Tuesday, August 04, 2015

  • Tuesday, August 04, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Reuters:
"I declare I will be a loyal citizen of the state of Israel," reads the oath that must be sworn by all naturalized Israeli citizens. Increasingly, they are words being uttered by Palestinians.

While Israel regards the east of the city as part of Israel, the estimated 300,000 Palestinians that live there do not. They are not Israeli citizens, instead holding Israeli-issued blue IDs that grant them permanent resident status.

While they can seek citizenship if they wish, the vast majority reject it, not wanting to renounce their own history or be seen to buy into Israel's 48-year occupation.

And yet over the past decade, an increasing number of East Jerusalem Palestinians have gone through the lengthy process of becoming Israeli citizens, researchers and lawyers say.

In part it reflects a loss of hope that an independent Palestinian state will ever emerge. But it also reflects a hard-headed pragmatism - an acknowledgement that having Israeli citizenship will make it easier to get or change jobs, buy or move house, travel abroad and receive access to services.

Israeli officials are reluctant to confirm figures, but data obtained by the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies indicates a jump over the past decade, rising from 114 applications in 2003 to between 800 and 1,000 a year now, around half of which are successful. On top of that, hundreds have made inquiries before the formal application process begins.

Interior Ministry figures obtained by Reuters show there were 1,434 applications in 2012-13, of which 189 were approved, 1,061 are still being processed and 169 were rejected. The remainder are in limbo.

Palestinians who have applied do not like to talk about it. The loyalty oath is not an easy thing for them to sign up to and becoming a naturalized Israeli - joining the enemy - is taboo.

"It felt bad, really bad," said a 46-year-old Palestinian teacher who took the oath a year ago. Despite her reservations, she knew it was right for stability and career prospects.

"We just want to live our lives," she said. "At the end of the day, politics gets you nowhere."

Some other Palestinians fear their community's reaction to breaking the taboo, so keep their decision even from family and friends.

For many Palestinians, East Jerusalem feel likes a twilight zone. They pay Israeli municipal taxes and receive healthcare and insurance benefits, but are often neglected when it comes to basic city services - from trash collection to new playgrounds and resources in schools and clinics.

The situation is particularly bad in places like Shuafat, a refugee camp a few minutes away from the Old City. Shuafat lies beyond the concrete barrier built by Israel in the mid-2000s, after a wave of Palestinian suicide bombings.
The Jerusalem municipality can't do anything about Shuafat - if Israel dismantles a "refugee" camp the world would freak out. There have been UN resolutions condemning Israel for thinking about dismantling camps in Gaza when there was still an Israeli presence there.

UNRWA agrees to provide services for that area.

So Palestinian Arabs keep its residents as zoo animals to show off how bad things are for them - and Reuters uses it as an example of how Israel doesn't take care of its Arab residents of Jerusalem. In fact, Israeli ambulances that venture into Shuafat often get stoned.

Then comes this interesting fact:
More Palestinians, albeit in small numbers, have also been moving into predominantly Jewish neighborhoods and even settlements on occupied land.

You know, those "Jewish only" neighborhoods we hear so much about.

See also this relevant article, "Mondoweiss reveals the evil Zionist dentist conspiracy."
(h/t K)



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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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