Human rights week in Israel heralds the publication of a plethora of reports on the alleged mistreatment of Israel’s Arab citizens by groups funded by the European Union and the New Israel Fund. In response, the Yesha Human Rights Organization has decided to publish its own report on the status of human rights among the Jews of Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
Yesha Human Rights Organization Chairperson Orit Struck prefaces the report writing that the public residing in Yesha (acronym for Judea, Samaria and Gaza) has “suffered public and blatant trampling of its basic rights, but not received almost any defense from the human rights organizations.”
Struck explains why the Yesha Human Rights Organization was founded: “Over the years, it became clear that there was a need for a human rights organization ‘of our own,’ which would relate to those settling in Yesha as human beings possessing rights, and not as second, third or fourth class citizens. The Yesha Human Rights Organization tries to provide for the various needs resulting from the trampling of the rights of these residents by government authorities.”
The report deals with eight areas of particularly blatant discrimination: “To our great sorrow, in each of these areas, residents of Yesha did not receive any support from the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), which often took a stance negating the residents’ most basic rights. We are prepared to provide individuals and lawyers involved in each one of these realms with evidence which further illustrates the phenomenon.”
Various sections of the report will be reprinted by Arutz-7 over the coming week.
The Expulsion of the Residents of Gaza and Northern Samaria
“The essence of the expulsion of thousands of citizens from their homes presents the most blatant trampling of human rights by both the Knesset and the Supreme Court. The Expulsion Law, or in the language of the lawmakers the ‘Disengagement Implementation Law’ was, in the words of retired Supreme Court Justice David Tal a ‘law making injustice kosher.’ For the first time in the history of the State of Israel, the Knesset was asked to enact a law that would legalize the expulsion of thousands of people – an action that was until then defined according to Israeli law as a ‘war crime’ and ‘crime against humanity.’ The ‘Disengagement Implementation Law’ allowed the Israeli government to carry out the expulsion of 8,000 Jews from their homes.
“Since the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Freedom states that ‘there is no harming the rights outlined in this basic law except via legislation that befits the values of the State of Israel and is designated toward a worthy cause…’ – the Knesset, and afterwards the Supreme Court, were asked to clarify whether the exception from the Basic Law stood up to the stipulations outlined in the law itself. Namely: was the expulsion being carried out ‘for a worthy cause.’
“The ‘cause,’ as it was presented to the Knesset and the Supreme Court by representatives of the State Prosecution was: ‘To bring about a better security, diplomatic, economic and demographic reality.’
“In the framework of the discussion surrounding the legislation, which took place in Knesset Law and Legislation Committee and in the documents handed to the Supreme Court – no evidence or proof was brought regarding the existence of the stated cause. In other words: It was not proven, to say the least, that the reality that would be created through the expulsion would be better in the realms of security, diplomacy, economics or demographics. In fact, the opposite was presented by many opponents of the law – that Israel’s situation in the stated areas would decline as a result of the implementation of the Disengagement (an estimation that was proven correct within a short time).
“Nevertheless, the Knesset authorized it, and afterwards the Supreme Court approved the expulsion law, thus dealing a mortal blow to thousands of citizens, their property, their livelihood, their dignity, their health – physical and mental, and to the overall texture of their lives, turning them into refugees in their own land.”