country:jordan

  • Burying the Nakba: How Israel systematically hides evidence of 1948 expulsion of Arabs
    By Hagar Shezaf Jul 05, 2019 - Israel News - Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-how-israel-systematically-hides-evidence-of-1948-expulsio

    International forces overseeing the evacuation of Iraq al-Manshiyya, near today’s Kiryat Gat, in March, 1949. Collection of Benno Rothenberg/Israel State Archives

    Four years ago, historian Tamar Novick was jolted by a document she found in the file of Yosef Vashitz, from the Arab Department of the left-wing Mapam Party, in the Yad Yaari archive at Givat Haviva. The document, which seemed to describe events that took place during the 1948 war, began:

    “Safsaf [former Palestinian village near Safed] – 52 men were caught, tied them to one another, dug a pit and shot them. 10 were still twitching. Women came, begged for mercy. Found bodies of 6 elderly men. There were 61 bodies. 3 cases of rape, one east of from Safed, girl of 14, 4 men shot and killed. From one they cut off his fingers with a knife to take the ring.”

    The writer goes on to describe additional massacres, looting and abuse perpetrated by Israeli forces in Israel’s War of Independence. “There’s no name on the document and it’s not clear who’s behind it,” Dr. Novick tells Haaretz. “It also breaks off in the middle. I found it very disturbing. I knew that finding a document like this made me responsible for clarifying what happened.”

    The Upper Galilee village of Safsaf was captured by the Israel Defense Forces in Operation Hiram toward the end of 1948. Moshav Safsufa was established on its ruins. Allegations were made over the years that the Seventh Brigade committed war crimes in the village. Those charges are supported by the document Novick found, which was not previously known to scholars. It could also constitute additional evidence that the Israeli top brass knew about what was going on in real time.

    Novick decided to consult with other historians about the document. Benny Morris, whose books are basic texts in the study of the Nakba – the “calamity,” as the Palestinians refer to the mass emigration of Arabs from the country during the 1948 war – told her that he, too, had come across similar documentation in the past. He was referring to notes made by Mapam Central Committee member Aharon Cohen on the basis of a briefing given in November 1948 by Israel Galili, the former chief of staff of the Haganah militia, which became the IDF. Cohen’s notes in this instance, which Morris published, stated: “Safsaf 52 men tied with a rope. Dropped into a pit and shot. 10 were killed. Women pleaded for mercy. [There were] 3 cases of rape. Caught and released. A girl of 14 was raped. Another 4 were killed. Rings of knives.”

    Morris’ footnote (in his seminal “The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949”) states that this document was also found in the Yad Yaari Archive. But when Novick returned to examine the document, she was surprised to discover that it was no longer there.

    Palestine refugees initially displaced to Gaza board boats to Lebanon or Egypt, in 1949. Hrant Nakashian/1949 UN Archives

    “At first I thought that maybe Morris hadn’t been accurate in his footnote, that perhaps he had made a mistake,” Novick recalls. “It took me time to consider the possibility that the document had simply disappeared.” When she asked those in charge where the document was, she was told that it had been placed behind lock and key at Yad Yaari – by order of the Ministry of Defense.

    Since the start of the last decade, Defense Ministry teams have been scouring Israel’s archives and removing historic documents. But it’s not just papers relating to Israel’s nuclear project or to the country’s foreign relations that are being transferred to vaults: Hundreds of documents have been concealed as part of a systematic effort to hide evidence of the Nakba.

    The phenomenon was first detected by the Akevot Institute for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Research. According to a report drawn up by the institute, the operation is being spearheaded by Malmab, the Defense Ministry’s secretive security department (the name is a Hebrew acronym for “director of security of the defense establishment”), whose activities and budget are classified. The report asserts that Malmab removed historical documentation illegally and with no authority, and at least in some cases has sealed documents that had previously been cleared for publication by the military censor. Some of the documents that were placed in vaults had already been published.
    An investigative report by Haaretz found that Malmab has concealed testimony from IDF generals about the killing of civilians and the demolition of villages, as well as documentation of the expulsion of Bedouin during the first decade of statehood. Conversations conducted by Haaretz with directors of public and private archives alike revealed that staff of the security department had treated the archives as their property, in some cases threatening the directors themselves.

    Yehiel Horev, who headed Malmab for two decades, until 2007, acknowledged to Haaretz that he launched the project, which is still ongoing. He maintains that it makes sense to conceal the events of 1948, because uncovering them could generate unrest among the country’s Arab population. Asked what the point is of removing documents that have already been published, he explained that the objective is to undermine the credibility of studies about the history of the refugee problem. In Horev’s view, an allegation made by a researcher that’s backed up by an original document is not the same as an allegation that cannot be proved or refuted.

    The document Novick was looking for might have reinforced Morris’ work. During the investigation, Haaretz was in fact able to find the Aharon Cohen memo, which sums up a meeting of Mapam’s Political Committee on the subject of massacres and expulsions in 1948. Participants in the meeting called for cooperation with a commission of inquiry that would investigate the events. One case the committee discussed concerned “grave actions” carried out in the village of Al-Dawayima, east of Kiryat Gat. One participant mentioned the then-disbanded Lehi underground militia in this connection. Acts of looting were also reported: “Lod and Ramle, Be’er Sheva, there isn’t [an Arab] store that hasn’t been broken into. 9th Brigade says 7, 7th Brigade says 8.”
    “The party,” the document states near the end, “is against expulsion if there is no military necessity for it. There are different approaches concerning the evaluation of necessity. And further clarification is best. What happened in Galilee – those are Nazi acts! Every one of our members must report what he knows.”

    The Israeli version
    One of the most fascinating documents about the origin of the Palestinian refugee problem was written by an officer in Shai, the precursor to the Shin Bet security service. It discusses why the country was emptied of so many of its Arab inhabitants, dwelling on the circumstances of each village. Compiled in late June 1948, it was titled “The Emigration of the Arabs of Palestine.”

    Read a translation of the document here (1)

    This document was the basis for an article that Benny Morris published in 1986. After the article appeared, the document was removed from the archive and rendered inaccessible to researchers. Years later, the Malmab team reexamined the document, and ordered that it remain classified. They could not have known that a few years later researchers from Akevot would find a copy of the text and run it past the military censors – who authorized its publication unconditionally. Now, after years of concealment, the gist of the document is being revealed here.

    The 25-page document begins with an introduction that unabashedly approves of the evacuation of the Arab villages. According to the author, the month of April “excelled in an increase of emigration,” while May “was blessed with the evacuation of maximum places.” The report then addresses “the causes of the Arab emigration.” According to the Israeli narrative that was disseminated over the years, responsibility for the exodus from Israel rests with Arab politicians who encouraged the population to leave. However, according to the document, 70 percent of the Arabs left as a result of Jewish military operations.

    Palestinian children awaiting distribution of milk by UNICEF at the Nazareth Franciscan Sisters’ convent, on January 1, 1950. AW / UN Photo

    The unnamed author of the text ranks the reasons for the Arabs’ departure in order of importance. The first reason: “Direct Jewish acts of hostility against Arab places of settlement.” The second reason was the impact of those actions on neighboring villages. Third in importance came “operations by the breakaways,” namely the Irgun and Lehi undergrounds. The fourth reason for the Arab exodus was orders issued by Arab institutions and “gangs” (as the document refers to all Arab fighting groups); fifth was “Jewish ’whispering operations’ to induce the Arab inhabitants to flee”; and the sixth factor was “evacuation ultimatums.”

    The author asserts that, “without a doubt, the hostile operations were the main cause of the movement of the population.” In addition, “Loudspeakers in the Arabic language proved their effectiveness on the occasions when they were utilized properly.” As for Irgun and Lehi operations, the report observes that “many in the villages of central Galilee started to flee following the abduction of the notables of Sheikh Muwannis [a village north of Tel Aviv]. The Arab learned that it is not enough to forge an agreement with the Haganah and that there are other Jews [i.e., the breakaway militias] to beware of.”

    The author notes that ultimatums to leave were especially employed in central Galilee, less so in the Mount Gilboa region. “Naturally, the act of this ultimatum, like the effect of the ’friendly advice,’ came after a certain preparing of the ground by means of hostile actions in the area.”
    An appendix to the document describes the specific causes of the exodus from each of scores of Arab locales: Ein Zeitun – “our destruction of the village”; Qeitiya – “harassment, threat of action”; Almaniya – “our action, many killed”; Tira – “friendly Jewish advice”; Al’Amarir – “after robbery and murder carried out by the breakaways”; Sumsum – “our ultimatum”; Bir Salim – “attack on the orphanage”; and Zarnuga – “conquest and expulsion.”

    Short fuse
    In the early 2000s, the Yitzhak Rabin Center conducted a series of interviews with former public and military figures as part of a project to document their activity in the service of the state. The long arm of Malmab seized on these interviews, too. Haaretz, which obtained the original texts of several of the interviews, compared them to the versions that are now available to the public, after large swaths of them were declared classified.

    These included, for example, sections of the testimony of Brig. Gen. (res.) Aryeh Shalev about the expulsion across the border of the residents of a village he called “Sabra.” Later in the interview, the following sentences were deleted: “There was a very serious problem in the valley. There were refugees who wanted to return to the valley, to the Triangle [a concentration of Arab towns and villages in eastern Israel]. We expelled them. I met with them to persuade them not to want that. I have papers about it.”

    In another case, Malmab decided to conceal the following segment from an interview that historian Boaz Lev Tov conducted with Maj. Gen. (res.) Elad Peled:
    Lev Tov: “We’re talking about a population – women and children?”
    Peled: “All, all. Yes.”
    Lev Tov: “Don’t you distinguish between them?”
    Peled: “The problem is very simple. The war is between two populations. They come out of their home.”
    Lev Tov: “If the home exists, they have somewhere to return to?”
    Peled: “It’s not armies yet, it’s gangs. We’re also actually gangs. We come out of the house and return to the house. They come out of the house and return to the house. It’s either their house or our house.”
    Lev Tov: “Qualms belong to the more recent generation?”
    Peled: “Yes, today. When I sit in an armchair here and think about what happened, all kinds of thoughts come to mind.”
    Lev Tov: “Wasn’t that the case then?”
    Peled: “Look, let me tell you something even less nice and cruel, about the big raid in Sasa [Palestinian village in Upper Galilee]. The goal was actually to deter them, to tell them, ‘Dear friends, the Palmach [the Haganah “shock troops”] can reach every place, you are not immune.’ That was the heart of the Arab settlement. But what did we do? My platoon blew up 20 homes with everything that was there.”
    Lev Tov: “While people were sleeping there?”
    Peled: “I suppose so. What happened there, we came, we entered the village, planted a bomb next to every house, and afterward Homesh blew on a trumpet, because we didn’t have radios, and that was the signal [for our forces] to leave. We’re running in reverse, the sappers stay, they pull, it’s all primitive. They light the fuse or pull the detonator and all those houses are gone.”

    IDF soldiers guarding Palestinians in Ramle, in 1948. Collection of Benno Rothenberg/The IDF and Defense Establishment Archives

    Another passage that the Defense Ministry wanted to keep from the public came from Dr. Lev Tov’s conversation with Maj. Gen. Avraham Tamir:
    Tamir: “I was under Chera [Maj. Gen. Tzvi Tzur, later IDF chief of staff], and I had excellent working relations with him. He gave me freedom of action – don’t ask – and I happened to be in charge of staff and operations work during two developments deriving from [Prime Minister David] Ben-Gurion’s policy. One development was when reports arrived about marches of refugees from Jordan toward the abandoned villages [in Israel]. And then Ben-Gurion lays down as policy that we have to demolish [the villages] so they won’t have anywhere to return to. That is, all the Arab villages, most of which were in [the area covered by] Central Command, most of them.”
    Lev Tov: “The ones that were still standing?”
    Tamir: “The ones that weren’t yet inhabited by Israelis. There were places where we had already settled Israelis, like Zakariyya and others. But most of them were still abandoned villages.”
    Lev Tov: “That were standing?”
    Tamir: “Standing. It was necessary for there to be no place for them to return to, so I mobilized all the engineering battalions of Central Command, and within 48 hours I knocked all those villages to the ground. Period. There’s no place to return to.”
    Lev Tov: “Without hesitation, I imagine.”
    Tamir: “Without hesitation. That was the policy. I mobilized, I carried it out and I did it.”

    Crates in vaults
    The vault of the Yad Yaari Research and Documentation Center is one floor below ground level. In the vault, which is actually a small, well-secured room, are stacks of crates containing classified documents. The archive houses the materials of the Hashomer Hatzair movement, the Kibbutz Ha’artzi kibbutz movement, Mapam, Meretz and other bodies, such as Peace Now.
    The archive’s director is Dudu Amitai, who is also chairman of the Association of Israel Archivists. According to Amitai, Malmab personnel visited the archive regularly between 2009 and 2011. Staff of the archive relate that security department teams – two Defense Ministry retirees with no archival training – would show up two or three times a week. They searched for documents according to such keywords as “nuclear,” “security” and “censorship,” and also devoted considerable time to the War of Independence and the fate of the pre-1948 Arab villages.
    “In the end, they submitted a summary to us, saying that they had located a few dozen sensitive documents,” Amitai says. “We don’t usually take apart files, so dozens of files, in their entirety, found their way into our vault and were removed from the public catalog.” A file might contain more than 100 documents.
    One of the files that was sealed deals with the military government that controlled the lives of Israel’s Arab citizens from 1948 until 1966. For years, the documents were stored in the same vault, inaccessible to scholars. Recently, in the wake of a request by Prof. Gadi Algazi, a historian from Tel Aviv University, Amitai examined the file himself and ruled that there was no reason not to unseal it, Malmab’s opinion notwithstanding.

    According to Algazi, there could be several reasons for Malmab’s decision to keep the file classified. One of them has to do with a secret annex it contains to a report by a committee that examined the operation of the military government. The report deals almost entirely with land-ownership battles between the state and Arab citizens, and barely touches on security matters.

    Another possibility is a 1958 report by the ministerial committee that oversaw the military government. In one of the report’s secret appendixes, Col. Mishael Shaham, a senior officer in the military government, explains that one reason for not dismantling the martial law apparatus is the need to restrict Arab citizens’ access to the labor market and to prevent the reestablishment of destroyed villages.
    A third possible explanation for hiding the file concerns previously unpublished historical testimony about the expulsion of Bedouin. On the eve of Israel’s establishment, nearly 100,000 Bedouin lived in the Negev. Three years later, their number was down to 13,000. In the years during and after the independence war, a number of expulsion operations were carried out in the country’s south. In one case, United Nations observers reported that Israel had expelled 400 Bedouin from the Azazma tribe and cited testimonies of tents being burned. The letter that appears in the classified file describes a similar expulsion carried out as late as 1956, as related by geologist Avraham Parnes:

    The evacuation of Iraq al-Manshiyya, near today’s Kiryat Gat, in March, 1949. Collection of Benno Rothenberg/The IDF and Defense Establishment Archives

    “A month ago we toured Ramon [crater]. The Bedouin in the Mohila area came to us with their flocks and their families and asked us to break bread with them. I replied that we had a great deal of work to do and didn’t have time. In our visit this week, we headed toward Mohila again. Instead of the Bedouin and their flocks, there was deathly silence. Scores of camel carcasses were scattered in the area. We learned that three days earlier the IDF had ‘screwed’ the Bedouin, and their flocks were destroyed – the camels by shooting, the sheep with grenades. One of the Bedouin, who started to complain, was killed, the rest fled.”

    The testimony continued, “Two weeks earlier, they’d been ordered to stay where they were for the time being, afterward they were ordered to leave, and to speed things up 500 head were slaughtered.... The expulsion was executed ‘efficiently.’” The letter goes on to quote what one of the soldiers said to Parnes, according to his testimony: “They won’t go unless we’ve screwed their flocks. A young girl of about 16 approached us. She had a beaded necklace of brass snakes. We tore the necklace and each of us took a bead for a souvenir.”

    The letter was originally sent to MK Yaakov Uri, from Mapai (forerunner of Labor), who passed it on to Development Minister Mordechai Bentov (Mapam). “His letter shocked me,” Uri wrote Bentov. The latter circulated the letter among all the cabinet ministers, writing, “It is my opinion that the government cannot simply ignore the facts related in the letter.” Bentov added that, in light of the appalling contents of the letter, he asked security experts to check its credibility. They had confirmed that the contents “do in fact generally conform to the truth.”

    Nuclear excuse
    It was during the tenure of historian Tuvia Friling as Israel’s chief archivist, from 2001 to 2004, that Malmab carried out its first archival incursions. What began as an operation to prevent the leakage of nuclear secrets, he says, became, in time, a large-scale censorship project.
    “I resigned after three years, and that was one of the reasons,” Prof. Friling says. “The classification placed on the document about the Arabs’ emigration in 1948 is precisely an example of what I was apprehensive about. The storage and archival system is not an arm of the state’s public relations. If there’s something you don’t like – well, that’s life. A healthy society also learns from its mistakes.”

    Why did Friling allow the Defense Ministry to have access the archives? The reason, he says, was the intention to give the public access to archival material via the internet. In discussions about the implications of digitizing the material, concern was expressed that references in the documents to a “certain topic” would be made public by mistake. The topic, of course, is Israel’s nuclear project. Friling insists that the only authorization Malmab received was to search for documents on that subject.

    But Malmab’s activity is only one example of a broader problem, Friling notes: “In 1998, the confidentiality of the [oldest documents in the] Shin Bet and Mossad archives expired. For years those two institutions disdained the chief archivist. When I took over, they requested that the confidentiality of all the material be extended [from 50] to 70 years, which is ridiculous – most of the material can be opened.”

    In 2010, the confidentiality period was extended to 70 years; last February it was extended again, to 90 years, despite the opposition of the Supreme Council of Archives. “The state may impose confidentiality on some of its documentation,” Friling says. “The question is whether the issue of security doesn’t act as a kind of cover. In many cases, it’s already become a joke.”
    In the view of Yad Yaari’s Dudu Amitai, the confidentiality imposed by the Defense Ministry must be challenged. In his period at the helm, he says, one of the documents placed in the vault was an order issued by an IDF general, during a truce in the War of Independence, for his troops to refrain from rape and looting. Amitai now intends to go over the documents that were deposited in the vault, especially 1948 documents, and open whatever is possible. “We’ll do it cautiously and responsibly, but recognizing that the State of Israel has to learn how to cope with the less pleasant aspects of its history.”
    In contrast to Yad Yaari, where ministry personnel no longer visit, they are continuing to peruse documents at Yad Tabenkin, the research and documentation center of the United Kibbutz Movement. The director, Aharon Azati, reached an agreement with the Malmab teams under which documents will be transferred to the vault only if he is convinced that this is justified. But in Yad Tabenkin, too, Malmab has broadened its searches beyond the realm of nuclear project to encompass interviews conducted by archival staff with former members of the Palmach, and has even perused material about the history of the settlements in the occupied territories.

    Malmab has, for example, shown interest in the Hebrew-language book “A Decade of Discretion: Settlement Policy in the Territories 1967-1977,” published by Yad Tabenkin in 1992, and written by Yehiel Admoni, director of the Jewish Agency’s Settlement Department during the decade he writes about. The book mentions a plan to settle Palestinian refugees in the Jordan Valley and to the uprooting of 1,540 Bedouin families from the Rafah area of the Gaza Strip in 1972, including an operation that included the sealing of wells by the IDF. Ironically, in the case of the Bedouin, Admoni quotes former Justice Minister Yaakov Shimshon Shapira as saying, “It is not necessary to stretch the security rationale too far. The whole Bedouin episode is not a glorious chapter of the State of Israel.”

