Thursday, March 15, 2007

Palestinian Land Ownership

Shalom Barbara NYC,

You ask of me:
I am also hoping Ghanem can give us some documentation about the claim that land was confiscated and the Shilo sits on Tumos-Ayya land. And I am hoping Yoel can give us some background on Israel's claim that the land was owner less or "state-land" whatever that means.
Let me provide you with the following up-to-date links to information that might help you understand. The Palestinians seek and receive a great deal of support in their efforts to thwart the continued existence of Jewish communities throughout the Land of Israel from Peace Now (Shalom Achshav). Recently Peace Now came out with a bombastic claim that 86% of the land Jewish communities were built on were stolen Arab lands. Recent revelations from the IDF's data base of land usage/allocation appears to put the lie to these allegations.
IDF shows flaws in Peace Now report
JPost March 14, 2007

The Civil Administration noted that the Peace Now report was full of
inaccuracies, and implied that it had included in its figures outposts that the state considered illegal.
"For a number of years, the Civil Administration routinely examined the status of land prior to approving planning procedures and/or prior to allocating land," the letter stated. "This is done carrying out an in-depth re-examination of the status of the land in order to ensure that no harm comes to or use is made of privately held Palestinian land for the needs of Israeli settlement."
To better understand why the discrepancy between Arab (and Peace Now) claims and how the law abiding Israeli government agencies see it, it might be insightful to read the explanation published in a number of places. You see in Ottoman Law there are several different concepts to what we would call "ownership".

Peace Now is calling “private Palestine land” is under the Ottoman Code at best miri land, and it is therefore not privately owned. Rather, it is land in which a person is granted by the state a limited right of use (whence the term usufruct). The rights include, for example, that once registered someone else cannot try to cultivate the same land. This is similar to the rights one has in renting an apartment – someone else cannot come and try to live without permission in the same apartment, but that doesn't mean the renter owns the apartment.
... contrary to Peace Now, the land remains the property of the state, and therefore it does not revert to the state only if there is a failure to cultivate. Miri land – the land of the Emir, or equivalently, of the sovereign – is state land, period. If there is a failure to cultivate the limited rights granted by the state are withdrawn, not ownership of the land, which was never granted in the first place.
Of course the emotional issues are not as rational and cut and dried as legal issues, but for the most part, at least for certain since 1979, no Arab land was confiscated unless for dire security reasons, and then full compensation was provided. Moreover, there are many cases where Arab property was damaged as a result of their direct and active involvement in anti-Jewish activities where none-the-less Israel's champions of civil rights, the Israeli Supreme Court, granted the Arabs compensations for the damage they sustained. Difficult to believe they'd let the Israeli government steal vast tracks of land against the law when they are willing to compensate Arabs involved in endangering Israeli lives.

I'm certain Ghanem doesn't see it this way, but then it is rather clear that to him Jews have no claim to any part of the Land of Israel and no rights in it, so it is rather difficult to find a common middle ground when everything is his and nothing is yours.

Looking forward to everyone's response(s).

Yoel Ben-Avraham
Shilo, Benyamin

Future of Palestinian Youth

I just read the article by Steven Erlanger in the March 12th New York Times titled "Years of Strife and Lost Hope Scar Young Palestinians " . I question how representative this is of youth in Turmos Ayya or Luban.

My personal experience with residents of Turmos Ayya in particular, but also Luban to a smaller extent, is that there isn't a family that doesn't have at least one relative in the US. Chicago seems to be a popular place, Cleveland a close second.

So what do you say Ghanem? Are the youth of Turmos Ayya despairing of seeing a decent life? Are they ready to leave in search of "normalcy" somewhere else?

Friday, March 09, 2007

Response to "Miracles"

Written by Ghanem on 3/9/07

Theodor Hertzel, the father of modern Zionism, was secular. He wasn't really a Jew. So therefore he had fooled thousands of people to believe that Palestine was the land of the Jews.

Now I understand the Hebrews and Arabs have lived on this land for thousands of years. But miraculously there weren't problems between the two until the rise of Zionism. So that leaves one question the motive of Zionism. After the holocaust Jews came into Palestine by the thousands and more and more problems started to rise. I think that Zionism is the enemy here!

Did you know that this first terrorist attack in Palestine was when a Jew came into a mosque and opened fire on innocent civilians?

I personally don't understand why you support settlements. How can you live on land that was confiscated from Palestinians? Shilo is partially built on Turmos Ayya land, and you support that? I think that if you just opened you eyes you would realize what is going on! Look at the situation between Shilo and Turmos Ayya. People from Turmos Ayya can't even freely move about the town. How many times have we been harassed by the Israeli army? How many times have Israeli hummers entered Shilo and invaded your guys homes? How many times has the hummer entered Shilo and made all the boys at school line up and get searched? Don't you think that something is wrong with the Israel's policies and how the treat Palestinians? How can you be so blind and silent about a crime this big??