A Housing Policy we can be proud of?


By Stanley Walinets
April 30, 2011
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Israel's Government expects Diaspora support, calls us 'delegitimisers' if we disagree with its policies. But I have to say I don't feel happy that this sort of thing is being done in my name. How do others feel? Read this,
just received from http://www.neontommy.com/news/2011/04/arab-israel-two-stories-lod, a University of Southern California website. Check the site for photographs....

"A Home, Demolished, in Israel"

LOD, ISRAEL -- When a Palestinian house is demolished, the bill is sent to the family whose home was turned to rubble. The only problem is, there's no longer any address to which that letter can be sent.

Hani Khawaja, 54, a lifelong resident of the Arab neighborhood in Lod — just outside of Tel Aviv — received such a bill after his house was recently bulldozed.

His story was told via the help of translator and guide Khalil Aby Shehadi, who lives in the same Arab neighborhood in Lod that is known as the "Railway Station Neighborhood" because the train tracks run adjacent to the corrugated iron homes.

"To demolish a house, it costs a lot of money. It's about half a million shekels, that's about $150,000. When they come, they bring the police with them. They close the two entrances to the neighborhood," said Shehadi. "We can't go to school, we can't go to the hospital, we can't go anywhere. At 4:30 in the morning, they closed the neighborhood. They put police everywhere, on horses, on cars, on foot. And helicopters. There were 250 policemen."

The helicopter cost 1,000 shekels per half hour. Cleaning the rubble costs another 70,000 shekels.

"They – he and his small children, tried to take everything out of their house. They took them out by force," continued Shehadi. "They destroyed the house with everything in it. Schoolbags, books, everything! Refrigerator, everything! Everything, yes."

Khawaja's blacksmith salary of $1200 a month leaves him unable to pay for the razing of his house. And so he doesn't pay. He won't pay. Somewhere in the Israeli administrative system, Khawaja is slowly racking up fees and travel restrictions.

He is not alone. There are 1400 other demolition orders in his neighborhood."

COMMENTS

simoneq

Mon, 05/02/2011 - 09:19

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Yes that is why Israel is being boycotted.


JonOtway

Mon, 05/02/2011 - 10:28

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Stanley, that's western style liberal democracies for you. But be reassured, they share our values.


Advis3r

Tue, 05/03/2011 - 09:39

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His house was demolished becaiuse he built it without a permit, but of course don't let that get in the way of your agenda of deligitimisation.


JonOtway

Tue, 05/03/2011 - 09:56

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I will return to this subject shortly.


Advis3r

Tue, 05/03/2011 - 10:10

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If you do please supply evidence that the houses that were demolished had the necessary permits and that the only reason they were demolished was because they were owned/occupied by Arabs.


Joe Millis

Tue, 05/03/2011 - 10:33

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Can someone supply us with accurate details -- not supposition - of the number of buildings or building extensions constructed illegally and without permit by Jews in Israel proper that have been destroyed?
And I mean not the occupied territories where Israel has dismantled only a handful of illegally (even by its own standards) Jewish-owned buildings.


JonOtway

Tue, 05/03/2011 - 11:12

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and that the only reason they were demolished was because they were owned/occupied by Arabs.

will do

Joe since 1948 over 900 new Jewish villages and towns have been established. The only new non Jewish settlement is a clutch of half a dozen housing units for a bunch of Bedouins, the motivation being to get them to quit their age old annoying habit of wandering around wherever they pleased, which was very inconvenient.

But like I say I will return to this subject shortly.


Joe Millis

Tue, 05/03/2011 - 12:03

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That wasn't the question I asked, Jon. That is an entirely different issue for another thread, perhaps.


Advis3r

Tue, 05/03/2011 - 12:18

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Joe Millis your question is in fact racist who except a racist would differentiate on the grounds of race why a house has been demolished. House demolitions by Municipalities in Israel are carried out without discrimination and after exhaustive legal procedure. What's more your question is off post. The allegation here is that Israel demolishes homes because they are owned by Arabs - no proof has been offered other than wild claims.

