17 February 2012

Israel's Citizenship Law - Families not Able to Live Together

I am copying here an email sent out by my activist friend Hannah Safran.
I must say that I am as outraged as she is by this reality.

Dear Friends,

This is a plea for help from Mr. Taiseer Khatib and his wife Lana from Acca in Israel. Taiseer is a Ph.D student in Anthropology at the University of Haifa, a teacher at the Western Galilee College, and a conductor of creative writing workshops for young adults in the Freedom Theatre at the Jenin Refugee Camp. The story of the plight of the Khatib family (as you may see from the attached material) was all over the media when the high court decision accepted recently the "citizenship law" of 2003.

Lana Khatib is a Palestinian woman from Jenin in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (oPt), she has a diploma in economics from Al-Najah University in Nablus, she has moved to Israel in 2005 to live with her husband in his home town Acca. They have 2 children (4 and 3 years) but her residency here is totally depended on yearly extensions of her permission to stay within Israel of the 1967 borders. She has no legal rights, social rights, health insurance and security. She is not allowed neither to drive nor to hold a job and is thus dependent totally on her husband Taiseer. This situation creates lots of frustration for Lana who used to be independent and worked for about 4 years in the health ministry in Jenin city. One could only imagine who deprived her life is.

With the recent High Court decision she can never dream to achieve a status of a citizen, and not even a permanent resident. In the best case, she might get a renewal of the permission that enables her only to stay with her family, if she is lucky, and won't lose the mere permission to live in Acca. This is the horrific reality of almost 25,000 families in Israel.

Moreover, the Khatib's cannot choose to live in Nablus as Mr. Khatib is an Israeli citizen and according to the laws introduced after the Oslo agreement, Israeli citizens are not allowed to live in Palestinian cities which are within the "A" sections of the divided pTo. If one examine the “citizenship law” carefully its only aim is to create a “pure” Jewish state, empty from Palestinians.

If this situation reminds you of dark times in recent Jewish history please take action.

As someone who is outraged by this latest Israeli High Court decision I am sending you this personal story of the Khatib's family and urge you to protest in any way possible, to the press, to the UN, to the Israeli Embassy in your city/country and to Mr. Obama himself.

If you have more ideas or would like to help create an internation campaign please write back to Mr. Khatib or to me [hsafran10@hotmail.com]. To contact Mr Khatib please write to: taiseerk@gmail.com or become a friend on facebook: Taiseer Khatib.

With outrage and thanks,


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