’.” This was published here.

So, even if they had applied for a visa from Sweden, it would have been denied anyway…? Even if they were going to testify to the Turkel commission?

In Ramallah tonight

In Ramallah tonight, two men who I thought might hold different views both proclaimed their vast new admiration for the Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, appointed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen).

The two, both dear friends, were not well acquainted with each other. Their eyes were locked on each other. They were almost grabbing each others shoulders and circling in a ring, the way Sumo wrestlers do.

But, we were sitting outside on a mild November night, around a cafe table on the porch of one of the more established bistros in one of Ramallah’s original restaurant rows.

Tax collection has reached levels of 70 percent compliance in Ramallah, one of them said admiringly, though he noted that it’s still less in Hebron and other areas in the West Bank.

Maybe they were each just horrified to reveal their real views to each other. This is what they had to say, in public, even among friends.

Nobody mentioned that Fayyad and Abbas are the only two Palestinian officials who are now being permitted by Israeli military officials [who admit that they are doing this because they are annoyed at PA officials] to cross into Jordan IN THEIR CARS. All other Palestinian Authority VIPs have to get out of their cars, and take the bus…

Fayyad and Abbas don’t seem to mind that they still retain this shred of privilege — and don’t seem to realize how unhealthy it is for them to enjoy it … or how bad it was for any PA official to have priviliges under the existing military occupation while most of the population is buffeted by every wind and left to fend for themselves without any support from anywhere.

Meanwhile, the only story that editors want these days is about how Ramallah is in the midst of a boom, full of new restaurants and bars and office buildings. Every journalist in Jerusalem is traipsing across Qalandiya Checkpoint to do the same piece about the now-opening Ramallah Movenpick Hotel — offering Swiss Hospitality.

Israel gives UNRWA permission to have four "submachine" guns in Gaza

A chilling report appeared in the Guardian newspaper today, here.

Guardian Correspondent in Jerusalem Harriet Sherwood wrote: “Israeli authorities have approved the delivery of four submachine guns to the main UN agency in Gaza for the protection of its head, John Ging, following assassination attempts and death threats … The UN is thought to use machine guns to protect its personnel in highly volatile and dangerous places such as Somalia. There have been two attempts to assassinate Ging, an energetic and charismatic advocate for the rights of Palestinian refugees. In March 2007, masked gunman fired at least 14 bullets at Ging’s armoured car as it travelled through Gaza. A second attack a few months later left one Palestinian dead and several wounded”.

So now, UNRWA is going to shoot back?

And, if so, what are the possible consequences?

UNRWA — the “United Nations Relief and Works Agency” for Palestinian refugees — has had plenty of problems through the years. But, if it now starts to shoot at Palestinians, its situation in Gaza will become untenable.

What good are four “submachine” guns going to do, if there’s a real attack on the UNRWA Director of Operations, John Ging, who these weapons are reportedly meant to protect?

Maybe the UN should pull out of Gaza, instead of running around with a few powerful weapons.

If the UN begins shooting up the place, there’s no telling what will happen next.

Sherwood wrote that “Chris Gunness, UNRWA’s spokesman, said: ‘We don’t discuss security policy’.” In that case, I wonder where she got this story from? Israeli security services?

Sherwood added: “The weapons were received by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) last week after the necessary permits were issued, an Israeli spokesman said. UNRWA first requested permission to bring in four German-made Heckler & Koch submachine guns three years ago to supplement the handguns used by Ging’s close protection team, according to the spokesman. ‘We got a formal request five months ago, and they received the guns last week’, he added … Ging, a former officer in the Irish army, has headed UNRWA in Gaza since 2006”.

UNRWA asked “permission” to bring in submachine guns three years ago?