    Palestinian refugees leaving their village, unknown location, 1948. UNRWA

    According to Azati, “We are moving increasingly to a tightening of the ranks. Although this is an era of openness and transparency, there are apparently forces that are pulling in the opposite direction.”
    Unauthorized secrecy
    About a year ago, the legal adviser to the State Archives, attorney Naomi Aldouby, wrote an opinion titled “Files Closed Without Authorization in Public Archives.” According to her, the accessibility policy of public archives is the exclusive purview of the director of each institution.
    Despite Aldouby’s opinion, however, in the vast majority of cases, archivists who encountered unreasonable decisions by Malmab did not raise objections – that is, until 2014, when Defense Ministry personnel arrived at the archive of the Harry S. Truman Research Institute at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. To the visitors’ surprise, their request to examine the archive – which contains collections of former minister and diplomat Abba Eban and Maj. Gen. (res.) Shlomo Gazit – was turned down by its then director, Menahem Blondheim.

    According to Blondheim, “I told them that the documents in question were decades old, and that I could not imagine that there was any security problem that would warrant restricting their access to researchers. In response, they said, ‘And let’s say there is testimony here that wells were poisoned in the War of Independence?’ I replied, ‘Fine, those people should be brought to trial.’”
    Blondheim’s refusal led to a meeting with a more senior ministry official, only this time the attitude he encountered was different and explicit threats were made. Finally the two sides reached an accommodation.
    Benny Morris is not surprised at Malmab’s activity. “I knew about it,” he says “Not officially, no one informed me, but I encountered it when I discovered that documents I had seen in the past are now sealed. There were documents from the IDF Archive that I used for an article about Deir Yassin, and which are now sealed. When I came to the archive, I was no longer allowed to see the original, so I pointed out in a footnote [in the article] that the State Archive had denied access to documents that I had published 15 years earlier.”
    The Malmab case is only one example of the battle being waged for access to archives in Israel. According to the executive director of the Akevot Institute, Lior Yavne, “The IDF Archive, which is the largest archive in Israel, is sealed almost hermetically. About 1 percent of the material is open. The Shin Bet archive, which contains materials of immense importance [to scholars], is totally closed apart from a handful of documents.”

    A report written by Yaacov Lozowick, the previous chief archivist at the State Archives, upon his retirement, refers to the defense establishment’s grip on the country’s archival materials. In it, he writes, “A democracy must not conceal information because it is liable to embarrass the state. In practice, the security establishment in Israel, and to a certain extent that of foreign relations as well, are interfering with the [public] discussion.”

    Advocates of concealment put forward several arguments, Lozowick notes: “The uncovering of the facts could provide our enemies with a battering ram against us and weaken the determination of our friends; it’s liable to stir up the Arab population; it could enfeeble the state’s arguments in courts of law; and what is revealed could be interpreted as Israeli war crimes.” However, he says, “All these arguments must be rejected. This is an attempt to hide part of the historical truth in order to construct a more convenient version.”

    What Malmab says
    Yehiel Horev was the keeper of the security establishment’s secrets for more than two decades. He headed the Defense Ministry’s security department from 1986 until 2007 and naturally kept out of the limelight. To his credit, he now agreed to talk forthrightly to Haaretz about the archives project.
    “I don’t remember when it began,” Horev says, “but I do know that I started it. If I’m not mistaken, it started when people wanted to publish documents from the archives. We had to set up teams to examine all outgoing material.”
    From conversations with archive directors, it’s clear that a good deal of the documents on which confidentiality was imposed relate to the War of Independence. Is concealing the events of 1948 part of the purpose of Malmab?

    Palestinian refugees in the Ramle area, 1948. Boris Carmi / The IDF and Defense Establishment Archives

    “What does ‘part of the purpose’ mean? The subject is examined based on an approach of whether it could harm Israel’s foreign relations and the defense establishment. Those are the criteria. I think it’s still relevant. There has not been peace since 1948. I may be wrong, but to the best of my knowledge the Arab-Israeli conflict has not been resolved. So yes, it could be that problematic subjects remain.”

    Asked in what way such documents might be problematic, Horev speaks of the possibility of agitation among the country’s Arab citizens. From his point of view, every document must be perused and every case decided on its merits.

    If the events of 1948 weren’t known, we could argue about whether this approach is the right one. That is not the case. Many testimonies and studies have appeared about the history of the refugee problem. What’s the point of hiding things?
    “The question is whether it can do harm or not. It’s a very sensitive matter. Not everything has been published about the refugee issue, and there are all kinds of narratives. Some say there was no flight at all, only expulsion. Others say there was flight. It’s not black-and-white. There’s a difference between flight and those who say they were forcibly expelled. It’s a different picture. I can’t say now if it merits total confidentiality, but it’s a subject that definitely has to be discussed before a decision is made about what to publish.”

    For years, the Defense Ministry has imposed confidentiality on a detailed document that describes the reasons for the departure of those who became refugees. Benny Morris has already written about the document, so what’s the logic of keeping it hidden?
    “I don’t remember the document you’re referring to, but if he quoted from it and the document itself is not there [i.e., where Morris says it is], then his facts aren’t strong. If he says, ‘Yes, I have the document,’ I can’t argue with that. But if he says that it’s written there, that could be right and it could be wrong. If the document were already outside and were sealed in the archive, I would say that that’s folly. But if someone quoted from it – there’s a difference of day and night in terms of the validity of the evidence he cited.”

    In this case, we’re talking about the most quoted scholar when it comes to the Palestinian refugees.
    “The fact that you say ‘scholar’ makes no impression on me. I know people in academia who spout nonsense about subjects that I know from A to Z. When the state imposes confidentiality, the published work is weakened, because he doesn’t have the document.”

    But isn’t concealing documents based on footnotes in books an attempt to lock the barn door after the horses have bolted?
    “I gave you an example that this needn’t be the case. If someone writes that the horse is black, if the horse isn’t outside the barn, you can’t prove that it’s really black.”

    There are legal opinions stating that Malmab’s activity in the archives is illegal and unauthorized.
    “If I know that an archive contains classified material, I am empowered to tell the police to go there and confiscate the material. I can also utilize the courts. I don’t need the archivist’s authorization. If there is classified material, I have the authority to act. Look, there’s policy. Documents aren’t sealed for no reason. And despite it all, I won’t say to you that everything that’s sealed is 100 percent justified [in being sealed].”

    The Defense Ministry refused to respond to specific questions regarding the findings of this investigative report and made do with the following response: “The director of security of the defense establishment operates by virtue of his responsibility to protect the state’s secrets and its security assets. The Malmab does not provide details about its mode of activity or its missions.”

    Lee Rotbart assisted in providing visual research for this article.

    (1) https://www.haaretz.co.il/st/inter/Heng/1948.pdf

  • Rasmea Odeh Breaking the Silence in Berlin: #RasmeaSpricht #RasmeaSpeaks
    https://samidoun.net/2019/03/rasmea-odeh-breaking-the-silence-in-berlin-rasmeaspricht-rasmeaspeaks

    29 March 2019 - On Wednesday evening, 27 March, Rasmea Odeh‘s voice and words were heard in Berlin, Germany, despite a harsh, repressive campaign that included yet another ban on her speaking in person issued by Berlin’s Senator for the Interior. The successful event at be’kech in Berlin’s Wedding district brought crowds to the space despite a large police presence; the space was so crowded that many people stayed outside to watch the event through glass windows.

    The evening marked a significant achievement for Rasmea Odeh and all those defending the right to organize and advocate for Palestine in Berlin. Despite all attempts to prevent it from taking place, Rasmea’s voice was heard in Berlin and celebrated by people of conscience.
    Photo: Public-solidarity

    Once again, as was the case on 15 March, when Rasmea was to join Palestinian poet and former prisoner Dareen Tatour for an evening of solidarity and celebration of Palestinian women’s struggle, the venue itself was subject to harassment and threats. Another media smear campaign was launched against Rasmea along with attempts to demand that she once again be prohibited from speaking.

    On Wednesday afternoon, only hours before the event, Berlin Interior Senator Andreas Geisel, an SPD politician who had earlier declared that speaking “against the state of Israel” crossed a “red line” that justified the violation of freedom of speech, once again banned Odeh from delivering a public speech at the event. However, organizers presented a video from Odeh, ensuring that her message and her story would be able to be heard by supporters in person and everyone around the world who supports her and the struggle for justice in Palestine.
    Photo: Salim Salim, Arabi21

    Once again, several vans of police filled the area (although a smaller presence than that surrounding the 15 March event). They searched the crowd for Rasmea, but left partway through the event after it was clear that she was not attending in person. A claimed counter-demonstration by pro-apartheid Zionist organizations was not immediately visible, but there may have been several participants at the corner of the street.

    The moderator of the evening opened the event with a stirring call against the silencing of oppressed and marginalized people, especially Palestinian women. She noted the growing support received by the event and the campaign to defend Odeh by a number of organizations, including the Internationale Liga für Menschenrechte, which sent a statement to the organization. The event was supported by Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, Berlin Muslim Feminists, Bündnis gegen Rassismus, HIRAK (Palestinian Youth Mobilization, Berlin), The Coalition Berlin, Bloque Latinoamericano Berlin, Brot und Rosen international socialist women’s organiation, Revolutionäre Internationalistische Organisation – Klasse Gegen Klasse, Berlin Against Pinkwashing, Jüdische Stimme für gerechten Frieden in Nahost (Jewish Voice for a Just Peace), RefrACTa Kollektiv Brasilien-Berlin, BDS Berlin and the Kali feminist collective.

    The event also included a speech by a Palestinian student on behalf of HIRAK, emphasizing that this week also marks the one-year anniversary of the Great March of Return in Gaza. Just this week, Israel has been shelling Gaza, causing further destruction after taking hundreds of lives in the past year as Palestinians participated in collective, popular protests for their right to return and break the siege. She urged people to get involved in struggles here in Berlin, including Palestinian community organizing, the solidarity movement and the BDS campaign.

    The organizers next showed a video from 2013 in which Rasmea speaks about her life as a Palestinian woman. The video was made when she received the 2013 Outstanding Community Leader award from the Chicago Cultural Alliance:

    The screening was followed by a 20-minute video presentation – the main speech of the night – in which Rasmea discussed her situation in Berlin as well as presenting more broadly on Palestinian women, Palestinian prisoners and the continuing struggle for liberation. Full video coming shortly!

    As Rasmea spoke, including discussing her personal experience of torture, people in the packed room were silent, watching and listening closely to the Arabic speech and the subtitles in German and English. The conclusion of her speech was met with loud and prolonged applause and cheers as the event’s moderator noted that “this is what they did not want you to hear.”

    The event continued with a cultural evening featuring anti-colonial poetry by Wind Ma, a silent theater sketch by Maher Draidi of Almadina Theater, a musical performance of songs and guitar by Nicolás Miquea and a closing dabkeh performance by the Yafa Dabkeh Troupe. The event concluded with a stirring moment as people chanted together, “Viva, viva Palestina! Free, free Palestine!”

    Rasmea Odeh, born in 1947, is a lifelong struggler for Palestine and a well-known feminist organizer and activist. After surviving torture and sexual assault under interrogation by occupation forces and serving 10 years in Israeli prison, she came to the United States, where she organized over 800 women in Chicago in the Arab Women’s Committee, a project of the Arab American Action Network. In 2013, she was targeted by the FBI and U.S. immigration authorities and accused of lying about her time in Israeli prison, despite the fact that it was publicly known; she even testified before a Special Committee of the United Nations about her experience under torture and imprisonment. After a years-long court battle that won widespread grassroots support, she was deported to Jordan in 2017. She was one of the initial signatories of the call for the International Women’s Strike.
    Photo: Public-solidarity

    After she was invited to speak in Berlin on 15 March, the U.S. ambassador (with ties to the German far right) Richard Grenell, Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan, charged with fighting Palestine solidarity and the BDS movement internationally, and the Israeli ambassador in Germany launched calls to censor her. Media propaganda falsely labeled her an “anti-Semite,” when she is in reality a longtime anti-racist struggler who developed strong connections with other oppressed communities, particularly the Black liberation movement. In the U.S., Angela Davis and Jewish Voice for Peace were among her supporters. In this context, Berlin politicians yielded to the demands of Trump and Netanyahu, and when Rasmea arrived at the event location, she was given a sheaf of papers. Her Schengen visa was ordered cancelled and she was directed to leave the country; she was banned from speaking at the event.

    Most of the allegations in the documents simply restated attacks by pro-apartheid media publications, including labeling the BDS campaign “anti-Semitic”. The German authorities also claimed that allowing Rasmea to speak and retain her visa would “damage the relationship between Germany and Israel.” Thus, Rasmea Odeh’s voice, experience and analysis was ordered suppressed and silenced through the joint complicity of the German, U.S. and Israeli governments.

    Rasmea is committed to fighting back in court. Her lawyer, Nadija Samour, said that “cancelling a visa based on what has happened so far in the past is a completely new concept from a legal point of view.” However, she and her supporters are aware that this is not simply a legal question but a clear political battle that requires support from the broadest number of people in Germany and internationally.

    Supporters of Rasmea in the United States, including the US Palestinian Community Network, Committee to Stop FBI Repression, Rasmea Defense Committee and many other groups have worked to support the growing campaign in Germany, and more organizations have been adding their voices to express support for Rasmea. By cancelling her Schengen visa, German officials are not only attempting to silence Rasmea’s speech in Berlin but to prevent her from traveling elsewhere in Europe to speak about her experiences and her views – thus denying people across the continent the opportunity to hear from a leading transnational feminist and Palestinian organizer.

    Rasmea was ordered silenced based on a desire to stop her from sharing her words and her experience, telling her story and presenting her analysis. The U.S. government is apparently committed to chasing Rasmea around the world in order to persecute her wherever she goes; meanwhile, the Israeli state continues its intensive attack on people’s right to support Palestine everywhere in the world, which has included the promotion of anti-BDS laws and falsely labeling Palestinian human rights defenders and solidarity groups as “terrorists.” The German state and Berlin authorities also chose to join this campaign, issuing two separate bans in less than two weeks against Rasmea Odeh to prevent her from delivering a live speech about her experiences, her involvement in women’s organizing and her view of Palestine.

    In many ways, Rasmea’s case does not stand alone; in Germany, it comes alongside the Humboldt 3 case and the prosecution of activists for speaking up against war crimes, attempts to block Palestine events from taking place in any location and far-right campaigns particularly targeting migrant communities. It also comes alongside the pursuit of anti-BDS laws in the US, the use of “anti-terror” frameworks to criminalize Palestinian community work and the use of visa denial to suppress political and cultural expression, such as in Australia’s recent denial of a visa to Palestinian American poet Remi Kanazi.

    In a particularly disturbing media article containing propaganda against Kanazi, pro-apartheid groups demand that Kanazi is barred for, among other things, supporting Rasmea and other Palestinian political prisoners. They also use the recent far-right, white-supremacist massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand, as a justification for banning him, despite the fact that this was an attack targeting Muslims, linked to racist, anti-Muslim and anti-Arab propaganda, based on white supremacy, and which took the lives of a number of Palestinians specifically. It is clear that there is a global attack, backed by Erdan and the Israeli government, aimed at all Palestinians and supporters of Palestine – and especially aiming to isolate Palestinian prisoners from the international movements that continue to defend their rights.

    The campaign to defend Rasmea Odeh is not ending with this event – instead, it marks a strong beginning of a resurgent movement against the silencing of Palestinian women and for justice in Palestine. It also made it clear that Palestinian women, on the frontlines of struggle from inside Israeli prisons, to the Great Return March in Gaza to organizing for justice in Berlin, will not be silenced. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges people and organizations around the world to get involved and join this campaign by following the Facebook page, Rasmea spricht (Rasmea will speak) and sending statements of solidarity to samidoun@samidoun.net.

    #Palestine #femmes #résistance #zionisme #Allemagne

  • Does Being ’Zionist Feminist’ Mean Betraying Women for Israel? - Tikun Olam תיקון עולם
    https://www.richardsilverstein.com/2017/03/16/zionist-feminist-mean-betraying-women-israel


    Rasmea Odeh participates in Detroit Black Lives Matter rally

    March 16, 2017 by Richard Silverstein Leave a Comment

    Yesterday, I wrote a critique of Emily Shire’s diatribe against the Women’s Strike Day USA protest. She especially singled out platform statements supporting Palestinian rights. Shire, a professed Zionist feminist, dismissed the criticisms of Israeli Occupation contained in the event platform as irrelevant to the issue of women’s rights. Then she launched into an attack on one of the conveners of the Strike Day, Rasmea Odeh. Shire alleges that Odeh is a convicted terrorist and former member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a U.S. designated terror group.

    A comment Deir Yassin published yesterday here got me to thinking further about this issue. I researched Rasmea’s case and the torture she endured. My view is this is precisely the sort of case and individual any women’s movement should embrace. Here is a summary of the facts of the case. In 1969, a cell of the PFLP planted bombs at a Jerusalem Super-Sol. They exploded, killing two Hebrew University students.
    shin bet torture

    Afterward, security forces arrested Odeh and jailed her without charges or access to counsel. She was tortured, by her account, for 45 days. Here is how she described her treatment in testimony to a UN commission on torture in Geneva:

    …”They beat me with sticks, plastic sticks, and with a metal bar. They beat me on the head and I fainted as a result of these beatings. They woke me up several times by throwing cold water in my face and then started all over again.”

    In addition to this physical torture, Odeh also faced sexual torture. Her father, a U.S. citizen, was also arrested and beaten, “and once they brought in my father and tried to force him under blows to take off his clothes and have sexual relations with me.” Later, interrogators “tore my clothes off me while my hands were still tied behind my back. They threw me to the ground completely naked and the room was full of a dozen or so interrogators and soldiers who looked at me and laughed sarcastically as if they were looking at a comedy or a film. Obviously they started touching my body.” In her father’s presence, interrogators threatened to “violate me” and “tried to introduce a stick to break my maidenhead [hymen].” Shackled naked from the ceiling, interrogators “tied my legs, which were spread-eagled, and they started to beat me with their hands and also with cudgels.”

    Every method described in her account is known from previous descriptions of the treatment of Arab terror suspects. We know, for example, that Doron Zahavi, an IDF AMAN officer, raped Mustafa Dirani in Prison 504. The beatings and positions she describes are also previously described in testimony by the Public Committee to Prevent Torture in Israel. Therefore, it’s not just conceivable that Rasmea endured the treatment she claims, it’s almost a certainty. Especially given that two Israelis were killed in the bombing.

    In summary, the Shin Bet tried to force her father to rape her. The interrogators themselves raped her and further degraded her sexually. And her father was tortured as a means of compelling her to confess. If this isn’t a perfect portrait of a cause that all feminists should embrace, I don’t know what is. So when Shire claims that Palestine is the farthest thing from what Women’s Strike Day’s mission should be, she’s engaging in willful blindness to the plight of another woman. A woman who happens to be Palestinian.

    Rasmea was tried and convicted in an Israeli military court, which features military judges and prosecutors using rules that favor the prosecution and shackle the hands of the defense. It can rule any evidence secret and so prevent the defense from seeing it, let alone rebutting it. Such a conviction could never withstand scrutiny under U.S. criminal procedures or even Israeli civilian courts.

    Further, Shire justifies her denunciation of Odeh by noting that Israel denies torturing Rasmea. So you have an Israeli security apparatus which is well-known for lying when evidence against it is damning. And you have Rasmea’s testimony, supported by scores of accounts by other security prisoners as to their treatment under similar circumstances. It reminds me of the story of the husband who returns home to find his wife in bed with another man. The man jumps out of bed and says: “Hey, this isn’t what this looks like. Nothing happened. I swear it. Who are you going to believe? Me, or your lyin’ eyes?” Emily Shire prefers to believe the agency that lies to her with a straight face. In doing so, she shows that she is a Zionist first and foremost; and a feminist second, if at all.

