Thursday, May 19, 2022

  • Thursday, May 19, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
Home demolished in Ofra in 2017


Haaretz writes:
Israel carried out eight times as many demolition orders in the West Bank against new structures built by Palestinians compared to settlers between May 2019 and the end of 2021.

During that period, the Civil Administration – Israel's governing body in the West Bank – issued removal orders against 285 new Palestinian structures and razed 200. For settlers, by contrast, these figures were 84 and 25, respectively.

The demolition orders were issued in accordance with the Removal of New Structures Order, which took effect in 2019 and was upheld by the High Court of Justice. It requires residents to present a building permit within 96 hours, after which Civil Administration inspectors are permitted to demolish the structure without holding a hearing.

The order has attracted harsh criticism from both Palestinians and Jews, because unlike ordinary demolition orders, it provides a brief time frame until the demolition is carried out, and eliminates the hearing and appeal process entirely.

The Civil Administration also gave Lasky data on the number of movable structures that Israel confiscated in Areas C, including mobile homes and other structures whose transportation within the West Bank requires a permit.

Between 2017-2021, four times as many movable structures were confiscated from Palestinians (3,201) than from settlers (736).
Haaretz and the Meretz lawmaker who is publicizing this emphasize that far more Arab-owned homes are demolished and more Arab-owned caravans are confiscated than those owned by Jews.

The numbers themselves do not prove discrimination on their own, despite how they are presented. There could be many reasons that illegal Arab structures are more often demolished and confiscated, and bias is only one possible explanation. For example, if Arabs illegally build far more homes than Jews, that would explain it as well. We don't know how many illegal structures are not demolished on either side.  Based on these numbers in the article alone, we do not have enough information to determine whether there are any double standards. 

What we can definitely see from this story, however, is that Jews are subject to the same building laws as Arabs in Area C.

How many articles have you ever read about Israel demolishing or confiscating Jewish owned homes in the territories? Outside of highly publicized demolition of illegal outposts, the impression one gets from the media is that Jews can build with impunity wherever they want, and the state will look the other way in nearly all cases. 

Haaretz, without intending to, is showing that Jews are subject to the same laws as Arabs when it comes to constructing or transporting structures. Even if the law is enforced unevenly, as Haaretz asserts, there is no "apartheid" in the laws themselves.  Jews have to be just as concerned about having their illegally-erected homes taken away as Arabs do.

Every single demolition of an Arab home is written about and protested in the media and on anti-Israel websites and social media. Yet the hundreds of identical actions against Jewish-owned homes are not, as far as I know, reported at all. This gives the world the impression that laws against illegal structures are only for Palestinians, not Jews.

The media is hiding the truth, and you have to dig to find it.



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