Israel proposes taking more West Bank land for Jewish settlers


#1

google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCAQqQIwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonpost.com%2Fworld%2Fmiddle_east%2Fisrael-proposes-taking-more-west-bank-land-for-jewish-settlers%2F2014%2F08%2F31%2F97260a8a-1bc7-4406-ba57-c6493dfdf865_story.html&ei=v1QEVImAAc24ggTx0YLIBw&usg=AFQjCNHYP5eHv3e_qsUmfHt1WNXxqhhWtQ&bvm=bv.74115972,d.b2U

JERUSALEM — The Israeli government announced Sunday that it would appropriate almost 1,000 acres of land in the West Bank that could be used to build homes for Jewish settlers.

google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCQQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.reuters.com%2Farticle%2F2014%2F08%2F31%2Fus-palestinians-israel-settlement-idUSKBN0GV0D020140831&ei=v1QEVImAAc24ggTx0YLIBw&usg=AFQjCNHIdFwJ6zZkwFWfRttpCECFTIHvOw

In a series of remarks after an open-ended ceasefire halted the Gaza war, Netanyahu repeated his position that Abbas would have to sever his alliance with Hamas for a peace process with Israel to resume.

The administration of President Barack Obama, who has been at odds with Netanyahu over settlements since taking office in 2009, pushed back against the land decision. It was the latest point of contention between Washington and its top Middle East ally Israel, which also differ over Iran nuclear talks.


#2

Do they need more land? What will they do with the people already there?

Would this be like America suddenly announcing that everything on Mexico’s Baja peninsula is ours now?


#3

1000 acres?!?! That’s like 1.5 square miles. Wow, they could fit a whole subdivision in there.


#4

Real estate is pretty crowded over there. In an earlier discussion, it was pointed out that the entire country of Israel is about the size of the US state of New Jersey. The Gaza strip is approximately the size of the city of Philadelphia.

Following up on those examples, it could be said that the West Bank is roughly the size of Delaware. The 1000 acres which Israel just annexed would be similar in size to the community of Rehoboth Beach.


#5

Arafat’s Intifada against Israel seems to have become a clear win for Israel, and Palestinians are losing more and more of the land tat the intifada deemed insufficient to honor the peace treaty for.

Too bad, so sad.

Life goes on.


#6

A lot of the west bank is also desert, with perhaps something growing here and there. If you look at photos of many of the Jewish settlements, they’re on land few in the west would ever want to inhabit.

One of the problems westerners have in understanding land in the region is the fact that land ownership is quite different there. There is no organized system of land ownership registration like we have in the U.S. Nor is there any “precedent” to follow, other than the Ottoman system in which all land was owned by the state unless a person could prove that he farmed it for ten straight years. Even then, he didn’t “own” it in the same way we, in America, “own” land. There’s no “fee simple” in most of the world.

In some parts of the West Bank, land ownership (perhaps “tenancy” is more descriptive) is fairly clear. In a lot of it, it is not. Even in Israel, it’s hard to own land. The state owns most of it and leases it to the “owners”. Most of Hawaii is the same way. It’s a tiny place, and it’s almost impossible to “own” land there. To the extent one has rights to it, they are very, very restricted by the state.


#7

If the situation was that Mexico declared war on America, and lost territory in the Baja as a result, then the two situation would be comparable.

Wars have consequences. The war between Palestine and Israel is no exception to that.

The question is whether Israel is ever going to amalgamate the West Bank into Israel proper, and thereby make all the people living there full citizens, or leave the legal situation in perpetual limbo.

The fact is that any two state solution will now involve a sizable Jewish population living on Palestinian land in the West Bank. Palestinians will just have to accept that now. The ethnic cleansing of Jews, as what happened in Gaza, is not politically tenable-nor should it be. If Jews are not safe in a West Bank controlled by Arabs, Palestine is not ready to become a modern state at any rate.


#8

Hi Gary, thanks for posting this thread.

I think this part of the article is very significant:

“The Civil Administration, the Israeli military authority responsible for implementing government policy in the West Bank, said the decision was based on the “instructions of the political leadership” after Operation Brother’s Keeper, the security sweep in June that followed the killing of three Israeli teens abducted in the area.”

