Occupied East Jerusalem and the Right of Return

Jason Ditz, February 04, 2013

Israeli officials loudly and eagerly condemn the right of return as it relates to Palestinians stuck in multi-generational refugee camps across the region, but the Israeli government itself recognizes the right of return, if you’re a member of the right religion.

According to reports, Israeli NGOs have been eagerly tracking down distant relatives of Jewish people who used to live in East Jerusalem before 1948. Under Israeli law, Jews who lived in “enemy territory” and left before it became occupied territory in 1967 can reclaim their land, evicting any Palestinians who are living there. If they are no longer alive, the NGO can get their heirs to sign over Palestinian homes and neighborhoods to them for settlements.

This exact same right to reclaim lost property is denied to Arabs expelled before 1948, and likewise Israel explicitly refuses to recognize any property rights at all in certain parts of the West Bank, namely the parts where Palestinians own land that settlements are built on.




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