by David Lev and Yoni Kempinski.
If Jews don’t watch out, they are liable to lose the Land of Israel, says Dr. Mordechai Keidar of the Bar Ilan University Begin-Sadat Research Center.
Because of recent High Court decisions, the government is obligated to sell state land to all Israelis, Jews and Arabs, on an equal basis. That, combined with the efforts of Arabs to buy homes and land, especially in “mixed” cities, could lead to an eventual takeover by Arabs of the entire country.
Keidar was speaking on the occasion of the Ramle Conference on Mixed Cities, which was held Tuesday and discussed the implications and tensions of Jews and Arabs living together in places like Ramle, Lod, Haifa, Jerusalem and many other places.
“There has been, over the past few years, a small but constant growth of Arabs in these mixed cities, and a small but constant decline of Jews,” says Keidar. The causes are numerous, he says, and include the phenomenon of Arabs from the countryside migrating to cities in order to live a more prosperous, freer life, to Arabs buying up homes and land for ideological reasons, in an attempt to take over the mixed cities, turning them into Arab towns.
“The Arabs offer three times what the property is worth. The money comes from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. Unfortunately, when Arabs move in, Jews tend to leave, so little by little these towns become more Arab,” Keidar says.
Chief among the problems for Jews who remain, as well as Israeli authorities, is how to deal with the cultural baggage village Arabs bring with them when they migrate to cities. “Over time you can see all kinds of changes and transitions in the cities, especially honor killings, such as we are now seeing in Ramle and Lod. And the friction between Jews and Arabs is high as a result.”
Those pressures, combined with High Court decisions that require the state to sell property to Arabs, as it does to Jews – “even JNF land, which was bought by donations of penny after penny collected by world Jewry for Jews,” says Keidar – could spell the Jewish people’s ruination. “This is how the Jewish people could lose its lands,” says Keidar – and something must be done to prevent this.
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