The White Man's Real Estate

The dispute in Canada over a stolen and a forced purchase of the remanining land of Iroquois reminds me of Palestine. In Canada, we call the indigeneous people the 'First Nations' recognizing their virtual ownership of the land while at the same time refusing to let them exercice the actual ownership on the land. Indigeneous people are now, after so many years, legally claiming the ownership of the land stolen and illegally purchased from them. This can be a paradigm for the Palestinians.

One of the number one zionist arguments is that Israel was founded on land purchased from 'Arabs'. This claim is not true because whatever little purchase happened, it happened under the occupier rules (being the British mandate over Palestine or the Israeli occupier) and was therefore illegal. However, it pleases me to think that, according to this notion, Israel is not a country, neither a nation, but a real estate, so if it was really founded on land purchase as zionists claim (although they deny it was illegal), Palestinians might be legally able to reclaim their land in the same way Canadian indigeneous people are claiming theirs.

An example to follow...


Oleh Yahshan said...

an interesting concept,
except that in that case non of the land belongs to ANYBODY.

When do you think the arabs got the land?? did they not purchase the land under occupation of the ottomens?? if that's the case anyone who bought land after 1600 has no legal basis to the land.

Im sorry to tell you that your dream of a world with No Israel is not going to happen as soon as you would like.

oh and Happy Israeli Independance day (or happy Nakbah Day in your case)

Cosmic Duck said...


That is a difficult comparison. The indigenous people had no titles to land, whereas those settling in Palestine, as far as I know, got titles to the land. That of course is only verbal ping-pong. What is important is the defence of rights to land from a moral view point. And in that respect you could perhaps compare the two cases.

Sophia said...

In the article they point to the fact that part of the land was actually attributed to indigeneous people (may be they did not have titles but official agreements with the governement) but even this one was taken from them. This confirms that the paradigm will be even stronger in the Plaestinian case.

Gert said...


I find myself almost agreeing with Oleh on this one.

Firstly, to try and seek a solution to the Palestinian question in this way is in my view a waste of time, although the principle may apply in very specific cases.

The origin of landownership goes back to times when current common and International law didn't apply because they didn't exist. Some of the largest estates in Britain have been in the hands of a few families for hundreds of years now, long before the UK existed as a modern Nation State. The truth is that those, somewhere in the mists of time, who claimed land by putting a fence around it and calling it theirs, simply got lucky.

To try and base a solution for the Palestinian people on this principle is rather academic. That does not mean that where land was clearly taken from them (without legal purchase) they may succeed in regaining this land.

Gert said...

And what I'm much more interested in is what you believe is a just solution to Israel/Palestine, in terms of a two-state solution.

Cosmic Duck said...

The indigenous peoples' fight for land is more a moral issue than a juridical one. They defend their land rights as part of a struggle for identity and equal citizen rights in a society where they feel they're the underdog. On the other hand, they have to accept that the white man is there and try to come to terms with him or her.

It's the same, in some way, with the Palestinians. Even though they have been trampled upon there is no other way than some kind of peace with Israel. - Not on any terms of course. The Israelis have to accept a withdrawal behind the borders before the 1967 war.
I agree with Gert that some kind of two state arrangement seems to be the only viable solution in the long run.

Sophia said...

We already had an exchange on this. Nobody has a ready made solution in his pocket and I connot outline one.
However I am for the one state solution with equal rights to all citizens.

Anonymous said...

I agree that one state with equal rights for everyone is the best solution.

It is only in such a state with a constitution (Israel does not currently have one) can there be justice for everyone particularily the Palestinians.

As for Canada's native people , they only became Canadian citizens in 1951. It is interesting to note that the South Africans based their apartheid laws on Canada's laws regarding Native people in 20's or 30's.

Israel is an apartheid state and denies all non-Jews access to 93% of its land controlled through the Jewish National Fund (JNF) within the green line.

The JNF properties include all of the private land taken from the Palestinians and "State" lands before 1948 and 1967.

For more info on the JNF see http://www.canpalnet-ottawa.org/Uri%20Davis%20Canada%20Park%2024.9.04.pdf and


Oleh Yahshan said...

