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And to think I thought it couldn't get worse.

Those of you who read my stuff know by now that I am a retired lawyer, and look at things with a legal spin, one raised on the Civil Rights movement, the LGBT movement, and the Women's Movement here. And, yes, I know that what happens in the US need not happen elsewhere, as other people make other decisions. But there are decent limits.

And two recent articles in Israeli English papers raise questions we need not to slip under our radar.

The first is from Ha'aretz today concerning certain regulations about access to Israeli courts recently approved by the Justice Minister. The regulations as currently drafted require that those applying for relief in Israeli courts present in all court papers the identifying numbers for court parties of either their Israeli ID card or a passport. Sounds pretty innocuous until you realize that Palestinians have neither. And until those of you who read this stuff and the various postings here following settlement abuses of Palestinians  remember just how many lawsuits to protect their rights are required of Palestinians to be brought in Israeli courts, including ALL of the recent ones about not building settlements on Palestinian owned land, and providing remedies for those Palestinians whose land is stolen.

The second one from JPost and also another from Ha'aretz concerns the cancellation of a meeting of representatives of the major group of non-aligned nations, which was to occur in Ramallah, because Israel would not permit five of the diplomatic delegations (from Bangladesh, Cuba, Malaysia, Indonesia and Algeria) to come across the Allenby Bridge, and the others were staying away in solidarity. The reason stated for the refusal of entry into WB by the Israeli government was that the five states in question (four in the Ha'aretz article)  did not accord diplomatic recognition to or have diplomatic relations with  Israel.

The Ha'aretz article pointed out that one of the purposes of the meeting, scheduled for Sunday last, was to encourage support of the Non Aligned group of nations of which the twelve were representatives, for the PA's new initiative scheduled for the fall at the UN, to have Palestine recognized by that body as a non-member state, similar to the status of the Vatican, a matter which requires General Assembly but not Security Council approval, and which therefore cannot be vetoed by the US. The unofficial nose count on that vote suggests it would pass.

Diplomatic objections of a number of kinds including from UN officials against this act of exclusion have already begun.

Analysis below the squiggle.

I have already opined personally that it looks like the two state solution is dead, but this is the sort of stuff that suggests the one state solution may also be dead or dying, particularly the first matter, concerning basic access to courts for legal relief for aggrieved Palestinians.

The matter of ID is already generally known here to be both powerful and  tricky for domestic US political reasons, but there the problem is that Palestinian ID cards have apparently not been updated by Israel since the year 2000 and there will be many who do not have even one of those, given the absence of their specific listing as acceptable mandatory identification according to the reporting, in the regulations.   One notes for example that East Jerusalem Palestinians do not have Israeli ID cards, but are, or some at least are, given something not mentioned in the document list of eligible documents, 'residence' identification. Think of this as if you were being required to produce either a social security card under the most recent rules, or a passport, to get to court.

Unless the Justice Ministry fixes the matter, a political issue which will not be soon resolved since the Knesset is now in summer recess, Palestinians with claims will be barred at the courthouse door and unable, for example,to sue as they have in the past when WB residents whose lands have been unilaterally taken by settlers, or improperly done so by Israeli authorities and then given to settlers, or to defend claims that their homes are illegal because of the Israeli government not issuing permits for remodeling, and have ordered them destroyed. Or defending against settler claims to land based upon what even Israeli papers report on occasion are plainly forged papers, signed by the long dead as of the date such paper bear,  for example. The creation of abuse by bureaucratic mechanisms in Israel and WB is not unknown, and similar to the old hack about more people being killed by fountain pens than by guns. In this case access to the courts is barred by a  regulation which appears to deal only with the matter of numbers which must now  be included in court papers, numbers from restricted indentification forms which Palestinians do not and are well known not to have.

 The recognition that 'a right without a remedy is no right at all' is also relevant here, since no amount of waving governmental papers such as the Basic Law conferring rights is worth anything when one cannot get into court to have those rights asserted and enforced.

The problem has long existed in both WB and Gaza that various rights which Palestinians need to have adjudicated have betimes been barred because Israel prohibits the Palestinian litigants  or witnesses into Israel to get to  the  relevant courthouse, and this is now worse because now aggrieved Palestinians cannot even have their papers accepted for filing claims, even before getting to the courthouse to have their claims heard. As if they were not people with any sort of enforceable rights. The other people mentioned in the regulations and reportings with which Palestinians are grouped are illegal immigrants and refugees of the sort now being deported from Israel.

This is on top of the longstanding pattern, now so longstanding that Ha'aretz is beginning a series on such incidents, behind its paywall but there, about incidents which have occurred in WB and were supposedly being 'investigated' by IDF authorities, but without any remedy for aggrieved Palestinians ever being subsequently reported, save for arrest of some of those complaining of abuse. Ha'aretz claims it is working on a list of fifty of them in the last year. No remedy before, and now definitely none because the courts are barred.

