BBC’s Yolande Knell goes campaigning

The BBC Jerusalem Bureau’s Yolande Knell appears to have launched something of a campaign. On the Middle East page of the BBC News website we find two items by Knell relating to the same subject.

Knell Cliff Hotel

One item is a written article entitled “Israeli court considers landmark property law cases” dated May 22nd 2013, whilst the other is a filmed report with the same title from May 26th 2013 which was broadcast on BBC television news programmes.  

Knell Cliff Hotel 2

Both of Knell’s reports rely heavily upon the emotionally laden testimony of Mr Ali Ayyad. The filmed report opens with Knell saying to Ayyad:

“So this was all of your father’s building from 1954?”

The written report also stresses the same point:

“The large building, erected by his father in 1954, was originally for residential use. It was converted into a hotel in the 1960s, and for many years Mr Ayyad was the manager.

“This is where I met my wife and many of my long-time friends. My daughters came here after they were born. We lived on the third floor. It was not just a home, it was a way of life,” he recalls.”

But one very important factor is overlooked by Knell in her story and that is that history did not begin in 1954 – or indeed in 1948. 

Ali Ayyad’s father, Abdel Hadi Ayyad – did indeed build in 1954 the house in Abu Dis which became known as the Cliff Hotel after its extension in 1964. Mr Ayyad senior – who died in 1978 – held Jordanian citizenship (and according to one Palestinian source was an officer in the Jordanian army) and never registered as a resident of Jerusalem after 1967. He has around a dozen heirs, four of whom live in Jordan, three in Kuwait, three in Palestinian Authority controlled areas, one in Norway and one in the United Kingdom. 

In the protocol one of the many court cases over the years on the subject of the Cliff Hotel, it is stated that in 2008 the heirs accepted the fact that the building lies within Israeli territory. 

Knell Cliff Hotel 3

Hence, Knell’s claim that “[t]he Israeli authorities now say that his building – which is close to the 1949 armistice line – falls within the boundaries of Jerusalem” [emphasis added] is at best disingenuous. Equally problematic is the fact that Knell suggests to readers that the issue of absenteeism revolves around Ali Ayyad – rather than his deceased father, as is actually the case.

“Since 2003, the owners have faced several further attempts by Israeli authorities to seize the building. They are currently classed as “absentees” and the Custodian of Absentee Property controls the hotel.

“It’s absurd. It’s a subject I keep thinking about. How can the law find somebody absent when he or she very much exists? I have to keep pinching myself to show I’m present,” Mr Ayyad says.”

In this report Knell continues the BBC practice of quoting functionaries from political NGOs without making their affiliations and political motivations clear to audiences.

“There has not been systematic use of the Absentee Property Law but there is sporadic use and as a result there have been contradictory court verdicts. That’s why this is going to the Supreme Court,” says Israeli lawyer Daniel Seidemann.”

Daniel Seidemann is the founder of Terrestrial Jerusalem and Ir Amim

Knell devotes a considerable portion of her written article to the subject of the Israeli Absentee Property Law. Significantly – especially in this case – she makes no effort to inform readers of the fact that during the 19 year Jordanian occupation of Judea, Samaria and parts of Jerusalem (the later annexation of which was not recognized by the international community), there existed a body called the Jordanian Custodian of Enemy Property which was established to handle property seized from Jews during the War of Independence.

“During the war of independence, the mandatory Jordanian legions conquered the area of Judea and Samaria, and in 1950 annexed the area. In the aftermath of the Jordanian occupation of the area, the appointed Jordanian governor published proclamation 55, declaring all residents of Israel as “enemies” of the state. This declaration enabled the application of the Trading with the Enemy Act, 1939, to the property of Israelis in the area.

According to the act, a Jordanian custodian was appointed to manage enemy property including all the “Jewish Lands”. In turn the authorities of the Jordanian Kingdom used the lands for various purposes, including leasing and renting the land to the citizens.”

After the Six Day War and the subsequent end of the Jordanian occupation, property previously administered by the Jordanian Custodian of Enemy Property was transferred to the administration of the Israeli Custodian of Absentee Property, but the fact that the Jordanian authorities had frequently leased or sold Jewish-owned land to Jordanian citizens further complicated the legal situation. 

In Abu Dis – as is acknowledged even by Palestinian organisations – some 598 dunams of land are actually Jewish-owned. 