In sum, these claims which are not new are frequently characterized by factual inaccuracies, the misuse of legal authority, critical omissions, groundless insinuations of official misconduct, untruths, and unfair and unsubstantiated "evidence," while using human rights jargon to mislead the general public. These claims disregard proportion and context, while completely ignoring the two major reasons for illegal building in Arab neighborhoods: that it is a political tool in the hands of the anti-Israel NGOs, and a means for criminal profit at the expense of others.


Joe Millis

Tue, 05/03/2011 - 12:21

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Would you be so kind as to supply us with the figures "Advis3r"? If you can't please refrain from casting aspersions and building straw men.


Advis3r

Tue, 05/03/2011 - 12:36

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Millis I suggest you read the article at the URL below ralting to illegal construction in Jerusalem. I do not have to provide proof or figures Israel does not discriminate those who claim it does need to bring figures and proof, if they can. You have no problem with your supposedly innocent question of casting aspersions on Israel but would you write say to Birmingham City Council and ask them for a break down of planning enforcement by race? You are the straw man argument king!

http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp?DRIT=3&DBID=1&LNGID=1&TM...


Stanley Walinets

Tue, 05/03/2011 - 12:42

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Dear Advis3r, you justify this demolition by saying:
"His house was demolished becaiuse he built it without a permit, but of course don't let that get in the way of your agenda of deligitimisation."

Unfortunately I don't know how long this family had lived in their house, only that, aged 54, he'd lived in the neighbourhood all his life. So OK, let's agree planning laws have to be observed.

BUT - does it not occur to you they just might, in Israel, be 'observed' in a somewhat brutal way? And in such large numbers as to indicate a hidden agenda of persecution behind this apparently innocent administrative decision?
In case this possibility hasn't occurred to you, please read again this extract from the original account (see above):

"To demolish a house, it costs a lot of money. It's about half a million shekels, that's about $150,000. When they come, they bring the police with them. They close the two entrances to the neighborhood," said Shehadi. "We can't go to school, we can't go to the hospital, we can't go anywhere. At 4:30 in the morning, they closed the neighborhood. They put police everywhere, on horses, on cars, on foot. And helicopters. There were 250 policemen."

The helicopter cost 1,000 shekels per half hour. Cleaning the rubble costs another 70,000 shekels.

"They – he and his small children, tried to take everything out of their house. They took them out by force," continued Shehadi. "They destroyed the house with everything in it. Schoolbags, books, everything! Refrigerator, everything! Everything, yes."

In short, Advis3r, how would you react if you read of this kind of response to a Planning infringement here in the UK? Its severity? Its frequency? Might we not all be astonished and demand a public inquiry, do you think?
And if so, what's so different about 'democratic' Israel that it can administer its Planning policies in such a hugely different way and nobody thinks it wrong?


Joe Millis

Tue, 05/03/2011 - 12:46

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"Advis3r", if you have figures and reasons for the demolition of Arab-owned property, you must surely also have the same figures for Jewish-owned property. So, would you be so kind as to supply us with the figures?


Advis3r

Tue, 05/03/2011 - 13:38

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Millis as I said those claiming Israel discriminates must bring proof of their claim. Why would I have the figures you suggest if as I say Israel does not discriminate. Given the length of the article I directed your attention to and the speed of your response I must doubt that you read it before you responded. The article gives statistics which disprove the cliams of Israeli discrimination - once again I suggest you read it.

Furthermore I would also suggest you read this article which gives the background to the Bedouin situation.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/israel-to-triple-demolition-ra... There are arguments on both sides as there are in the UK with the rights of Travellers.