The second article is even more problematic in its own way, as what it seeks to do is to have communal meetings barred with PA as such,  in WB save for those who have acknowledged the rights of and have diplomatic relations with Israel and are, therefore, presumably within its range to insist diplomatically that no such representatives should be sent. The matter is already mentioned as having been treated by Israel as an internal matter in whicch foreign entities have no legitimate interest, as if the WB were part of Israel entirely and officially.

The power of what has been done here is essentially a claim that Israel may bar from WB not only diplomats on diplomatic functions but anyone who does not in Israeli terms  sufficiently recognize Israeli governmental positions. Aid workers, perhaps for an international entity? UN officials such as those examining the settlement issue? Reporters? A wall not built with bricks to keep non Palestinians of whatever description is relevant this week, out of WB and out of contact with its millions of suffering and already isolated people. And one may find if this rule is accepted, that PA officials who have to go abroad to meet with others cannot get back, because  the entity they represent  certainly does not have diplomatic relations with Israel.

The new application to the UN is relevant to this as well, because one of the peculiarities of non member states is that they are eligible as states to bring their issues before the International Criminal Court. Another case of action by the Israeli government whose purpose is to make sure that Palestinians have no legal remedies for wrongs they believe to have occurred. Now they have none at home either.

The underlying problem here is that the people of Palestine are being more and more suppressed, even as Israeli governmental claims to their land and control of all of it and all rights with respect to it are increasing. At least in the days when Europe was creating colonies, they recognized that they had to take both the land and the people on it.

This pair of related issues are important enough to post notwithstanding the roaring domestic campaign, because of their long term  importance.

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Comments welcome under the usual rules, including no DKos Godwin violations, no personal attacks on diarist or posters, the requirement to include links to sources on which you wish to rely for facts so others can also look at them and give them proper weight, no Antisemitism and no Anti Muslimism or anti Palestinianism,  no thread jacking, no personal pie fights, no off topic stuff. You all know the rules.

Originally posted to Christy1947 on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 05:11 PM PDT.

Also republished by Adalah — A Just Middle East.

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Comment Preferences

  •  All of this will only harden the resolve to handle (3+ / 0-)

    these horrible problems in the United Nations.

    Of course, we know the position of the Israeli government on allowing the same body that fairly, in their view,  created a Jewish homeland to allow the Palestinians the barest essentials of life and liberty.

    It's really too bad that Haaretz put up the pay wall.  What now is our best source of information?

    Eliminate tax breaks that stimulate the offshoring of jobs.

    by RJDixon74135 on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 05:34:47 PM PDT

    •  Hmmm, I see that it's possible to register for (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poco

      free at Haaretz for up to 10 articles per month. I don't know if this has always been possible since they put up the pay wall or if this is new. I don't remember seeing the option before, but I could have missed it. I just registered. It took one minute tops. I got immediate access to the article I was trying to read.

      Eliminate tax breaks that stimulate the offshoring of jobs.

      by RJDixon74135 on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 08:41:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ha'aretz started this a few weeks ago, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RJDixon74135, poco

        and the free ten a month, was originally a free ten, period. One of the peculiarities of the assignment of which articles, not all of them, are so limited, seems to be that certain types of articles have the key device indicating blockage  and the limitation and others do not, and it is not that all the ones written by staff do and those written by Reuters or AP do not, either. The keyed and blocked ones appear IMO to be those which would cause outcry or draw international attention of a sort  which may cause controversy but are not apparently the ones that those who choose want the widest distribution for.

        The ten article limit works for commenters who do not visit and follow the Israeli English press  on a regular basis and make a pattern of reading and saving what appear to be politically relevant articles, where one can get to ten in about three days. I thought the article was important enough to go through the ten count system,  although I do wonder what other purposes the ten wall with registration might also have. As with other international papers, they now have a digital edition and are probably looking for revenue from it, but that to me is too convenient an explanation where others like NYT  who have such an edition block the whole lot, not just some, when they do that. As it is, I get ads on Ha'aretz and JPost for local advertisers near my home where I am, so I know they are following who reads them internationally.

        •  Yes, before the pay wall, I might have read 7 or 8 (0+ / 0-)

          articles and editorials in one night. I found the free 10 feature because I was considering paying for a sub, at least looking at what it would cost. It also seems to me that from the time the pay wall was first established, a higher and higher percentage of articles found their way behind it.

          I suspect the local ads you see may actually be coming from an arrangement a publisher has with google ads, rather than placed by the publisher itself. However, in order to get to the free 10 articles, I did have to give some geographic information, so it is clear that Haaretz is interested in knowing at least a little demographics on their readers. This is not unusual, most publishers would want those stats and use them in their sales efforts to advertisers.

          For now, I'm just glad to be able to read some of Haaretz. I'll have to see how it goes.

          Eliminate tax breaks that stimulate the offshoring of jobs.

          by RJDixon74135 on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 06:00:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for the diary Christy (4+ / 0-)

    I'm republishing to Adalah.

