By MOSHE DANN
Because land on which most settlements are built is not agriculturally useful, Arabs did not claim ownership until recently. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s assertion that Jews would not be allowed to build on private Palestinian land is a long-standing policy endorsed by Israeli governments and the judicial system.
The question, however, is what constitutes “private Palestinian land” and who decides what is and what is not private Palestinian land? If it is true that Jews are stealing land, this violates Jewish and Israeli laws and values and justifies calls for boycotts, sanctions and even the elimination of the state, since it applies to areas acquired after 1948 as well as in 1967. A devastating moral and legal indictment, it would undermine Israel’s moral foundation, its raison d’etre.
Promoted by Arab propagandists and their supporters, politicians, academics, media and anti-Israel NGOs, this theory has also been adopted by Israelis, including prominent judicial figures who give it legitimacy. A poisoned narrative based on ignorance and/or misunderstanding, it is a lie.
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