Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

Media Week - Unbelievable, because it's wrong!; New Blood; Not so popular front

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Unbelievable, because it's wrong!

The Australian's John Lyons (5/5) reported on an Israeli law passed during the Second Intifada in 2003 designed to prevent terrorists exploiting family reunion laws to enter Israel.

This has meant Israeli Arab Taiseer Khatib's wife, Lana, who is from Jenin on the West Bank, can only stay in Israel on a temporary residency visa, something Khatib denounces as  "beyond apartheid".

The newspaper offensively headlined the piece Living under the cloud of Israel's cruel apartheid implying this was a statement of fact rather than Taiseer Khatib's opinion. The online edition has since rectified this error. 

Unfortunately, the article misrepresented the Israeli law as being primarily about Jewish versus Arab demography, failing to offer appropriate historical context.

Lyons claimed that "Palestinians who live in East Jerusalem...lose their right to residency if they marry a Palestinian and move to the West Bank. Israel does not allow Palestinians living in Jerusalem to vote in national elections, and if they leave Jerusalem for three years they lose their residency."

This is wrong. Palestinians who live in east Jerusalem have the right to Israeli citizenship if they want it. Alternatively they can choose, as most do, to remain permanent residents, retaining most citizenship rights, but not the right to vote, and with the possibility of losing residency if they cease being residents.

This is similar to the provisions of Australia's permanent residency laws. For a longer analysis of the article see here.

New blood

Ruth Pollard reported in the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age on a highly successful public relations drive to increase Israel's poor rate of organ donation (5/5).

"Last month, it became the first country in the world to give transplant priority to patients who have agreed to donate their organs over those who have not...Patients are still prioritised on the severity of their condition, but if there are two people at the top of the transplant list, the one who has registered as an organ donor - or has a relative in their nuclear family who has already donated their organs - will get the transplant first. Children...are prioritised on their medical condition alone."

Not so popular front

The Australian's Greg Sheridan (3/5) wrote of Australian charities and taxpayer funds potentially aiding Palestinian terrorist organisations. "The Australian government aid agency, Ausaid, gives millions of dollars, through the private charity World Vision, to the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, which works in the Gaza Strip. The problem is the UAWC and its personnel have deep links with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine."

Highlighting the difficulty "in the Palestinian territories" of not rubbing "shoulders with people who have terrorist associations", Sheridan suggested that "Specific renunciation of such attitudes must be a prerequisite to receiving Australian aid".

Noting that since 2007 Australian aid to the Palestinian territories had doubled to $70m annually, Sheridan wrote that "There is more than a whiff of this being an effort, hopefully forlorn, to placate the Arab vote in the run-up to our ill-advised effort to secure a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council".

 

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