197. Writer doesn't talk about land seizures

Richard Rosen (Dec. 15 In Reply) has falsified history and twisted the meaning of Victor Lama's comments of the dispossession of the Palestinians. (Dec. 1).

Whereas Lama refers to “more than 50 years of dispossession” Rosen restricts dispossession to what happened in Palestine prior to 1948.

Dispossession did not result “from land purchases,” as Mr. Rosen claims. Before the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Zionist colonialists managed to buy no more than 7% of the land of Palestine.

After 1948, Israel usurped and confiscated almost all of the Arab-owned lands within Israel proper. In order to do this “legally”, it passed a number of discriminatory laws: in 1948, the Abandoned Areas Ordinance, the Cultivation Waste Land Registration, the Absentee Property Regulations; in 1950, the Absentee Property Law, the Development Authority (Transfer of Property) Law; the 1953 Land Acquisition Law; the 1958 the Law of Limitation.

Not only did Israel seize land but also commercial and industrial properties, movable properties and personal possessions. The spoliation included cities, towns and villages with their contents. After the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967, came the settlements. Israel, the occupying power, seized land to build settlements for Jews only and bypass roads to be used exclusively by Jews.

A Peace Now Settlement Watch project showed that since Barak, the so-called peacemaker, took office he built as many settlements as his pro-settlement predecessor, Netanyahu.

29 December 2000