During the years 1920-30 the ‘Agudat HaDayarim’ Jewish Cooperative Society was established in Jerusalem in order to establish Jewish neighborhoods outside of the Old City for its members. The Society had over 210 members, from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds including Persians, Iraqis and Yemenites.  In 1928 the Aguda purchased 598 dunams of land in the area known today as Abu Dis – due to its proximity to the city centre – in order to build a ‘Garden Community’ (homes with agricultural plots). Although it acquired a legal title to the area, the Arab revolts of 1929 and 1936-9 prevented the Aguda from establishing the new community.  

The War of Independence resulted in the Jewish-owned lands in Abu Dis coming under the control of the Jordanian Custodian of Enemy Property. After the Six Day War and the subsequent reunification of Jerusalem, most of the Jewish-owned land in Abu Dis (some 540 dunams) remained outside of the city’s municipal boundaries and part of modern Abu Dis is built upon that land. Some 60 dunams of the land originally owned by ‘Agudat HaDayarim’ in Abu Dis does fall within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries. 

Of course the BBC (strangely, for an organisation committed to accuracy) does not make a practice of informing its audiences about the subject of Jewish-owned lands in what it terms “the West Bank”, but the Jewish-owned lands in Abu Dis certainly should have been part of Yolande Knell’s research before she elected to co-opt the BBC to Ali Ayyad’s prolific media campaign.

39 comments on “BBC’s Yolande Knell goes campaigning

  1. Can’t you just remind us that at most 7% of the land of Palestine was in the hands of the Zionists in 1947, and all the rest of it is stolen?

    • It’s a bit hard to remind anyone of something that didn’t happen.

      “Land of Palestine” – you do realise, don’t you, that “Palestine” in those days was the land of the Jews, aka what is now Israel. There was no Arab Palestinian people then. They only got invented in the 1960s.

      “at most 7% of the land of Palestine was in the hands of the Zionists in 1947” – that really is one of the funniest things I’ve read in a very long time. Where do you get your “information”? I’ve never ever heard of such a statistic. In fact about 22% of the original Mandate for Palestine was in the hands of the Jews and yes, you’re right, the rest was stolen. Stolen by the perfidious British and handed to the Arabs in what became Jordan to appease them for the temerity in granting land to the Jews, and to prevent an Arab uprising. More of the land was stolen by the Arabs in the 1948 war. These territories were finally liberated in 1967 by their rightful owners – the Israelis.

      People like you, haters of Israel, cannot bear the fact that Israel legitimately won territory in a war, several wars in fact. Territory won in a war, territory from which attacks were launched against their neighbour, can not be considered and is indeed not considered “stolen” – besides in your fevered brain of course.

      • How can you not know that the Zionists only owned a tiny amount of Palestine, variously estimated but a maximum of 7% in 1947?

        “A Survey of Palestine” prepared by the British Mandate for the UN, 1945-1946, p. 566 actually says that the total area is 24,670,455 dunums of land and Jews owned 1,514,247 dunums, making it 5.8% Zionist owned.

        It is true that considerable amounts of the land was designated “State Lands” but it was all in the hands of the Palestinians, whether settled or nomadic. The Zionists (by fair means or foul) were chiefly interested in acquiring large plots of the best land (eg the Jezreel valley) and made 10 changes to Land Law between 1920 and 1925, all highly prejudicial to the individual ownership of Palestinians. The Zionists ruthlessly cleansed those lands (a word used by David Ben-Gurion) even when they had no immediate use for it, a series of pogroms that the British moaned about but did little to stop.

        Even with some of the best land taken (and all the other obstacles erected by the immigrants) the Palestinian Arabs were still producing 73% of all fruits, 90% of grains and legumes, 77% of vegetables, 99% of olives and olive oil, 51% of dairy products, 62% of eggs and poultry, 89% of cattle and 94% of sheep slaughtered in Palestine. In 1948 the Palestinian Arabs also had 1,558 industrial establishments; the Jews 1,907. From “A Survey of Palestine”, volume 2. pp. 946-950, p. 566, p. 37 and volume 1, p. 320.

        • That considerable amount of land was 91% of the total land – it was state land and the Arabs illegally claimed and stole it.

