#easy_zoom{ width:600px; height:400px; border:5px solid #eee; background:#fff; color:#333; position:fixed; top:35px; left:50%; overflow:hidden; -moz-box-shadow:0 0 10px #555; -webkit-box-shadow:0 0 10px #555; box-shadow:0 0 10px #555; /* vertical and horizontal alignment used for preloader text */ line-height:400px; text-align:center; } -->

Monday, December 7, 2009

Homeless in Jerusalem

Jerusalem residency losses rise

Israel stripped a record number of Palestinians of their right to live in East Jerusalem last year, an Israeli rights group has said.

Some 4,570 people had their residency rights removed, more than a third of the total number since Israel took control of East Jerusalem in 1967.

Palestinians fear an attempt to reduce their presence in Jerusalem, which both they and Israel claim as their capital.

Israel says most of those stripped of their rights were living abroad.

Palestinians living in East Jerusalem were offered Israeli citizenship after Israel occupied the area in 1967 and later annexed it.

Many refused, not wanting to recognise Israeli sovereignty, and were instead given residency.

But, according to the Israeli rights organisation Hamoked, if these Palestinians live abroad for seven years, or gain citizenship or residency elsewhere, they lose their Israeli residency.

Hamoked obtained the figures from the Interior Ministry using the Freedom of Information Act.

The organisation said that some of those who had lost their citizenship may now be stateless, or may not even be aware they have lost their residency.

Family visits and students studying abroad would be affected, it said.

The state of Israel pays billions of shekels a year in stipends to people who don't even live here
Meir Sheetrit Former interior minister

Hamoked executive director Dalia Kerstein said the phenomenon had "reached frightening dimensions".

Israel's interior ministry said it had carried out a "comprehensive check" that people listed as residents of Israel had their lives centred in the country, and many were found to be living abroad.

Former Israeli Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit, who initiated the survey, told the BBC "it is a very normal, regular idea that people who are not living here for a long time" are not supposed to be residents.

He said those who had appealed had been approved to stay.

"The state of Israel pays billions of shekels a year in stipends to people who don't even live here," he told Haaretz.

The figures come amid Palestinian fears that Israel is trying to increase its control over East Jerusalem and cut it off from the West Bank, through the building of the West Bank barrier, house demolitions and evictions.

The right-leaning government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu maintains that Jerusalem is Israel's "eternal, undivided capital".

But it says recent demolitions and evictions are simply issues of law enforcement.

On Tuesday, a draft document leaked to Haaretz suggested the EU was considering hardening its stance on the city.

According to the newspaper, the document called for East Jerusalem to become the capital of a future Palestinian state.

The EU has never recognised Israel's annexation of the east of the city, which is illegal under international law.

Its formal position has been that the city's status is to be decided in negotiations, although some EU leaders have called for it to be a future shared capital.

Israel's foreign ministry reacted angrily to the reports, saying the apparent move by Sweden, which holds the EU presidency, "harms the European Union's ability to take part as a significant mediator... between Israel and the Palestinians".

It said the EU should be pressuring the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table, but the step would have "the opposite effect."

About a third of Jerusalem's residents - a quarter of a million people - are Palestinians with Israeli residency or Israeli-Arabs, who have Israeli citizenship.

Israel's annexation of the east of the city has never been recognised by the international community.

London Students Showing Solidarity and Support for Gaza Students

Dec 7, 2009 19:55 | Updated Dec 8, 2009 8:01

One of the UK's most prestigious universities is set to "twin" with the Islamic University of Gaza after its student union voted in favor of the move.

The London School of Economics (LSE) is set to link up with the Gaza institution after the student union passed a motion - 161 students voted in favor and 131 against - calling for the twinning.

The motion was put forward by the school's Palestine Society and called "To twin this union with the Islamic University of Gaza to show solidarity with the students there who have had their campus bombed and their colleagues killed by the Israeli Occupation Forces."

The motion also calls for a room in the new student union building to be named after a Palestinian student killed by the "Israel Occupation Forces."

The motion relied on an array of sources from organizations such as Amnesty International, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Action Palestine and other pro-Palestinian activists, who accuse Israel of an array of human rights offenses, including killings and torture.

However the proposer of the motion, Samer Araabi, maintained the motion was "not about Israel and Palestine, but about the right to education for all people."

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Diversity of Thought Dialogue - Tomorrow!!

Hey SJP,

Make sure you come out to this tomorrow because diversity is more than tokenization - it is a variety in backgrounds and perspectives, something the University of Maryland needs to value more!!

- -

Diversity of Thought Panel: Unraveling Campus Tension

*Date: *Monday, December 7, 2009
*Time: *6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
*Place: *Multipurpose Room, Nyumburu Cultural Center, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742

“*Diversity of Thought: Unraveling Student Tension” *to discuss the causes, effects and solutions to the heated atmosphere on campus. It will highlight and explore the problems officials and students see on the campus and in the educational system as a whole.

The panel will feature Solomon Commisong, Assistant Director of Student Involvement at the Nyumburu Cultural Center; Aisha Braveboy, MD State Delegate; Angel Miles, Graduate Student and Professor of Women’ Studies; Jared Ball, Professor of Communication Studies at Morgan State and former green Party Presidential candidate; and Dr. Cordell Black, Associate Provost of Diversity and Equity at the University of Maryland