Palestine Cultural Festival in East Jerusalem

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Please check
🙂 Palestine Cultural Festival Website

JIWON:
How come the headquarters of Palestine Cultural Festival, which is sponsored by PA, is located in Edinburgh, UK? Why can’t I find any information from Palestinian side? According to Palestine Cultural Festival Website, all the events take place in UK. Weird… First of all, how come the WORDS regarding the LAW can sound as different as the writers in this case? More weird…

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PART of MESSAGES from JIWON to ONE PALESTINE

March 25, 2009 Palestinian Culture Festival, Absentee Property Law, and Still Alive Shalit
DEAR PALESTINIAN SIDE,

JIWON:
I’m afraid that it is too late on this issue.

Jerusalem Police set to prevent ‘Palestinian Culture Festival’ Mar 20, 2009 / By Haaretz

To be honest, there was no time on this issue. As far as I know, it was sponsored by the Palestinian Authority, and my problem was with this paragraph:

The police said that they were determined to enforce the law, whereby any event organized and funded by the PA is prohibited within Jerusalem’s municipal jurisdiction. The head of the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, Nachi Eyal, on Wednesday urged Dichter and Police Commissioner David Cohen to thwart the staging of the event. “To the best of my understanding, this is an attempt to demonstrate Palestinian sovereignty in Jerusalem in an illegal manner,” said Eyal. “The law…obligates the Palestinian Authority to respect the sovereignty of Israel within the boundaries of the State of Israel, including East Jerusalem.”

Hum… a very weird article in the view of international eyes.
If I were a Palestinian leader, I would make this cultural event the loudest international issue. I would use this golden opportunity to enhance my leadership inside the Palestinian State.

Basically, this kind of issue is what UN Peace-Envoy Barenboim should be involved in and use his international fame to support. However… I promise. The bigger mouth Barenboim performs in front of international media, the more his Mideastern pigs will use it in their favorite way… only to take care of their professional career, then… it will eventually weaken Palestinian leadership, which should exist for the two-state-solution.

I just hope Palestinian leader to organize this cultural event as many as possible. Next time… we’ll see.

http://news.google.com/news?um=1&ned=us&hl=en&q=Palestinian+Culture+Festival&scoring=n

So many information on this link, including the Absentee Property Law… but no time now.

Anyway, I am very busy now. I am temporarily done to update my Knesset blog. (Though I had to create another section, Coallition-Deal-2009, to prepare Just-in-Case after reading American President’s address, I feel no need to finish it now.) I just want to read some articles about Shalit. I remember there was an interesting information about Egyptian side, which certainly sounds stinky.

Sincerely yours,
JIWON

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Israeli Police Clamp Down on al-Quds Arab Culture Capital Celebrations Mar 23, 2009 / By Dissident Voice
(…) The International Middle East Media Center web site reported Saturday that Hamas had refused to host the scheduled events associated with the festival in Gaza.

MIDEAST: Israel Under Pressure Over Divided Jerusalem Mar 24, 2009 / By Inter Press Service, Mel Frykberg

RAMALLAH, Mar 24 (IPS) – By late Saturday afternoon hundreds of heavily armed Israeli security forces on horseback and on foot had arrested over 20 Palestinians, assaulted a handful of people, and prevented numerous festivities from taking place.
Police in riot gear on horseback charged at groups of Palestinian youths in Salahadin Street, the major thoroughfare of Palestinian East Jerusalem, forcibly dispersing them.
Several Palestinian women handing out celebratory T-shirts at Damascus Gate at the entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City were arrested and taken in for questioning.
A football game affiliated with the culture festival was broken up as students attempting to release balloons were arrested. A group of young girls gathered at a local youth club were forcibly dispersed.
Earlier in the week police stormed a meeting of festival organisers, arresting several participants and confiscating laptops, mobile phones and files.
The Israeli police were following the orders of Israel’s Public Security Minister Avi Dichter to use whatever force was necessary to prevent the Palestinian Authority (PA) from celebrating “Jerusalem as the capital of Arabic culture for 2009.”

