Growing intolerance punctuates occupation

Palestine Update 3

Editorial preface
This issue of Palestine Update brings you news of growing intolerance from power centres in Israel against the Palestinian people. It is striking that even after a year after the EU pushed through labeling guidelines for products imported from illegal Israeli settlements, Israel seems to have circumvented the regulations.  Hugh Lovatt, Israel/Palestine project coordinator at the European Council on Foreign Relations describes how the “ferocious Israeli pushback” has thwarted effective follow up.

In another heart rending narrative, we are told how an Israeli court order grandchildren out of Jerusalem family’s home. The court order stipulates that if the children are to be found at home, the family will be evicted immediately. This court order begs the question: Whither justice?

Israel won’t tolerate the truth about its apartheid character. It stifles the media and has now threatened to deport an Australian journalist after he dared a question about Israeli apartheid at a press conference. The journalist also faces a campaign against him by the anti-Palestinian group that euphemistically calls itself “HonestReporting”.

On similar lines, Israel has threatened the political immunity of an Arab-Israel lawmaker accusing him of smuggling mobile phones to Palestinian prisoners.

With long-lasting US support, the Palestinians fear the consequences of the shift of the US Embassy to Jerusalem. There have been strong warnings that if the US were to decide irresponsible, they would be violating the international legitimacy resolutions on East Jerusalem. The fears of this action being hastily taken also stem from the appointment of David Friedman as US ambassador to Israel. Friedman has known hostile stances against the Palestinians and generally backs Israel’s settlement expansion.

Finally, we leave you with a video from a BDS action. The Boycott Israeli Wines campaign in Vancouver, Canada held another flash action and picket on Dec. 17, despite the unusually cold temperatures in the city. View the cheer, yet profoundness of the protest in a major wine store in Vancouver, Canada.

Please read and disseminate
In Solidarity

Ranjan Solomon


All eyes on US as UNSC readies to vote against Jewish settlements
Egypt introduced a UN Security Council resolution demanding that Israel halt all settlement activity, meaning Jewish construction in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank. The resolution set off a diplomatic showdown, with the PA for months urging the Obama administration not to veto the resolution the U.S. would be breaching its longstanding policy of vetoing anti-Israel resolutions. The vote will take place later today.

Israel: EU labeling rules have ‘non-existent impact’
 A year after the European Union issued labeling guidelines for products imported from illegal Israeli settlements based in the occupied territories, the economic effect on settlements businesses appear to be minimal, according to analysts. “What’s actually happened, and I think part of it is due to ferocious Israeli pushback, is that there’s very little follow up on the guidelines,” said Hugh Lovatt, Israel/Palestine project coordinator at the European Council on Foreign Relations.
View Al Jazeera report on the EU-Israeli labeling rules

Israeli court order grandchildren out of Jerusalem family’s home
– If the children are to be found at home, the family is to be evicted immediately-
 Photo: Maaan News

Palestine Chronicle reports that “following a contentious court battle between a Palestinian family in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem and Israeli settler organization Ateret Cohanim, the Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that the couple would be permitted to reside in their home for ten years without their children until it is transferred to the ownership of the settler organization.

With this an Arab family’s six-year legal battle to remain in their home of six decades has come to an end. Earlier Jewish settlers turned down the court’s proposed compromise. Israeli judges then pronounced a partial and biased verdict to the settlers. The verdict now allows the Ghaith-Sub Laban family (Original residents) to remain in their home for only 10 more years and at that the settler organization that owns the building can eject the family. The cruel part of this whole episode is that their children, daughter Lama and sons Ahmad and Raafat, will be barred from residing in the home, as the court has stipulated that the couple could only stay as “protected tenants,” which refers to certain Palestinians in East Jerusalem who held rental agreements with the Jordanian government before 1967, when Israel occupied the Palestinian territory.
Read more on the Palestine chronicle website .
Further reading : More on this travesty of justice in a story from Charlotte Silver in the Electronic Intifada

Israel’s shrinking tolerance for media questioning
Israel won’t tolerate any questions that characterize it as an apartheid state. The media has virtually lost its right to ask open questions. Israel now threatens to expel a journalist in Jerusalem after alleging he is a supporter of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. Australian journalist Antony Loewenstein has been threatened with expulsion after he asked a question about Israeli apartheid at a press conference. The journalist was also subjected to a campaign against him by the anti-Palestinian group that euphemistically calls itself “HonestReporting”.
A full report on this action can be found in the Electronic Intifada

Israeli-Arab law maker to lose immunity
An Israeli parliamentary committee voted on Wednesday to revoke the parliamentary immunity of Israeli-Arab lawmaker Basel Ghattas following accusations that he smuggled mobile phones to Palestinian prisoners. The move means that the final decision on the case would be brought for voting in the plenum of the parliament, or the Knesset. The Knesset House Committee unanimously voted in favor of lifting Ghattas’ protection from prosecution and arrest. The discussion was held at the request of the Attorney General.
Read more on the xinhuane news website.

Respect international legitimacy on Jerusalem – PLO leader asks Trump
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO called the US president elect to act responsibly and respect international legitimacy resolutions on East Jerusalem, expressing a Palestinian concerns also about the appointment of  David Friedman as US ambassador to Israel. Friedman has hostile stances against the Palestinians and generally backs Israel’s settlement expansion. Tayseer Khaled, Head of the Palestinian Expatriate Affairs Department ( PEAD ) also noted that “in light of trump’s pick of Freidman, and new administration’s statements about moving US embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem, we have to keep in mind UN Security Council resolutions on East Jerusalem, starting of 252 in 1968 and the following resolutions that condemn Israel’s defiance of UN General Assembly on acts and measures taken by Israel to change the status quo of the holly city”.
Read more on the Palestine news network website.

Boycott Israeli Wines Campaign target Government Store in Vancouver, Video
The Boycott Israeli Wines campaign in Vancouver, Canada held another flash action and picket on Dec. 17, despite the unusually cold temperatures in the city. The activists initially went into the government liquor store, and showed real “holiday spirit” with their chants and singing. The manager of the store was made aware that the 3 brands of Israeli wines that are stocked there are all from stolen Arab and Palestinian land, thus rendering the BC Government complicit in human rights violations.
View video