Friday, December 4, 2009
From a logical view point, a “hate” crime is no different than a “plain” crime. After all, the person perpetrating a crime has little to no regard for the value or respect of victim, right?
Who can substantiate what constitutes “hate”? Our legislators want to make themselves and others feel better about crimes against certain persons or special groups (such as gays, transvestites, people of color, Jews, etc.) so they can make themselves and some people feel better about being protected.
But I say that hate crime laws are discriminating and show prejudice that should not be tolerated. Whatever “class” of people the law includes, there is at least one class of people it excludes.
For example, couldn’t an atheist committing a crime against someone who believes in a religion be committing a hate crime?
If Bernie Madoff were victimized by one of his investors, would that be a crime of hate? If so, then why aren’t crimes against portfolio managers hate crimes?
I could go and on and on with examples of who else should be considered to be on the list, but that would be folly. What I am trying to say is that all crimes have hate as part of the motive.
There are already laws with penalties for all of the hate crimes, so the legislators should stop wasting time and tax dollars, and focus on important business of the people, such as the balancing budget.
Timothy C. Tiches
Chris Soghoian caught a remarkable admission at a surveillance conference in October. Sprint’s Manager of Electronic Surveillance revealed that law enforcement has used Sprint’s geotracking function 8 million times in the thirteen months prior to his comment.
Sprint Nextel provided law enforcement agencies with its customers’ (GPS) location information over 8 million times between September 2008 and October 2009. This massive disclosure of sensitive customer information was made possible due to the roll-out by Sprint of a new, special web portal for law enforcement officers.
The evidence documenting this surveillance program comes in the form of an audio recording of Sprint’s Manager of Electronic Surveillance, who described it during a panel discussion at a wiretapping and interception industry conference, held in Washington DC in October of 2009.
[M]y major concern is the volume of requests. We have a lot of things that are automated but that’s just scratching the surface. One of the things, like with our GPS tool. We turned it on the web interface for law enforcement about one year ago last month, and we just passed 8 million requests. So there is no way on earth my team could have handled 8 million requests from law enforcement, just for GPS alone. So the tool has just really caught on fire with law enforcement. They also love that it is extremely inexpensive to operate and easy, so, just the sheer volume of requests they anticipate us automating other features, and I just don’t know how we’ll handle the millions and millions of requests that are going to come in.
Now, as he documents in extensive detail, using cell phone location to get the geolocation of someone is just one of a number of uses of legal surveillance techniques that is eluding public reporting.
But that’s by design. Even assuming many of these uses of Sprint’s geo-tracking capabilities are multiple requests for the same person, there are a whole lot of people whose physical location is being tracked.
Probably a bunch of people who bought acetone and hyrdogen peroxide for home improvement uses.
Anyway, click through for a bunch more numbers and discussion, as well as MP3s of this admission.
What's wrong with this picture? The federal government spends billions on homeland security, but apparently can't stop foreigners from illegally crossing the border or overstaying their visas. The Obama administration wants to bring violent terrorists captured overseas to the mainland and close the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay. Yet in the latest bizarre twist, legislation quietly making its way through Congress would give the White House power to categorize political opponents as hate groups and even send Americans to detention centers on abandoned military bases.
Rep. Alcee Hastings - the impeached Florida judge Nancy Pelosi tried to install as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee until her own party members rebelled - introduced an amendment to the defense authorization bill that gives Attorney General Eric Holder sole discretion to label groups that oppose government policy on guns, abortion, immigration, states' rights, or a host of other issues. In a June 25 speech on the House floor, Rep. Trent Franks, R-AZ, blasted the idea: "This sounds an alarm for many of us because of the recent shocking and offensive report released by the Department of Homeland Security which labeled, arguably, a majority of Americans as 'extremists.'"
Another Hastings bill (HR 645) authorizes $360 million in 2009 and 2010 to set up "not fewer than six national emergency centers on military installations" capable of housing "a large number of individuals affected by an emergency or major disaster." But Section 2 (b) 4 allows the Secretary of Homeland Security to use the camps "to meet other appropriate needs" - none of which are specified. This is the kind of blank check that Congress should never, ever sign.
It's not paranoid to be extremely wary of legislation that would give two unelected government officials power to legally declare someone a "domestic terrorist" and send them to a government-run camp. After all, the federal government has done exactly this sort of thing before. During World War II, more than 120,000 law-abiding Japanese Americans were rounded up by the government and confined for four years in ten internment camps surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards. Joy Kogawa chronicled the trauma her family experienced firsthand under FDR's executive order: "Families were made to move in two hours. Abandoned everything, leaving pets and possessions at gun point..."
