By the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)
Originally published at acri.org.il/en/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/49years2016-en.pdf
At first glance, it may seem that the condition of the Palestinians who live in the territories occupied by Israel in June 1967 has changed little, despite the passing decades. Yesterday’s headlines are the same as today’s: confrontations, arrests, military rule, terror attacks, house demolitions, land confiscation. It’s easy to gain the impression that there is nothing new under the scorching sun of the Middle East.
However, closer scrutiny reveals new paths and markings on the familiar map. New headlines have been added throughout the years: Settlements and outposts. The Palestinian Authority. The Disengagement from Gaza. Prohibited roads. Walls and fences. Checkpoints and permits.
Israeli control of the Territories changes over time, assuming and abandoning new forms. After almost three decades of exclusive Israeli rule, the Palestinian Authority was established. A decade later, Hamas consolidated its control of the Gaza Strip. Yet for all these changes, Israeli rule over the entire area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean remains the most influential force shaping the everyday lives of all those who live in this area. Israel’s power imposes a heavy responsibility.
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) is publishing this document at the beginning of the 50th year of occupation. The paper outlines the changes that have transformed the Territories into a divided and dissected area. The different degrees and forms of Israeli control that apply in this area create systemic violation of the basic human rights of millions of people. Control without human rights – for 49 years.
The Fragmentation of the Territories
We tend to think of the “Territories” as a distinct area or entity. However, over the five decades since 1967, a dramatic process of division has occurred in the area, causing grave damage to Palestinian residents on the individual, community, and national levels:
East Jerusalem was annexed officially by Israel in June 1967, in violation of international law and without granting full rights to the residents of the city. The Israeli policy that developed isolated and devastated East Jerusalem, which had previously functioned as an economic, political, social, and religious power base.
In addition to the annexation, which created a legal separation between East Jerusalem and the West Bank, the two areas were physically divided a decade ago with the construction of the Separation Barrier. The route of the concrete wall divides communities and disrupts the natural connection between the Palestinian population in and around Jerusalem.
The gradual expansion of the settlements, together with the roads leading to settlements and outposts, have over the years created new and large areas in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in which Palestinian movement or residence is limited, restricted or prohibited, while Israeli citizens enjoy access to the same areas. This too is carried out in violation of international law.
Closed areas in the West Bank and Jerusalem from which Palestinians are excluded have also been created by declaring areas firing zones for training exercises, closed military zones, archaeological sites, and national parks. These measures force Palestinian communities to live under a regime of prohibitions that prevents normal life and leads to the forced or coercive eviction of families and communities.
The Oslo Agreements led to a significant change with the division of the West Bank into Areas A, B, and C, and the establishment of the Palestinian Authority. The division was made along artificial geographical lines that separate areas that are actually closely connected, such as between the major cities and their satellite villages. Its negative ramifications are strongly evident in the city of Hebron, where part of the city is under Palestinian control and the other part under Israeli control. Residents of the Jordan Valley also suffer from the serious consequences of Israel’s policy of separating the area from the remainder of the West Bank. The most extreme form of separation exists in the Gaza Strip. (The unique situation that was created in Gaza is briefly addressed at the end of this document.)
The establishment of the Palestinian Authority changed the scope and nature of the powers exercised by the Israeli authorities, and particularly by the military. However, the Palestinian Authority’s power is limited, and even in the areas where it operates, a great degree of control continues to rest with the Israeli military commander.
The construction of the Separation Barrier inside the Territories, which began in the early 2000s, led to additional dissection of the area. The barrier created isolated Palestinian enclaves and facilitated the expansion of the settlements in the name of security. While Israelis are allowed to cross through it freely, the checkpoints and gates established along the barrier/fence restrict or prohibit passage for Palestinians, despite the fact that they are travelling within the Territories (rather than entering into Israel). A “seam zone” has been created to the west of the barrier and to the east of the Green Line in which Israelis and foreign citizens can move freely, whereas access by Palestinians for the purpose of residency or farming is restricted and complicated. Even Palestinians who have lived in this area all their lives are forced to cope with a complex bureaucracy of permits and to face humiliation and violence.