I am sorry to tell you, but you are very worng about your statement.

the JNF today does not control 93% of the land. What you are thinking of is called Minhal Mekarkei Yisraeli (Israel Land Admin.), JNF only has control over some of the NAtional Parks - That are open to everyone and anyone.

I will let you in a little secret - the only people in this country who DO own land are the Israeli Arabs - they own the other 7%. As for the rest - no one in this country has ownership to land - it on long term leases.

If your statement was correct There would be no Arabs living in any place other than those 7%. But then again you have never been here - and you can't see that there are arabs living amongst Jews in many cities in this country - They all shop in the same stores - more than that they OWN the stores - they sit with me in class (university) - And so on and so forth . Need I go on??
you should go and learn what the apathied really was then you can come and make your comparisons.

Sophia said...

Issam's links:
palestine remembered

Also, On Israel as apartheid state:
this land belongs entirely to the jewish people

rules of apartheid in Israel

And the 'security fence' is actually an apartheid wall.

Thanks Issam specially for the first link.

Oleh Yahshan said...

to keep it simple (I know it's not):

I was not talking about the Wall and niether was Issam - He was reffering to Israeli Arabs. your 2 links reffered to the PA Palestinians - that is a different Issue that I don't really feel like getting into again at the moment.

Palestine remembered does a very good job confusing the fact and drawing conclusions without basis. I have taken a look at it and it makes a point of mixing the facts to sute it's case. There is a big difference beteen the JNF and ILA.
a difference that is mentioned and then ignored in the PR site. The fact that there are internal issues in Israel between the 2 bodies is nothing to get excited over - and is not something that suggests Apathied.

I am still trying to find the place in Issam's argument that shows how Israel is an Aparthied - in regards to Israeli Arabs.

Anonymous said...

Cut the hasbara. You know nothing about what you are talking about or you are being dishonest.

Israel is a Jewish State for only its Jewish citizens and the Jews of this world. All statistics in Israel are broken up into Jews and non-Jews. There is a great disparity between Israeli Arabs and Jews in all areas of public life. Sounds like Apartheid to me

As for the application of laws and justice. The best example that I can put forward is that of the Arab residents of Kefar Biram and Iqrit . See http://www.ap-agenda.org/nasser/nasser3.htm

They fled to other villages in Galilee in 1948 and neither the courts or the politicians have given these Israelis any justice.

The Jordan times had this short article about their plight.

Supreme court rejects appeal of Arab Israeli refugees

TEL AVIV (AFP) — Israel's supreme court on Thursday rejected an appeal by Arab Israelis to return to their village, from which they were expelled during the 1948 war and which was destroyed by the Israeli army three years later, court sources said. The court stuck to previous rulings on the same case and said the former inhabitants of Iqrit and their descendents could not be allowed back home and that other channels had to be explored for compensation. When the state of Israel was created on Palestinian lands, the inhabitants of the mainly Christian village refused to flee to Lebanon as did most Palestinians in the Galilee region and were given temporary housing in the area with the promise they would be allowed to return within weeks. They have been waiting ever since, and their former hilltop village is now being used as an army position overlooking the volatile border with Lebanon. The court said the Iqrit case could be reconsidered if the political context changed. The Israeli authorities fear that allowing the villagers back would open the floodgates for claims by some of the 3.7 million Palestinian refugees. Earlier this month, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon repeated that he would never allow a single Palestinian refugee to reclaim his house inside Israel.

Haaretz has this article today


Sophia said...

The Haaretz link posted in Issam's last message

The first link of Issam's last message

I am giving you the procedure to post links in the comment section, thanks to Gert who helped me through.

Every web adress:
1-should be preceded by:(a href="
2-should finish with: /") (sometimes if the doucment is a pdf. or an htm. there is no need for the bar)
3-After you write the title you want to attribute to the adress: haaretz article for example.
4-You finish the title with: (/a)

-No sapces except where specified.
- All (and) must be replaced by
< and >
I couldn't add the symbols < directly in the syntax because the comment's window could't accept the syntax.

Sophia said...

Issam, A correction to the procedure:
3-After you write the web adress and the symbols preceding and following, you write the title you want to attribute to the adress: haaretz article for example.

The whole tyhing should look like that:
(a href="webadress/")title(/a)
You replace ( and ) by < and >

Anonymous said...