    As for the citizenship application infractions which the Justice Department is exploiting in order to expel her from the U.S.: she had been tortured once by Israel. Her decision to hide her previous conviction was surely founded on a fear that she might be deported once again back to Israel or Jordan (where Israel had sent her after her release from prison). The Jordanian security apparatus collaborates closely with Israeli intelligence. The former is quite handy with torture itself. Further, the U.S. judge in her first trial prohibited her attorney from raising torture as part of her defense. Her second trial will explicitly permit such testimony. Though I’m not privy to the defense strategy, I hope it will demand that a Shabak officer who participated in her interrogation testify at trial. And if his testimony diverges from the truth, I hope there is means to document this and hold him accountable. It would be one of the first times such an agent would be held accountable legally either inside or outside Israel.

    In the attacks against Rasmea, it’s certainly reasonable to bring up her participation in an act of terrorism: as long as you also examine the entire case against her. She admitted participation in the attack. But she denied placing the bomb in the supermarket. Despite her denial, this was the crime for which she was convicted. Further, Rasmea was released after serving ten years as part of a prisoner exchange. If Israel saw fit to release her, what is the point of using her alleged past crime against her today?

    As for her membership in a terror organization, she has long since left the militant movement. Her civic activism is solely non-violent these days. Further, virtually every leader of Israel for the first few decades of its existence either participated directly in, or ordered acts of terror against either British or Palestinian targets. Why do we grant to Israel what we deny to Palestinians?

    It may be no accident that two days before Shire’s broadside against the U.S. feminist movement (and Rasmea) in the NY Times, the Chicago Tribune published another hit-piece against her. The latter was credited to a retired Chicago professor. Her bio neglected to mention that she is also a Breitbart contributor who is the local coördinator for StandWithUs. This sin of omission attests either to editorial slacking or a deliberate attempt to conceal relevant biographical details which would permit readers to judge the content of the op-ed in proper context.

    The Tribune op-ed denounces Jewish Voice for Peace’s invitation to Rasmea to address its annual conference in Chicago later this month. As I wrote in last night’s post, what truly irks the Israel Lobby is the growing sense of solidarity among feminist, Jewish, Palestinian, Black and LGBT human rights organizations. Its response is to divide by sowing fear, doubt and lies in the media. The two op-eds in the Times and Tribute are stellar examples of the genre and indicate a coordinated campaign against what they deride as intersectionality.

    #Palestine #femmes #résistance #zionisme

  • PCBS Report : 6 Million Palestinians Registered as Refugees with UNRWA in 2018
    June 21, 2019 8:45 AM - Ali Salam– IMEMC News
    https://imemc.org/article/pcbs-report-6-million-palestinians-registered-as-refugees-with-unrwa-in-2018

    On June 20, 2019, the ‘International Day of Refugees’, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics released a report showing that nearly half of all Palestinians throughout the world, were registered as refugees in 2018.

    According to United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), of the 13 million Palestinians in Palestine and the Diaspora, 6 million are registered as refugees.

    In 1948, the Palestinian Nakba began, when the land was occupied, and 800,000 indigenous people from 1,300 towns and villages were forcefully expelled from historical Palestine.

    The report breaks down that 17% of the 6 million Palestinian refugees, or 1,020,000 live in the West Bank, and 25% or 1,500,000 of the total number of Palestinian refugees are in the Gaza Strip.

    Jordan hosts the largest Palestinian refugee population at 39%, or 2,340,000, while Syria is home to 11% or 660,000, and finally Lebanon with 9%, or 540,000 Palestinian refugees.

    In 1967, another 300,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes, and today, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine continues with home demolitions occurring on a near daily basis in and around the cities of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron, and Nablus, to name a few.

    #réfugiés_palestinens

  • The Iraqi and Syrian refugees using body-mapping to share their stories

    What does it mean to flee one’s country and undertake the dangerous journey to Europe? What does it mean to suddenly lose everything and be forced to live in a different country? A new home, new school, new friends and a totally new life? To what extent does it influence family lives and the family unit as such? These are questions that a new research project, based at the University of Birmingham and funded by the British Academy, is tackling. The focus is not only on the changes occurring within refugee families, but equally on the impact of the influx of refugees on the host society.

    We use art as a research method to allow Iraqi and Syrian women and men to express their thoughts and feelings, on both their refugee journey and their new lives in their host countries. Fleeing one’s country puts enormous pressure and stress on an individual, both emotionally and physically. Using the artistic technique of body mapping proved to be very useful in this project, as it allowed participants to embody the emotional and psychological pain caused by their refugee experiences through art. Holding a paint brush, painting and being taught by a renowned artist, in this instance Rachel Gadsden, were for the majority of the participants a new experience. It provided them with a feeling of pride, achievement and self-fulfilment, at a time when they needed it the most. But what are they painting? How are they expressing their experiences? How do they portray themselves? What do they say about their new lives? Do their own narratives confirm widespread notions of their ‘vulnerability’?

    Decades of displacement

    Saddam Hussein’s decades of authoritarian rule in Iraq, the continuous political instability caused by his fall in 2003 and the rise of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) in 2014 has forced over three million Iraqis to flee their country since the 1980s. Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Syrians have become one of the largest groups of refugees, with more than five million civilians forced to flee to neighbouring Middle Eastern countries and to Europe. Many Iraqi and Syrian refugees have headed to Europe directly and settled in countries such as Germany or the UK, others went through multi-local trajectories of displacement in so-called ‘transit countries’ such as Jordan.

    Syrian and Iraqi societies are to a significant extent tribal and patriarchal in nature, with familial or community-based social networks often serving to protect their members. However, these networks may be disrupted or disappear entirely during a migration process, leaving women and children in particular in extremely vulnerable situations, unprotected by their family networks. Women, as well as children, very often find themselves in the most subservient and marginal positions, making them vulnerable to abuse and violence, inflicted either by social and religious communities or the state. Human trafficking operations have played a central role in facilitating immigration. In such circumstances, human traffickers who bring migrants across borders abuse women and children and force them into sexually exploitive occupations, or subject them to physical and sexual abuse themselves. Tackling violence against women and girls is one of the UK government’s most important goals. The UK’s aid report in 2015 highlights explicitly the challenges the UK faces regarding the conflict in Iraq and Syria and the need to support peace and stability abroad, in order to secure social and political stability in the UK. The UK government is working extensively towards implementing the ‘No One Behind Promise’, which strives to achieve gender equality, prioritise the empowerment of girls and women and end violence against them, within war zones, such as in Syria and Iraq, and during migration processes in particular.

    Women are often limited to gender-specific narratives of female vulnerability within patriarchal social structures. Without neglecting the fact that women are more affected by and subject to sexual and gender-based violence, the over 150 women we talked and worked with in our projects so far have another story to tell. In our art workshops, these women used art and body-mapping to express their powerful stories of resilience, endurance and survival.

    Gender roles in a time of war and instability

    “I never worked with fabric, but I learnt how to produce the most amazing clothes for women’s engagement and wedding parties. I go around clothing shops in the city and try to sell them. Now I have my own network of buyers. I earn more money now than my husband used to earn. He passed away five years ago and left me with three children to feed. Yes, they call me sharmuta – a slut – because I go around male merchants in town to see whether they would buy my products. I don’t sleep with them. I only sell them my dresses. I don’t do anything wrong. Therefore, I will not stop. I cannot stop. I have children to feed. The problem is not me – the problem is their dirty thinking, only because I am a woman and a good-looking one too [laughing].”

    The young Iraqi widow above was not the only female refugee in Jordan, the UK or in Germany who struggles with social stigmatisations and sexual harassment, on the way to and from work as well as in the workplace. Women’s independence is very often violently attacked, verbally and physically, in order to control women’s lives, bodies and sexuality. Refugee women’s pending legal status, their socio-economic integration and the degree of their security within the host environment change long-held values on family structures and socio-cultural expectations on gender roles. They also influence women and men’s own understanding of their roles which, in most cases, represents a shift from their traditional gender roles within their families. Women and men’s roles in family and society inevitably change in time of war and forced migration and society needs to adapt to this development. In order to achieve sustainable change in society’s perception, both men and women need to be socialised and equipped to understand these societal changes. This does not solely apply to the refugee communities, but also to the host communities, who are also influenced by the presence of these newcomers.

    Through stitching fabric onto their body map paintings or adding pictures of the food they cook to sell on the canvases, women express their attempts to survive. Through art, women can portray how they see themselves: strong in enduring the hardship, without neglecting the challenges they face. “I want to show the world out there that we are not poor victims. One woman like us is better and stronger than 100 men,” as one Iraqi in Germany explains. Another Syrian in the UK emphasised women’s resilience, saying “wherever we fall we will land straight. I want to paint my head up for these politicians to know that nothing will bend us”.

    Women in our art workshops see the production of their artwork and the planned art exhibitions as an opportunity to provide a different narrative on Muslim refugee women. It provided them with a space to articulate the challenges they faced, during and after their refugee journey, but also to create a bridge between the refugee communities and the host community. The artwork produced in the workshops helped to facilitate community bonding, integration and above all, as one Syrian in Jordan explains, “a better understanding of what we really are”.
    https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/blog/summer-showcase-2019-iraqi-syrian-refugees-body-mapping
    #corps #cartographie #cartoexperiment #réfugiés #réfugiés_syriens #réfugiés_irakiens #asile #migrations #couture #femmes #genre #dessin
    ping @reka

    • Negotiating Relationships and Redefining Traditions: Syrian and Iraqi Women Refugees in Jordan
      Art workshops in Jordan April 2019

      Narratives of displacement is a research-based project of the University of Birmingham and funded by the British Academy, documenting the effects of the long and extensive conflict in Syria and the consequent process of significant temporary and permanent displacement of families, upon the marriages and the family-units of the many thousands of Syrian and Iraqi women affected, and now living as refugees, and as asylum-seekers, within several host nations, namely: Germany, UK and Jordan.

      The project is devised and directed by Dr Yafa Shanneik, and comprises at its core the collecting and collating of data, in several locations, in this instance within Jordan, by Shanneik, by means of a comprehensive and broad-reaching programme of interviews with women affected, personal testimony, that considers the sustainment of the marriage and the family unit, and those topics directly related to this, ranging from, the physical, and frequently arduous and perilous, journey from home to host country, to the shifting balance as to the family provider – affected in turn by, for example, skills and the availability of opportunity, psychological changes within individual family members, cultural differences within those host nations.

      Dr Shanneik is acutely conscious of the forced upheaval, the diaspora of no choosing, and the desire therefore, the longing, of those affected, to give voice to the emotional impact, simply to tell their own stories. And, for this reason she has enlisted the services of artist Dr Rachel Gadsden, who will, over an extended period, work with the interviewees, together with family members, mothers, sisters, children, to create mural-style artwork, using the body-mapping process as a starting-point, to depict not only the destruction they may have left behind, the harrowing passages and the significant demands imposed by the process of integration, but also, perhaps, the opportunities, both foreseen and unforeseen, of the new circumstances that they find themselves in.

      The artwork will serve an additional purpose: the opportunity for the testimony, the stories, to be presented to the outside world, a public voice in the form of an exhibition; and therefore, as a means of enhancing this experience, composer and musician Freddie Meyers has been commissioned to compose an original score integrates the Syrian and Iraqi narratives as part of a live art performance, that will sit alongside the exhibition of artworks, to provide an additional layer in terms of expressing the emotional response.

      The starting-point for this particular leg of the project is the one-time fortified town of Karak. Historically, Karak was always of importance, in its strategic location overlooking the easy trading route formed by the valley and the escarpment that is now the Kings Highway, running from north to south through the centre of the country. There will always have been a ‘stop-over’ here, and certainly in the time of the Nabateans, it would have been both a military base and one of many toll-gates, alongside of course Petra in the south, used to control the movement of frankincense, in particular, shipped and sold to Rome, that made the Nabateans so wealthy and enduring. Later, it was held by the Romans themselves, and later again the, Frankish, Crusaders, who used it as a means of protecting Jerusalem, until finally it was laid siege to and liberated by Saladin.

      This fascinating and colourful history is of great significance in terms of Narratives of Displacement, exemplifying as it does the history of the different forms of migration, movement, cross-cultural trade and interface that has been instrumental in forging the tolerant and diverse nature of modern Jordan.

      Since the conflict in Syria began it is understood that there are, conservatively, over a million Syrians currently taking refuge in Jordan, and the country therefore actively engages in seeking to understand the many and continuing pressures consequent to this, borne not only by the refugees themselves but by their hosts, and impinging upon the infrastructure and social and work environment, the better to accommodate the enormous influx.

      The project for five days has based itself at the Al Hassan Cultural Community centre, interestingly on the other side of the valley from, and having spectacular views of, the liberated fortress. Strategically this location is still of importance. Under the inspirational guidance of its director, Ouruba al Shamayle, the community centre houses an extensive library, research and study rooms, and also a brilliant 800 seat theatre and, used in conjunction with Karak University, attracts students hailing from every other part of the country, north and south.

      The immediate vicinity of the centre alone plays host to many hundreds of refugee families, and so over the juration of our stay the centre has witnessed a continuous visitation of the women and their families, attending for interview with Shanneik, and subsequently to interact in creating body-mapping paintings. The interviewing process has been successful and revealing in documenting individual narratives, and the participants have rendered their often-harrowing stories within a total so far of 7 narrative canvases.

      The venue has proved wholly appropriate for additional reasons. The centre plays host to the regular round-table forum of local community leaders, and consequently on Wednesday, Shanneik was given the opportunity to present to a near full complement of forum members including influential local tribal and community leaders. The talk generated considerable interest and discussion amongst the forum, who voiced their appreciation of the objectives, and offered continuing support.

      Subsequently the governor of Karak, Dr. Jamal Al Fayez, visited the centre to familiarize himself with the research, taking a short break for coffee and relaxed discussion about the project’s aims and objectives, and additionally contributing to the artwork underway, completing a part of the painted surface of one of the artworks, and also superimposing in charcoal some of the written word to be contained in the finished pieces.

      From Karak we journeyed north to Irbid where the weather took a turn for the worse. With the rain and the cold, we were conscious of how such conditions might affect our ability to link up with prospective artistic collaborators. The first workshop in Irbid brought together a group of both Syrian and Iraqi women and was hosted in a private home. A red plastic swing swaying in the sitting room, caught our attention. Our Iraqi host has 2 young children, a daughter, and a son who is autistic. The swing allows the son to continue to enjoy physical activity throughout the winter months – this winter, apparently, having been one of the longest. We painted two canvases; one that accommodated two Syrian sisters and our Iraqi host, and one created on traditional dark canvas and telling the stories of displacement of the four Iraqi women, designed in a circular pattern and evoking journeys and life’s force. After the women drew and painted, music filled the air as all the Iraqi women danced and sang traditional songs together. It was a joy for Yafa and Rachel to witness: art and music transports the mood, and the women let their feelings go, laughed, sang and danced together. Rachel recorded their ululation; to incorporate in the music and performance Freddie Meyers is composing.

      That night there was crashing thunder and flashes of lightning, so no surprise that our trip to Mafraq, further north, had to be postponed – flooding can be a hazard on these occasions as rainwater pours down from the mountains and fills up the dry wadis. So instead the project headed to a Palestinian refugee camp, to a society that supports orphaned children.

      Freddie and Tim were not able to join the workshop and so went off to film the surrounding area. Hearing the stories of migration is always a challenge, but as Yafa interviews the women a clear narrative emerges to guide the piecing together of the artwork. This time there were two Iraqi women and also two Syrian women. Despite living in the same building, the two Syrians had never before spoken to one another. One of the Iraqi women has been fantastically creative in her efforts to secure the lives of her children, taking whatever work she can to support her family, having been widowed five years ago. Adoption is rare in these communities so it was heartening to hear about the work of the society as it goes about raising funds to educate and support the young orphans. The psychological impact upon the women is invariably, but perhaps not always addressed or discussed, and the process of art and the interviews can be cathartic, allowing the women to be open and perhaps emotionally truthful about their predicament.

      The weather turned the following day, so Mafraq was back on the schedule. The project visited a centre that teaches basic skills to support and enable refugees to seek work. A group of five women who all had direct contact with the centre joined the workshop. The women were all from Homs, and its environs. One of the canvases tells of the many ways the refugees fled their homeland and made their way to Jordan, both north and south. The key factor that emerged was that all of the women wanted to hold hands in the painting. It is clear that they support one another. Yafa and Rachel had the opportunity to visit the temporary homes of three of the women. As is to be expected, living conditions can sometimes be difficult, with problems related to dampness, for example, lack of adequate heating, and overcrowding. Despite the challenges the women were making traditional food to sell in the market and doing whatever they could to make the daily conditions and circumstances for their families better.

      The final destination for the project was Amman, where the project was hosted at the Baqa’a Palestinian refugee camp. It was market day in Baqa’a so our journey into the camp was more a case of maneuvering around stallholders than following the road. Al Baqa’a camp was one of six “emergency” camps set up in 1968 to accommodate Palestine refugees and displaced people who left the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a result of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Over 200,000 people live in the camp now; the community has welcomed recently many Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

      We were hosted by an organisation that also supports orphans, and they had brought together the group of Syrian women refugees and their children for our art workshop. 
Their husbands and fathers are all missing as a direct result of the Syrian conflict. We hear this narrative often, the bravery of each of the women as they share their stories and continue to support their families in the best possible way they can, is humbling. 
We will be creating a full narrative artwork, but these images say so much already.

      14-sketches13-blue-muralWe were additional joined in this workshop by Nicola Hope and Laura Hope, friends of Rachel’s. Nicola is at University studying Arabic and is currently attending Arabic classes as part of her degree process in Amman, and Laura, an Italian literature teacher was visiting her daughter. Additionally so as not to let the men miss out of the experience of the centre and the Baqa’a hospitality, the hosts took all of us on a tour of the camp after the workshop.

      Having listened to many harrowing and challenging stories of displacement during their time in Jordan, told by the Syrian and Iraqi refugee artistic collaborators, at the forefront of Yafa’s and Rachel’s mind is the fact that displacement is never a temporary predicament, it is a continuing one. The emotional scars are life long, and they have yet to meet a single refugee whose greatest hope is anything other than to safely return home.

