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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Invoking Elder's First Rule (part 1)

My First Rule of Arab Projection states that whenever Arabs accuse Israel of doing some crime, they are doing that exact crime, usually on a far grander scale than their accusations.

This weekend gives us the opportunity to invoke this rule more than once.

The first example can be seen in an article in Ma'an:
The Al-Aqsa association for protection of Islamic endowments and holy sites revealed on Saturday that some Jewish organisations are manufacturing forgeries of documents aimed to illegally purchase Arab properties in the old city area of Jerusalem.

The forgery and deception is being conducted through registering Jerusalemite lands to the names of Arab citizens who do not originally possess any lands in Jerusalem.

Extremist Israeli groups then come to those people and submit the forged documents, showing that there are lands registered in the lands' department under their names.

They offer those people huge amounts of money in return for selling properties which they never owned, nor did they know about it.

The conspiracy was unfolded when an elderly Palestinian man from the village of Qalansawa in ‘the triangle area’ inside Israel, told the Al-Aqsa association that “a Jewish extremist group had came to his home offering a large sum of money in return for 2600 square meters in Jerusalem registered under his name.” They then showed him the ownership document.

The old man added, "I kicked them out and told them that they are plotting a trick, since I never owned the span of a hand in Jerusalem."

The director of the media department of the Islamic movement and spokesperson of Al-Aqsa association, Sheikh Khalid Muhanna, warned of the dangers of this phenomenon, which, it has been noted has been rising in frequency recently.

He accused the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem in particular, and the Israeli government in general of taking a big share with these far right-wing groups. He based his accusations on the supposition that “such groups could not wander along the length of the country carrying bags loaded with money and forged documents without assistance of formal governmental institutions and departments”.
There are certainly Zionist groups that raise large sums of money to legally purchase Arab-owned land. While it is altogether possible that a member of this organization saw a common Arab name on a legal deed and made a mistake approaching the wrong man, this accusation shows no evidence of forgeries, Israeli government conspiracy or anything else.

But it is interesting that this accusation came on Saturday, because a much stronger accusation came just last Thursday - by the PA itself: (H/T: Backspin)
Dozens of Christian families from the Bethlehem area are about to discover that their homes and lands have been "sold" to Muslims without their knowledge, Palestinian Authority security officials said Thursday.

The officials told The Jerusalem Post that members of a local Muslim gang have been arrested on suspicion of stealing land and property registration documents from the Bethlehem Magistrate's Court.

Bethlehem Governor Salah Ta'mari confirmed that an investigation was under way to determine who was behind the theft. He said most of the stolen documents belonged to families living abroad.

A Christian businessman told the Post that most of the victims were Christian families living in the US and Latin America. "They are stealing our homes almost every day," he said. "We believe the suspects have been receiving help from some Palestinian security officers here."

The scam was uncovered when court officials complained that many files relating to cases involving ownership of property had disappeared, a security official said.

Initially, police thought thieves had broken into the court and stolen the files, he added. However, further investigation revealed that the theft was an inside job. Three court employees and five land dealers were later arrested in connection with the case.

The official refused to reveal the land brokers' identities, but sources in the city said some of them were not real land dealers.

"These are people with close ties to the Palestinian security forces," the sources said. "We have written to the Palestinian Authority demanding a full inquiry. This is one of the biggest scandals in Bethlehem and many families are very worried that they may lose their property."
Apparently, the "Al-Aqsa Association" decided that now would be a good time to divert attention from the real phenomenon of Muslims stealing Christian land in Bethlehem.