    • Actually, no Nick. Don’t allow propaganda to obscure the facts. In 1947 about 7% was registered as owned by a Jew and 15% by Arabs of which approximately 50% was land set aside for Bedouin grazing that could not be sold. The rest was owned by the British Crown who simply appropriated the land the Ottoman Sultan owned, as the inheriting authority, without a thought of dividing it among the Arabs whose current claim of ownership (if you don’t own it, it can’t be stolen) was not recognised by the British nor the Turks. Why Israel is expected to accept what none of the preceding administrations for at least 500 years accepted you will have to explain to me.

      To further complicate the situation Most of Palestine’s Arabs were in a feudal relationship with the registered owner, especially out of the towns. They did not own the land they lived on and farmed. Generally the ownership was registered in the name of the village mukhtar who theoretically held title on behalf of the village but could, and did, buy and sell as he saw fit without having to give an explanation or divide the profits. Great stretches of land were owned by absentee landlords.

      An Arab acquaintance of mine claims that when the Turks introduced land registration most of the Arabs didn’t bother to register to avoid taxes. In many cases they ‘allowed’ the large landlords to register the land secure that they could not be evicted (under Turkish law) and that traditional methods would be enough to solve any property disputes between neighbours. His view may well be correct but why Israel is expected in 2013 to take into account the 1858 failure to register under Turkish Land Registry Law and how it would do that is beyond me.

      BTW Nick’s 7% figure probably comes from a dishonest four-map graphic the Israel Haters distribute without investigating the source of the claims. A course in map reading II Four maps & five, six, seven … lies debunks the maps.

      • PS I am not contradicting anneinpt She is talking about the original land under the British Mandate (to create a homeland for the Jews) of Palestine and I am talking about the land 1922-1947 without the areas the British gave to their Bedouin (originating from Arabia) Hashemite allies to form the Emirate of Transjordan (becoming the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan when Abdullah’s armies conquered and occupied the area they renamed the West Bank).

        • Thanks 5MFI for your detailed explanation – which I am sure will fall on Nick’s deaf ears.

          I think he is also confused by the word “Palestine”. Palestine in those day meant Israel – there were no Palestinians then, as I and others have repeatedly said. The only Palestinians who had Palestinian passports and Palestinian nationality were the Jews living in pre-state Israel, aka Palestine.

          • Palestine is a state that’s 25 years old and is recognised nearly as widely as Israel (130 to 160?).

            The name goes back 2000 years to the Romans – so its much more established than “America”. And much more meaningful, obviously. Its also the name that appeared on the first printed maps, such as Napoleon’s in 1800.

            Some considerable numbers of Palestinians emigrated to Chile by choice, before the ethnic cleansing really started. They took their Palestinian nationality with them and on 20 August 1920 they founded a soccer club which they called Club Deportivo Palestino.

    • Most of the land in 1947 was not Palestinian one it was state land. It belonged to the occupying forces only small amount belonged to private arabs. Or else you sugest to us that there was an independent palestinain state which we stole the land from.

      • Land does not belong to occupation forces – unless you’re HItler and you support the concept of Lebensraum.

        We’re outraged that Hitler demanded from Chamberlain those parts of Czechoslovakia full of German speakers (where a referendum might have gone his way). Let alone he be allowed to seize the rest of Czechoslvakia full of non-Germans!

        Post-war, of course, the international rules were tightened up a lot more, as even the Israeli courts recognise – as recently as June 2005 the Israeli High Court was still ruling that the West Bank and Gaza are lands seized during warfare, and are not part of Israel:

        “The Judea and Samaria areas are held by the State of Israel in belligerent occupation. .. the military commander. He is not the sovereign in the territory held in belligerent occupation (see The Beit Sourik Case, at p. 832). .. The legal meaning of this view is twofold: first, Israeli law does not apply in these areas. They have not been “annexed” to Israel. Second, the legal regime which applies in these areas is determined by public international law regarding belligerent occupation … In the center of this public international law stand the Regulations Concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, The Hague, 18 October 1907 (hereinafter – The Hague Regulations). These regulations are a reflection of customary international law. The law of belligerent occupation is also laid out in IV Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War 1949 (hereinafter – the Fourth Geneva Convention).[30][31]

        • Really? So who did the land belonged to in the Turkis occupation for example

          Professor Eugene Rostow, past Dean of Yale Law School, U.S. under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and a key draftee of UN Resolution 242, concluded that the Fourth Geneva Convention is not applicable to Israel’s legal position and notes:

          “The opposition to Jewish settlements in the West Bank also relied on a legal argument – that such settlements violated the Fourth Geneva Convention forbidding the occupying power from transferring its own citizens into the occupied territories. How that Convention could apply to Jews who already had a legal right, protected by Article 80 of the United Nations Charter, to live in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, was never explained.” It seems that the International Court of Justice never explained it either.

