Friday, February 03, 2006

Why illegal Arab housing in Israel is OK...

It has been asked of late, if Israel is a country that values, seemingly above all else, upholding the "rule of law" - in whose name Jews have recently been expelled and brutalized from the Jewish communities of Hebron and Amona - why it is that the government of the State of Israel seems to be so obsessed with destroying all "illegal (Jewish) outposts" while turning a blind eye to the tens of thousands of blatantly illegal housing units constructed by Arabs throughout Israel - with 10,000 illegal units in Jerusalem alone?

Thankfully, Dr Ghazal Abu Raya, Spokesperson for the Sakhnin municipality and the Director of "The Jewish-Arab Center for Peace" Givat Haviva Northern Branch in Sakhnin has provided us with the answer:

Sakhnin Spokesperson: Illegal Israeli Arab construction is different

Dr Ghazal Abu Raya, Spokesperson for the Sakhnin municipality and the Director of "The Jewish-Arab Center for Peace" Givat Haviva Northern Branch in Sakhnin, told Israel Radio in a live interview broadcast this morning that illegal construction in Sakhnin is not that same as illegal Jewish construction in the West Bank. Abu Raya explained that the illegal construction in Sakhnin was justified because the residents of Sakhnin have lived there for over 3,500 years and need to build more housing for their growing population.

Sakhnin is, indeed, an ancient city dating back at least to the time of the Mishna and Talmud where there are references to the then Jewish city. The graves of two Rabbis from the third century - Rabbi Yehoshua of Sakhnin and Rabbi Shimon of Sakhnin are located in the city.

Of course, the connection of the Jewish people to Judea, Samaria and the entire land of Israel dates back over 4,000 years to the time of our forefather Abraham, but, sadly, that is not something that the powers-that-be in the State of Israel (including the government, media, Supreme Court & academia) are either aware of, or are inclined to mention out of a fear of being perceived as being too Jewish or extreme in the eyes of the world.

How sad it is that the leaders of the State of Israel fail to recognize that our claim to a Jewish State the Land of Israel is only legitimate when it is based on this historic and divine relationship between the Jewish People and the G-d of Israel, and without it, our right to the Land of Israel is as fictitious as that of the "Palestinians".


It seems to me that this "illegal housing equals illegal housing" argument is grasping at straws. If we're talking about Sakhnin, we're talking about Israeli Arabs, full citizens of the State of Israel, building houses inside the state of Israel. Maybe they're committing a minor crime by not going through the proper red tape, but their actions don't affect Israel's demographic or strategic situation.

On the other hand, Amona is not inside the borders of the State of Israel. The violation involved isn't just failing to go through some bureaucratic red tape; it's locating a Jewish community outside the boundaries of the State of Israel without appropriate government approval. By constructing such outposts, settlers create a new strategic liability for Israel, and affect our demographics: the IDF has to defend them on whatever hilltop they squat, and to the extent that they prevent the establishment of rational borders for our country they increase the likelihood that we'll be forced to become a binational, non-Zionist state.

In fact, I believe that the greatest risk of a return to the pre-1967 border comes not from the Left, but from right-wing settlers who refuse to allow us to create a meaningful national border for ourselves. The dream of Greater Israel is - or should be - dead, but these guys don't realize it. Living in a dream-world is a dangerous thing!

Further, illegal settlement outposts do Israel a great deal of damage in terms of our international standing, while "illegal" Arab housing is no more than an administrative matter.

By Blogger Don Radlauer, at Sat Feb 04, 06:08:00 PM GMT+2  


By Anonymous daat y, at Sun Feb 05, 05:59:00 AM GMT+2  


By Anonymous daat y, at Sun Feb 05, 05:59:00 AM GMT+2  


I changed by blog location to a new server... it's now at

(Just in case you want to update your blogroll)