Mr Walinets - as I said the council tried to deal with this over thyears by negotiation and in the end were obliged to take formal action to prevent the proliferation of illegal structures. I would draw your attention to the following:
http://www.sthelens.gov.uk/lgnl.htm?id=1003
http://www.blackpool.gov.uk/Services/M-R/PlanningEnforcement/
This is what Section 186 of Israel's Planning and Building Law 1965 says.
186. Where an order of the Court under section 183 or 185 has not been complied with and is no longer appealable, the Court may, if the circumstances so require, impose its implementation on the Local Commission, and it may also authorise the Local Commission to collect the expenses of the implementation, in the same manner in which a civil debt is collected, from the person obligated to comply with the order. This section shall not derogate from the power of the Court under the Contempt of Court Ordinance(5) or from any right to compensation under this Law.
Israeli law is in effect and scope no different in general to that employed in the UK. However people who wish to show Israel in a poor light disigenuously use the race angle. I do not see any of these NGOs siding with Israeli Jews who may have similar grievances when their properties are demolished.


Joe Millis

Tue, 05/03/2011 - 13:51

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I have read it before, "Advis3r". I still await your reply regarding the demolition of illegally built Jewish-owned property in Israel proper (forget the occupied territories, where a handful have been demolished). I assume your evasiveness and the building of various straw men indicates that you do not have the figures or the reason, whereas for illegally built Arab-owned property you have. I therefore think you have shown that Israeli courts and municipalities do discriminate against Arabs. I'm sure also that that was your intention. Very Machiavellian of you, I must admit.


Joe Millis

Tue, 05/03/2011 - 13:55

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So, "Advis3r" and its various aliases, to prevent us going round and round in circles, I'll leave you to carry on your search for the number of Jewish-owned properties demolished in Israel. Come back only when you have a figure, so that everyone can debate with facts, not ideology.


JonOtway

Tue, 05/03/2011 - 14:18

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Passes Joe a hamlet


Advis3r

Tue, 05/03/2011 - 14:38

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So to sum up still no evidence to support the contention that Israel discriminates against Arabs in house demolitions which is the claim made in this blog. Millis tries to deflect by asking a racist question and although such a question did not deserve a response notwithstanding being answered fails to read the article explaining the position. Because he is unable to add anything useful to the discussion the fixated Millis descends to the ad hominem by alleging I blog under other aliases - I do not - what a sad life he does lead. Finally the hapless Otway unable to back up his outrageous claims himself descends to the asinine.Tis would be comical but the demonisation and delegitimhisation of Israel on what ostensibly is a Jewish news website is anything but.


Stanley Walinets

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 12:06

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Advis3r. Thanks for your reply:- "Mr Walinets - as I said the council tried to deal with this over the years by negotiation and in the end were obliged to take formal action to prevent the proliferation of illegal structures. I would draw your attention to the following:
http://www.sthelens.gov.uk/lgnl.htm?id=1003
http://www.blackpool.gov.uk/Services/M-R/PlanningEnforcement/"

I've checked the Blackpool Enforcement website. The relevant sentence reads:

"As a last resort, if a person does not or cannot comply with the requirements of an enforcement notice, we can enter the land and undertake work to comply with the notice."

As you point out, the Israeli Planning legislation is comparable to ours - in its wording. But I ask you again, do you really think the physical eviction procedures actually employed really comply with that neutral wording? Look again at the actuality experienced by the victims in Lod:-

"When they come, they bring the police with them. They close the two entrances to the neighborhood," said Shehadi. "We can't go to school, we can't go to the hospital, we can't go anywhere. At 4:30 in the morning, they closed the neighborhood. They put police everywhere, on horses, on cars, on foot. And helicopters. There were 250 policemen.....

The helicopter cost 1,000 shekels per half hour....

He and his small children, tried to take everything out of their house. They took them out by force," continued Shehadi. "They destroyed the house with everything in it. Schoolbags, books, everything! Refrigerator, everything! Everything, yes."

Questions then:
1) Do you know of any house eviction in the UK where the Planning authority has felt it essential to provide helicopter surveillance?

2) Do you know of any eviction in the UK where the Planning authority has felt it essential at 4:30 in the morning to close all entrances to the neighbourhood? To prevent children going to schools and residents going to hospitals or anywhere else?

