[News] Israel doubles down on apartheid

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Sat Mar 12 11:27:27 EST 2022


electronicintifada.net
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/maureen-clare-murphy/israel-doubles-down-apartheid>
Israel
doubles down on apartheid

Maureen Clare Murphy
<https://electronicintifada.net/people/maureen-clare-murphy> - 11 March 2022
------------------------------

Palestinians demand family unification in front of UNSCO headquarters in
Gaza City, November 2021.
APA images

Israel is doubling down on its apartheid rule over Palestinians while it
and its international accomplices
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/france-rejects-apartheid-label-israel>
attempt to fend off the label
<https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-rejects-palestinian-accusations-of-apartheid-in-contentious-un-meeting/>
.

This week, Israel reinstated a ban on Palestinian family unification as
part of its demographic engineering efforts to ensure a Jewish majority in
the territory of historic Palestine.

Adalah, a group that advocates for the rights of Palestinians in Israel,
said <https://www.adalah.org/en/content/view/10576> that the legislation is
“one of the most racist and discriminatory laws in the world, and must
immediately be repealed.”

The “Citizenship and Entry into Israel” order prohibits Israel’s interior
minister from granting residency or citizenship to Palestinians from the
West Bank and Gaza who marry citizens of Israel.

According to Adalah, which will challenge the law at Israel’s high court,
“it also bans unification between a citizen or resident of Israel with
spouses from ‘enemy states,’ including Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran.”

Adalah added <https://twitter.com/AdalahEnglish/status/1502247879699746818>
that “UN human rights bodies have called on Israel to revoke the ban on
Palestinian family unification as it violates international law.”

Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, has renewed the temporary order banning
family unification 21 times over the past 18 years, the rights group added.

However, unlike in the past, the current version of the law “explicitly
states that its purpose is to ensure a Jewish demographic majority,” Adalah
said.

Israeli lawmakers and Ayelet Shaked, the state’s interior minister, have
said that the legislation is intended to prevent Palestinians from
gradually returning to their homeland.

Demographic engineering is also informing Israel’s policy on refugees
fleeing the violence in Ukraine.

On Sunday, Shaked said
<https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/israeli-minister-90-of-ukrainians-refugees-are-non-jews-situation-cannot-go-on-1.10655497>
that the influx of mostly non-Jewish Ukrainians fleeing to Israel “cannot
go on.”

“Anyone with a brain understands that we can’t continue at this rate of
entry,” Shaked added.
Demographics obsession

Israel’s obsession with demographics is nothing new.

It has prevented millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendants
from exercising their right to return to lands from which they were
forcibly displaced on the basis that they are not Jewish.

Shaked acknowledged the apartheid nature of the family unification law by
tweeting that its approval was a victory for “a Jewish and democratic
state” and a loss for “a state of all its citizens.”

מדינה יהודית ודמוקרטית - 1
מדינת כלל אזרחיה - 0
— איילת שקד Ayelet Shaked (@Ayelet__Shaked) March 10, 2022
<https://twitter.com/Ayelet__Shaked/status/1502004403582160897?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw>

Israel’s nation-state law
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/nation-state-law>, passed in 2018,
stipulates that “the right to exercise national self-determination in the
State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.

Stateless Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza face similar
restrictions, with Israel refusing to confer residency status to foreign
nationals who are married to Palestinians living in those territories.
Jewish settlers face no such restrictions.

Amnesty International highlights Israel’s “denial of nationality, residence
and family life” in its recent report
<https://www.amnestyusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Full-Report.pdf>
finding that Israel practices apartheid against Palestinians.

The suspension of family unification procedures in the West Bank and Gaza
affects tens of thousands of foreign nationals married to Palestinians.

Meanwhile, Israel prohibits Palestinians in Gaza from residing in the West
Bank.

The human rights group Al-Haq has stated
<https://www.alhaq.org/advocacy/6106.html> that Palestinians are forced to
make life choices as personal as who they marry and where they live
<https://electronicintifada.net/content/forced-divorce-israel/18381> “based
on the constraints of Israeli policies and practices that not only target
them, but are ultimately aimed at their transfer.”

Since its inception, Israel has prevented Palestinians from living in their
homeland through the mass expulsions and displacements in 1948 and 1967 and
permanently canceling the residency status of Palestinians in the West
Bank, including Jerusalem.

