Dorothy Online Newsletter


Dear Friends,
Just 4 items tonight.  I’m sure that there is more news, but I didn’t get to it today.  Sorry.  Maybe this will allow you to read more of Today in Palestine.
Item 1 is serious: Israel is beginning to officially expropriate Palestinian land in the West Bank.  Of course this should surprise no one.  All of Israel sits on land that was formerly Palestinian.  So why not the West Bank? And note, the Palestinians have no recourse.  Settlements will be officially registered, but Palestinians will not have the right to complain.  Imagine someone coming to your house, taking it and your land, then registering it on his/her name, and, lastly, informing you that you cannot take this to court.  It’s done.  It’s theirs, and there is nothing that you can do about it.  Someone who read this exclaimed, ‘but that’s not democratic.’  True. But Israel is not nor ever has been democratic.  It is ethnocratic not democratic.  And all the land it ‘owns’ was not so long ago someone else’s.
Item 2 is positive news.  The PCUSA “Committee 15 of the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church voted in favor of a motion calling for divestment from  Motorola, for providing surveillance equipment for Israeli settlements, Caterpillar, for providing bulldozers used for demolishing Palestinian houses, and Hewlett-Packard, for selling hardware used by Israel in its naval blockade of Gaza.”  Let us hope that the General Assembly will follow suit.
Item 3 is a brief video that was shown on Israeli TV last night.  One Israeli border policeman grabs a 9 year old Palestinian child in Hebron, and while the policeman holds the child on the ground, another border policeman comes and kicks the boy.
Item 4 is Today in Palestine for July 2, 2012.
All the best,
July 03, 2012
Israel to begin recording settler land claims, deny Palestinians’ right of appeal
Documents obtained by Haaretz indicate that new land registry process, which would bypass regular tabu [the present ownership registration process in Israel proper] listings, is official policy, with repercussions reviewed by top officials.
By Chaim Levinson
Jul.03, 2012
The West Bank settlement of Nokdim Photo by Alex Levac
After 45 years of running the West Bank, the State of Israel plans to start compiling land registry records of assets controlled by settlers. The registry would bypass regular tabu land-listing processes, and appears designed to prevent Palestinians from appealing the validity of the ownership listings.
Documents obtained by Haaretz indicate that this land registry process comes as official policy whose “legal and diplomatic repercussions” have been reviewed by top officials. The registry process is supported by deputy attorney general Mike Blass, along with Defense Ministry legal adviser Ahaz Ben-Ari, Civil Administration head Brig. Gen. Moti Almoz and Defense Ministry settlement adviser Eitan Broshi. The registry process is expected to receive Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s approval later in the month.
The need for such a land registry process grows out of Israel’s continued control of the West Bank. In 1967, when IDF forces first occupied the territories, land ownership arrangements enforced by the Jordanians became void. To justify the lack of a formal land ownership registry process, Israel claimed that the occupation in the territories was temporary, whereas such a land registry is a permanent procedure. There was an option of registering land under existing tabu rules from the Ottoman era – but the state cannot initiate such registration processes. The processes can be initiated only by an individual, who is supposed to bring documents that attest to his ownership of the property; property owners in the vicinity are also supposed to be notified of the tabu registry request. Subsequently a review committee convenes to discuss the evidence, compile witness testimony, receive objections, and ultimately announce registration decisions.
Jewish settlements in the territories were established on lands originally “occupied for military reasons” that were subsequently classified as “state lands.” For various reasons lands in the territories were not transferred to settler ownership; instead, the settlers were given authorization to reside on them. Under this procedure, the “official responsible for government property” provides “permission” to the World Zionist Organization, or to a housing company, to make use of the land. These entities have no rights to make tabu land registry listings.
After the passage of time, some of the housing companies are currently on the verge of dissolution, and want to bring a halt to current land listing arrangements in the territories. For instance, with regard to the Oranit settlement in 2008, the Delta company, which built the community, announced that it did not intend to make listings of land transactions. Some residents submitted court claims, demanding that Delta compile such listings. The state claimed that Delta was obliged to make these listings. In discussions held by the Civil Administration in this Oranit case, officials entertained the possibility of initiating tabu registration processes in which all historic events that transpired in the area would be put under review – the ways in which the land was classified and allocated would be investigated.
As part of this tabu registration process, Palestinians would be able to submit objections to land registry requests, and their objections could further complicate Israeli attempts to build settlements on privately owned land in the territories.
As a result of this complication, deputy attorney general Blass sponsored a series of consultations. He instructed the civil administration to carry out an orderly process of land registration, one conducted in lieu of the ordinary tabu procedure and designed to recognize settler land rights.
