Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Matter of Land Ownership

My friend Judith first brought this issue to my attention and I managed to catch an article on it (in Hebrew) in The Marker of today.

Seems that the Proslav Russian Church which brought tens of thousands of pilgrims to the Holy Land in the 19th century, also purchased extensive property holdings. It is estimated that 235,000square meters is theirs in Israel, the disputed territories of the Palestine Authority, Syria and Lebanon. In Israel, most prominently, this includes the Russian Compound in Jerusalem.

In that The Marker report, it seems that the PA will be returning some 35,000 sq. m. of land in Jericho and the Mt. of Olives.

Some people, understandably are quite upset about this development but as I am an optimistic person, I tried to see the 'good'.

Here it is:-

If after 150 years, the Pals. are recognizing land purchases by Russians, and actually awarding them title and use, well, then, land purchases by Jews should be no problem: in Hebron, Shchem, Jenin, etc.


Peter Drubetskoy said...

What's good for the goose is good the gander: Approximately 40 percent of the area of settlements is privately-owned Palestinian land.

Peter Drubetskoy said...

About land grabs by Israel:

"Until about 1977 such seizures were mainly justified by citing security reasons. A military commander would spell out such reasons in an affidavit and the defence minister would back it up with a statement of his own. This way of going about things became undesirable mainly because the invocation of such reasons was often patently absurd and also because it could lead into legal hassles. Though challenges were mostly futile (the Israeli Supreme Court took the military declarations at face value) they did entail legal formalities and unwelcome publicity.

Read more here. Really fascinating stuff!