Matityahu East, Bil'in West

“This isn't Matityahu East but Bil'in West,” says a Palestinian who moved to a property in settlement and was later evacuated by the Israeli military. The property is built on private Palestinian land as is the case with most settlements. Even those which are not built on private land, they are built on state land, which, in no way, belongs to Israel. The land’s ownership is then transferred to the custody of The Jewish National Fund, a parastatal organisation whose charter prohibits any non-Jew from benefiting of its property. In short, since the state cannot legally bar ownership or lease of property on grounds of race/ethnicity, it allows the JNF to do that business claiming that it is legal for an organisation to restrict its services to one ethnicity.
In the period between 1948 and 1951 a total of three million dunnoms have been transferred to the JNF by the State. Most of these were owned by the Palestinian refugees, or rather-“Absentees”. The term was invented by the founding fathers of Israel and it refers to all those Arabs who left their normal place of residence during the war of 1948, even if they continued to live in the State of Israel. The law states that any absentee property is transferred to the ownership of the “Custodian of Absentee Property”, who is not much of a custodian. Property under his ownership was systematically transferred to the JNF. So those who moved, for example, from Umm-Khaled to the Galilee or Ramleh, continued to hold Israeli citizenship but lost their ownership of any property in their original village while they are few kilometres away. Jews who lived in Natanya, the new name of the same village, could access this property and even own it while their present owners are considered absentees.
According to Uri Davis, about 92% of the land in Israel holds such status, and therefore it is a Jew-only land. At the height of Apartheid in South Africa, 87% of the land was earmarked as whites-only.
So Matityahu East, Natanya, Tel-Aviv are nothing but the old, Bil’in West, Umm-Khaled and Tal A-Rabi’. Just like Israel is nothing but the old Palestine.

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