Peace Now, with all respect.

Peace Now, with all respect

Rashid A. Shahin

The recent report by the leftist Israeli movement, Peace Now, has revealed part of the ugly face of the Israeli state. A group within Peace Now that monitors the Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories reported this week that a large chunk of the land which the Israeli settlements were built on during the long years of Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, were build on private Palestinian property.

The report reveals that about 40 percent of the land which the settlements were built on in the West Bank was private property belonging to the Palestinians. It says that these lands were stolen by the Israeli authorities to build the settlements on. This undermines Israel’s official line which, during almost forty years of occupation, used to say that the land used for settlement-building was state-owned land.

Israel simply, and without playing around, was stealing Palestinian private property. This is against not only international law, but also against the simple ordinary laws, and even against Israeli law itself, as there cannot be an Israeli law which allows robbery. As long as these lands were private property, that means that the land is the same as anything else that a person can own, and it is forbidden to steal it.

The Israeli governments that have administered the occupied territories for four decades were practicing the role of gangs of robbers, illegal gangs who practiced forgery without hesitation. They did not hesitate to steal private property of the Palestinians, such as the lands of the poor and simple farmers in the Palestinian villages and rural areas, and in some parts of the cities.

Israel has practiced a policy of deception against the people in Israel and around the world. Through the long years of oppression against the Palestinians in the occupied territories, the lands were confiscated under the watchword of ‘security reasons’. Then shortly after each confiscation, the Palestinians and the land owners would notice that the construction of a new settlement had begun.

I did not publish this report, nor any Palestinian society, as the Palestinians may well not have the sufficient evidence and proof, or the necessary facts, and if they do, the world may remain suspicious about the issues they raise. But since this report was revealed by an Israeli group, and from inside the Israeli civil authority offices, there is no way to deny it or to speak suspiciously about it.

The robbery is proven, and the claim that these lands were justly confiscated cannot exist, as the confiscation of lands for security reasons may be allowed only for a short period of time, but not for eternity.

What drew my attention in the last few days, following the announcement of this scandal, was that not enough attention was given to it by Palestinian officials, as though it was not an important issue. However, I believe that the issue is no less important than the separation wall, which Israel is building in the occupied territories, and should be monitored and taken to the International Court of Justice at The Hague, in the same way as the case of the wall was taken, and be judged by that court.

Following this scandal, which was revealed by the Peace Now activists, whom I salute and thank for their efforts in this regard, what are the Palestinian owners supposed to do? What will all the Palestinian legislative bodies do? And finally, what will the Palestinian Authority (PA) do? Personally, I think there is a lot to do in this regard if the intention is there, especially by the PA. Instead of keeping the Palestinians busy by forming a new government – which seems to be faced by endless obstacles preventing its formation – somebody should take action, especially after the stagnant water was moved by the group, Peace Now.

Lascia un commento

Il tuo indirizzo email non sarà pubblicato.

Questo sito usa Akismet per ridurre lo spam. Scopri come i tuoi dati vengono elaborati.