Thanks,Sophia. I will need to practise it.


Sophia said...


Sorry, the web adress for the Haaretz article was truncated. I am still practicing myself.

here is the correct adress:

Haaretz article

Oleh Yahshan said...

do you even know what Hasbara means?? you make it sound like it's a bad word.

if you are trying to say Propaganda than use it - although you are wrong - all I did is look at the sources YOU gave me.

"Israel is a Jewish State for only its Jewish citizens and the Jews of this world. All statistics in Israel are broken up into Jews and non-Jews. There is a great disparity between Israeli Arabs and Jews in all areas of public life. Sounds like Apartheid to me"

What is that then?? Every country in the world breaks it's statistics up?? we also break them in to Men Vs. Women - does that make us chauvenist(sp?)?? of maybe it feminist?? That is not much of an argument - statistics are broken up into the smallest parts it's what makes them statistical.

As for the Biram and Irqit - Once again I will state that Israel has it's INTERNAL issues - some of them also concern the relations between Jewish and Non-Jewish people and also issues between Non-Jews and The country. That does not make a country an aparthied (once again I ask you to look up what that word is!).
I am not going to go into justifing evrything Israel does internally - but then again it should be non of your buisness, unless you live here.
I will say that there are issues - and that the reason you know about them is becuase they are enough of an Internal concern that they are being delt with. Once again - Minority issues are a big deal in every country in the world (see - france, Britian, U.S., Canada ETC.) that does not make the countries an Aparthied.

Sophia said...


''I am not going to go into justifing evrything Israel does internally - but then again it should be non of your buisness, unless you live here. ''

Can you answer me how can you enter a discussion on israel with someone while telling him that the matter is not his business. Basically, what you are saying to Issam is 'shut up'. This is not a good premise for discussion.

Oleh Yahshan said...

I did not say that you cannot talk about Israel. I think we should, just like we talk about everyone else.

My issue is that Israel is held to a different Standard, and there is no respect to the fact that the country has internal issues that have to be resolved.

I will retract my statement that it is not his business and rephrase it:
it is important to make a distinction between internal politics and External Issues in a country and that is true about Israel, including the Israeli Arabs. Mixing the two things together goes against the cause of those fighting for rights inside Israel, because the end result of the fight is different, and so are the means that they are using. I agree and even support the Israeli Arab's right for equality - and think that there should be more done in order to ensure that it happens. That has NOTHING to do with what is going on with the Palestinians, and those who try to put them together by making statements such as issam has made (apartheid ETC.) goes against that cause.

Inequality, is not apartheid. If you want to help, come here and protest, Join Adallah - the Arab Lobby, and many other activities. Don't throw baseless accusations into the air, without knowing the facts.

I know you have an Image of Israeli Arabs sitting on the back of the bus, and not being allowed into"Jewish only" Stores (there is no such thing), or other such images taken from South Africa, when in fact the battle that the Israeli Arabs have is one of many groups in this country trying to gain power (legitamitly), and using the means given to them by the country in order to do so.

Sophia said...


1- You cannot compare israel to any other country because israel does not have definitve borders and it was expanding its borders on the expanse of the Palestinains and other arab countries since its foundation.
2- Palestine does not exist proper, it is largely under israeli occupation, what do you do with the citizens of gaza and the West Bank ? what kind of status do you give them and what kind of country do you recognize to them ?
3- Israel has different layers of racism, it has first, second and third class citizens and so on. I can describe the layers:
a-The founders: Ashkenaze from europe and american jewish, white jewish.
b-The jewish who joined Israel after the 1948, 1967, 1973 wars fleeing arab countries.
c-recent jewish immigration from eastern europe, mainly russian. Most soldiers in the IDF sent on dangerous missions are russian. I know one of them, he fled israel, he hates Israel he sees it as a racist country and he suffered from racism in israel.
d-other migrants, ethiopians, etc..
e-Israeli arabs
f- occupied palestinians.

From what preceds you cannot claim that Israel is a country with equal rights to all its citizens.

Issam is not mixing up issues, this is the reality of Israel but you do not want to see it. Good for you because you are living there and if it happens that someday you will wake up to this reality it will be painful for your conscience to stay who you are.

