Racist Policies [en]

racist wall

Israeli policy centered on two complementary processes: the expropriation of land from or its closure to Palestinians; and the construction of Jewish colonies (“settlements”) and towns on the land thus alienated, or its requisitioning for direct Israeli state use. Every nook and cranny of the legislation of the former regimes in Palestine (Jordanian, British, Ottoman, and pre-Ottoman) was searched for subterfuges by which “legalize”, rationalize, and gloss over the seizure of land whether from owners private or public, resident of absentee (in the Diaspora); or from tenants, refugees, sharecroppers, shepherds, or Bedouins. Where no subterfuges could be devised, Palestinian soil was declared by fiat the “national patrimony” of the Jewish people. By 1984 nearly 50 percent of the West Bank and 30 percent of the Gaza Strip had been seized as “absentee property” or “registered state [i.e., Jordanian government] land”, or land requisitioned for “military purposes” or closed for “training purposes”, or land expropriated for “public purposes”. In all instances land so seized was reserved for the exclusive use of the Israeli government of Jewish citizens of Israel.

The implantation of Jewish colonies and towns accompanied the process of land alienation At first these colonies masqueraded as military or paramilitary outposts in uninhibited areas set up for “security” reasons or even as archaeological excavation camps. But emboldened principally by the acquiescence of the united States and its funding of the colonization process, successive Israeli governments proceeded to establish colonies and towns in the midst of thickly inhabited Palestinian areas in the name of the biblical right of return to all parts of Eretz Israel. By 1983colonists were living in about 140 colonies and towns all over Palestinian Occupied Territories. To be sure, a tiny proportion of the confiscated land (30,000 out of the 2.15 million dunams*) had been owned by Jews in these territories before 1948; however, the restoration of property to its pre-1948 owners was exclusively restricted to Jews and did not apply to Palestinian-owned property in West Jerusalem and Israel proper.