Sep 12, 2012

#BDS: The Baramki House: The Absent / Present #fuckIsrael

"In 1932, the prominent Palestinian architect, Andoni Baramki, built his own breathtaking house in Jerusalem. He dedicated it to his wife, Eveline. In 1948, during the Zionist ethnic cleansing campaign, or Nakba, the Baramki family, like hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, were uprooted and ended up briefly in Gaza, and then in Ramallah. The Baramki House was transformed into a military outpost: the Turjeman Post. The building stood on the seam line between what became Israel and what became the West Bank, across from Mandelbaum Gate, the only crossing point between the two sides of the divided city of Jerusalem.

After the 1967 war, Israel occupied the rest of historic Palestine and put the West Bank and Gaza Strip under its military control.  The Mandelbaum Gate was abolished and the military outpost was abandoned. Since Andoni and Eveline Baramki were residents in the now occupied East Jerusalem, they were issued Israeli identity cards from the Israeli authorities. The Israeli army had no more need for the house as a post, so the Baramki family felt their quest to reclaim the House could finally come to fruition. Alas, the family’s request was denied by the Israeli authorities under the racist Absentees’ Property Law of 1950, which was used to pillage the property of Palestinians ethnically cleansed during the Nakba and even those who were internally displaced and declared as “present absentees.”(1) This infamous law recognizes the presence of internally displaced Palestinians as “residents or “citizens” of the state of Israel, but “absent” as far as their own individual property is concerned."

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