The regimenting of movement of Palestinians across the seam lines between these different areas is a key preoccupation of the military, the Israel Security Agency, the police, the Interior Ministry, and additional authorities. Technological advances have created “sophisticated” tools for policing that are implemented inside the West Bank, at the entrances to settlements, between the barrier and the Green Line, along the dividing line between East and West Jerusalem, between Jerusalem and the West Bank, and between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and Israel. Over the years, the sanctions and periods of imprisonment imposed on those found without the appropriate permits have grown stricter, as have the penalties imposed on those who transport, house or provide them with accommodation.
This regimentation is intensified during periods of escalation. In some cases, new steps introduced during such periods remain in force even after the situation has calmed. An example of this is the temporary order amending the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law. Adopted at the height of the second intifada with the goal of reducing the scope of family unification across the Green Line, this order has since been renewed on an annual basis. The result is that thousands of Palestinians living in Israel and in East Jerusalem have been transformed into illegal aliens or have become dependent on permits from Israel in order to move and to reside in their homes.
The fragmentation of the Territories and the accompanying regimentation have serious ramifications for the freedom of movement of Palestinians and for a long series of rights that depend on the ability to move, including the right to family life, health, and education. The Palestinian economy and trade are dependent on daily decisions by military commanders who determine when and how goods and people are permitted to pass, whether restrictions will be imposed on the development of entire industrial sectors, and so forth. The various prohibitions imposed by the military have expanded the circle of poverty and deprivation in the Territories.
Full Israeli military rule in Area C, which accounts for some 60 percent of the West Bank, together with the imposition of Israeli law in East Jerusalem, have created distinct areas in which Palestinians and Israelis live under direct Israeli rule. Over the years, diverse policy tools have been developed in order to intensify Israeli control of these areas, thereby facilitating the pushing out of Palestinians from areas in which Israel is interested and into areas that Israel does not wish to rule or annex.
The pushing out of Palestinians from various parts of the West Bank and Jerusalem has been achieved mainly by means of a policy based on a stubborn refusal to promote planning and development; to connect Palestinian communities and neighbourhoods to the water grid; to permit access to farmland, develop industrial zones, and so forth. The restrictions are accompanied by harassment: demolition of homes built without a permit, confiscation of equipment, sealing of wells, blocking of roads, and heightened military and police presence.
The military regime in the West Bank has developed a legal construction of one rule, two legal systems – one system for Palestinians and the other for settlers – which enable the actions outlined above. In East Jerusalem, Israeli law imposed on the area permits similar measures that limit and harm Palestinians. At the same time, these same authorities apply planning laws in Area C and in East Jerusalem that facilitate the development and flourishing of settlements, neighbourhoods, and agricultural areas for the benefit of the Israeli population.
Over the past decade, efforts to reinforce Israeli control of Area C and the affinity between the area and Israel have intensified. The steps taken to this end are often referred to as creeping annexation, de facto annexation, or “legal annexation.” A committee established on the government’s initiative and headed by retired Supreme Court Justice Edmund Levy, determined that the West Bank is not an occupied area, and accordingly the settlements are legal. The committee recommended policies for approving and regulating construction in the Israeli settlements and outposts. In addition, the Knesset and government have discussed several proposals to impose Israeli law directly on settlers, and the justice minister recently announced the formation of a joint team of the Justice Ministry and the Defence Ministry to discuss this issue. Members of Knesset have tabled bills applying specific laws that do not currently apply fully beyond the Green Line, including the planning and building laws, the youth labour law, and the Women’s Employment Law.
