Marian Houk: Ethnic Cleansing continues – Israeli lawyers tell UN Palestinian Jerusalemites targeted

Jerusalem - Ramat Shlomo, Orthodox Jewish development

Jerusalem - Ramat Shlomo, Orthodox Jewish development

By Marian Houk, Jerusalem Quarterly – Winter 2011 [48]

Israeli human rights Attorney Michael Sfard abruptly lowered both his voice and his head as he neared the end of his opening remarks at a press conference at the American Colony Hotel on October 31. He appeared to be weighing each word with extra care, perhaps anticipating the potential impact of his words, and the reaction that could come, as he told the journalists there: “Through my career, I’ve heard – but never believed in – conspiracy theories, and as a lawyer I’ve wanted always to see evidence.” He then continued: “But now that we have inspected almost every report prepared in the last decade – NGO reports, government reports, and the Jerusalem Municipality reports – our observations bring us for the first time to the conclusion that, yes, there is a place between the Jordan River and the [Mediterranean] Sea where Israel is trying to chase Palestinian residents away – and that place is East Jerusalem. This is a very, very severe allegation.”

This has, potentially, major implications.

That same morning, Sfard and his associate, Attorney Emily Schaeffer, acting as Counsel for the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), had forwarded their conclusions to three United Nations Human Rights Special Rapporteurs, via the secretariat of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva, Switzerland.

It is the first time an Israeli NGO has developed a legal argument that it submitted as a formal complaint to the UN human rights apparatus about the situation in East Jerusalem.

ICAHD and its legal team are proceeding cautiously, starting with the UN human rights “thematic” Special Rapporteurs (who deal with specific issues – in this case, the Right to Adequate Housing, and Internally Displaced Persons) and to the relevant “country” Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory (international law professor Richard Falk).

ICAHD and its lawyers said, at their press conference in East Jerusalem, that they hope their findings will generate UN investigations as their report makes its way through the human rights machinery to the UN General Assembly – which might, ICAHD’s Jeff Halper interjected – even decide to refer this matter to the UN Security Council.

The report they were presenting, called No Home, No Homeland: A New Normative Framework for Examining the Practice of Administrative Home Demolitions in East Jerusalem, says that “Alongside the restrictions placed on Palestinian growth, Jewish population growth is encouraged and enjoys state support, including the continuous expansion of Jewish neighborhoods – or settlements – in East Jerusalem.”[1]

The argument laid out is the most complete legal consideration to date concerning the situation of Palestinian residents in East Jerusalem.

“Our analysis gets to the essence of the conflict,” Halper said. “And, unlike other organizations, we didn’t go to the Israeli courts because we don’t feel they have jurisdiction – except, in some cases, the Supreme Court”. He added that he believes there is no legal remedy within the Israeli legal system for the situation they see in East Jerusalem, so the decision was to turn to the UN.

“It’s the first report of its kind,” Sfard noted, “which, looking from a bird’s-eye view, sees not just demolitions, not just loss of residency, and not just discrimination between Jewish and Palestinian [inhabitants] – but also displacement based on ethnic origins.”

Emily Schaeffer, who wrote the report under Sfard’s supervision, believes that at the heart of the problem is a demographic policy which has not been published, though she said evidence of the existence of this policy exists in minutes of Jerusalem municipal meetings, in remarks made by municipal council members in interviews, and in the building and planning commission. This policy aims to keep an overwhelming majority of Jewish residents in the city of Jerusalem, and is called the “70/30” policy, she said – though the ratio of Jewish to Palestinian residents, based on rough estimates, is currently about 67/33. In the Jerusalem Master Plan developed by the Municipality the figure given for the desirable ratio is 60/40 – which, Schaeffer said, is part of the reason it has been delayed, due to a backlash by Jewish interests and groups who prefer the “70/30” proportions.