      This was even more evident at Baqa’a Refugee Camp. Vulnerable individuals have a remarkable ability to survive, and ultimately they have no other choice other than to do just that.

      https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/ptr/departments/theologyandreligion/research/projects/narratives-of-displacement/blog.aspx
      #art

  • The U.S. is wrong about the Muslim Brotherhood — and the Arab world is suffering for it
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2018/08/28/the-u-s-is-wrong-about-the-muslim-brotherhood-and-the-arab-world-is-suffering-for-it/?noredirect=on

    Texte intégral de l’article:
    By Jamal Khashoggi

    August 28, 2018
    During the Obama presidency, the U.S. administration was wary of the Muslim Brotherhood, which had come to power in Egypt after the country’s first-ever free elections. Despite his declared support for democracy and change in the Arab world in the wake of the Arab Spring, then-President Barack Obama did not take a strong position and reject the coup against President-elect Mohamed Morsi. The coup, as we know, led to the military’s return to power in the largest Arab country — along with tyranny, repression, corruption and mismanagement.
    That is the conclusion that David D. Kirkpatrick arrives at in his excellent book “Into the Hands of the Soldiers,” which was released this month. A former Cairo bureau chief for the New York Times, Kirkpatrick gives a sad account of Egypt’s 2013 coup that led to the loss of a great opportunity to reform the entire Arab world and allow a historic change that might have freed the region from a thousand years of tyranny.
    The United States’s aversion to the Muslim Brotherhood, which is more apparent in the current Trump administration, is the root of a predicament across the entire Arab world. The eradication of the Muslim Brotherhood is nothing less than an abolition of democracy and a guarantee that Arabs will continue living under authoritarian and corrupt regimes. In turn, this will mean the continuation of the causes behind revolution, extremism and refugees — all of which have affected the security of Europe and the rest of the world. Terrorism and the refugee crisis have changed the political mood in the West and brought the extreme right to prominence there.
    There can be no political reform and democracy in any Arab country without accepting that political Islam is a part of it. A significant number of citizens in any given Arab country will give their vote to Islamic political parties if some form of democracy is allowed. It seems clear then that the only way to prevent political Islam from playing a role in Arab politics is to abolish democracy, which essentially deprives citizens of their basic right to choose their political representatives.
    Shafeeq Ghabra, a professor of political science at Kuwait University, explains the problem in this way: “The Arab regimes’ war on the Brotherhood does not target the movement alone, but rather targets those who practice politics, who demand freedom and accountability, and all who have a popular base in society.” A quick look at the political degradation that has taken place in Egypt since the military’s return to power confirms what Ghabra says. President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi’s regime has cracked down on the Islamists and arrested some 60,000 of them. Now it has extended its heavy hand against both secular and military figures, even those who supported him in the coup. In today’s Egypt, political life is totally dead.
    It is wrong to dwell on political Islam, conservatism and identity issues when the choice is between having a free society tolerant of all viewpoints and having an oppressive regime. Five years of Sissi’s rule in Egypt makes this point clear.
    There are efforts here in Washington, encouraged by some Arab states that do not support freedom and democracy, to persuade Congress to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. If they succeed, the designation will weaken the fragile steps toward democracy and political reform that have already been curbed in the Arab world. It will also push backward the Arab countries that have made progress in creating a tolerant environment and allowing political participation by various components of society, including the Islamists.
    Islamists today participate in the parliaments of various Arab countries such as Kuwait, Jordan, Bahrain, Tunisia and Morocco. This has led to the emergence of Islamic democracy, such as the Ennahda movement in Tunisia, and the maturing of democratic transformation in the other countries.
    The coup in Egypt led to the loss of a precious opportunity for Egypt and the entire Arab world. If the democratic process had continued there, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political practices could have matured and become more inclusive, and the unimaginable peaceful rotation of power could have become a reality and a precedent to be followed.
    The Trump administration always says it wants to correct Obama’s mistakes. It should add his mishandling of Arab democracy to its list. Obama erred when he wasted the precious opportunity that could have changed the history of the Arab world, and when he caved to pressure from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as from members of his own administration. They all missed the big picture and were governed by their intolerant hatred for any form of political Islam, a hatred that has destroyed Arabs’ choice for democracy and good governance.

    #démocratie #Islam #pays-arabes #Egypte #Sissi #Morsi #Révolutions-arabes #Trump #Etats-Unis #coup-d'état

  • Un photojournaliste palestinien risque d’être expulsé loin de sa famille
    Amnesty International, le 23 mai 2019
    https://www.amnesty.org/fr/latest/news/2019/05/israelopt-palestinian-photojournalist-at-imminent-risk-of-being-ripped-away

    Le photojournaliste palestinien Mustafa al Kharouf, qui risque une expulsion imminente qui serait contraire au droit international et le séparerait de sa femme et de son enfant, doit obtenir le statut de résident permanent à Jérusalem-Est, a déclaré Amnesty International jeudi 23 mai.

    Mustafa al Kharouf est détenu arbitrairement à la prison de Givon, à Ramla, dans le centre d’Israël, depuis le 22 janvier 2019. Son arrestation a eu lieu après que le ministère de l’Intérieur israélien a rejeté sa demande de regroupement familial, en invoquant des raisons de sécurité parmi lesquelles l’« appartenance au Hamas », et ordonné son expulsion immédiate vers la Jordanie, où il n’a aucun droit de résider et restera apatride.

    « La décision des autorités israéliennes de refuser la demande de statut de résident de Mustafa al Kharouf et de l’expulser sur la base d’accusations infondées est cruelle et illégale. Il doit être libéré immédiatement et obtenir le statut de résident permanent à Jérusalem-Est pour pouvoir reprendre une vie normale avec sa femme et son enfant, a déclaré Saleh Hijazi, directeur du Bureau d’Amnesty International à Jérusalem.

    « La détention arbitraire et l’expulsion prévue de Mustafa al Kharouf correspondent à la politique menée depuis longtemps par Israël, qui vise à réduire le nombre de résidents palestiniens à Jérusalem-Est, en faisant fi de leurs droits humains. »

    Alors que deux tribunaux israéliens ont déjà confirmé la décision d’expulsion, l’avocat de Mustafa al Kharouf a récemment déposé un recours devant la Cour suprême d’Israël afin d’annuler cette décision. La Cour suprême doit encore décider si elle examine son recours.

    « Les autorités israéliennes doivent respecter leurs obligations internationales et veiller à ce que Mustafa al Kharouf puisse rester chez lui en lui accordant le statut de résident permanent à Jérusalem-Est. La communauté internationale doit agir de toute urgence en faisant pression sur les autorités israéliennes pour qu’elles renoncent à l’expulser », a déclaré Saleh Hijazi.

    L’expulsion par Israël de Mustafa al Kharouf hors des territoires palestiniens occupés constituerait une grave violation de la Quatrième Convention de Genève et un crime de guerre au regard du Statut de Rome de la Cour pénale internationale.

    Entre 1967 et fin 2018, Israël a révoqué le statut de résident de 14 643 Palestiniens de Jérusalem-Est.

    Complément d’information : Mustafa al Kharouf est un photojournaliste palestinien âgé de 32 ans, né d’une mère algérienne et d’un père palestinien de Jérusalem. Il vit à Jérusalem-Est occupée avec son épouse, Tamam al Kharouf, et sa fille Asia, âgée de 18 mois. Il a quitté l’Algérie à l’âge de 12 ans avec sa famille pour s’établir à Jérusalem-Est.

    #Palestine #Mustafa_al_Kharouf

    Sur ce sujet, une liste d’expulsions aux frontières israéliennes ici :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/364741

    #Expulsion #Frontière

  • How Mass Immigration Affects Countries with Weak Economic Institutions : A Natural Experiment in Jordan

    To what extent does immigration affect the economic institutions in destination countries? While there is much evidence that economic institutions in developed nations are either unaffected or improved after immigration, there is little evidence of how immigration affects the economic institutions of developing countries that typically have weaker institutions. Using the Synthetic Control Method, this study estimates a significant and long-lasting positive effect on Jordanian economic institutions from the surge of refugees from the First Gulf War. The surge of refugees to Jordan in 1990–1991 was massive and equal to 10 percent of Jordan’s population in 1990. Importantly, these refugees were able to have a large and direct impact on Jordanian economic institutions because they could work, live, and vote immediately upon entry due to a quirk in Jordanian law. The refugee surge was the main mechanism by which Jordan’s economic institutions improved in the decades that followed.

    https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/31559
    #Jordanie #économie #réfugiés #asile #migrations #pays_en_développement #guerre_du_Golfe #travail #intégration #bénéfices

  • Libya : Flight data places mysterious planes in Haftar territory | News | Al Jazeera
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/libya-flight-data-places-mysterious-planes-haftar-territory-1905272058198

    Satellite images and flight data show two Russian-made Ilyushin 76 aircraft registered to a joint Emirati-Kazakh company called Reem Travel made several trips between Egypt, Israel, and Jordan before landing at military bases controlled by Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) in early April, just as it attempted to seize the capital.

    Flight transponders appear to have been turned off while flying into the war-torn North African country. Libya is currently under an arms embargo imposed by the United Nations after years of fighting.

    Video published by Haftar’s forces shows one of the cargo planes - with the registration number UP-I7645 - after landing at LNA’s Tamanhant military base in southern Libya. It had taken off from Benghazi in the east, Haftar’s stronghold.

    Sans surprise, la version arabe met l’accent sur la collaboration avec Israël : https://www.aljazeera.net/news/politics/2019/5/27/%D8%AD%D9%81%D8%AA%D8%B1-%D8%AA%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%8A%D9%82-%D8%B7%D8%A7%D8%A

    #libye #mercenaires

  • Big tech firms are racing to track climate refugees - MIT Technology Review
    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/613531/big-tech-firms-are-racing-to-track-climate-refugees

    To be an undocumented refugee, these days, is to exist in many places and to not exist at all. It is to have your movements, words, and actions tracked, archived, and multiplied. It is to live between fences, tents, and databases—one new entry per doctor’s visit, per bag of rice, per canister of water. It can mean having your biometric and biographical data scanned, stored, and cross-checked by people you do not know, and who speak a language you may not understand. It is to have your identity multiplied, classified, and reduced to lines of code. It is to live in spreadsheets.

    Today, around 1.1 billion people live without a recognized form of identification. In many cases, their papers—if they ever had papers at all—have been burned, lost, or otherwise destroyed. And the number is growing every day. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN’s refugee agency, estimates that in 2017, one person became displaced every two seconds as a result of conflict, economics, or climate change. “In short, the world had almost as many forcibly displaced people in 2017 as the population of Thailand,” the agency reports. “Across all countries, one in every 110 persons is someone displaced.”

    The next frontier, though, is not figuring out where people have been or where they will settle: it is figuring out who they will be when they get there. What will their “digital identity” look like? Who will hold the keys? A number of new and established tech companies are rushing to answer these critical questions. Technology accelerated the global identity crisis, and now technology claims to have the solution.

    But now that so much of our economic and political life takes place online, creating new forms of identity has taken on a severe urgency. Both the private and public sectors are racing to come up with a sustainable way of counting, identifying, and connecting not only the growing population of the global displaced, but also the wealthy population of the voluntarily mobile. Mastercard, Microsoft, Apple, Palantir, and Facebook have all entered the field, through private ventures as well as controversial partnerships with some of the world’s largest humanitarian agencies.

    In 2015, all the UN’s member states committed to providing “legal identity for all” by 2030 as part of its Sustainable Development Goals. As a result, virtually every major aid-granting agency is either incubating, researching, or piloting a digital identity program.

    Et hop, Palantir dans la boucle... humanitaire, tant qu’à faire.

    The UN’s World Food Programme recently announced a new $45 million, five-year collaboration with Palantir that will use the Palo Alto firm’s “range of digital analytical solutions” to streamline and track the dispersal of humanitarian aid. The move was immediately met with skepticism among privacy advocates: a group of more than 60 human rights activists sent an open letter to WFP executives, expressing deep concern over the partnership and urging WFP leaders to “reconsider the terms and scope of the agreement with Palantir.”

    They argued that not only would the partnership threaten to “seriously damage the reputation of the WFP,” but also that it could “seriously undermine the rights of 90 million people the WFP serves.” The controversy, researchers said, should be a “wake-up call” to the humanitarian community about the dangers of relying on digital data and entrusting their networks to third parties.

    In a statement responding to these concerns, the WFP wrote that a series of “checks and balances” would protect private, identifying data, and that Palantir would not be able to use it for commercial gain. In an e-mail to MIT Technology Review, a WFP representative wrote that the agency has its own solutions to managing refugee identities, and that “the WFP-Palantir partnership does not focus on areas that require personally identifiable information (PII) of beneficiaries, nor does it focus on digital identity. No PII data is ever shared with Palantir or with any other partner. Only anonymized/encrypted information is used to analyze allocation of assistance to ensure complete privacy and security for the people we serve.”

    Yet as researcher Faine Greenwood said in Slate, the WFP may be overestimating its ability to protect and anonymize sensitive data.

    Expérimenter la blockchain sur des populations fragilisées comme les Rohynga, quelle bonne idée.

    Both the promise and the risks of digital identity have already become evident in the work of a small army of blockchain and biometric startups. The immutable, decentralized nature of the blockchain has led a number of startups to pin their hopes on the emerging technology as a solution to the problem of storing and protecting sensitive information, including biometric data.

    Passbase, which bills itself as “the first self-sovereign identity platform backed by verified government documents, linked social media accounts, and biometric signatures,” has raised seed funding from Alphabet and Stanford, and currently accepts documents from over 150 countries. Vinny Lingham, cofounder of the blockchain identity verification company Civic, goes so far as to claim that his company can help save democracy. WFP.s Building Blocks program also uses blockchain inside a refugee camp in Jordan.

    Maybe blockchain will save democracy. Or maybe it will make future political crises even worse. The Rohingya Project distributed blockchain-based digital identity cards to Rohingya refugees in order to help them access financial, legal, and medical services. It is, on the face of things, an altruistic, forward-looking humanitarian initiative. But uploading highly sensitive, identifying biometric information to an immutable ledger and testing emerging technology on a vulnerable population means exposing that population to untold risks.

    Data breaches, like those that have repeatedly exposed personal information in India’s Aadhaar biometric identification program, have exposed at-risk populations to new dangers. And they are all too common: in March, a data breach at the US Federal Emergency Management Agency exposed the personal information of 2.3 million survivors of American wildfires and hurricanes, leaving them vulnerable to identity fraud. In April, Kaspersky Labs reported that over 60,000 user digital identities could be bought for $5 to $200 via a dark-net marketplace. No technology is invulnerable to error, and no database, no matter how secure, is 100% protected from a breach.

    As digital identification technologies flood into the market, it is difficult to imagine predicting or preventing the disruptions—good and bad—that they will cause. Blockchain and biometric technologies have touched off a critical reevaluation of the most existential questions: What determines identity, and how many identities can one person claim? What will it mean when official identification eventually—inevitably—is no longer the purview of the nation-state?

    “Everybody deserves to have formal identification that they can use to exert their rights,” says Brandie Nonnecke, director of UC Berkeley’s CITRIS Policy Lab, which works on technology development in the social interest.

    But the rush of public and private digital identity programs has already begun to complicate fundamental questions about identification, registration, citizenship, and belonging. Even the simplest questions about digital identity have yet to be determined, Nonnecke says: “Do you have one identity, or do you have multiple identities across institutions? Is that a safeguard, or does it create more risk?”

    #Identité_numérique #Vie_privée #Humanitaire #Techno-fix

  • Le refus de la part d’Israël d’accorder aux réfugiés palestiniens le droit au retour a engendré sept décennies de souffrances
    15 mai 2019 - Amnesty International
    https://www.amnesty.org/fr/latest/news/2019/05/israels-refusal-to-grant-palestinian-refugees-right-to-return-has-fuelled-s

    La Nakba, qui est commémorée le 15 mai, désigne le déplacement de plus de 700 000 Palestiniens à la suite de la création de l’État d’Israël en 1948
    Plus de 70 années se sont depuis écoulées, et Israël continue de priver les réfugiés palestiniens de leur droit de retourner sur leurs terres
    Amnesty International a créé un site dédié à la Nakba qui décrit les difficultés des réfugiés palestiniens qui vivent au Liban, en Jordanie et dans les territoires palestiniens occupés

    #Nakba

  • صحيفة "يسرائيل هايوم" الإسرائيلية تكشف التفاصيل الكاملة لـ"صفقة القرن" بوثيقة مسربة داخل وزارة الخارجية الإسرائيلية - رأي اليوم
    https://www.raialyoum.com/index.php/%d8%b5%d8%ad%d9%8a%d9%81%d8%a9-%d9%8a%d8%b3%d8%b1%d8%a7%d8%a6%d9%8a%d9%84

    Des fuites israéliennes assez détaillées sur le contenu du "deal du beau-fils" plus connu sous le nom de "deal du siècle"... Ci-dessous, c’est plus commode en français, la version qu’en donne Al-Manar (http://french.almanar.com.lb/1355312)

    Selon Israel Yahom, un quotidien qui prône une ligne éditoriale en faveur du Premier ministre israélien Benjamin Netanyahu, cette transaction élaborée par le gendre du président américain Jared Kushner, comprend un accord tripartite entre l’entité sioniste, l’Organisation de libération de la Palestine et le Hamas en vue de fonder un Etat palestinien.

    Comme prévu, ce dernier n’a rien à voir avec la Palestine préconisée par le Droit international, sans compter la Palestine historique. Baptisé Nouvelle Palestine (New Palestine), il s’étendra sur des parties de la Cisjordanie occupée, sans les colonies, ainsi que sur la bande de Gaza.
    L’accord accorde à « Israël » les colonies isolées, au même titre que les blocs de colonies.

    Toujours selon ce journal dont les révélations devraient être lues avec précaution, la ville sainte d’al-Quds Jérusalem serait partagée entre l’entité sioniste et la Nouvelle Palestine, où les habitants arabes devraient être transférés.
    La responsabilité de la ville sainte en incombera à la municipalité israélienne à laquelle la Nouvelle Palestine devra payer les impôts. Il ne serait plus permis aux Juifs de s’acheter des maisons arabes et vice versa.
    Les lieux saints resteraient tels quels.

    S’agissant de la bande de Gaza, l’Egypte devrait accorder de nouvelles terres à la Palestine afin d’y édifier un aéroport, des usines, une zone de transit commercial et agricole. Les Palestiniens ne seraient pas autorisés à y résider.
    La superficie des territoires et leur cout devraient faire l’objet d’une entente entre les différents protagonistes, par l’intermédiaire des Etats favorables. C’est-à-dire les Etats-Unis, l’Union européenne et les pays pétroliers du Golfe.
    La définition de l’Etat palestinien viendra ultérieurement.

    Une autoroute devrait relier la bande de Gaza à la Cisjordanie, tout en permettant l’installation de canaux hydroliques souterrains entre les deux. 30 milliards de dollars seraient alloués à la Nouvelle Palestine, sur une durée de 5 années, dont 20% seraient procurés par les Etats-Unis, 10% par l’UE et 70% par les pays pétroliers du Golfe. Les plus riches parmi ces derniers devraient payer le plus car selon l’accord, ils profitent le plus de l’accord.

    Le prix des colonies annexées par Israël dont celles isolées devraient être fournies par Israël.

    Il est interdit à la Nouvelle Palestine d’avoir une armée. Le seul arsenal dont elle peut disposer est celui de la police. Et c’est à Israël que revient de la défendre contre toute offensive étrangère. A condition qu’elle lui paie le prix de cette défense. Des négociations auront lieu entre l’entité sioniste et les pays arabes sur la valeur qu’ils auront à payer à l’armée israélienne en échange de cette défense.

    Lors de la conclusion de l’accord, le Hamas devra démanteler son arsenal et le livrer aux Egyptiens. Il n’aura droit qu’à des armes individuelles et personnelles pour ses dirigeants. En échange, ces derniers vont percevoir des salaires mensuels que les Etats arabes auront à leur payer.

    Les frontières de la bande de Gaza seront ouvertes au commerce international via les passages israéliens et égyptiens. Le marché de Gaza sera ouvert à la Cisjordanie et à la mer aussi.

    Un an après l’accord, seront organisées en Nouvelle Palestine des élections démocratiques auxquelles tous les Palestiniens peuvent se porter candidat. Un an plus tard, les détenus seront libérés progressivement, sur une durée de trois ans.

    En cinq années, un port maritime et un aéroport vont être érigés en Nouvelle Palestine. Entretemps, les Palestiniens utiliseront les aéroports et ports israéliens.

    Les frontières entre la Nouvelle Palestine et « Israël » seront ouvertes devant les citoyens et les marchandises comme c’est le cas entre les pays amis.
    Un pont suspendu sur une hauteur de 30 mètres au-dessus du sol sera construit entre Gaza et la Cisjordanie. Sa construction sera confiée à une société chinoise. La Chine aura à participer à son coût à hauteur de 50%, alors que le Japon, la Corée du sud, l’Australie, et le Canada, devront chacun déverser 10% de son prix. Les Etats-Unis et l’union européenne rembourseront quant à eux deux 10% de son prix.

    Concernant la vallée du Jourdain, elle restera entre les mains des Israéliens. Sa route 90 sera divisée en quatre parcours, tous sous la supervision israélienne, dont les deux qui relieront la nouvelle Palestine à la Jordanie.

