Lack of facts in evic­tion case

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY LYN JULIUS

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? The Jewish 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.

When 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 res­i­dents have not paid rent has judg­ment gone against them. The courts have been known not to en­force evic­tion or­ders against Arab squat­ters with no other home to go to.

Few me­dia men­tion the ex­pul­sion of 1948. The Jewish claimants, they say, want to

Evicted: Ay­oub Shamas­neh “Ju­daise” Jerusalem – “to throw out the Arabs and ex­pand Jewish set­tle­ment”. Fewer still have re­ported that the Shamas­nehs did not pay rent.

Ten years ago, the Hubaras sold their prop­erty rights on to Aryeh King of the Is­rael Land Fund. Mr 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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.