These steps toward annexation are sometimes facilitated by Israeli bodies established in the West Bank to mirror Israeli institutions. Although they are theoretically under the authority of the military commander, these institutions effectively function independently. For example, the declaration of Ariel College as a university was made contrary to the opinion in of the Council for Higher Education in Israel, by means of the “Council for Higher Education – Judea and Samaria,” a body that is formally subject to the authority of the military commander. In most cases, such steps are justified in terms of a desire to improve the settlers’ lives and ensure their rights, supposedly without any connection to the Palestinian population and with no implications over their lives. In reality, there is an unbreakable connection between the two. The realization of Israel’s interests in areas earmarked for annexation inevitably causes grave damage to the human rights of Palestinians. The establishment of a new settlement or the expansion of an existing one may lead to the confiscation of land through an official proceeding or to the effective denial of access by Palestinians to farmland and local natural resources; the closure of the main entrance to a Palestinian village, forcing residents to use side roads; intensified military presence, frequent clashes with the army and an increase in military raids and detentions; acts of violence by settlers against Palestinians and their property; and so forth.
In some instances, steps taken to strengthen Israeli law beyond the Green Line have led to an improvement in Palestinians’ rights. A key example of this is the ruling granted by an extended bench of the High Court of Justice establishing that Israeli labour laws that apply to the settlements also apply to Palestinian workers employed on the settlements, who are entitled to claim their rights from Israeli employers. The number of examples of this kind is limited, since changes to Israeli policy do not seek to narrow the gap between the two legal systems.
Occupation and Annexation – Without Human Rights
On the formal level, Israel operates in the West Bank in accordance with international humanitarian law applying to an area occupied in wartime. These rules are defined as “temporary belligerent occupation,” and seek to ensure that the residents of the occupied area can continue their routine lives while under temporary military occupation, and to grant them the protection of basic human rights given the absence of such protection under state law.
The Israeli authorities responsible for implementing these rules have failed to do so. They do not observe many of the basic obligations established in the laws of occupation, and violate the prohibition in the law against the transfer of residents of the occupying power to the occupied area. Israel uses the force granted to it in accordance with the laws of occupation in order to extend its ostensibly temporary control, and to create hardships for Palestinian living in areas it wishes to annex – now or in the future.
Israel also exploits the natural resources of the occupied areas to the benefit of the Israeli population on both sides of the Green Line. Once again, this is prohibited in accordance with international humanitarian law. It does so while restricting the Palestinians’ use of the same resources. For example, Israeli companies operate quarries in the Territories and gain profits therefrom, whereas the military closes quarries operated by Palestinians. Palestinian access to water sources, such as cisterns, wells, and the mountain aquifer, is limited, whereas Israel exploits these sources both for the settlements and for communities inside Israel.
In summary, Israel exploits the legal framework of the rules of occupation in the West Bank in order to exercise control over the population and the area. It does so without accepting the responsibility inherent in these laws and while systematically violating human rights.
Similarly, in East Jerusalem the framework of Israeli law is used to exercise control over the population and the area, without accepting the responsibility inherent in law, and while systematically violating human rights.
In theory, the application of Israeli law in East Jerusalem and the granting of Israeli identity cards to Palestinian residents might have ensured that they enjoy rights and liberties guaranteed by the laws of the State of Israel that are not included in the laws of occupation. However, the policy that has developed toward East Jerusalem is similar, though not identical, to the treatment of the Palestinians who live under military occupation in the West Bank. The Palestinians neighbourhoods of East Jerusalem are neglected in every aspect of life and suffer from poor infrastructures, a failing education system, and a lack of development. Palestinian residents of Jerusalem are forced to confront an often-hostile bureaucracy and severe police violence.
The Jerusalem neighbourhoods that have been left on the other side of the Separation Barrier, on the seam line between Jerusalem and the West Bank, provide the most extreme example of the failure of annexation. Although these areas are ostensibly subject to full Israeli sovereignty, the Israeli authorities have abandoned any responsibility for their residents and created a new no man’s land in which there is no municipality, police, or any other authority.