          • The land belongs to the people who live there. (Unless they’re there illegally and do not have valid title, obviously).

            Sovereignty is slightly different, but it has to be by the wish of the inhabitants – a principle invented for the annexation of Texas, remember? And made a central pillar of International Law because of Woodrow Wilson’s 14 points.

            A change of sovereignty also has to be accepted by neighbouring states. Israel could never annex East Jerusalem, even if it had not been condemned, repeatedly, by the Security Council for claiming that it had annexed it.

            Eugene Rostow seems to have believed that international law was what Zionism said it was (much like David Ben-Gurion). He was totally on his own with his claims for UNSC 242, just as he was when he insisted that there was no legal reason why Israel could not build settlements on the occupied West Bank. Even Israel’s own legal counsel, Theodore Meron, warned his government that settlements were illegal, as he revealed recently.

            Rostow’s argument that there is a difference between “territories” and “the territories” is pathetic, and Israel is only failing to withdraw because it has guns. UNSC 242 means what it says, Israel must withdraw from all of the occupied territories.

          • False, troll, false(@”Nick”, of course):
            Now it seems that you’ve started trolling here too. oh well:
            It’s not just Rostow, but the VERY FRAMERS of UNSC 242 who did not envisage full Israeli withdrawal.
            Pace A.J. Goldberg(architect of UNSC242):

            Does Resolution 242 as unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council require the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from all of the territories occupied by Israel during the 1967 war? The answer is no. In the resolution, the words the and all are omitted. Resolution 242 calls for the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the 1967 conflict, without specifying the extent of the withdrawal. The resolution, therefore, neither commands nor prohibits total withdrawal…

            And of course, Lord Caradon, British ambassador to the UN, formulator of UNSC242:

            We didn’t say there should be a withdrawal to the ’67 line; we did not put the ‘the’ in, we did not say all the territories, deliberately.. We all knew – that the boundaries of ’67 were not drawn as permanent frontiers, they were a cease-fire line of a couple of decades earlier… We did not say that the ’67 boundaries must be forever; it would be insanity…

            So the promulgators of the resolution concur with Kontorovich and Rostow.
            Israel can hold on to the territories pending Secure and Recognizable borders as stipulated in the resolution, and peace with all neighbouring countries; it is not obligated to withdraw from them completely.
            You can’t catch a break, can you, troll?

        • Yet the UN Charter, Mandate for Palestine and the San Remo Treaty all state that it belongs to the Jews. The Arabs are the illegal colonists that occupy Israeli lands and the rest of your rant has absolutely not one single fact

          • You can’t catch a break, can you, troll?

            I’m sure you’d like to see this discussion degenerate into a slanging match, and thereby conceal the fact that Israel is totally out on its own in this affair.

            Explanations such as “Israel can hold on to the territories pending Secure and Recognizable borders as stipulated in the resolution” are plainly wrong – there is nothing in UNSC 242 about “Secure” borders, which is a completely meaningless word in this context anyway.

            Lastly, if Israel is in compliance with 242, as you claim, why has it been reiterated five times by the Security Council?

            Just face it, Israel doesn’t comply with any Security Council regulations, such as the one forbidding it to annex East Jerusalem, as its also been told 6 times.

          • Cashing in on your inability to read, eh?
            “…there is nothing in UNSC 242 about “Secure” borders, which is a completely meaningless word in this context anyway…”.
            I am going to assume your ignorance of UNSC242(and many other subjects) as the cause of this very amusing gaffe:
            Par. 1 Sec. II(UNSC 242):

            Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.

            And for once, read it in full, for yourself:

  2. So the land belong to Jews as they lived there for centuries. Problem solved. Funny Jeruslame had majority of Jews since 1860 and Israel still can’t call it Israeli if we to belive Nick.
    A change of sovereignty also has to be accepted by neighbouring states? Lol are you serious?

  3. Nick said Palestine is a state that’s 25 years old? If that is so than there was no Palestine in 1948 as you claime there was.
    as for land
    Nick claime that zionist changed the land law between 1920 – 1925? in the time when this land was under british occupation? The testimony of the Mufti to the Peel commission prove that Nick is lying the same way the Mufti tried to lie.

    Sir Laurie Hammond, a member of the Peel Commission, 1937 interviewed the Mufti about his insistence to the Commission that Zionists were stealing Arab land and driving peasants into homelessness. He spoke through an interpreter.

    SIR L. HAMMOND:. He says that in 1920 at the time of the Occupation, the Jews only held 100,000 dunams, is that so? I asked the figures from the Land Registry, how much land the Jews owned at the time of the Occupation. Would he be surprised to hear that the figure is not 100,000 but 650,000 dunams?
    MUFTI: It may be that the difference was due to the fact that many lands were bought by contract which were not registered.

    SIR L. HAMMOND: There is a lot of difference between 100,000 and 650,000.

    MUFTI: In one case they sold about 400,000 dunams in one lot.

    SIR L. HAMMOND: Who? An Arab?

    MUFTI: Sarsuk. An Arab of Beyrouth.

    SIR L. HAMMOND: His Eminence gave us a picture of the Arabs being evicted from their land and villages being wiped out. What I want to know is, did the Government of Palestine, the Administration, acquire the land and then hand it over to the Jews?

    MUFTI: In most cases the lands were acquired.

    SIR L. HAMMOND: I mean forcibly acquired-compulsory acquisition as land would be acquired for public purposes?

    MUFTI: No, it wasn’t.

    SIR L. HAMMOND: Not taken by compulsory acquisition?

    MUFTI: No.

    SIR L. HAMMOND: But these lands amounting to some 700,000 dunams were actually sold?

    MUFTI: Yes, they were sold, but the country was placed in such conditions as would facilitate such purchases.

    SIR I HAMMOND: I don’t quite understand what you mean by that. They were sold. Who sold them?

    MUFTI: Land owners.

    SIR I HAMMOND: Arabs?

    MUFTI: In most cases they were Arabs.

    SIR L. HAMMOND: Was any compulsion put on them to sell? If so, by whom?

    MUFTI: As in other countries, there are people who by force of circumstances, economic forces, sell their land.

    SIR L. HAMMOND: Is that all he said?

    MUFTI: A large part of these lands belong to absentee landlords who sold the land over the heads of their tenants, who were forcibly evicted. The majority of these landlords were absentees who sold their land over the heads of their tenants. Not Palestinians but Lebanese.

    • I don’t see the point of your posting us that, other than to prove that the Mufti was an obvious idiot.

      Husseini had been imposed on the Palestinians, by the Zionist High Commissioner, despite having come fifth in the election in order to cheat them and make sure they had no voice.

      “Sir Laurie Hammond, a member of the Peel Commission, 1937 interviewed the Mufti about his insistence to the Commission that Zionists were stealing Arab land and driving peasants into homelessness. He spoke through an interpreter”.

      Its especially odd that you should post that clip when it appears to prove that the Mufti (despite being muddled over the figures) was right, the Zionists were indeed ethnically cleansing the Palestinians, starting with the most fertile parts.

      MUFTI: “A large part of these lands belong to absentee landlords who sold the land over the heads of their tenants, who were forcibly evicted. The majority of these landlords were absentees who sold their land over the heads of their tenants. Not Palestinians but Lebanese.

      If you protest Nazis throwing the Jews out of Germany, then for sure you should be protesting the Polish and Russians throwing Palestinians off their lands and eventually clean out of the country!

      • Ha, you fascist bastard…
        You must have missed this section(For which we must be extremely grateful to Tamar):

        SIR L. HAMMOND: His Eminence gave us a picture of the Arabs being evicted from their land and villages being wiped out. What I want to know is, did the Government of Palestine, the Administration, acquire the land and then hand it over to the Jews?
        MUFTI: In most cases the lands were acquired.
        SIR L. HAMMOND: I mean forcibly acquired-compulsory acquisition as land would be acquired for public purposes?
        MUFTI: No, it wasn’t.
        SIR L. HAMMOND: Not taken by compulsory acquisition?
        MUFTI: No.

