February 14 is celebrated around the world as a day of love and friendship. However, for the people of Palestine even the most initimate and private part of their lives are impacted on by Israel's occupation and apartheid regime, including their relationships with their loved ones.
Over the last couple of years a number of campaigns have sought to highlight the impact of Israel occupation and apartheid regime on these aspects of Palestinian life, as well as the draconian apartheid laws which result in couples and families being forced apart.
On such apartheid law is the racist Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order). As I noted in my chapter on Palestine and BDS for the Australian book, Left Turn: Political Essays for the New Left (edited by Antony Loewenstein and Jeff Sparrow), the law:
prohibits the granting of any residency or citizenship status to Palestinians from the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) who are married to Israeli citizens. Adalah notes that this specifically affects Palestinian citizens of Israel and prevents thousands of families from living together. Since 2003, the law has been extended annually. Amendments in 2007 and 2008 increased restrictions on Palestinians from Gaza and extended the ban to include citizens and residents of Iran, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.
In January 2012, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected a legal challenge by Adalah and the Association of Civil Rights in Israel, ruling six to five to uphold the law, on the basis that, while couples had a constitutional right to live together, this did not mean they had to make their residential home in Israel.
In effect, the court decided that Palestinian citizens and residents of Israel who wanted to live with their spouses from the Occupied Territories or Iran, Lebanon, Syria or Iraq would have to do so outside of the Jewish state.
I have included below videos from the campaigns: Love Under Apartheid and Love in the Time of Apartheid.
You can check out their websites to see more videos and to read more about the campaigns and the impact of Israel's occupation and apartheid on Palestinian families and their loved ones.
In solidarity, Kim
LOVE IN THE TIME OF APARTHEID
with some english commentary via subtitles