What if Israeli Arabs started buying land?
Helen Thomas stands by her comments about Israel
A folk saying notes it’s the nail sticking out that gets hammered in. Speak up, get knocked down. Yet how else to establish or exercise free speech? Recognizing that right, an Israeli newspaper gives voice to a Palestinian on the land question. We tell a deeper solution. We trim, blend, and append two 2010 articles on Israel appearing Oct 13 from (1) USA Today by Doug Stanglin and Haaretz in Israel by Zoheir Andrewous, editor of the Arabic newspaper Ma al-Hadath. The Western date is also the Jewish Cheshvan 5, 5771, perhaps a subtle way to suggest that Jews have had a nation there for millennia. Whatever, such claims have not settled the dispute over land, while geonomics could.
by Doug Stanglin and by Zoheir Andrewous
Helen Thomas stands by her controversial comments about Israel
Veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas, in her first interview since she was forced to retire, stands by her comments about Israel.
The 90-year-old Thomas tells Scott Spears, a reporter for WMRN radio in Marion Ohio, that she soon realized that her comments would cost her her job.
"I hit the third rail," she says in a sometimes emotional 35-minute interview. "You cannot criticize Israel in this country and survive."
Thomas resigned as a columnist for Hearst News Service in June after a rabbi and independent filmmaker videotaped her outside the White House calling on Israelis to get "out of Palestine."
Asked whether she is anti-Semitic, she responded "Baloney!" She said she wants to be remembered for "integrity and my honesty and my belief in good journalism" and would like to work again.
JJS: When groups of humans compete for land, seldom is there a civil accord. One civil solution is to buy land. Yet pay to whom? And buy, or would rent be even more civil and peace-promoting?
Israeli Arabs must start buying land
Between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Arabs in Israel have been turned, against their wishes, into a central player in the peace process. Lieberman is speaking about a population exchange.
As a consequence, the status of Arabs in the country has officially become questioned, on two levels. On the one hand, large segments of Israeli society do not want them. On the other hand, Mahmoud Abbas and the leadership in Ramallah stress at every opportunity that the 1.2 million Palestinians living inside the Green Line are Israeli Arabs and do not have the moral or political right to intervene in the conflict with Israel.
Arab leadership inside Israel must insist that the Palestinians are under no circumstances a subject for barter between the two sides. Arabs in Israel must examine the possibility of exploiting their Israeli citizenship to the fullest and demand to utilize their legal right to buy homes and land in West Bank settlements. A move of this kind does not in any way diminish their right to continue living in their communities in Galilee, the Triangle, and the Negev.
Since the establishment of the state on the ruins of the Palestinian people who were exiled from their birthplace with brutality, Israel has yet to establish Arab communities, other than the town of Rahat in the Negev. Even worse, the theft of Arab lands is continuing to this very day.
Despite the acute housing crisis among the concentrations of minorities within the Green Line, no one asks why the Arabs need to build illegally. But the political leadership in Israel provides no master plans, no development. Young people cannot find land to build on.
Destroying houses is a routine matter. The Israeli government has recently destroyed an unrecognized Bedouin village in the Negev five times. By destroying illegal houses, they cast Arabs as lawbreakers and devastate the owners financially. Enough! It is incumbent on us to acquire homes and land in the settlements.
A Palestinian national fund [Israelis already have one] must be set up to collect money according to Israeli law and to begin massive acquisition of the land that is unfrozen for Israelis in the West Bank.
Recall the High Court of Justice ruling on the Kaadan family, when the court ordered that an Arab family must be allowed to live in the Jewish community of Katzir. A legal precedent for integration has been set.
An attempt to prevent our (re)acquisition through legislation will show that the state that allows part of its citizens to settle in occupied territories at the same time prevents another group of citizens from implementing its basic right to land. Such is an apartheid state. Yet Israel claims it is a democratic country.
Our move is tantamount to declaring, "we are the real owners of the land on both sides of the Green Line."
JJS: American Indians and other hunter/gatherers questioned any human ownership of land. Own our Mother? Outrageous! But assuming one person or a group can own fairly, what does justify ownership?
Heritage? Having had ancestors live there? What if you’re a mongrel, like many of us Americans, and have ancestors from all over the planet? Are we entitled to patches of land all over the planet?
Western legalism labels land ownership as a bundle of rights. One could own land but still be restricted. In Scandinavia, for example, you’re not trespassing on anyone’s private land if you are out of view of the landowner’s house.
One sound way to legitimize the exclusive possession of some land is mutual compensation (the moral basis of geonomics). You’d pay those whom you exclude as they’d pay you. You’d pay land dues into the community treasury and get rent dividends back. Occupants would both own land and owe rent, keep off land and share rent.
Imagine. Arabs and Jews compensating each other, each resident getting money in the pocket each month. Would such an arrangement foster peace? Probably. The places that recover land taxes (the closest cousins of land dues) are some of the least corrupt, least crime-ridden, and most civil societies on the face of the earth.
Editor Jeffery J. Smith runs the Forum on Geonomics.
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