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Resource: Israel's persistent policy of land discrimination

To commemorate the 38th “Land Day”, marked on 30 March 2014, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, decided to research the policy of ‘state land’ allocation. This data revealed that the ILA and the Ministry of Construction and Housing persist in their discriminatory policies against Arab-Palestinian citizens in Israel in various fields of development.

The ILA and the Ministry also continue to place Palestinian land on the market for mass housing construction in the illegal settlements in the 1967 occupied territories, and sell property belonging to Palestinian refugees, thereby further obstructing the likelihood for their right of return.

Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel is an independent human rights organization and legal center. Established in November 1996, it works to promote and defend the rights of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel, 1.2 million people, or 20 percent of the population, as well as Palestinians living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). (www.adalah.org/eng/)

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    1. Bar

      How have Israeli courts ruled on these matters? Adalah isn’t shy about taking matters to the courts. So, what has happened?

      Reply to Comment
      • I think such a piece would be useful too. But for the courts to truly remedy this bias the JNF must be considered as well. One cannot transfer land to the JNF, which markets only to Jews, and argue that land and housing access exhibit equal protection. I suspect land will be last to have remedies applied. Job opportunity, which is not pre-housed in an ethnic holding company, is ideologically easier to address.

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          The courts have considered the JNF. The supreme court has ruled that the JNF can’t discriminate. It is obligated to sell to everyone. Bring on your next boring and tedious red herring.

          Reply to Comment
          • Glad to be wrong, then, although I recall Dahlia Scheindlin saying their use allocation was so restricted, not too long ago.

            Reply to Comment
        • Bar

          The JNF does not only “market to Jews” whatever that means.

          My question is straightforward. Adalah is a group that is focused on law and legal challenges to the system. The complaints listed in this article must have been matters challenged by Adalah or other groups in the courts. So what happened?

          Reply to Comment
          • directrob

            Adalah challenges the laws. On their site you can find plenty of information about it, no need to ask.

            The secret about web of Israeli land laws is that they implement one basic law without explicitly stating it, because having it in writing would be discriminatory. : “Palestinian people have no rights that Jews are bound to respect. ”

            http://mondoweiss.net/2014/03/american-delegation-israelpalestine.html

            Reply to Comment
        • Perhaps K9 and Bar are the ones wrong.

          Gershom Gorenberg, in his 2011 “The unmaking of Israel,” says on pp 204-5:

          “..the Jewish Agency and Jewish National Fund…were established to serve Jews in their struggle of self-determination. Independence made them obsolete, but they were not dismantled. Instead, their relation with the government was defined by law, and they provided services in its place. The agency built the infrastructure for rural Jewish communities; Arab communities remained less developed. The JNF owned land designated for the use of Jews alone. Much of it was ‘absentee property’–land that Arab refugees left behind, which the government seized and sold to the JNF.

          “The JNF’s role, which lasts to today [2011], is just one expression of planning and land-use policies that reflexively serve Jews rather than citizens in general.”

          And on pp 52-3:

          “The JNF leases rather than sells land. It does not lease to non-Jews.”

          Leasing has its own market, just as does selling. That is what I meant by “markets to Jews.” Unless there has been a High Court case removing this bias from 2011-14, Kolumn9, above, lied to me, or misspoke memory. And I believe Dahlia Scheindlin did indeed call for an end to JNF policy in a 972 piece of only a few months ago, this being early April 2014 of this writing.

          State the court case or provide an internet link news report. My “boring and tedious red herring[s]” are attempts to understand. I guess I could instead make some disparaging comment toward you and feel superior thereby, but I do not classify that as understanding.

          Reply to Comment