[35. Unequal access to the land in Israel

The bottom line in the debate over land in Israel (James Davidson letter of July 9 [34]) is that Israeli citizens do not have equal access to the land. Prof. Uzi Ornan, in an article in the Israeli daily Ha'aretz of February 10 of this year, under the suggestive title "An Amazing resemblance of South-Africa" stated that "The ownership of land in Israel is the preserve of the Israel Lands Authority, and in accordance with an agreement with the Jewish National Fund, it imposes restrictions required by the (said) Fund on the land under its control, which land is not sold but only leased out. ...Those registered as 'Jews' have full rights in regard to most of the land, cities, and settlements; those who are not registered as 'Jews' are barred from owning real estate in most sectors of the country."

Furthermore, Article 3 of the Constitution of the Jewish National Fund states that land "is to be held as the inalienable property of the Jewish people," and "in all works and undertakings carried out or furthered by the Jewish National Agency it shall be deemed to be a matter of principle that Jewish labor shall be employed."

Suffice it to say that a provision like this one in a similar U.S. national institution, favoring Christians over Jews would have caused an uproar. But the fact is that this can only be perfectly normal in a racist state like Israel.

July 15, 1991]