3) Do you know of any eviction in the UK where the Planning authority has felt it essential that the eviction be done by 250 Policemen on horses, cars and on foot, supported by helicopters?

4) Do you know of any eviction in the UK where the Planning authority has felt it essential to prevent a family and children taking their property out of their house before demolition? Insisting instead on destroying the house with everything in it - schoolbags, books, refrigerators, everything?

So Advis3r, as I asked you before, if we read of this kind of response to a Planning infringement here in the UK, might we not all be astonished and demand a public inquiry?
And if so, what's so different about 'democratic' Israel that it can administer its Planning policies in such a hugely different way and nobody thinks it wrong?

Do you think such administrative practices are wrong, or not, whoever commits them? And please don't fall back on the red herring accusation that I seek to 'deligitimise' Israel. Quite the opposite. My criticism is a desire to see Israel behave as a legitimate State should.

Incidentally, I do think you are dodging the issue by implying that evictions of Arabs are no greater than evictions of Jews, while refusing to give figures to prove that.


Advis3r

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 15:12

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Mr Walinets unfortunately you seem to project your British culture and value system on a Middle East culture which does not in general act the same as what one believes is the case with the genteel British mainly law abiding citizenry. Israel is in the Middle East and whilst it attempts to promulgate laws that reflect democratic norms its populace is made up of different cultures that in some cases do not recognise that there should be any law which governs or restricts what can or cannot be done with property that they own. Planning Laws are there for very good reason. In many cases properties are constructed without thought to safety of the occupants, requisite infrastructure and in some cases which impact adversely on the environment. Accordingly Israel like every other modern democracy has laws to govern construction. Where illegal construction is carried out notwithstanding the personal circumstances of those living in the property the planning authority has the right to safeguard the citizens and environment for which has responsibility. This is process of education which will take time. I therefore do not your accept your premise that the diaspora has a right to tell Israel how it should go about doing that especially when it acts within accepted legal norms.
The presence of police etc is to protect the court officers carrying out their lawful duties of eviction or in extreme cases demolition. I would suggest that this is no different to the UK where police are involvedwhen violence is anticipated.
I am not dodging any issue. You made the allegation that Israel discriminates against Arabs by indicating that there are 1400 outstanding orders. But you do not say how many of them are addressed to Jews and how many to Arabs? Do you even know? But why would that information be available? why would a country which does not discriminate against its Arab citizenry keep an official record of whether it is Jews or Arabs who have broken planning laws - does the UK keep such records to ascertain which of its multi-cultures is prosectuted for breaches planning law the most?
Again this posting is an attempt to try and hold Israel to greater standards than the norm.


Joe Millis

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 15:22

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Perhaps, "Advis3r", you can enlighten us as to how many of the 1400 outstanding orders are directed at non-Jews or against Jews. And it is easy to find out in Israel, since there are Jewish-only cities, towns, villages, moshavim and kibbutzim and non-Jewish-only towns and villages. Also, as you claim to be Israeli, you would no doubt know that your national identity in your ID card is determined as Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Druze etc.
You can't compare Israel with the UK, because we have fully-integrated cities, towns and villages, and even on our ID documents (passport, driving licence, National Insurance cards etc), there is no mention of religion and/or separate ethic origin. We are all British.


Advis3r

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 15:48

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I did not know that Lod was a Jewish only city? Perhaps since you have made the claim you can enlighten me as to what city in Israel is Jew only? I did not make the claim of 1400 notices Mr walinets did why don't you ask him? You claim the information exists I claim it does not - prove to me it exists if as you say it is so easy why should I have to prove a negative? Yes you are projecting again - you are all British so why did the Telegraph believe it needed to publish an article like this
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/7856787/Violent-inner-city-...
So tell that to the Black community in the UK who are disproportionately targetted by your wonderful police force which is only now trying to cure its institutional racism and disproportionately represented in Parliament and in your enlightened political parties.


