I live in Sheikh Jarrah. For Palestinians, this is not a ‘real estate dispute’
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Sheikh Jarrah today smells of dirty socks and rotting flesh. Israeli police vehicles, known as “skunk trucks”, have been spraying Palestinian homes, shops, restaurants, public spaces and cultural institutions with putrid water at high pressure. The water causes vomiting, stomach pain and skin irritation, and was originally developed by an Israeli company to repel protesters. The stench lasts for days on clothes, skin and homes, leading Palestinians to joke that Jerusalem all smells like shit. Protesters are also targeted in other ways. They are brutally beaten, arrested by the police, some on mounted horses, attacked by settlers and sprayed with rubber bullets.
These forms of collective punishment aim to stop the growing movement to save Sheikh Jarrah and halt the dispossession of 27 Palestinian families of their homes there. My family has lived in Jerusalem for several generations since they fled the Armenian genocide in 1915. In 1948, during the Nakba, they were expelled from their home in West Jerusalem and found refuge in the city’s eastern part. Now we live in Sheikh Jarrah and my neighbours are about to be expelled from their homes.
While Sheikh Jarrah makes the headlines, this type of harassment and settler violence is not new. Last September, on the day my grandmother passed away, my car was graffitied with “Arabs are shit”. Just two weeks ago, to celebrate Orthodox Easter, I tried to attend the annual parade held by the Syriac and Armenian communities I am part of. Along with other Palestinians, I was assaulted by police officers and prevented from entering the Old City. A few weeks later, worshippers were brutally assaulted as they prayed in al-Aqsa mosque. As Palestinians, we feel every expression of our identity is being erased and marginalised.
Israel’s discriminatory policies in Jerusalem, including planned displacement, is constant. We are discussed as a “demographic timebomb” by Israeli planners and officials. In this city, the idea of a “demographic balance” between Arabs and Jews underpins municipal planning and state actions. Since the illegal occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967, Israeli policy has focused on keeping a 70:30 ratio of Jews to Arabs in the city – later adjusted to a 60:40 ratio when authorities said this was “not attainable”. This is done in myriad ways, including settlement construction wedging in Palestinian neighbourhoods, home demolitions and revocation of residency rights.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction
May 18, 2021 at 1:13 PM #423955Mr. Mickeys MomModerator
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But, I’ve called Congress over and over and over… all branches of the 18th District here in PA. crickets …..
I’ve also tried to call the WH from their website… They aren’t taking our calls. So, just like the useless non-representative form of non-existent congressional representatives who make daily press statements in a s a f e manner from their guided podiums, I leave a type-written message that takes up electronic records. They go unanswered.
They are doing this in our name and every one of us needs to remind them of that. Too bad you have to have the internet to do so. I guess that leaves out countless of elderly US citizens who remember when the world responded to Adolph Hitler’s ethnic cleansing.
It’s apartheid … It’s genacide … It’s ethnic cleaning … The US under this asshole monster Biden, who never saw an Israeli extremist he couldn’t get behind, is ignoring all of us.
Hell, no... I'm not giving up...
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