The Territories are currently subject to a hybrid condition of “occunexation” – a combination of occupation and annexation. Despite the differences between the various types of control in different areas of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Israeli control – in all its forms and variants – is not accompanied by the responsibility incumbent on those who hold power. For 49 years, this control has prevented the Palestinian residents, as individuals and as a collective, from realizing their basic rights.
The Gaza Strip
The scope and depth of Israel’s control of the Gaza Strip have changed over the years. Since the Disengagement in 2005, Israel no longer maintains physical control inside the Gaza Strip. However, it continues to exercise control in various areas, particularly through the control of the passage of people and goods; airspace and maritime space; the Population Registry; and the customs system.
Israel’s control of the borders of the Gaza Strip causes extreme harm to the basic human rights and liberties of over one million residents of the area, and has a significant impact on the economic situation and the poverty levels suffered in Gaza.
While the legal status of the Gaza Strip is the subject of impassioned debate, no-one disagrees that Israel’s control has a broad-based impact on the area. This control creates responsibility – a responsibility that Israel is currently shirking by imposing a policy based on the extreme isolation of the Gaza Strip.
By Keren Tova Rubinstein
Sary Zananiri’s mounted and manipulated photographs in Unpicking Jerusalem: a re-examination of the archives reflect Jerusalem’s historical trajectory from 1850-2015 in overt and subtle ways. Though the subject is as infinite as time itself, and though the architectural and human landscape that comprises this place is equally vast and complex, entering the gallery one can’t avoid its smallness, and the concentration of images evokes discomfort and rage at history, unwieldy as it is.
The Little Woods Gallery tucked away in Collingwood, on a corner that epitomises Melbourne’s gentrification. It’s a single, small, semi-divided exhibiting space, that in January housed Zananiri’s four unframed photographic prints on glass. These were wall mounted on plain pine supports, except for the first one to greet you as you entered the gallery from the street.
This first, larger two-piece, is floor-mounted on a pine easel that reminded me of building materials, hinged in order to support two glass prints, one seen through the other. The front panel shows the arched entrance to a modern day mall in Jerusalem. Happy shoppers and people going about their day, oblivious to their function in this re-examination of the space they occupy. Through the arched entry to the rather posh mall, one sees the second pane, this one revealing the same location in Palestine that is no longer. It is a soft sepia market scene, peacefully conducted, before it was destroyed: the eroded landscape reappearing. But it is, of course, difficult to see.
As explained in the exhibition’s text, the area Zananiri chose to examine is Mamilla, at one time a passageway connecting the Old City with the growing population of Jerusalem at the second half of the 19th century. Mamilla borders Jaffa gate and is adjacent to the remains of an ancient cemetery and a pool. With its shops and businesses, it was the city’s new commercial centre in the twilight of the Ottoman Period. It connected the city’s east and west, while the Jaffa-Jerusalem railway was built nearby in 1890. Important national figures, such as Khalil Sakakini, one of the key cultural leaders of Palestine at the time, would frequent the local cafes. In 1936 the Palestine Broadcasting Service (PBS) was also established in Mamilla, from which it would broadcast in Arabic, Modern Hebrew and English. The PBS would become a pivotal propaganda tool for the British Mandate.
This unique intersection of cultures made the area a wellspring for ideas, discussions and articulations of national types, ideologies and manners of discourse, evolving in the face of rapid demographic change and the soon to be realized partition plan for Palestine.
In the 1930s Mamilla was the stage for riots between Palestinians and new Jewish immigrants. The PBS was bombed by Zionist paramilitaries, only four years after broadcasts began. And by 1946 the same armed fighters would also bomb the nearby King David Hotel, an event that I, as an Israeli child at school, had been taught of as a celebrated moment of Jewish self-determination. The destruction that enabled the creation of the State of Israel was never discussed, not once.