[That is, months after the Hamas rout of Fatah/Palestinian Security forces in Gaza in mid-June 2007, and after the Israeli government decision on 19 September 2007 to declare Gaza “enemy territory” or a “hostile entity”, and after the Israeli military began at the end of October 2007 to “implement” the government decision by imposing racheted-up and unsupervised sanctions on 1.5 million people living in one of the most densely-populated places on earth? Then, the UN asked to bring in submachine guns?]

And, another formal request was made by UNRWA five months ago?

Then, Israeli authorities allowed the submachine guns to enter Gaza just last week?

Of course, UNRWA would never consider bringing the guns in through the Hamas-controlled tunnels…

But, why are “Israeli authorities” allowing four “submachine” guns into Gaza, now?

What is really going on here?

No. Something is not right. It would be better for UNRWA to just leave.

Continue reading Israel gives UNRWA permission to have four "submachine" guns in Gaza

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister says Israel will break ties to UNESCO over vote on holy sites, then statement is retracted

Haaretz is reporting tonight that Israel will “reduce cooperation” with UNESCO after a vote in Paris last week concerning two heritage sites Israel has claimed for its own — Rachel’s Tomb at the entrance to Bethlehem, and the immensely important Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron.

The Haaretz account said: “Referring to the [Bethlehem] structure as the ‘Bilal bin Rabah Mosque/Rachel’s Tomb’, UNESCO’s board voted 44 to one [the U.S.], with 12 abstentions, to reaffirm that the site was ‘an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territories and that any unilateral action by the Israeli authorities is to be considered a violation of international law’.” The Haaretz report can be read in full here.

Neither site was controlled by of the State of Israel at its founding in May 1948. Both Bethlehem and Hebron are part of the West Bank, which was under Jordanian occupation and administration from May 1948 until the June 1967 “Six-Day” war, when Israeli forces conquered the West Bank, and have been in control ever since.

There is a mosque [Bilal bin Rabah] next to Rachel’s Tomb — and it is now virtually inaccessible to Palestinians due to Israeli security measures, including construction of The Wall.

The Ibrahimi Mosque [which contains the Cave of the Patriarchs] is under Israeli military control, and there is a forced sharing that — particularly since the February 1994 massacre of 29 Palestinian worshippers at dawn prayer by an American-born Israeli settler, Baruch Goldstein, from nearby Kirya Arba — sometimes does deprive Muslims of access, as happened during a major Jewish festival this past weekend.

All religious sites under Israeli administration are supposed to be accessible to members of all faiths, according to the Oslo Accords. But security measures trump the Olso Accords.

Earlier today, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said, according to a report in the Jerusalem Post, that “relations with UNESCO would not be restored until it retracted its statement last week that two ancient biblical sites – the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb – were an integral part of the ‘occupied’ Palestinian territories. Ayalon said that the Palestinian Authority was behind the statement, which he added, was issued by the automatic Arab majority on the UNESCO board. It is another attempt by the PA to delegitimize Israel, he said”. This is reported here.

A UNESCO press release describing the vote on this and four other related issues can be read here.

YNet reported that Ayalon told the Knesset: “We should see the organization’s call to remove the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb from the list of Israel’s national sites as part of Palestinian escalation in international organizations … Israel rejects all five of UNESCO’s decisions and has no intention of cooperating with the organization … We’ve decided to suspend our cooperation with UNESCO in these fields, and with regards to previous decisions”. This is posted here

However, Haaretz reported, “Israel’s reaction was not quite as serious as it first appeared. Ayalon’s spokeswoman said that Israel would cut off relations with UNESCO altogether – but shortly after said that the announcement had been made in error and retracted the statement”.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu denounced the UNESCO vote as “absurd”, in a statement that said: “The attempt to detach the people of Israel from its heritage is absurd. If the places where the fathers and mothers of the Jewish nation are buried, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Leah and Rachel some 4,000 years ago are not part of the Jewish heritage then what is?”

These statements specifically refer to the sites as “part of the Jewish heritage”, while other statements have said they are part of “the cradle of Jewish history”, rather than specifically as “religious sites” [such as synagogues].

