Israel Tightens the Noose Further

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For years now, human rights organizations have decried Israel’s restrictions on Palestinians’ freedom of movement inside the Occupied Territories (called “unprecedented…in their scope, time, and severity of damage they cause to the three and a half million Palestinians” by the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem).

Now Haaretz, the liberal Israeli daily, has reported that the noose has been tightened even further in recent months: Palestinians with foreign citizenship, including Palestinian-Americans, are being denied entry into Israel (and, by extension, the Territories) altogether. According to the report, most of those denied are residents of the Occupied Territories, traveling on foreign passports because Israel has revoked their citizenship.

By various estimates, the ban has so far affected several thousand American and European nationals, whom Israel has kept from returning to their homes and jobs, or from visiting their families in the West Bank. This could potentially impact many more thousands who live in the territories—including university instructors and researchers, employees working in various vital development programs and business owners—as well as thousands of foreign citizens who pay annual visits to relatives there. The policy also applies to foreigners who are not Palestinian but are married to Palestinians, and to visiting academics.

The Israeli Interior Ministry has not actually acknowledged the ban, making its motivations hard to gauge. But according to Electronic Intifada, the conservative Israeli daily Maariv has explained, “According to the plan, the IDF will declare Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] closed to foreign nationals. Denying entry to… activists has been defined as prevention of political subversion and involvement of members of the movement in acts of terrorism, and limitation of friction with Jewish settlers.”

The rationale appears to be that Jewish settlers in the Occupied Territories have more right to be there than Palestinian-born professors and aid workers. If history is any guide, the chance to blame Palestinians for the lack of civil society and infrastructure that results will just be the icing on the cake.

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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

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