Appreciate this article? +972 depends on your support.

Click here to help us keep going

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

The Right's new spin: Israel demolishes only Jewish homes

In their attempt to prove allegiance to the settlers, right-wing ministers are finding creative new ways of misleading the public.

View of the West Bank settlement of Amona, June 5, 2012. (Noam Moskowitz/Flash90)

View of the West Bank settlement of Amona, June 5, 2012. (Noam Moskowitz/Flash90)

The controversy over the slated evacuation of a West Bank outpost reached a fever pitch this past week, with government ministers trying to outdo each other to prove their allegiance to the 50 families living in Amona, located in the heart of the West Bank.

While the state promised it would evacuate Amona, built entirely on private Palestinian land, back in 2010, it has found every possible way to delay the inevitable. According to the latest High Court decision, the state must demolish the outpost by December of this year, a decision that has pushed the government into a crisis over Amona’s fate — and by extension the fate of the rest of the over 100 unauthorized illegal outposts spread across the hilltops of the West Bank.

Now as Amona’s evacuation nears, at least in theory, right-wing ministers are repeatedly making the misleading claim that the state destroys homes belonging to Jews, yet refrains from doing the same thing to Arabs.

Culture Minister Miri Regev wrote on her Facebook page that she did not see “similar treatment toward dozens of illegally-built homes in the Negev, Galilee, and Wadi Ara.” Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin says that he “expects the High Court justices to show diligence and decisiveness, similar to decisions made on illegal Arab building.” There are many other examples.

A woman from the small community of Ein Kurzliya in Jordan valley, West Bank prepares bread next to her belongings, following a demolition of houses and animal shelters in the area, February 10, 2016.  On February 10, 2016 Israeli authorities conducted mass demolitions in 4 areas in the Jordan Valley. Seven family houses and six animal shelters were demolished, leaving 71 people without a roof over their heads. In addition, water pipes system that provide water to 300 people was deliberately damaged. (Activestills.org)

A woman from the small community of Ein Kurzliya in Jordan valley, West Bank prepares bread next to her belongings, following a demolition of houses and animal shelters in the area, February 10, 2016. (Activestills.org)

Of course Amona and Palestinian construction are totally unrelated, apart from the right-wing tendency to respond to every unfavorable development by yelling “But the Arabs!” or “But the leftists!” The state promised to evacuate Amona in 2010, such that talking about “diligence and decisiveness” when it comes to a process that has taken more than six years is a joke. But the big lie — or rather the truth — is that the state certainly does destroy Arab homes, and it does it diligently, decisively, and persistently.

In 2015 Israeli authorities demolished 982 homes belonging to Bedouin citizens in the Negev. A year before that authorities demolished 1,073 homes. The Bedouin have a real claim to the land that clashes with the state’s claim. In Amona, on the other hand, there is no controversy over the fact that the land on which the outpost was built belongs to Palestinians — only over the right of Jewish Israelis to expropriate that land. Apropos decisiveness, I suggest Yariv Levin leaf through court documents on home demolitions and look up the number of times an Israeli court recognized Bedouin ownership over the land and prevented demolition of homes. I doubt the number will be significant.

Israeli policemen stand by as a bulldozer demolishes the Bedouin village of Al-Arakib for the 64th time (photo: Activestills.org)

Israeli policemen stand by as a bulldozer demolishes the Bedouin village of Al-Arakib for the 64th time (photo: Activestills.org)

In Area C of the West Bank — under full Israeli military and civil control — Israeli authorities demolished 250 “illegally built” Palestinian homes thus far in 2016, leaving 1,000 people without shelter. This in addition to punitive home demolitions in a Palestinian population of just 100,000 (in Area C).

Of course, politicians are not the sole culprits spreading this lie — journalists who do not challenge them with facts, do not bother to report on the housing crisis and home demolitions among the Arab population are also at fault.

This article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.

Newsletter banner

For additional original analysis and breaking news, visit +972 Magazine's Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Our newsletter features a comprehensive round-up of the week's events. Sign up here.

Before you go...

A lot of work goes into creating articles like the one you just read. And while we don’t do this for the money, even our model of non-profit, independent journalism has bills to pay.

+972 Magazine is owned by our bloggers and journalists, who are driven by passion and dedication to the causes we cover. But we still need to pay for editing, photography, translation, web design and servers, legal services, and more.

