Birthright does not apply to Palestinians in Jerusalem
- By: Daoud Kuttab
Life has been difficult as a stateless person in Jerusalem for Mustafa Kharouf. He had the unfortunate case of being born to Jerusalem parents while they were in Algiers. His parents brought him back to Jerusalem but the Israelis for obvious racist reasons have refused to grant him residency in the only city he has lived in all his life. Ironically Jews around the world have a legal right not only to residency but also to citizenship in Israel simply because of what the government considers is their birthright because they belong to the Jewish faith.
Passing on permanent residency is a natural in any city in the world. But for Israel demographics trump personal right. Ever since the 2003 temporary law that allows Israel to deny family reunification to Jerusalemites married to Palestinians from the rest of the occupied territories, the lives of people like Mustafa has been hell. Even after he married and had a daughter, the Israelis have refused to grant him residency in Jerusalem where he has worked as a photographer for the Turkish Anadolu news agency. The fact that his parents, siblings and his wife all have legal permanent residency didn’t help him as Israeli officials insisted on deporting him.