  •  I haven't been following this closely (0+ / 0-)

    but I believe that all this can be laid directly at the feet of Netanyahu, and it's all with the blessing of our own Republican party.  Please let me know if I'm wrong.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 06:02:02 PM PDT

    •  We must all be perhaps a bit more careful (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WattleBreakfast

      about attributing things in this area to the Republican Party, or even to Netanyahu. He is after all a form of patriot for a regime in which he believes absolutely, not something we would necessarily consider a fault in other places if the regime of which he is the current representative were not doing the particular things it is doing. This also feels much too much down in the grass bureaucratic stuff to have been raised with the Republicans, who aren't that much into nitty gritty details either here or there.

      A read of recent headlines there will also show that someone in the government thought it important enough to generate articles in all the papers I read but Ma'an, that the Israeli government was annoyed with the Palestinians because they had not been grateful or grateful enough for certain overtures recently reported as being taken by the current Israeli government. Do Not ask me to explain that. And this might be a response from a minister, a more deniable source than the leaker of that story, to follow up with consequences for such ingratitude, which would not have been available as an option save for the leaker calling 'ungrateful' with the hint 'and we'll show you what ingratitude gets you.'

      I'm still waiting to be disappointed for the first time  in my often negative thinking about the current Israeli government.

      •  I think you're trying too hard there (0+ / 0-)

        Netanyahu is the same type of patriot George W. Bush is, and the regime he believes in would make Ben-Gurion and Ben-Zvi cry.

        Netanyahu is a calculating politician and he's apparently pulled the wool over your eyes too. It happens. If it will make you feel any better, I wouldn't be a Labor voter, I'd be a Meretz voter, which is exactly why I'm as cynical as I am here.

        -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

        by Dave in Northridge on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 11:41:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  When you have no status, no papers (3+ / 8-)

    no rights to stand on literally anything, even desert sand with no water, you really are an "undocumented alien". If there is not even the pretense of a legal proceeding (you can be arrested, but there is now no right to a court proceeding) it is as if you are a loose or stray  dog or feral cat and the only decision to be made is if no one adopts you in seven days you get put down.

    I am assuming that is the next step of a final solution to the Palestinian problem.

    Maybe they can't communicate now with the world outside Israel.  Even with a 135 countries extending recognition  to the Palestinian Authority, the Israelis are pretending they don't exist. Only solution  prior that worked without violence as a central factor was boycott, divest and sanction.  It worked on the South African Boer regime, it is defaulting to be the best option for the problem of the settler regime.

    This signature....is currently under construction..

    by BeeDeeS on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 06:19:17 PM PDT

  •  On the first (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    volleyboy1, JNEREBEL

    The Justice a ministry, in the article you linked, recognized the problem with the wording and stated its reviewing the new regulations before it goes into effect. As attorneys, both the diarist and I know that regulatory wording often gets revisited for unintended results. In this case, the review is happening before it even goes into effect. If, after the review, it remains unchanged, THEN there will be a legitimate gripe.

    Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

    by dhonig on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 07:40:23 PM PDT

    •  I could not disagree more. (3+ / 0-)

      One of the purposes of a political announcement, and this is nothing else, is to set the base line for a political conversation.

      You will note the very first line of the article, stating that the Justice Minister has already signed the regulations making the requirement, and, further down in the article, that they go into effect on September 1, as written if nothing else is done.  The purpose of doing such a thing in this manner, after what is usually the final execution of the regulations by the Ministry,  is to tell all involved precisely what the Justice Minister, and therefore the government, think is the correct solution.

      The problem of negotiation to come up with those changes which will be accepted, if any,  as what you call unexpected results is how much ground the writers will surrender and what they will demand in exchange, if any change is made at all. You will of course notice that in good bureaucratic style, the grounds cited for the regulation with these dramatic effects against what are described as migrant workers and immigrants, do not include precisely the problems noted here and by the first critics there off the blocks, and absolutely do not include a whoops with a promise of correction as to Palestinians as a group. Nothing in the reporting indicates that the Ministry itself recognized any problems at all, and in the abscence of outcry, the regs would have gone into effect over the summer break and three weeks before the UN reconvenes.

      The wording of the article makes clear that it was outside comments that led to whatever review is to be done, not the internal processes of the ministry at all. Unless they decide in the rather indirect bargaining method usually used in governmental decisions, to make a change for reasons adequate to them  and in exchange for political consideration, what you see in that article is what Palestinians are getting.

      And do not let anyone here be misled by the notion of inadvertence. One of the longstanding means of sending up trial balloons or trying possibly unpopular initiatives in Israeli politics for the last sixty odd years has been the "accidental' event, the soldier taking land beyond what is authorized, the funds of a ministry going to then currently illegal settlements until they are revealed after establishment,  the participation of IDF in settler attacks, and then no reversal of the accidental and illicit action,  but rather  a negotiation about what happens next wherein the illicit ground gained by the mistake, the accident, the alleged boo boo, is never surrendered, and the Palestinians have not insofar as I have read, at least, ever been included in those negotiations, the very reason their access to the courts has been so important so far.

      This is also precisely the right time to complain, as the absence of complaint lends weight to the acceptability of the original proposal and ALL of its effects.

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