Following Israel’s declaration of statehood, Mamilla decayed into an industrial slum, as it lay in the ethnically cleansed, post-Nakba no-man’s land between the new Jewish state and Jordan.
The Palestinian residents that left/were evacuated during the Nakba of 1948 were replaced by a predominantly Mizrahi population. Jewish immigrants began arriving in mass waves into Israel in the early 1950s and immediately became second-class citizens in the nascent Socialist Zionist Jewish state. Most were settled in transition camps, later to be relocated to development towns and other disadvantaged peripheries.
Those streets remained in relative neglect and dispute right through the 1990s. By this time Zananiri’s family had already left Amman to resettle in Sydney, Australia. Sary still recalls the Intifada, as it gripped his child’s imagination with images from the media. The fissure between Israelis and Palestinians had become completely cemented. And despite continuing legal battles and endless delays, it was then that the decision was made to ‘resurrect’ the Mamilla mall, or rather recast it. Teddy Kolek, the mayor of Jerusalem at the time, rejected out of hand one architect’s plan, which proposed conserving all of the existing facades.
Once again the area was evacuated (markedly differently to how it took place in 1948). Mamilla neighbourhood was no more; it was now the Mamilla precinct. The architect, Moshe Safdie, had delivered a winning plan for a high-end shopping mall for the newly and radically gentrified neighbourhood. “An architecturally eviscerated space,” Zananiri writes.
Medium and impact
Zananiri is a glass artist combining archived photographs with his own for this project, processing these layers, splicing and suturing them together. This convergence of different points in time serves as a both a visual reminder and a rejection of the erasure that occurred with the Zionist colonisation of Palestine. But the insistence on returning lost buildings to the newly constructed Jewish national landscape can only be done virtually, on computer. Sitting at one’s computer, one can often feel powerless in the face of the ongoing destruction. This feeling is performed explicitly in the piece “Mamilla from Plaza”, in which the artist’s replaces a certain, now destroyed building, back into the neo-oriental, Zionist landscape.
Clearly seen in the photographs is the unique architecture of Palestine and Israel. Juxtaposed, the building styles might initially bear resemblance to one another, but as Zananiri puts it, Safdie’s desire to show cultural sensitivity, preserve certain buildings and synthesise a new style that indigenised the new mall into its landscape, paradoxically ends up with monuments to neo-colonialism and capitalism. It is an exclusionary and false indigeneity, mimicking styles while voiding them of living cultural realities and connections, or in the artist’s words, ‘effacing Palestinian modernity’.
Glass is fragile and transparent, but it is also razor sharp and heavy. This medium drenches the photographs with emotional resonance. Zananiri’s techniques and chosen materials seem a fitting response to the nullifying tendencies of exile; a response to the coloniser’s urge and power to archive, record and enumerate his takings. His power to make meticulous lists and even publicise them with indemnity. This impulse is conveyed in “Dismembered Façade”, a photograph showing the dismantled, numbered and reassembled bricks of one of the buildings preserved by Safdie and his team. The crude black numbers scrawled on the creamy sandstone bricks seem like stains or scars, like numbers tattooed into an arm. And the edges of shopfronts Zananiri placed in the background of this reassembled wall serve to remind us of the site’s function, to sell unnecessary and mass-produced, likely non-indigenous stuffs. It is testament to the blood-stained commodification of Palestinian culture. There is no escaping history, I thought as the Holocaust came to mind (a personal habit). Genocides have their patterns too.
The artist’s choice to use photography, the evidence-based primary resourcefulness of archives, and to engage with architecture, is a fitting response to the chauvinist and colonialist tendencies of reappropriation, erasure and rapid reconstruction. He too is preserving secreted images of Palestine as it lives on and evolves within the fabric of Israel. The choice to manipulate photographic images also calls attention to the use of photography as proof and as political leverage for acts of occupation.
