Lobe Log, Aug 23rd, 2017


Since the founding of the state, land belonging to the Arab population — which makes up 20 percent of the total population — has been halved, while Arab local authorities are in charge of less than four percent of the land in the country. Take the city of Sakhnin, for example whose territory decreased by 15 percent after Israel’s establishment. Furthermore, it is no coincidence that since 1948, over 1,000 new Jewish communities have been established across the country, while not a single Arab town has been built to serve the needs of the Palestinian population. The exceptions have been townships such as Tel Sheva and Rahat in the Negev, built to concentrate the Bedouin population in underdeveloped ghettos so as to allow the state to more easily expropriate Bedouin land.

[...] [T]he Settlement Division grew out of a governmental body that actively Judaized the land long before the occupation in 1967. In fact, it was established for the purpose of exporting those colonial practices — implemented in Israel after 1948 — to the occupied territories.

Israel knows that the fiction of “Jewish and democratic” will be put to the test not in Hebron or Ofra, but in the Negev and the Galilee. While Netanyahu and Liberman fantasize about shortcuts using “population exchanges” for maintaining demographic dominance, the Settlement Division has been persistently promoting a policy of strangling Arab communities, all while continuing to Judaize the land.