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Samson Blinded

Samson Blinded

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Publicado porAdamhman

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Published by: Adamhman on Apr 29, 2008
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10/06/2012

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Said writes that only Jews benefit from the institutions of the Israeli
state and at the expense of Arabs. Yet Israeli Palestinians have the same
medical, pension, and education benefits as Jews, far beyond what any Arab
country offers. Whatever advantages Israeli Jews enjoy may be paid for by
Jewish private funds. Nothing happens at the expense of Arabs, who pay
lower taxes than Jews and are exempt from military conscription. Arabs are
only 15% in Israel, generally underproductive, and cannot subsidize Jews.
Said specifies only land ownership, which is not a state institution
in any regular sense of the word. Land in Israel is technically controlled by
a non-government fund entitled to set its own rules158

and free to refuse to
lease land to non-Jews. Further, the owners hold many Arab farms in
perpetual possession, while Jews generally lease. Since Arabs are not taxed
and often own vacant land, the Arab disadvantage seems slight. Many
countries ban foreign nationals from buying land; religion is a more valid
basis for restrictions than fluctuating citizenship. Americans don’t sell the
White House to Japanese investors, and for Jews there is something bigger
in the ownership of the Promised Land.
The Jewish National Fund, the private land trustee, was not set up
to deprive Arabs. During its hundred-year history, the J.N.F. developed
more than 250,000 acres of previously useless land, planted 220 million
trees, and built many reservoirs. Jews from all over the world donate to the
J.N.F., letting it buy unclaimed real estate and develop it. Why should it
benefit Arabs? The J.N.F. is not conquering land or getting it free from the
Israeli government but buys it. Before 1948, though Jews did not control
the territory, they bought massively and without incident. The J.N.F. did not
force Arabs to sell the land, though some have alleged extortion. Israel is

158

Nothing in liberal doctrine justifies forbidding private entities to discriminate on
ethnic grounds. If a dog’s owner might sell it into good hands, not just anyone, why
refuse a house owner a similar right of choosing a buyer on whatever grounds? If a
charity might benefit orphans, but not widows, why disallow charity for Black
orphans only? People donate money to churches, benefiting only Christians, but
cannot donate to charities benefiting only Christians. If people could bequest to
anyone, why not to any group? Charities circumvent this hypocrisy—prohibiting
people from favoring those whom they want to favor at no expense to others—
through custom-tailored review policies. Jewish Trust Fund is not land monopolist,
and should be able to set its preferences as any private entity.

Samson Blinded: A Machiavellian Perspective on the Middle East Conflict

245

almost159

unique in that she bought more arable land than she conquered or
obtained through international legal arrangements.
Israel does not routinely apply the doctrine of eminent domain.
Private land ownership trumps public designs. Arabs own many vacant lots
in major cities, and the government does not foreclose, even though they
destroy neighborhood property values. Arabs must not want land in Israel,
since they refuse to develop lots even in Jerusalem. No one who knows the
Israeli legal system can believe unlawful restrictions impede construction
on Arab land. The courts that acquitted a Nazi criminal for lack of firm
evidence and which locked the Jerusalem city administration into a years-
long battle over the Armenian quarter of the Old City would defend any
lawful Arab claims. There is not a single instance of an Arab being
dispossessed of a piece of land to which he had legal title. Even unchartered
land under cultivation is assigned to Arab villages in perpetual lease.
One cannot argue that the Palestinians, like the American Indians,
have no concept of private ownership of land. Sharia permits private land
ownership, and state ownership was introduced to replace bureaucrats’
wages with lease assignments, essentially tax farming. Letting the land fall
out of cultivation was not due to sharing it; Arabs often give up farming for
herding.

Muslim countries have denied land ownership to Jews since the
time of the Prophet, so it is not self-evident why Jews should not
reciprocate.

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