Kafka comes to Berlin and Jerusalem


By Dan Judelson
August 4, 2010
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Firas Maraghy is from Jerusalem. He is currently resident in Berlin and has been on hunger strike since July 26th in front of the Israeli embassy building. The wickedly Kafkaesque situation in which he and his family have been placed by Israeli authorities is outlined below.

It forms the basis of a petition addressed to the Israeli Ambassador to Germany.

Mr Maraghy’s family has lived in Jerusalem for many generations. Because of Israeli legislation concerning Palestinian residents of Jerusalem he has neither a Palestinian nor an Israeli passport. He is stateless and is dependent on Israel for the issue of any residence or travel permits.

In September 2007 Mr Maraghy married Wiebke Diehl, who has German nationality, and he moved to Berlin so that the couple could live together during Wiebke’s studies in Germany. Their daughter, Zaynab Maraghy, was born in December 2009.

In May 2009 Mr. Maraghy went to Jerusalem to register the marriage. But the Israeli Home Office refused to do so, arguing that Mr Maraghy now lived abroad and had therefore lost his right to reside in Jerusalem; they referred to legislation that removes the residential rights of Palestinians after an absence of seven years, although he had only left Jerusalem 1 ½ years previously. (Whether this legislation is justified or not is neither here nor there for now.) He was however then issued with a travel permit, albeit only valid until May 2011, and only on condition that he then return to Jerusalem for a minimum period of 1 ½ years.

When his daughter Zaynab was born, Mr Maraghy requested the Israeli Embassy in Berlin to enter her name on his documents. On 17.04.2010 this was turned down on the grounds that her mother was German.

This refusal to register either his wife or daughter leaves Mr Maraghy with no choice but to either leave his family at the end of May 2011 to return to Jerusalem, so as not to lose his residency rights, or to stay with them and forfeit his rights. Because the Israeli authorities refuse to register either his marriage to Wiebke Diehl or the birth of their daughter, which would be legal requirements for them to reside in Jerusalem, but at the same time refuse to renew Mr Maraghy’s permit unless he returns to Jerusalem, they deny residency to Mr Maraghy’s family but force it on him.

It is almost impossible for someone attuned to a European justice system to imagine this situation. And as Mr. Maraghy points out, it contravenes article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Firas Maraghy sees no alternative but to go on hunger strike

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You can sign the petition here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/firas-maraghy-petition-israeli-ambass...

COMMENTS

clevenson (not verified)

Thu, 08/05/2010 - 07:57

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Nothing new here Dan,but well done for bringing this t o our attention. All part of Israel's plans to throw out the Palestinians from Jerusalem.


richmillett

Thu, 08/05/2010 - 08:50

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For a moment there, Dan, I thought this might be a post about Gilad Schalit and other unaccounted for Israeli MIAs in addition to Firas Maraghy.....


Yvetta

Thu, 08/05/2010 - 09:53

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Well said, Mr Millett, sir!


Ben Abuyah

Thu, 08/05/2010 - 10:12

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Richard, whilst we all hope to see Gilad Shalit released and returned to his family as soon as possible, I fail to see what the connection is with the case of Firas Maraghy?

Unless you're suggesting that Israel should be using the arbitrary denial of rights to Palestinians born in Jerusalem as a bargaining chip with Hamas? If so, that's extremely perverse.


clevenson (not verified)

Thu, 08/05/2010 - 10:13

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richmillett and Yvetta, You go on about Gilad endlessly but never mention the hundreds of Palestinian children banged up in Israeli prisons without a trial. Are they less important than he is?


happygoldfish

Thu, 08/05/2010 - 11:12

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"hundreds of Palestinian children banged up in Israeli prisons without a trial"

clevenson, at any time there are about two or three hundred palestinian children (12 to 18) in israeli prisons, virtually all of whom are either serving sentences, or awaiting trial, for violence

the reason why there are so many such child prisoners is because there is so much child violence, see the two dozen links in the 2005 report "Participation of Palestinian children in violence"

those children have all the usual prisoners' rights, unlike gilad shalit, and are brought to trial (or released without charge) quickly, and if convicted receive fixed custodial sentences of a length consistent with international norms for sentences, unlike gilad shalit

those "banged up without a trial" are charged and awaiting trial (ok, and a few are "banged up" awaiting charge for a few days)

they are "less important" than gilad shalit because they are being treated fairly, and in line with international norms

raycook

Thu, 08/05/2010 - 11:17

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I don't see this as Kafkaesque. Neither do I see it as a part of plot to get Palestinians out of Jerusalem.