This mirrors a hot dispute among historians in recent decades over the existence of another Israel policy – Plan Dalet (D) for the expulsion of large numbers of Palestinians from 1947 to 1949, during the fighting before, during and after the creation of the State of Israel. Palestinians call this expulsion – which affected some 700,000 Palestinians, or two-thirds of the Palestinian inhabitants at the time of the British Mandate – the Nakba. Most Israeli “new historians” and Palestinians argue that Plan Dalet was adopted and implemented. Yet one Israeli “new historian,” Benny Morris, has been taken to task and even scornfully denounced for arguing what colleagues and critics from the left consider a mere technicality: his belief that Plan Dalet was discussed, that people talked about it but were never “stupid enough” to adopt it formally.[2]

In any case, there are currently an estimated 300,000 Palestinians squeezed into under-serviced East Jerusalem – that part of the city which did not become part of the State of Israel at its founding in May 1948, but which only came under Israeli rule after its conquest in the June 1967 war. The extension of Israeli law to East Jerusalem is tantamount to annexation, and has been called “null and void” in a list of resolutions adopted through the years by the UN Security Council and General Assembly.

What makes the matter even more difficult to explain is that, in 1967, the Israeli authorities unilaterally redefined the boundaries of this new “Jerusalem,” incorporating what had previously been satellite neighborhoods and suburbs of the Old City from areas at the edge of Ramallah in the north, running in a crescent to the east around the Old City, and extending to the edge of Bethlehem in the south.

This was then named the “Greater Jerusalem Municipal Area” — and this is what the Israeli government now calls “Jerusalem.”

Settlements built in many outlying parts of the “Greater Jerusalem Municipality” – including Gilo, Har Homa, Pisgat Zeev, Ramat Shlomo and Ramot – now look more like the suburban neighborhoods that Israel claims they are, as distinct from the “gated communities” with permanent security presences at their entrances and exit points that can be seen dotting the rest of the West Bank. These settlements in the “Greater Jerusalem Municipality” have been some of the most internationally provocative issues (while Israelis argue they are “consensus areas”) since Benyamin Netanyahu became Israel’s Prime Minister following the February 2009 general elections.

In response to strong criticism following the announcement of advancement of plans for new construction in those settlements, which are in areas of the West Bank that were not considered part of [East] Jerusalem before the 1967 war, Netanyahu’s Government spokesman Mark Regev provoked angry surprise by saying that this criticism was unwarranted because these are neighborhoods in “Jerusalem.” He stressed that Israel has never agreed not to build in “Jerusalem”. In 1980, the Israeli Knesset adopted a Basic Law claiming “Jerusalem” as Israel’s eternal capital which shall never again be divided – a move which the UN Security Council and General Assembly have also called “null and void”. For the European Union critics of these “Jerusalem” settlements, who perhaps push the Americans on this issue, these settlements are actually built on occupied Palestinian territory, which was part of the West Bank before the Israeli conquest in June 1967.

Meanwhile, Israel has been carrying out another unilateral and de facto redefinition of what it wants “Jerusalem” to be. This is evident in the route of the Wall it has been building since 2002 – the construction of which is under the supervision of the Israeli Ministry of Defense. The Wall has cut off areas of high Palestinian density and put them on the West Bank side of the Wall, although the Palestinian inhabitants of some of those areas still have, until now, Jerusalem Permanent Residency permits, even while they no longer have free access to Jerusalem. This extremely hurtful situation has remained officially undefined – as the residents’ Jerusalem IDs have not (yet) been revoked, the “Arnona” municipality tax for Jerusalem is still being collected, and an Israeli post office was constructed within the Qalandia checkpoint complex for the convenience of such Jerusalemites to pay their tax bills and take care of other similar matters there without having to fully cross through the checkpoint to enter “Jerusalem”.

At the press conference Sfard said that he became convinced that there indeed is a policy of displacement after his study and review confirmed the stark choice that the majority of East Jerusalemite Palestinians face. Either they leave, or stay and build illegally – because the chances of getting the permit needed to build a house “legally” are almost zero – and they thus face a future of constant fear of demolition, heavy fines and prosecution. And, if they leave (except to other areas inside Israel),[3] their Permanent Residency will sooner or later be revoked, making an already stateless population once again refugees.

“Between 1967 and 2009, some 13,000 Palestinian residence permits were revoked by the Israeli Ministry of Interior – and one-half of those occurred in the last three years [of these statistics]”, Sfard stated. He added: “This is considered a serious acceleration of revocation of residency – and if something, perhaps some international pressure, does not stop this, we will witness Palestinian de facto deportation from East Jerusalem – not with guns and trucks, but by not allowing Palestinians to live decent normal lives in East Jerusalem.”