Joe Millis

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 15:59

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"Adviser", there are only a few mixed cities, Lod, Ramle, Haifa, and Nazareth being the most predominant. The non-Jews in Lod, for instance, live in an appalling slum area near the railway station. How many Jewish owned properties where there has been illegal building have been demolished?
Thankfully, the Zionist Federation and the New Israel Fund are working together under the umbrella of the UK Taskforce to help alleviate the plight of the non-Jews in Israel.
I'm going to make this easy for you. Did you know that most of the hotels on the Tel Aviv sea front were either built illegally (without proper planning permission) or breached their planning permits. Have they been demolished?
The person who was supposed to be Israel's Chief of Staff, Yoav Galant, was deselected at the last minute because his home was extended in breach of planning laws. Was it demolished?
And at least the Met is trying to cure its institutional racism.


JonOtway

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 15:59

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I think the point is that there is a strategy to make it a Jew only city. Like I say I will address the evidence issue.


Advis3r

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 16:11

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Mr Otway you make accusations against Israel without a shred of evidence to back it up. Please give chapter and verse where there is a "strategy" to make any Israeli city "Jew only" - otherwise withdraw what is an outrageous allegation. As to your "evidence" I am not holding my breath.

BTW Mr Millis just came across this -

http://racismdaily.com/2011/03/29/uk-village-residents-want-to-remain-wh...


Joe Millis

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 16:15

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I am sure they want to, but unfortunately for them the uk doesn't have Israel's discriminatory reception committee law.


Advis3r

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 16:54

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"Thankfully, the Zionist Federation and the New Israel Fund are working together under the umbrella of the UK Taskforce to help alleviate the plight of the non-Jews in Israel."
Thank goodness for that I am sure the non-Jews will be releieved to hear that. Are you for real?
Again you project British values on israel. Jewish and Arab (whether Muslim or Christian)as a general rule do not intermingle socially. A muslim Arab girl dating a Jew or christian is likely to find herself ostracised or even worse.
I am not sure why you consider Mr Galant is relevant to this discussion perhaps you would explain why taking a case out of context proves your general contention that Israel discriminates against Arabs in enforcement of Planning Law. For all you or I know as the law prescribes both in the UK and Israel Mr Galant might have applied for ex-post facto permission for whatever he built. You made the allegation - prove it.
I did not know about the Tel Aviv hotels please provide the source of that information so I can enlighten myself.


Joe Millis

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 17:04

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I project democratic values on Israel, a democratic and Jewish state. What, sir, do you do?
It's a shame there's no intermingling (between Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews, between Jews and non-Jews etc); if there were perhaps Israel wouldn't be a loose confederation of ghettoes.


Advis3r

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 17:05

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A few mixed cities? What about Haifa, Jaffa and Jerusalem - The truth is Arab citizens of Israel form a majority of the population (52%) in Israel's Northern District and about 50% of the Arab population lives in 114 different localities throughout Israel. In total there are 122 primarily if not entirely Arab localities in Israel, 89 of them having populations over two thousand. The seven townships as well as the Abu Basma Regional Council that have been constructed by the government for the Bedouin population of the Negev, are the only Arab localities to have been established since 1948, with the aim of relocating the Arab Bedouin citizens (see above section on Bedouin).
46% of the country’s Arabs (622,400 people) live in predominantly-Arab communities in the north. Nazareth is the largest Arab city, with a population of 65,000, roughly 40,000 of whom are Muslim. Shefa-'Amr has a population of approximately 32,000 and the city is mixed with sizable populations of Muslims, Christians, and Druze.
Jerusalem, a mixed city, has the largest overall Arab population. Jerusalem housed 209,000 Arabs in 2000 and they make up some 33% of the city’s residents and together with the local council of Abu Ghosh, some 19% of the country’s entire Arab population.
14% of Arab citizens live in the Haifa District predominantly in the Wadi Ara region. Here is the largest Muslim city, Umm al-Fahm, with a population of 43,000. Baqa-Jatt and Carmel City are the two second largest Arab population centers in the district. The city of Haifa has an Arab population of 9%, much of it in the Wadi Nisnas neighborhood.
10% of the country's Arab population resides in the Center District of Israel, primarily the cities of Tayibe, Tira, and Qalansawe as well as the mixed cities of Lod and Ramla which have mainly Jewish populations.
Of the remaining 11%, 10% live in Bedouin communities in the northwestern Negev. The Bedouin city of Rahat is the only Arab city in the South District and it is the third largest Arab city in Israel.