The statelessness of the man involved, it should be noted, is not Israel's fault, but the Palestinians who refuse to recognise Israel or accept the creation of their own state since 1948.

However, there may be an issue of natural justice and compassion here.

Without hearing the Israeli side (we never do, do we) it's hard to make a proper judgement.

But the usual suspects are straight on the bandwagon.

Let's not forget that an Egyptian man who marries an Israeli woman risks losing his citizenship and therefore being made stateless.

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10247437

But, of course the 'we expect much higher standards from Israel' chorus will soon sweep that one under the carpet.

You may also be interested in this HRW report about Jordan's withdrawing of citizenship to its many hundreds of thousands of Palestinian residents thus rendering them stateless too.

http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/02/01/jordan-stop-withdrawing-nationalit...

I don't see Dan finding this Kafkaesque.

One Palestinian in Jerusalem, however unfortunate or unjust his position may be (and I reserve judgement) hardly compares to these cases?

But none of the Israel-bashers chose to mention these cases as they are obsessively fixated on showing Israel in the worst possible light on every possible occasion.


raycook

Thu, 08/05/2010 - 11:58

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Can I also bring to your attention the magnificent article in the Jerusalem Post by Mudar Zahran

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=183252

A Palestinian who pulls no punches about Arab treatment and persecution of Palestinians and the world media obsession with Israel's treatment of them.

JfjfP who claim that they are united against one thing, 'The Occupation' are either disingenuous or naive.

During Cast Lead, in January 2009 I stood whith a few hundred Jews in Albert Square Manchester as we demonstrated for Peace in Gaza and Israel. We were opposed by a baying mob of pro-Hmas, anti-Zionists some of whom were chanthing 'Kill the Jews' and I do not lie, I can assure you.

A group of JfjfP protestors stood by sheepishly as those they were protesting with actually called for their blood. As I said in an article at the time, they should have joined us in the middle of the square.

Those Jews who feel that their outrage at the 'Occupation' means they have to stand on the same side as Islamists and antisemites have sold their souls to the demonisers and Jew-haters. Those that want Justice for Palestinians usually mean no such thing, what they really want is the destruction of Israel.

If JfjfP really wants to help Palestinians they should also be protesting outside Lebanese and Jordanian embassies. If they don't they don't actually represent the cause they claim to.


Yvetta

Thu, 08/05/2010 - 12:57

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Interesting, measured posts as always, Ray.
In London there were chants of "Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas!" while British bobblies looked on helplessly.


raycook

Thu, 08/05/2010 - 13:02

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Yes, Yvetta, and in the Netherlands too.


Ben Abuyah

Thu, 08/05/2010 - 13:20

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Mudar Zahran sounds like the sort of person (along with Walid Shoebat, Nonie Darwish and the like) who, if the shoe were on the other foot, people would be calling a self-hating Arab, or an "as a Palestinian".


raycook

Thu, 08/05/2010 - 13:39

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No EBA, they would be threatening his life, more likely, and maybe they do.

And Zahran does not demonise his people or seek their destruction, quite the opposite. His article is about fairness, not hatred and demonisation or obsession.

I note that you do not doubt his views but prefer to make a different point.

Wouldn't it be more constructive to admit he has a point? I know it might be painful, but do try.


Ben Abuyah

Thu, 08/05/2010 - 14:28

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I didn't comment on his views at all. I have no problem with admitting that a lot of what he says is true. The Palestinians have been treated horrendously by all of the Arab countries in which they have taken refuge.

I was simply pointing out that, if a Jew dares to be critical of Israel, he or she is immediately labelled (by some people) as a traitor, or as someone who only identifies as Jewish in order to bash Israel, etc.


raycook

Thu, 08/05/2010 - 14:53

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EBA I think your last point is too genralised, it certainly doesn't apply to me, but I agree that in some quarters there is a reflex or knee-jerk reaction not to engage but sloganise in this way.


