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January 16, 2017 / 18 Tevet, 5777
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Observations on the Proposed Law on Compensating Palestinian Land Owners

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MK Danny Danon holds a special Knesset session with residents of the Ulpana neighborhood.

MK Danny Danon holds a special Knesset session with residents of the Ulpana neighborhood.
Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90


Let’s walk through this:

#1. The proposed law to compensate Palestinian land owners is the fairest arrangement for them.

Today if a Palestinian decides to file in court to have part of a Jewish neighborhood torn down because, he claims, it turns out he owns the land it was built on, the most he can expect to gain from the effort is the satisfaction of seeing the homes bulldozed. After all, since the land is in the middle of a Jewish community, beyond the Green Line, there is no way that the authorities are going to permit him to build a home there. And if he sells the land to the Jews, our “peace partner” Palestinian Authority will sentence him to death.

In sharp contrast, under the proposed law, the same Palestinian land owner would get fair financial compensation for the ex-poste confiscated land. And since this is a kind of “force majeure” from the standpoint of the Palestinians, the Palestinian landowner can get fair compensation for his land and stay alive.

#2. If the Supreme Court is going to void the law then why is this argument used by opponents of the law?

Minister Begin and others who oppose the law argue that it will be voided by the Supreme Court and that the law will damage Israel on the international front.

If the Supreme Court voids the law this will no doubt bring praise for Israel from the international community – not condemnation. And rest assured the court will rule on the law in lightning speed.

So if one is certain that the Supreme Court will void the law you cannot at the same time argue that the law will hurt the Jewish State.

#3. There isn’t a square inch of Jewish construction beyond the Green Line – including in eastern Jerusalem – that the international community has welcomed.

The argument that passage of the law will bring international opposition to Jewish construction beyond the Green Line implies that not passing the law will somehow keep the Palestinians from playing the settlement card to the hilt.

There are a myriad of reasons why the Palestinians will or will not choose to step up their anti-settlement campaign. If PM Netanyahu is serious about implementing a “ten new Jewish homes for every Jewish home demolished” policy, this could arguably have a greater impact on the anti-settlement campaign than the implementation of the law would.

Dr. Aaron Lerner

About the Author: Dr. Lerner is the Director of IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis).

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