Advis3r

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 17:14

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You obviously know nothing about Israel. As an Orthodox Jew I live in a mixed community I have always lived in mixed communities and have never had any problems in so doing. The Chareidim wherever they live choose to live in their own communities whether in Sanhedria in Jerusalem, Stamford Hill in the UK or Boro Park in New York, that is their choice and their right.

No you project British values whatever they may be on Israel as if it was an island surrounded by friendly countries instead of being in a constant state of war not of its choosing.


Joe Millis

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 17:22

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"Advis3r", which part of South Africa, New Zealand, Holland, France or north-west London is the part of Israel you live in? ;-]


Joe Millis

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 17:26

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"Advis3r", I think I mentioned Haifa as being among the few mixed cities. But as your statistics suggest (cut and paste from the Central Bureau of Statistics?) Arabs live mainly in Arab-only towns and villages. I doubt with Israel's new reception committee law that they will be allowed to intermingle in Jewish-only towns. Remember the Kaadans?


Advis3r

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 17:35

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No cut and paste from Wikipedia - LOL

Just how many Jews do you think will be welcome to live in Umm al Fahm. Stop projecting Israel is not a melting pot and has never claimed to be. Jews and Arabs prefer to live in their separate communities both for religious and cultural reasons - that has not stopped Arabs reaching high positions in Politics the Law Medicine Academia etc.

I live in Israel get over it fool! Don't believe me? that's your problem.


Stanley Walinets

Thu, 05/05/2011 - 14:47

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Dear Advis3r,
I've just returned to this site to see how the discussion's progressing....
I'm impressed by your statistics. I'm less impressed by the aggressive way you present your views generally - tho' that seems to be a characteristic of Israelis, proudly recognised by many if not all of them. So - I can't deny you the right to speak in the fashion of the place you live in: but it does make honest discussion of any issue - indeed, any honest search for truth - very difficult...

However, I feel justified in taking issue with one of your recent comments, for it does seem to deny an indisputable truth.

You dismiss "British values" as inapplicable to Israel because Israel is "in a constant state of war NOT OF ITS OWN CHOOSING" (my emphasis).

Can you really, honestly, claim that the region's hostility towards Israel is NOT of Israel's own choosing, when illegal settlements are an ever-increasing burden and encroachment on the Palestinians who live there? And are deliberately encouraged by Israel's Government? And when Israel insists it's entitled to build these settlements and refuses to accept they are an obstacle to peace negotiations? Can you really believe that the resulting hostility Israel experiences from its neighbours is "not of its own choosing"?

This is land that is being taken from people who've lived there for generations, by a population of people a large proportion of whom are not natives but immigrants, from the Jewish Diaspora (as a matter of interest, are you too an immigrant?). Israel might well achieve its long-term land expropriation, so long as it is supported by the $3bn-plus it receives annually from America: but that will not justify it's self-delusion that the hostility encircling it is "not of its choosing".

And while I think of it - do you really think Israel is behaving honestly by suspending Palestinians' tax transfers because it dislikes the unity agreement between Fatah and Hamas? This money, $1 to $1.4 billion annually, is taxes actually paid by Palestinians and simply collected on their behalf by Israel under an interim peace agreement. The money therefore belongs to Palestinian taxpayers. And Israel is stealing it. Can the victims' reactions to behaviour like this really be described as "not of Israel's choosing"?

I await your response. I hope you will make it in other than your habitual offensive - often evasive - put-down mode.

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