        No compulsion, no forcible purchases, everything as pristine as can be.
        Loved the “Polish and Russians” bit; so was it “Polish and Russian” the Germans would later exterminate, en masse?
        Whoops, I forget — you’re very proud of the Holocaust, aren’t you?

        • No compulsion, no forcible purchases, everything as pristine as can be.

          That’s a bizarre argument – those lands were ethnically cleansed, as forbidden by the Balfour Declaration and by the Mandate.

          The British should have stopped the whole process at that point and told the buyers that they could be landlords but they were only entitled to payments of rent, not to vacant possession.

          In any case, the land that was bought still only amounted to, at most, 7% of the entire land area – Zionists with guns have stolen the other 93%.

          • Ethnically cleansed, how?
            They bought the land, most of it vacant, and utilised it(The terms of the purchases were well known, as admitted by the Mufti himself).
            Face it, you’re done.
            Kick yourself to some Neo-Nazi outlet, scum.

          • There was almost no land vacant in Palestine. The Zionist recruiter, Alan Ginsberg, reported as much in 1891 and so did Samuel’s Land Commission in 1921.

            And you know that because we’re just discussing how the Zionists bought up occupied land and ethnically cleansed it, remember?

          • So there’s no dispute that they bought the land legally, having informed the sellers, as the Mufti says, the terms of the agreement: that they wouldn’t be able to squat there any more.
            And now, decades after the deed, they’ve got apologists running around for them claiming that they had been misled.
            You’re a laughingstock.

          • You seem to be defending the same ethnic cleansing as practiced by the Nazis – but then calling me the fascist!

            I made a mistake earlier, it’s not the words “Secure borders” that are missing from UNSC 242, its the word (or intent) that there be “negotiation” over the removal of occupation forces from the West Bank (and Golan, they’ve been forced out of Sinai and Gaza). There is no negotiation required, the pogromists and their storm trooper back-up are going to have to leave.

            And if they don’t leave? Either the BDS movement will bring them to their senses, or their military lead will erode to the point at which the Zionists pack up and leave for their spiritual home in the US. That last situation is clearly approaching – its no longer 50 years away, it may be only 5 years.

          • “The same ethnic cleansing practised by the Nazis”…
            Ha, nice try. You see, when all fails, you go deep into Nazi-analogy overdrive mode. Not your best showing.
            Let me help you out:
            The Nazis DID NOT legally avail themselves of Jewish property; They did not purchase it, they stole it — by brute force.
            The Jews however, intent on making matters legal and apposite, demanded that contracts be signed in relation to any bought tracts of land. They MADE SURE that all acquisitions were judicious and followed the law of the land.
            This in sharp contrast to your renegade Pal. squatters, who not only leached off Ottoman parcels of territory — which they cultivated without any sort of authorisation or bidding(by the Mandatory authorities) — but also came to bite the hand that had fed them.
            Buoyed by the prosperity the Jews had engendered in Palestine, they emigrated to it, en masse; then, the Palestinian Pogromists decided to try to uproot the Jewish population. Twice in a row they slaughtered them — which warms your fascist heart: In Hebron in 1929, and in the ’36-’39 riots.
            Not content however with their previous failed exploits, they tried one last stint in 1948 — only to meet utter humiliation.
            As for your fantasies about Israel’s destruction: Have no fear. You’re not the first anti-Semite to crow with glee about Israel’s supposed impending doom.
            Suffice it to say that all of those have gone to their graves without seeing their genocidal object’s fruition — and so will you; long after you’re gone, Israel will continue to thrive.
            So let’s wish you — you pathetic, miserable creature — a long and dour life, filled with the unbearable burden of watching Israel grow, and flourish.

          • You’re being ridiculous – even if you were right you’d be wrong. Israel seized all the land it could reach in 1948 and ethnically cleansed most of it, with no regard for whether it was private or public.

            Hard-line Israelis historians recognise what was done then – while observers can prove that Israel is still doing it.

            So even under Israeli law (ie stealing all land under joint ownership) “cross-checking data of the Civil Administration, the settlements’ jurisdictional area, and aerial photos of the settlements taken in 2009, B’Tselem found that 21 percent of the built-up area of the settlements is land that Israel recognizes as private property, owned by Palestinians.”

            In other words, by any definition, really large parts of Palestine is squatted by people with guns.

            And that’s on top of the sovereignty issue which finds Israel in total defiance of International Law, the will of the entire world and the promises it made when it was allowed into the UN.

          • So you admit I’m right — that’s quite something…
            But there was no “ethnic cleansing”; even Benny Morris, writes:

            Morris argues that the 700,000 Palestinians who fled their homes in 1947 left mostly due to Israeli military attacks; fear of impending attacks; and expulsions. He argues that there was no centralized expulsion policy as such, <but expulsions were ordered by the Israeli high command as needed.

            Ergo, no “ethnic cleansing” by UN definition; especially given the heinous Pal. violence perpetrated against the Jewish populace. Harsh by today’s standards — no doubt — but essential then.
            And it’s quite amusing to see you waul now — like the fascist scum you are — that Israel “is carrying out ‘ethnic cleansing'” even today.
            How then, can you explain the 400%(!!) growth of the population in the WB & Gaza? Are those all Jews dressed as Pals.?!
            Come on, you know you’re scraping the barrel here.
            What’s more, the only squatters here, as it has been explained to you, are the Pals., latching onto land that wasn’t theirs to begin with; i.e. violating Ottoman allocations and territorial concessions.
            The San Remo declaration is still binding, hence giving Jews the right to settle in the WB.
            Israel will no doubt dismantle all structures built on truly Private land(it has done so in the past). But go to court and prove it.
            Or are you afraid the courts will rule against you?

          • [Benny Morris] argues that there was no centralized expulsion policy as such

            So what? Crime doesn’t require a plan.

            Besides which, other Israelis have examined Ben-Gurion’s diaries, and they describe the policy of complete ethnic cleansing as having been settled in October 1947 (one attempt in Dec to get them to re-consider, brushed aside).

            There has been an argument whether Plan Dalet actually ordered ethnic cleansing, but I think that’s sorted now, it was handed out to commanders in the field and the listed villages were to be destroyed.

          • “Israel will no doubt dismantle all structures built on truly Private land(it has done so in the past).”

            Israel has never withdrawn except when beaten. As in Sinai, as in Lebanon, as in Gaza.

            The rest of the time it doesn’t even comply with its promises, let alone its responsibilities or the decisions of bodies it begged to join.

            But go to court and prove it. Or are you afraid the courts will rule against you?

            Israel blocks access to the courts – and when they do rule against it, Israel doesn’t comply (eg the apartheid wall that has to be torn down).

            In fact, the IDF doesn’t even comply with Israel’s own courts. This is truly an Army with a State, not a state with an army!

          • I can’t find a good reference for the amount of “state land” there was in Palestine, probably because it was all marginal and not in cultivation.

            However, your claim that the Zionists had bought up all the private land is clearly silly. They simply swept through Palestine like a swarm of locusts stealing everything.

            “Years later the Custodian removed the veil of secrecy: “The inspectors found most of the houses broken into, and rarely was there any furniture left,” he wrote in his memoirs. “Clothes, household effects, jewelry I bedding – other than mattresses – never reached the warehouses of the Custodial authority. …” More than 50,000 Arab homes had been abandoned, but only 509 carpets reached the Custodian’s warehouses. The Custodian attributed it all to the “weakness and greed of many Israelis, who in normal circumstances would never have permitted themselves to act thus with regard, to other people’s property.” (1949, The First Israelis, p. 70-71)

          • Crime, troll, requires intent… In this case, as Benny Morris and others have demonstrated there was no malice aforethought, no plan, NOTHING.
            Hence, it doesn’t fit the definition of “ethnic cleansing” — by ANY means.
            “I think…”; that’s the problem, YOU DON’T! you spew meaningless anti-Semitic propaganda; when challenged — you whine.
            There’s nothing in Ben-Gurion’s diary that states anything remotely similar to calls for “ethnic cleansing”.
            In fact — and this passage has been subverted numerous times, including by your beloved Pappe(for which said charlatan was FORCED to apologise), Ben Gurion wrote thus:

            We do not wish, we do not need to expel the Arabs and take their place. All our aspirations are built upon the assumption — proven throughout all our activity in the Land — that there is enough room in the country for ourselves and the Arabs.

