As the local and international press corps converged on Jerusalem’s Old City to cover the Arab riots at the Temple Mount two weeks ago, little mention was made of the fact that Jerusalem was not the only flashpoint. In Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Israeli Arab rioters supported by far-left protesters stoned buses. Israeli Arabs firebombed motorists on Highway 443 and on the roads to Beersheba. In the North, cars were stoned.More at the link.
These little-reported attacks are the consequence of one of the most dangerous emerging threats to Israel’s national survival: the rapidly escalating radicalization of Israel’s Arab citizens.
Over the past decade and at a frenzied pace since the 2005 withdrawal from Gaza, acting at least partially at the direction of the Israeli Islamic Movement and with the active support of the far left, Israeli Arabs and Beduin have launched a massive assault on the state. The relevant national authorities including the courts, the state prosecution, the police, the IDF, the Jewish National Fund, the Israel Lands Authority and the Ministry of Interior have failed to defend against it.
Firebombing Jewish-owned vehicles is small potatoes in comparison to developments at the center of mass of the Israeli Arab onslaught: state land. Over the past decade, Israeli Arabs have seized millions of dunams of state land.
The dimensions of this phenomenon were spelled out in last year’s State Comptroller’s Report. While the local and international Left pillories Israel when the state tries to demolish a handful of the thousands of illegal Arab buildings in Jerusalem, what goes unmentioned is that by the end of 2007 there were more than 100,000 illegally built structures in Israel. The overwhelming majority were constructed on state land seized by Arab land thieves in the Negev and the Galilee. By the end of 2009, the number of illegal buildings grew to an estimated 150,000. The scope of the theft is so vast that the Comptroller’s Report referred to it as a “national scourge.”
Most of the open land in Israel is owned by the state and administered by farmers, ranchers and the IDF. Farmers and ranchers – particularly in the North and the South, but in areas around Jerusalem as well – are daily terrorized by neighboring Arab thieves. The thieves destroy their fences, steal and slaughter their livestock and threaten to murder them if they raise any objections, mend their fences or install surveillance cameras. Many farmers and ranchers – like most business owners around Beersheba and Upper Nazareth – are coerced into paying protection money to the same Arab gangs who target their fields.
As the Comptroller’s Report makes clear, the threatened and abused farmers have no official body to turn to for help. While incidence of land theft has increased more than 50 percent in recent years, enforcement measures at all levels have decreased by 81%. In 2007, courts issued just 5,400 judgments on illegal construction. Of these, only 193 led to demolition orders. And just a handful of those orders were carried out.
Israel has no official policy for contending with the problem. A police unit formed specifically to enforce land laws has only recruited 55% of its allotted personnel and most of those 64 policemen devote their energies to routine policing duties.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
From Carolyn Glick: