Full speech of Daphna Golan inciting Palestinian battle against Israel, the U.N Question of Palestine Forum in Istanbul. Dr. Daphna Golan [Law, Hebrew University] http://law.huji.ac.il/eng/merkazim.asp?cat=1982&in=531
Sharing Jerusalem in justice and peace-
A call for truth and reconciliation in Sheikh Jarah
These days, Jerusalem- the holy city for Jews, Christians and Muslims is a city of
fear and uncertainty- a city divided between Israelis, for whom the city is planned, and
Palestinians, whom the State of Israel views as foreigners in their own homes. After the
occupation of the Palestinian Territories by Israel in 1967, West Jerusalem tripled its size,
swallowing up East Jerusalem as well as 28 Palestinian villages around it. On the lands
confiscated from Palestinians some 200,000 Israelis live in settlements built for Jews
only, while not a single neighborhood has been built for Palestinians- even though they are
more than 300,000 people- more than a third of Jerusalemites. There is no master plan in
Palestinian East Jerusalem, and construction permits are very scarce. Yet there are tens of demolitions of homes built without a permit every year. Palestinian Jerusalemites are
disconnected from most of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza who are not
allowed to enter Jerusalem, their religious, cultural, economic and political center.
During recent years the discrimination in the city becomes evident, where the
municipality invests four times more in a Jewish student than in an Arab students (557 NIS
versus 2,372 NIS), where thousands of Palestinian students even 8 and 9 years old do not
go to school as there is no room for them in schools. In Jerusalem even the rain water is not distributed equally between Jews and Arabs, and more than half of the Palestinians in the city are not connected to running water.
It is not enough, however, to name, shame and blame Israel for its policy in
Jerusalem. In order to bring change to Jerusalem to offer hope for peace and justice- we
need a vision of shared Jerusalem and much efforts on behalf of the international
How do we imagine Jerusalem of peace? Our future vision of Jerusalem is connected
to the past, to years of occupation by empires, years of wars years in which millions of
people around the world dream Jerusalem.
Here in Turkey, it would be appropriate to think about the house of Um Nabil in
Sheikh Jarrah in which Jewish settlers now live to begin to hope for a different future. For
proofs of ownership of land and houses, official Ottoman deeds are debated in Israeli
courts – transferring a political debate about the future of Jerusalem into a legal battles
which Palestinians keep losing.
In the last months at the heart of Jerusalem, a walking distance from the UN office,
from the American consulate and from most of the European consulates, three Palestinian
families were evicted from their homes, and live in the street while Jewish settlers moved
in. Twenty four other families including Um Nabil's Al Kurd family received eviction
orders following court cases in which a Jewish organization claimed to own the houses
before the 1948 War .
Yet in Sheikh Jarrah, Israelis and Palestinians are protesting against the evictions
while seeds of partnership between Israelis and Palestinians are beginning to sprout.
Could you help Um Nabil who was evicted from her house in Haifa in 1948, to stop
living in fear of second eviction in Sheikh Jarrah? Maybe instead of more UN committees
and more UN reports you could help create truth committees that would allow Um Nabil to
tell her story of her first eviction from her house in Haifa in 1948, how she settled with
other 27 Palestinian families of refugees, in Sheikh Jarrah, and why she thinks that another
Jewish settlement at the heart of Palestinian East Jerusalem will create more tensions and
hate in the city.
Like most Palestinians, the people in Sheikh Jarrah who were evicted form their
houses, and those who receive eviction orders- are refugees who were displaced from their houses and lands in 1948 when the state of Israel was established.
Israeli law does not recognize the right of Palestinians to sue in a similar manner for the return of their properties which they lost during the 1948 War, in West Jerusalem in particular and in Israel in general.
It is time to stop all demolitions of homes in Jerusalem, all evictions of Palestinians
from their homes - and build together a future of peace. Truth committees, like the ones
established in South Africa and other countries in transition, might be a model to allow all
to publicly hear and learn about the history of Jerusalem, the history of the conflict, and to
search for reconciliation.
Jerusalem is a city that knew many military occupations. A city
in which Jews and Arabs, Chrisitans, Jews and Muslims always lived together. It is our
hope, all of us in Jerusalem that the policy of separation and discrimination will be over
and the city will be shared by all who live in it, in equality and peace.
Millions of Muslims Jews and Christians care for Jerusalem and its future. Let us
acknowledge Jerusalem’s history, let us allow the struggle in Sheikh Jarrah to be the last
struggle between Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem. We could all live together, we should all
share the resources, the beauty the holiness of Jerusalem- for Jerusalem could and should
be a city of peace. For generations Jews prayed – next year in Jerusalem. Let's pray and
hope for Next Year in a Jerusalem that is rebuilt with equality and peace.
Why Sheikh Jarrah?
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UNITED NATIONS PUBLIC FORUM
IN SUPPORT OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
Jerusalem – The key to Israeli-Palestinian peace
Istanbul, 27 May 2010