Sunday, April 11, 2010

Nothing to See Here Folks, Don't Mind Us

Well this is not at all like the holocaust. Nope, not at all. Gaza is a ghetto There have been no ghettos created for any special class of citizens, dissidents are arrested and tortured everyone is free to protest, and at least Israel hasn't yet resorted to mass deportations of the undesirable portion of the population. Oh no wait. Yes they have.

From Haaretz today:
A new military order aimed at preventing infiltration will come into force this week, enabling the deportation of tens of thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank, or their indictment on charges carrying prison terms of up to seven years.
What this means is that, first and foremost, Palestinians whose ID cards show addresses in the Gaza strip will be deported. Even if they were born in the West Bank. Even if their spouses and children were born in the West Bank. Secondly, foreign-born spouses of West Bank residents will be subject to deportation. To where, I don't know. Palestinians with Gaza addresses on their ID cards may face deportation to the strip, but many Palestinians who were born and raised in the West Bank still do not have Palestinian residency cards, and are citizens of no country.

Amira Hass of Haaretz writes, "The new order defines anyone who enters the West Bank illegally as an infiltrator, as well as "a person who is present in the area and does not lawfully hold a permit." What that means is that, even if you enter Israel legally and decide you want to spend some time hanging with your second cousin, or your former coworker, or whomever in the West Bank, you have to obtain a permit from the local Israeli military commander. Even if the area you want to stay in is completely under Palestinian control. And what do you suppose are the chances of actually being granted a permit to chill with your people?

Furthermore, the order is so vague as to allow the local military commander to interpret as he sees fit:
The order's language is both general and ambiguous, stipulating that the term infiltrator will also be applied to Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, citizens of countries with which Israel has friendly ties (such as the United States) and Israeli citizens, whether Arab or Jewish. All this depends on the judgment of Israel Defense Forces commanders in the field.

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