DeborahMaccoby

Thu, 08/05/2010 - 20:10

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Ray and Yvetta: I went to all the London demos and marches against Cast Lead and I never heard anyone chanting "Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas". If I had, I would instantly have reported it to the stewards and the police. And the police would definitely not have "looked on helplessly". These stories about the London and Amsterdam Cast Lead demos are obviously entirely unfounded rumour.

So I find it hard to believe that JfJfP signatories heard people chanting "Death to the Jews" in Manchester and took no action. This is certainly not JfJfP policy.

I was a steward on the Palestinian Solidarity "Enough of 40 years of Occupation" march in 2008, and we were all given instructions at the beginning to clamp down on any expression of antisemitism.

Deborah

Deborah


raycook

Thu, 08/05/2010 - 20:51

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Deborah - both I and Yvetta know what we heard.

As for Ammsterdam, you are right, what they actually chanted was “Hamas Hamas, Joden aan het Gas”

Here is the YouTube video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLlHPPO25nM&feature=player_embedded

which I featured on my blog on Apr 20 20009
http://www.raymondcook.net/blog/index.php/2009/04/20/alliance-left-and-r...

The Dutch politician, Harry von Bommel, did not challenge this.

It is interesting that you were instructed to clamp down on any expressions of antisemitism. Expecting some, were you?

Isn't there some saying about riding a tiger?


happygoldfish

Thu, 08/05/2010 - 21:05

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yvetta, you should not make claims like this without providing a source

Yvetta: In London there were chants of "Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas!" while British bobblies looked on helplessly.

(and what's a bobblie? is it a hoodie in a bobbly hat? )

i've done a brief google search ("Hamas, Jews to the gas" & "London") and found nothing … did you make this up? … if not, please provide a source

DeborahMaccoby: These stories about the London and Amsterdam Cast Lead demos are obviously entirely unfounded rumour.

london, yes, but amsterdam no … from http://www.israpundit.com/2008/?p=7167 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLlHPPO25nM&feature=player_embedded) …

This video depicts Dutch parliamentarian Harry van Bommel of the Socialist Party and other Leftist useful idiots calling for intifada against Israel during a Jew-hate, pro-jihad terror rally in Amsterdam yesterday — while the crowd behind them (at 1:05) chants “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas.

as to manchester …

raycook: During Cast Lead, in January 2009 I stood whith a few hundred Jews in Albert Square Manchester as we demonstrated for Peace in Gaza and Israel. We were opposed by a baying mob of pro-Hmas, anti-Zionists some of whom were chanthing 'Kill the Jews' and I do not lie, I can assure you.
A group of JfjfP protestors stood by sheepishly as those they were protesting with actually called for their blood. As I said in an article at the time, they should have joined us in the middle of the square.

DeborahMaccoby: I find it hard to believe that JfJfP signatories heard people chanting "Death to the Jews" in Manchester and took no action.

raycook says he witnessed it …

is there any way you could find out?

Yvetta

Thu, 08/05/2010 - 21:08

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Deborah, for clarification - unlike Ray I didn't hear the remark myself, but it was heard by others, before the marchers got to Trafalgar Square.


Yvetta

Thu, 08/05/2010 - 21:11

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Ray, how disgusting that van Bommel didn't protest what they were saying behind him - or perhaps he did, because at once point he appears to look over his shoulder, agitatedly.


clevenson (not verified)

Thu, 08/05/2010 - 21:30

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Hg YOU WROTE
those children have all the usual prisoners' rights, unlike gilad shalit, and are brought to trial (or released without charge) quickly,

that is simply not true because I know the parents of one boy in East Jerusalem who assure me that their 14 year old has been in prison for 4 months without a trial.
The parents are rather hoping that he doesn't get tried as this will shorten his period in detention.


happygoldfish

Thu, 08/05/2010 - 21:39

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has he been charged?


happygoldfish

Thu, 08/05/2010 - 21:53

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Yvetta: In London there were chants of "Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas!" while British bobblies looked on helplessly.

