By Bibi Ayesha Laher – Laudium, Pretoria
(source: Star Newspaper, Friday, 9/09/2011, Pg18)
The letter, “Israel Society free for all People” (Tuesday 6th September 2011, pg12) is absolutely misleading. To illustrate my point allow me to site a few examples.
Palestinian Arabs have been told that they are no longer welcomed in Israel or in Jerusalem. Munther Fahmi, a Palestinian Arab, known as the “bookseller of Jerusalem” was told earlier this year that he was no longer welcomed. He ran his business for 16 years on the grounds of the American Colony hotel. He has exhausted his legal options and was told by his lawyer that pleas by Palestinians on humanitarian grounds were never considered.
Mr. Fahmi is one of thousands of Palestinians who over the past four decades have fallen foul of an Israeli policy stripping them of their right to live in Jerusalem, said Dalia Kerstein, director of Hamoked, an Israeli human rights group.
Although Israel annexed East Jerusalem in 1967, in violation of international law, most of its Palestinian population received only Israeli residency permits, not citizenship. According to Israeli figures, more than 13,000 Palestinians — from a current population of 260,000 in East Jerusalem — have had their residency revoked since then. Israeli law stipulates that Palestinians in Jerusalem can be stripped of residency if they spent at least seven years abroad — defined as including the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza — or acquired a foreign passport.
Since a test case in 1988, the Israeli courts have backed revocations in cases where the authorities claims Palestinians have transferred their “centre of life” elsewhere.
“There is clearly a policy to push Palestinians out of Jerusalem and Israel to reduce what is called here the ‘Palestinian demographic threat’,” said Ms Kerstein. “It’s really a case of ethnic cleansing.”
In December 2010, an edict issued and signed by 50 leading Rabbis, many employed by the state as religious leaders, clearly states that Jews must not rent their properties to “gentiles”. In October 2010, the Chief Rabbi of Safed, delivered a ruling signed by 17 influential rabbis, telling the Jewish community not to sell or rent property to Palestinian Arabs.
The logic behind these pronouncements is explained by a former Chief Rabbi of Israel, Ovadia Yosef, when he said and I quote: “Goyim [non-Jews] were born only to serve us.” Explaining why God allowed non-Jews long lives, he added: “Imagine that your donkey would die, you’d lose your income. [The donkey] is your servant. … That’s why he [the gentile] gets a long life, to work well for the Jew.”
As for the late Dr. Tashbih Sayyed, suffice to say that he is/was the Pakistani version of Hussein Solomon, who needs no introduction to the Zionist lobby in South Africa.