Thread: Privatising Israel
12-22-2005, 12:06 PM #1New Member
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Leila Khaled Mouammar: Privatizing Apartheid in Israel
Israel faces a choice between being an apartheid state where a minority rules over the majority, or being a binational state which is no longer a Jewish state.
By Leila Khaled Mouammar
"We live in a thunderously failed reality. ... A state lacking justice cannot survive. ... Even if the Arabs lower their heads and swallow their shame and anger for ever, it won't work. A structure built on human callousness will inevitably collapse in on itself. Note this moment well: Zionism's superstructure is already collapsing like a cheap Jerusalem wedding hall. -- Avraham Burg (www.forward.com)
Prior to the dismantlement of the apartheid regime in South Africa, the privatization of state assets and services was quietly undertaken in order to ensure that the loss of political power would not also mean the loss of an economic status quo beneficial to the White minority.
In the past few years, the Israeli government has also been steadily transferring key state assets and services into private hands. Most recently and significantly, state-held lands are being transferred over to quasi-private or private control.
On 15 June 2005, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and the Israel Lands Administration (ILA) - who together with the Israeli Rural Regional Councils, own some 93% of land in the Israeli state - agreed to a massive land swap.
This agreement was an essential prerequisite to the JNF's acceptance of the recommendations of the Gadish Committee that will introduce massive changes to land ownership arrangements in the state of Israel.
Currently, the vast majority of "landowners" in the state of Israel are "tenants" that do not actually own the land on which they live. They lease it, on long-term leases from the landholding agencies listed above. The adoption of the Gadish Committee recommendations, formally announced on 19 June 2005, will allow for current leasees of residential land to finally opt to buy.
The new arrangement, however, applies only to land owned by the ILA. Lands owned by the JNF, and held in trust for "the Jewish people," as well as community or common lands on moshavim and kibbutzim that are administered by the Israeli Rural Regional Council, are not subject to the new recommendations.
A quasi-private land agency, the JNF owns a total of 12% of the land in Israel. Under the agreement, it will exchange the land it owns in already established Israeli cities for monetary compensation, and an equivalent amount of "undeveloped" land in the Negev and the Galilee. A recent report in Haaretz indicates that the JNF may receive as much as an additional 2 billion NIS - approximately 430 million USD - in revenues from the sale and lease of its properties.
While Palestinian citizens of Israel account for roughly 19% of its population, they own a mere 3% of the land therein.
The Palestinian citizenry of Israel is largely concentrated in three main areas: the Triangle (al-Moutallet), the Galilee (al-Jalil) , and the Negev (al-Naqab).
The Triangle region houses a Palestinian majority of some 75%. The Galilee region comprises about one-third of the total land area of the state of Israel and holds a Palestinian majority of some 52% (595,000 citizens out of 1,148,000). When the coastal cities of the Galilee are removed from the equation, the "heart of the Galilee" - officially designated as the districts of Carmel, Upper Nazareth, Ma'alot, Migdal Ha'emek and Afula - house a Palestinian majority of some 78%. In the Negev, Palestinians make up 25% of the population.
In a conference at Ort Braude College in Karmiel in the Galilee, the day after the land swap agreement was reached between the JNF and the ILA, Prime Minister Sharon outlined the relationship between the disengagement of Gaza and development plans for the Negev and the Galilee stating : "I am not prepared to accept the claim that leaving Gaza is the trampling of Zionism. It is in fact strengthening Zionism in areas that are much more important, and that's what must be done in the Galilee."
No Palestinian representative was invited to speak on the panel discussing development in a region with a Palestinian majority, and so representatives from the 52 Palestinian towns in the Galilee boycotted the summit.
Chairman of the Israeli Arab Follow-up Committee, Shuki Hatib, called the event, "a racist conference which is the continuation of the policy to 'Judaize' the Galilee."
Shimon Peres, the minister responsible for promoting development in the Galilee and the Negev, did not attend the conference, citing scheduling conflicts. Peres, nevertheless, raised the issue of the Galilee and the Negev in a meeting with Condoleezza Rice where he sought US funding for the development of these regions, putting it as a case of "to be or not to be."
Connecting the Dots
As a quasi-private agency, the JNF is not likely to be bound by the recommendations of the Gadish Committee. There are attempts being made by legal advocacy groups, like Adalah (www.adalah.org), challenging the "private" status of the agency, and demanding that an equality precedent established in an earlier Supreme Court case (Qaadan vs. Katzir) apply and be implemented to all land holding agencies in Israel.
The JNF, however, will cling to its status as a "private" agency in order to continue discriminating against non-Jews in its allocation of long-term lease agreements.
By exchanging already built-up municipal properties, ostensibly worth more because of their urban location, for "undeveloped" lands in the Galilee and the Negev, the JNF is hoping to increase the Jewish population there through the building of new settlements. The risk that Palestinian citizens of Israel might purchase the lands transferred to the ILA under the swap is negligible since no non-Jew could have negotiated a long-term lease agreement with the JNF, and the areas in question are largely Jewish in composition.
Apartheid Reality Inside the Wall
More than 500 Palestinian villages were destroyed in the lead up to, and after, the 1948 war and not a single new town for Palestinians has been established since Israel's founding, despite the fact that its Palestinian population has increased almost 10-fold (from 150,000 to some 1.3 million, and more if one includes the citizens of illegally occupied East Jerusalem).
Land for new Jewish townships is regularly expropriated from the private and public holdings of neighboring Palestinian towns, resulting in disproportionately large amounts of land reserved for the use of Jewish townships and citizens.
For example, Sakhnin is a town of some 25,000 Palestinians, now living on roughly 9,000 dunams of land, due to land expropriations made by neighboring Misgav, a Jewish town founded in the 1980's. As a result of these expropriations, the 15,000 Jewish citizens of Misgav enjoy the use of 180,000 dunams of land.
