The Legality Of Theft
By Saed Bannoura – IMEMC. Israel, the state that was established as an implementation of the Zionist ideology that looked at Palestine as a Land without People, for the People without a Land, established by the massive destruction of hundreds of Palestinian villages and towns, by turning an entire population into a population of refugees, and now is moving for the “legalization” of illegal settlement outposts, that by its own admission, were built on privately owned Palestinian lands.
Different claims and excuses were given by numerous Israeli governments to explain “the need to build colonies”, by sometimes claiming that the lands are “state lands”, although located in territory recognized by the International community as occupied, and in some cases by citing military and security considerations, but the most outrageous of all is clearly stating “oh yeah, we know the lands in question are owned by the Palestinians, we know that the settlers occupied these lands by gunpoint and built illegal settlements, but what the heck, we will legalize them anyway”.
The current government is not the worst ever, but was formed as a hybrid containing some of Israel’s most extreme and fundamentalist parties that do not need to hide their violations to international law, but are even telling the world “we know its theft, but we will legalize it”.
This Wednesday, June 6 2012, the Israeli Knesset will be discussing a draft law, submitted by Yaakov Katz, chairman of the so-called Ichud Leumi (National Union) extremist party, one of Israel’s numerous political movements that encourage the illegal construction of colonies in occupied Palestine.
Whether this draft law passes or not, the idea itself is sick, the idea of lawmakers, elected leaders, trying to pass regulations that legalize theft is just outrageous and sickening.
Israeli Peace Now Movement called for protesting the bill, and said that this is so-called a regulation draft law is “shameful and scandalous bill” especially when Israel’s Supreme Court rules that these settlement outposts are illegal, yet, Israel’s parliament tries to create “laws” that legalizes theft.
Katz suggests that “if a builder believed that he was building on his land, and did not know that the lands are privately-owned Palestinian property, then he will become the owner of the land”, and “if the government encourages the construction, the land will be regarded as a state land”.
This is how the law is phrased, as published in a statement by Peace Now Movement in Israel;
a. Where buildings are built on land in the area [the Occupied Territories], with government permission or with its help by installing infrastructures, granting incentives or publishing incentivizing advertisements for the construction or erection of the buildings, the land will be considered state land.
b. Where the builder of the buildings on land in the area believed innocently at the time of the construction of the buildings that he was the land owner, he will be considered the landowner.
c. Where a person proved his ownership of land on which buildings were built as stated in subsections (a) or (b), he may sue for compensation for the value of the land before the buildings were built.
In Short, this suggested legislation is stating that any person who wants to can steal any land he wants, as long as he does the theft “innocently.” And if the government wants to, it can simply “encourage construction on private land as the land will be considered “state land’.
A Similar draft law was proposed by MK Zevulun Orlev. http://peacenow.org.il/sites/default/files/HasdaraLawOr…v.pdf
Wow, why didn’t the entire international community think of that?! Let’s see, maybe the Palestinians in the West Bank should start building in Tel Aviv, and everywhere, and just state the simple fact, not a claim, that the land is theirs and this way we solve the issue of millions of refugees. All what it takes it to say “oh, we did not know this was state land”, and unlike the settlers, the Palestinians will not be lying when they make this claim, simply because Palestine is their land.
Israeli legislators will actually be discussing a “Law” that has the sole purpose of violating all rulings made by Israel’s Supreme Court, and this is a fact, that is exactly what they are doing.
Peace Now said that this draft law, was written in a shameless language allowing Israel and its settlers to steal private Palestinian lands,
The law to legalize theft – “All the state needs to do is to “help build” and all private people need to do is to think ‘innocently’ that the land is theirs – and the land will be theirs by law. In fact, the draft law will turn Israel into a state of thieves that allows the government and private individuals to deal land without any legal procedure”, peace now said.
Peace Now added that this law is meant to be applied only in the West Bank, under Israeli occupation, and by Israel’s regulations, is not part of the state of Israel.
So practically, the law wants to tell Israel’s settlers in specific, and the Israeli public in general, that it is OK to steal; “Thou shalt not steal” does not apply here as long as you are not stealing lands in the state itself, but lands that are in the occupied territories, belonging to an oppressed nation.
The Legislation itself, Peace Now added, is outrageous especially when taking into consideration that the Palestinians who lose lands to Israel’s settlement do not have the right to vote for the Knesset, a Knesset that does not represent them, has no legal authority on them, yet, making legislation to legalize the theft of their lands.
Even Minister Michael Eitan, of the Likud Party that pioneered the illegal settlement movement, had some common sense to say that “even Israel’s best friends will not be able to defend such a legislation”, adding that such a legislation would “taint Israel as an apartheid state, and could expose Israel to the risk of sanctions by the international community”.
Settlements, even the legalized ones and settlement blocs in occupied Palestine, are not only illegal, but also mount to the level of apartheid.
The state of Israel has been building and expanding its illegal settlements since day one of its occupation of Palestine, completing what armed Zionist groups started in the late 1880’s and the 1990’s by using terrorism to occupy Palestinian lands, and expel the indigenous population in order to establish a state in their land.
There is nothing new here, leaders of the Zionist movement, some before the creation of Israel, openly said that they will use terrorism, intimidation and power to expel the Palestinians, and uproot them from their land.
In May 1948, David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s First Prime Minister, leader of the then Mapai (Workers’ Party of the Land of Israel) and the head of the Jewish Agency said; “We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population.”
In 1978, the The Jewish Paradox book written by Nahum Goldmann, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, quoted Ben Gurion stating;
“Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushua in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not a single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.”
Israel’s hardcore supporters, Zionists, Christian Zionists … etc., need to start “rethinking Israel”, at least “to save it from its own sins”, simply because if you consider yourself a Christian, a Jew or a Muslim, or a follower of any ideology that respects human life and dignity, you cannot and should not just ignore these serious violations and crimes that violate the very religion you believe in.
Zionism is racism, Zionism is not about Judaism or the protector of Judaism; it is a racist movement created to abuse Judaism itself, for the sake of land theft and massacres.
The new proposed Israeli legislation is telling the settlers that despite the fact that theft is illegal, sacrilegious, it is not theft when you steal the land and make the claim that you did not know you were stealing it.
Isn’t this just great! what a creative idea, I mean, since its creation in 1948, and when it occupied the rest of Palestine in 1967, Israel never stopped building and expanding settlements, colonies, apartheid areas, all under the claims of “natural growth”, “state lands” and whatever else, but now, it added another method called “lets steal the land, build settlements, and claim we just did not know the lands were not ours, but now they are ours regardless of how they became ours to start with”.
I have to admit, I thought piracy is illegal, but it seems certain types of piracy are OK, are receiving the support of governments, and their funding, be it in the name of democracy, demography, or security – they will legalize it.
Saed Bannoura -