The two state solution will have to face the land dispute because what the Palestinians have as land now willnot make a viable state. Israel made sure with the settlement enterprise specially after Oslo, that no Palestinian state will viable in the near future.

3:45 PM

Oleh Yahshan said...

you based all that after talking to one Russian friend of yours??

you must have done a real long study of Israel and it's army in order to come to those conclusion.
Intersting because according to that I am a D class citizen. I should go out and protsest.

Needless to say that your Class list is nothing more than pure nonsense (actually it's not even that pure) and it really makes me think you have no Idea what you are talking about, and you make it up as you go along.

Sophia said...


I didn't base may judgment after talking to one jewish russian friend. I based it also on daily reading of Israeli journals. Haaretz is actually in my favourites and I visit twice a day. I also read the readers reactions to the articles in Haaretz.

If you want to read about racism of Israelis against the Palestinians I have this article by Gideon Levy, as for the rest you have to check daily israeli journals.
Oleh, I understand you are detached from Israel's reality because you have just made your Aliyah and this is no time for asking oneself questions. I think that having been able to move to Israel is something you value and I uderstand and I wish you well but don't you think that every other human being who has ties to Israel other than religious, like family ties and land, has the same right as yours ?

Oleh Yahshan said...

Although I "just" Made Aliyah over 22 years ago have grown up in this country - Speak the LAnguege as my mother tounge (Hebrew) and am Extremly involved in the political scene, and read the Hebrew papers Daily, I can understand how that would make me "detached from Israel's reality" as you put it.

and where did I EVER write that there anyone here has more rights than anyone Else. if anything I support the Fight that the Israeli arabs have at the moment. I think they are treated unfair, they are also un represented in the Knesset (the arab parties have the Palestinians interst over the Israeli Arabs). Your argument of a Class system in this country is still detached from reality. If you would like I could show you another side of Israel other than the one you have in your mind today, but I am not sure you want to see it, it will go against everything you believe in.

Have a good day and a Great Weekend

Sophia said...

So you have made Aliyah twenty two years ago and you still far from apprehending the basics of Isarel's many terrible realities. I am sorry to have misjudged.

In your opening of the comments on this post you said:
''oh and Happy Israeli Independance day (or happy Nakbah Day in your case)''

I don't think the ''(or happy Nakbah Day in your case)'' was actually necessary. If you have been living in israel for twenty years now you must know that 'Nakbah' means the great catastrophe, the killing of Palestinian people, their forced migration to other countries, the dispersion of their families and the many sorrows that come with this. This was meant to hurt and to provoke and this is what some Israelis know how to do very well, specially those who are in your government.

Anonymous said...

Oleh , my dear friend, when Arabs can be allowed to perform Aliyah like you then Israel will no longer be an apartheid state.

It is very arrogant of you to say that it is none of my business. It is my business because I can't live there like you. What kind of state gives you the right to have citizenship and rights because Jews moved to Palestine 2000 years ago from other lands and people like myself who have property and family there and can trace our roots there for hundreds of years are denied that same right.

It is everybody's business because Israel by its actions and defiance of international community threatens world peace and stability.

Inequality is institutionalized in Israel. The JNF builds Jewish only neighbourhoods. These are some of the things that make it an apartheid state. For god's sake , an Israeli Arab cannot even marry a resident of the west bank and Gaza and have their spouse reside with them.

What do you mean by internal and external relations? Is the west bank and Gaza an external matter.

You are trying to have it both ways.

Israel is "a light unto nations "and when you are caught you say that we hold it to higher standard. Who is being unfair?

The internal issues of Israel/Palestine can only be resolved in a unitary binational state with equal rights for all.

As for the mechanics there could be provincial or national councils and a federal one.

There cannot be a territorial or military solution to this question.


Oleh Yahshan said...

I guess you didn't read when I said I take back that statement.

as for the rest - I explained it already and you still keep on with you JNF nonsense, JNF does not build houses. It is aprivete fund and as such can decide where the money can go.

As for immegration - if you want you can move into Gaza - no one is stopping you.

Sophia said...


I suggest we stop any discussion with Oleh at this point. He is not embarrassing himself with sheep clothes anymore.

Since March 29th 2006