Taken together, he said, this policy is an illegal one. In legal terms, he pointed out, it should be called ethnic displacement. “Israel is manifestly and severely violating international law,” he said. But what’s even worse, Sfard lamented, is when you identify a policy that is a violation – and then you find a motivation. “In legal terms, this is poison,” he stated. “Then, we find ourselves in the sphere of criminal international law – and there is a danger, and a suspicion, that war crimes have occurred. To verify this requires an investigation”.

That’s what they want the UN to do, starting with the three Human Rights Rapporteurs who were sent this report.

Sfard noted, however, that “criminal liability is attributable to individuals, not to states”. He added that, in this case, the policies involved many people over the course of the 44 years following the June 1967 war and the Israeli conquest of East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank, as well as Gaza and the Golan Heights. He indicated that it would of course not be the UN Special Rapporteurs or the other UN bodies in Geneva or New York who could carry out investigations into personal criminal liability. If careful examination “raises suspicions,” Sfard added, “then first and foremost it is the role of the State of Israel to do a thorough, rapid and independent investigation. If it [Israel] fails to do so, then the international community will have to act”.

ICAHD is a Jerusalem-based NGO headed by American-born Israeli human rights advocate Jeff Halper, who has lived in Israel since 1973. Halper founded ICAHD to try to prevent house demolitions – the organization estimates there have been some 26,000 Palestinian homes demolished in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) since 1967. He and his volunteer teams have rebuilt a number of demolished Palestinian homes, including some that were serially demolished, and after each demolition he has rebuilt these homes.

Halper and the attorneys said at the press conference that house demolitions are, however, only one part of the picture – but these demolitions are the “teeth” of the plan that they want the UN, and also Israel itself, to investigate.

Halper noted that the violations of the building code found in West Jerusalem – which include things like the unauthorized building of a small fence, or the construction of a watermelon stand with a tin roof, which are then also demolished – are given the same statistical weight as the construction a seven-story Palestinian apartment building. In fact, he said, “the Jerusalem Municipality has prioritized the demolition of Palestinian homes.”

The Mayor’s spokesman, however, claims the mirror opposite, saying this ICAHD study gives misleading information, so, he said, the UN should have fun with it. Given the gravity and severity of the crisis and of the violations ICAHD described, it is telling that the spokesman’s response did not include a single respectful remark that such findings would be looked at seriously, and that problems which are confirmed will be investigated.

Reuters reported, after the press conference, that “There was no immediate comment from Israeli authorities on the report other than a statement from the mayor’s office which said that while East Jerusalem had suffered from a lack of investment in the past that had now changed.”[4]

Picking up the Reuters report, the privately-owned donor-funded Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency published this comment it obtained: “Stephan Miller, a spokesman for Israel’s mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, dismissed the report. He said in a statement it was based on ‘misleading facts, blatant lies and political spin about Jerusalem, so I’m sure the UN will enjoy it.’”[5]

Then, Agence France Presse (AFP) reported that “Jerusalem municipality spokesman Stephan Miller rebuffed the allegations … [and] said the city’s mayor was committed to “improving the quality of life of Jerusalem’s Muslim residents”…[6]

Halper is also an anthropologist who has taught at Ben-Gurion University, and has written several important analyses of the 44-year-old Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and lives: “The Matrix of Control” (2000),[7] “The Palestinians: Warehousing a ‘Surplus People’” (2008),[8] and “Dismantling of the Matrix of Control” (2009).[9]

Halper gave a briefing at the Jerusalem Fund’s Palestine Center in Washington D.C. in early February 2000 – some eight months before the outbreak of the Second Palestinian Intifada – as he was developing his “Matrix of Control” analysis. According to a summary record of that briefing, prepared by the Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine, Halper said he wanted “to call attention to ‘the underbelly of the peace process, the parallel reality’ created by Israel. In his words, ‘Since 1967, Israel has had a policy, that cuts across Labor and Likud governments, of creating facts on the ground that will foreclose the possibility of any viable Palestinian state.’”[10]

In response to a question from journalists, Halper said that the complaint, or appeal, that ICAHD has just made to the three UN Special Rapporteurs had been planned for over a year, not necessarily to coincide with the PLO’s “UN bid”.