It was wrong then, and it would be doubly wrong now should members of Congress somehow fail to learn from past mistakes.
PATASKALA, Ohio — A woman is campaigning to permanently take a book off library shelves, 10TV's Cara Connelly reported Thursday.
Marti Shigley said she found the book on the shelf at her local library - according to her - available right at a child's eye level.
"When I opened it, I could not believe how graphic it was, and I thought my word if one of those kids had picked this up and looked inside of it they would have been ruined for life," Shigley said.
SLIDESHOW: Images From Report
The library's director, Matt Nojonen, said the book in question, a sexual health manual, is in the adult section and he stands behind the book.
"There is a demand for them the other manuals and the books that we have on the subject are frequently borrowed," Nojonen said.
Shigley said she does not just want the book out of a child's reach, she wants it gone for good.
Nojonen said he fears when you take every book off the shelf that someone objects to, you may have nothing left.
"Our policies very clearly state that we will buy books that represent all sides of issues," Nojonen said.
Pataskala resident John Glaze said he wants the shelves at his library to stay full.
"When you start yanking books off the shelf then we all need to start wearing swastikas," Glaze said.
Leah Swan disagrees and said she brings her daughter, Caroline, to the library, and worries the book could fall into the wrong hands.
"I think free speech can sometimes be abused in the name of getting weird and bizarre," Swan said.
The library's advisory board heard Shigley's complaint and decided to keep the book in the collection if they can get it back, Connelly reported.
Shigley checked it out and said she does not plan to return it.
"It may cost me a little bit of money but I don't want anyone else to see this book," Shigley said.
The library said that if Shigley fails to return the book, they may revoke her library card.
Contact Matt Nojonen, Library Director, to Show Support at : Mattnoj@hotmail.com
If hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue, then the flip-flops on previously denounced anti-terror measures are the homage that Barack Obama pays to George Bush. Within 125 days, Obama has adopted with only minor modifications huge swaths of the entire, allegedly lawless Bush program.
The latest flip-flop is the restoration of military tribunals. During the 2008 campaign, Obama denounced them repeatedly, calling them an "enormous failure." Obama suspended them upon his swearing-in. Now they're back.
Of course, Obama will never admit in word what he's doing in deed. As in his rhetorically brilliant national-security speech yesterday claiming to have undone Bush's moral travesties, the military commissions flip-flop is accompanied by the usual Obama three-step: (a) excoriate the Bush policy, (b) ostentatiously unveil cosmetic changes, (c) adopt the Bush policy.
Cosmetic changes such as Obama's declaration that "we will give detainees greater latitude in selecting their own counsel." Laughable. High-toned liberal law firms are climbing over each other for the frisson of representing these miscreants in court.
What about disallowing evidence received under coercive interrogation? Hardly new, notes former prosecutor Andrew McCarthy. Under the existing rules, military judges have that authority, and they exercised it under the Bush administration to dismiss charges against al-Qaeda operative Mohammed al-Qahtani on precisely those grounds.
On Guantanamo, it's Obama's fellow Democrats who have suddenly discovered the wisdom of Bush's choice. In open rebellion against Obama's pledge to shut it down, the Senate voted 90 to 6 to reject appropriating a single penny until the president explains where he intends to put the inmates. Sen. James Webb, the de facto Democratic authority on national defense, wants the closing to be put on hold. And on Tuesday, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, no Gitmo inmates on American soil -- not even in American jails.
That doesn't leave a lot of places. The home countries won't take them. Europe is recalcitrant. Saint Helena needs refurbishing. Elba didn't work out too well the first time. And Devil's Island is now a tourist destination. Gitmo is starting to look good again.
Jack Goldsmith (The New Republic) adds: rendition -- turning over terrorists seized abroad to foreign countries; state secrets -- claiming them in court to quash legal proceedings on rendition and other erstwhile barbarisms; and the denial of habeas corpus -- to detainees in Afghanistan's Bagram prison, indistinguishable logically and morally from Guantanamo.
What does it all mean? Democratic hypocrisy and demagoguery? Sure, but in Washington, opportunism and cynicism are hardly news.