By Blogger Tovya @ Zion Report, at Sun Feb 05, 06:30:00 AM GMT+2  

Don has of course hit the nail squarely on the head. The "Illegal Arab Housing" statistics are a smokescreen with no basis for comparison - the crimes are not even of the same law. One may as well complain about the fact that the Police do not really care about catching speeders on Kvish 6. The contravention of the law which applies to the Amona terrorists is to do with an infraction on the conditions of our military occupation of the Administered territories. (If we are getting legal, then let's use the legal term). The State of Israel has never annexed any part of the West Bank other than East Jerusalem. Therefore those areas outside of Israel, which Israel has military control over are supposed to be free of civilians. The Civil Administration (the administration that governs Yehuda V'Shomron) has granted certain exceptions to certain communities (the settlements). Building of new outposts is not a house planning violation, it is a violation of the military administration of the territories, and as such means that people are operating in a closed military zone. If a palestinian were to make a similar breach, he would be shot.

It is one thing for the terrorists of Ammona to take up violent resistance to the state and its institutions, it is another that they attempt to destroy the legal basis for our society.

By Anonymous H, at Sun Feb 05, 09:48:00 AM GMT+2  

Don, how can you say that illegal Arab construction "within Israel" is not a big deal - just a minor crime - as it doesn't really affect denography or anything else major...

How is it that the Arabs are putting a strangle hold on Jerusalem? The Negev, the Galil...

It's through illegal construction which not only allows more Arabs to move into areas where they shouldn't be, but keeps jews from building in those areas and settling the Jewish State...

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Sun Feb 05, 01:59:00 PM GMT+2  

Ze'ev- are you planning to answer H and Don's main points? I would be interested to hear what you have to say.

By Blogger tafka PP, at Sun Feb 05, 04:01:00 PM GMT+2  

Ze'ev, it's really very simple: If an Arab family, already Israeli citizens living in Israel, moves from Point A inside Israel to Point B inside Israel, nothing all that exciting has changed. The number of Arab voters hasn't increased, nor has any other fundamental change occurred. The Arab population of Point B has increased by one family, but the Arab population of Point A has decreased. What's the big deal?

Of course, illegal immigration of Arabs into Israel could be of concern; but the solution to that is to draw a border already and put up a border fence.

The reason for the supposed "Arab stranglehold on Jerusalem" is that we extended the borders of Jerusalem beyond all reasonable bounds and annexed Arab neighborhoods for no good reason. Had we defined "Jerusalem" reasonably, there'd be little or no problem in this regard. (OK, it's certainly reasonable to include the Old City, or at least the Jewish and Armenian Quarters, as part of Israel; but why do we need a huge expanse of Arab neighborhoods outside the Old City - which were never part of Biblical Jerusalem - to be part of our "eternal, undivided capital"?)

What keeps Jews from "building the Jewish State" has nothing to do with where Israeli Arabs live. It's a matter of jobs and transportation. How many Israelis want to pick oranges for a living? The vast majority of jobs are in the Gush Dan area, with lesser concentrations in Jerusalem, Haifa, Beer Sheva, and so on. No matter what wonderful Zionists we are, how many of us can afford to settle the Negev or the rural Galilee? We'd be unemployed, and couldn't get to jobs in a reasonable time at a reasonable cost. If you really want to spread the Jewish population out, build a bigger commuter-rail network. (Of course, there's a downside to everything: "settling the land" in this manner would do tremendous ecological damage to our wilderness areas. Real life is complex.)

By Blogger Don Radlauer, at Sun Feb 05, 04:36:00 PM GMT+2  

It's funny, I echoed the same thing in a post on Friday. So I agree 100%.

By Blogger Tovya @ Zion Report, at Sun Feb 05, 06:13:00 PM GMT+2  

i stopped reading at "amona terrorists"

the bigger the lie, yada yada yada

By Blogger Pinchas Floyd, at Sun Feb 05, 07:42:00 PM GMT+2  

Phishaliyah- you don't even live here.

By Anonymous PP, at Mon Feb 06, 11:54:00 AM GMT+2  

PP: Phish may not live here yet, but I also can't dialogue with someone says that terrorists are Jewish teenagers who were sitting on a floor, and then get their heads bashed in by Yasamnikim.

Repeating the invective "Amona Terrorists" over and over again, has unfortunately set the lowest common denominator to zero.