As an independent journalism outlet we aren’t beholden to any outside interests. In order to safeguard that independence voice, we are proud to count you, our readers, as our most important supporters. If each of our readers becomes a supporter of our work, +972 Magazine will remain a strong, independent, and sustainable force helping drive the discourse on Israel/Palestine in the right direction.

Support independent journalism in Israel/Palestine Donate to +972 Magazine today
View article: AAA
Share article
Print article
  • LEAVE A COMMENT

    * Required

    COMMENTS

    1. Itshak Gordin Halevy

      It is a pity and a shame to destroy Jewish homes in Eretz Israel

      Reply to Comment
      • Baal

        Go to your homeland and you can build jewish homes as much as you want. Palestine is NOT the place for it. Eretz Schmock

        Reply to Comment
        • Itshak Gordin Halevy

          Baal, as you know there has never been any Palestinian State or “Palestinian people”. I come from a Levi family who served in the Holy Temple of Jerusalem thousands of years ago and my sons or grandsons will probably serve in the third Temple I am in my homeland and I will take no lessons from anybody.

          Reply to Comment
          • Bruce Gould

            The Palestinian people are the underclass of Israel’s de-facto apartheid state – you know, the 1.5 million third class citizens of Israel, the 2.5 million serfs living in the West Bank and the 2 million prisoners in Gaza.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “I come from a Levi family… I am in my homeland and I will take no lessons from anybody.”

            Just wow. You know, the “Nation State of the Jewish People” apologizers and the hasbarists keep trying to put a “reasonable,” semi-rational face on things but then some one of them comes along and reveals the real ethnosupremacist attitude and entitlement and sheer zealotry that undergirds the whole shebang. Wow. Ooooh-kaaay.

            Reply to Comment
          • ANew

            “and reveals the real ethnosupremacist attitude and entitlement and sheer zealotry”

            Yeah Right.

            In Ben world only Israelis (all Israelis) are ethnocentric. The Palestinian Arabs (all of them) are humanists sho wouldn’t be caught dead being ethnocentric. Nor do they suffer from zealotry or tribalism. All they care about is “the other”.

            And Ben himself is not ethnocentric. Not much huh?

            Reply to Comment
          • Carmen

            Itshak, it doesn’t matter how many times you claim there is no such thing as Palestinian people, they are in their homeland and here they will stay. Your claim that you ‘come from a levi family…..’ from a few thousand years is preposterous and if you could prove it – so what? That was then. Try living in the here and now, it’s easier and actually verifiable.

            Reply to Comment
    2. AJew

      The “Palestinian people” could have had their own state many times over. But they are holding out instead for what they call TOTAL victory. And by that, they mean no Jewish state. They have tried every trick in the book to bring that about:

      1. In 1947, they rioted and tried to prevent the Jewish state, for which the UN voted (UN resolution 181), from coming to existence. Had they accepted the UN vote, they could have had their own state in 1947.

      2. Between 1948 and 1967, the Jordanians controlled the WB and the Egyptians controlled Gaza. They then had ample time to establish “a Palestinian state”. Why didn’t they? Because they felt perfectly comfortable being counted as Jordanians and Egyptians instead. The only thing which they felt uncomfortable about was the existence of the Jewish state of Israel. That’s why their murderous terrorist organisation, the Fedayeen (the predecessors of Hamas and the PLO etc) mounted terrorist raids into Israel and murdered countless Israeli civilians.

      3. After the defeat of three Arab armies in 1967, they still refused to: even negotiate or recognise and certainly to make peace but after many years, after Oslo, they changed their tactics. They (the PLO at least but NOT Hamas) pretended to recognise Israel (but not Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people). Yet their terror tactics if anything, escalated after Oslo and to this day they are demanding the “right of return” of millions of descendants of Arab refugees. They know full well that Israel cannot agree to such a condition because it would end the Jewish majority in Israel and therefore the Jewish state for which the UN voted back in 1947 and which the Arabs rejected.

      4. That brings us up to date. Today, the Arabs rely on people such as Bruce and NGOs who are their mouth pieces. They use well tried propaganda tactics of endless repetition and cartoonish messages of heros (the “Palestinian people”) and villains (Israel and Zionists) and negative images such as “apartheid”, settlements, and oppression, repeat, add water and mix endlessly.

      Anything but sit down, compromise by agreeing to land swaps, agree to sign a peace deal and live side by side peacefully with the Jewish state of Israel.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        “…That brings us up to date. Today, the Arabs rely on people such as Bruce…anything but sit down, compromise by agreeing to land swaps, agree to sign a peace deal and live side by side peacefully with the Jewish state of Israel.”

