As the Israeli elections day is approaching, we would like to stress on a few facts that Israeli officials may attempt to distort by making use of the international media coverage to normalize grave violations of international law and the systematic violations of the inalienable rights of the people of Palestine.
To have the Old City of Jerusalem as the background for interviews with Israeli guests misleads viewers into false conclusions that the Old City is part of Israel. This is precisely what we witnessed in the previous Israeli elections, early in 2015, and from several media outlets. While all of Jerusalem remains a final status issue for negotiations, the Old City of Jerusalem is an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory under UNSC Resolution 2334, among others. It's important to underline that any recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is as well a direct violation of UNSC Resolution 478. We, therefore, call upon international media organizations not to legitimize the illegal Israeli annexation of occupied East Jerusalem.
The Trump Administration has pushed for the normalization of Israeli violations on the ground, including by dropping the word “occupation” from their official statements and reports. Nonetheless, the Israeli occupation of Palestine has not yet ended.
Israel remains the occupying power in all the territories it occupied in 1967, from the Syrian Golan Heights to the occupied Palestinian territory. Therefore, referring to any of those territories, including East Jerusalem, as “Israeli” or “disputed” is to normalize Israel’s colonial-settlement enterprise. This enterprise is not only about numbers; it's about the systematic denial of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. To normalize this illegal situation is a contribution to policies that have for so long denied the Palestinian people both their national and human rights. We understand that news coverage will not refer to Jaffa, Nazareth or Haifa as “disputed territory,” and therefore we expect adherence and respect for what international law says about the occupied Palestinian territory.
It is equally important to understand the connotations of referring to Israel as a “Jewish State” at a moment where anti-Arab incitement continues to grow. After the approval of Israel's racist Basic Law that defines Israel as the "Nation-State of the Jewish People," it has become clear that the consequences of such a move will perpetuate the institutionalized discrimination and racism, not only against Palestinian citizens of Israel but also against all the Palestinian people.
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