a word on al quds

some disturbing news out of al quds over the past few days…

continued ethnic cleansing of sheikh jarrah:

Israeli forces have demolished the protest tent established in Sheikh Jarrah, Occupied East Jerusalem. The tent, built on private Palestinian property, was established in support of the evicted al-Kurd family and over 500 Palestinian residents who currently face eviction from the neighbourhood.

and it is also happening in the silwan neighborhood:

We are able to warn you about this impending carnage because it is not a ‘natural’ disaster which will wreak havoc on these lives, rather a wholly human one. ‘Hurricane Israel’ is scheduled to make landfall in Silwan in the coming days, and rather create on its rubbles a public park.

Can any of you imagine watching your home, and the homes of your neighbors, torn down in front of you – often with most of your possessions still inside? Can you imagine being made a refugee twice or thrice over – starting your lives again with only the shirts on your back? Can you imagine rebuilding your life with the knowledge that ‘Hurricane Israel’ could return again at any moment reducing your efforts to shambles?

Perhaps it is difficult to imagine such things from the Europe and the United States, where decency and Human Rights are championed and heralded. Yet here in Palestine, destruction and utter disregard of our lives and dignity is only too common. Many times ‘Hurricane Israel’ has visited our lives; and if the international community does not begin to take decisive action, this scenario will only be repeated again and again.

sometimes i don’t like writing about al quds because i feel like there are too many people who think that a mosque in al quds and its significance for muslims is more important than palestinian people and their rights, which you can see a bit in this statement from sheikh tamimi, though at least he addresses the people and the place:

Supreme Court Justice Sheikh Taysir At-Tamimi called on Arabs and Muslims to make this Friday a “day of anger” for demonstrations against Israeli practices in Jerusalem.

At-Tamimi said in a press conference in Ramallah that “what is going on in Jerusalem is a cleansing policy of everything Arab,” calling on Arabs and scholars in the Islamic world to “defend Jerusalem and break their silence.”

The demonstrations would come just days after news that Israeli authorities ordered 1,500 Palestinians to leave their homes in the Bustan neighborhood of Jerusalem.

At-Tamimi called on other sheikhs to sacrifice Friday prayers “for the sake of Jerusalem” and to encourage their congregants to act in defense of Jerusalem and its residents.

The Supreme Court justice called for an urgent Islamic conference to oppose Israel’s “threatening plans” and to force Israel to be more committed to international agreements.

At-Tamimi also called on Palestinian factions headed to Cairo to cooperate for the sake of the Palestinian cause.

and the israeli terrorists forcing this ethnic cleansing are also actively shutting down cultural performances at al hakawati theatre in al quds. apparently the same night my students and i went to the play at al kasaba in ramallah (in the pouring rain mind you) there was a similar performance at al hakawati. only their performance was invaded by israeli terrorists and it was shut down and banned. i can’t find the story in english so here is the arabic version from al ayyam newspaper:

القدس: الاحتلال يمنع تنظيم مهرجان فلكلوري في مسرح الحكواتي

القدس ــ “الأيام”: منع وزير الامن الداخلي الاسرائيلي آفي ديختر جمعية زهرة المدائن لتنمية وتطوير المجتمع الفلسطيني من تنظيم مهرجان “القدس لنا للفلكلور الشعبي” في المسرح الوطني الفلسطينية (الحكواتي) في القدس الشرقية بداعي انه ينظم من قبل السلطة الوطنية الفلسطينية.
وجاء في قرار أصدره ديختر “بعد إعلامي بنية تنظيم في مسرح “حكواتي” في القدس اجتماعاً تابعاً، او من قبل، او برعاية السلطة الفلسطينية بعنوان مهرجان “القدس لنا” للفلكلور الشعبي بدون تصريح او مكتوب متفق عليه وفقاً للبند 3 (أ) من قانون تطبيق الاتفاق المرحلي بشأن الضفة الغربية وقطاع غزة (تحديد النشاطات)1994 فانني حسب صلاحياتي من قوة القانون آمر بمنع تنظيم الاجتماع في مسرح الحكواتي في القدس او في كل مكان آخر داخل دولة اسرائيل، وايضا آمر كل انسان، المسؤول او العامل للمهرجان او المنفذ او صاحلب المحل او صاحب القاعة منع قيام الاجتماع”.
وكان من المقرر ان تتضمن فعاليات المهرجان نشاطات تراثية فلكلورية وفقرات غناء وطنية هادفة من قبل فرقة شموع الحرية، لولا قيام قوات من الجيش والشرطة والمخابرات الاسرائيلية بمحاصرة مسرح الحكواتي ومنع اقامة المهرجان الذي كانت ستنظمه جمعية زهرة المدائن لتنمية وتطوير المجتمع الفلسطيني بالتعاون مع جمعية شموع القدس.
وقامت هذه القوات الاسرائيلية باغلاق أبواب مسرح الحكواتي واجبرت المواطنين الفلسطينيين الذين كانوا وصلوا الى المسرح للمشاركة في فعاليات المهرجان على اخلاء المكان بالقوة.
ولدى قيام المواطنين بتحدي القرار الاسرائيلي وتوجههم الى نادي هلال القدس في محاولة لتنظيم المهرجان هناك، رغم المطر الشديد، الا انهم فوجئوا بقيام القوات الاسرائيلية باغلاق مداخل النادي وتهديد المواطنين باستخدام القوة ضدهم، بمن فيهم الاطفال والنساء، في حال لم يغادروا المنطقة.
تاريخ نشر المقال 22 شباط 2009

veronica pedrosa on al jazeera’s “inside story” covered the ethnic cleansing and judaization of al quds the other night:

oh and just in case you fail to see the inherent racism in the zionist entity and cannot see how the european colonizers oppress all brown people here is a recent story about africans seeking asylum and their forced removal (albeit it is a slight step up from the usual method of imprisoning sudanese and others seeking asylum):

Some 3,000 African asylum-seekers have to leave Tel Aviv because of an August 2008 ruling by the Israeli Ministry of the Interior.

The ruling permits asylum-seekers to reside and work only in towns and cities north of Hadera and south of Gedera, about an hour’s drive from Tel Aviv, where they now live.

The ruling was initially imposed only on newcomers but in recent months asylum-seekers living in Israel for longer periods have experienced the same constraints on their work permits, forcing them to leave their homes.

Unemployment is rife in Israel’s south and north while in Tel Aviv asylum-seekers can find menial jobs as street-sweepers or restaurant workers and are able to support their families.

Tel Aviv also has the one school in Israel that caters to the special needs of asylum-seekers’ children – the Bialik Elementary and High School in southern Tel Aviv.

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