But, in June, Halper had written an article, published by Ma’an News Agency and others, in which he said:

“To pull off his September initiative, Abbas must reject the go-it-alone approach that the Palestinian leadership has followed fruitlessly for so long … The issue is not whether the initiative ‘succeeds’; it is clear that the US will cast a veto. The true struggle is to pull out all the stops to show the world just how strong the Palestinian movement is … We, the people who have pursued Palestinian rights over the decades, Palestinians and non-Palestinian alike, are an integral part of the struggle. We have earned the right, all of us, to have our voices heard in September … The people can bring the struggle to a certain point; we cannot negotiate or pursue initiatives at the UN. If the leadership fails us then we truly have nowhere to go. All those Palestinians who have suffered, resisted and died over the past decades cannot be let down at this historic moment by a vacillating political leadership. We call on you to mobilize us”.[11]

Mahmoud Abbas, in his capacity as Chairman of the PLO Executive Committee [which has functioned loosely as the provisional government of the State of Palestine declared in 1988], deposited a formal application for full UN membership (which he also signed as “President of the State of Palestine”) on 23 September.[12] Israel has denounced this move, and the U.S. has vowed to veto, at least until there is bilateral agreement reached through negotiations. As of this writing, it looks as though the European Union members of the Security Council will abstain if the PLO insists on a vote, and a draft resolution will fail to pass because it will not obtain the minimum of nine votes needed for adoption. In this case, it seems that the Palestinians have in effect been told to “come back later”.

Once the Security Council has disposed of the matter, for the time being, if the PLO demands a vote anyway – or if the PLO decides to withdraw their request for full membership, a less attractive option, for them – the PLO could then turn to the UN General Assembly, where it is assured of a majority to back the move to upgrade its status to non-member observer state (rather than “organization,” or, as it is listed in the UN’s Diplomatic Blue book, “entity”).

Meanwhile, while a Security Council committee was considering the Palestinian request – the committee subsequently reported, on 11 November, that the members of the Security Council had not reached agreement on the application, but further Palestinian moves had not yet been taken as of the time of final editing of this article – the PLO obtained full membership of the State of Palestine in UNESCO in Paris on 31 October, an important step in changing the international status of Palestine.

Though Israeli immediately and punitively withheld transfer of VAT tax and customs duties it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority under the 1994 Paris Protocol of the Oslo Accords – this now amounts to some $100 million per month, or some one-third to one-half of the total PA monthly budget – the Netanyahu government came under heavy American pressure in late November to turn the money over, with a second month of non-payment looming in December. PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad told journalists on 27 November that he could not pay December salaries to PA employees – who, he said, support some one million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. The American argument is that financial sanctions, including some demanded by the U.S. Congress, should not be imposed unless the PA goes further in its “UN bid”.

Israel has explicitly also added the formation of a new government resulting from Hamas-Fatah/PLO reconciliation talks as a trigger for “permanent” withholding of the tax monies it collects for the PA. (Though a reconciliation “summit” between Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas Politbureau head Khaled Meshaal was held in Cairo on 25 November, no new government was formed.)

On a brief tour after the 31 October press conference, Halper pointed out to astonished journalists a large building in the Sheikh Jarrah area of East Jerusalem, north of the Old City, and next to the mosque just several doors away from the five-star American Colony hotel. Halper said the building is an empty shell, unfinished inside, without plumbing or sewage disposal, and with pirated electricity, which is now known as “Sumoud (Steadfastness) Building,” owned by the Waqf (Islamic trust foundation), where he said about twenty-five Palestinian families have been squatting, some for at least a decade, because they cannot afford the high, and sometimes exorbitant rents now being charged in East Jerusalem, the sector of the city where they must reside if they want to keep their permanent residency status in Israel.

In a brief visit after the tour, four journalists (including this writer) went to visit the Sumoud building, where a group of women in long coats and tight headscarves, standing outside with their children, said they live there. They pointed to a partitioned shelter inside where we could find someone to talk to. We knocked on the door, and a young man answered and invited us inside. He had been on the computer. He was home alone at that time, but he said that ten people slept in his home, including his father and mother, who did not have work. The space was neat and clean, with bench-like seating (that clearly also serves as beds) arranged against all the walled areas. He did not speak English, and could only write his phone number in the India numerals traditionally used in Arabic. He said he was in trade school, learning cabinet-making. He was thirteen-and-a-half years old. How long had his family lived there? Thirteen years, he said, since he was a small baby. He also said that thirty families now lived in the building.

Across the street, in an area just off the busy traffic on Nablus Road next to Road One (which runs along the 1949/1967 “Green Line” there) are a group of extraordinarily run-down houses. One of them, a run-down small stone building with lovely arches and a garden with fruit trees was taken over in the late summer of 2009 by a very organized group of settlers, armed with private security guards and an Israeli court order. The houses huddled nearby are some of the poorest dwellings this journalist has seen in East Jerusalem. Residents were eager to tell the media when we arrived that an old woman lived in a small and partly demolished annex connecting two of these homes. She had no family, they said, lived alone, and never, ever, showed herself. We could detect movement inside, but we couldn’t see the person who lived there. She had no water, but a garden hose was running from one of the neighbors’ windows into her shuttered place, and she had no electricity, but an extension cord also running from the neighbor’s window powered the one lamp that we could see lit. The neighbors gave her a little food. The door frame was crumbling, and there was little protection from the elements.

Despite claims by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat that there is no discrimination – and that he will allow none – in the “Jerusalem” that Israel has administered since its conquest in the June 1967 war and effectively annexed several weeks later, Halper, Sfard, Schaeffer all said that the statistics and the terminology Barkat uses are misleading.

To the contrary, they argued, there is “disproportionate and discriminatory demolition of Palestinian homes” in East Jerusalem, though Halper noted that the vast majority of violations are in Jewish areas.

At the same time, as Schaeffer stated, there is a lack of ability to obtain permits for new housing, which leads to a major housing shortage, while there is an increased demand for Palestinian housing in [East] Jerusalem because Palestinians are subject to residency revocation. This can happen in several ways: (1) if municipal inspectors find they are “lying” about their residency and living elsewhere (say, in the West Bank, which Schaeffer noted is considered “outside of Israel, the same as Bahrain or the U.S.”, despite the fact that the West Bank is ruled by Israel’s Ministry of Defense), or (2) if they are absent for an extended period of time, or (3) if they acquire another residency status elsewhere, or another citizenship – conditions which are never used against Israelis.

This leads to overcrowding and harsh living conditions, lack of community development, and a life of constant fear and uncertainty. And this, Schaeffer said, leads to a violation of international law, including Israel’s obligations as a State Party to the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. (Israel is due to have its periodic report of compliance with the provisions of this Convention heard at the UN Human Rights offices in Geneva in November and December – and a large number of Israeli human rights NGOs, including ICAHD, have announced they will be present there to make known their research and findings on their government’s policies.)

It is also a violation of international humanitarian law, because the laws of occupation apply in East Jerusalem, and because of Israel’s effective control there, Schaeffer noted. “Once Israel revokes residency of East Jerusalem Palestinians, who are technically already stateless, effectively it is deporting them … It is a violation of the Geneva Conventions, and in these cases, Israel is perhaps committing a war crime,” she said.

And, she added, when Israel deports Palestinians who are already stateless, this is also a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which proclaims every person’s right to nationality, and to a home.

Moreover, Palestinians are deprived of the right to development (which Schaeffer said derives from the right to self-determination) as they have no say over what happens to them, and Israel has restricted the land available for building in East Jerusalem (where Palestinians own their land, unlike the situation for Israelis in Israel where land is state owned) to only 9 percent of the land area. And, Schaeffer said, in many cases home demolitions can also be considered war crimes, because they violate the prohibition of the destruction of property of protected persons (the only exceptions being to preserve safety and order, or in case of “military necessity”).

As Michael Sfard explained at the press conference, he believes the correct legal term for what he sees is not “ethnic cleansing,” but “ethnic displacement.”

Halper uses a stronger term – but did not use it while sitting beside Sfard in the press conference. He did, however, say it a few days later, in South Africa, when, according to a Tweet from @AlShabaka, Halper told the Russell Tribunal on 6 November that “we use the word “apartheid”, in Hebrew ‘Hafrada’ to describe what we do to the Palestinians”.

In his “Warehousing the Palestinians” analysis, Halper wrote that “Boiled down to its essentials, apartheid comprises two elements: the separation of populations, whether on a racial basis or, in the case of Israel, according to religion or nationality, and the subsequent domination of one privileged people over others, institutionalized into a permanent system, supported by law. Not only do these elements accurately describe the system Israel has instituted over the entire country, Israel and the Occupied Territories included, but the Israeli government itself calls its system apartheid: hafrada in Hebrew, ‘separation’ in English. The wall Israel is constructing is officially named the ‘Separation Barrier’ (Mikhshol HaHafrada), not the ‘Security Barrier’.”[13]

Schaeffer – also a witness who travelled to South Africa to gave testimony to the Russell Tribunal – said in a phone interview on 9 November, just after her return, that their legal analysis led them to the conclusion that the phenomena described in the ICAHD report she authored “does not constitute Apartheid”.

But, in the current atmosphere in Israel, there is markedly greater official and public intolerance than ever before for criticism or dissent of almost any kind. And the use of the word “Apartheid” is a red flag.

Targeted reprisal measures against Palestinians, including residents of East Jerusalem, are (1) arrest and prolonged detention under pretense of investigation needs, even when no investigation appears to take place (for example, Jamal Juma, a resident of East Jerusalem who heads the Stop the Wall Campaign who was arrested in December 2009 and detained for over a month without charge)[14] and also (2) travel restrictions (the initial six-month travel ban imposed in February 2010 on Khalil Toufakji[15] has been extended and is still in effect as of this writing, twenty one months later. Toufakji, a Permanent Resident of East Jerusalem, is known as the Palestinian Authority’s chief cartographer, and heads the Arab Studies Society now located just beside The Wall in Dahiet al-Bariid after being forced out of the Orient House, a street away from the American Colony Hotel, when Israel shut down Palestinian operations and occupancy there in 2001).

Reprisal measures against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza include closure, sanctions, restrictions on movement, deportation, home demolitions, and targeted assassination as well as more spontaneous killings that are not judicially punished. Targeted reprisal measures are used against non-Israelis, including denial of entry, refusal of visas or visa renewal, and deportation.

But, while reprisal measures against Israelis have so far been largely limited to shunning by family and society, there is now a revival of discussion within the Knesset on measures to halt, by financial sanctions, the “inciting activity undertaken by many organizations, under the cover of human rights work, [which] has the goal of influencing political debates, and the character and the policies of the state of Israel.”[16]

The offices of Peace Now received an anonymous bomb threat in early November, and death threats have twice been spray-painted on Peace Now’s Settlement Watch Director Hagit Ofran’s home, and car, parked outside and also vandalized.[17]

In response to the attacks on Peace Now, representatives of eighteen Israeli NGOs met in Tel Aviv and issued a statement saying “These acts are intended to intimidate us all and silence our voices. We warn that the threat of violence was already realized in the past, demonstrating that such acts do not stop at mere slogans. Those who uproot olive trees and burn mosques are liable to not refrain from inflicting bodily, even life-threatening harm on Palestinians and Israelis whose views they consider objectionable.”[18]

It remains to be seen what, now, in this fraught atmosphere, will be the reaction at the UN – and what will be the response in Israel.


Marian Houk is a journalist based in Jerusalem; her blog is



1 “No Home, No Homeland: A New Normative Framework for Examining the Practice of Administrative Home Demolitions in East Jerusalem, ICAHD, November 2011, available through a link on the website: orer&chrome=true&srcid=0B1AOvsjv8IjdMDNkYWU0MjItNDQ3ZS00NTBlLThkOTgtN2 Y3NjZhODJkY2Fk&hl=en_US [IOA Editor: This link does not work.]

2 Interview with Benny Morris by Marian Houk on 30 August 2000 in Jerusalem, for a UN Radio Perspective two-part program on The Question of the Right of Return in the Failure of the Camp David Talks.

3 It would be impossible for Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem who are not full citizens of Israel to buy or build a home even in West Jerusalem, much less in other areas of Israel – they can only rent. And even Palestinians who are full citizens of Israel find it very difficult to find Jewish landlords willing to rent to them, or Jewish communities ready to accept them as neighbors.

4 “Israel Forcing Palestinians out of East Jerusalem – NGO”, Reuters report by Crispian Balmer, 31 October 2011, [IOA Editor: This link does not work.]

5 “Israel demolishes Palestinian homes in Jerusalem”, Ma’an News Agency report, updated on 31 October 2011,

6 “Israel forcing Palestinians out of east Jerusalem: NGO”, AFP report by Hazel Ward, 1 November 2011,

7 “The Matrix of Control” by Jeff Halper, originally published under the title “The 94 Percent Solution” by MERIP, issue 216, Volume 30, Fall 2000,, and now posted [undated] on the ICAHD website, In the original MERIP article, Halper began with these words: “Only a decade after the fall of apartheid in South Africa, after we all thought we had seen the end of that hateful system, we are witnessing the emergence of another apartheid-style regime, that of Israel over the incipient Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and parts of Jerusalem. This, at least, seems the likely outcome of the ‘peace process’ begun in Oslo and continued, if haltingly, at the July Camp David summit. Whether a Palestinian state actually emerges from the Oslo process or Israel’s occupation becomes permanent, the essential elements of apartheid — exclusivity, inequality, separation, control, dependency, violations of human rights and suffering — are likely to define the relationship between Israel and the Occupied Territories/Palestine”. “The Matrix of Control” was also published on 29 January 2001 by Media Monitors Network:

8 “The Palestinians: Warehousing a ‘Surplus People,’” by Jeff Halper, September 14th, 2008,

9 “Dismantling the Matrix of Control,” 7 September 2009 on ZNet, and 13 September 2009 by MERIP. [Also on the IOA, Jeff Halper: Dismantling the Matrix of Control]

10 Summary record of briefing given by Jeff Halper at at the Jerusalem Fund’s Palestine Center in Washington D.C. , on 8 February 2000, written by Palestine Center Writer/Editor Samer Badawi, and posted here:

11 “The PA’s Historic Mistake, and opportunity” by Jeff Halper, published by Ma’an News Agency on 19 June 2011, here:

12 Full package of documents submitted by Mahmoud Abbas to UN Secretary-General BAN Ki-Moon at UN Headquarters in New York on 23 September 2011, via Column Lynch in FP. The Letter of Application for Admission to Membership signed by Mahmoud Abbas stated that: “This application for membership is being submitted based on the Palestinian people’s natural, legal and historic rights and based on United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947 as well as of the Declaration of Independence of the State of Palestine of 15 November 1988 and the acknowledgement by the General Assembly in resolution 43/177 of 15 December 1988”. Membership.pdf UN GA Resolution 43/177, referred to in the Abbas letter, “Affirms the need to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their sovereignty over their territory occupied since 1967”.

13 “The Palestinians: Warehousing a ‘Surplus People’“, by Jeff Halper.

14 “Grassroots activist and human rights defender Jamal Juma’ arrested,” by the Stop the Wall Campaign, published on Electronic Intifada, here:, and “Human rights defenders Mohammad Othman and Jamal Juma released,” by Addameer and the Stop the Wall Campaign, also published on Electronic Intifada, here:

15 “Astonishing Israeli travel ban on East Jerusalem map expert for ‘security reasons,‘” posted by Marian Houk on February 4th, 2010, here:, and “Israel slaps six-month travel ban on Palestinian map expert,” by Marian Houk, published on Electronic Intifada on 5 February 2010, here:

16 “Netanyahu backs laws to limit donations to Israeli human rights organizations” by Jonathan Lis and Nir Hasson, published in Haaretz on 8 November 2011: This article reports that Knesset Member Ofir Akunis (Likud) told Haaretz that “this is a just, logical law that eliminates an anomalous situation in which foreign states intervene in Israel’s political discourse via the conferral of money given in the form of donations to NPOs that pursue political goals. Incidentally, this pertains entirely to NPOs sponsored by the left.”

17 “Jerusalem offices of Peace Now evacuated after bomb threat,” published in Haaretz on 6 November 2011:, and “Death threats sprayed on home of Peace Now activist, in apparent ‘price tag’ attack,” by Oz Rosenberg, published in Haaretz on 8 November 2011, here:

18 “Israeli Civil Society organizations in the wake of attacks against activists and organizations,” 8 November 2011, posted here:

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