Sunday, April 29, 2012

Nothing has changed in Israel since 1948

The attitude of the state and its institutions to this act of theft in Samaria sends a single, clear message to Israelis and the world: We will never stop this crushing, ultranationalist melody - then as now, in 1948 and in 2012.

After we are done being appropriately and understandably shocked by the Ulpana neighborhood affair, by the cabinet's scandalous conduct, the absolute impotence of its attorney general and the unthinkable position of the State Attorney's Office, which volunteered its services in support of breaking the law; after we have finished reeling from the depiction of land swindlers as "normative people" and from the undermining of the High Court of Justice, we must ask: How is this anything other than business as usual in the State of Israel?

The generation of 1948 is disappearing, but its spirit has never diminished. In 1948, new immigrants were brought straight from the ships into abandoned Palestinian homes with pots of food still simmering in the kitchen, and no one asked too many questions. In 2012, the Israeli government is trying to whitewash the theft of Palestinian lands, all the while scorning the law. A single straight line - a single, perpetual mode of conduct - runs from 1948 to 2012: Palestinian property is ownerless, always abandoned property, even when this is demonstrably not the case, and Israeli Jews are free to do whatever they want with it. It was catch-as-catch-can with regard to Palestinian property in 1948, and it's catch-as-catch-can in 2012, in a never-ending game. Now, as then, the arrogation is authorized and sanctioned. Now, as then, a crime is a crime. More