    Au cas où le Hamas et l’OLP refusent l’accord, les Etats-Unis enrayeront toute l’aide financière qu’ils fournissent aux Palestiniens et s’attelleront pour empêcher toute aide de parties tierces.

    Au cas où l’OLP accepte les conditions de l’accord, mais le Hamas et le Jihad islamique les rejettent, la responsabilité de l’échec leur incombera. Si un affrontement éclate entre Israël et le Hamas, les Etats-Unis soutiendront Israël pour nuire à leurs dirigeants.

    #palestine #deal_du_siècle #kushner

    Et si Israël refuse l’accord, le soutien économique que les USA lui procurent sera suspendu.

  • Dans le #business de l’#humanitaire : doit-on tirer #profit des #réfugiés ?

    Depuis la crise économique de 2008 et la multiplication des conflits dans le monde, l’insuffisance des fonds alloués au secteur humanitaire n’a jamais été aussi importante. En effet seulement 59 % des besoins en la matière ont été financés en 2018.

    Pour l’une des crises humanitaires les plus médiatisées, celle des réfugiés, les chiffres sont plus alarmants encore. Le Haut-commissariat pour les Réfugiés (HCR) estime que pour l’année 2019 tout juste 14 % de l’aide nécessaire a été financée pour venir en aide aux 68,5 millions de réfugiés, demandeurs d’asile, personnes déplacées et apatrides.
    L’échec du système d’asile

    Bien que garanti par le droit international l’accueil de ces populations vulnérables reste globalement infime. En moyenne, seulement 1 % des réfugiés sont référés par le HCR pour être réinstallés dans des pays d’accueil chaque année. Le cantonnement en camps ou les installations plus ou moins précaires dans les pays limitrophes des zones de conflits deviennent les seules alternatives pour la grande majorité des réfugiés, pour qui la durée moyenne d’exil est d’environ 26 ans.

    Victimes des politiques d’asile de plus en plus restrictives des pays occidentaux plus de 85 % vivent dans des pays « en développement », dont les services élémentaires sont déjà sous pression.

    Le privé à la rescousse

    Pour pallier ces tensions, les capacités financières et innovatrices du secteur privé semblent aujourd’hui s’imposer comme une solution. Le HCR reconnaît en effet que le monde commercial joue un rôle central pour fournir des opportunités aux réfugiés et les soutenir.

    Le Pacte mondial sur les réfugiés adopté par 181 membres de l’ONU en décembre 2018 a lui aussi souligné le rôle primordial du secteur privé pour contrer les failles du système humanitaire.

    Que ce soit en termes d’emploi, d’opportunités commerciales ou de fourniture de biens et de services essentiels par l’intermédiaire de partenariats public-privé, ou encore en aidant les agences non gouvernementales ou gouvernementales à innover pour améliorer la qualité et la provision de l’aide, le monde du business semble désormais indissociable du monde humanitaire.

    Mais normaliser la condition du réfugié dans la logique économique de marché, n’est pas un artifice idéologique servant de plus en plus les intérêts corporatifs ? Et ces derniers ne passeront-ils pas avant ceux des réfugiés dans ce business désormais très rentable – fort de ses 20 milliards de dollars par an- qu’est devenu l’humanitaire ?
    De nombreuses plates-formes impliquées

    Le secteur commercial est impliqué à de nombreux niveaux du système d’asile. Par exemple, via des forums consultatifs comme la branche UNHCR Innovation du HCR créée en 2012 et financée par la fondation IKEA. Ce forum cherche à développer des moyens créatifs d’engager les entreprises et leurs ressources technologiques.

    D’autres plates-formes comme l’initiative #Connecting_Business ou encore #The_Solutions_Alliance tendent à impliquer le secteur privé dans les solutions en déplacement et en mesurer l’impact.

    Ou encore des organismes comme #Talent_beyond_boundaries ou la plate-forme française #Action_emploi_réfugiés élaborent des #bases_de_données regroupant des réfugiés et leurs #compétences techniques et académiques afin de les connecter à des employeurs potentiels dans les pays les autorisant à travailler.

    Afin de coordonner et de conseiller les actions et réponses du monde du profit, d’autres acteurs comme les consultants #Philanthropy_Advisors ont vu le jour pour promouvoir le développement de la collaboration philanthropique stratégique entre les #entreprises et le monde humanitaire, et les aider à projeter leur retour sur #investissement.

    Les marchés prospèrent

    Ainsi les partenariats public-privé avec le HCR et les ONG se multiplient, tant pour les prestations de service que l’expertise du secteur privé dans l’innovation.

    De gigantesques salons commerciaux réunissent régulièrement les grandes agences onusiennes, des ONG et des sociétés privées de toute taille afin d’essayer de prendre les marchés de l’humanitaire. Au salon DIHAD de Dubai par exemple, des stands de vendeurs de drones, de lampes photovoltaïques ou encore de kits alimentaires côtoient ceux des sociétés de services financiers comme MasterCard Worldwide ou des grands cabinets d’audit et de réduction des coûts en entreprise, comme Accenture et Deloitte.

    Cette concurrence grandissante des marchés de l’humanitaire semble suggérer que le système d’asile s’inscrit lui aussi progressivement dans un modèle néolibéral, appliquant la logique économique de marché jusque dans la sphère humanitaire.
    Abus et philanthropie des bailleurs de fonds

    Ce monde humanitaire qui pratique une logique propre à celle du monde des affaires soulève de multiples questions éthiques et pragmatiques.

    Au niveau philanthropique par exemple, les partenaires majeurs du HCR incluent des multinationales comme #Nike, #Merck, #BP, #Nestlé, #IKEA ou encore #Microsoft.

    Or, bien que l’apport financier de ces corporations soit essentiel pour contrer le manque de fonds du système d’asile, la crédibilité et la légitimité de certains partenaires a été contestée.

    Pour cause, les exploitations et abus déjà recensés à l’encontre de ces corporations. Nestlé a récemment été accusé d’esclavagisme en Thaïlande ; Nike et BP ont eux aussi été régulièrement critiqués pour leur modèle économique peu regardant des droits du travail ; ou encore Microsoft, récemment accusé d’exploitation d’enfants dans les mines de cobalt en République Démocratique du Congo. L’entreprise IKEA, bailleur majeur du HCR à quant à elle été inculpée dans un scandale d’évasion fiscale, accusée d’échapper ainsi aux taxes dans les états qui entre autres, financent le HCR.
    Des employeurs douteux

    En tant qu’employeur, le secteur privé embauche et rémunère des réfugiés dans des contextes légaux comme clandestins.

    Par exemple, 20 % de la main d’œuvre de la compagnie #Chobani, spécialiste du yaourt à la grecque implantée aux États-Unis est réfugiée. Son PDG estime que dans le monde actuel le secteur privé est l ‘agent de changement le plus efficace et a ainsi créé la fondation #Partenariat_Tent, afin de sensibiliser le monde commercial à l’importance du secteur privé dans la cause réfugiée.

    Par l’intermédiaire de cette plate-forme, plus de 20 entreprises dont #Microsoft, #Ikea, #H&M et #Hilton ont annoncé des initiatives d’#emploi destinées à contrer la crise des déplacements.

    Cependant, puisque souvent sans droit de travail dans les pays d’accueil de la majorité des réfugiés, ceux-ci sont souvent prêts à accepter n’importe quelle opportunité, et s’exposent à toute sorte de mécanisme d’exploitation, des multinationales aux petites entreprises, légalement ou dans l’économie informelle.

    Des enfants réfugiés Rohingya au Bangladesh aux Syriens en Turquie, Irak, Jordanie ou au Liban exploités dans diverses industries, les exemples d’abus par des entreprises de toutes tailles sont souvent recensés et vaguement relayés dans la presse. Parfois, les entreprises inculpées ne sont autres que des géants comme #Zara, #Mango, #Marks_and_Spencer, qui ne sont pas légalement réprimandés car il n’existe ni mécanisme de coercition ni cadre de sanction pour les multinationales.

    L’ambiguïté des sous-traitants

    Par ailleurs, les gouvernements, le #HCR et les #ONG sous-traitent progressivement l’assistance et la protection des réfugiés à divers partenaires commerciaux afin d’améliorer les conditions de vie dans des secteurs aussi divers que la finance, la provision de service, le conseil, la construction, la santé, la technologie ou encore l’éducation.

    Si de tels projets sont souvent très positifs, d’autres se font complices ou tirent profit de politiques publiques allant à l’encontre de la protection des droits humains. La multinationale espagnole #Ferrovial, un entrepreneur indépendant contracté par l’état australien pour gérer son système carcéral des demandeurs d’asile offshore, a été accusée de mauvais traitements chroniques envers les réfugiés dans des centres de détention extraterritoriaux administrés par l’Australie. Cette dernière est elle-même accusée de crimes contre l’humanité pour son traitement des demandeurs d’asile arrivés par bateau.

    Amnesty International a aussi dénoncé des actes de torture par la compagnie Australienne #Wilson_Security, sous-traitant de la filiale australienne de Ferrovial, #Broadspectrum.

    La compagnie britannique de sécurité #G4S a elle aussi fait l’objet d’une multitude d’allégations concernant des violences physiques perpétrées par ses employés dans des camps contre des réfugiés, par exemple à Daddab au Kenya, et sans conséquence pour G4S.

    Des compagnies comme #European_Homecare ou #ORS spécialisées dans la provision de service aux migrants et réfugiés ont été accusées de #maltraitance dans les milieux carcéraux envers les gardes et les réfugiés.

    Ainsi, selon un rapport de L’Internationale des services publics, la privatisation des services aux réfugiés et aux demandeurs d’asile a un impact direct sur leur qualité et aboutit à des services inappropriés, caractérisés par un manque d’empathie, et ne respectant souvent pas les droits humains.

    Le business de la catastrophe

    Par soucis d’efficacité, en privatisant de plus en plus leurs services et en laissant le monde du profit infiltrer celui de l’humanitaire, le HCR et les ONG prennent le risque de créer des conditions d’exploitation échappant aux mécanismes légaux de responsabilité.

    Aux vues de nombreuses questions éthiques, le monde commercial peut-il réellement contrer les failles étatiques et organisationnelles du monde humanitaire ? L’intégration du secteur privé dans le système de protection et d’assistance aux réfugiés, est-ce aussi en soi justifier le désengagement des États de leurs obligations en matière de protection des personnes les plus vulnérables ?

    Comment ainsi éviter que cette source d’opportunité commerciale pour les entreprises, et les opportunités d’émancipation que cela engendre pour les réfugiés, n’entraîne leur marchandisation et exploitation, dans un contexte où les cadres juridiques en matière de business et droits humains ne sont visiblement pas assez strictes ?

    https://theconversation.com/dans-le-business-de-lhumanitaire-doit-on-tirer-profit-des-refugies-
    #privatisation #partenariats_public-privé #PPP #asile #migrations #philanthropie #travail #salons_commerciaux #salons #DIHAD #néolibéralisme #sous-traitance

  • L’#accord_du_siècle de Trump : transfert massif de Palestiniens en Jordanie où une partie d’entre eux seraient naturalisés, au Liban également, naturalisation massive. Et une autorité «tripartite», Jordanie, Autorité palestinienne, Israel pour administrer la «Judée-Samarie»…
    (rien que le terme employé,…)

    Movimiento Político de Resistencia: Un millón de palestinos serán desplazados por el ‘Acuerdo del Siglo’ entre Israel y Estados Unidos
    https://movimientopoliticoderesistencia.blogspot.com/2019/04/un-millon-de-palestinos-seran.html

    El plan de paz para Oriente Medio de la Administración Trump, llamado “Acuerdo del Siglo”, incluye el reasentamiento masivo de árabes palestinos en Jordania, la transferencia del territorio jordano a Israel y la formación de una confederación tripartita entre Jordania, la Autoridad Palestina e Israel para administrar Judea y Samaria en Cisjordania.

    Otras informaciones indican que el plan incluiría un acuerdo regional amplio en el que varios Estados árabes desempeñarían un papel activo. Se invitará a Jordania a recibir permanentemente a un millón de árabes palestinos que figuran actualmente en la lista de refugiados. El plan prevé que Jordania naturalice a otros 300.000 palestinos y a los que ya viven en Jordania, lo que, según las cifras, no supera los 200.000.

    Se instará al Líbano a que conceda la ciudadanía a todos los árabes palestinos que viven actualmente en el país. El gobierno libanés ha negado la ciudadanía a los aproximadamente 450.000 árabes palestinos que viven en el Líbano, lo que ha restringido sus derechos desde su llegada en 1948.

    También se le pedirá a Jordania que ceda a Israel dos áreas que actualmente están arrendadas por el Estado de Israel. El rey Abdullah ya ha anunciado que no prorrogará el contrato de arrendamiento por otros 25 años, lo que crea incertidumbre entre los agricultores israelíes que utilizan estos lugares. Jordania recibirá unos 45.000 millones de dólares en subvenciones extranjeras. Arabia saudí daría a Jordania un territorio equivalente a lo largo de su frontera con el país.

    Para que el plan sea viable, Jordania formará una confederación tripartita integrada por la Autoridad Palestina y la Administración Civil israelí.

  • Jordanie : le roi Abdallah II en état de grâce après ses positions contre Israël
    Par Jérôme Boruszewski - Publié le 18-04-2019
    http://www.rfi.fr/moyen-orient/20190418-jordanie-le-roi-abdallah-ii-etat-grace-apres-positions-contre-israel

    Depuis quelques semaines en Jordanie, le roi Abdallah fait l’objet de manifestations de soutien très prononcées. Un peu partout dans le pays, les citoyens descendent dans les rues pour dire au monarque qu’ils approuvent sa politique sur la question palestinienne.

    Ces manifestations sont très nombreuses, comme mercredi 17 avril dans le nord et le centre du pays, vendredi dernier à Amman, ou début avril à Aqaba, à l’extrême sud de la Jordanie. En banlieue de la capitale, des milliers d’étudiants se sont également mobilisés à Irbid, la deuxième ville du pays.
    (...)
    Ces manifestants apprécient notamment sa fermeté dans la gestion des tensions autour de la mosquée Al-Aqsa de Jérusalem. La Jordanie s’est opposée en effet à la fermeture des locaux de la porte de la Miséricorde décidée par la justice israélienne en février.

    A cette occasion, la Jordanie a rappelé que c’était elle qui administrait les lieux saints musulmans et chrétiens de Jérusalem et que la décision de la justice israélienne était donc illégale. Cette position a ravi une grande partie de la population jordanienne, dont la moitié environ est d’origine palestinienne.

  • À la frontière ukraino-polonaise. “Ici, ce n’est pas l’entrée de la Pologne. C’est celle de l’Europe”

    Quand quelqu’un traverse cette ligne, il n’entre pas seulement en Pologne. Il entre en Europe. Demain, il peut être à Bruxelles. Après-demain, en Espagne ou au Portugal...”.

    Paolo, un officier de police portugais détaché à #Medyka, en Pologne, se tient sur une ligne rouge entourée de bandes blanches. “Ne la dépassez pas, sinon on va avoir des problèmes avec les Ukrainiens”, avertit-il.

    “On n’a pas besoin de mur ici”

    Devant lui, des voitures font la file pour sortir d’Ukraine. Des champs bordent le poste-frontière. La terre y a été retournée sur une quinzaine de mètres : sept et demi côté ukrainien, sept et demi côté polonais.
    “Si quelqu’un passe la frontière, il nous suffit de suivre les traces de pied dans la boue. À 10 kilomètres d’ici, il y a une #tour_de_contrôle avec des #caméras_de_surveillance (infrarouge et thermique) qui balaient l’horizon. Quand les conditions météo sont bonnes, elles peuvent voir jusqu’ici. Une deuxième tour va être installée de l’autre côté du #BCP (border check point, NdlR). Peut-être qu’un jour on aura une barrière comme en Hongrie. Mais je ne pense pas. On n’en a pas besoin ici, on a suffisamment d’équipements”, détaille Piotr, un officier qui ressemble comme deux gouttes d’eau au caporal Blutch dans Les Tuniques Bleues.

    Des détecteurs d’explosifs et de radioactivité - “ils sont très puissants et captent même si quelqu’un a suivi un traitement aux isotopes pour guérir du cancer” -, de battements de coeur - “le plus souvent, celui des souris dans les camions” -, #scanners à rayons X pour les véhicules et les cargos, caméras avec #thermo-vision qui peuvent identifier des objets, définir et enregistrer leurs coordonnées géographiques, capables de filmer à une distance maximale de 20 kilomètres, scanners de documents, lecteurs d’empreintes digitales, #terminaux_mobiles pour contrôler les trains... “On ne déconne pas à Medyka”, sourit Piotr.

    De barrière, il y en a bien une. Ou plutôt une simple #clôture, sortie de terre lorsque la Pologne appartenait au camp soviétique.

    Le BCP de Medyka, qui protège une section de 21 kilomètres de frontières entre les deux pays, a été construit en 1945. Parmi les quatorze postes de la frontière (dont onze avec la frontière ukrainienne), il s’agit du plus fréquenté : 14 000 piétons et 2 600 véhicules y passent chaque jour dans les deux sens. À cela, il faut encore ajouter les camions et les trains de passagers et de marchandises. “Certaines personnes passent toutes les semaines pour aller faire leurs courses - contrairement à ce que l’on pourrait croire, la vie est moins chère en Pologne qu’en Ukraine - et on finit par les connaître. Certains en profitent pour faire du trafic. Ils pensent que comme on les connaît et qu’on sait qu’ils sont réglos, on sera moins vigilants. C’est pour ça qu’il ne faut pas laisser la routine s’installer”, observe Piotr.

    Quand la Pologne adhère à l’Union européenne, en 2004, sa frontière orientale devient une des frontières extérieures de la zone Schengen (rejointe quant à elle en 2007). Cette même année, l’agence européenne de garde-côtes et de garde-frontières (#Frontex) voit le jour. Les opérations de coopération internationale aux postes-frontières polonais se sont multipliées depuis.

    Tous les officiers de la #Bieszczady_BGRU font ainsi partie d’un pôle de #garde-frontières et sont régulièrement envoyés en mission pour Frontex dans d’autres pays européens. À l’inverse, des officiers issus de différents États membres son envoyés par Frontex à Medyka (il y en a trois en ce moment : un Portugais, un Bulgare et un Espagnol). En cela, postuler comme garde-côte ou garde-frontière, c’est comme faire un mini Erasmus de trois mois.

    Dans quelques semaines, Piotr partira pour la treizième fois en mission pour Frontex. Ce sera la deuxième fois qu’il ira à la frontière entre la Bulgarie et la Serbie. Paolo est quant à lui le tout premier policier portugais à être déployé ici. Sa spécialité : détecter les voitures volées. À Medyka, on en repère entre 75 et 90 chaque année. “C’est particulier de travailler ici, à la limite du monde européen : on réalise ce que veut vraiment dire "libre-circulation" et "coopération internationale". C’est ici la première ligne, ici qu’on protège l’Europe, ici qu’on peut détecter si un voyageur est "régulier" ou pas. Si on ne le repère pas... Bonjour pour le retrouver dans Schengen ! En tant que policier, je savais tout ça. Mais je crois que je ne le comprenais pas vraiment. C’est lors de mon premier jour ici, quand j’ai vu la frontière, les files, les contrôles, que j’ai vraiment compris pourquoi c’est super important. Dans mon pays, je suis enquêteur. J’ai fait des tas d’arrestations pour toutes sortes de crimes qui ont été commis au Portugal, en Espagne, en France, en Belgique. Si j’avais pu les stopper ici, en première ligne, peut-être que ce ne serait pas arrivé”, note Paolo.