Zananiri’s preoccupation with these different media draws our attention to the ways in which images can be used to falsify history. Complicating the act of archiving is crucial to the artist, who has always resided in the Palestinian diaspora. Viewing the place at once through these multiple lenses – the Ottoman period, the British mandate, the post Intifada world of prosperity for some and deprivation for others, and the view from Melbourne 2015 – forces the viewer to confront the emotional weight of the Nakba, and of absence.
Claustrophobia and time travel in Collingwood/Palestine
Outside the gallery I finished my latte next to ageing government houses and urban fusion cafes. There are myriad layers of construction here too, making almost completely invisible the Indigenous history of this colonised space. Contested as it is, Melbourne’s inner city carries on with its prosperous growth. But if we make use of history and leverage our discomfort from colonisation’s privilege, we might help to pave the way for new ways of being. Zananiri’s work was galvanising and confronting, and rewarding as it was necessarily unsettling.
In September 2015 the AJDS wrote a petition to end Palestinian house demolitions in Susiya and the West Bank. Read about and sign our petition here. In response to our request that the Australian government act to stop this injustice, Julie Bishop wrote to the AJDS on November 18:
…Thank you for your letter of October 2015, attaching a petition from concerned Australians regarding developments in East Jerusalem and Susiya.
Australia continues to urge Israel to reconsider demolition orders in relation to the Palestinian structures at Susiya. The Australian Representative Office in Ramallah closely monitors proposed demolitions in the West Bank. The Australian Representative visited Bedouin communities in the Khan Al-Amar area in March this year, and regularly visits Susiya as part of routine monitoring of the Australian aid program to the Palestinian Territories.
The Australian Government remains committed to a negotiated two-state solution, with Israel and a Palestinian state existing side-by-side in peace and security, within internationally recognised borders.
I trust this information is of assistance.
It appears as though the conservative government may hold a slightly more progressive view of Israel/Palestine than most representative Jewish bodies in Australia. Meanwhile, expressions of solidarity continue to assist those left homeless by Israel’s house demolition policy, which you can read about here.
The following statement, of which the AJDS is signatory, was initiated by an international Jewish network of groups and individuals working for justice in Palestine. Together, we reclaim Jewish identity not as a nationalist identity but as one that celebrates our diverse roots, traditions & communities wherever we are around the world. We believe that it is essential for there to be a global Jewish voice to challenge Israel’s destructive policies, in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle. This international Jewish network aims to become that voice.
If you would like to sign on to this statement as an individual or a group, click here.
The statement is also available on 972mag.com.
As members of Jewish communities around the world, we are horrified by the violence that is sweeping the streets of Palestine/Israel, costing the lives of over 30 people, both Palestinians and Israelis in the past two weeks alone. A 2 year old girl in Gaza was the youngest of 4 Palestinian children who were killed in the past two weeks. A 13 year-old Israeli boy is in critical condition after being stabbed nearly a dozen times. Over a thousand people were injured in the same period. Fear has completely taken over the streets of Jerusalem, the center of this violence. Israelis shooting Palestinian protesters in and around East Jerusalem. Palestinians stabbing and shooting Israeli civilians and policemen in the middle of the streets. Israeli forces killing Palestinian suspects when they are clearly not a threat and without trial. Palestinians throwing stones at passing cars. Israeli mobs beating up Palestinians or calling on police to shoot them. Humiliating strip searches of Palestinians in the streets – all of these have become a daily occurrence in the city in which we are raised to pray for peace, as well as other places in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank.
While violence is visible on the streets, it is also occupying people’s minds and hearts. Fear is bringing out the worst of people, and the demand for more blood to be shed, as if this will repair the damage done. Fear and racist rhetoric are escalating the situation. The Israeli government is once again responding in a militarised way: there have been hundreds of arrests; Palestinian access to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound has been limited; parts of the Muslim quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem have been closed to Palestinians; open-fire regulations have been changed to allow the use of sniper fire against children; a minimum sentence for stone throwing has been introduced, including for over 150 children arrested in East Jerusalem alone in the past few weeks; and now there are talks of enforcing a curfew, or even a closure, of East Jerusalem.
