Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident; such actions have made headlines for years. The descendants of the original owners pop out of the woodwork and kick Palestinian families into the streets. Very sad.
There are a few questions that Judge Schneider never asked, and which Israeli judges dealing with the Occupied Territories could never ask without the pillars of their invented Legalistic and Seemingly-Just universe beginning to crumble. One of them is this:** Why should Israeli Jews – whether in government positions or as private individuals – be allowed to use documents from before 1948 to reclaim ownership of houses lived in by Palestinians for decades when there are tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees with pre-1948 ownership documents who are not even allowed to visit their old homes, let alone sue for ownership and legally expel the current Jewish residents?** This question cannot be asked, because the only answer is as follows: Israeli law grants one set of rights to Jews and another to Palestinians living under occupation; Israeli law, as manifested primarily – but not exclusively – in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, is based neither in values of equality nor of democracy, but rather is a complex code of ethnic privilege, and even supremacy.
It’s a fact of life for Palestinians which Americans are generally clueless, or in denial over.
Israel is an apartheid government, just as Jimmy Carter’s book is titled.
It would be interesting to hear the other side of the story on this issue. Does this fall under “Jews got kicked out of plenty of other Middle Eastern countries and have no right of return either.”? I suppose that works as a justification, though it hardly qualifies as a rule of law.
I am not near as vigilant, though, about Jewish peoples’ right of return to say, Iraq, because, for one, you would have to be crazy to be a Jewish person and want to return to Iraq, and two, my tax dollars do not go to support Iraqi continued confiscation of Jewish property or denying their rights, which is the case in Israel toward Palestinians/Arabs.
There is certainly something to be said for the minimal rights that Arabs have in Israel, but I pray that the Israeli government will go further to address the needs and freedom of non-Jewish inhabitants.
Nothing like hypocritical racism when it comes to the Jews and the Jewish State.
The Jerusalem neighborhood in question (Shimon hatzadik) was founded by Jews in 1876. After the UN partition plan of 1947 hostilities broke out leading to the Israeli war of independence in May 1948. The British, had lopped off some 80% of the Jewish homeland in 1922 to create the previous unknown and unheard of country of Jordan. The Jordanian legion, trained and led by British officers, swept through the Jewish neighborhood and captured it. All the Jews were all forcibly removed (any area coming under Arab occupation is immediately made free from Jews and this is stance held by Arab leaders today defining themselves as Palestinian Arabs).
For the next 19 years the neighborhood was under Jordanian occupation. This occupation was recognized by no government save that of Britain and Pakistan. During that occupation and under that occupation the houses owned by the Jews were populated by “Arab settlers” such as the one in the article, who were moved into the Jewish homes.
Under the UN plan, rejected by the Arabs and accepted by Israel, Jerusalem was to be a separate entity whose final status was to be decided by referendum. Since Jerusalem had then, as now, a Jewish majority, the final status is clear.
The Jordanian government pushed out all the Jews (by comparison after the war of independence some 150 thousand Arabs remained within the Jewish State and were granted full citizenship). The Jordanians under their occupation destroyed some 58 Jewish places of worship in Jerusalem, uprooted thousands of gravestones from the Mount of Olives cemetery and prevented Jews from worshiping at their holiest sites.
In fact the Jordanian Nationality law, outlawed Jews from being granted Jordanian citizenship:
The following shall be deemed to be Jordanian nationals:
(1)Any person who has acquired Jordanian nationality or a Jordanian passport under the Jordanian Nationality Law, 1928, as amended, Law No. 6 of 1954 or this Law;
(2)Any person who, not being Jewish, possessed Palestinian nationality before 15 May 1948 and was a regular resident in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan between 20 December 1949 and 16 February 1954;
They even passed a law making it punishable by death to sell land to a Jew.
When the neighborhood was liberated after 19 years of Jordanian occupation in 1967, the Jewish residents wished to return to their homes. However, the Jewish State deemed that the current residents could continue to live in the Jewish homes they occupied as protected tenants. According to the Protected Tenants Act which was in effect between 1940’s to 1968 - a person renting an apartment (after paying a certain down payment) could continue to live there indefinitely paying a small monthly rent controlled fee. They could even pass on this non eviction rent control to their children if they too were residents of the apartment.
A few of these occupants who were moved in under the illegal Jordanian occupation, either to make a political statement or through personal negligence, did not pay their low rent or did not conform in some other way with the law. They therefore lost lost their right to continue living in the houses under rent control - just as would happen to any other Jerusalem resident -whether Arab or Jewish. Now being residents of Jerusalem, they not only have an Israeli identity card, Israel citizenship if they so wish, but also the ability to live in any neighborhood in Jerusalem or Israel for that matter.
So I cannot but agree that here we have a case of western imperialism, occupation, racism, forced evictions and denial of rights. However they all come from the Arab side toward the Jews. It’s pretty hard to defend the actions against the Jews or to take issue with the tolerance and magnanimity of the Jewish State. Which is why the writer tries to shift the matter away from a comparison with Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria. Which is why a certain Saudi prince has paid a certain ex US president a lot of money to write about “Israeli apartheid” (sic!).
Indeed. In 2009, three families were evicted because a group of Jews showed up in court with documents from the Ottoman Empire claiming that their ancestors owned the property in the 1800s. Both sides had legal documents claiming ownership of the property but only one had actually lived in the property for decades. The Arabs lost and were tossed onto the street while the Jewish settlers were escorted into their new homes. I don’t think anyone needs to guess why.
The comparison of Jews and the Jewish State to Nazi Germany is a line frequently crossed by rabid Jew haters. Far be it for me, an Israeli Jurist, to know and understand the factual and legal basis of the case.
The Arabs in question were settled into the Jewish homes under the Jordanian occupation beginning in the mid 1950’s. The Jews lived in their neighborhood from 1876 until their forceful eviction under the Jordanian occupation which lasted less than 20 years.
The Jewish persons in question left voluntarily in the 1920s. The property changed ownership after that and was eventually sold to the Arab family 56 years ago. The Jews in the case I mentioned hadn’t even viewed the property in nearly a century before they claimed it as their own.
A great many Israeli Jews disagree with you. Not every Jew in Israel believes it right or just to literally strong-arm a family into the streets and tell them they have no right to live in a home owned or rented by their family for generations just because the descendants of Jews who used to own the property suddenly take an interest. The whole world knows that the Israeli Government and JNF wants to ethnically cleanse Jerusalem, and eventually the entire area, of Arabs . It was stated and written policy for decades.
I want to thank you for providing the other side of the story, which was exactly what I asked for, and I think it is very appropriate to this thread and enlightens me to your point of view. The Jewish people had been unquestionably treated unfairly in this neighborhood.
We all have our “ingroups” and “outgroups”. This is the human default mode, and a fairly recent study from Yale provides more evidence of this, and the experimentation and study were reported on “60 minutes”:
Like the rest of us, we are not internally compelled to consider the needs and feelings of members of our outgroup. This, again, is our default mode. It is my default mode. But when posed with the question, we are all capable of considering another person’s point of view, regardless of which group we belong to.
Just for a moment, consider Mr. Shamasneh, the man being evicted from his home. He has raised children and grandchildren in his home, as did Jewish people in the neighborhood many years ago. How would you feel, what would you be thinking, if you were born this man?