Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Beware the Zionist Jabberwock

Beware the Jabberwock, my son! 
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! 
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun 
The frumious Bandersnatch!
Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll

The Zionist Jabberwocks of the Robber State started small:

"Another day a request came for a building permit. I refused it as premature. It was followed by a petition couched in persuasive terms but intimating that the Administration was holding up legitimate building enterprise. I went a second time to the site and found that the petitioner, a long, hungry-looking Germanized Jew with wild furtive eyes had been stealing his neighbours' boundary stones. The neighbours, all Moslem, were sitting round, some 6 of them in the garden. In the usual Moslem way they had started to build without counting the cost, and then left their great stones lying around for Heaven and the British Administration to care for. So this religious Jew (he used to move about the streets reciting texts) had conceived the idea not only of adding a wing to his house but also a foot or two to his land. The Moslem neighbours entered an injunction, but they were very kindly folk, and when I came into the garden tapped their foreheads significantly and said 'Majnun' - 'quite mad!' 'Etfaddal!' - 'Pray be seated.' There was a great Kalam, when the Jew who had it in his mind that his was a prescriptive religious right sprang up at me like the Jabberwocky and spread his great and very dirty paws, all the ten fingers extended, over my face. I whipped out my little cane and rapped him soundly upon the knuckles. The Moslem claque on the wall shouted with fun at the play, but a fortnight later came another long petition, this time addressed to the Chief Administrator, couched in the language of the Book of Psalms, and passed on through the Governor asking for an investigation as to the reason why a British official had maltreated an unfortunate Jew, and 'stricken him bloody' over the backs of his hands. There is a file on the subject." (A Palestine Notebook 1918-1923, CR Ashbee, 1923, pp 142-143)

But here it is, almost a century later, and these loathsome creatures have reached plague proportions in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, such that no non-Jabberwock is safe from their their biting jaws and catching claws:

"On December 31, as Americans celebrate New Year's Eve and Israelis lift a glass to 'Sylvester', a Palestinian family will be evicted from their East Jerusalem home to make way for Jewish settlers. The Jerusalem District Court has ruled that the Shamasneh family must leave the house they have been living in since 1964 - 3 years before Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem began - by 2:00 PM on Monday afternoon. Ten people currently live in the home, including six children.

"The court has granted ownership to the Israeli Custodian for Absentee Property, which was represented by lawyers who also represent settlers' organizations, including the Israel Land Fund. According to the ILF's website, the organization's goals include 'acquiring the land of Israel for the Jewish people.' The ILF 'strives to ensure that Jewish land is... reclaimed and in Jewish hands' rather than 'hostile, non-Jewish, and enemy sources.' The ILF has been behind a number of different settlement projects in East Jerusalem. Activists believe that the Shamasnehs' home will be handed over to Jewish settlers after the family is evicted. The Jerusalem District Court's decision breaks a 3-year lull in such evictions in Sheikh Jarrah. The al-Kurd family was evicted from their house in Sheikh Jarrah in 2008 and were left homeless; two more families were dispossessed in 2009. Jewish settlers now occupy all the houses...

"In the letter below, Ayoub Shamasneh asks the international community to help him and his family. He also points out that Jews the world over can claim properties in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories based on previous ownership - however tenuous those claims - while Palestinians are not allowed to reclaim the properties they were forced to leave during the 1947-1948 conflict.

To whom it may concern,

"My name is Ayoub Shamasneh and I live in Um Haroun, Sheikh Jarrah. My wife and I are living here with our son, Mohammed, his wife Amaal, and their 6 children ranging in age from 11 to 22 years old. We have lived in this house since 1964. It is where we raised our children. In 2009, decades later, the Israeli General Custodian's Office informed us that our rental agreement would not be renewed. They have now sued us in order to take ownership of the property via individuals whom they claim are the descendents of the original pre-1948 Jewish owners. Our case has been reviewed by an Israeli court in two separate hearings but the judges have refused to accept evidence we have submitted to show proof of our residence in our home since 1964. Therefore, they are claiming that we are not eligible for protected tenant status. Consequently, we have been ordered to vacate the property by 2 pm on December 31 2012. As far as we know it will be handed over to a right-wing settler organization that has previously taken over other properties in the neighbourhood.

"Now more than ever we are aware of the double standard of the Israeli law that does not allow Palestinian refugees or their children to reclaim property they owned before 1948, yet allows children of Jewish Israelis to sue and evict Palestinian families from homes they have lived in for decades. As a result of this discriminatory double standard in Israeli law we are about to lose our home and be thrown onto the street.

"Forced eviction from our home will not only be a human tragedy but also a political manoeuvre which aims to strengthen and expedite the settlement project in Sheikh Jarrah. Israeli Jewish settler takeovers in Sheikh Jarrah serve to disrupt the presence of a continuous and connected Palestinian community in East Jerusalem. Numerous families have already lost their homes and 30 more are living day-to-day under the imminent threat of eviction. Our case will set yet another precedent that will play directly into the hands of the settlement project and will be another nail in the coffin of a viable East Jerusalem.

"We turn to you, as writers, activists, public figures, artists and concerned citizens of the world, to do all that you can to call on the Israeli government to instruct the General Custodian not to evict our family from our home and thereby facilitate the agenda of the extremist settlers who are destroying all chances for a peaceful and just future in Jerusalem."

Ayoub Shamasneh

(Palestinian family in Sheikh Jarrah days away from eviction, Mya Guarinieri, 972mag.com, 27/12/12)

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