Yvetta: Deborah, for clarification - unlike Ray I didn't hear the remark myself, but it was heard by others, before the marchers got to Trafalgar Square.

yvetta, was it "chants" or one remark?

and were you told of it by more than one person ("others"), or do you mean that one person told you that another person told him that another person told … ?

(and did they say that anyone complained to the "bobblies"?)


clevenson (not verified)

Thu, 08/05/2010 - 21:58

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hg
No he hasn't been charged. As i can tell from your writings that you are the sort of person who likes to find out the truth maybe you should try speaking to Palestinians living in East Jerusalem and the west bank about their daily experiences.


happygoldfish

Thu, 08/05/2010 - 22:23

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clevenson: No he hasn't been charged.

ok, i'll concede that at first sight four months appears to be a very long time without charge (though i might wish to revise that opinion if i knew more about the history of this detention)

but a) it's a lot less than four years and …

b) is he getting visits from family and friends? letters? parcels? phone calls? lessons?

and does he have a lawyer and access to the courts?

(i suspect that his own lawyer may be bargaining with the israelis, in his own interest, to delay charging indefinitely … is that what is behind "The parents are rather hoping that he doesn't get tried as this will shorten his period in detention."? )


raycook

Thu, 08/05/2010 - 22:27

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The point is this: there is an absolute right for anyone to protest about Israel's policies if they feel so disposed; they do it in Israel, after all. But these demonstrations are not just about Gaza or the West Bank, or the plight of Palestinians. As I point out above, where are the demos by the PSC or JfjfP about much worse treatment in Lebanon or Jordan?

What lies at the root is the destruction of Israel and its replacement with a Palestinan state, and what lies at the root of that is a Jew-hatred and a denial of Jewish nationhood, history and rights.

And even if you are anti-Zionist and not anti-Jewish, why would you not want to improve the secular democracy that is Israel and campaign for a two-state solution and improved human rights for Palestinians IN PALESTINE, let alone Israel, instead of supporting and marching with those who want a Judenrein, Marxist regressive monoethnic state or just a fundamentalist Islamic state - take your pick between Hamas and Fatah.

And it is a matter of great regret and sadness to me that so many Jews who are genuinely concerned about Palestinians' rights care nothing for Israelis' and so delude themselves about those with whom they march in lock-step, shoulder to shoulder with their would-be annihilators. I don't think I will ever understand it.


Jonathan Hoffman

Fri, 08/06/2010 - 07:06

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Maybe the numpties who see "plans to throw the Palestinians out of Jerusalem" could explain to us why the Palestinian population of Jerusalem has increased exponentially over the past 20 years?


Dan Judelson

Fri, 08/06/2010 - 07:08

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Wow. 25 comments since I put this post up, more than one an hour. Apologies for not responding to some of the questions directly addressed to me until now; it was my birthday yesterday and I had other, less contentious issues to deal with.

, surely this is not a balancing act with Gilad Shalit's liberty and his family's pain on one side and Firas Maraghy on the other.? We're taught pretty early in life that two wrongs do not make a right. I just don't see the connection you are drawing here. You surely cannot be saying that because Gilad Shalit is held prisoner in Gaza it is somehow justifiable for Maraghy and his family to experience their own anguish? That sounds suspiciously like the increasingly discredited "price tag" policy of the more violent settlers. (http://www.ynet.co.il/english/articles/0,7340,L-3925265,00.html & http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/8634754.stm)

, what I find Kafkaesque about it is the citing of a law regarding residential rights of Palestinians in Jerusalem after seven years when Mr Maraghy has lived abroad with his wife for only 18 months. Perhaps I should have described it as a Catch-22 situation, or Hobson's Choice, the literary analogy is less important than the injustice, surely?

Other people have adequately answered the points about pro-Hamas chants on demonstrations. I think the point here is that some are attempting to characterise the entire demonstration(s) on the basis of the actions of a few. Some seem to do it because they are rightly appalled by any racism, but some wish to obscure the issue and thus discredit the campaign. That is worrying because it risks leaving both Israelis and Palestinians in yet further uncertainty, risk of harm and danger. But please, can we leave off criticism of Yvetta on the basis of a typo? Please?

