Acts speak louder than words


The Palestinian residents of Al Sheikh Jarrah staging a sit-in in front of the Al Kurd house in Al Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem.

Nov 9, 2008

Adam Keller of the Israeli peace activist group, Gush Shalom, reported on this example of apartheid justice meted out to Arab citizens compared to Jewish citizens of Jerusalem, East and West. A few hours after speeches professing a desire and commitment to peace between Israelis and Palestinians by Israel’s leading politicians, Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak and Tzipi Livni, at a rally in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square, the police expelled the Al-Kurd Family from their home on behalf of extreme-right settlers.

This is an interesting case because it brings back the core injustice of 1948 when 800,000 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from their homes and villages in what is today Israel. After it was established, Israel passed a law, the 1950 “Absentee Properties Law”, in which it refused to recognize the title deeds to houses where Palestinians lived prior to the 1948; because these hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were essentially absent, most of whom living, where they live today, in refugee camps in various Arab countries and the Palestinian territories. It was reported by Jeff Halper that between 1948 and 1967, 3-5000 Palestinian landowners were murdered when they attempted to return to Israel and claim their homes.

As reported by Adam Keller, a few hours after the speeches in Rabin Square, the Al-Kurd family was ejected from their house in East Jerusalem.


Israeli police inside the yard of the Al-Kurd family

In the dark of night at about 4.30am, large police forces surrounded the home of the Al-Kurd Family at the Sheikh Jarah neighborhood in East Jerusalem, broke down the door and expelled family members from their home. Eight international volunteers from the ISM, citizens of the US, Canada, Britain and Sweden were detained. The Al-Kurd Family members left dispossessed and were temporarily housed by neighbors.

“I have arrived at the spot when I heard what happened, but there was little I could do except try to consolate the bitterly crying mother of this family, who was so terribly wronged by our country” said Yehiel Gernimann, activist of the Rabbis for Human Rights group.

The expulsion of the Al-Kurd Family was carried out in accordance with a court order recognizing the house as “Jewish Property” according to an Ottoman title deed from 1880. This is a clear and manifest discrimination, since the Al-Kurd Family are refugees from West Jerusalem, and the State of Israel refuses to recognize their title deed to the house where they lived prior to 1948; this, like the title deeds of hundreds of thousands of other Palestinians, was declared null and void in Israeli law under the 1950 “Absentee Properties Law”.

Conversely, old title deeds held by Jews are recognized as valid by Israeli courts, making Arab inhabitants into “illegal squatters” in the homes they have inhabited for decades. Some 500 Sheikh Jarah inhabitants face the threat of expulsion on much the same legal grounds. The drive to locate and take possession of such “old Jewish properties” in Sheikh Jarah is energetically coordinated by the settler association “Nahalat Shimon” – patronized by extreme right Knesser Member Benny Elon, an outspoken advocate of “Population Trensfer” (i.e. ethnic cleansing) of all Palestinians.

Several months ago the United States lodged a protest at Israel’s intention to expel the Al-Kurd family from their home, and implementation of the expulsion was at that time put off. But now, the Government of Israel is evidently trying to take advantage of the interregnum in Washington, with Bush being a “lame duck” and Obama not yet entered into the White House.

A few days later, Foreign Minister Livni went to Sharm A-Sheikh in order to “report to the Quartet on the progress of negotiations with the Palestinians”. It was suggested by Keller that if the Quartet representatives came to the Sheikh Jarah neighborhood to see the actual situation with their own eyes, they could have come to their own conclusions about the “progress of the negotiations”.  


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    • shergald on November 16, 2008 at 1:51 am

    “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”[1]


    And the US is fully complicit in this “human rights abomination,” as Jimmy Carter correctly put it.

  1. …I didn’t know you were still out there Shergald.  With the son of an Irgun member as Chief of Staff, I imagine you are going to be very displeased with the Obama administration.

  2. and your actions of the past have not gone unnoticed, shergald.  I’m waiting for your first accusation that someone who disagrees with you is a foreign agent or to see you again instigating your unbalanced followers to go after vulnerable users in the real world.

    I’m right angry that you’re here, shergald.  Not only because your one-note posts are not in the spirit of this blog.  But because you purposely and with sadistic glee hurt someone I care about, for I have never forgiven you.

    Figured I should be upfront about that.  

