Adonis Diaries

Part 3. Ten Myths on Israel: Not how a “Democratic State” behave (by Ian Pappe)

Posted on: June 22, 2018

Part 3. Ten Myths on Israel: Not how a “Democratic State” behave (by Ian Pappe)

No, Israel Is Not a Democracy

Israeli Land Policy Is Not Democratic

By lan Pappe

From Ten Myths About Israel, out now from Verso Books.

June 12, 2018 “Information Clearing House” –  Israel is not the only democracy in the Middle East. In fact, it’s not a democracy at all.

In the eyes of many Israelis and their supporters worldwide — even those who might criticize some of its policies — Israel is, at the end of the day, a benign democratic state, seeking peace with its neighbors, and guaranteeing equality to all its citizens.

Those who do criticize Israel assume that, if anything went wrong in this democracy, then it was due to the 1967 war.

Israeli Land Policy Is Not Democratic

The claim to being a democracy is also questionable when one examines the budgetary policy surrounding the land question.

Since 1948, Palestinian local councils and municipalities have received far less funding than their Jewish counterparts. The shortage of land, coupled with the scarcity of employment opportunities, creates an abnormal socioeconomic reality.

For example, the most affluent Palestinian community, the village of Me’ilya in the upper Galilee, is still worse off than the poorest Jewish development town in the Negev.

In 2011, the Jerusalem Post reported that “average Jewish income was 40 percent to 60% higher than average “Arab” (meaning Palestinian) income between the years 1997 to 2009.”

Today more than 90% of the land is owned by the Jewish National Fund (JNF).

Landowners are not allowed to engage in transactions with non-Jewish citizens, and public land is prioritized for the use of national projects, which means that new Jewish settlements are being built while there are hardly any new Palestinian settlements.

Thus, the biggest Palestinian city, Nazareth, despite the tripling of its population since 1948, has not expanded one square kilometer, whereas the development town built above it, Upper Nazareth, has tripled in size, on land expropriated from Palestinian landowners.

Further examples of this policy can be found in Palestinian villages throughout Galilee, revealing the same story: how they have been downsized by 40%, sometimes even 60 percent, since 1948, and how new Jewish settlements have been built on expropriated land.

Elsewhere this has initiated full-blown attempts at “Judaization.

After 1967, the Israeli government became concerned about the lack of Jews living in the north and south of the state and so planned to increase the population in those areas. Such a demographic change necessitated the confiscation of Palestinian land for the building of Jewish settlements.

Worse was the exclusion of Palestinian citizens from these settlements.

This blunt violation of a citizen’s right to live wherever he or she wishes continues today, and all efforts by human rights NGOs in Israel to challenge this apartheid have so far ended in total failure.

The Supreme Court in Israel has only been able to question the legality of this policy in a few individual cases, but not in principle.

Imagine if in the United Kingdom or the United States, Jewish citizens, or Catholics for that matter, were barred by law from living in certain villages, neighborhoods, or maybe whole towns? How can such a situation be reconciled with the notion of democracy?

Note: Israel has been committed to incremental genocide against Palestinians, as USA did with their Indians. It turned out that Palestinians are the toughest of all people.

Lately, after Trump pronouncement on Jerusalem, every Friday, thousands march to the borders in Gaza demanding their right to return Home

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