There is something much larger at play -- an undeniable, irresistible national interest that, in the end, beyond the cheap politics, asserts itself. The urgencies and necessities of the actual post-9/11 world, as opposed to the fanciful world of the opposition politician, present a rather narrow range of acceptable alternatives.
Among them: reviving the tradition of military tribunals, used historically by George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Winfield Scott, Abraham Lincoln, Arthur MacArthur and Franklin Roosevelt. And inventing Guantanamo -- accessible, secure, offshore and nicely symbolic (the tradition of island exile for those outside the pale of civilization is a venerable one) -- a quite brilliant choice for the placement of terrorists, some of whom, the Bush administration immediately understood, would have to be detained without trial in a war that could be endless.
The genius of democracy is that the rotation of power forces the opposition to come to its senses when it takes over. When the new guys, brought to power by popular will, then adopt the policies of the old guys, a national consensus is forged and a new legitimacy established.
That's happening before our eyes. The Bush policies in the war on terror won't have to await vindication by historians. Obama is doing it day by day. His denials mean nothing. Look at his deeds.
Was I unfair in calling Barack Obama “hypocritical” in issuing his (otherwise sensible and constitutional) signing statements last week? Hypocrisy is a strong charge. On the other hand, Obama explicitly denounced the “theory of George Bush that he can make laws as he is going along” by using signing statements and then flatly promised not to use any such statements when in office. See for yourself.
So maybe hypocrite is not so hyperbolic in this context. Is there any defense for Obama? Not really.
It is true that his entire OLC team has been on the record in favor of certain signing statements and the President’s power to ignore unconstitutional statutes. On the other hand, a high-profile ABA Task Force, including folks like Harold Koh and Kathleen Sullivan, did categorically denounce ALL signing statements of the kind that President Obama recently produced (he’s already got six so far, about one per month). The ABA as a whole has adopted the report and ABA Presidents routinely denounced President Bush’s use of such signing statements as “contrary to the rule of law” and ignoring “fundamental principles” of separation of powers. (In other words, they sounded like Obama used to, before he became President). Charlie Savage of the NYT won a Pulitzer for writing about Bush’s supposedly abusive use of signing statements during the Bush era. Will this same crowd go after President Obama as well? Well, four days have passed (and four months have passed since Obama’s first signing statements back in March as John Elwood at Volokh has documented) and, as far as I can tell, Koh, Sullivan, and the ABA remain mum.
The government's policy of imprisoning terror suspects without charge or trial on the basis of secret evidence may now be overYesterday, two high court judges effectively brought to an end the government's eight year-long policy of imprisoning terror suspects without charge or trial – depriving them of their liberty under a form of house arrest – on the basis of secret evidence.
Conceived in haste after the 9/11 attacks, when 17 men were imprisoned without charge or trial, mostly in Belmarsh high-security prison, the government's policy mutated in March 2005, after the high court ruled that this Guantánamo-style programme was illegal.
The replacement regime consisted of control orders and deportation bail. These are stringent forms of house arrest, which can involve forced relocation, curfews, tagging, reporting to security firms at all times of the day and night, raids by Home Office officials at all times of the day and night, the vetting of visitors, and a ban on mobile phones and use of internet.
Those who cannot be deported, either because they are British nationals or because the courts intervened to prevent their return to countries where they faced the risk of torture, are – or were – held under control orders, and those whom the government still hopes to deport are held under deportation bail. In both cases, the punishment for breaking any of the myriad conditions imposed on the detainees is relocation to a prison cell.
In June this year, the law lords delivered a crippling blow to the control order regime, which finally addressed the bizarre system developed for dealing with secret evidence in the Special Immigrations Appeal Commission (Siac). In this parallel legal universe, special advocates are responsible for representing the accused in closed sessions involving the use of secret evidence, but are prevented from revealing anything about those sessions to the people they represent.
Unanimously, the lords ruled that imposing control orders breaches Article 6 of the European convention on human rights, which guarantees the right to a fair trial, because a suspect held under a control order is not given "sufficient information about the allegations against him to enable him to give effective instructions to the special advocate assigned to him".
Although this was the beginning of the end for the control order regime, and led to the government losing a few more court cases, and in other instances quietly quashing existing control orders, the deportation bail regime remained intact until yesterday's ruling, even though it functioned on the same basis, as was exposed by the Guardian in Slow Torture, a series of films and articles in July.