I haven't had a chance to read the articles Ray cites above: I'll do so with interest and respond properly because they certainly look substantial. In the meantime I urge everyone to sign the petition and to ask others to do so aswell.


Dan Judelson

Fri, 08/06/2010 - 07:16

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Apologies for posting twice and not knowing enough about htlm to get the formatting right. The first para above of y post was addressed to Ricahrd and Yvetta, the one beginning "wjat I find Kafkaesque" to Ray Cook. Perhaps a moderator could deal with the dupicated post, above?


DeborahMaccoby

Fri, 08/06/2010 - 10:31

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I too have googled "Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas" and have discovered that the people who chanted this were arrested by the Dutch police and found guilty and penalised by a Dutch court:

http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2009/02/two_found_guilty_of_antije...

So much for police "looking on helplessly". There is no record at all of any chanting of this at a London demo. If there had been, the British police and courts would have taken similar action.

As Dan has pointed out, this was the behaviour of a few individuals and was not characteristic of the marches and demos as a whole, which were against Israel's brutal onslaught on Gaza. They were not in favour of Hamas and not against Jews.

Deborah


raycook

Fri, 08/06/2010 - 11:48

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Deborah

The point is not that they were arrested, it's that Bommel would march with them calling for intifada.

As for Trafalgar Sq 2009

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrmY3dxPPbo

So you want to stand with George Galloway who says Israel destroyed the mythical state of Palestine and lauds Arafat and Yassin as heroes?

Galloway, who openly supports Hamas?

The PSC whose symbol is Palestine from the river to the sea without Israel?

The rap of Lowkey who also mentioned 'stolen lands' and who said that Zionism is the worst form of anti-Semitism.

You stand with these people and nod approval at these sentiments?

You stand not with a few individuals but thousands of people who cheered these speakers?

Is this what you stand for?


Yvetta

Fri, 08/06/2010 - 13:00

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hg, it was heard by a number of people, who were very upset at hearing those words - and on British soil.
The bobblies just bobblied about helplessly, being outnumbered by barbarians.


happygoldfish

Fri, 08/06/2010 - 13:29

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raycook: Deborah The point is …

no, ray, "the point" of this blog, until you hijacked it, was people being deprived of their right of residence

dan judelson and cleveson and i were discussing "the point" in relation to firas maraghy, then rich millett compared it with the slightly similar case of the detention of gilad shalit, then clevenson brought in the detention of palestininan children, then i joined in, and so did you, stil on-topic, in your comment of 5 August, 2010 - 12:17

but then in your next comment (5 August, 2010 - 12:58) you suddenly started complaining about the jfjfp though nobody had mentioned them, not even indirectly (and btw deborah maccoby didn't enter the blog until 5 August, 2010 - 21:10) …

raycook: JfjfP who claim that they are united against one thing, 'The Occupation' are either disingenuous or naive.
During Cast Lead, …

you can't hijack a blog and then seriously complain that some people are missing "the point"!!

yvetta, you've not answered any of this , so i'll just repeat it

happygoldfish: yvetta, was it "chants" or one remark?

and were you told of it by more than one person ("others"), or do you mean that one person told you that another person told him that another person told … ?

(and did they say that anyone complained to the "bobblies"?)

… and do you agree that they were as bad as the jfjfp people in manchester who also didn't complain to the police about the same racist chant?


sddf48

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 14:50

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the children may have these rights in principle, but in practice their families often don't even know where they are being held, and they have no communication with the outside world or access to legal advice. They are often "detained" without charge and then released without trial after a period in prison close to the maximum sentence they would have received if found guilty. In addition they are often made to sign a document in Hebrew, which they can't read, which in fact is an admission of guilt. They are often tortured to make them confess to something they haven't done, or promised preferential treatment if they confess. They are then often not even granted this preferential treatment.

And often, if they have done something wrong, the "crime" they have "committed" is of throwing a small stone that would hardly harm a bird at a army tank which it couldn't even graze. These tanks damage their homes and carry arms with which their friends or siblings may have been injured or killed.


happygoldfish

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 16:51

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often often often often often …

sddf48, do you often make these things up?

or do you have some source to support this?

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