    Mimi et Bernardo

    Pour la première fois éloigné de sa famille, Paolo a voulu sortir de sa routine en venant à Medyka. Enquêteur principal, la cinquantaine, il estimait avoir fait le tour de sa profession et commençait sérieusement à s’ennuyer. “Dans mon pays, j’étais le type vers qui se tournaient les autres pour avoir des conseils, des réponses. Ici, je suis le petit nouveau, je repars de zéro”, dit-il en buvant son café, entouré par trois collègues, tous nommés Piotr.

    “Raconte-lui l’histoire !”, s’exclame l’un d’eux. “Deux poissons sont dans un aquarium : Mimi et Bernardo. Bernardo est un petit poisson-rouge et Mimi est le plus grand. Il pense qu’il est le roi, qu’il a tout pour lui. Le jour où Mimi est placé dans un autre aquarium, beaucoup plus grand, avec un requin, Mimi se rend compte qu’il est tout petit ! Ici, je suis comme Mimi, je ne suis même pas une sardine (rires) !”. Morale de l’histoire : la taille du poisson dépend de la taille de l’aquarium. Et un enquêteur au top de sa carrière a toujours quelque chose à apprendre. “Oh allez Paolo, la taille ça ne compte pas !”, plaisante un autre Piotr.

    À Medyka, Paolo perfectionne sa connaissance en voitures volées et documents frauduleux. “Quand je faisais des contrôles d’identité au Portugal, je ne savais pas trop comment les reconnaître. Ici, j’apprends tous les jours grâce à leur expérience en la matière. Quand je rentrerai, j’enseignerai tout ça à mes collègues”, se réjouit-il.

    En guise d’illustration, Paolo contrôle notre passeport. Les fibres qui ressortent en couleurs fluo dans le lecteur de documents prouvent qu’il est authentique. “Premier bon signe”, glissent Paolo et Piotr. D’autres détails, qu’il est préférable de ne pas divulguer, confirment leurs certitudes. Un séjour en Afghanistan, un autre en Jordanie, un transit en Turquie et des tampons dans différents pays africains soulèvent toutefois des suspicions. “Si vous passiez la frontière avec ce passeport, on vous aurait signalé aux services secrets”, lâche Paolo.

    "Mon premier jour, on a découvert une Lexus volée"

    Ce cinquantenaire a le droit de circuler où bon lui semble - “c’est l’oiseau libre du BCP” - dans le poste-frontière. Il porte toujours un badge sur lui pour expliquer qui il est et dans quel cadre il intervient. Un détail important qui permet de calmer les tensions avec certains voyageurs qui ne comprennent pas pourquoi ils sont contrôlés par un officier portant un uniforme avec lequel ils ne sont pas familiers.

    Chaque matin, après avoir bu son café et fumé son cigare (il en grille trois par jour), Paolo se rend au terminal des voitures, son terrain de jeu. “Mon premier jour, on a découvert une Lexus volée ! Tout était bon : le numéro de châssis, la plaque d’immatriculation (espagnole), les pièces, les données... Mais un de mes collègues me répétait que quelque chose n’allait pas. J’ai contacté les autorités espagnoles pour leur demander une faveur. Ils ont accepté de vérifier et il se trouve que l’originale était garée à Valence ! Quand il y a deux voitures jumelles dans le monde, ça signifie qu’une des deux est volée. Et il faut trouver l’originale pour le prouver”, explique-t-il.

    Quelques instants plus tard, dans ce même terminal, il scrute un autre véhicule sous toutes ses coutures. Quelque chose cloche avec la vitre avant-gauche. Mais lui faut au moins deux détails suspects pour décider de placer le véhicule dans une autre file, où les fouilles et les vérifications sont plus poussées.

    Le #crime_organisé a toujours une longueur d’avance

    En 2018, Frontex a saisi 396 véhicules volés. Trois Joint Action Days, des opérations internationales organisées par l’agence visant à lutter contre les organisations criminelles, ont mené à la saisie de 530 voitures, 12 tonnes de tabac et 1,9 tonne de différentes drogues. 390 cas de fraudes aux documents de voyage ont été identifiés et 117 passeurs arrêtés.

    À la fin de sa journée, Paolo écrit un rapport à Frontex et signale tout ce qui s’est produit à Medyka. Le tout est envoyé au Situation Centre, à Varsovie, qui partage ensuite les informations récoltées sur des criminels suspectés à Europol et aux autorités nationales.

    Ce travail peut s’avérer décourageant : le crime organisé a toujours une longueur d’avance. “Il faut en être conscient et ne pas se laisser abattre. Parmi les vols, on compte de moins en moins de voitures entières et de plus en plus de pièces détachées. Ce qu’on peut trouver dans les véhicules est assez dingue. Un jour, on a même déniché un petit hélicoptère !”, se rappelle Piotr.

    Derrière lui, un agent ouvre le coffre d’une camionnette, rempli de différents moteurs de bateaux et de pneus. Plus loin, une agent des Douanes a étalé sur une table le contenu d’une voiture : CD, jouets, DVD... Elle doit tout vérifier avant de la laisser passer vers la frontière, où l’attendent Paolo et ses trois comparses.

    Par-delà l’entrée du BCP, la file s’étend sur quelques kilomètres. Les moteurs ronronnent, les passagers sortent pour griller une cigarette. Dans la file pour les piétons, certains s’impatientent et chantent une chanson invitant les officiers à travailler un peu plus vite. “Là où il y a une frontière, il y a toujours une file”, dit Piotr en haussant les épaules. Il faut une minute pour vérifier l’identité d’une personne, trente minutes à une heure pour “innocenter” une voiture.

    "Avant 2015, je ne connaissais pas Frontex"

    Le travail des garde-frontières est loin de refléter l’ensemble des tâches gérées par Frontex, surtout connue du grand public depuis la crise de l’asile en Europe et pour le volet "migration" dont elle se charge (sauvetages en mer, identification des migrants et rapatriements). Son rôle reste flou tant son fonctionnement est complexe. “Je n’avais jamais entendu parler de Frontex avant la crise de 2015. J’ai appris son existence à la télévision et je suis allé me renseigner sur Internet”, avance Paolo.

    Les images des migrants traversant la Méditerranée, qui font régulièrement le tour du monde depuis quatre ans, l’ont bouleversé. “Je trouve ça tellement normal de vouloir une vie meilleure. Quand on voit les risques qu’ils prennent, on se dit qu’ils doivent vraiment être désespérés. Je me souviens que je regardais ma fille qui se plaignait de son iPhone qui n’avait qu’un an mais qu’elle trouvait déjà trop vieux. Je me suis dit que j’étais très bien loti et que je pouvais peut-être faire quelque chose. Alors, j’ai décidé de déposer ma candidature. Je ne savais pas où j’allais être envoyé et j’ai fini ici, à Medyka. Ce n’est pas la même chose que de sauver des vies mais... dans quelques années, je pourrai dire que j’ai fait quelque chose. Que je ne suis pas resté les bras croisés chez moi, à regarder ma fille et son iPhone”.

    Dans le Situation Center de Frontex, coeur névralgique de la surveillance des frontières

    La migration et la #criminalité_transfrontalière sur grand écran

    Le cœur névralgique de l’Agence européenne de garde-côtes et de garde-frontières (Frontex) est situé à son siège principal, à #Varsovie. Une douzaine d’agents s’y relaient en permanence pour surveiller les frontières extérieures de l’Union européenne.

    Devant eux, trois larges écrans meublent les murs du #Situation_Center. Des points verts apparaissent sur celui du milieu, le plus large, principalement près des côtes grecques et espagnoles. Ils représentent diverses “détections” en mer (sauvetages en mer, navire suspect, etc.).

    Sur une autre carte, les points verts se concentrent près des frontières terrestres (trafic de drogue, voitures volées, migration irrégulière, etc.) de l’Albanie, la Hongrie, la Bulgarie et la Grèce. À gauche, une carte affiche d’autres informations portant sur les “incidents” aux postes-frontières détectés par les États membres. “Ce que vous voyez ici n’est pas diffusé en temps réel mais on tend à s’en rapprocher le plus possible. Voir les données nous aide à évaluer la situation aux frontières, constater si certaines sont soumises à une pression migratoire et à effectuer des analyses de risques”, explique un porte-parole de l’agence. Les images diffusées lors de notre passage datent de février. Dès que nous quittons la pièce, elles seront remplacées par d’autres, plus récentes qui ne sont pas (encore) publiables.

    Le #Frontex_Situation_Centre (#FSC) est une sorte de plate-forme où parviennent toutes sortes d’informations. Elle les les compile et les redispatche ensuite vers les autorités nationales, Europol ou encore la Commission européenne.

    Sur demande, Frontex peut également suivre, par exemple, tel vaisseau ou telle camionnette (le suivi en temps réel dans le cadre de missions spécifiques se déroule dans une autre pièce, où les journalistes ne sont pas les bienvenus) grâce au système européen de surveillance des frontières baptisé #Eurosur, un système de coopération entre les États membres de l’Union européenne et Frontex qui “vise à prévenir la criminalité transfrontalière et la migration irrégulière et de contribuer à la protection de la vie des migrants”.

    Pour tout ce qui touche à l’observation terrestre et maritime, Frontex exploite du Centre satellitaire de l’Union européenne, de l’Agence européenne pour la sécurité maritime et l’Agence européenne de contrôle des pêches.

    Un exemple : en septembre 2015, les garde-côtes grecs ont intercepté Haddad I, un vaisseau surveillé par Eurosur depuis le début de l’année. Le navire, en route vers la Libye, transportait 5 000 armes, 500 000 munitions et 50 millions de cigarette. Autre exemple : en octobre 2015, un radar-satellite utilisé par Eurosur a détecté des objets en mer, au nord de la Libye. Envoyé sur place par les autorités italiennes dans le cadre de l’opération Sophia, le Cavour, porte-aéronefs de la Marine militaire, a trouvé plusieurs bateaux avec des migrants à bord. 370 personnes ont été sauvées et amenées à bon port.

    Surveillance accrue des médias

    Dans un coin de la pièce, des images diffusées par France 24, RaiNews et CNBC défilent sur d’autres écrans. Au FSC, on suit l’actualité de très près pour savoir ce qui se dit sur la migration et la criminalité transfrontalière. Parfois, les reportages ou les flash info constituent une première source d’information. “La plupart du temps on est déjà au courant mais les journalistes sont souvent mieux informés que les autorités nationales. La couverture médiatique de la migration change aussi d’un pays à l’autre. Par exemple, les Italiens et les Grecs connaissent mieux Frontex que les autres”, glisse un porte-parole.

    Les médias sociaux (Twitter, Facebook, Youtube) sont également surveillés quotidiennement par une équipe dédiée depuis 2015. “Pendant la crise migratoire, Facebook était une source importante d’information. On peut y trouver pas mal de choses sur le trafic d’êtres humains, même si ce n’est pas évident. Ça peut être aussi utile quand une personne a traversé une frontière illégalement et poste une vidéo pour dire qu’il a réussi. Mais on ne mène pas d’enquête. On transmet à Europol ce qui peut être intéressant”, décrit-on chez Frontex.

    Depuis 2009, le FSC publie une newsletter en interne, du lundi au vendredi. L’agence a également créé le Frontex Media Monitor, une application gérée par le staff du FSC qui collecte les articles portant sur la gestion des frontières, Frontex et les agences frontalières des États membres. Ils sont issus de 6 000 sources ouvertes en 28 langues différentes.

    Une partie des agents qui travaillent au FSC, des nationaux issus des États membres qui vont-viennent selon une rotation effectuées tous les trois mois, rédige des rapports durant les périodes dites “de crise”. Ceux-ci portent sur les incidents majeurs aux frontières européennes, la situation migratoire dans les différents États membres, les développements politiques et institutionnels au niveau national et international et les crises dans les pays non-européens.

    Paradoxe kafkaïen

    À l’avenir, le programme Eurosur permettra-t-il de sauver des vies, comme dans l’exemple susmentionné ? Alors que l’Union européenne vient de suspendre la composante navale de l’opération Sophia (ou EUNAVFORMED), Frontex va bientôt acquérir ses propres navires grâce à l’élargissement de son mandat. Selon le directeur exécutif de Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, ceux-ci pourront couvrir plus de kilomètres que ceux déployés par les autorités nationales.

    En vertu du droit maritime international, Frontex est, comme tout navire, tenue de porter assistante aux naufragés et de les ramener dans un port sûr. De port sûr, condition requise par ce même droit pour débarquer des personnes à terre, les autorités européennes considèrent qu’il n’y en a pas en Libye. Mais l’Italie refuse désormais de porter seule la charge des migrants secourus en mer et les Européens n’ont pas réussi à trouver d’accord pour se les répartir à l’avenir. D’où la suspension des activités maritime de Sophia.

    Quid si l’agence est amenée à procéder à un sauvetage pendant une mission de surveillance des frontières extérieures ? L’Europe finira-t-elle par obliger les navires de Frontex, son “bras opérationnel”, à rester à quai ? Et si oui, qui surveillera les frontières ? À quoi serviront alors les investissements que Frontex s’apprête à réaliser, au frais du contribuable européen, pour s’acheter son propre matériel ? Seul l’avenir donnera des réponses.

    “Nous ne construisons pas une Europe forteresse”

    Fabrice Leggeri, directeur exécutif de l’Agence européenne de garde-côtes et de garde-frontières (Frontex)

    Douze secondes pour décider. C’est le temps dont dispose, en moyenne, un garde-frontière pour décider si un voyageur est “légal” et si ses documents sont authentiques. C’est ce que dit une brochure produite par l’équipe “Information et Transparence” de Frontex, l’Agence européenne de garde-côtes et de garde-frontières, exposée dans une salle d’attente de ladite agence.

    La tour qui abrite le siège de l’agence a été réalisée par le constructeur flamand Ghelamco, en plein centre des affaires de Varsovie.

    Début avril, l’agrandissement du mandat de Frontex a été confirmé. Dotée de 1 500 garde-côtes et garde-frontières (majoritairement déployés en Grèce, en Italie et en Espagne) empruntés aux États-membres, Frontex en comptera 10 000 d’ici 2027 et pourra acquérir son propre équipement (avions, bateaux, voitures, hélicoptères, etc.). Le tout doit encore être adopté par le Parlement européen et le Conseil – une formalité qui ne devrait pas remettre en question ce projet. Depuis son bureau à Varsovie, situé dans une tour sortie de terre par le constructeur flamand Ghelamco, Fabrice Leggeri, directeur exécutif de l’agence, revient en détails sur cette décision, qu’il considère comme “une grande avancée pour l’Union européenne” .

    Le mandat de Frontex a déjà été élargi en 2016. Celui qui vient d’être avalisé va encore plus loin. Des États membres avaient exprimé leurs réticences par rapport à celui-ci. Qu’est-ce qui a changé ces dernières semaines ?

    2016 a été un véritable tournant pour notre agence, qui a été investie d’un mandat plus robuste avec des moyens plus importants. Aujourd’hui, on ne doit plus seulement renforcer des équipes pour réagir en cas de crise – c’est nécessaire mais insuffisant, on l’a compris en 2015 et 2016. Il s’agit de renforcer de manière durable la capacité européenne de gestion des frontières. Concernant notre futur mandat, il est clair que certains États seront vigilants dans la manière dont il sera mis en œuvre. 2020 était une date qui paraissait, à juste titre, très difficile pour la plupart des acteurs (la Commission européenne souhaitait que les effectifs soient portés à 10 000 en 2020, NdlR). D’ailleurs, j’ai observé qu’on parlait beaucoup plus de cette date que du nombre d’agents lui-même, ce qui me laisse penser que nous sommes donc largement soutenus.

    Un corps européen n’a jamais existé auparavant à une telle échelle. Expliquez-nous comment il va fonctionner.

    Construire la capacité de gestion de frontières efficaces, ça ne veut pas dire qu’on doit se cantonner à l’immigration irrégulière. Il faut aussi s’occuper du bon fonctionnement des franchissements réguliers aux points de passages (dans les aéroports, aux postes-frontières, etc.). En 2018, on a eu 150  000 franchissements irréguliers mais on a 700 millions de franchissements réguliers par an. Donc, on ne construit pas une Europe forteresse mais un espace intérieur de libertés, de sécurité et de justice. L’objectif de la création de ce corps européen et des propositions budgétaires proposées par la Commission est de pouvoir recruter davantage pour augmenter le nombre total de garde-côtes et de garde-frontières. Ce corps européen doit être construit ensemble avec les États. On est là pour se compléter les uns les autres et pas pour entrer en concurrence (lire ci-dessous) . Selon un chiffre qui vient des États membres eux-mêmes, le nombre théorique de garde-frontières que l’Union européenne devrait avoir est de 115  000. Quand on regarde combien il y en a de façon effective, selon les planifications nationales, il y en a – à peu près – 110  000.

    “Nos grosses opérations et nos nouveaux déploiements en dehors de l’Union européenne, sont deux gros morceaux qui vont absorber pas mal de ressources”.

    Au niveau opérationnel, quels sont les grands changements que permet le nouveau mandat ?

    Nous allons pouvoir déployer, en mai, une opération hors du territoire européen, en Albanie. Nous pourrons aussi aller dans un pays tiers sans que ce soit nécessairement un pays directement voisin de l’Union européenne, à condition évidemment que celui-ci nous appelle, donne son consentement et qu’il y ait un accord entre l’Union européenne et ce pays. Autrement dit  : on va avoir des contingents de plus en plus nombreux hors des frontières européennes. Nos grosses opérations et nos nouveaux déploiements en dehors de l’Union européenne, sont deux gros morceaux qui vont absorber pas mal de ressources.

    Une de vos missions qui prend de plus en plus d’importance est d’organiser le rapatriement de personnes dans les pays tiers.

    À ce niveau-là, l’Union européenne est passée dans une autre dimension. L’Europe est devenu un acteur à part entière de l’éloignement. Par rapport à ce qu’on pouvait seulement imaginer il y a quatre ou cinq ans (13 729 personnes ont été rapatriées en 2018 contre 3 576 en 2015, NdlR), on a fait un bond énorme. Pour les éloignements, une partie des ressources humaines sera utilisée soit comme escorteurs, soit comme spécialiste de l’éloignement qui vont aider les États membres à les préparer. Cette dimension est nécessaire à cause d’un goulot d’étranglement administratif  : les États membres n’ont pas augmenté le personnel qui doit préparer les décisions d’éloignement alors que le nombre d’étrangers en situation irrégulière et de demandeurs d’asile déboutés à éloigner croît. Le corps européen peut répondre à cette faiblesse pour qu’elle ne se transforme pas en vulnérabilité.

    Vous parlez de complémentarité avec les États. Certains sont méfiants face à l’élargissement du mandat de Frontex, voire carrément hostiles à sa présence sur leur territoire, en vertu de leur souveraineté nationale. Ont-ils raison de craindre pour celle-ci ?

    Qu’il y ait des craintes, ça peut se comprendre. Mais les déploiements du corps européens se feront toujours avec le consentement de l’État concerné et l’activité se déroulera toujours sous l’autorité tactique de celui-ci. Vous savez, je ne sais pas combien de personnes s’en souvienne mais la libre-circulation dans l’espace Schengen existe depuis bientôt 25 ans. Ça fait donc près d’un quart de siècle que les gardes-frontières nationaux gardent la frontière de “nous tous”. Donc ce qu’on fait aujourd’hui, ce n’est pas si différent… Le vrai changement, c’est que ce sera plus visible. Plus assumé. Que Frontex devient le bras opérationnel de l’Union européenne. Moi, je considère l’agence comme une plateforme d’entraide opérationnelle. Et ce n’est pas parce qu’un État membre nous demande de l’aide qu’il est défaillant. Il ne faut pas non plus percevoir nos actions comme une sanction, une faiblesse ou une substitution à la souveraineté. À l’avenir, il faudra que chaque État puisse avoir un petit bout de ce corps européen présent chez lui. Il contribue à renforcer une culture de travail commune, à homogénéiser des pratiques. Les frontières extérieures sont communes à tous, à notre espace de circulation et il serait absolument incompréhensible qu’on travaille de façon radicalement différente en divers endroits de cette frontière commune.

