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The Only Democracy? » Discrimination » Israeli Supreme Court celebrates Tu Bishvat by ruling for trees over people

Israeli Supreme Court celebrates Tu Bishvat by ruling for trees over people

As an environmentalist, I am often told I care more about trees than people. It seems the Israeli Supreme Court not only values forests over people, but unnatural, politically motivated, man-made forests!

“In its ruling on 4 January 2010 , the Supreme Court of Israel rejected the appeal of 486 Arab families who demanded that land in the destroyed village of Lajoun confiscated from them in 1953 by Israel for “settlement needs” but used for a man-made forest be returned to them. The Arab families are all citizens of Israel and currently reside in Umm el-Fahem located in the center of the country.”

At the “Trees of Reconciliation” seder, a meal for the Jewish “new year of the trees,” I attended I learned a lot about the history of Israeli planting fast-growing invasive pine trees to cover up the theft and destruction of Palestinian lands. Nice to know the Supreme Court is keeping the best traditions alive.

Adalah , the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, comments:

The Israeli Supreme Court’s decision affords greater importance to the State of Israel’s man-made forests than to the property rights of Arab citizens of Israel. It also shows that the court’s policy of returning the land moves on two different tracks depending on the nationality of the petitioners: Jewish citizens can recover their confiscated land if it is not used, but as for the Arab citizens of the state, they cannot retrieve their land even if it has not been used for decades.”

Here is Adalah’s video of the land:

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JESSE BACON (Philadelphia) is a freelance activist and father. He has a Masters in teaching from Roosevelt University in Chicago. He is an observant progressive Jew, and is trying to be a good ally for Palestinians and all dispossessed peoples, while staying true to the best traditions in Judaism. He visited Israel and Palestine in 1996, 2001, and 2002. He served for three years on the local steering committee of Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago, and one year on the board of Pursue the Peace in Seattle. Read his posts here.

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