ETHNIC CLEANSING BY BUREAUCRATIC MEANS
Last March the Israeli authority imposed a new policy against the
residency of many Palestinians in the occupied territories. As a result, a relatively large number of people are in the process of expulsion from the country.
Israeli policy in the past has denied 3 categories of persons the right to receive either the status of permanent resident in the Occupied
Palestinian Territories (hereafter OPTs) or the status of Palestinian residents (Palestinian citizenship doesn't exist). These categories included Palestinians who were absent from the OPTs in 1967, or were born abroad, or were foreign citizens who married Palestinians after 1967. In this manner, the occupying power intended to ascertain that no legal way should exist for any person to become a permanent presence in the OPTs. In effect, the policy labelled numerous Palestinians who live in the OPTs foreigners in their own country. Since visas were normally given for three months, individuals in the above categories who desired to remain in the OPTs, were required every three months to request renewal of their visas.
In March 2006 the Israeli authorities adopted a new policy: refusal to renew the temporary visas of these Palestinians. Now when they request to have their visas renewed, their passports are stamped with a one-month visa which bears the declaration: "last visa." This allows barely
sufficient time for these Palestinians to pack, to finalize their
businesses or professional activities, to dispose of whatever property they might own, and to receive a farewell from their relatives and friends. These Palestinians are forced to leave—a policy that causes spouses and children who do not wish to be separated even though they are recognized as ‘legal’ Palestinians to also leave. Or, if spouses and children cannot join their loved one for financial or other reasons, then one is forced to leave the other members of his/her family, as well as friends, and colleagues.
Within this trap laid down by the occupying power, thousands of
Palestinian families who wish to remain together are condemned to
emigrate. This new policy is intended to throw out masses of people. It is a policy of ethnic cleansing.
Some Palestinians with USA passports who have appealed their cases to the US Embassy or the US General Consulate in East-Jerusalem were informed: ‘Israel is a sovereign state, we don't interfere.’ Some cases have also been appealed to the Israeli High-Court, but will take years before individual cases will be examined.
Those of us who believe in justice, must raise our voices against this inhumane policy of destroying family frameworks, forcing large numbers of people to leave their motherland forever, their houses, their social backgrounds. This is being done by a Committee of the persons concerned by this policy in the OPTs and by IPCRI. A similar committee is in shape in the US. We propose forming also an Israeli public committee to contest this inhumane policy.
Would you be willing to join such a committee ?
Please, give your answer on the following e-mail address :
Further reading on Yehuda Kupferman: