Dienstag, 25. Januar 2011

"palestine papers ...the biggest Jerusalem Israel ever got": Silwan Reality

Planung um Fakten zu schaffen - seit Beginn der zionistischen Kolonisierung Palästinas

Silwan - nur ein Beispiel für die 'letzte Schlacht' - und nur einer der bedrohten historischen Stadtteile Jerusalems. da sind noch Sheich Jerah,

Aus der Zusammenfassung des Maqdese Berichts über die illegalen Übergriffe in Silwan 2010:

Silwan, im Fokus der Judaisierung Jerusalems
Silwan, a Palestinian neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem just south of the walls of the Old City has become a focal point in the ongoing Israeli efforts to illegally Judaize Jerusalem.

In the past ten years alone over 300 people have been rendered homeless as a result of illegal house demolitions, more than 200 of these being children and this is a practice that shows no signs of abating. In the pipelines at present is an extensive plan to eradicate the entire neighbourhood of Al-Bustan, home to nearly 1000 people, and build a biblical theme park in its place. From almost the moment East Jerusalem was illegally annexed the Israeli authorities set in motion their plan to Judaize the city;
The Israeli Town Planning Scheme / Master Plan 2000 (TPS 2000) issued by the
occupation Municipality and Ministry of Interior aims to create a Jewish majority in both parts of Jerusalem of 77% by the year 2020.

Absicht der Planungsgesetze: Expansion jüdischer Kolonien, Blockieren der Entwicklung palästinensischer Wohngebiete

One of the strongest weapons in Israel’s arsenal for Judaizing the city has been a racist and oppressive set of planning laws which have systematically aided Jewish expansion while simultaneously blocked that of Palestinians. The control of huge sections of East Jerusalem is achieved through a series of discriminatory municipal ordinances which are designed to hinder Palestinian attempts at development. These policies result in severe housing shortages among the Palestinian population (which in theory will drive the Palestinians out of the city, but in practice force the Palestinians to build without permits) but they are not new. Such policies and strategies were originally conceived as early as 1968 in order to create a framework for the gradual integration of East Jerusalem into Israel proper and its complete separation
from the West Bank.
The most effective of these policies to date have been the Planning and Building Act of 1965, the Town Planning Scheme, the Absentee Property law and the re-drawing of the Jerusalem municipal boundaries to include the land of numerous Palestinian villages while excluding the population centres. The collective effect of these schemes has resulted in a vastly expanded Jerusalem which has expropriated Palestinian land while forcefully keeping the Palestinian people out of the city.
Planung in Silwan: Enteigung sugenannen Abwesenden Landes
In Silwan the Absentee Property law has been a major problem for the Palestinian residents. The Law was legislated in 1950 to help the new State of Israel assume ownership of the land left behind by the departing Palestinian refugees and in time came to ensure that no claim would be held for these lands by the refugees who fled during the war. This law has been used extensively in Silwan by the right-wing settler group El’ad whose mission statement proclaims that the goal of the organisation is to ‘strengthen the Jewish connection to Jerusalem.

Planung in Silwan: Archeology als politische Waffe - Spiel mit der Geschichte
After forcefully taking over numerous landmark properties in Silwan El’ad then took control of the ‘City of David’ tourist and excavation site in 1997.
Since this takeover archaeology has been used as a political weapon against the Palestinian residents of Silwan and three main areas of concern result from this activity.
1) The role archeology plays in the creation of the historical narratives that are presented to the public and their impact on public opinion.
2) The impact the archaeological dig has on the community which lives in and around the archaeological-tourist sites.
3) The way archaeology is being used to justify Jewish settlement and strengthen settlement activity in a highly disputed and sensitive area.
A fine example of the conflicting opinions regarding the ‘City of David’ is the differing narratives
on offer from the official El’ad tour of the site and the alternative archaeology tour which is organised by Emek Shaveh, an organisation of archaeologists and community activists focussing on the role of archaeology in Israeli society and in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The official El’ad tour announces that City of David is the place where it all began claiming it to be the site where King David established the capital of his kingdom 3,000 years ago.
The alternative tour points out that none of this has actually been proven.
The importance of the legitimacy of the City of David in biblical terms and its perceived location beneath the streets of Silwan is the fulcrum of the modern day threat to the entire neighbourhood of Al-Bustan where the municipality is trying to demolish 88 Palestinian homes which it claims are illegal to make way for the King David gardens. Many archaeologists see this as political hijacking of their profession in order to further the goals of the Zionist regime. In essence it boils down to the rights of people today against a vague historical interpretation of the Bible.
Clashes between the local Palestinians and the settlers and their armed guards are common with numerous violent incidents and serious injuries resulting. The illegal settler building ‘Beit Yehonatan’ in the heart of Silwan is perhaps the strongest provocation against the Palestinians who have seen 35 of their homes demolished, displacing 90 adults and 103 children since the blatantly illegal building was constructed. Tensions are reaching boiling point as the settler construction still stands overlooking the 88 Palestinian homes which are slated for demolition simply because they are Palestinian.
Alle Planung ist illegal nach internationalem Recht
In a legal context none of this can be justified. Almost every action currently being taken in Silwan is in contravention of some international law or convention Israel is a party to. The categorical disregard shown by the Israeli authorities towards international humanitarian law and international human rights law is shameful. East Jerusalem is occupied territory and as such the Palestinians are protected people and Israel has no authority to change the landscape. Palestinian construction is not some political act of defiance (unlike Beit Yehonatan) but a case of human need. In addition, if the planned demolitions in Al-Bustan go ahead there are solid grounds that that this will constitute a war crime and a crime of persecution against humanity. Using the Bible as a means of justifying rendering nearly 1000 people homeless is a shocking abuse of people’s faith and cannot be allowed to happen.

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