A Jerusalem Post editorial published yesterday said that “UNESCO, the United Nations body in charge of preserving historical sites, went too far this time. There is a lot of chutzpah in this post-modernist era of ‘deconstruction’ and ‘revision’. Warmly cherished religious faiths and customs are reduced to ‘false consciousness’. Nations with their own unique ethnicity and proud traditions become ‘imagined communities’. Foundational histories are reduced to nothing more than subjective ‘narratives’. But even in this radically relativistic intellectual atmosphere, the latest UNESCO decision stands out. For this was a particularly blatant attempt to erase Jewish ties to the land of Israel … The move is seen in some quarters as a response to Israel’s decision in February to include the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb on a list of national heritage sites that would receive additional funding for refurbishing and for the development of educational tours”. This JPost editorial can be read in full here

The JPost editorial stated that “Jordan denied Israel the ‘free access to the Holy Places [including the Kotel – the Western Wall] and cultural institutions and use of the cemetery on the Mount of Olives’ stipulated in the April 1949 Armistice”, and said that “Israel has done a better job at maintaining equitable access to religious [emphasis added] sites for all faiths”…

The Day After Fayyad tests limits of "Jerusalem"

Yossi Sarid wrote, sardonically, in Haaretz today that Fayyad’s “scheming knows no bounds or fences. After mapping Israeli neglect precisely, he leaped into no man’s land. If Israel will not build and renovate the schools in East Jerusalem, then he will step in to fill the vacuum. If Israel neglects the roads and sidewalks despite repeated complaints, he orders them repaired and paved. And as if that provocative and scandalous interference were not enough, he has the chutzpah to openly celebrate the completion of these works. That won’t do. Netanyahu and Mayor Nir Barkat and Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch will head him off. Fayyad may spend money in our stead, but quietly. The right to noisy celebration is reserved for the Jewish settlers of Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah. Our right to the entire city of Jerusalem has expired, and not only because half of it is Arab and has remained so despite all the cleansing and Judaization efforts. Our right expired because we never genuinely joined it together. Just the reverse: We divided and governed, stole and inherited, and even the new wall we stuck in its heart in order to divide it, Hallelujah”. This is published here.

Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff wrote, in another piece in Haaretz, that “Senior military sources were critical yesterday of Israel’s conduct in the Fayyad visit to East Jerusalem. They said that Israel had made a mistake when it opted to confront the PA prime minister over the visit. ‘Were it not for Israeli objections, no one would have paid attention to Fayyad. But we are the ones who helped him make the rounds of the international media’, the sources said. They noted that Fayyad lives in the Beit Hanina neighborhood of East Jerusalem, and as such is in Jerusalem and its environs all the time in any case … [But] On Monday, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch issued an injunction banning any Palestinian Authority activity inside Israeli territory”. This article added that “Fayyad also promised that the PA will continue its assistance to Palestinian institutions in the city, especially educational institutions, and would help build new schools and offer other services”. It can be viewed in full here.

The Jerusalem Post reported that “In response to Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s dedication ceremony at a PA-renovated school in east Jerusalem on Tuesday, MK Danny Danon (Likud) toured a girls’ high school in the capital’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood to check out school conditions in the area … Danon visited Al- Mamunia Secondary Girls’ School in Sheikh Jarrah, a 10th-12th grade high school with 1,452 students. He was shocked at the small amount of Hebrew the students were learning at municipality schools: Students at Al-Mamunia learn Hebrew for three hours per week, compared to five hours per week for English, and fewer than 10% of the students speak Hebrew at even a basic level … Danon said he would speak to the education minister about looking into increasing Hebrew requirements in Arab schools … Danon had originally planned to be at the same school dedication ceremony as Fayyad to reassert Israel’s sovereignty over the area, but he decided not to enter the area after police reported that there were 400 residents ready to protest his arrival … ‘The fact that he [Fayyad] wants to come and dedicate schools in east Jerusalem is crossing a line, it’s crossing a red line, and I’m happy that we managed to clear up his visit’, said Danon as he stood on a hill overlooking a renovated school in Shuafat, which is on the other side of the security barrier but still within Jerusalem boundaries. ‘But we have to understand that the authority of the Education Ministry and the Public Security Ministry inside these areas in Jerusalem is minimal’ … The Association for Civil Rights in Israel estimates that there is a shortage of at least 1,000 classrooms in east Jerusalem, and says that the Education Ministry and the municipality are not building classrooms fast enough to keep up with the rapidly growing population.” This is posted here.

