We pulled out of Gaza, and look what we got…

Didi Remez at Coteret (which, if you care about Israel, you should be reading regularly), cross-posted a piece from a new blog called Gaza Gateway, about Ahmed Sabah, a Palestinian who has been separated from his family in the West Bank, and is currently camped out at Erez crossing, refusing to enter Gaza. We’re starting to see the effects of the recently passed military order giving the military much broader power to arrest and deport. Sabah’s case is worth following in and of itself, but the kicker from the post is the following:

On the one hand, Israel claims that it has ended its occupation of Gaza and that Gaza is a “foreign” and even “hostile” entity for whose 1.5 million residents – Israel bears no responsibility. On the other hand, Israel has determined, that Mr. Sabeh is a “resident” of the supposedly “foreign” entity of Gaza (through Israel’s control of the Palestinian Population Registry) and that Israel may force him to live there (through Israel’s control of Gaza’s borders).

Compare Mr. Sabeh’s plight with that of Palestinians who entered the West Bank from Jordan, but Israel refuses to “recognize” their residence and issue them Palestinian ID cards. Israel does not try to deport them to Jordan, because Israel cannot dictate who is a citizen of Jordan and cannot force Jordan, a sovereign state, to accept a deportee. Not so for Gaza, part of the occupied Palestinian territory, where Israel decides who is a Palestinian resident and uses its control to dictate where he or she may live (in the case of Mr. Sabeh – thus far with only limited success).

Maybe President Obama and Elie Wiesel should chat about this.

Full post here.

14 Responses to “We pulled out of Gaza, and look what we got…”

  1. So, Mr. Sabeh cannot leave Gaza through Egypt? Why is that?

    Anonymouse · May 5th, 2010 at 2:15 am
  2. Because if Egypt fails to control the boarder according to Israel’s wishes, Israel will take it over themselves.

    kyleb · May 5th, 2010 at 1:22 pm
  3. You’ve really become quite an apologist, kyleb. So, Israel will take over the border if Egypt allows Mr. Sabeh to leave? Israel will take over the border if Egypt allows in a truckload of apricots? Israel will take over the border if Egypt sends in a shipment of shoes? And even if that was true, wouldn’t that be good for Egypt? Why wouldn’t Egypt want to be rid of containing Gaza? Let the Israelis deal with it, right? Now they won’t be able to complain or pretend they are not occupying Gaza.

    Wake up. For all we know, Egypt created the containment policy that Hamas is now enjoying.

    Anonymouse · May 5th, 2010 at 8:42 pm
  4. query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B05E4DC1E3EF936A1575BC0A9639C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=2

    kyleb · May 6th, 2010 at 12:28 am
  5. LT- the military order gives judicial oversight to the process. The military always had the ability to deport people who didn’t have the “proper” Israeli permits to be in the West Bank; and by the way, the military does not go hunting these people down, but rather, may find them at checkpoints, etc. I have to say, don’t believe everything Amira Hass writes. I’m glad her voice exists, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t play with the facts and twist people’s words.
    Kyleb- I don’t know the specifics of the high-level discussions that go on between Egypt and Israel regarding border control. But I do know that it is in the Egyptian government’s interest to try to weaken Hamas (particularly due to their own concerns about the Muslim Brotherhood). In your world, does Israel secretly control everything, or is it possible that there are shared interests at stake here? And maybe I missed something, but what is the relevance of the article you posted?

    shovrimdovrut · May 6th, 2010 at 1:22 am
  6. “the military does not go hunting these people down, but rather, may find them at checkpoints, etc.”


    The military wakes up every single day, and oppresses the Palestinians in the name of security. Checkpoints are key to this mission.

    Israel pursues a strategy of tension in which it makes life unbearable on many levels, and seeks to be thanked/credited when it withdraws one of the hurtful policies for some political advantage.

    It’s all about removing the goat.

    (There is an old Jewish joke about a family that complains about being crowded together in one room. The rabbi advises them to bring in a goat, too. Later, when the family complains that life has become intolerable, the rabbi tells them to take the goat out again. Suddenly they feel that they have a lot of space.)

    Jew Guevara · May 6th, 2010 at 3:34 pm
  7. You’re right, Jew Guevara, the Israelis have never faced violence from Palestinians that would necessitate security measures. They are savage that wake up every day trying to oppress (but not kill, for some reason) as many poor Palestinians as possible.

    Another kyleb’nik to whom reality gave a get.

    Anonymouse · May 6th, 2010 at 3:46 pm
  8. Oh, what’s this? PFLP claims that Hamas is:

    8. منع العديد من المواطنين من السفر خارج القطاع. Preventing many citizens from traveling outside the sector.

    Is Hamas doing the Zionist bidding now, too, kyleb?

    Anonymouse · May 6th, 2010 at 4:56 pm
  9. I love how the phrase ‘security measures’ can encompass anything from checking bags at cinemas to torture to political assassinations to depriving Arab Jerusalemites of residency for the crime of studying abroad or marrying a West Banker.

    Of course some security measures are sensible and defensive. And the rest? Or do you think they are all sensible?

    Jew Guevara · May 6th, 2010 at 7:43 pm
  10. No, but are you helping matters by opposing them collectively? Doublecheck your sourcing on residency revocation. No one loses residency for studying abroad. They do lose residency if they don’t live in Jerusalem (or Israel?) For seven years. The point is, they no longer have a connection to the state, so why should the state continue lavishing them with services? It’s a financial drain. Compare that with far more stringent residency rules in the US, where if you leave for 6 months you lose residency.

    Anonymouse · May 7th, 2010 at 2:42 pm
  11. Palestinians lose connection after seven years abroad? My what a different standard. Apparently Jews can be gone for 2k years and still get instant citizenship.

    And – Americans don’t lose residency in 6 months. Your US citizenship cannot be revoked as a result of not living in the US. Ever. (Maybe for other stuff, but not for being absent.)

    Jew Guevara · May 7th, 2010 at 9:43 pm
  12. Yes, but Palestinian residents are not citizens. They can become Israeli citizens, but most choose not to be. The same situation exists with permanent residents of the US (non-citizen permanent residency). For example, when we emigrated to the US, we received permanent residency after 2 years. Then we needed another five years before we were eligible for citizenship. Had we left the country for more than six months, our permanent residency would have been revoked. As far as I know, the law is applied equally to all residents in Israel. So, as a Jew, I could theoretically find a way to become a resident of Israel, maybe through work, without applying for citizenship. Then, if I left for seven years, my residency would be revoked. How is this unfair? Seven years is a long time.

    Anonymouse · May 9th, 2010 at 7:14 am
  13. Yes, but Palestinian residents are not citizens. They can become Israeli citizens, but most choose not to be.

    True (at least at one point) in East Jerusalem, but not in the territories.

    BZ · May 9th, 2010 at 10:05 am
  14. Yes, but we’re talking only about East Jerusalem. Palestinians in the territories are not Israel residents. Had Israel annexed Yesha, as it did in east Jerusalem and the Golan, the Palestinians of Yesha would also be granted residency with a path to citizenship, should they choose to pursue it.

    I’m a bit surprised that such vanguards of human rights as Jew Guevara don’t understand basic immigration, naturalization and residency laws, or at least how they apply to a hot issue like the Arabs of east Jerusalem. Aren’t you embarrassed, that a Moldovan-American Jew knows more about Israeli law than an Israeli “peace activist”, who is supposedly immersed in these issues?

    Anonymouse · May 10th, 2010 at 4:04 am

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