Other reports put it more simply, like “the land confiscation is a response to the killings of the three Isaeli teens”.

At the very least, the West should stand for morality. What is moral about taking land from one group of Palestinians in response to the murderous acts of another? The objective observer can only shake his head and see it for what it is: theft. Theft with the rationalization, “they deserved it.”

That said, I can totally relate to the anger and desire to punish from the side of the Israelis. I, too, would be in this mode if I were them. The land grab would be a tempting opportunity to mete punishment on the group as a whole.

What is called for is justice for the 3 teens killed, as well as justice for all of those involved. However, before justice is pursued, understanding and forgiveness should be encouraged.

In the mean time, if Israel wants to stand for a morally behaving state, they must refrain from land grabs. Why they would want to stoke the fires where there is already so much anger is understandable, but counterproductive. Two wrongs, as they say, do not make a right.


#9

Of course the announcement by Israel to take more land from Palestinians, as they’ve been displaced for Jewish Settlements over and over, couldn’t come at a worse time. The West Bank is occupied territory by the Israelis, BTW.

It further shows that Israel has no regard for peace as they continue to stick their thumb into the eye of the Palestinians.

This will probably break the cease fire between Hamas and Israel, as Palestinians once again see Israeli aggression against them.

Also, this comes just when we’re trying to deal with ISIS and will only serve to inflame the Islamic alliances we’re trying to put together in the Middle East so that they would be the one’s taking the fight to ISIS. If the US says nothing about Israel building these new settlements, Islamic nations will probably not cooperate with us in creating a coalition.

To me, Israel stabbed the USA and NATO in the back, but this isn’t anything new.

Jim


#10

Perhaps, but not by intent. I think Israel really wants to stay on good terms with Western nations, but is continuing to move into what they think is “rightfully” theirs to take, they are carrying out their version of justice. As far as the “back stabbing”, though, they inadvertently stab their own backs at the same time.

Pray with me, for reconciliation…


#11

After you’ve demolished the agriculture in an area and prevented people from cultivating it for a while that tends to happen.


#12

Yes, that does have a tendency to happen. Did it happen in this case? Had the Israeli government already sequestered the water in this area, and/or demolished orchards and farms?

What is interesting is the lack of response on the part of the Israel-expansion advocates on the forum. Does that mean that there is an inability to respond this time? Is this an admission that the act of confiscation is what it is, an irresponsible, wrong act on the part of the Israeli government? It’s about time that people in the expansion camp admit that sometimes the Israeli government does indeed overstep.

If that is the case, I invite everyone to write their congressman and senator and ask them to put out a resolution condemning the latest planned confiscation. If American Catholics do not stand for justice in this case, do we leave it to the Muslim population, who are not looking too “moral” in the world scene right now? There is a lot more that they have to address amongst their own affilitates.

I will guarantee this, Congress on its own will not condemn the confiscation. Their campaign funds heavily depend on the money coming from the expansionist lobby.

Do we Americans not realize that what Israel does greatly reflects on us, as we give more aid to Israel than any other nation in the world? Are we willing to be recipients of the actions of wrath that may precipitate from this land theft?

Let us pray for reconciliation…


#13

OneSheep

Yes, that does have a tendency to happen. Did it happen in this case? Had the Israeli government already sequestered the water in this area, and/or demolished orchards and farms?

That’s exactly what happened to build the Jewish settlments. Palestinians farms and homes were bulldozed to make room for the settlements. The people were displaced to refugee camps and had to try and rebuild their lives. Do you suppose the Palestinians are angry just because the Israeli’s are Jews ?

Jim


#14

No, it isn’t that there’s nothing to say. It’s just that the anti-israel propaganda gets old.

Israel is confiscating a desert that probably nobody owns, conclusively. Arabs do have the opportunity to make their claims and have them adjudicated; a lot more right than they would grant to Jews if the Arabs ran the place.

Jews live in these settlements because they can’t just spread out among the Arab population and stay alive very long. About 1/3 of the total West Bank population are Jews.

