Israel strips Palestinian of “Israeli citizenship”

Israel strips Palestinian of “Israeli citizenship”
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Israel strips Palestinian of “Israeli citizenship”

In another example of Apartheid racism, Israel has stripped a non-Jewish citizen of his citizenship. Citizenship is ONLY taken away from Christians and Muslims, but not from Jews in Israel, defining a new more pernicious form of religious and racial apartheid by the government of the State of Israel.

By Ray Hanania

As if the world needed more evidence of growing apartheid inside Israel, the Israeli government and judicial system this week stripped a non-Jewish citizen of his “Israeli citizenship.”

The unprecedented action is a violation of civil rights and international law, two principles that Israel’s government has repeatedly violated, and a cornerstone of Israel’s growing Apartheid policies not just in the “occupied” territories in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, but now inside Israel itself.

The action creates a double standard of justice, which is the backbone of apartheid, treating Jews one way and non-Jews another.

Worse is the silence of the Jewish population inside Israel and the acquiescence of the Israel media which is both unprofessional and unjournalistic in its coverage of anything critical of the so-called “Jewish” State.

Israel continues to discriminate against non-Jews by imposing harsh sentences and extra-judicial judgments against Christians and Muslims accused of committing crimes, without ever bringing those alleged crimes to a court of law to adjudicate. Worse is that Israel has a separate standard of justice for Jews, such as the Israeli soldier and “medic” Elor Azaria who murdered in a cold blood a Palestinian accused but never convicted of committing an act of violence.

Night shot of the Israeli supreme court building in Jerusalem which provides two sets of justice, one for Jews and one for non-Jews inside Israel. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Night shot of the Israeli supreme court building in Jerusalem which provides two sets of justice, one for Jews and one for non-Jews inside Israel. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The victim was Abed al-Fatah al-Sharif, a Palestinian the Israeli military accused of assaulting Israeli soldiers, but in fact may have been assaulted by Israeli soldiers who practice racism and discrimination against non-Jews everyday.

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The victim, al-Sharif, was shot by an Israeli soldier and was laying on the ground wounded and incapacitated when Azaria, a racist anti-Arab hater who was trained to save lives, provided medical help to a Jewish soldier and then walked up to al-Sharif and shot in in the head, killing him in cold blood.

It should be emphasized that al-Sharif was denied any form of justice. The accusations by the Israelis are always accepted as truth and Palestinians are never given a chance to refute assertions and political lies from the Israeli military which has a history of violent terrorism against civilians that the Israeli news media covers up.

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One of the major issues that allows Israel to embrace these extremist policies is the failure of Israeli Jewish citizens and Jews in the West, particularly in America, to forcefully protest against Israel’s violations of Civil Rights of non-Jews. Also contributing to this situation is the failed leadership of Palestinian activists in Palestine, Europe and in the United States who embrace hatred and racism and reject compromise. These failed pro-Palestinian activists have made it easier for Israeli extremism to abuse Palestinian rights. 

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Israeli apartheid government officials including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and racist cabinet members including Avigdor Lieberman, Naftali Bennett and Ayalet Shaked, have all called for leniency for the murderer, Azaria, because he is Jewish while demanding injustice for Christians and Muslims.

The latest victim of this apartheid system is Alaa Zayoud who was convicted of murder in a biased apartheid Israeli court system, and he was denied his full rights as a defendant. Non-Jews are presumed guilty in Israel’s apartheid system.

The only reason Azaria was charged, and later convicted of killing al-Sharif and sentenced to only 18 months imprisonment was because a civil rights activist from the human rights organization B’Tselem videotaped the killing. Otherwise, Azaria’s colleagues, police and soldiers, would have refused to testify against his murderous actions.

The B’Tselem volunteer who videotaped the Azaria atrocities has been vilified in the Israeli media and by Israel apartheid officials. Israeli officials have called for sanctions and restrictions against any organization that exposes Israeli human rights violations.

