Realistic Dove, Magnes Zionist and Tikun Olam have united to create an online petition campaign against the Knesset’s odious Jewish National Fund bill which would prevent Arab citizens from leasing the Jewish National Fund’s lands:
We the undersigned express our profound disapproval and sorrow at the Israeli Knesset’s recent passage, on first reading, of the Jewish National Fund bill. The bill would prohibit Israel’s Arab citizens from leasing land owned by the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and managed by the Israeli Land Authority (which administers 93% of Israel’s land). The Israel High Court had earlier ruled that the ILA cannot discriminate against Arabs in leasing such land. This new legislation is an attempt to circumvent that ruling.
We applaud the High Court for putting an end to a discriminatory practice that should never have existed within a democratic state. We also applaud the Israeli MK’s, Jewish and Arab that voted against the amendment. If Israel is to be truly democratic, all its citizens must have the right to lease land held in trust by the government of Israel. Israel must not settle for anything less.
We call upon to the Knesset to defeat the amendment when it comes up for its next reading and to embrace values of equality and tolerance for all its citizens.
As readers here will remember, the Knesset passed the bill on first reading by a 64-16 vote with many Labor members joining the majority including Ami Ayalon, a supposed champion of Israeli-Palestinian dialogue.
I’d be grateful if all my readers would take a moment and visit our petition and add your signature. Also, e-mail the link to this post or the petition to all of your friends, family or co-workers who are interested in this issue. We should stand together against racism and in favor of Israeli democracy for all its citizens. My view of Judaism is that is not a supremacist religion, but rather a tolerant religion that embraces–or at the very least co-exists peacefully with–other faiths including Islam. If we insist that Muslims to be tolerant of non-Muslims, what message does this bill send to Israel’s Arabs and those around the world?
You may view all the petiton’s signatures here.
liberal white boy says
The hunting season in occupied Palestine continues. Don’t know if you saw this.
Peter H says
You should think about moderating the petition. The last signatures are from Ismail Hainya, Mahmoud ahmadinejad, and Yasser Arafat.
What’s remarkable about the above news report is not the event it describes, which sadly is fairly routine, but this little contextual paragraph at the end:
“Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967. It has settled about 430,000 people in the area, including Jerusalem, in contravention to international law.”
There is no way this could ever be printed in the U.S. media.
Richard Silverstein says
Yes, I did read this story in Haaretz & my first reaction was: what gives? This type of incident happens fairly regularly in the Territories. Perhaps not to quite this level of gross negligence & cruelty. But I’m wondering whether perhaps there have been similar incidents w this particular unit before; or whether the political climate is such that Olmert has told the IDF to go hard on such infractions in order to make an impression on the Palestinians & Americans for the sake of the Fatah government which Israel is allegedly supporting.
So many similar incidents to this one have gone w/o any punishment or investigation that it makes one wonder what’s diff. this time around. But to be fair, I’m glad the IDF has taken the actions it has. Now, let’s see if any serious discipline results.
John Yorke says
I’m sure suspending the entire company of soldiers involved here will be of some small comfort to this unfortunate Palestinian. It seems to me that, according to the initial report, the incident itself should never have happened in the first place. The fact that it did and may only be the tip of the iceberg in such cases, would signal the need for a more focused policy by all concerned regarding this type of far too casual violence.
I wonder if trigger fingers on both sides would have been quite so itchy if the formula I’ve posted many times on Richard’s blog were active and in being. Bullets and lives may, in some quarters, be classified as cheap and expendable, not least by those doing the expending. The prospect that, as a result, several square kilometres of one’s own territory might then be formally and irrevocably reallocated to the ‘opposition’ would, I suspect, instil a much less cavalier attitude in those same quarters.
I guess it all depends on how you view these matters. Is life more important than land or is it the other way around?
The answer to that question may hold the key to everything. Perhaps it should be put to that Palestinian lying now in his hospital bed. Or the family of the next child to die in this seemingly endless conflict.
Richard Silverstein says
Peter: Thanks for that heads up. Really disgusting troll signatures. I changed the setting to manually approve all sigs & guess what–the Jewish porn trolls went away.