All these constitute collective punishment on the entire population of East Jerusalem with over 300,000 people. In the past, these measures have proven themselves ineffective at ending violence. Decades of dispossession, occupation and discrimination are the main reasons for Palestinian resistance. Further Israeli military repression and ongoing occupation and siege will never end the Palestinian desire for freedom nor will it address the root causes of violence. Indeed, the current actions by the Israeli government and army are likely to create further violence, destruction, and the entrenchment of division. Only justice and equality for all will bring peace and quiet to the residents of Israel and Palestine.
As a group of Jews from around the world we believe that immediate change needs to come from the Israeli government and Israeli people. It is incumbent on all Jews around the world to pressure the Israeli government – and those who follow and support its words and deeds – to change its approach. The military crackdown must cease immediately, Palestinians must be allowed complete freedom of movement. It is also a responsibility of Jewish people worldwide to obligate the countries in which we live to immediately cease the economic and military support of the ongoing Israeli occupation in Palestine and siege of Gaza.
We call on our Jewish communities, and our broader communities, to publicly insist on an end to the violence, occupation, siege and military response and instead demand equality and freedom for the Palestinian people and justice for all.
Shomeret Shalom Rabbinic School & Learning Center
Independent Jewish Voices Canada
Australian Jewish Democratic Society (AJDS)
Women in Black, Melbourne
South African Jews for a Free Palestine
Jewish Voice for Democracy and Justice in Israel/Palestine (jvjp), Switzerland
Een Andere Joodse Stem, Another Jewish Voice – Belgium
Jewish Socialists’ Group – UK
United Jewish People’s Order – Canada
Beyt Tikkun Synagogue in Berkeley, California
Jewish Voice for Peace Bay Area Chapter
Jewish Voice for Peace Atlanta Chapter
Jewish Voice for Peace, Los Angeles chapter
Jewish Voice for Peace, Rochester NY Chapter
Jewish Voice for Peace, NYC Chapter
Manchester Jewish Action for Palestine
Jewish Voice for a Just Peace (Ireland)
JVP Rhode Island chapter
Sahar Vardi, Jerusalem
Micha K. Ben David, Jerusalem
Daniel Mackintosh, London
Ilana Sumka, Belgium
Yael Shafritz, London
Rabbi Brant Rosen, Chicago
Rachel Diamond, London
Sivan Barak, Melbourne
Jordy Silverstein, Melbourne
Bianca Neumann, São Paulo
Gabriela Korman, Porto Alegre
Annie Cohen, London
Eran Cohen, London
James Kleinfeld, London
Joseph Finlay, London
Lev Taylor, London
Shajar Goldwaser, São Paulo
Iara Haasz, São Paulo
Lilian Avivia Lubochinski, São Paulo
Elena Judensnaider Knijnik, São Paulo
Yuri Haasz, São Paulo
Juliana Westmann Del Poente, São Paulo
Breno Altman, São Paulo
Igor Fillippe Goldstein, São Paulo
Pedro Haasz Lakatos, São Paulo
Moriel Rothman-Zecher, Jerusalem.