The tough crackdown, on what on the surface appeared to be a harmless and fun cultural event, underlines the growing conflict between the Israel government and the PA over the division of the city between Israeli West Jerusalem and Palestinian East Jerusalem.
Israel sees a united Jerusalem as its undivided capital forever. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Under international law, underpinned by various UN Security Council resolutions, East Jerusalem is illegally occupied by Israel and belongs to the Palestinians
.
Jerusalem is not recognised as the legitimate capital of Israel by any foreign country, all of which base their embassies in Tel Aviv.

Following the breakout of the second Palestinian uprising (Intifadah) in 2000, Israel banned the PA from carrying out any activities in East Jerusalem as competing claims over the future of the eastern part of the city exacerbated tensions.

The Palestinian population in East Jerusalem comprises 253,000 people while there are approximately 192,000 Israeli settlers residing there in 12 illegal settlements.
The war over East Jerusalem has been fought on a number of fronts and on various levels since Israel captured the territory during the six-day Arab- Israel war in 1967.

One of the first laws implemented after the 1967 war was the Absentee Property Law, which Israel used to expropriate Palestinian homes and property. Any Palestinian who vacated home, even on a temporary basis to escape the fighting or as a result of expulsion, was designated an “absentee” landlord.
The “absentee” automatically lost ownership or the use of his or her property, and the homes were subsequently often sold or rented to Jewish Israelis. Since then the Jewish state has meticulously tried to establish facts on the ground by Judaising East Jerusalem with the establishment of settlements. Jerusalem municipality has redrawn the city’s municipal boundaries to incorporate the illegal settlements.

The building of the separation barrier, which separates Israel proper from the West Bank, has increased the number of Palestinians on the “wrong side” of the barrier or wall, thereby further limiting a Palestinian presence.
Conservative UN figures estimate currently that about 25 percent of the Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have been cut off from the city by the barrier.

Furthermore, Israeli rights organisation B’Tselem states, “Palestinians residing outside of Jerusalem for seven or more years lose their Jerusalem residency status. “Unless they can prove Jerusalem residency within the municipal boundaries and the importance of the city in their daily life, which is imperative in order to keep their identity cards.”

In 2003, the Citizenship and Entry into Israel law was enacted. This prevents Palestinians from the territories from living in East Jerusalem, or Israel proper, with their Palestinian spouses who may have Israeli citizenship or Jerusalem residency.

Another tactic has been to limit the number of building permits for Palestinians, forcing many to build illegally and then risk demolition by the authorities.
The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) says there is currently a housing shortage of more than 25,000 units in East Jerusalem. Palestinians receive up to 300 permits annually, while 150 homes are simultaneously demolished.
Suhail Khalilieh, head of the Applied Research Institute in Jerusalem (ARIJ) settlement unit told IPS that “even if Palestinians are fortunate enough to get the permits, they are still restricted to building on only 25 percent of their land.”
Furthermore, B’Tselem explained that Palestinians account for only about 20 percent of illegal construction in the city, yet more than 75 percent of the demolitions are carried out on Palestinian homes.

While Israel has been winning the war on the ground and in the media to date, the tide may be turning.
Pressure from the new U.S. administration over Israel’s planned demolition of 88 Palestinian homes in the Silwan neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, amongst others, might force the demolition orders to be frozen.
Furthermore, a report released by the EU in December accused Israel of using settlement expansion, the security barrier in the West Bank, Palestinian house demolitions and discriminatory housing policies to gain control over East Jerusalem.

Another boost has come from an unexpected quarter recently. Turkish officials, at the behest of lawyers acting on behalf of Palestinian owners, have uncovered archives going back to the Ottoman empire days (that ended in 1922) in Ankara confirming that Palestinians are the owners of a number of homes in East Jerusalem.
The officials recently helped to trace documents which could end a 30-year- old dispute over the ownership of around 30 buildings in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.
Hitherto, a number of Sephardic Jews (Jews from the Arab countries) claimed to have legal documentation to prove their ownership.
The Palestinian owners had claimed for years that these documents were forged, but were unable to prove their case due to lack of cooperation from the Turks who were hesitant to spoil their relationship with Israel prior to the Gaza war.
According to the Palestinians’ attorneys, one of the Ottoman documents proves that the Sephardic Leadership never purchased the compound but only rented it. Another Ottoman document confirms that the ownership document presented by the Jewish party is not authentic.
Other dispossessed Palestinians have also claimed forgery was committed in regard to their homes. (END/2009)