    You want to take it up offline, my email is on my profile.  

  3. was reporting facts, and wanted to compare them with how others reported them, how would I do that?  The only link seems to report this essay almost verbatim as a press release.  And that link has no links.

    Let’s assume for a second that the reader (in this case me) didn’t know about this incident and wanted to know more about it, wanted to learn about how Israel deals with Palestinians’ land titles, wanted to understand the facts in this particular case. How would I do that?  You don’t give links or the sources.  I can’t follow up on your assertions.

    Should I just assume that there was a grave injustice in this case because the family was Palestinian and the Israeli government was involved?  

  4. that we did not do I/P stuff here because of the potential ongoing divsiveness it caused. Perhaps I am wrong.

    As to the alluded to bad feelings between the poster and commenter. Since none of us know what you are talking about what was the piontof mentioning it?

  5. Inflammatory discussion of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is not allowed. What constitutes inflammatory is my subjective call. If you wish to publish on this issue please e-mail me for more details.

    Basically the “boss” wants to know if I/P stuff is going to be published because of the way it can lead to a spiral of accusations and counter accusations.

  6.  I wonder why in the world we decided to not include this sort of I/P essays on DD,,,,they seem to promote such constructive conversation, as we see above.

    Every once in a while someone posts one here, and sure nuff…the whole thing starts up again. It is not so much the subject as it is the baggage….and peoples reactions to that baggage. It is also the only subject that people seem EAGER to take off of the blogs and into the real world, including threats and outtings and all sorts of other nastiness, including poisoning of the blog it is presented on, as was illustrated vivdly at MLW.

    So every once in a while someone posts an I/P STYLE essay here, and I wait to see what happens. I am rarely surprised.

    Shergald, please don’t post this type of essay here again.

    Perhaps now is the time to find a new and different way to talk about this issue, since it has after all been going on for thousands of years now. I doubt doing the same thing over and over is going to work.

    We need a fresh approach for what is hopefully a new era.

    Because fracturing more blogging communities with it ain’t gonna help either I or P or anyone. And for whatever reason, that is what this topic does. Which is why we don’t do it here.

    • shergald on November 17, 2008 at 12:04 am

    I will stay only one moment to give you a comment by Diane W. and my response to her:


    He isn’t banned  (5.50 / 2)

    Budhy asked Shergald to please not post more like that one, as it immediately denigrated into pre-flamage.

    I respect that decision, unlike mlw, where only one side is allowed, the pro-zionist expansionist side…. Karma himself probably emailed Budhy and complained, (kidding!) LOL, since Budhy used MLW as an example.

    Unfortunately he missed the part where the bullying 5 and msoc herself cussed at shergald constantly, yet he did nothing like that in reply.

    by: Diane G @ Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 16:28:24 PM EST


    oh, yes I was, banned. (0.00 / 0)

    When I first went there today, I was logged off by someone and was unable to log on all day.

    A few minutes ago, I was able to log on.

    A change of heart? The advice not to post diaries “like this one” is somewhat facetious. This diary is a mild look at the reality over there. Two people were evicted and the reasons why explained. What if I had posted the diary about Israel targeting Palestinian children. It was documented with facts like this one. By the way, the BBC article didn’t actually supply any more factual evidence than the Gush Shalom author, Adam Keller, in lives in the midst of it all. Thanks for doing that, nonetheless.

    But sorry I would still prefer to have my 50 bucks back. “Like this one” just doesn’t leave much room for the truth or the facts which support it. Let the Dharmas have their way. As a former student of Indian, Buddhist, and Zen philosophy, I don’t see anything close to the right path in this blog anyway, especially given that I was the cause of an apparent “shergald rule” a few years ago. Stay away! No matter. I was unaware of this blog a few weeks, and I can forget it in less time than that.

    by: shergald @ Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 17:54:03 PM EST

    You folks seem more interested in listening to people like stormchaser than people interested in civil and human rights. As is usually the case, it is the right wing Zionist supporters who do all the flaming, then the blog admins perhaps fearfully turn around and blame it on the diarist, even though the diary had truthful and factual knowledge to present. If Israel does not appear to act like liberal humanists would like them to act so be it. Flaming comments will not change that. And Bodudharma will not change the peace movement intent on delivering the Palestinian people freedom, justice, and self-determination.


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