            The only places where localised, regrettable(in retrospect) incidents took place, were in areas whence the Arabs launched attacks on Jews and planned their genocidal onslaught therefrom.
            As for the courts, here we see you lie — but all so daftly:
            Take the very recent case of Migron:
            The Supreme Court ruled(after being approached by the Palestinian owners of the land), and Israel complied. In full.
            No one’s blocking “access” to anything, evidenced by the fact that Palestinians — with a VALID claim — win cases regularly in Israeli courts and get restitution.
            I know of no “Apartheid” wall — I am only aware of a barrier constructed to prevent your suicide bombers, murders, and death squads from accessing Israel in order to commit mayhem, kill, pillage, maim and destroy. The barrier has saved lives — for which there should be no apology.
            Decisions by the ICJ are non-binding(without a UNSC resolution) — and Israel is not a party to the Rome Statute(like the US, India, China, Russia, &c).
            So, clear off, yes?

          • Anecdotal references from Segev? Is that the best you can do?! Carpets!
            Like I said, the Pal. squatters violated every possible Ottoman law, and then wept for the land that wasn’t theirs to begin with.
            All the data, on Land availability and allocation, is to be found here:(From Stein, the “Land Question in Palestine”):
            Jews owned upwards of 90% of all MULK(Private, in the Western sence) lands — hence, making them the sole legitimate owners of any actual, deeded, lands.

        • You’re hopping all over the place, there are big questions over the legality of the sales but we don’t need to go into that.

          What’s at issue, and you’re not disputing, is that the Zionists were only in possession of a maximum of 7% of the land in 1947.

          So it was going to take them 942 years to own all of Palestine and make it “as Jewish as France is French” (except they hated the Jews and demolished their property and synagogues as well!).

          And they ethnically cleansed the land they’d “bought”, as they were expressly forbidden to do.

          Then they claimed that the Palestinians were the ones who were the violent racists!

          • “but we don’t need to go into that…”
            No, it means you’ve lied as always; as you have been, and no doubt will continue to do.
            The Palestinians owned very little if any, of the Land in Mandatory Palestine(by the time of the Partition). It was rather the Jews who had sought, and had bought, all the private land available, and insisted that these be carried out on deed and charter.
            Read all about Ottoman land designations:

            Mulk: privately owned in the Western sense.
            Miri: Land owned by the government (originally the Ottoman crown) and suitable for agricultural use. Individuals could purchase a deed to cultivate this land and pay a tithe to the government. OwnerRead all about Ottoman land designations:ship could be transferred only with the approval of the state. Miri rights could be transferred to heirs, and the land could be sub-let to tenants. If the owner died without an heir or the land was not cultivated for three years, the land would revert to the state.
            Mahlul: Uncultivated Miri lands that would revert to the state, in theory after three years.
            Mawat (or Mewat): So-called “dead”, unreclaimed land. It constituted about 50 to 60% of the land in Palestine. It belonged to the government. …If the land had been cultivated with permission, it would be registered, at least under the Mandate, free of charge.

            The overwhelming majority of the land was Miri — hence, after the dissolution of the Ottoman Vilayats, the territory fell under the British mandate, which in turn, devolved unto Israel.
            In other words, Israel is entitled to every sq. inch. Your fabulist squatters, are not.
            Or, as Stein magnificently put it, in his overarching opus:

            The Arabs of Palestine had never exercised sovereignty and did not own most of the land by private purchase. It was government land that had belonged to the Ottoman empire and before that to the various Turkish and Arab empires. If there had been “actual” owners in history, they were probably Jews of 2,000 or more years ago.

            Stein, Kenneth W., The Land Question In Palestine, 1917-1939
            Also, you’re cordially invited to read this link:
            As for the ‘racists’: How many Jews did you butcher in Hebron and during the ’36-’39 riots?
            Haven’t had enough, have you?
            This time, the Jews can and will fight back(as they have, already, many times).

      • Husseini had been imposed on the Palestinians, by the Zionist High Commissioner, despite having come fifth in the election in order to cheat them and make sure they had no voice.

        Haha he must be rolling in his grave . Why not blame the Jews for everything. Pathetic

  4. Nick said Israel has never withdrawn except when beaten. As in Sinai, as in Lebanon, as in Gaza.
    I guess you;ll now tell us that Egypt occupied Sanai in 1973 and won the war. HOw were we beaten in Gaza? care to explain. The same way we withdrawn from all populated cities and areas in the WB according to the Oslo agreement. NOt forgetting dismantle of 4 settelment in the WB along with those of Gaza. so how were we beaten there.

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