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The Legislation of Racism
By: Mohammad Al-Sahli
May 10, 2018

Since his return to the Prime minister's post nine years ago, Benjamin Netanyahu has been active in "fortifying" the Israeli racist policies and turning them into legislations through legalizing them in the Knesset.

If the governments that preceded him kept the policies of discrimination against the Palestinians of the 48 areas as a "backdoor action", behind the banner of equality and democracy, Netanyahu has no reason to not announce these policies, taking advantage of the great shift toward the right and extremism among the Israeli society, which he and his party have worked to deepen, exploiting the major declines in the Arab and Palestinian situations and the American protection of the policies of the occupying state, that have reached the level of alliance with the advent of the Trump administration and its hostile decisions to the rights of the Palestinian people.

The Israeli Knesset's approval recently that passed its first reading on the so-called "Nationalism Law" comes within this context.

Despite the brutality of the Zionist gangs and their massacres against the Palestinian people, about 170 thousand of the owners of the land have stayed in or near from their destroyed villages and towns. And since 1949, the Zionist propaganda has been pumping the "oasis of democracy" in an area full of injustice and domination. So, in an integrated policy, the drafters of the Zionist project have put the Palestinians in the category of "containment", through the formation of an Arab electoral lists attached to the large Zionist parties and they focused on the nomination of tribal and family figures in order to deepen these orientations and to use them in transforming the Palestinian presence into an electoral bloc in the interest of these parties and policies. It was clear that the main objective of granting the citizenship and the right to vote and candidature for the Palestinians, is to put them under the follow-up, and monitor the political trends that appear among them, to quickly intervene to suppress any signs of movement that would affect the interests of the Zionist project in Palestine.

Behind the "democratic" propaganda scene, the Hebrew state has enacted dozens of laws that loot the property of Palestinians expelled from their homes and property, starting with "the decree of the abandoned areas" less than forty days after the Palestinian Nakba; and a few months later "the decree of jurisdiction and powers". The laws were passed under the guise of declaring the emergency system inherited from the British Mandate era.

Since the establishment of the state of Israel, the policies of plundering haven't been limited to the "absentee properties" of the Palestinian people, but rather the properties of those who have remained in Palestine. The authorities of the Hebrew state have prevented the owners of the destroyed villages from returning to them and attempting to rebuild and reside in them. They also restricted those who have remained in their villages or towns with a series of decisions and laws prohibiting them from the right of horizontal urban expansion and limited this right to Jewish immigrants, through official building plans, financed and established by the government of the state of the occupation. The decisions of confiscation, demolition and looting of property belonging to the remaining Palestinians in their country led to the explosion of Palestinian congestion, as expressed on Land Day 1976.

This major national event was pivotal, in the context of the formulation of the political and partisan scene among the Palestinians of the 48, with the end of the stage of the Arab lists, attached to the Zionist parties and interests. So, with the growth of the presence and influence of Arab parties in the Knesset and outside it, the Israeli governments declared their destructive war on this presence by trying to contain it and restrict it role, through a series of bills, including the so-called the "loyalty law", which obliges the Arab members in the Knesset, to oath in which they declare their loyalty to the Hebrew state and its interests.

All these attempts have failed to limit the political presence of the 48 Palestinians. The Arab parties responded to the Israeli attempts by forming a joint list that ran the last elections with a unified list and has become the third parliamentary force in Israel. The most important achievement in the political process for the 48 Palestinians was through the stated affirmation of all the Arab parties on the unity of the Palestinian people in all its places of residence and the integration of its national objectives.

The state of Israel has applied the policies that pursued in Palestine after the Nakba in the Palestinian territories, in the occupied territories by the 1967 aggression. Its first step was the spread of settlements and the Judaization of Jerusalem. It also established a law to classify the lands of the West Bank as "eft" communal lands to be used in the deployment of barracks of the occupation army and under the Israeli security control. Since 1967, the occupying state has linked the continuation of the occupation to the deployment of settlements and fixing them as a permanent net that has the factors of survival and sustainability.

For this reason, Israel hasn't joined any settlement of the conflict, unless the settlement and its future are outside of this debate. This is also related to the process of Judaization. This is why Tel Aviv also has excluded East Jerusalem from any discussion of the marathon negotiations with the Palestinian negotiator following the signing of the Oslo Accords.

The most serious measures taken by the occupying state against Jerusalem, is the removal of many neighborhoods and villages in the vicinity of Jerusalem from its map, which contributes to accelerate the sovereignty of the Jewish majority over the city.

Naturally, the Netanyahu government find in Trump's decisions about Jerusalem and settlement, what encourages it to accelerate and escalate its expansionist policies in the city, backed by the recognition of the Trump administration of Jerusalem as the capital of the occupying state.

As it did with the Palestinian refugees 'properties after the Nakba, the Netanyahu government seeks to implement this on the properties of the Palestinian refugees since 1967, and its intention to link its recognition of the Jerusalemites' ownership of their homes and lands with the completion of their registration in the "land registry", although it has been preventing this for the past 50 years. So, as it knows the difficulties encountered to do this registration, it is "ready" to deal with these properties and lands as "absentee lands" and confiscate them in the service of the settlements and the settlers.

Mohammad Al-Sahli is the Editor in Chief of Al-Hourriah newspaper, the official speaker of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Translated by Manal Mansour
Revised by Ibrahim Motlaq

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