One of the major issues that allows Israel to embrace these extremist policies is the failure of Israeli Jewish citizens and Jews in the West, particularly in America, to forcefully protest against Israel’s violations of Civil Rights of non-Jews. Also contributing to this situation is the failed leadership of Palestinian activists in Palestine, Europe and in the United States who embrace hatred and racism and reject compromise. These failed pro-Palestinian activists have made it easier for Israeli extremism to abuse Palestinian rights.

But Palestinian activists refuse to be accountable for their actions and they hide their failures behind Israel’s atrocities in order to distract the suffering Palestinians.

Adalah, the Israeli legal center representing both Israeli Jews and non-Jews, released the following press release on the unprecedented violation of human rights by Israel’s judicial system to strip Alaa Zayoud of his “Israeli citizenship”:

First time ever: Israeli court rules to strip citizenship from Palestinian citizen of Israel

Alaa Zayoud will be left stateless, in contravention of international law; Adalah, ACRI to appeal ‘dangerous precedent’ to Supreme Court.

6 August 2017

The Haifa District Court ruled on Sunday, 6 August, 2017 to revoke the citizenship of Alaa Zayoud, a Palestinian citizen of Israel serving time in prison on attempted murder conviction. This is the first time an Israeli court has ruled to revoke an individual’s citizenship.

Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) had earlier demanded that the court reject Interior Minister Aryeh Deri’s request to revoke the citizenship of Alaa Zayoud.

Zayoud, from the town of Umm al-Fahem, was sentenced to 25 years in prison on a conviction related to an attempted murder. If his citizenship is revoked, Zayoud would become stateless as neither the interior minister nor the attorney general provided an alternative citizenship status for him, in contrary to the requirements of international human rights law.

Adalah Attorney Sawsan Zaher and ACRI Attorney Oded Feller issued a statement in response to today’s the court ruling:

The court ruling that allows the revocation of Alaa Zayoud’s citizenship sets a most dangerous precedent. It is no coincidence that the concerned individual is an Arab citizen. There has never been a request to revoke the citizenship of a Jewish citizen, even when Jewish citizens were involved in serious and grave crimes. Unfortunately, the court today did not follow the lead of the Supreme Court which refused to order the revocation of the citizenship of Yigal Amir, assassin of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and ruled that criminal law is the method by which serious crimes are confronted and denounced. Zayoud was tried and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Today’s court ruling deviates from this approach, from the principles of international law, and from the general rule according to which an individual cannot be stripped of citizenship and left stateless. Adalah and ACRI will appeal this ruling to the Supreme Court.”

Contrary to Israel & international law

In earlier arguments before the court, Attorneys Zaher and Feller emphasized the unconstitutionality of the 2008 amendment to Israel’s Citizenship Law that authorizes the court to approve requests from the interior minister to revoke the citizenship of Israeli citizens for “breach of loyalty” – an amendment that is being applied in a discriminatory manner against Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel.

The revocation of citizenship has grave consequences given that the right to citizenship is the basis for other constitutional rights, including the right to political participation and socio-economic rights. Such a move therefore would result in the violation of the other rights that are guaranteed by the right to citizenship.

Likewise, international law explicitly and unequivocally opposes the revocation of citizenship, as established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, and the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, which Israel signed in 1961.

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A number of serious incidents in which Israeli Jewish citizens attacked Arab citizens have not resulted in any requests for revocation of citizenship status.

In 1996, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected a request to revoke the citizenship of Israeli Jewish citizen Yigal Amir, who assassinated then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995. In that case, the Supreme Court ruled that the criminal justice system is the accepted method by which Israeli society expresses its reservations against criminal violations, stating that “society has expressed its reservation about this brutal murder, but that is no reason to revoke Amir’s citizenship, not because of the killer’s dignity, but because of the dignity of that right [to citizenship].”

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rayhanania

rayhanania

Managing Writer at The Arab Daily News
RAY HANANIA — Columnist

Ray Hanania is an award winning political columnist and author. He covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and for TheArabDailyNews.com, and TheDailyHookah.com.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania

Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com

Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com www.arabnews.com/taxonomy/term/10906
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