Blass’ authorization relies on an IDF order issued in 1974; up to now, this order has been invoked just once, to authorize multi-story construction in Kiryat Arba in the 1980s. Under this order, the “recorder” can carry out land asset registration processes in “certain cases”; the recorder’s decisions constitute “decisive proof” of an individual’s right to a property.
The defense ministry responds: “This is a problem that has been known to the legal and security system for some time. Due to a request submitted by a number of authorities, including the Oranit council, defense ministry experts, in conjunction with authorities from other agencies, have held a preliminary review of the subject. This review has yet to generate a recommendation for submission to the political leadership.”
2 Haaretz
July 3, 2012
U.S. Presbetyrian Church votes in favor of Israel boycott resolution
Vote at assembly in Pennsylvania could be a sign that discourse among U.S. Christians on Israel is about to change, final vote to be held in the coming days.
By Natasha Mozgovaya
Jul.03, 2012
A demonstrator displays a sign reading “Boycott Israel, racist state” outside the Belgian foreign affairs building during a protest in Brussels May 31, 2010. Photo by Reuters
Israel boycott Following a lengthy and heated debate, committee 15 of the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States voted in favor of a motion calling for divestment from three companies that do business with Israel.
Whether or not the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel is gaining traction is one of the hottest questions being asked among the most politically active members of the Jewish community – as many people take the issue to heart.
Israel supporters claim that the numbers of participants in the annual “Israel apartheid” week have not grown significantly, and that the American Methodist and Presbyterian Churches, despite regularly raising the topic of divesting from companies that “profit from Israeli occupation,” generally end up voting against it.  The discourse is shifting – and not in Israel’s favor.
In 2008, the United Methodist Church (UMC) rejected an Israel divestment resolution. On May 2, the UMC general conference did it again, rejecting a resolution calling for divestment from three companies doing business with Israel (although the conference did adopt a measure recommending a boycott of products made in Israeli settlement).
This week, the topic was raised again in Pittsburgh, at the general assembly of the Presbyterian Church. Last time, the resolution didn’t even pass the committee level, let alone the general vote.
This time, something different happened. Committee 15 of the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church voted in favor of a motion calling for divestment from  Motorola, for providing surveillance equipment for Israeli settlements, Caterpillar, for providing bulldozers used for demolishing Palestinian houses, and Hewlett-Packard, for selling hardware used by Israel in its naval blockade of Gaza.
The motion also called for the church to increase investments in companies promoting peaceful pursuits. The final vote is expected at the general assembly later this week.
Rev. Dr. Walt Davis, Co-Chair of the Israel/Palestine Mission Network, called the decision “an encouraging step”.
“We hope plenary voters will follow the lead of Committee 15 and the recommendations of the Mission Responsibility Through Investing committee and support divestment from these companies that are profiting from Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights. It’s been a long and thorough process and it’s finally time for the church to stop profiting from the suffering the peoples of the Holy Land,” said Davis.
But during Monday evening’s debate, there were also concerns expressed over the possible impact of the decision on the relations with the Jewish community – and other sectors of the American Christian community.
Weeks before the general assembly opened on June 30, the proposal drew sharp criticism and warnings from Jewish American organizations, with the exception of those on the far left, such as the Jewish Voice for Peace. Over 1,300 Rabbis and over 12,000 American Jews signed letters to delegates of the biennial Presbyterian Church General Assembly, calling them to reject the “counterproductive” resolution.
In response, the Anti-Defamation League warned of the negative effect on the Jewish and American Christian relations. The American Jewish Committee called the resolutions generally put to votes every two years at the Presbyterian Church gatherings “an unfortunate tradition” meant to vilify Israel and adopt positions of “non-representative” Palestinian leaders.
Even Jeremy Ben-Ami, President of the leftist pro-Israeli lobby JStreet, wrote an article titled “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Put Allies at Odds.”
“In our view, the one-sided, extreme rhetoric that accompanies the global BDS movement makes a mutually agreeable solution more difficult to achieve, not less” wrote Ben-Ami, stressing that he hopes that PCUSA “will avoid this unproductive path,”
Ben-Ami added, “even the limited divestment approach under consideration by PCUSA falls under the rubric of larger BDS efforts to place blame entirely on one side of the conflict. Such an approach encourages not reconciliation, but polarization.”
Some members of the general assembly committee that discussed the motion in Pittsburg said they do not understand why the resolution is interpreted as a threat – they insisted it’s a moral issue, certainly not an anti-Semitic one, to stop pouring resources “into hurting people in another country.”
“There’s violence happening here. Someone is profiting from it. And we need to not be a part of that,” said one of the Committee members.

3  Watch video of an Israeli border policeman kicking a 9 year old Palestinian child while another soldier holds him down.   Scroll down below the picture to see the video of about 1 minute.
4. Today in Palestine
July 2, 2012

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