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Israeli authorities ban Palestinian Cultural Festival in East Jerusalem Mar 22, 2009 / By Alternative Information Center (AIC), Al Haq

As an organisation dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), Al-Haq condemns the repressive actions taken today by the Israeli authorities in banning peaceful cultural activities organised as part of the Palestinian Cultural Festival marking the declaration of Jerusalem as the “Capital of Arab Culture 2009.”

Coming in the wake of a recent intensification of human rights violations against Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem – most notably in the form of home demolitions aimed at removing Palestinians from East Jerusalem – the decision of the Israeli Minister of Internal Security, Avi Dichter, to prevent and suppress today’s events ties into a broader policy of restriction of Palestinian civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.

On Thursday 19 March, Israeli police dispersed a meeting at the Ambassador Hotel in East Jerusalem of the organisers of the planned cultural activities, and confiscated related material and computers. The Israeli authorities were consequently fully aware that the activities were intended to take place primarily inside schools, social clubs and community centres. Under instruction from the Ministry of Internal Security, today Israeli police entered a number of schools in East Jerusalem, including St. George’s Boys School and the Schmidt Girls School, as well as community centres such as Burj al-Laqlaq, in order to prevent the performance of sports and cultural activities inside the respective institutions. Initial information gathered by Al-Haq’s fieldworkers indicates that a number of the organisers were arrested; specially designed flags and related material to mark the event were confiscated from schools and individuals; and peaceful gatherings were aggressively dispersed by Israeli police.

The decision to interfere with the Palestinian cultural events was taken by the Minister of Internal Security at the behest of the head of the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, Nachi Eyal, who described the planned events as an “attempt to demonstrate Palestinian sovereignty in Jerusalem in an illegal manner,” and asserted that Palestinians are obliged “to respect the sovereignty of Israel within the boundaries of the State of Israel, including East Jerusalem.” This patently contradicts clear international legal norms which provide that an Occupying Power is prohibited from extending its sovereignty over the territory it occupies. It is on this basis that the UN Security Council has held Israel’s annexation of occupied East Jerusalem to be “invalid,” and “null and void.” This position has been repeatedly affirmed by the international legal community, including the International Court of Justice, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions.

Indeed, East Jerusalem is incontrovertibly recognised under international law as an integral part of the occupied territory over which the Palestinian people is entitled to exercise its right to self-determination. A foundational principle of international human rights law, the right to self-determination includes the right of peoples to freely pursue their cultural development. The individual rights to freedom of expression, freedom of association and peaceful assembly are also firmly embedded in the lexicon of international human rights law, and have all been violated by the actions of the Israeli authorities in East Jerusalem.

The Israeli authorities have also issued orders preventing related cultural events in Nazareth from taking place, a decision which stands in stark contrast to the permission recently granted by the Israeli High Court of Justice to extremist Israeli settler Baruch Marzel, from the illegal settlement of Tel Rumeida (Hebron), to lead a march through the Palestinian town of Umm al-Fahm on 24 March.
Such double standards show
a clear intent on the part of the Israeli authorities to stifle Palestinian cultural identity and expression, while at the same time fomenting provocative manifestations of extremist Israeli ideology.

Al-Haq calls on the international community to:
* Strongly condemn Israel’s illegal measures aimed at altering the status of occupied East Jerusalem and denying the exercise of Palestinian cultural and political rights towards fulfilment of the right to self-determination; and
* Take concrete action towards ending the illegal situation created by Israel’s policies in regard to East Jerusalem, including by refraining from providing any direct or indirect assistance to Israeli violations of international law therein.