"We Are One" longer.

By Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata, at Tue Feb 07, 10:24:00 AM GMT+2  

as a volunteer with the israeli committee against house demolitions, i find your remarks offensive and abhorrent.

the israeli government has demolished tens of thousands of arab houses in the occupied territories in the last decade.

these are often structures built by arabs on land which they certifiably own but which the israeli government will not permit them to build on due to discriminatory policies directed against the arab population.

in other instances, the houses are demolished for "security reasons." over the past four years, the idf has demolished 2,500 homes in rafah along the egyptian border for the creation of a "security buffer." the operation has left 15,000 palestinians homeless -- 6,000 more refugees than in gush katif, who were not offered even one container.

two weeks ago, in the negev, the idf destroyed a bedouin village which has been fighting for official recognition for decades. the residents of this community serve in the idf and pay taxes to the israeli government, yet they have been driven from their homes with no one to come to their aid and compensation offered, as it has been to the jewish residents of gaza and the west bank.

as i said in my post on orthodox anarchist about amona, when you do nothing to defend the rights of those whose political agendas are not your own, you pave the way for the same tragedies to befall you.

By Blogger Mobius, at Tue Feb 07, 04:34:00 PM GMT+2  

nor* compensation offered

By Blogger Mobius, at Tue Feb 07, 04:36:00 PM GMT+2  

Oh look. Another radical leftist group with questionable statistics and even more questionable tactics offering blind support to arabs against Israel and of course against 'settlers'.

From their website:

'The fierce repression of Palestinian efforts to "shake off" the Occupation'

Which is funny, because we all know that 'Palestinian efforts to "shake off" the Occupation' generally involves blowing up discos and restaurants to kill as many Jewish men, women and children as possible.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Feb 07, 08:10:00 PM GMT+2  

how interesting that daat y says that "What I FIND VERY DISTURBING -THE JEWISH BLOGS IN GALUS DON'T EVEN COMMENT ON the disgrace that occurred at Amona." and then phishaliyah, a diaspora jew planning aliyah, makes a comment (and has several posts about amona),and then gets told by pp that he doesn't even live in israel.
fights within the jewish population, whether in golus or eretz yisrael, are not good for jews. the old joke is that for 2 jews there are three opinions, not "2 jews, one opinion from one in eretz yisrael and the other one is silent in golus, although he has a lot to say."
if we, as jews, cannot find a way to communicate without tearing each other apart physically, verbally, and spiritually, there might not be an israel for olim and potential olim to come home to.

By Blogger bec, at Wed Feb 08, 05:53:00 AM GMT+2  


How may times have we heard that a stone in the hands of a Palestinian fighter is a deadly weapon and that the rioting youths of the intifada have to be treated like terrorists? Given that you don't live here, you may not know that the answer is plenty. If a youth with a stone is a terrorist, why is a youth with a cinder block not? Is the difference whether that youth is Jewish or not? Have we become that racist a state? Thankfully not. The vast majority of the state can recognise that anyone who sets out to harm the interests of the state through violence, and attacks the IDF are terrorists.

Jameel - as for invective, Ammona Terrorists is meant descriptively so as to distinguish them from Ammona brutal Magavnikim who used too much violence. I certainly do not believe that the concept of Am Ehad is over - you are right - it is being torn apart. As to whose fault that is, it is probably a gratuitous argument. I of course will say that those who oppose the official institutions of the state with violence are at fault, and you will say those who turn their backs on the state's greatest patriots are at fault - the question is surely how to heal the rifts. At least within this forum, I am certainly quite willing to stop using terminology you deem as invective. And perhaps in this way, the two sides of this growing rift can at least still talk.

By Anonymous H, at Wed Feb 08, 10:56:00 AM GMT+2  

Bec- I made that brief comment because Phishaliyah accused another commenter- who does live here- of lying. And it is much easier to do that from a distance. Those of us on the ground who have to deal with the fallout from such "yada yada yada" are the ones who suffer the most from the growing rift. See also H's comments to Jameel above.

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