Thursday, November 21, 2002

Who owns the land? Follow-up

Many thanks to the list member who supplied the following additional information about who owns the land of Israel. The truth will be heard, if we shout it long enough and loud enough. It will be heard above the bombs, the sceams of the fanatics in the streets of Bagdad and Islamabad, and the yada yada of the brain-dead news media. It will.

Naomi Ragen

After 1948, the land of Arabs who left the territory of Israel was assigned to an administrator of absentee lands, and under Israeli law the absentee Arabs could return and reclaim their land. Thousands of them did so (the figures I have seen are over 15,000). As to those absentee Arab land owners who refused to deal with Israel, their land was taken by eminent domain (called "compulsory purchase" in British law, or "expropriation" in European civil law), and they were paid fair market value plus interest.

This is a story that for some reason has not received any publicity, an act of informational neglect that from the point of view of "hasbara" (Hebrew: "explanation") is positively criminal. This story should be told.

Gideon Kanner
Professor of Law Emeritus
Loyola Law School

Don't take my word for any of this. Check it out with your Israeli sources. I believe that the Office of Administrator of Absentee Property still exists in Israel. Please check it out.