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Israel: Not a Banana Republic but a State of Law and Order

Under the provocative title, ‘Israeli Mayor to Demolish UN Humanitarian Agency Emergency Shelter, the International Middle East Media Center publishes a report showing the Israeli efforts to keep East Jerusalem free of structures built without a permit (some of which even predate the ordinance, which shows how far back Palestinian illegality goes and how deeply ingrained it is).

The UN agency violates these edilitary efforts by placing so-called temporary emergency shelters for those evacuated from the demolished  buildings, which defeats the purpose of the demolition.

The article, reproduced below almost in its entirety, states the facts correctly; one has only to ignore the false interpretations that are purposely unfavorable to Israel.

Home demolition in Beit Hanina

Home demolition in Beit Hanina

Israel strongly condemned the erection of the emergency shelters in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina. Israel accused the UN of overstepping its bounds and asserted that the trailer homes are illegal and should be demolished according to reports in the Israeli dailies Ha’aretz and The Jerusalem Post as well as the Palestine News Network.

Maxwell Gaylard, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territories defended the agencies actions as emergency humanitarian assistance provided when the Palestinian families turned to the UN agency for help.

Gaylard echoed the concerns of other human rights groups in the area and noted that Palestinians in East Jerusalem apply for housing permits but do not receive them. He added, “Where else could we put [the shelters]? We are helping the Palestinians on land that is theirs. Beit Hanina is occupied Palestinian territory.”

Other officials at the agency noted that they did not require a permit for building because in addition to being build on Palestinian land, they are only an emergency solution, are not connected to utilities, and do not have foundations.

An Israeli spokeswoman said in a statement, “Israel is not a banana republic, but a state of law and order. The UN can help to advance the residents’ quality of life in keeping with the law and we hope the construction violation at the site is not in accordance with the UN.”

The shelters have the UN agency’s logo on them along with the flags of the donor countries of Great Britain, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Spain, The Netherlands and Ireland.

Israeli officials claimed that the flags were only there to embarrass Israel in these countries as it destroys their donations.

If Israel is embarrassed by people outside of its borders watching as they demolish emergency housing for families, perhaps they should reassess their decision to do so.
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It is clear to me that using the flags of the donor countries to identify these shelters is a way of trying to embarrass Israel, which is ridiculous: it cannot be done.

2 Responses to Israel: Not a Banana Republic but a State of Law and Order

  1. Blake August 10, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    Alongside the physical restrictions on Palestinians, the newly-created state of Israel also enacted laws designed to dispossess Palestinians of their land and their rights to their land. The Absentees Property Law aimed to take ownership of property and land belonging to Palestinians. The term “absentee” was carefully applied and targeted Palestinians who had been expelled from their homes during the war of 1948.

    The term “absentee” was carefully applied and targeted Palestinians who had been expelled from their homes during the war of 1948.

    This law applied to Palestinians who had been made refugees and were now outside Israel, and also to those who were now in Israel but living as internally displaced persons. Israel calls these Palestinians “present absentees”, an Orwellian state of being which denies them access to their homes, even though many live in the same area and their homes are still standing (unlike the 500-plus towns and villages razed to remove the evidence of Palestinians’ existence on the land for many hundreds of years before).

    On May 24th State Dept released a scathing report about human rights practices in Israel & occupied territories. It cited continued targeting of unarmed civilians, increased attacks by ‘settlers’, significantly increased demolitions of civilian homes & infrastructure & a lack of credible investigations into flagrant human rights abuses. Instead of holding Israel accountable for violations of U.S. laws & Palestinian human rights, congress plans to give Israel even more weapons.

  2. Blake August 10, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

    The Israeli state was established as a colonial settler state it is based on taking Palestinian land it can’t exist without continuing to do so, it can’t exist with allowing the RIGHT of Palestinians to return to their land and is likely to fundamentally change until that state is changed.

    Israeli planners in the zoning department & their legal spokespeople will claim the Palestinians who build don’t have permission to build. Anything that happens in Palestine and so called “normal planning procedures” that is simply not true, it’s a systematic policy of pushing Palestinians off what remaining land they have.

    There is no equality before the law or truly representative process by which Palestinians can be politically be present in “Israeli” state awa as the geographical separation of their fellow Palestinians in the bantustans or those in the diaspora against their will denied returning to their homes, does bring back memories of apartheid South Africa where the blacks were systematically denied the rights the whites had.

    94% of recent planning applications have been turned down by the “Israeli” authorities