Highlights from al-Majdal, BADIL's Quarterly Magazine
Gaza Disengagement...Ongoing Displacement
For Immediate Release
No. (E/17/05) 2 June 2005
The Gaza Strip will continue to be occupied territory even after disengagement. But the problems with disengagement do not stop at the Gaza border, says the editorial in the current issue of al-Majdal. Both left and right Zionist political parties in Israel agree that one of the main purposes of the disengagement plan “is to maintain Israel's Jewish demographic majority. In exchange for redeployment from Gaza, it seems that Israel will be permitted to retain its large colonies in the West Bank...The process of colonization on both sides of the 'Green Line' - i.e. the 1949 armistice line-- thus continues unabated.”
The editorial calls on the international community to disengage from Israel and isolate it until Israel complies with international law “as every other normal state”. This issue also reports on The Absentees' Property Law which is another means Israel uses to deal with the demographic threat.
Ali Kazak, head of the Palestinian Delegation to Australia and New Zealand, asks in al-Majdal: “Who is responsible - the Jews of the Zionists?” He says that instead of reviewing its policies and practices, Israel is accusing its opponents of being anti-Semitic. He says that the international community should put an end to the “extremely dangerous Zionist game of playing with words, challenging international law and norms and turning facts upside down because the damage this causes goes far beyond the Palestinian people and affects Jews themselves and the world at large”.
Al Majdal also reports on the 5th World Social Forum, on workshops on assessing how Palestinian refugee communities living in exile can build civic structures and mechanisms for communication with their national representative and its institutions as well as host countries, agencies that serve them and other refuge communities, the recent meeting on Palestine under the auspices of the Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian people, the Impact of Israel's wall on refugees and carries an interview with outgoing UNRWA Commissioner-General Peter Hansen.
In other articles, al-Majdal looks at the UNRWA's policy on official and “unofficial” refugee camps, a monitoring report by the University of Geneva's Graduate Institute of Development Studies on the situation of Palestinian refugees in the occupied territories and on displacement of Palestinian Arabs from the villages of Baqqara and Ghaname who were internally displaced in Israel after 1948, expelled to the Syrian Golan Heights in 1956 and displaced again during the 1967 war.
Copies of Al-Majdal issue No. 25 will be mailed to subscribers shorly and a PDF version will be on: http://www.badil.org/al-Majdal/al-Majdal.htm