    Le nouveau mandat vous donne tout de même plus d’autonomie…

    On aura une autonomie opérationnelle plus forte et une flexibilité dans la gestion des ressources humaines, ce qui est effectivement une force. Mais c’est une force pour nous et qui bénéficie aux États membres. On aura aussi une plus grande autonomie technique renforcée grâce à nos propres moyens opérationnels (Frontex emprunte actuellement ce matériel aux États membres et les défraye en échange, NdlR).

    À vous entendre, on croirait que la libre-circulation des personnes a été tellement menacée qu’elle aurait pu disparaître…

    C’est le cas. La crise de 2015-2016 a montré que ce qui était remis en question, c’était la libre-circulation effective. D’ailleurs, un certain nombre d’États membres ont rétablis les contrôles aux frontières. C’est le signe d’un dysfonctionnement. L’objectif des autorités au niveau de l’Union européenne, c’est de retourner au fonctionnement normal. C’est “retour à Schengen”.

    Le visa Schengen est le représentant du collectif des 26 pays européens qui ont mutuellement décidé d’éliminer les contrôles à leurs frontières communes.

    Schengen, c’est quelque chose que l’on prend trop pour acquis ?

    Quand on voyage à l’intérieur de cet espace, ça paraît surprenant de se voir demander sa carte d’identité ou d’entendre que le contrôle a été rétabli aux frontières intérieures. Ça a un impact économique monstrueux qui se chiffre en millions, même en milliards d’euros et ça détricote l’Europe petit à petit. Un espace de libre-circulation, c’est un espace où on circule pour faire du commerce, pour étudier, etc. Et c’est là que le rôle de l’agence de garde-côtes et de garde-frontières est crucial  : les frontières doivent fonctionnent correctement pour sauver et maintenir Schengen. Sans vouloir faire une digression, c’est un peu la même chose avec qu’avec la zone euro. C’est quelque chose de très concret pour le citoyen européen. Vous remarquez que quand vous arrivez en Pologne (nous sommes à Varsovie, où se situe le siège de Frontex, NdlR), vous ne pouvez pas payer votre bus avec une pièce dans le bus. L’espace Schengen, c’est pareil. C’est quand on ne l’a pas ou qu’on ne l’a plus, qu’il est suspendu temporairement, qu’on se dit que c’est quand même bien. Frontex évolue dans un domaine où “plus d’Europe” est synonyme de meilleur fonctionnement et de meilleure utilisation des deniers publics.

    En 2015, le budget de Frontex dédié aux retours était de 13 millions d’euros. En 2018, 54 millions y étaient dédiés. La Belgique n’organisait quasiment pas de vols sécurisés, en collaboration avec Frontex avant 2014. Ces "special flights" sont plus avantageux sur le plan financier pour les États car ceux-ci sont remboursés entre 80 % et 100 % par Frontex.


    https://dossiers.lalibre.be/polono-ukrainienne/login.php
    #frontières #Europe #pologne #Ukraine #gardes-frontières #migrations #asile #réfugiés #surveillance #contrôles_frontaliers

  • Les Yéménites oubliés

    Parmi les quelque deux cent mille personnes qui ont fui le Yémen, quinze mille se trouvent en #Jordanie où elles bénéficient d’une aide dérisoire. La Chaîne du bonheur récolte ce jeudi des dons pour le Yémen.

    Dans la difficulté, ils se sont regroupés. A Amman, la capitale de la Jordanie, les réfugiés yéménites fréquentent les mêmes restaurants, les mêmes mosquées et les mêmes commerces. « Nous nous entraidons parce que nous sommes loin de chez nous. Ce restaurant nous nourrit gratuitement », se réjouit Tahar*, un Yéménite de 47 ans, assis sur les tapis élimés d’un établissement d’Al Baladiyah, un quartier nord d’Amman. Il a fui le Yémen en 2011. Il y est revenu à plusieurs reprises mais a finalement décidé de rester en Jordanie, loin de sa femme et de ses enfants. Ayant servi dans l’armée de son pays, Tahar craint d’être pris pour cible par les forces houthis s’il s’établissait à nouveau au Yémen.

    Environ 15’000 Yéménites ont été enregistrés par le Haut Commissariat aux réfugiés (HCR) en Jordanie, dont le tiers l’an dernier. Comme Tahar, la plupart sont des hommes venus seuls et ils vivent à Amman. Officiellement, beaucoup sont arrivés en Jordanie pour suivre un traitement médical ou faire du tourisme. Puis ils y sont restés afin d’obtenir le statut de réfugié. Chaque année, à l’approche de l’hiver, le HCR leur verse une aide financière. Douze mille cinq cents personnes en ont bénéficié l’an dernier. « Le montant se situe autour de 270 dinars [380 francs] et varie selon le nombre de personnes dans le foyer », détaille Mohammad, un autre réfugié assis à la même table que Tahar.
    Coûteux permis de travail

    Cette somme ne suffit pas à couvrir les besoins annuels d’un foyer dans un pays comme la Jordanie où les prix des produits de première nécessité et les loyers sont élevés. Les réfugiés yéménites doivent donc travailler. « Chaque fois que je trouve un emploi dans un restaurant, on me demande mon permis de travail. Et sans ce document, on m’engage rarement », regrette Mansour, 39 ans, un habitué du restaurant d’Al Baladiyah.

    En théorie, Tahar, Mohammad et Mansour peuvent obtenir un permis de travail. Mais dans les faits, le sésame leur est difficilement accessible puisqu’il coûte entre 500 et 600 dinars, soit 700 à 850 francs, selon le secteur d’activité. S’il parvenait à économiser, Mansour affirme qu’il enverrait le peu qu’il aurait réussi à épargner à sa famille restée au Yémen. Il ne verserait pas ce précieux pécule au Ministère jordanien du travail.

    Dans ces conditions, ces réfugiés n’ont d’autre choix que de vivre au crochet des autres et de travailler illégalement quand l’opportunité se présente. Mansour exerce occasionnellement dans des restaurants. « Je regarde alors souvent autour de moi pour vérifier que des contrôleurs du Ministère du travail ne sont pas dans les environs. Ils sont déjà venus sur mon lieu de travail et j’ai dû m’enfuir », se souvient-il. En cas d’interpellation, le Ministère assure qu’il n’expulse pas le travailleur yéménite – qu’il ait le statut de réfugié ou pas – et qu’il se contente d’un rappel à la loi à l’employeur, voire d’une amende si ce dernier récidive. Cela dissuade bien sûr les patrons d’engager des Yéménites. « Après une courte période d’activité, on me remercie, relate Mansour. La Jordanie donne en fait la priorité à ses ressortissants sur le marché du travail. »
    Syriens oui, Yéménites non

    Cette préférence nationale s’explique par le haut niveau de chômage. Officiellement, 19% de la population active est à la recherche d’un emploi en Jordanie. Mais cette mise à l’écart des Yéménites interroge, dans la mesure où d’autres réfugiés, bien plus nombreux, peuvent obtenir gratuitement un permis de travail. Plus d’un million de Syriens, soit 10% de la population en Jordanie, peuvent exercer librement dans différents secteurs d’activité, comme l’agriculture, l’hôtellerie et la construction. Pourquoi pas les Yéménites ? « Nous traitons les Syriens comme des réfugiés, pas les Yéménites, justifie Mohammad Alkhateeb, porte-parole du Ministère jordanien du travail. Officiellement, ils sont venus chez nous en visite, pas en tant que réfugiés. » La reconnaissance de leur statut par le HCR n’a pas infléchi la position gouvernementale à ce sujet.

    Le fonctionnaire reconnaît qu’ils ne sont pas traités à égalité avec les Syriens. « Peut-être que personne n’écoute leur voix parce qu’ils ne sont pas plus de 15’000 », se hasarde-t-il. Le gouvernement jordanien peut décider de rendre gratuit le permis de travail pour certains ressortissants. Interrogés sur leurs intentions, le bureau du premier ministre, Omar Razzaz, ainsi que le Ministère jordanien des affaires étrangères n’ont pas donné suite aux sollicitations du Courrier.
    Une politique internationale

    La précarité des Yéménites s’explique aussi par la politique discriminatoire des bailleurs de fonds qui financent l’aide humanitaire au Moyen-Orient. Beaucoup se détournent de la crise yéménite, qui a fait moins de réfugiés que le conflit syrien, et dont les victimes sont donc moins visibles. De fait, la presse internationale a longtemps ignoré la guerre au Yémen. De son côté, le HCR souhaite soutenir les réfugiés en Jordanie sans condition de nationalité.

    « Mais cette approche est de plus en plus difficile à tenir car nos financements sont souvent assignés à la crise syrienne, analyse Lilly Carlisle, porte-parole du HCR à Amman. Nous ne pouvons donc pas dépenser cet argent pour des populations qui ne sont pas syriennes. » Pour le moment, seul 1% des besoins du HCR pour les réfugiés non syriens de Jordanie est financé pour cette année, notamment grâce à des contributions des Pays-Bas.

    Sans emploi stable et sans perspective intéressante en Jordanie, beaucoup espèrent se réinstaller dans des pays tiers. Les offres d’accueil sont rarissimes. « En 2018, onze réfugiés yéménites de Jordanie sont partis vivre au Royaume-Uni, trois au Canada et un aux Pays-Bas », reprend Lilly Carlisle, qui regrette la priorité donnée sur ce dossier à certaines nationalités, et le préjudice subi par d’autres. Quatre mille cinq cents Syriens aujourd’hui établis en Jordanie devraient être relocalisés dans des pays développés en 2019.

    Reste l’éventualité du retour au pays, une option fort périlleuse, que considère Zohra. Cette grand-mère yéménite ne parvient plus à payer son loyer à Amman. Elle craint d’être expulsée. « Je vais mourir ici, se lamente-t-elle dans un sanglot. Alors autant rentrer dans mon pays. Et je mourrai là-bas. »


    https://lecourrier.ch/2019/03/27/les-yemenites-oublies
    #réfugiés_yéménites #discriminations #catégorisation #tri #réfugiés_syriens #asile #migrations #réfugiés #urban_refugees #réfugiés_urbains #Amman #travail

  • ‘Where are you from?’ Facing fines and bureaucracy, refugee children in Jordan go undocumented

    Located off the highway in the southern Amman suburbs, the Syrian embassy in Jordan almost looks like it’s made for long waits.

    It’s a quiet day outside, as a group of elderly Syrians wearing traditional keffiyeh scarves sit on a patch of grass next to the sand-colored building smoking cigarettes and passing the time.

    Aside from two flags attached to the roof of the embassy, the steel bars across the windows—shaped in classic Umayyad patterns—are one of the few hints of the otherwise rather anonymous building’s affiliation with Damascus.

    On the wall between the counters, a large bulletin board is plastered with instructions for various civil status procedures: births, marriages and identity cards. Flyers address the “brothers and sisters of the nation” waiting quietly outside.

    But not all Syrians feel welcome here.

    “I feel uncomfortable going to the embassy,” says Bassam al-Karmi, a Syrian refugee in Jordan originally from Deir e-Zor.

    “I can’t control my feelings and might start rambling on about politics and other things,” he explains, adding with a laugh, “I really can’t stand seeing the red [Syrian] flag, either.”

    If possible, al-Karmi says, he avoids approaching the embassy. But when he had his first daughter two years ago, there was no way around it. That’s where he needed to go to register her birth—at least if he wanted her to be recognized as a Syrian national.

    At last week’s international “Brussels III” donor conference, Jordan was commended for its efforts to provide Syrians with legal documentation. The civil status department of Jordan’s Ministry of Interior even maintains a presence in refugee camps, tasked with issuing official birth certificates.

    But acquiring Jordanian documents is only one part of the process. Having them authenticated by the Syrian authorities is a whole other story.

    According to several Syrian refugees in Jordan, bureaucratic procedures, lack of information and high costs are deterring them from registering their children’s births at the Syrian embassy—leaving thousands of Jordanian-born Syrian children without proof of nationality, and some potentially at risk of statelessness.

    When Ahmad Qablan’s second son was born in 2014, one year after the family’s arrival in Jordan, he went through all the procedures and paperwork that were required of him to register them first with the Jordanian authorities and then with the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR.

    When his third son was born, he did the same.

    Even so, years later, neither of them have Syrian documents officially proving their nationality.

    A resident of a refugee camp some 70 kilometers east of the capital, Qablan would have to travel for two and a half hours each way to get Syrian birth certificates for his two sons—by submitting the papers at the Syrian embassy—only to come back again a week later to pick them up.

    But the biggest obstacle to registering, he says, is the fees involved with late registration.

    Even though, as a teacher, Qablan claims to have one of the highest salaries in the camp, the family is only just getting by, he says.

    “Why would I go spend that money at the embassy?”

    If a Syrian child is registered at the embassy later than three months after his or her birth, a $50 fine is added on top of the standard $75 registration fees. For a delay of more than a year, the fine goes up to $100.

    According to al-Karmi, those costs make families postpone the procedure. But the longer they wait, the more expensive it gets. As a result, he and others around him find themselves caught in a spiral of increasing costs.

    “You know the fees will increase,” he says, “but in the end people keep postponing and saying, ‘Maybe there’s another solution’.”

    According to a source from the Syrian embassy, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press, some refugees even choose to send family members across the border to go through the procedures in Syria itself just to save on consular fees.

    Reports: ‘125,000’ Syrian refugee children born in Jordan

    Since the beginning of the Syrian uprising and ensuing conflict, more than 125,000 Syrian children are estimated to have been born on Jordainan soil, according to reports in Jordanian media. However, with many children going unregistered with the Jordanian government, an accurate number can be hard to find.

    UNHCR counts 107,268 children under the age of five in Jordan.

    Even though the Jordanian government has issued nearly 80,000 birth certificates to Syrian children born in Jordan since 2015, experts say that the vast majority of those remain unregistered with the Syrian embassy.

    One of the largest obstacles to registration, according to aid workers and Syrian refugees alike, is a lack of information about the procedures.

    A former Daraa resident, Qasem a-Nizami attempted to navigate registration after the birth of his now three-month-old daughter, but he wasn’t sure of where to start.

    According to a UN source speaking to Syria Direct on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press, there is no coordination between UNHCR and the Syrian embassy.

    However, refugees can consult UNHCR about steps they need to take to register civil status procedures in Jordan.

    After asking around in his community and finally talking to the Jordanian Civil Status Department’s office in Zaatari camp, where he resides—sometimes receiving contradictory information—a-Nizami soon discovered that the procedures were much more complicated than he thought.

    To get a birth certificate at the Syrian embassy, refugees need to present the passport of the mother and father as well as a Jordanian birth certificate and marriage contract validated by the embassy.

    When a-Nizami got married in Syria, his town was under siege, and—like many other Syrians—the couple wasn’t able to access the government civil registries responsible for recording civil status events. Instead, the couple settled with a traditional Islamic marriage, involving a sheikh and witnesses.

    Today, a-Nizami has finally registered his marriage with the Jordanian authorities and is currently waiting to get the papers.

    “I can’t register my daughter until I’m finished with the trouble that I’m going through now,” he says.

    ‘Undocumented children’

    According to the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), having valid identity papers is crucial for refugees to access basic rights in a host country like Jordan, and children lacking a Jordanian birth certificate are particularly vulnerable to exploitation, trafficking and child marriage.

    “Undocumented children in Jordan cannot prove their identity, access justice and face difficulties in enjoying rights,” the NRC said in an email to Syria Direct.

    The worst case scenario is that some children end up stateless—and because of Syria’s patrilineal nationality laws, this is particularly a risk for female-headed households unable to prove the nationality of the father.

    But a lack of Syrian documents issued by the country’s embassy also has much more immediate consequences.

    Since the Jaber-Naseeb border crossing between Syria and Jordan reopened for traffic in October after a three-year closure, at least 12,842 Syrians have made the trip across the border, according to the UNHCR.

    Crossing the border, however, either requires a passport or an exit permit issued by the Syrian embassy in Jordan—neither of which can be obtained without Syrian identity documents.

    For years, experts have advocated that the lack of civil documentation could be one of the most significant barriers to the return of Syrian refugees, and as governments, UN bodies and humanitarian organizations increasingly grapple with the infinitely complex question of return, the issue of civil documentation is ever more pressing.

    Last week’s international “Brussels III” donor conference also underlined the need for affordable access to civil documentation for Syrians.

    ‘Cut from the tree of her father’

    While the vast majority of Syrians in neighboring countries surveyed by UNHCR earlier this month have a hope of returning to Syria some day, less than six percent expressed intentions to return within the next year.

    For al-Karmi, the hope of things changing in Syria was part of the reason why he kept postponing registration.

    “I was hoping that by the time we had our first child, maybe Assad would be gone,” he explains.

    And although he eventually registered his first-born daughter, the family’s youngest—who is nine months old—still only has Jordanian documents.

    “For the next child we also thought, ‘Bashar will be gone by then’,” al-Karmi says. “But that didn’t happen.”

    Now, he says, the family is doing what they can to make sure their daughters will grow up identifying with their Syrian roots.

    “She’s been cut from the tree of her father,” he says, explaining how they’ve turned to the internet as the only way of nurturing the children’s ties to family members spread out across the globe.

    “We are currently teaching her to remember the answer to, ‘Where are you from?’ and then responding, ‘I’m from Syria’,” he says.

    “This is the most we can do in exile.”

    But not everyone feels a need to raise their children to feel Syrian.

    Abu Abida al-Hourani, a 28-year-old resident of Jordan’s Zaatari camp, is not even interested in registering his two-and-a-half-year-old son at the Syrian embassy.

    “It’s better to belong to a country that will protect my son and make him feel safe and doesn’t deprive him of the most basic rights,” he explains.

    “How am I supposed to raise my son to feel like he belongs in a country full of killing, displacement and injustice?”

    https://syriadirect.org/news/%E2%80%98where-are-you-from%E2%80%99-facing-fines-and-bureaucracy-refug
    #enfants #mineurs #enfance #Jordanie #réfugiés #réfugiés_syriens #asile #migrations #clandestinisation #certificats_de_naissance #bureaucratie #apatridie

  • Bosnia Records 12 Migrant Deaths in 2018

    Bosnian ministries recorded a dozen deaths last year among migrants and refugees in the country, but precise data on those who lost their lives crossing the country remain absent.

    Official data from Bosnian government ministries shows that 12 migrants or refugees lost their lives in the country last year.

    The data were gathered from the interior ministries of Bosnia’s two entities, the Serb-dominated Republika Srpska, RS, and the mainly Bosniak and Croatian Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    It is not clear if that is the final number, as the interior ministries in each entity only keep data on deaths where they suspect violence was the cause.

    Border police have data on bodies of people transported back to “countries of high migration risk”, referring to those states from where most migrants and refugees are coming.

    “In 2018, we had four cases; namely two transported to Pakistan and one to Jordan and one to Morocco,” Bosnian Border Police told BIRN.

    Una Sana Canton recorded four migrant or refugee deaths. One of ten units in the Federation entity, in northwest Bosnia, it is where most migrants and refugees are based, as it lies closest to EU-member Croatia.

    “In two cases, natural deaths were confirmed, one case concerned drowning and one person was killed,” the prosecutor’s office of Una Sana Canton told BIRN.

    No Name Kitchen, an NGO that assists migrants and refugees, said it was concerned over the fate of one young Moroccan who they fear is lost in Bosnia or Serbia.

