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Friday, April 21, 2006


Ethnic cleansing continues in Palestine

An article on CounterPunch today makes some very important observations which you won't be reading in, say, The New York Times. In response to the most recent suicide bombing in Israel, Israel has revoked the rights of three Hamas MPs and a Palestinian cabinet minister to reside in Jerusalem. To the "West," it's a simple "response to terrorism," even though these four people had nothing to do with what happened. But the author gets to the deeper implications of what just happened:
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the Six-Day war of 1967 and later annexed the Palestinian half of the city and its inhabitants to Israel in violation of international law.

Now Olmert, the former mayor of Jerusalem and a man well-versed in underhand manoeuvres in the holy city, is expelling Palestinians from East Jerusalem on the grounds that he doesn't like their politics.

Foreign minister Tzipi Livni observed that Israel had the right to revoke the residency of whomever it deemed disloyal to Israel. In other words, Olmert and his cronies are behaving as though Palestinian residency in Jerusalem is a right conferred by Israel -- as though Palestinians are immigrants rather than the city's indigenous inhabitants living under an illegal and increasingly vicious occupation.
The author doesn't use the term "ethnic cleansing," that's my addition. The expulsion of four people does not constitute ethnic cleansing. The proclamation of the right to expel these people does constitute a proclamation of the right to ethnically cleanse East Jerusalem of Palestinians on whatever pretext the Israelis choose.

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