Aryeh Bernstein, Chicago
Micah Hendler, Jerusalem
Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb
Robin Rothfield, Melbourne
Joan Nestle, Melbourne
Jem Light, Melbourne
Sue Leigh, Melbourne
Ben Silverstein, Sydney
Alex Nissen, Melbourne
Margaret Jacobs, Melbourne
Rae Abileah, USA
Shereen Usdin, Johannesburg
Lily Manoim, Cape Town
Merlynn Edelstein, Johannesburg
David Fine, Johannesburg
Dr. Fran Shahar, Atlanta
ilise cohen, Atlanta
Michal Shilor, Jerusalem Raoul Fishman
Judy Favish, Cape Town
Sheila Barsel, Cape Town
David Sanders, Cape Town
Heidi Grunebaum, Cape Town
Anya Topolski, Belgium
Dror Feiler, Sweden, Chair person for EJJP
Free Polazzo, Douglasville
Tovah Melaver, Decatur
Torii Lang, Decatur
Dr. Beth-Ann Buitekant, Atlanta
Connie Sosnoff, Atlanta
Tali Feld Gleiser, Dominican Republic
Moira Levy, Cape Town
Esther Mack, Jerusalem
Elizabeth Beck, Atlanta
Shelby Weiner, Tel Aviv
Rabbi Michael Lerner, USA
Rina King, Cape Town
Benjamin Mordecai Ben-Baruch, Ashland
Estee Chandler, Los Angelas
Rachel Ida Buff, Los Angelas
Cat J. Zavis, Executive Director, Network of Spiritual Progressives
Rosa Manoim, Johanesbourg
Kathy Barolsky, South Africa
Free Solomon Polazzo, USA
Randy Aronov, USA
Nina M. Stein, Waterbury Connecticut
Joel Wool, Boston
Regina Willis, Atlanta
Rabbi Brian Walt, West Tisbury, MA
Shaya Zucker, Austin, Texas
Lisa Kosowski, Chicago
Jade Bettine, USA
Cindy Shamban, USA
Rand Clark, USA
Penny Rosenwasser, Oakland, CA
Sara Moon, UK
By Micaela Sahhar
Policing over the possible, Dagan, I
note down now how you would note
rumours as facts. Surveying a space where
(it was said) the dead (even then) had
no land, as those who still made sound
scooped trenches for an olive grove
whose massive roots heaved like a pod
of whales, beached. I saw the tightness
of their skins on television. Around
the foreign bodies you kept moving (heeding
how a resting shark will drown) This is
a de-construction of facticity you said,
burning objects as like as people
who flock yet, vaporous through prostrated trees.
8 Asa Street, Greek Colony
(on my father’s restoration)
Now I am here, beneath the centenarian wires
of bougainvillea, I pass into the era of my spectre-hood.
Despite your divestments, systematic (grouted tiles)
sometimes rageful (half stripped papering) even
from across the street, that I, can line the house against
each gutting, with the seismic breath of a memory
(its recital a Stradivarius). These things you can’t see,
but sensed, the day you invited a side-walk letterer
to depict on our gate pillar, this way to the bomb shelter.
* * *
Published June 5, 2010 in The Age, “Shrinking” appeared at the same time as the Mavi Marmara sailed to Gaza, though the poem was written a year earlier as Sahhar was researching operation Cast Lead for her doctoral degree.
“8 Asa Street, Greek Colony” is about visiting her family home in West Jerusalem. It was published in Southerly, vol. 73, no. 2, 2013.
For more information on Sahhar, read here.
Statement issued 19/11/2014
The AJDS condemns the attacks that are occurring in Jerusalem. This violence is heartbreaking and must end immediately.
The AJDS calls for leading figures in the current Israeli government and their settler allies to halt their recent actions, which actively work against justice and instead incite violence towards Palestinians. We condemn the dangerous strategy of visits to the Dome of the Rock/Temple Mount, and note that Yoram Cohen, the head of Shin Bet, has drawn a clear connection between the attack on Jews at synagogue yesterday and the murder of Muhammed Abu-Khdeir and the visits to the Haram al-Sharif. This attack comes after the most recent escalation of violence by the Israeli authorities against Palestinians: the increased collective punishment (including house demolitions and restrictions on mobility), the proposal to introduce a 20 year sentence for stone throwing, and the burning last week of a mosque in Al Mughayir in the West Bank. Hamas should also be condemned for supporting the latest act of violence against Israelis at prayer.
Only genuine negotiations which bring a quick end to the Occupation and full political and social equality and justice for all Palestinians will resolve this explosive situation in a city that belongs to humanity, not Jews alone.