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How the Israeli gov't rewards land thieves

In a closed conversation, the head of the Beit El Yeshiva exposes that he received millions of shekels from the State of Israel in compensation for his seminary’s violations of the law – with the quiet assistance of a senior Knesset member.

By Yossi Gurvitz for Yesh Din

Sometimes, it all comes out.

A few months ago, I wrote about the deceit allegedly carried out by the Beit El Yeshiva in Jabel Artis (“Givat HaUlpana”), where it sold and rented apartments on land it did not own, and which it knew it had no right to sell. Recently, Yesh Din petitioned (Hebrew) the HCJ, on behalf of the residents of Dura Al Qara, against the police decision to close the investigation of Yoel Tzur, CEO of the Company for Developing Beit El’s Yeshiva Complex, who admitted during his interrogation that he began building in Jabel Artis knowing the land was not his to build on.

On April 13, the news site News1 (Hebrew) exposed what the head of the yeshiva, Zalman Baruch Melamed, said in a closed discussion. From what Melamed said, it appears the Netanyahu government promised to compensate the yeshiva for the evacuation of Givat HaUlpana, and that the money is now reaching the yeshiva. Melamed, as quoted by News1, said that the government promised the yeshiva 30 apartments, building permits for 300 more apartments and “another payment” for building the yeshiva a new school building. In return, Melamed promised that the evacuation would take place without violence.

The funds, said Melamed, were transferred recently – and hereby lies an interesting story. A few weeks back, MK David Rotem (Ha’Likud Be’itenu) pulled every trick in the book to prevent the Freedom of Information Law from being applied to the Settlement Division of the World Zionist Organization. While Rotem was delaying, another settler – Nissan Slumianski of Ha’Bait Ha’Yehudi, chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee – transferred the funds without the MKs knowing what the money was for. It now turns out both of them had something to hide: according to Melamed, of those 177 million, 23 million was earmarked for the Beit El Yeshiva.

This is what the rule of law looks like: criminals unlawfully seize land, sell apartments which do not belong to them, and when the theft is exposed in court, the government not only refrains from indicting the criminals – the police and the prosecution are, after all, a part of the executive branch of government – it even compensates them for their losses. And to ensure that the citizens won’t know what the government is doing with their taxes, it puts the money transfer under a sort of gag order. When the courts order its removal, MKs loyal to the government and the Beit El Yeshiva do everything possible to delay, using every dirty trick conceivable.

During the heated hearing in the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, MK Rotem said explicitly that his goal is to prevent appeals to the High Court against settlement construction. He also admitted that he represented the WZO’s Settlement Division in the past, which raises the suspicion of a conflict of interest. Rotem refrained from mentioning the fact that he was the person who edited the contract which the settlers would later use to justify the land grab in Jabel Artis – a contract which was not actualized since the fictive seller had no right to sell the land. Rotem probably suspected something was not quite kosher, since he added an unusual clause to the contract, demanding the seller present himself within a week and prove his identity.

That’s how it works. The Yeshiva in Beit El enjoys collaboration at the highest levels. Is it any wonder the police decided not to investigate this case too thoroughly?

Written by Yossi Gurvitz in his capacity as a blogger for Yesh Din, Volunteers for Human Rights. A version of this post was first published on Yesh Din’s blog.

Related:
Protecting the secrets of Israel’s settlement enterprise
Streamlining the theft of Palestinian land

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    COMMENTS

    1. shachalnur

      After my grandparents were handed over to the Nazi’s by their friendly naeghbours in WW2-Netherlands,they found out after the war ,that the ones that betrayed them were occupying their house.

      It took them 5 years to recuperate their house from the people that handed them over to the Nazi’s,.

      The Dutch government decided that the laws during WW2 had to be upheld after WW2,so the ones that stole,occupied or sold their property could keep it.

      The story described above is not much different.

      I wonder why so many crimes by Nazi occupiers in WW2 are being copied by Zionists after 1945.

      Could it be because “Mein Kampf” and “the Iron Wall” were written at the same time,by similar personalities, in the same timeframe?

      Reply to Comment
      • Anne O'Nimmus

        So you’re saying the settlers are much the same as Nazi collaborators? Ooookaaay. Now, when and how will all the robbed Palestinians get their land back, and for how many decades will the Israelis, like the Germans, be paying reparations?

        Reply to Comment
        • shachalnur

          The Palestinians and Israeli’s will come to an agreement over the land,after they manage to get full control of it.

          Read Simon Schama,respected British Jewish historian;

          “Two Rothschilds and the Land of Israel”(1978)

          He claims 80 % of the land in Israel is owned by Rothschild.

          That’s why no Israeli really owns his land,he has to lease it for 49 to 99 years from the ILA.

          Untill now Israel has been a franchise of a bigger corporation,and when that’s over things will get better.

          Won’t be easy though.

          Reply to Comment
    2. Tzutzik

      Wall to wall lies by Shakhalnur. He is not Jewish. He is an Arab with Nazi views.

      Around the mid 1800s when the first waves of Jews started returning to Palestine, fleeing pogroms in Russia, there were around 400,000 people living in Palestine, some of whom (a minority) were Jews who lived there even before the Arab invaders of the seventh century arrived.

      Today, there are about 10 million people living in the same land and there is still room for more.

      What is the point that I am making above? It is that Jews did not displace Arabs in Palestine when we started to return. We bought lands and we wanted to establish our state alongside their state. But since the Arabs felt that they were invincible, they pretended that all of Palestine belonged to them. They did not want a Jewish state in part of Palestine. They made war on us and tried to expel us. That was their mistake because instead, they were the ones who lost. No apologies for that. Any people who get attacked and are threatened by extinction have the right to do whatever is necessary to survive.

