ZOA Criticizes Sec’y Clinton & U.N. For Criticizing Israeli Eviction Of Arabs Living Illegally In Jewish-Owned Homes in Jerusalem
August 4, 2009


Obama/Clinton: Asking Israel to violate Israel Supreme Court ruling





The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has strongly criticized Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Obama Administration, as well as the United Nations, for criticizing Israeli eviction of Arabs living illegally in Jewish-owned homes in Jerusalem. The very liberal Supreme Court’s decision followed a drawn-out legal dispute over the ownership of a site in the Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood, called Sheikh Jarrah by Palestinian Arabs, near the Old City. The site in question had been owned and lived in by Jews until the Arab pogroms of 1929. Subsequently, Arab families had squatted there without ever legally acquiring title to the property and without ever paying rent to the owners. The Supreme Court determined that the ownership documents presented by the Arab parties were forged.


The evictions were criticized by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who said, “These actions are deeply regrettable. I have said before that the eviction of families and demolition of homes in east Jerusalem is not in keeping with Israeli obligations … And I urge the government of Israel and municipal officials to refrain from such provocative actions … Unilateral actions taken by either party cannot be used to prejudge the outcome of negotiations. And they will not be recognized as changing the status quo” (‘Clinton slams Israeli evictions of Palestinians,’ Yediot Ahronot, August 3, 2009).


The U.N. Special Middle East Coordinator, Robert H. Serry, said in a statement that he deplored the evictions, which he described as “totally unacceptable actions by Israel” (Isabel Kershner, ‘Israel Evicts Palestinians From Homes,’ New York Times, August 3, 2009).


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “The ZOA is strongly critical of Secretary Clinton’s remarks, as well as statements by other governmental leaders and the UN on this subject, which constitute a wholly inappropriate and shocking intervention in Israeli internal affairs. This is further proof of the Obama Administration’s hostility towards Israel and its continuous acting on behalf of the Palestinian Arabs and their agenda.


“Israel is a democracy, it is governed by the rule of law and its highest judicial body, the Supreme Court, ruled against the Arab parties just as it often rules against Jewish parties in such disputes. It is incumbent on the Israeli authorities to carry out the Court’s orders and it is simply indefensible to suggest that the carrying out by Israel of an order from its Supreme Court violates the Roadmap. If the Roadmap calls for Israeli court orders to be disregarded in the interests of Arab parties, then it is a defective document that is inconsistent with the rule of law. Is the Obama Administration really asking Israel to ignore rulings of its own Supreme Court?


“Israel is not a banana republic that takes orders from other governments and the ruling of its courts is entitled to be respected, not least by the government of a great and friendly democracy like the United States. I cannot imagine that Secretary Clinton would accept the Israeli Government second-guessing a U.S. Supreme Court decision on a dispute that came before it. Would she have dared to tell any other country to ignore the ruling of its Supreme Court? Moreover, it is simply unacceptable for Secretary Clinton to be telling Israel not to carry out actions that flow from a ruling of its Supreme Court.


“We therefore are deeply critical of her remarks, which she should withdraw, as even a very liberal court like the Israel Supreme Court has given its ruling and the eviction of the Arab occupants took place pursuant to its decision.”


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