Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What is Going on in Sheikh Jarrah?

On the 11th of February the Hebrew edition of Haaretz carried an op-ed by Talia Sasson, a prominent former prosecutor. She seemed to be saying there's a legal loophole that is giving an advantage to Israelis trying to re-acquire pre-1948 property in East Jerusalem over non-Israeli citizens trying to re-acquire pre-1948 property in West Jerusalem, even if they live in Jerusalem. I'm not certain that's what she was saying, in the meantime the article is locked in the Haaretz archive so I can't link to it, and I'm not finding it in English. (If anyone finds it, feel free to post it).

This morning Karni Eldad writes the opposite: that the Jewish owners of pre-1948 property must purchase it a second time in order to claim ownership.

Confused? So am I. I've written to some folks I know who ought to be able to explain the intricacies. If they give me satisfactory answers I'll post them, whether their answers are what I'd prefer or not.


Sylvia said...

All there is to know about the properties in Sheikh Jarrah/Shimon HaTzadik is this:
Between 1948 and 1967, the properties were managed by Jordan's Custodian of Enemy Property (Enemy = Jewish).

Everything else flows from that.If Jordan, a country then at war with Israel, recognized that it belongs to Jews who fled in 1948, then who are we to say otherwise? But you'd think that the fact that those Jews also hold proper titles and that the Arabs do not should be sufficient proof.

Uri said...

Sylvia, that's not the only thing one needs to know, nor the most relevant one. The most important thing to know is that Sheikh Jarrah is Palestinian territory illegally occupied by Israel, and that international law prohibits occupiers from transferring their own populations into occupied territory.

Title of ownership yields to sovereignty. The title gives certain rights to the owners against the Palestinian state, but it does not permit the owner to collaborate with a state to undermine another state's sovereignty.

I would think that Zionists would not want to open up that can of worms, since there's a lot more Palestinian-owned land that was appropriated by Israel in '48 than Jewish-owned land appropriated by Jordan.