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September 09 2013

Document confirms World Zionist Organization allocates land to settlers in Jordan valley | Haaretz

Document confirms World Zionist Organization allocates land to settlers in Jordan valley | Haaretz

An internal Civil Administration document confirms a Haaretz report that the World Zionist Organization has allocated to settlers in the Jordan Valley more than 5,000 dunams (1,235 acres) of private Palestinian land located east of the border fence, namely, between that fence and the actual border with the Kingdom of Jordan.

This area between the border fence and the actual border — the Jordan River — is a closed military zone that in some places is two kilometers wide. A military order prevents the Palestinian owners from accessing their lands in this area. On the other hand, Jewish settlers are allowed to farm the lands.

In January, Haaretz reported that under the aegis of this order, the WZO had allocated to settlers in the Jordan Valley over 5,000 dunams of private Palestinian lands. Following this report, the Civil Administration began to investigate how this situation had come about and how much land had been allocated in this manner.

The documents that have come into the possession of Haaretz indicate that following the June 1967 Six-Day War and after the border fence was completed, Palestinians continued to farm their lands located close to the border. But following a number of incidents in which Palestinian farmers in this area helped infiltrators to cross the border into Israeli-controlled territory, the entire area was declared a military zone. Several Palestinians who owned plots in the area submitted applications requesting permission to farm their lands; however, their requests were denied.

The Civil Administration subsequently signed three agreements with the WZO, allocating to the latter organization some 29,000 dunams (7,250 acres) for farming purposes. An examination conducted by the Civil Administration shows that a total of 8,565 dunams (2,116 acres) are cultivated beyond the border fence; of these, 4,765 dunams (1,177 acres) are Palestinian lands, 578 dunams (143 acres) are privately owned and another 3,222 dunams (796 acres) are state lands.

Discussions have recently been held in the Civil Administration and in the office of the coordinator of government activities in the territories on this matter. It is a complex legal issue, because the settlers farming these lands are not trespassers but are persons who were legally allocated the lands by the WZO. On the other hand, the lands also legally belong to their Palestinian owners. The coordinator of government activities in the territories, Maj. Gen. Eitan Dangot, has instructed that all Palestinians who request compensation for the lands they cannot farm should be compensated by the Civil Administration.

#Palestine #Israël #Jordanie

August 26 2013

Dutch government urges local firm to cancel East Jerusalem project - Diplomacy & Defense Israel…

Dutch government urges local firm to cancel East Jerusalem project - Diplomacy & Defense Israel News Broadcast | Haaretz

Dutch government urges local firm to cancel East Jerusalem project
Royal HaskoningDHV is considering pulling out of the sewage treatment project after warnings from Dutch Foreign Ministry that it would be violating international law.!/image/118331449.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_640/118331449.jpg

#israël #colonisation #bds #pays-bas #palestine

August 07 2013

Being a Palestinian intellectual's daughter in post-9/11 New York - Haaretz 7th of August 2013

Being a Palestinian intellectual’s daughter in post-9/11 New York -

Haaretz 7th of August 2013

Najla Said, daughter of the late Palestinian intellectual and leading post-Modernist Edward Said, tried to ignore the Palestinian culture and heritage handed down to her by her parents in their Manhattan home when she was young. But the September 11 terrorist attacks, and the subsequent souring of attitudes towards Arab-Americans, caused her to think again. A

fter staging a one-woman show called Palestine in New York in 2003, Said decided to describe her childhood in her debut memoir, Looking for Palestine: Growing Up Confused in an Arab-American Family.

Excerpts from the book were published on Sunday on the Salon cultural affairs website.

“I am a Palestinian-Lebanese-American Christian woman, but I began my life as a WASP,” writes Said in her new book. “I was baptized into the Episcopal Church and sent to an all-girls private school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, one that boasts among its alumnae such well-groomed American blue bloods as the legendary Jacqueline Onassis. It was at that point that I realized that something was seriously wrong — with me.”

She tells of the differences between her and the other pupils. “I was proud of my new green blazer with its fancy school emblem and my elegant shoes from France. But even the most elaborate uniform could not protect against my instant awareness of my differences. I was a dark-haired rat in a sea of blond perfection. I did not have a canopy bed, an uncluttered bedroom, and a perfectly decorated living room the way my classmates did. I had books piled high on shelves and tables, pipes, pens, Oriental rugs, painted walls, and strange houseguests. I was surrounded at home not only by some of the Western world’s greatest scholars and writers — Noam Chomsky, Lillian Hellman, Norman Mailer, Jacques Derrida, Susan Sontag, Joan Didion — but by the crème de la crème of the Palestinian Resistance.”

Edward Said was born in Jerusalem to an Arab Christian family in 1935 and raised in Jerusalem and Cairo, where his father ran extensive business ventures. In 1951, Said went to study in the United States and later became a professor of literature at Columbia University in New York. Following the Six-Day War, Said began to take an interest in the Palestinian issue, and became close to the leaders of the PLO. His book, Orientalism, reached a wide audience, placing him in the center of controversy among intellectual circles worldwide. Orientalism, published in 1978, is a brilliant and eloquent critique of the West — of academia, scholars and artists who investigated the Eastern way of life, not necessarily in the interests of knowledge but to perpetuate the West’s conquest and domination of the East. Thus, according to Najla Said, the Arab world was seen as stagnant, submissive and backward — as opposed to the supposedly superior Western world.

Najla writes that when she pressed her father to explain the concept of orientalism in simple words, he said: “’Historically, through literature and art, the ‘East’, as seen through a Western lens, becomes distorted and degraded, so that anything ‘other’ than what we Westerners recognize as familiar is not just exotic, mysterious, and sensual, but also inherently inferior.” She adds: “You know, like Aladdin.”

In the book, Najla recalls that, like many children of immigrants, she grew up confused by the conflicting values to which she was exposed. “Growing up the daughter of a Lebanese mother and a prominent Palestinian thinker in New York City in the 1980s and ’90s was confusing and unsettling. I struggled desperately to find a way to reconcile the beautiful, comforting, loving world of my home, culture and family with the supposed ’barbaric’ and ’backward’ place and society others perceived it to be.” In an interview with Boise State Public Radio, Najla said that, after the September 11 attacks, she felt terrified and feared dying, but at the same time she feared the Americans who suddenly began to call her Arab-American.

Najla also tackles father’s political legacy in the autobiography. Edward Said’s struggle for Palestinian independence made him a controversial figure in Israel and in the American Jewish world. In 2000, a photograph of Said throwing a stone toward Israel from the Lebanese border earned him widespread publicity. For some people, writes Najla, “he is the symbol of Palestinian self-determination; a champion of human rights, equality, and social justice. And then still other people insist he was a terrorist, though anyone who knew him knows that’s kind of like calling Gandhi a terrorist.”

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