    “He went to cross the border to Croatia from Republika Srpska in Bosnia and got pushed back into Serbia. As he wanted to cross back into Bosnia, he went to cross the [border] Drina river, and that was the last news we have of him,” No Name Kitchen told BIRN.

    His fate remains unknown, as local police could not confirm any details about him.

    The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, told BIRN it does not possess data on migrants and refugees who died in Bosnia but recalled its recently published report on their plight, Desperate Journeys.

    The report notes an estimated 2,275 people perished crossing the Mediterranean in 2018 – an average of six deaths every day, as more and more people attempted the perilous sea crossing to Europe.

    Just over 20,000 migrants and refugees were registered as having entered Bosnia during 2018, according to the country’s Service for Foreign Affairs.

    But the exact number of those still in Bosnia is hard to confirm, as many have clearly moved on.

    Latest information from Bosnia’s Council of Ministers, or government, says only 3,900 remain. That means most of those who declared an intention to claim asylum in Bosnia have in fact left the country.

    Those who stayed and are registered in Bosnia have been placed in seven locations: in Sarajevo, Mostar, Bihac, Cazin and Velika Kladusa. Most are in Bihac.

    Most of them are taking the new so-called “Balkan route” to Western Europe, which passes through Albania, Montenegro and Bosnia.

    The former route was closed off after Hungary built a fence to stop migrants and refugees from entering the country from Serbia, and then moving on to Austria.

    https://balkaninsight.com/2019/03/07/bosnia-records-12-migrant-deaths-in-2018
    #mourir_aux_frontières #Bosnie #asile #migrations #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #statistiques #chiffres #morts #décès

    • Reçu via la newsletter Inicijativa Dobrodosli, le 02.08.2019 :

      In Bosnia and Herzegovina, two people lost their lives this week, one in #Bihać (https://www.index.hr/vijesti/clanak/u-bihacu-umro-migrant-spavao-je-na-pruzi-kad-je-na-njega-naletio-vlak/2105526.aspx) and one in #Polje (https://www.radiovkladusa.ba/u-naselju-polje-pronadjeno-bezivotno-tijelo-migranta). Uncertain and inhumane living conditions and the absence of legal and safe roads have once again proved fatal for those in need of safety.

      #Bihac #2019

      –---------

      U Bihaću umro migrant, spavao je na pruzi kad je na njega naletio vlak

      SINOĆ je na pruzi u Bihaću od udara vlaka iz smjera Sarajeva poginuo jedan migrant, javlja Klix.ba.

      Nesreća se dogodila oko 00:25 na pruzi u blizini Jablaničke ulice kod benzinske pumpe Čavkunović, potvrdio je glasnogovornik MUP-a Unsko-sanskog kantona Ale Šiljdedić.

      Migrant je navodno spavao, nije čuo sirene upozorenja

      Prema riječima svjedoka, vlak se pokušao zaustaviti, ali neuspješno. Migrant je navodno spavao i nije se uspio skloniti s pruge premda su ga sirene upozoravale da se nalazi na mjestu kojem se približava vlak.

      Policajci su odmah izašli na teren, a obaviješteno je i tužiteljstvo.

      Nije poznato iz koje zemlje dolazi nesretni čovjek koji je preminuo na pruzi.

      https://www.index.hr/vijesti/clanak/u-bihacu-umro-migrant-spavao-je-na-pruzi-kad-je-na-njega-naletio-vlak/2105526.aspx

      –--------

      U naselju Polje pronađeno beživotno tijelo migranta

      Jučer je u Velikoj Kladuši, prema još uvijek neutvrđenim okolnostima, smrtno stradala muška osoba za koju se pretpostavlja da je migrant, potvrdio je za naš Radio portparol MUP-a USK Ale Šiljdedić.

      Naime, policijski službenici, u 16:55h, zaprimili su dojavu da se na spratu jedne kuće, u naselju Polje nalazi tijelo nepoznatog muškarca. Slučaj je prijavila uposlenica trgovine koja se nalazi u prizemlju pomenute kuće.

      Policijski službenici su po dolasku na teren utvrdili da se radi o beživotnom tijelu, za sada, još uvijek neidentificirane muške osobe. Kako je naveo Šiljdedić, najvjerovatnije je riječ o migrantu, koji je pronađen sa teškim povredama u predjelu glave. Pretpostavlja se da je do smrti došlo usljed nesretnog slučaja, ali se ne isključuje ni mogućnost krivičnog djela. Više informacija bit će poznato nakon što se završi obdukcija tijela.

      https://www.radiovkladusa.ba/u-naselju-polje-pronadjeno-bezivotno-tijelo-migranta

  • Kushner’s peace plan ’includes land swaps with Saudi Arabia,’ book claims - Middle East - Jerusalem Post
    https://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Kushners-peace-plan-includes-land-swaps-with-Saudi-Arabia-book-claims-583932
    https://images.jpost.com/image/upload/f_auto,fl_lossy/t_Article2016_ControlFaceDetect/429057

    “What Kushner wanted... was for the Saudis and Emiratis to provide economic assistance to the Palestinians,” Ward wrote. “There were plans for an oil pipeline from Saudi Arabia to Gaza, where refineries and a shipping terminal could be built. The profits would create desalination plants, where Palestinians could find work, addressing the high unemployment rate.”

    Ward said that the plan also included land swaps, where Jordan would give land to the Palestinian territories, and “in return, Jordan would get land from Saudi Arabia, and that country would get back two Red Sea islands it gave Egypt to administer in 1950.”

    Jason Greenblatt, the White House’s Mideast envoy, tweeted late Wednesday that the book’s claims about Kushner’s peace plan are false.

    Fausses affirmations par conséquent, et données au passé... #deal_du_siècle

  • Les USA poussent le Liban dans les bras de l’Iran et de la Russie : les sanctions américaines nuisent à l’économie locale – Elijah J. Magnier
    https://ejmagnier.com/2019/03/18/les-usa-poussent-le-liban-dans-les-bras-de-liran-et-de-la-russie-les-sanc

    Le Liban attend la visite du secrétaire d’État des USA Mike Pompeo cette semaine, à un moment oùla carte politico-économique libanaise se redessine et oùle Liban subit sa pire crise économique de son histoire récente.

    Les raisons de la détérioration de l’économie locale s’expliquent non seulement par la corruption du leadership politique et des échelons inférieurs de l’administration du Liban, mais aussi par les sanctions des USA imposées à l’Iran. Les plus récentes sanctions sont les plus sévères de toutes. Elles toucheront durement le Liban aussi longtemps que le président Donald Trump sera au pouvoir s’il ne se plie pas à la politique et aux diktats des USA.

    Si, comme prévu, Washington déclare une guerre économique contre le Liban, les sanctions ne laisseront guère de choix au pays. Elles pourraient forcer le Liban à compter de nouveau sur l’industrie civile iranienne pour contrer la pression économique des USA et sur l’industrie militaire russe pour équiper les forces de sécurité libanaises. C’est ce qui arrivera si Pompeo continue à menacer les responsables libanais, comme ses assistants l’ont fait lors de leurs visites précédentes dans le pays. Le sempiternel message des responsables américains n’a pas changé : vous êtes avec nous ou contre nous.

    Politiquement, le Liban se divise en deux courants, l’un favorable aux USA (et à l’Arabie saoudite), l’autre en dehors de l’orbite des USA. La situation économique pourrait bien accroître la division interne jusqu’à ce que la population locale réagisse avec vigueur pour mettre fin à toute influence des USA et de ses alliés au Liban.

    Pareil scénario peut encore être évité si l’Arabie saoudite investit suffisamment de fonds pour relancer l’économie locale agonisante. Sauf que l’Arabie saoudite craint que ceux qui ne sont pas au diapason avec ses politiques et celles des USA tirent avantage de son soutien. Jusqu’à maintenant, Riyad n’a pas tellement compris la dynamique interne au Liban et ce qui est possible et impossible de réaliser dans ce pays. Le kidnapping du premier ministre Saad Hariri était l’illustration la plus éloquente de l’ignorance du jeu politique libanais par les Saoudiens. Leur manque de vision stratégique au Liban va probablement empêcher tout soutien important à son économie défaillante, ce qui pourrait causer une grande instabilité.

    (...)
    Mais après l’arrivée de Donald Trump au pouvoir et son rejet de l’accord sur le nucléaire iranien, le gouvernement des USA a imposé les sanctions les plus dures contre l’Iran et a cessé les dons aux organismes des Nations unies qui soutiennent les réfugiés palestiniens. Les sanctions contre l’Iran ont forcé le Hezbollah à adopter un nouveau budget, dans le cadre d’un plan d’austérité de cinq ans. Ses forces ont été réduites au minimum en Syrie, les mouvements de troupes ont ralenti en conséquence et toutes les rémunérations additionnelles ont été suspendues. Le Hezbollah a réduit son budget au quart de ce qu’il était, sans toutefois suspendre les salaires mensuels de ses militants ou contractuels ni les soins médicaux, sous l’ordre de Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, le secrétaire général du Hezbollah.

    Cette nouvelle situation financière affectera l’économie libanaise à mesure que les flux de trésorerie et les devises se tariront. Les conséquences devraient se faire ressentir davantage au cours des prochains mois et il est plausible que la population locale réagisse sous le poids de l’économie défaillante.

    Les USA et l’Europe imposent des contrôles stricts sur tous les montants transférés en direction ou en provenance du Liban. Le pays est sur une liste noire financière et toutes les transactions sont passées au peigne fin. Les dons religieux provenant de l’étranger ne sont dorénavant plus possibles, car les donateurs risquent alors d’être accusés de soutenir le terrorisme par les pays occidentaux.

    Tant que Trump sera au pouvoir, le Hezbollah et l’Iran croient que la situation restera critique. Ils s’attendent aussi à ce que Trump obtienne un second mandat. Les cinq prochaines années seront difficiles pour l’économie libanaise, notamment si Pompeo est porteur de messages et de diktats auxquels le Liban ne peut se plier.

    Pompeo veut que le Liban abandonne son tracé de la frontière maritime avec Israël, ce qui mettrait en péril ses prétentions sur les blocs 8, 9 et 10 du gisement d’hydrocarbures au profit d’Israël. Cette demande ne sera pas accordée et les responsables libanais ont dit à plusieurs reprises qu’ils comptent sur les missiles de précision du Hezbollah pour empêcher Israël de s’accaparer d’eaux territoriales libanaises.

    Pompeo veut aussi que le Liban abandonne le Hezbollah et mette fin à son rôle au sein du gouvernement. Là encore, l’administration américaine semble ignorer que le Hezbollah représente presque le tiers de la population du Liban, en plus de bénéficier du soutien de plus de la moitié des chiites, des chrétiens, des sunnites et des druzes qui y vivent, qui comptent parmi eux des membres officiels des pouvoirs exécutifs et législatifs du pays. En outre, le président libanais fait partie de la coalition du Hezbollah et maintient fermement son lien avec le groupe, qu’il juge nécessaire à la stabilité du pays.

    Quelle est l’alternative alors ? Si l’Arabie saoudite s’engage, ce n’est pas un, deux ou même cinq milliards de dollars qu’il faut pour relever l’économie du Liban, mais des dizaines de milliards de dollars. Le Liban doit bénéficier aussi d’une politique de non-intervention de la part de l’administration américaine pour permettre au pays de se gouverner lui-même.

    Les Saoudiens souffrent déjà de l’intimidation que Trump exerce sur eux et leurs fonds commencent à se tarir. Si l’Arabie saoudite décide d’investir au Liban, elle cherchera à imposer des conditions pas très différentes de celles des USA. Elle se fait des illusions en voulant éliminer l’influence de l’Iran et des partisans du Hezbollah au Liban, un objectif impossible à remplir.

    Le Liban n’a pas tellement de choix. Il peut se rapprocher de l’Iran afin de réduire ses dépenses et le prix des biens, et demander à la Russie de soutenir l’armée libanaise si l’Occident refuse de le faire. La Chine se prépare à entrer dans le jeu et pourrait devenir une alternative intéressante pour le Liban, qui pourrait lui servir de plateforme pour parvenir en Syrie, puis en Irak et en Jordanie. Sinon, le Liban devra se préparer en vue de joindre la liste des pays les plus pauvres.

    Une ombre plane au-dessus du pays du cèdre, qui a déjà dû combattre pour assurer sa survie au 21e siècle. Le Hezbollah, dorénavant sous le coup des sanctions des USA et du R.‑U., est la même force qui a protégé le pays contre Daech et d’autres combattants takfiris qui menaçaient d’expulser les chrétiens du pays, d’où le conseil lancé par le président français Sarkozy au patriarche libanais qu’il vaudrait mieux que les chrétiens libanais abandonnent leurs foyers. C’est que les djihadistes takfiris et l’OTAN partageaient les mêmes objectifs au Liban. L’incapacité de l’administration américaine à diviser l’Irak et à créer un État en déliquescence en Syrie dans le cadre d’un « nouveau Moyen-Orient » a réveillé l’ours russe de sa longue hibernation. Aujourd’hui, la Russie rivalise avec les USA pour assurer l’hégémonie au Moyen-Orient, ce qui oblige Trump à tout mettre en œuvre pour tenter de briser le front antiaméricain.

    C’est une lutte sans merci où tous les coups sont permis. Les USA poussent le Liban dans un goulet d’étranglement, en ne lui donnant pas d’autre choix que de resserrer son partenariat avec l’Iran et la Russie.

    #liban #hezbollah #grand_jeu

  • What is Za’atar, the Israeli Spice You Will Want to Sprinkle on Everything | The Nosher
    https://www.myjewishlearning.com/the-nosher/what-is-zaatar-the-israeli-spice-you-will-want-to-sprinkle-on-ever

    a’atar is everywhere these days in America. Just do a quick Pinterest search for za’atar and you will come up with dozens and dozens of mouth-watering recipes using the spice.

    But what exactly is it?

    L’auteure qui ose écrire cette m... est la petite-fille du type qui a inventé le Tang... C’est dire si elle s’y connaît en goût !

  • Heurts à la #frontière de #Gaza en 2018 : Israël pourrait avoir commis des crimes de guerre et contre l’humanité

    Jeudi, la Commission d’enquête internationale indépendante sur les manifestations dans les territoires occupés palestiniens a présenté son rapport au Palais des Nations. Elle juge « illégale » l’utilisation de #balles_létales contre des civils en grande partie pacifiques.

    Mohammad Obei, 24 ans, était un footballeur. A 9 heures du matin, le 30 mars 2018 à El Bureij, il était à près de 150 mètres de la frontière séparant Gaza d’Israël. Les forces de sécurité israéliennes lui ont tiré dans les jambes alors qu’il marchait, mettant une fin brutale à sa carrière sportive. Naji Abu Hojayeer, 24 ans, s’était enroulé dans un drapeau palestinien. Il était debout à 300 mètres de la barrière de séparation. Il a lui aussi été abattu d’une balle dans l’abdomen. Yousef, un étudiant en journalisme, portait le gilet indiquant qu’il était de la presse. Il photographiait les manifestants palestiniens à 800 mètres de la barrière. Visé par deux balles, il a perdu sa jambe droite. Il y a encore ce cas, terrible, de Fadi Abu Salmi. Amputé des deux jambes après avoir été victime de frappes aériennes israéliennes en 2008, se déplaçant dans une chaise roulante, il a été abattu par un sniper israélien à Abasan Al-Jadida, l’un des cinq lieux de manifestations alors qu’il était à 300 mètres de la frontière.
    Des amputations

    La liste n’est de loin pas exhaustive. 6106 Gazaouis ont été blessés au cours de manifestations tenues entre le 30 mars et le 31 décembre 2018 à la frontière entre la bande de Gaza et Israël. 4903 d’entre eux l’ont été aux jambes et 122 ont dû subir des amputations. 189 Palestiniens ont été tués dont 183 par balles réelles dont 35 enfants. C’est le constat qu’a dressé jeudi au Palais des Nations à Genève la Commission d’enquête internationale indépendante sur les manifestations dans les territoires occupés palestiniens mandatée par le Conseil des droits de l’homme de l’ONU. Celle-ci l’écrit noir sur blanc dans un rapport qu’Israël juge « hostile, mensonger et partial » : les sérieuses violations des droits de l’homme constatées pourraient constituer des crimes contre l’humanité, voire des crimes de guerre. Elle somme Tel-Aviv d’enquêter sur ces cas.

    Les manifestations de l’an dernier ont fait grand bruit, notamment le jour de l’inauguration de l’ambassade des Etats-Unis déplacée de Tel-Aviv à Jérusalem le 14 mai 2018 et du 70e anniversaire de la Nakba. Face au tollé international provoqué par la riposte de Tsahal, les autorités israéliennes avaient d’emblée justifié leurs actions pour contrer la volonté palestinienne d’en découdre avec Israël. Le 13 mai 2018, les forces israéliennes (IDF) avertissaient dans une vidéo : « L’organisation terroriste Hamas prévoit d’envoyer des terroristes armés parmi les 250 000 émeutiers violents pour franchir la frontière avec Gaza et entrer dans des communautés israéliennes […] et prévoit de perpétrer un massacre en Israël. » Le 14 mai, il en résulta bien un massacre. Mais ce sont les snipers israéliens qui tuèrent 60 manifestants et en blessèrent au moins 1162.

    Président de la Commission d’enquête, Santiago Canton conteste fermement l’idée selon laquelle les manifestants étaient des terroristes : « Les manifestations à la frontière n’étaient pas de nature militaire, mais civile. Dans leur écrasante majorité, les participants n’étaient pas armés. Le droit international humanitaire devait donc s’appliquer. » L’idée de la « grande marche du retour » a germé dans la tête d’Ahmed Abu Artema, un journaliste et poète palestinien de 34 ans au début de 2018. L’idée est devenue un mouvement.

    La commission, dont les trois experts ont mené plus de 325 interviews en Jordanie, en Egypte et en Turquie faute d’avoir pu obtenir de Tel-Aviv l’accès aux territoires palestiniens, s’est beaucoup penchée sur la doctrine d’engagement des forces israéliennes. Pour elle, vu la nature largement pacifique des manifestations, il était illégal d’utiliser des munitions létales contre les manifestants. La centaine de tireurs d’élite, dotés d’équipements ultra-modernes, postés à la frontière, n’aurait pas dû pouvoir tirer sur la foule alors qu’il n’y avait pas un danger de mort imminent. Seuls deux actes violents d’individus palestiniens auraient pu justifier un tel usage de la force. Une vidéo présentée à l’ONU montre de nombreux manifestants se faire abattre alors qu’ils se tiennent simplement dans la foule.
    Cour pénale internationale

    Une minorité de protestataires ont lancé des pierres, brûlé des pneus et utilisé des cerfs-volants ou des ballons incendiaires qui ont occasionné d’importants dégâts du côté israélien. Un soldat israélien a été tué et quatre autres blessés. Parmi les graves violations des droits de l’homme et du droit international humanitaire, la commission mentionne les tirs de snipers israéliens qui ont délibérément visé des journalistes, des travailleurs de la santé, des personnes handicapées.

    La commission d’enquête invite la haut-commissaire de l’ONU aux droits de l’homme Michelle Bachelet à soumettre les dossiers de responsables présumés aux juridictions nationales et internationales, y compris à la Cour pénale internationale. Elle appelle même les Etats membres de l’ONU à imposer des sanctions contre les individus identifiés par la commission comme responsables des massacres. Elle demande aussi aux autorités de fait de Gaza (Hamas) d’interdire l’usage de cerfs-volants incendiaires.

    https://www.letemps.ch/monde/heurts-frontiere-gaza-2018-israel-pourrait-commis-crimes-guerre-contre-lhuma
    #crimes_de_guerre #crimes_contre_l'umanité #ONU #Israël #Palestine #frontières
    ping @reka