Separate and Unequal

I saw Rawan’s Passport few days back (Well, it is not a passport, it is called Lasse Passé). Arab Jerusalemites are issued with this travel document, which, in my modest French, I can translate to “leave to pass”, I have no idea why it is titled in French, from what I remember of my dad’s document all the entries inside it are in French too.
What made me stop and think, is the fact that inside it there is a “re-entry visa”. Rawan, was born, and lived most of her life in Jerusalem. Her parents, and grandparents did too. However, in Israel’s twisted logic, she is only considered a “resident” of the city. On the other hand, if a Jew decides to come from anywhere in the world, to reside in Jerusalem, he will be considered a citizen, he will not require a re-entry visa. He will be given full citizenship with all rights and duties attached to it.
So Arab Jerusalemites, remain as residents, with the sword of revoking this residency dangling over their heads. If they cannot prove their presence in the city for seven consecutive years, they lose their right to reside in the city.
This is exactly what happened with my father who is not a citizen of any country, and has no travel documents what so ever.
So I was discussing the issue of Jerusalem with Hatem, and how we have been cut off from our city (we both were born there, Hatem can see the Old City from his balcony back in Bethany, but cannot cross the 8-meter high grey wall to get there.) I suggested a good book that gives “the insider story” of the Judaisation of Jerusalem, Separate and Unequal.
Hatem told me how, at one point an “educational supervisor” came to see their school. When the teacher uttered to word “Palestine”, the next day he received a suspension letter, and was later imprisoned. “Had you been caught with a kilogramme of Heroin, you would have received a lighter sentence in those days!” Hatem added. This was actually true. The educational system in East Jerusalem was run by a board whose deputy head had to come from the Shen Bet (שירות ביטחון כללי Sherut Betachon [klali]- [General] Security Services). So the educational system was overseen by the security services- just like you would find it in any other police state. I forgot to mention that Israel runs two parallel educational systems, one for Jewish schools and another for Arab schools. Under the cover of “protecting minority rights” it has established a separation system by which its security establishment can oversee the Arab educational system.
And we are taunted as anti-Semites because we dare say Apartheid Israel!


Anonymous said...

so you write for her now...:)

Ned said...

i write for one, and about many.

Anonymous said...

sorry, but I need to know.

What are the rights of Christians and Jews in Saudi Arabia?

If it is a matter of human rights then the field is very wide indeed and the puzzle has many pieces.

Or are Jews the only violators?