Yesterday, however, Lord Justice Laws and Mr Justice Owen finally addressed this lapse in the equal application of the law, ruling that it was "impossible" to conclude "that in bail cases a less stringent procedural standard is required" than in control order cases. The judges also rejected a claim by Siac that its decisions should be "immune from judicial review".
The judges' ruling came in the case of XC, a Pakistan student (and one of 10 students arrested in April), who was refused bail on the basis of secret evidence, and the case of U, an Algerian. Imprisoned without charge or trial for seven years, U had finally secured bail last summer, and lived for a short time, under a 24-hour curfew in a rented house in southern England, until, in February, then home secretary Jacqui Smith decided that he was likely to abscond, and persuaded Siac to revoke his bail and return him to prison.
With the high court ruling, it is now time for the government to stop pretending that it is justifiable to hold anyone without charge or trial on the basis of secret evidence, and to test the allegations against alleged terror suspects in a forum that respects Article 6 of the ECHR.
There are many ways in which this can be achieved, including overturning the ban on intercept evidence, as Justice, the all-party law reform group, explained in a report in June, and if the government is still struggling to establish a case, then it must conclude, as true respect for the law demands, that this is because the information it is relying on does not rise to the level of evidence.Source: Orwell's Dream
Does anyone know the origins of Political Correctness? Who originally developed it and what was its purpose?
I looked it up. It was developed at the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt, Germany, which was founded in 1923 and came to be known as the "Frankfurt School." It was a group of thinkers who pulled together to find a solution to the biggest problem facing the implementers of communism in Russia.
The problem? Why wasn't communism spreading?
Their answer? Because Western Civilization was in its way.
What was the problem with Western Civilization? Its belief in the individual, that an individual could develop valid ideas. At the root of communism was the theory that all valid ideas come from the effect of the social group of the masses. The individual is nothing.
And they believed that the only way for communism to advance was to help (or force, if necessary) Western Civilization to destroy itself. How to do that? Undermine its foundations by chipping away at the rights of those annoying individuals.
One way to do that? Change their speech and thought patterns by spreading the idea that vocalizing your beliefs is disrespectful to others and must be avoided to make up for past inequities and injustices.
And call it something that sounds positive: "Political Correctness."
Inspired by the brand new communist technique, Mao, in the 1930s, wrote an article on the "correct" handling of contradictions among the people. "Sensitive training" – sound familiar? – and speech codes were born.
In 1935, after Hitler came to power, the Frankfurt School moved to New York City, where they continued their work by translating Marxism from economic to cultural terms using Sigmund Freud's psychological conditioning mechanisms to get Americans to buy into Political Correctness. In 1941, they moved to California to spread their wings.
But Political Correctness remains just what it was intended to be: a sophisticated and dangerous form of censorship and oppression, imposed upon the citizenry with the ultimate goal of manipulating, brainwashing and destroying our society.
My first conscious exposure to Political Correctness was in 1959 – the first year of Castro's revolution in Cuba – while attending an indoctrination session at a neighborhood elementary school in Havana. There I learned for the first time of the claimed superiority of life in the Soviet Union vs. the U.S.
There I also learned that the word "compañero" (filtered version of the communist "comrade" – Fidel was denying his communist preferences) was the correct way to refer to the other members of the new Cuban society-in-the-making.
Mr., Mrs. and Miss were no longer acceptable, and their further use could reveal that you were not a Fidelista. Since repression and violations of human rights came roaring in right behind Castro's sweep down from the mountains in 1959, objection or rejection of Fidel Castro's revolution would (and still will) land you in a lot of trouble. You could easily lose your life in those summary executions at La Cabaña prison under the direction of Che Guevara.
But don't worry about Che. Che was later transformed and cleansed by the masters of Political Correctness. His likeness became a revered icon of the far left, with T-shirts and posters still adorning the campuses of America.
The same techniques were used to cleanse one of today's "heroes," Mumia Abu-Jamal (even if he was convicted, by overwhelming evidence, of killing a cop).
And under the pervasive guidance of Political Correctness that took hold from elementary school to university, from the media to the arts, from the country fields to factories and offices, Cubans learned to say what it was safe to say. Always in line with the overpowering state. Always following the dictums of the only political party left: the Communist Party.
The self-censorship resulting from Political Correctness easily trampled freedom of speech. Political Correctness has succeeded in Cuba by creating a uniform political discourse that has lasted for 43 years.
