The eviction last week of the Arab Shamasneh family from a house in
Jerusalem’s Shimon Hatzaddik quarter has raised a global chorus of
disapproval from media, diplomats and human rights activists. Israelis
are being painted as heartless creatures who throw elderly Arabs out on
the street. But are we being told the full facts? Lyn Julius writes in The Jewish Chronicle:
Members off the Shamasneh family being forcibly evicted
Hubara family owned the house but were expelled early in the 1948 War
of Independence. The properties were impounded by the Jordanian
Custodian for Absentee Property who rented them to local Arabs.
the Israelis recaptured and annexed East Jerusalem in 1967, it became
possible for the former Jewish owners to apply for compensation or
restitution. Legal cases have dragged on for years, however, because the
Israeli courts have protected the Arab tenants’ rights. Only if the
residents do not pay rent has judgment gone against them. The courts
have been known not to enforce an eviction order against Arab squatters
with no other home to go to.
media mention the expulsion of 1948. The Jewish claimants, they say,
want to “Judaise” Jerusalem – “to throw out the Arabs and expand Jewish
settlement”. Fewer still have reported that the Shamasnehs did not pay
Ten years ago, the Hubaras sold their property rights on to Aryeh King of the Israel Land Fund. King told Haaretz
that the Arab family ceased paying rent five years ago. “I don’t trust
them anymore because they have a debt of 180,000 shekels for rent, and
damage of another 160,000 shekels…They did everything possible so [the
eviction] would happen.”
He added: “The elderly parents have no
reason whatsoever to remain in the street because their daughter lives
right next door, and there is evidence they will receive housing aid
from the European Union.”
Reports also allege a double standard,
that the law allows Jews to reclaim their property but no such law
exists for Palestinians. While restitution is rare, anyone can claim
compensation for property lost within the Green Line.
In 1993, 14,692 Arabs claimed compensation under Israel’s Absentee Property Law. In 2016 Gulf News Palestine
reported on a campaign to prevent increasing numbers of landowners from
accepting compensation for property inside the Green Line because it
jeopardised the Palestinian “Right of Return”.
The real double
standard is that the media never find dispossessed Jews worthy of
coverage. No Israelis driven from their homes can initiate court
proceedings in Arab lands, let alone obtain compensation.
Cheering illegal settlers as long as they’re not Jews (Stephen Flatow – JNS News)