      A Jewish person who allegedly lost his grandparents to persecutors would recognise that. Instead of advocate that Jews who were persecuted in Europe, including in the Netherlands, have no right to have their own state where we can defend ourselves.

      Reply to Comment
      • shachalnur

        I didn’t lose my grandparents,they lived untill old age in health.(Baroech HaShem)

        My grandmother told me many things about what happened before and during WW2.

        My parents waren’t amused when I left for Israel in the 80’s.

        I was warned for people like you.

        It was people like you that made me leave Israel 7 years later.

        It is because of people like you that 17 million Jews have turned their backs on organized Judaism since 1945.

        And I’m an Arab Nazi.

        Reply to Comment
        • Samuel

          “It is because of people like you that 17 million Jews have turned their backs on organized Judaism since 1945.”

          He keeps on blaming Zionists for Jews supposedly turning their backs on Judaism. I wonder how he can explain this then?

          “U.S. Jews’ donations to Israel double in past 20 years, study shows”

          http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/u-s-jews-donations-to-israel-double-in-past-20-years-study-shows-1.420540

          The same is true about increased donations to Israel by Jews from other Western countries too. Go figure.

          Reply to Comment
        • Samuel

          “It is because of people like you that 17 million Jews have turned their backs on organized Judaism since 1945.”

          Oh, no, not the mythical 17 million disappearing Jews again. Our friend’s wet dream is that Jews are deserting Judaism because of Zionism. But if he would be right then how come the donations of diaspora Jews keep on increasing?

          http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/u-s-jews-donations-to-israel-double-in-past-20-years-study-shows-1.420540

          “U.S. Jews’ donations to Israel double in past 20 years, study shows.”

          Reply to Comment
          • shachalnur

            You’ll have lot’s of fun when Adelson has to run to the Jewish State of Shame ,after he’ll be kicked out of the US.

            He already took over most MSM in Israel.

            Turning Israel into one big Casino- Gulag might be a good solution.

            Money is not gonna solve your problems anymore.

            Ynet wrote an op-ed yesterday claiming converting more psycho’s to 1897 Zionist Organized Judaism is the only solution to stop falling numbers.

            Reply to Comment
          • Samuel

            Adelson, Schmedelson to you too. Interesting how deftly you changed the subject.

            I thought we were talking about your mythical 17 million Jews all of who hate Zionists? Had enough of that when confronted with facts?

            Reply to Comment
          • shachalnur

            That’s right ,17 million Jews (2/3 of all Jews alive today)have left 1897 Zionist controlled Judaism since 1945.

            And you think money and conversion will garantee the survival of the Jewish State of Shame.

            You are part of an atheist,fascist sect of Bankerslaves,that temporarily hyjacked Judaism,and caused 2/3 of Jews to take distance.

            You’ll end up in Nevada,where Adelson will give you a piece of desert ,where you can hate the world,commit suicide whenever you want ,without harming others and leave Judaism alone.

            Reply to Comment
          • Samuel

            1893 Zionism threat ,1893 Zionism threat ,everywhere 1893 Zionism threat.

            In your head ,and even in your soup.

            What a sad raison d’etre.

            Reply to Comment
          • Samuel

            By the way, in 1945, there were 9 million Jews worldwide. So even by your calculations, your figure of 17million Jews lost is pure fantasy.

            It is also interesting to note that our numbers are increasing in Israel. That is good news, don’t you think?

            Unfortunately though our numbers in the Galut (where you live) are diminishing. Not by as much as your exaggerated figure, nor for the reason that you assert. But our numbers in the Galut are shrinking. Think about that, add two and two and get the right answer, four! Not the wrong answer, five, which you come up with. Otherwise your lineage too will end up amongst the disappearing ones. Then again, that may be a good thing?

            Reply to Comment
    3. Tzutzik

      “It was people like you that made me leave Israel 7 years later.”

      “And I’m an Arab Nazi”

      Yes you are. Let’s just compare what people like me say to what people like you say:

      I: I want one place on this earth to be a safe haven for Jews where we can at least defend ourselves if we are attacked by whoever feels that Jews are not worthy, like anyone else, to live a dignified life as a free people.

      YOU: Prefer Jews to be a minority living amongst others who may treat them badly or reasonably depending on their mood at any given time.

      Which of us sounds anti Jewish pro Arab and which of us looks out for the interests of our people in the same way that any other group of people are loyal to their group?

      PS
      Don’t even try to play the “tribal” crap on me. Because group loyalty is not uniquely Jewish. The Arabs are at least as pro Arab as we are pro Jewish. Nothing wrong with that either way. That is the way it should be. Only people like you expect Jews to be anti Jewish.

      Oh and spare me your crap about the 17 million Jews who deserted Judaism. This has been debunked more than once by me as well as others. Both your numbers and your theories about why some Jews choose to assimilate are WRONG!

      If you doubt it, then just ponder this: Israel is the only place where the number of Jews is increasing. Elsewhere, the numbers are in decline because there is a trend against religion by most peoples. And Jews in the diaspora who no longer keep religion tend to intermarry and blend in.

      What is the net result? Diaspora Jews are looking down the barrel. While the number of Israeli Jews is growing. That is a worrying trend for you because your preference is for LESS JEWS. Now do you understand why I compare you to Nazis? That was THEIR preference too!!!!!!

      Reply to Comment
    4. rab

      Terrible story. If true, the bastards should be put away in prison for several years.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Vadim

      The state compensates people for leaving land they don’t own? Sound like the Prawer Plan to me.

      Reply to Comment