Political Correctness has given the state (Castro) complete control of speech. That is the main reason why the U.S. media cannot extract the truth of what Cubans really feel when they interview regular citizens and deceptively present their comments as valid to the American public.
The same was true in the former Soviet Union and the former satellite countries. The same continues in the remaining communist world.
It's nothing new. The U.S. media must know that, so why don't they openly report that fact instead of misleading the public? Perhaps that is the reason why the American people are so uneducated about the Cuban tragedy and acted regrettably during the Elian Gonzalez affair.
The PC U.S.
With profound dismay, I have seen how the scourge of Political Correctness has taken hold in the U.S. It is very well entrenched in our educational system, at scientific, religious and community levels, the media, the workplace and even our government.
It is changing the American society from within, and the citizens of this nation are increasingly censoring themselves and losing their freedom of speech out of fear of Political Correctness repression.
It is the nature of Western Civilization to be civilized – respectful of others and concerned with correcting injustices. We don't need Political Correctness to make us think we are not civilized on our own and must have our thoughts and words restricted.
In December 2001, in Kensington, Md., an annual firefighters Santa Claus festivity to light the Christmas tree was objected to by two families. The city council, in the name of Political Correctness, voted to ban Santa from the parade. Fortunately, due to citizen outcry, the decision was reversed in the end and many people protested by dressing up as Santa.
Logically and respectfully, how can one person's benign icon be objectionable to the point of banishment? Offer to add other people's icons. Make it a broader celebration. That's the Perfectly Correct American way.
The rulers of Political Correctness reach absurd levels when they refer to the betrayal of America by the spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg – executed in 1953 – as "non-traditional patriotism"!
We see shameful situations created in our schools and universities in America that have fallen prey to Political Correctness. Some professors, students and publications are being attacked for expressing a point of view that differs from that imposed by a fanatical far left, under the guise of Political Correctness.
In schools and workplaces we see that "diversity" has degenerated into reverse discrimination, where often the less qualified are admitted and the incompetent cannot be fired. We have seen characters like Rev. Jesse Jackson shamelessly blackmailing and threatening to boycott entire corporations if they don't hire those selected by him or simply make "donations" to his organizations.
The Double Standard Emerges
Our Constitution requires the separation of church and state, which has always discouraged our public education system from teaching religion. However, in December 2001, while Christmas cards, symbols and decorations were being objected to for the first time in American public schools in Georgia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Oregon, in an elementary school in Texas, a girl was allowed to give to her classmates an overview and show a video about her Muslim religion.
And in January 2002, a public middle school in San Luis Obispo, Calif., had its students pretend to be warriors fighting for Islam. Another school near Oakland, Calif., also encouraged 125 seventh-grade students to dress up in Muslim robes for a three-week course on Islam.
This arbitrary double standard was applied in the name of Political Correctness following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
According to Ellen Sorokin's "No Founding Fathers?" published by the Washington Times on its front page on Jan. 28, 2002, even our Founding Fathers have fallen victim to the travesty. The article says of the New Jersey Department of Education's history standards,
"The latest revisions to the state standards have disappointed educators across the country, who said the board's exclusion of the Founding Fathers' names is 'Political Correctness to the nth degree.' "
Sorokin points out that "the standards specifically note that students should identify slavery, the Holocaust and modern Iraq as examples in which 'people have behaved in cruel and inhumane ways.' " Conveniently, communism is absent from that short list.
In another article by Sorokin, published by the Washington Times on March 10, "Report Blames Anti-Americanism on College Teachers," she presents two examples of upcoming courses for next spring and fall. They are " 'The Sexuality of Terrorism' at University of California at Hayward; and 'Terrorism and the Politics of Knowledge' at UCLA, a class that, according to its course description, examines 'America's record of imperialistic adventurism.' "
Recently, a historic photograph of the New York firefighters raising the American flag over the ruins of the World Trade Center was going to be made into a sculpture as a memorial.
But history's revisionists used Political Correctness to dictate that other minority faces replace some of the faces in the historical photograph! Fortunately, in the end that didn't fly either, due to the outcry of firefighters and the public.
The Goal of the PC Dictators
For people with the background and firsthand experience of living inside a totalitarian communist society, the tilt and goal of the dictators of Political Correctness in America are obvious.
The beneficiaries in the end will be the fanatic believers in the totalitarian state, who, in spite of the dismal failure of communism and the 100 million people exterminated pursuing that criminal system, have not given up.
