How Pakistani law inspired Israel to seize Arabs’ land

The new Jewish state used the legal techniques of a new Muslim state to deprive its own mainly-Muslim refugees of their properties. How ironic.

Benjamin Pogrund in Haaretz:

1916514791Mark Twain’s quip, “Buy land, they’re not making it anymore,” could have served as the Zionist motto. Starting with the arrival in Palestine of Jews from Europe in the late 19th century and accelerating in the 20th century, the drive was to acquire land: to make Jewish settlement possible, to transform Jewish existence from the ghettoes and cities into working the fields, and to fulfill the biblical promise of return to the Land of Israel.

Money was donated by Jews throughout the world and land was bought from Arab landowners on the principle of willing seller, willing buyer.

Yet with all the effort, by 1948 only 5.7 percent of the land of then Palestine had been purchased. The War of Independence that year opened the way to far-reaching changes: the land allocated by the United Nations partition plan to Jews was extended by 38 percent as local Arab militia and invading Arab armies were defeated and driven back.

The government seized the lands of Arabs who had left their homes, whether they fled outside the borders or remained inside. The new state ended up owning some 93 percent of the land, with the rest remaining as private property belonging to Arabs, Jews, Christian churches and the Muslim Waqf.

More here.