Israeli Sovereignty Would Free Residents of the West Bank from Ottoman Law

To its opponents, the change in the legal status of certain areas of Judea and Samaria is “annexation;” to its proponents, it is the “extension of sovereignty” or the “application of Israeli law.” Naomi Khan argues that the last term best captures the practical implications of the measures in question. Since the Six-Day War, the Jewish state has continued to uphold the Ottoman legal system in areas of the West Bank under its jurisdiction—despite the fact that the Ottoman empire ceased to exist in 1922; “annexation” would end this situation. Setting aside the usual questions of foreign policy, security, and the possibility of Palestinian statehood, Khan argues that this change would be the one most felt by those who live there:

Ottoman land law makes no sense in today’s world, and the situation as it stands is untenable. . . . Some of the most egregious aspects of this bizarre system are rarely discussed. For example, under Ottoman law, you can steal someone else’s property simply by using it for a while; women are not allowed to own, inherit, buy, or sell property; and private individuals may lay claim to public property simply by planting trees on it.

A second massive failing in the system is the basic fact that the land registry for Judea and Samaria is not available to Israeli citizens. . . . Additionally, the administration of the land registry is completely outmoded. The painstaking, glacial pace of handwritten recordkeeping is fertile ground for forgery, and leads to further violation of property rights, making it nearly impossible to conduct property transactions in a normal fashion.

Israel’s failure to carry out the necessary registration and regulation of land in these areas has enabled the Palestinian Authority to carry out a well-planned, carefully timed, and well-funded land-seizure program: tens of thousands of acres of land in Judea and Samaria have been commandeered through illegal construction and agricultural projects. [Indeed], the Palestinian Authority has done precisely what the state of Israel has failed to do for more than 50 years, creating its own land registry in areas under full Israeli jurisdiction and redefining reality with facts on the ground.

Read more at JNS

More about: Annexation, Israeli law, Ottoman Empire, Palestinian Authority, West Bank


Universities Are in Thrall to a Constituency That Sees Israel as an Affront to Its Identity

Commenting on the hearings of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Tuesday about anti-Semitism on college campuses, and the dismaying testimony of three university presidents, Jonah Goldberg writes:

If some retrograde poltroon called for lynching black people or, heck, if they simply used the wrong adjective to describe black people, the all-seeing panopticon would spot it and deploy whatever resources were required to deal with the problem. If the spark of intolerance flickered even for a moment and offended the transgendered, the Muslim, the neurodivergent, or whomever, the fire-suppression systems would rain down the retardant foams of justice and enlightenment. But calls for liquidating the Jews? Those reside outside the sensory spectrum of the system.

It’s ironic that the term colorblind is “problematic” for these institutions such that the monitoring systems will spot any hint of it, in or out of the classroom (or admissions!). But actual intolerance for Jews is lathered with a kind of stealth paint that renders the same systems Jew-blind.

I can understand the predicament. The receptors on the Islamophobia sensors have been set to 11 for so long, a constituency has built up around it. This constituency—which is multi-ethnic, non-denominational, and well entrenched among students, administrators, and faculty alike—sees Israel and the non-Israeli Jews who tolerate its existence as an affront to their worldview and Muslim “identity.” . . . Blaming the Jews for all manner of evils, including the shortcomings of the people who scapegoat Jews, is protected because, at minimum, it’s a “personal truth,” and for some just the plain truth. But taking offense at such things is evidence of a mulish inability to understand the “context.”

Shocking as all that is, Goldberg goes on to argue, the anti-Semitism is merely a “symptom” of the insidious ideology that has taken over much of the universities as well as an important segment of the hard left. And Jews make the easiest targets.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, University