Israel’s ‘Greater Jerusalem Bill’: Euphemism for Annexation

October 27, 2017
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Israel’s ‘Greater Jerusalem Bill’: Euphemism for Annexation

This Sunday Israeli cabinet ministers will vote on the “Greater Jerusalem Bill,” a plan to redraw the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem to include settlements deep in the West Bank. The bill, expected to pass and then go to the Knesset floor for approval, is essentially a way to retroactively legalize Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

While the bill does not formally annex these settlements, it would provide the Israeli inhabitants of Ma’ale Adumim, Gush Etzion, Givat Ze’ev, Beitar Illit and Efrat with Jerusalem residency status, making them officially part of Israel, while their Palestinian neighbors remain stateless and without rights. This is part of Netanyahu’s stated intention of normalizing Israel’s land grab of occupied Palestinian territory.

The Israeli government has itself admitted in its proposal for the bill that it is part of a longstanding policy to forcibly maintain a Jewish demographic majority in the city, which is nearly 40 percent Palestinian.

“Since it unilaterally annexed East Jerusalem and its environs in 1967, Israel has continuously pursued policies that solidify its hold over Palestinian land and erode the rights of Palestinians living there. Emboldened by the Trump Administration, Israel is moving forward with formalizing an apartheid system in the West Bank,” said Jewish Voice for Peace Executive Director Rebecca Vilkomerson.



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