The sacrifice is on the alter of politically correct left-wing politics. And that is all I wish to deal with today in the limited time available to me before Shabbat. It is a top-flight priority.
I waited, during the course of this past week, for Defense Minister Lieberman’s final decision with regard to demolishing the illegal Arab village of Susiya.
The High Court, which is involved here, wanted to know what the position of the State was on the matter. The State’s position is always factored into the decision.
The answer to the Court is still indecisive. A request was made that the State be given additional time. According to one version, time until the end of October was requested. Another version says Israel is seeking to delay this until after the US elections. In due course I will have further information on this, but I consider it imperative that I proceed now, in order to make critical points.
What is clear is that Prime Minister Netanyahu has decided to become involved, because of the political hullabaloo surrounding this issue. There is the possibility that he will ultimately seek a “compromise” that would involve legalization retroactively of the village or some part thereof.
This is terribly troubling, because caving to world pressure – when the facts and the law are with you – is not the way for a sovereign state to go.
My best information is that it would be Lieberman’s choice to demolish the village.
There is also talk, about which I likely will have more to say in time, about demolishing only those structures put up since 2013, when there had been a specific order by the High Court freezing further building. In continuing to build, the Arabs had acted in direct defiance of the court order.
That the Palestinian Arabs and their supporters misrepresent the truth is hardly surprising. They do it every day, so why not with regard to Susiya?
What is deeply troubling for those of us in touch with the situation is that so many in the media are happy to accept those misrepresentations and run them as “facts,” without taking the time to thoroughly investigate what is being said. Truth sacrificed.
It is astounding what a major issue has been made internationally of the fate of this one little illegal Arab village called Susiya. We’re talking about squatters. Yet this has become the flagship for fighting for Palestinian Arab rights. And it seems that anything goes in this fight – as long as it advances the cause of Arab rights to the land and weakens the international image of Israel.
It is precisely for this reason that the Israeli government must not cave to pressure.
I want to devote the remainder of this posting to refuting the major misrepresentations with regard to this issue.
Please, dear friends, I need you to join this fight.
First, share this posting with others – friends, family, associates, lists – as broadly as possible.
Put it up on Facebook and invite sharing there.
Write letters to the editor of publications that are running distorted articles on the issue. Short letters that simply refute basic misinformation. Do talkbacks to articles on the Internet in the same manner.
One of the claims being made is that the land on which the Arabs have put up their illegal buildings is “Palestinian agricultural land.” But this is factually inaccurate.
The Arabs’ claim is predicated on an 1881 Ottoman Empire Land grant document, which has never been produced in court.
But even if it had been, it would be insufficient. For Ottoman law said that land given for agriculture purposes had to be cultivated, and the taxes paid. If a period of three years elapsed during which time the person to whom the land deed had been given failed to pay taxes and did not cultivate the land, it reverted back to the governing authority.
Aerial photos make it clear that there was nothing – with the possible exception of 3 or 4 structures – on this land prior to 2000. It certainly was not under continuous cultivation by those now claiming it.
In point of fact, the land is Israeli State land.
Another claim is that the 300 or so Arab residents of the village would be homeless if it were demolished. This is a typical ploy, demonstrating how the Arabs suffer and how cruel Israel is to them.
Never mentioned is the fact that the majority of those 300 have homes in the village of Yatta in Area A. This is documented by population registries maintained by the Civil Administration. Most of those living in Yatta who claim to be residents of Susiya are members of the Najawa clan.
Homeless? Give me a break.
I also want to mention the fact that the State of Israel offered the so-called residents of Susiya an alternate plot of land in Area C near Yatta, on which to relocate. This was done – in order to demonstrate concern for all those involved – with knowledge that most of the residents actually lived in Yatta,
The residents rejected the offer. Had they accepted it, there would be no way now for them to claim that they were being evicted, and left homeless. Instead the residents appealed to the Court to legalize the current village of Susiya and to permit enlargement. The Court rejected this appeal, accepting the position of the State that because of planning considerations the current location could not be authorized for construction. Please remember that this illegal village is in a sensitive area, adjacent to land that has been declared a protected archeological site.
We are looking at an illegal land grab that the Arabs hope they can pull off by enlisting international support.
The legal situation here involves many court decisions over time, for the squatters and those representing them have entered one petition and appeal after another. That is why the issue is still pending after so much time. While I am not in a position to review each court ruling, what I wish to emphasize is that – according to my best information – although the issue has been revisited and revisited, at no point in time has any Israeli court found with the squatters and declared that they have rights to the land and can legally build there.
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.
If it is reproduced and emphasis is added, the fact that it has been added must be noted.