No Palestinian citizen of Israel will benefit from the Israeli Cabinet's decision to drop the prices for land for new housing construction projects in the Galilee by 20% - 40%, beginning in July 2005, for a period of two years. This was ensured by allocating Galilee lands to the JNF.
While some Palestinian citizens do own land, often passed down from parents and grandparents, they face restrictions on its use. Much of the land that Palestinians own has purposefully been designated by the Israeli state as for "agricultural purposes" only. Unable to purchase or lease land elsewhere, Palestinians have often built on these lands, only to have their homes destroyed.
A 1996 Ministry of Interior report noted that though 57% of unlicensed building inside Israel was carried out by Palestinians, 90% of all house demolitions were carried out against Palestinian homes. There are over 16,000 outstanding demolition orders in the Galilee alone.
In the Negev, the situation is even worse. There are some 46 unrecognized villages in the Negev that do not appear on any Israeli maps.
The JNF plans to develop new Jewish communities there under the name of settlement project "Blueprint Negev," (www.jnf.org/negev/facts.html). There is no recognition on the JNF website of the existence or rights of the 46 Palestinian villages.
Land confiscations, house demolitions, and aerial spraying of toxic pesticides are tools used by the Israeli State to make the erasure of these villages from the map a reality. For more information, see the website of The Association of 40 at www.assoc40.org/index_main.html.
Reality on the Other Side of the Wall
The JNF and other government ministries, have also found privatization to be a useful tool in engaging in controversial, i.e. illegal, activities. For while it is somehow acceptable to openly advocate for an exclusively Jewish state within Israel's pre-1967 borders, despite the ever growing numbers of non-Jews within it, it is not acceptable to do the same in the occupied territories.
For this purpose, the JNF established Himnuta, a private company in which the JNF owns 99% of the shares. Himnuta buys properties inside the occupied territories, often using money from the World Zionist Organization and government ministries. The majority of its purchases lie just inside the Green Line, areas key to negotiations. Even if these lands are eventually returned to Palestinian control, Himnuta stands to gain, as evidenced by the generous compensation packages to the illegal settlers in Gaza.
Himnuta was recently involved in a scandal involving the purchase of private Palestinian lands that the owners had not agreed to sell. In February 2005, Hai Cohen, former Himnuta CEO, Lieutenant Colonel Yair Blumenthal, chief of the Civil Administration's infrastructure department, brothers Yosef and Yaakov Amram, Jerusalem businessmen, and their attorney Eitan Tzachi were arrested on suspicion of forging documents, trading in illegal land and aggravated fraud. The suspects were responsible for at least five illegal deals encompassing stolen lands near Hebron, Gush Etzion, Jericho, Ma'aleh Adumim and Givat Ze'ev.
Not to Be
The pullout from Gaza, and talk of further pullouts, are the first real indications of the beginning of the end of the Zionist dream in Israel. These moves are coming in response to the emerging demographic reality. This year, for the first time since some 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their ancestral lands and homes in 1948, the Palestinians have regained a majority position.
Despite the expulsions, military occupations, curfews, unemployment, and all the ancillary hardships imposed by the Zionists to drive them out, there are now 5.3 million Palestinians to 5.2 million Jews, in the lands of Mandate Palestine (http://lawrenceofcyberia.blogs.com/n...natan_sh.html).
Even if one accepts that Gaza is no longer a part of Israel- a fallacy when Israel control the borders, air and seaports and continues to bomb it at will - Palestinians in the rest of the territories under Israel's control will reach majority status once again soon.
Israel therefore faces a choice between being an apartheid state where a minority rules over the majority, or of being a binational state which is no longer a Jewish state.
Apartheid regimes never last forever and this one will fall too. But this regime has already laid the groundwork to safeguard its assets. Most state wealth will soon be in private hands that will have made a pretty penny off of apartheid, occupation, murder and dispossession. Unfortunately, white collar criminals tend to get away with their crimes.
12-22-2005, 12:22 PM #2
I'll just say 2 things newbie:
1. Your source is biased
2. Do you even know who this author is? If so, I think you might have thought twice before posting it.
12-22-2005, 03:48 PM #3
All I can say is if the Jews want to survive they better start breeding like Mormons.......likewise for white Americans.
12-23-2005, 01:10 AM #4New Member
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1. obviously-it clearly sates something called palestine chron.
2. Leila Khaled Mouammar-no who is it; and I would have posted it anyways
Originally Posted by AIZ
12-23-2005, 02:04 AM #5Originally Posted by jajabinks
Bi-national State = End of Israel: it's that simple
12-23-2005, 09:42 AM #6
I belive there should be a binational state.
12-23-2005, 10:16 AM #7Originally Posted by CAUSASIAN
12-23-2005, 10:44 AM #8Originally Posted by AIZ
You dont want a binational state, you dont want to give independence to the Palestinians? What is the other way?
Maybe you want to transfer the Arabs from your Ertez Israel so you can have WB and Gaza too?
12-23-2005, 10:59 AM #9Originally Posted by CAUSASIAN
I absolutely positively do not believe in a binational state b/c its not the same as in other nations. We will be eaten alive by these people. I do believe in granting them independance...b/c that way, we both can set official borders and finally separate ourselves. We have 1.3 million Arabs to live with already...its enough. By the way, I do believe in leaving the disputed territories ...I don't like it but it should be done
12-23-2005, 12:22 PM #10New Member
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according to that article-if you get out of the WB and a small triangle region just north of the WB you can get rid of 600,000 Israeli-Arabs, which would leave you with a Jewish state of more than 5,000,000 Jews and only about 500,000 arabs-you should probably do that
12-23-2005, 01:29 PM #11Originally Posted by jajabinks
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