Fayyad testing limits of what is "Jerusalem"

How do we know what is “Jerusalem” today?

Announce that the Palestinian Authority’s Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, himself a resident of East Jerusalem, will attend a ceremony inauguration renovated schools in various parts of East Jerusalem… After an order signed by Israel’s Ministry of Internal Security Yitzhak Aharonovitch, banning any Palestinian Authority activity inside Israeli territory, following instructions from Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, Fayyad cancelled his appearance at Dahiet as-Salaam [sealed behind The Wall, beyond Shuafat Refugee Camp and Anata Village].

PA PM Salam Fayyad was testing the boundaries of “Jerusalem, and Israeli PM Netanyahu got involved.

According to a report in the Jerusalem Post, Fayyad was to rededicate 2 of 15 East Jerusalem schools that “the PA secretly paid to renovated”. This was published here.

The JPost report added that this news of PA schools renovations “was condemned by Israeli politicians, who accused the PA of flaunting its authority within Jerusalem”. According to this report, Israeli officials and politicians say “the PA violated Oslo Accords by renovating East Jerusalem schools”.

There was also another recent report that the PA had paid [presumably using donor money] to repave some of the roads in Dahiet as-Salaam.

But, Fayyad did attend the planned ceremony in Dahiet al-Bariid.

The ceremony that Fayyad attended, however, was in the part of Dahiet al-Bariid that is on the “Palestinian” side of The Wall.

Dahiet al-Bariid is split in two by The Wall, which runs right up the middle of Ahmad Orabi Street, separating families. But, this was done by the Army to implement a Supreme Court decision following a petition of some of the residents and institutions [though not including the World Bank, whose offices are there] closest to… well, if not all of Neve Yaakov, at least to the IDF’s Central Command (which is in Neve Yaakov). Residents and institutions told Israel’s Supreme Court that they did not want to be cut off from Jerusalem, which they said was the “center of their lives”. The Supreme Court accepted the petition, and the Israeli Army re-routed The Wall, right up the middle of the street.

The status of that special triangle [ Dahiet al-Bariid on the Jerusalem side of The Wall] is yet not fully clear. At the moment it is apparently still officially a “seam zone”, according to the Commander of Qalandiya Checkpoint who was present in February 2009, after the miserable “Ar-Ram” Checkpoint was removed. The Commander said “we will let the negotiators do their work”. That, of course, could take some time.

The miserable “Ar-Ram Checkpoint was left in place for six months AFTER the IDF sealed The Wall between the two parts of Dahiet al-Bariid — and this meant that the triangle of Dahiet al-Bariid that the Israeli Supreme Court left on the Jerusalem side was completely sealed off, without entry or exit except through the miserable Ar-Ram Checkpoint. Israeli garbage collection began almost immediately, but residents are still waiting for phone service from the Israeli Bezeq company…

The part of Dahiet al-Bariid on the other, “Palestinian”, side of The Wall, which Fayyad visited, is now only accessible after going through or around Qalandia, and through ar-Ram.

In this way — and only this way — according to the official Israeli reaction including Netanyahu’s tinvolvement, we are learning what this government considers to be “Jerusalem”, and what is not…

Continue reading Fayyad testing limits of what is "Jerusalem"