I heard a story today, about East Jerusalem. It’s about a family, a Palestinian family of Islamic Arabs, that want to build a home.
This family goes back generations, maybe 6 or 7, back into the histories of this land and this city. Jerusalem is their home, they have known no other. This family wants to build a home, or at least an addition to their family house. This house that they have lived in for years is on land that they have occupied for centuries. Like any modern home owner in any city in the world, they pay rates to the municipality to reside on that property. The young children are getting older, bigger, and the family is expecting a new baby soon. They want to extend their house, so they apply to the municipality for the rights to do this. They wait, months go by. 5, 6. Then a year. Then two years, then six, then ten. There is no response to their application. The children are all much, much older now, the baby born is already almost a teenager, the house has long outgrown them and still they hear nothing. They cannot wait any longer, so they build an extension without the necessary permit. When it is complete, they move the furniture in, followed by the family. Life carries on in this new space, 5 months, 6 months.
Then it happens. One night the family wakes up to the sound of heavy machinery maneuvering just outside their home. They are surrounded by large demolition vehicles and security forces. It is dark and the only lights are the strong beams from these machines, and the torches of soldiers, armed, some of them masked, who give the family only a short time to evacuate whatever and whoever they can, before the machines start to tear down their home. The destruction is not solely leveled at the new extension, only recently added on, but on the entire home. By the time day breaks and the machines lumber away, it is over. Nothing is left standing. What furniture they managed to move in the terror and the darkness stands exposed, scattered randomly where it fell when rushed from the house. The rest lies in amongst the rubble of the home. “This was an illegal house.” they are told again and again by the bland faced soldiers.
The property is still subject to tax, and if the family does not pay, they will be expelled from East Jerusalem. They must continue to pay the rates that are due on the rubble of their former life. There is a final rub here, a last official stamp that marks them as the second class citizens they have become. The city will not cover the cost of the machinery hire. The demolition vehicles that performed this operation are legally attached to the home owner who transgressed the city permit laws. They must pay for the hire of the machinery that destroyed their home. If they do not, they will be forced to leave.
This is just one story, from one day, from one family in East Jerusalem. There are many, many more.
Boycott Apartheid Israel. Free Palestine.
This short animation gets straight to the point. People use the word ‘reductionism’ like its a bad thing. Personally, I like to break things down to their most basic bits, before the rhetoric and politic gets in the way of the immediate truth.
As I type this, Israel has concocted a fresh assault on the isolated and imprisoned people of the GAZA STRIP. The date is Friday the 16th of November 2012. For a timeline of events leading up to today you can go here.
Israel has called this fresh assault OPERATION “PILLAR OF DEFENSE” invoking a Biblical reference from the book of Exodus that would have it seem as though the Jewish God was leading this offensive in the name of the devout Jewish people. When politics and religion mix, the result is never short of toxic.
In Durban, South Africa, today, this will happen:
The KZN chapter of the Coalition for a Free Palestine is holding a peaceful picket demonstration in front of the Durban City Hall on 16 November 2012 from 2pm onwards, to show solidarity with our Palestinian brothers and sisters in Gaza who are being ruthlessly attacked and murdered by the Apartheid Israeli regime, yet again. We as South Africans of conscience will demand that our government recalls our ambassador in Tel Aviv, back to SA and insist that the Israeli ambassador leaves our shores immediately.
This action is happening in conjunction with other similar protests taking place around the country at the same time, and is part of a national solidarity campaign.
We ask that people participating in the action do so peacefully, and join one of the several picket groups that will be set up in front of the city Hall.
Issued by the KZN Chapter of Coalition for a Free Palestine.
Continued solidarity action and the support of the Palestinian call for BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT & SANCTIONS of and from Apartheid Israel is being conducted daily by a number of South African support groups and networks.
Follow BDS South Africa on twitter @bdssouthafrica for continued news, views and action in solidarity with a FREE PALESTINE.