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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Forty Acres and a Mule in Israel

OK, this article below about the Israeli Supreme Court's ruling yesterday concerning the JNF isn't making sense to me. (Read below) Let's say you've got land parcel "A" and you CAN and should sell that to Arab Israelis if they want to buy it, but then the state gives you ANOTHER equal piece of land to pay you for your "loss" which can ONLY be sold to Jews. Does this mean that the entire land owned up til this time by the JNF is available to Arab Israelis but if they buy it all then the JNF is given another 13% (the amount of land in Israel owned by the JNF) of other lands for Jews only? I'm not an attorney but this is the screwiest ruling I've ever heard.

"Now mind you, on July 20, 2007 -- New York, NY -- On July 18, 2007, the Israeli Knesset plenum approved the first reading of a bill which calls for all lands under Jewish National Fund - Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (JNF-KKL) ownership to continue be allocated to Jews only as has been its covenant for over 100 years. The bill passed by a majority of 64 -16 members of the Knesset. "

Not so fast, it seems the Israeli Supreme Court deems the JNF's policy of selling only to Jews as a problem when it comes to claiming to be a "democratic regime". Well, SORT OF.

Oh I just love what they have to say about themselves on JNF UK:

"JNF is the UK’s leading humanitarian Israel charity. We don’t do politics. We do water, trees and human beings."

Oh REALLY? But you don't do Arab human beings do you? And oh goodness forbid that someone might think you have any political purpose, no no, NOT the "chosen" people! What about all those "human beings and trees" in the 450 Arab villages in Israel which were destroyed and left in ruins or REPLACED by Jewish only towns and villages?

Read further about the JNF>>>>>>>>>>
Since you are surviving on MY tax dollars, might I suggest you read THIS.

The following is an article on the Israeli Supreme Court's ruling on the JNF:

Israeli court: Land sales must include Arabs
BY LAURIE COPANS, Associated Press

JERUSALEM - Israel's Supreme Court on Monday gave the country's main land distributor three months to change its policy of selling property only to Jews - a practice that Israel's Arab minority deems racist.

The policy also has provoked criticism of the Jewish National Fund - one of world Jewry's most beloved organizations.

Supporters of the fund insist it has the right to refuse to market its lands to Arabs.

The case points up a basic contradiction Israel has been grappling with for decades: maintaining its Jewish character while offering equality to its Arab minority in the framework of a democratic regime.

The venerable Jewish group in effect acknowledged before the court that it can no longer eliminate Israeli Arabs from its land transactions, agreeing to reinstitute a complex land-for-land deal to try to keep everyone happy.

"I think part of this is redefining the vision of what the JNF is all about," said Mike Nitzan, a member of the fund's board.

The fund is a century-old symbol of the drive to reclaim the Holy Land and fill it with Jews. Founded in 1901, it is known around the Jewish world for its little blue collection boxes, where Jews contributed money to buy land for settlement.

A century later, the fund is still in the business of providing land for Jewish settlement in Israel, owning about 13 percent of the land in the country.

But even some Jewish critics say it has outlived its usefulness in a modern, democratic state that grants equal rights to non-Jewish minority citizens. Legal expert Moshe Negbi told Israel Radio the fund should have been phased out when the state of Israel was created in 1948.

Under the deal accepted Monday by the Israeli court, while the fund would agree to sell land to Arabs, the Israel Lands Authority would give the JNF an equal amount of land in exchange. That would allow the fund to tell its contributors that it still maintains its original function of providing land for Jews in Israel. The court ordered the fund to come up with a permanent solution in three months.

Critics charged that the deal still discriminates against Israel's Arabs, who make up about 20 percent of the population.

"The JNF's policy could create a total separation between Arabs and Jews in where they live," said Auni Bana, a lawyer with one of the petitioners, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. "This is racism."

On the other side, die-hard fund donors insisted they won't let the organization back down.

Israeli Nobel laureate Robert Aumann and former military chief Moshe Yaalon said they want to join the court case on the side of the JNF.

Now the question needs to be asked: It is stated that the Israeli Lands Authority will give an equal portion of land to the JNF for every parcel sold to an Arab Israeli. Isn't this only going to INCREASE the land under the authority of the JNF? Isn't this just a freebie appeasmenet ruling which STILL does not come anywhere close to what supposed "western values" claim as "democratic"?

For those who may not know, the Israeli Lands Authority operates under the "Basic Law". Read the following (source) and keep in mind that Arab Israelis comprise 20% of the population of Israel:

The ownership of land in Israel is under the jurisdiction of the Israel Land Authority, which applies as a "fundamental criterion" of land use, religion and nationality. As noted by Professor Uzi Ornan, "Those registered as `Jews` have full rights in regard to most of the land, cities, and settlements; those who are not registered as `Jews` are barred from owning real estate in most sectors of the country" ("An Amazing Resemblance to South Africa," Ha'aretz, Feb. 10, 1991). These restrictions apply to over 90 percent of Israeli land, within which, as Israel Shahak states, "the non-Jewish citizens of Israel--and of course all the non-Jews of the rest of the world too--simply cannot live; they cannot rent a house or an apartment, or open a business, unless they surreptitiously sublet it from a Jew." Shahak goes on to say: "One can imagine what a storm would be raised if such official policy of discrimination was practiced against Jews" ( Lies of Our Times, May 1991).

Such is the case of "Forty Acres and a Mule" in Israel!

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