Political and religious fanatics, as demonstrated by the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and the subsequent war in Afghanistan, are extremely dangerous in today's world.
All citizens who cherish liberty must reject the scourge of Political Correctness. Freedom of speech must be preserved in America if we are to continue to be free.
Let's say it: Castro is not a 'president,' as the U.S. media's Political Correctness calls him. Castro has not been democratically elected to anything in Cuba. The correct word to define him is 'tyrant.' He is not just a 'leader,' as the U.S. media also calls him. He is more of a criminal Mafioso-type character.
Why criminal? Because he has caused the deaths of more than 100,000 Cubans. Thousands have died through his support of guerrillas in Central and South America. Thousands of blacks were killed by Castro's soldiers in Africa. Castro in the 1980s introduced the use of bacteriological weapons to kill blacks in Angola.
How many thousands have died in America as a result of his drug trafficking into the U.S.? How many thousands have died all over the world due to terrorists trained in Castro's Cuba?
Former Soviet colonel Ken Alibek, who defected to America, was once in charge of the Soviet Union's production of biological weapons. In Alibek's 1999 book, "Biohazard," he revealed that with the help of the Soviet Union, in the 1980s Cuba created laboratories to produce chemical and bacteriological weapons of mass destruction – just 90 miles from U.S. shores.
The information about Castro's involvement with bacteriological weapons also comes from various independent sources. We must not forget either that Cuba is on the U.S. State Department's list of terrorist nations.
Why Mafioso? Well, Castro is like an untouchable godfather, surrounded by bodyguards and thugs and a private army of about 40,000 soldiers for his personal protection (roughly the size of the entire army of Cuba prior to 1959).
He stole foreign and national properties in Cuba. He has become one of the richest men in the world, according to Forbes magazine. He has created a despotic and corrupt elite to exploit the Cuban people and keep himself in power. He has made the Cuban people hostages and slaves of his corrupt regime.
The U.S. media do not call Al Capone "the former leader" of the Italian Mafia. Why the double standard with Fidel and other far-left regimes? The answer can be traced to where the sympathies lie – with the elite dictating Political Correctness in America.
It's one thing is to be educated, considerate, polite and have good manners, and another to be forced to self-censor and say things that are totally incorrect in order to comply with the arbitrary dictums of a deceiving and fanatical far-left agenda.
Let's preserve our freedom and say NO to the scourge of Political Correctness.
Israel stripped over 4,500 Jerusalemite Palestinians of their “residency rights” in 2008.
This marks a huge acceleration of a policy that has been in force since Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967. In these 41 years, Israel has now stripped over 12,000 Palestinians of their “permits” to live in Jerusalem, 35 per cent or so of those in 2008 alone.
It also maps out exactly where the current right-wing Israeli government, which has made no secret of its wish to Judaise Jerusalem, a travesty of history if ever there was one, is heading.
The policy shows many things about Israel to anyone who wants to see. One is this: Israel does not even bother to pretend to adhere to any kind of international law or internationally accepted standards for behaviour towards a population under occupation.
East Jerusalem, Israel’s unilateral and unrecognised annexation notwithstanding, is occupied territory (indeed, all of Jerusalem remains, under international law, a corpus separatum). As such, the residents of Jerusalem and their descendants have their right of residency guaranteed under international law.
They cannot be stripped of that right simply because of some arbitrary rule that Israel made up about having to prove your “centre of life” is in Jerusalem and not being absent for too long. After all, what kind of uproar would there be if Jews who live in Israel were similarly stripped of their residency rights in America, Poland, Germany or wherever they are originally from?
But of course, the key here is that the Palestinians of Jerusalem are not Jews. And that is what this is all about. There is no way to sugar coat what Israel is doing here. It is ethnic cleansing, pure and simple. It is not quick and dramatic like in 1948, when many people were forced to flee at the point of a gun. Rather, it is slow and administrative, forced out by the stroke of a pen.
There is no excuse for this kind of behaviour. There is certainly no excuse for international inaction over the issue. Israel will claim that Palestinians in Jerusalem would not face this problem if they accepted Israeli citizenship rather than the “residency permit” the colonising power is issuing the indigenous population. But that is tantamount to forcing Palestinians to accept an illegal occupation of their land.
What next? All visitors to Jerusalem will have to sign a paper acknowledging Israel’s “eternal right to Jerusalem” before being allowed to enter?
Israel needs to be held accountable for its racism before it becomes a precedent for other countries to follow.