Israeli efforts to compensate Arabs who claim to have been evicted from their homes in 1948 have hit another roadblock: a pro-Palestinian campaign intended to stop Arabs from accepting, Israel National News reported Saturday night. The intention of the campaign is to foment Arab resentment towards Israel.
The secretary of the Displaced Union in Israel, Suleiman al-Fahmawi, told Hamas’s Falastin newspaper about the campaign. Called “No giving up our fathers’ and grandfathers’ land”, its goal is to undermine an Israeli government program offering to pay Arabs allegedly displaced by the foundation of the Jewish state. Al-Fahmawi says government representatives are struggling to convince Arabs to give up their land claims.
According to the head of the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel, Mohammed Barakeh, “The Zionist movement focuses on its aggressive, settler and expansionary approach of a land without a people for a people without a land.” He added that the very existence of the Arab population in Israel, along with its natural growth, presents a challenge to the Zionist enterprise. Barakeh believes this is the motivation behind Israel’s demand that Palestinians recognize it as a Jewish state, and on a private level, the reason the state keeps trying to purchase Palestinian lands.
Barakeh is now warning Israeli Arabs against accepting Israeli compensation for land claims. To do so, he says, is un-nationalistic and immoral. The land owned by Palestinians is, in his eyes, meant to be passed down through Palestinian generations in perpetuity.
Earlier this year, several left-wing NGOs came under fire for blocking Palestinian individuals from selling their own land to Israelis. Most notably, high-profile activist Ezra Nawi was accused of turning over Palestinian citizens to the Palestinian Authority for torture and execution, relishing in their suffering.
Although God promised the entire land of Israel to the Jewish people, there are three places the Bible mentions explicitly that Jews paid for in full so they could never be disputed: Hebron (where the forefathers are buried), Shechem (Nablus, where Joseph is buried), and the Temple Mount. Ironically, all three today are the most hotly disputed locations in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.