The Shamasneh family in Sheikh Jarrah expected to be evicted from their home tomorrow, March 1st.
Today, we discovered that the Jerusalem District court has ordered the eviction process to be frozen until further discussion of the matter. From what it looks like, the family has been given at least two more weeks before the eviction could again take place, possibly longer.
This is really good news.
And the struggle is far from done. There are a lot of legal factors that remain to be determined, and which are basically irrelevant for the wider public. What is relevant is that those of us who are not experts in the legal ins and outs of these cases tip our hats to the good work done so far by the lawyers and media folks, and then get back to repeating the following points:
1. In Sheikh Jarrah (as in all of East Jerusalem (as in all of the Occupied Territories)) there are two different sets of laws for Jews and for Palestinians. This entire case is based on the question of whether or not the house should be “returned” to Jews whose family may have lived in the house prior to 1948. And what of the Palestinians whose families lived in now-Jewish owned houses prior to 1948? ie., Both the application of the law in Sheikh Jarrah and the OPT and the law itself are discriminatory and entirely non-democratic.
2. Israel desperately clings to its image as a democracy, especially in the eyes of the international community, especially with Obama coming over for a visit soon, and a new government being formed (complete with an Official Talking About Talking About Talking About Talking About Talking position filled by the somehow still taken seriously as a peace oriented politician Tzipi Livni). Israel will not not evict the Shamasneh family and others in East Jerusalem from a place of good will- these evictions are part and parcel to Israeli policies and plans for the future- but they may well not evict them from a place of politics. So pressure does matter. ie., Israel cannot call itself a Democracy as long as it (1) enacts anti-democratic laws and (2) people continue to challenge that enactment.
3. The future is not written. ie., The future is not written.