Thursday, January 20, 2005


umm yeah, seems we forgot to tell you that we're reimplementing a law from 1950 that hasn't been enforced in 37 years. we'll take that land now.

It seems that the Ariel Sharon government in Israel has decided to once again implement the Absentee Property Law of 1950 (one of the most notorious laws that enabled the young Israeli state to take ownership of land that had belonged to Palestinian Arabs). The Israeli attorney general had issued a directive to stop implementing the law in 1967 when East Jerusalem was occupied by Israel and became subject to Israeli law and PM Yitzhak Rabin in 1993 reissued that directive. However, in June a ministerial committee on Jerusalem affairs decided that it would stand by the 1950 Absentee law and in July of 2004 the issue was raised in a court case involving Palestinians who, because of the wall being built through the West Bank by Israel, were no longer able to reach their fields that were techinically in the Jerusalem municipality. So they requested permission to continue working their fields. In response, the government of Israel reached for the Absentee Property Law of 1950, claiming that the Palestinians no longer owned those lands (seeing as how they were absentees). The response of senior judicial official involved in the case?
It's not fair that a man becomes an absentee because his tie to his land has been cut without his doing. But morality is one thing, and what is written in our laws another.
And liberty and justice for all!

Oh, and for some crazy reason:
the decision was not publicized until now and is not listed on the Web site of the Prime Minister's Office.
Go figure.

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