So where do you you want to put them, if not in Palestine, where Jews have always lived?

Not all of the West Bank is a desert, but a whole lot of it is. This “poor Palestinian” bought some of the better part, wouldn’t you say? And he sure didn’t worry about Jews expropriating land to which he could establish ownership, because he knew they wouldn’t, and don’t.

google.com/images?q=munib+masri&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&oe=UTF-8&rlz=1I7ADFA_enUS486&gws_rd=ssl&hl=en&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ei=wXUPVOm7KpL_yQSXjIDoAg&ved=0CB8QsAQ


#15

Do you suppose ISIS kills Christians just because they’re Christians?

If you look at most of those Jewish settlements, they are in deserts. Yes, the Jews do plant trees inside them, undoubtedly with that skill and care Israelis have developed to bring something out of that awful ground, but all around them are mostly deserts. Awful country, most of it, and not somebody’s farm.


#16

Watch this video from Jewish Voices for Peace, to get an education on the history of the Palestinian/Israel conflict.

jewishvoiceforpeace.org/content/israeli-palestinian-conflict-101

Jim


#17

Israel/settlers in fact demolished the agricultural land in this case.

Israel as a Jewish state has decided that the Jews are the best people, as a result the state should encourage there to be more of the best people. Since there are enough of the best people that rent is too high the Israeli government is working to expand the amount of living space for the best people so that there can be even more of the best people which necessitates acquisition of even more living space for the best people…

Supporting Israel acquiring land from other people gets the Israelis to like us and the dispossessed people to not like us. As the dispossessed people do not like us and the Israelis like us we should support Israel instead of people who don’t like us.

Welcome to American Levantine foreign policy.


#18

Ridgerunner

Do you suppose ISIS kills Christians just because they’re Christians?

Different subject. Palestinians are Christians who live side by side with Muslim Palestinians. The radicals don’t represent the majority.

If you look at most of those Jewish settlements, they are in deserts. Yes, the Jews do plant trees inside them, undoubtedly with that skill and care Israelis have developed to bring something out of that awful ground, but all around them are mostly deserts. Awful country, most of it, and not somebody’s farm.

Not all were in the desert. Do a google search for photos of the West Bank and its not all desert.

If it wasn’t worth anything, Jews wouldn’t be building settlements there.

Also, check out the Golan Heights and the Sheba Farms. Hardly a desert land.

Jim


#19

Oh, the fellow in the photos, Munib al Masri, says he BOUGHT the land his palace is built on, because he wanted it and wanted to beat any Israelis who also might want to BUY it.

Some land in the West Bank is clearly owned by someone. A lot of it isn’t. In a lot of places it’s like the American WEst. The government owns most of the latter because nobody else claimed it during the homesteader era. To claim that land you had to cultivate it and live on it and be able to prove that you did.


#20

Oh yes, the Golan Heights, from which Syria used to fire rockets into Israel and which Israel took during the war.

The Golan Heights are (not surprisingly) much higher than the Galilee it overlooks. So it gets a reasonable amount of rain and is cooler. A good part of it has been turned into vineyards by Israelis. One of particular note is the Yarden vineyard. They had to clear over 100 wrecked Syrian tanks from it before they could use it, dig up the spilled fuel, clear away the explosives, etc.

Shebaa Farms is a smallish area Israel took from Syria during the 1967 war, right next to Golan. But it has long been claimed by both Syria and Lebanon. At first, the UN declared it part of Syria, then later reversed itself after the 1967 war and said it belongs to Lebanon. But then, Syria also claimed all of Lebanon as part of “Greater Syria”; a claim it no longer makes officially, probably because Hezbollah also claims it and Hezbollah is Assad’s ally.

Regardless, it is mainly claimed by Hezbollah, which claims to represent Lebanon though it really doesn’t.

It’s one of those parts of the old Ottoman Empire that was never clearly made part of either state.

So, you want to turn Shebaa Farms over to Hezbollah, then?

Turkey, of course, seized Hatay Province from Syria. Odd that we never hear the clamor for its return that we sometimes do in the case of Golan and Shebaa Farms. But then, the Turks aren’t Jews are they? Makes a difference.


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