‘Jerusalem – Our Celebration, Their Judaization’ Mar 24, 2009 / By The Media Line, Ibrahim Deibes

President Mahmoud ‘Abbas’ launching of the “2009 Jerusalem: Capital of Arab Culture” festival, attended by Arab ministers and officials to emphasize the Palestinian and Arab rights in the city – coincided with measures on the ground taken by Israeli occupation to prevent any activities in the Holy City and in other towns.
Israel continued its policy of isolating Jerusalem, intensified the presence of its security forces and bluntly declared a confrontation with Palestinian and Arab officialdom.
These Israeli aggravation measures were a continuation of the ongoing policies adopted after the illegal Israeli occupation after the 1967 war.
The goal of these measures has always been the Judaization of the city, by expelling as many Palestinians as possible, expanding the settlement activities and isolating Jerusalem from other occupied areas.
Despite the importance of the occasion of celebrating Jerusalem as a Capital of Arab Culture for the current year, a symbol of the Arab hold over the city, the festival and the symbolism are countered by accelerated Israeli steps on the ground, at the cost of Palestinian, Arab and Islamic rights.

Our people pay a dear price of suffering, pain and attempts to minimize their rights and to expel people out of its Holy City.
Te Arab Islamic world should offer more than the symbolic gestures, however important. They should initiate an ongoing movement on the regional and international levels to face the Israeli challenges and practices in Jerusalem in particular, and the occupied territories in general.
Naturally, this responsibility is not limited to the wide Arab-Islamic sphere, nor is it restricted to the international community due to its obligations and duties.
It is essentially a Palestinian national responsibility: the entire Palestinian national entity is required to shoulder its responsibilities with regard to what has been unfolding.
It should face the brazen Israeli challenge
.
Such a position would never emerge while we are experiencing the current tragic division orchestrated by those who favor their factional and partisan interests over the higher Palestinian interests.
They ignore the various Israeli practices to which our people have been subjected and the dangers that threaten our rights.

It is time for Arabs and Muslims to effectively move to defend Jerusalem and its sacred Islamic and Christian shrines. It is time also for the rival factions to get our people out of the illogical division and its implications.
All parties should muster their effort and energy and dedicate themselves to serving the central goal – to get rid of the occupation and establish the independent Palestinian state on our national territory.
This is the only means to enhance the glorious symbolism of Jerusalem – the Capital of Arab culture festival.
It is a grave mistake that some parties consider this occasion as the peak of what could be offered to the Palestinians.
Finally, we would like to say that the international community, which so far failed to fulfill its responsibilities and duties to help the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people, is now required to defend the international legitimacy and the international peace and security.
It must firmly stand against the Israeli practices and illegal changes in the Holy City.
The world should say clearly that it is high time to end the occupation and to establish the independent Palestinian state.

Ibrahim Deibes is a veteran Palestinian journalist. This editorial first appeared in Al-Quds.
Copyright © 2008 The Media Line. All Rights Reserved.

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Jerusalem Police set to prevent ‘Palestinian Culture Festival’ Mar 21, 2009 / By Haaretz

Islamic Movement leader arrested at Jerusalem protest Mar 23, 2009 / By Haaretz
The head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, Sheikh Ra’ad Salah, was detained for questioning in Jerusalem yesterday, together with his bodyguard and three other individuals. Police said the five were arrested after they refused to leave an illegal meeting in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and attempted to assault police officers. The gathering was part of the events of the Palestinian Culture Festival, marking the choice by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization of Jerusalem as the Capital of Arab Culture for 2009. (…)

Police break up 8 PA events in e J’lem March 21, 2009 / By Jerusalem Post, Etgar Lefkovits

Jerusalem police on Saturday dispersed eight small east Jerusalem events organized by the Palestinian Authority as part of a Palestinian Culture Week aimed at declaring the city the “capital of Arab culture,” police said.
The events were intended to emphasize the Palestinian claim to east Jerusalem.

Twenty people were arrested for allegedly organizing the events, which were disbanded on the order of Public Security Minister Avi Dichter, who said they were illegal, Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said.
No violence or injuries were reported in connection with any of the arrests.

Palestinian activists organized the events, as well as others in various West Bank cities, to celebrate the Arab League’s designation of Jerusalem as the capital of Arab culture for 2009.
The 23-nation group chooses a different city for the honor each year.
Under the Oslo Accords, Palestinian political activity is forbidden in Jerusalem, and police periodically break up similar events in the city
.
The small rallies and other events in the Arab sections of Jerusalem and in the Old City were to be attended by hundreds of people.

