Robbing East Jerusalem
“Jerusalem of gold, and of copper, and of light… to your songs I am violin”
Governments adore lies. No parliament legislates laws forbidding governments to tell them. George W. Bush wasn’t requested to resign for telling WMD lies; the same is true for Tony Blair. Israel Police was not shy of admitting in Court that lies and tricks are its main entrapment tools.
In a smaller scale, Governments promote lies as discrediting tools. In recent days, I was approached by readers asking me to fix one issue in several of my articles; they repeated a popular lie silently promoted by a given government. That government is formally silent, its agent is noisy.
If one fells into such a trap, which at first looks as working against that government, then immediately the historical truth, which can be confirmed with external sources, is brought out and the entrapment victim is discredited. Thank you, Zion, but you taught me better than to fall into this trap. Thus, even if some readers love that lie on the Hebrew language, a tongue which predates Zion, it won’t be mentioned here.
A softer way of institutional lies relies on creating confusion with respect to symbols; down this path, ugly manipulations can be performed. Israel is annexing East Jerusalem by means of confusion, lies, and violent gangs of criminals, lawyers, and judges.
Pello Joxepe means “Foolish Joseph” in the Basque language. Neither I nor most of my readers would have had any chance of finding that out without Naomi Shemer’s Jerusalem of Gold. The melody of this song is based on that Basque lullaby; most foreigners know the song as the closing theme of the movie Schindler’s List. In Israel, the song was replaced by “Eli, Eli” (“My God, My God”) after the first Israeli viewers laughed at the use of a militaristic song from 1967 while dealing with the Holocaust. Written just before the 1967 War, the song describes the longing for a return to Jerusalem.
After the war, a verse alluding to the Israeli brutal conquest was added. In an intensely poetic language, and making allusion to the Bible, the song has a violent undertone; probably this is why it became so popular with Israelis, much more than the questionable Hatikva National Anthem. Paraphrasing its violence, Jerusalem of Copper and of Light is nowadays violin to a violent expropriation of its Palestinian denizens.
To them “its name burns the lips,” surrounding it “In the mountain’s caves, winds howl.” “The city which alone sits, and in her heart a wall,” is kicking out its lawful owners.
“Mountain air clear as wine and pine’s scent are carried on twilight’s breeze with the sound of bells”
Following the 1967 War, Israel annexed East Jerusalem; this was formalized with the 1980 Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel. The world opposed this law; the UN Security Council Resolution 478, adopted by fourteen votes to none, with the abstention of the United States of America, declared that the law was “null and void” and “must be rescinded.” Yet, in 2013, Israel speaks not only of annexing Eastern Jerusalem, but the entire West Bank. In the current situation, Palestinians living in Eastern Jerusalem are considered “residents” and live under Israeli law, unlike their neighbors in Bethlehem or Ramallah.
This has facilitated the theft of lands. The current situation is the result of the British to simplify the land ownership registration system used by the Ottoman Empire. Their intentions may have been good, but they never finished the process. After the city was split between Jordan and Israel in 1948, each country continued the British-designed regularization process. After the conquest of Eastern Jerusalem, Israel’s Attorney General decided to freeze the process there.
Due to the legal freeze, denizens cannot deal formally with their properties, they are forced to use “Power of Attorney” documents, and cannot easily divide properties. In year 2000, rumors claiming that Israel would deny residentship from those living outside the city, brought back thousands that were attempting to settle elsewhere. Since then, East Jerusalem had become overpopulated. The odd legal situation has created a fertile ground for land-crimes.
An additional tool hints that the courts are well aware of the illegitimacy of their deeds, “Non-Publishing Orders” are almost always issued by the court so that the victims cannot find that they are being violated by an unholy alliance between the State and criminals. To this last trick, a brilliant touch is added by the court: the sessions are conducted behind closed doors. Thus, the victim is denied the right to defend himself, and the court rules evil.
It makes no sense
The interview went on and on, describing the smallest details of this institutional lie. Its being published by Haaretz, the unofficial Voice of the Shin Beth secret police made it even stranger. “It makes no sense,” an innocent would exclaim and dismiss the interview. Another attorney working in East Jerusalem, Elias Hori, agreed with Bashir and added that local media is scared to death to publish the institutional theft. What is going on here? Why would the Israeli Court collaborate with land-robbers? Why would Haaretz publish the corruption of the Hebrew courts?
Luckily, we know better. A few days ago, a hideous ruling of an Israeli judge reminded us that evil runs deep. Israel is shaped as a Westphalian-State (what passes as “Western-Democracies”), with separation of powers into legislature, executive, and judiciary. The latter is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the unholy state. In such states, judges are elected by the executive and legislative powers (there are small variations among the countries) and are under their payroll. Judges are not impartial; they work for the State.
Here is where everything comes together. According to the published descriptions, the documents accepted by the court are clear fakes. They are being accepted, and the legal owners of the lands are thrown away. Israel is creating mayhem so that in the future there would be no way of assessing who the real owners are. People like Rani were pushed out; those who stole the lands may be sued by the State and their lands confiscated on the grounds that they used fake documents. The article is creating the public justification for that. Parcel by parcel, Israel is robbing East Jerusalem. “The people which alone sit, and in their heart a wall,” should Jerusalem of Gold have said.
Roi Tov is a graduate—among others—of Tel Aviv University and the Weizmann Institute of Science. In addition to his memoir, Tov is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Molecular Physics and other scientific journals. He won various travel writing and photography awards.
In his writings, he tries to reveal life in Israel as a Christian Israel Defense Force (IDF) officer—from human rights violations to the use of an extensive network of underground agents. He was recognized first as a refugee and subsequently as political prisoner of Bolivia.