Sunday, March 8, 2015

How did the Zionists acquire land in Palestine?

How did the Zionists acquire land in Palestine?

The on-going conflict between Palestinian Arabs and Jews is not a new one but has been there for centuries with its roots not in the difference of the religions but for the fight over land. Until 1948, the land that is now divided into the state of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip was known as Palestine. Jewish claim on Israel comes from the biblical promise that God made to Abraham and his descendents and on the historical fact that the Jewish kingdom of Israel was located. The Palestinian Arabs, on the other hand, claim their right on the land stating that they have been living here for centuries now with a demographic majority. They also refute Jewish notion that they need a haven from Europe’s anti-Semitism as they believe that they should not be forfeiting their land to compensate Jews for Europe’s injustices towards them.

The state of Israel, with Zionists as its dominant ideology is based illegally on mostly the land that they seized from Arabs after the 1948 war. The land they took belonged rightfully to the Palestinians who lost their homes, jobs and farm lands and a large number of them were forced to take refuge in Lebanon where they are living in poor living conditions in the refugee camps.
At the beginning, Zionists were but a handful of people who showed that they have a longing for the Holy Land. However, this spiritual longing had more to it with power-seeking Jews devising a plan for taking over the whole land, making use of the British as their source. Since 1948, when Israel declared establishment of an Israeli state and a huge population of Jews immigrated to the land, Zionists have systematically seized Palestinians of their belongings, resources and also the resources of the neighboring countries. The occupation kept expanding so much so that at present, Palestinian land is nothing but a few patches.
Zionists discovered that they are up against a land which was not uninhabited but densely populated unlike their claimed, nor was it is available for them. Moreover, they found that the ownership system and land tenure was not without its complexities. The land that was available was expensive with its value increasing with the growing population due to immigration. Another Zionist assumption, through which they hoped that the Mandate will become their basis for accessing the land, turned out to be unrealistic. From the data, it is clear that Jews and Zionists acquired land in three different periods. The three percent of the land which Jews owned in 1922 rose up to seven percent of the total land area of the country till 1947 due to the Jewish immigration.
Until the time of general armistice of the 1948 war, the situation had changed to the point that Israel had taken over 77 percent of the Palestinian land with a substantial amount of the good soil, classified in the British Mandate as among the three types of soils present. The expropriation was also made to the privately owned land by the Arabs where 80% of it was confiscated by the Israelis with another 40 percent taken away from the Palestinians. According to an estimate, the total loss resulting from the unjust land acquisition by the Zionists reached up to 7.43 billion pounds.

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