        It’s really a fascinating private thought world you inhabit. I mean this seriously. You are really interesting.

        Reply to Comment
        • AJew

          Why Ben, I didn’t know you cared 😊

          Seriously though, your clumsy sarcasm suggests you disagree with my summary. Care to tell us which bits you disagree with? My 1, 2, 3, 4, or all of them?

          I am bracing myself for another poor attempt by Ben at sarcasm which will help him avoid being pinned down. If my prediction turns out to be correct, I’ll avoid responding to him out of sheer boredom.

          Reply to Comment
          • Frank John

            Sorry to intrude. I must be from another planet – well, actually, only from Canada, where we try to live together in peace with people of other religions, other cultures. We’ve just brought in over 30,000 new Syrian refugees of Islamic background. We have some 300,000 Jews in Canada, oddly enough, living peacefully with the rest of us, but probably sending a lot of cash your way – as if you need it. Just a small part of the $8 million a day being sent your way EVERY DAY by American taxpayers (if they only knew they were doing that).
            You sound as if you have been propagandized since a very young age. I know a few of your kin folk here in Canada and how unbelievably close-minded they are when it comes to Israel. You have been so traumatized by the Holocaust that there is nothing else for you to believe. However, there are Jewish people Like Sand, Pappe, Levy, and Finklestein, among other authors who realize what your true history really is. Read up on them, you might learn the truth.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “Like Sand, Pappe, Levy, and Finklestein, among other authors who realize what your true history really is. Read up on them, you might learn the truth.”

            Selective reading is a wonderous thing. Did anyone tell you that telling half truths is a form of lying?

            The names on that list? Sand, Chomsky, Pappe, Finkelstein etc, you can be proud of them. They are all obsessive Israel haters like you. Proper historians document wrongs done by both sides, not just by one side. I notice you did not include Benny Morris on your list. I wonder why? He used to be a darling of extreme anti Israelis like you when he first started writing and made some revelations about us which we should be aware of. But then he went and spoilt it all for ya all’ and he blamed Arabs too and qualified some of his earlier criticisms of Israel. So now he fell off the lists of favorite “historians” of obsessive Israel haters and he no longer qualifies as a “Must Read Historian”. That says it all!

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “You sound as if you have been propagandized since a very young age.”

            Really? I do? Then please tell us John Frank. Please tell us which bits of what I wrote in my earlier post (reproduced here), is propaganda? Have a nice day.

            1. In 1947, the Palestinian Arabs rioted and tried to prevent the Jewish state, for which the UN voted (UN resolution 181), from coming to existence. Had they accepted the UN vote, they could have had their own state in 1947.

            2. Between 1948 and 1967, the Jordanians controlled the WB and the Egyptians controlled Gaza. They then had ample time to establish “a Palestinian state”. Why didn’t they? Because they felt perfectly comfortable being counted as Jordanians and Egyptians instead. The only thing which they felt uncomfortable about was the existence of the Jewish state of Israel. That’s why their murderous terrorist organisation, the Fedayeen (the predecessors of Hamas and the PLO etc) mounted terrorist raids into Israel and murdered countless Israeli civilians.

            3. After the defeat of three Arab armies in 1967, they still refused to: even negotiate or recognise and certainly to make peace but after many years, after Oslo, they changed their tactics. They (the PLO at least but NOT Hamas) pretended to recognise Israel (but not Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people). Yet their terror tactics if anything, escalated after Oslo and to this day they are demanding the “right of return” of millions of descendants of Arab refugees. They know full well that Israel cannot agree to such a condition because it would end the Jewish majority in Israel and therefore the Jewish state for which the UN voted back in 1947 and which the Arabs rejected.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Morris is a strange case. Ceased being a historian and became an unstable ideologue. He ignores his own data. No one knows what he means from one moment to the next. He himself does not seem to know. And in interviews he hints darkly at ethnic cleansing of Israeli Arabs under the fog of war and how Ben Gurion should have finished the ethnic cleansing job in ’48. A strange case.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            No Ben, you and your lot are the strange cases.

            Morris was your kind’s hero when he first burst into the scene. He was the first of the “new historians” and you lapped up what he had to say. But the more he said about both sides the less you liked him. That’s because you don’t like historians who tell it how it is. You only like historians who peddle your one sided propaganda.

            Reply to Comment