As a result of those efforts, “hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who
were born in Palestine are now considered ‘foreigners’ with no immediate
right of entry or stay by Israel,” according to Al-Haq.

Israel also prevents Palestinians living under military occupation from
exercising freedom of movement, imposing arbitrary travel bans on more than
10,500 Palestinians
<https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-over-10-000-palestinians-were-under-travel-ban-by-israel-in-2021-many-without-knowi-1.10662097>
in the West Bank last year.
Israeli control of Palestinian universities

The Tel Aviv daily *Haaretz* reported
<https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israel-to-decide-which-foreigners-can-teach-at-west-bank-universities-1.10662018>
this week that Israel will vet any foreign lecturers wishing to teach at
Palestinian universities in the West Bank.

Universities will be able to employ lecturers from abroad “only if they
teach in fields that have been designated as essential by Israel,”
according to *Haaretz*.

The prospective lecturers must hold a doctorate and “will have to submit
applications for such permits at the Israeli consulate in the applicant’s
country of origin.”

COGAT, the bureaucratic arm of Israel’s military occupation, will
ultimately approve any entry of a lecturer.

That body exercises control over the movement of people and goods in and
out of Gaza, including medical patients seeking care not available in the
besieged territory, whose life-saving treatment is frequently denied or
delayed.

>From September 2020 to March 2021, Israel denied or delayed
<https://www.thenationalnews.com/world/there-s-nothing-in-gaza-the-cancer-patients-whose-lives-depend-on-israeli-permits-1.1209899>
the travel applications of one-third of all Gaza patients seeking medical
treatment in Israel and the West Bank.

Applicants seeking to teach at Palestinian universities will have to prove
to Israel’s satisfaction that they “will make a significant contribution to
academic education, to the regional economy or to the promotion of regional
cooperation and peace.”

Israel defines virtually anyone who criticizes it or advocates for
Palestinian rights to be against “peace.” This means that Israel will in
effect be imposing total political control over Palestinian universities.

“The number of lecturers will be limited by a quota to be determined by
Israel, which currently stands at 100,” according to *Haaretz*.

Meanwhile, only 150 foreign students will be allowed to study at
Palestinian universities per year and COGAT will determine the fields of
study open to them.

— Martin Konečný (@MartinKonecny) March 10, 2022
<https://twitter.com/MartinKonecny/status/1501818353161318401?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw>

Prospective students will also be required to submit to an interview “at an
Israeli diplomatic mission in their country of origin,” *Haaretz* added.

Both students and lecturers must have an invitation from the Palestinian
Authority to apply for a permit to study or work at a Palestinian
university.

Israel’s control over entry of all persons into the West Bank has been a
longstanding problem for Palestinian academic institutions as Israel only
grants tourist visas that last up to three months.

“There is no visiting professor who accepts to leave his job and teach at a
Palestinian university without a guarantee of residency, at least for a
semester of five months,” Ghassan Khatib, vice president of Birzeit
University, told *Arab News*
<https://www.arabnews.com/node/2039366/middle-east>.

PACBI – the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of
Israel – pointed out that Israel’s control over Palestinians via its permit
system is only one way that it denies freedom of education.

“Israel has bombed and demolished Palestinian schools and universities,
carried out military raids on campuses [and] prevented travel to campus and
abroad for scholarships,” PACBI said.

Israel has bombed and demolished Palestinian schools and universities,
carried out military raids on campuses, prevented travel to campus and
abroad for scholarships, and restricts entry for int'l faculty members and
students wishing to teach or study at Palestinian universities.
pic.twitter.com/FFNJnBFfv0 <https://t.co/FFNJnBFfv0>
— PACBI (@PACBI) March 11, 2022
<https://twitter.com/PACBI/status/1502270985755578368?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw>

The new restrictions, expected to be implemented in May
<https://www.arabnews.com/node/2039366/middle-east>, have spurred renewed
calls for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions
<https://bdsmovement.net/academic-boycott>, many of which have deep ties to
Israel’s regime of occupation, apartheid and settler-colonization in
Palestine.

Israel's military has long restricted foreigners from teaching in
Palestine, including diaspora Palestinians. This latest attack on
Palestinian higher education takes it to another level. It is long past
time to boycott Israeli academic institutions. https://t.co/GM9gDpthqb
— Samer Abdelnour (@SamerAbdelnour) March 9, 2022
<https://twitter.com/SamerAbdelnour/status/1501568387847184388?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw>
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