In line with the injunctions, police detained two female employees at the Al-Quds University for planning to distribute T-shirts advertising the events, and police also blocked students from entering the university.

A soccer match scheduled to be held at a school on Nablus Road and a conference for young women at the Al-Hiya’la Center, also organized by the PA, were both shut down.
Police said they also prevented a group of Arab students from rallying at the Temple Mount with PLO flags.
Later in the afternoon, in the Ras el Amud neighborhood, police confiscated a torch, brought in from Syria, which was to have been lit at a rally at sundown, police said.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas criticized the crackdown and said Israel’s policies in Jerusalem were undermining the chances for peace.
“The policy of discrimination, suppression, stealing the land, destruction of neighborhoods, and homes, the policy of falsifying the past, destroying the present and stealing the future should all stop if peace is to have a real opportunity in this land,” he said at a West Bank event
.

The Israeli action was also condemned by Israeli Arab MKs.
“This government is not only an enemy of any hope for peace, but also an enemy of culture and all that is humane,” MK Muhammad Barakei (Hadash) said. “There is a fact that all of Israel’s deluded efforts cannot change, and that is that Al-Quds [Jerusalem] will be the capital of Palestine.”
“I guess the occupation feels threatened by the Palestinian culture and narrative,” said MK Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List-Ta’al).
One-third of the city’s 750,000 residents are Arab.

Police disperse PA’s ‘Palestinian Culture Festival’ events in J’lem Mar 23, 2009 / By Haaretz, Jonathan Lis and Jack Khoury

Jerusalem Police yesterday dispersed several small events scheduled for the Palestinian Culture Festival, meant to declare the city “the capital of Arabic culture for 2009.”
The Palestinian Authority had organized the event, and activities were to be held in Jerusalem and Nazareth, as well as Gaza, Lebanon and Bethlehem. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was scheduled to kick off the celebrations from his headquarters in Ramallah.

The law prohibits the Palestinian Authority from staging any events in the Jerusalem municipality.
As of yesterday afternoon, police had shut down eight events and arrested 20 people who were believed to be the organizers.
The detainees included two employees of Al-Quds University who were planning to hand out T-shirts promoting the festival. Police also prevented students from entering the university campus.

At a school on Nablus Road, police broke up a soccer game planned as part of the culture festival. They also dispersed a gathering of young girls at the al-Hiyala club, blocked a group of students with PLO flags from reaching the Temple Mount, and prevented a similar event on Haroun el-Rashid road.
Police also confiscated a torch brought over from Syria that was to have been lit at an inauguration rally at sundown, an Israeli official said.
Police also dispersed crowds on Salah al-Din Street and in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi al-Joz.

Despite the confrontations, no violence or injuries were reported.

Public Security Minister Avi Dichter had instructed police to act forcefully against any Palestinian Authority attempts to stage events in Jerusalem or other parts of Israel, and Israel Police and Border Police had increased their presence in the Old City and Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem yesterday.
They had announced Friday that they would prevent it from taking place.
The police said they were determined to enforce the law, which states any event organized and funded by the PA is prohibited within Jerusalem’s municipal jurisdiction. They announced Friday that they would block the Palestinian Culture Festival events.

MK Mohammed Barakeh (Hadash) harshly criticized Dichter for cancelling the events in Jerusalem and Nazareth.
“The event planned for Saturday evening was initiated by the municipality of Nazareth and sponsored by the Palestinian Authority, and was meant to be a cultural event,” said Barakeh.
“This government is not only an enemy of any hope for peace, but also an enemy of culture and all that is humane,” Barakeh added. “There is a fact that all of Israel’s deluded efforts cannot change, and that is that Al-Quds [Jerusalem] will be the capital of Palestine.”

The head of the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, Nachi Eyal, had urged Dichter and Police Commissioner David Cohen to thwart the event.
“To the best of my understanding, this is an attempt to demonstrate Palestinian sovereignty in Jerusalem in an illegal manner,” said Eyal.
“The law … obligates the Palestinian Authority to respect the sovereignty of Israel within the boundaries of the State of Israel, including East Jerusalem.”

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