‘Douches du Jour’: Israel Knesset Members Michael Ben-Ari & Aryeh Eldad Pose for Photo on Illegally Evicted Palestinian Family’s Sofa
Two far-right Israeli parliamentarians have added insult to injury by posing for a photo on the sofa of a Palestinian family evicted from their East Jerusalem home in order to make way for illegal Jewish settlers.
Haaretz reports that the Natsheh family, who say they have owned the confiscated land since the 1940s, was evicted from their property in the Arab Beit Hanina neighborhood after a court ruled that it had been purchased by Jews in the 1970s. Khaled Natsheh argued that the papers showing this purchase had been forged, but Judge Yitzhak Shimoni of the Jerusalem Magistrate’s court ruled in favor of the plaintiff, who plans to seek a building permit for a Jewish settlement on the occupied Palestinian land.
According to Mondoweiss, Michael Ben-Ari and Aryeh Eldad, two ultra-conservative members of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, celebrated the Natsheh family eviction by posing for a photo of themselves lounging happily on what used to be their sofa. They then posted the offensive photo on Facebook. Their callous celebration of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians is chillingly reminiscent of old black-and-white photos of Nazis posing in confiscated Jewish homes.
“We are at the start of the establishment of a new Jewish neighborhood in the area, which will create a continuous sequence of Jewish neighborhoods in northern Jerusalem,” Ben-Ari told the Israel National News as he and Eldad attached mezuzahs (symbolic Jewish prayer markers) to confiscated home. Ben-Ari then referred to the Natsheh family as “Arab squatters.”
This frank admission of what can only be described as intentions of further ethnic cleansing is very telling; the ultimate goal of Zionists like Ben-Ari and Eldad is the complete Judaization of the occupied territories.
Mondoweiss reports that far-right Knesset members want to Judaize Beit Hanina, despite the fact that the East Jerusalem neighborhood has never had any Jewish residents. Then again, much of what is today Israel had no Jewish residents since the Bronze Age before the Zionists establishing the Jewish state forced more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs from their homes and destroyed hundreds of their villages beginning in the 1940s. An additional 200,000 Palestinians were forcibly expelled from their homes following a 1967 war, in which Israel illegally occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Ben-Ari has announced that Israeli settlers will build 50 new Jewish housing units on the confiscated Natsheh property. He and Eldad are both members of the conservative Ichud Leumi (National Union) party. Mondoweiss reports that Ben-Ari once belonged to the outlawed Kach party, whose members have carried out brutal attacks against Arabs including the 1994 Cave of the Patriarchs massacre in which 29 Muslim worshippers were slain and another 125 wounded. Kach is considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States, the European Union and Canada.
In other related news, the Israeli government retroactively legalized three illegal Jewish settler outposts in the occupied West Bank and moved to delay the evacuation of a fourth illegal settlement. US State Department Victoria Nuland expressed Washington’s “concern” over the move.
“We don’t think this is helpful to the process and we don’t accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity,” she said.
But the Obama administration will do nothing to stop Israel from its continued illegal settlement expansion. US military aid to Israel, which averages around $3 billion each year, will continue unabated.
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