Israel in the State Department's Human Rights reports

[Update: The director of the organization who culled the information below, Dirasat and Israeli law professor Yousef Jabareen respectively, published an op-ed in the Jerusalem Post today highlighting how him, his village and his human rights are threatened by Avigdor Lieberman.] The US State Department’s 2008 report on Israel and Human Rights is available online. Below the fold are excepts identified by Israeli NGO Dirasat, the Arab Center for Law and Policy. I haven’t read the whole thing myself yet but figured many would be curious what our government says about their government.

Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
2008 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
February 25, 2009
“The government generally respected the human rights of its citizens, although there were problems in some areas. There were several high-profile cases involving corruption by political leaders. Institutional, legal, and societal discrimination against Arabs, non-Orthodox Jews, and other religious groups continued, as did societal discrimination against persons with disabilities. Women suffered societal discrimination and domestic violence. The government maintained unequal educational systems for Arab and Jewish students. Trafficking in and abuse of women and foreign workers remained a problem, as did societal discrimination against persons with disabilities”.
National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities
Arab Israelis continued to suffer various forms of discrimination in public and private life. Tensions between Arabs and Jews also remained high in areas where the two communities overlap, such as the Galilee and Negev, and in certain mixed cities with separate Jewish and Arab neighborhoods.
According to press reports, Jewish residents of Jerusalem perpetrated at least 20 violent assaults against Palestinian residents of Jerusalem during the year, most often using knives, clubs, and other weapons. Many of these attacks were reportedly premeditated.
On March 14, a policeman from the town of Kfar Saba attacked two Arab Israelis while shouting, “Death to Arabs.” Another police officer who witnessed the attack intervened to prevent injury.
On October 8, violence erupted between Israeli-Jews and Arabs in the city of Acre (Akko) at the beginning of the Jewish Holy Day of Yom Kippur after an Arab resident drove into a predominantly Jewish neighborhood. Driving on Yom Kippur was generally prohibited in Israel. Rioting ensued for several days, as Jewish and Arab extremists incited their communities against one another. While the inflammatory rhetoric was mutual, the majority of those inciting to violence were Jewish, according to the Northern District police commander. According to press reports, both communities suffered significant property damage, and several Arab families were displaced from their homes in or near Jewish neighborhoods. Police continued to pursue and arrest the chief instigators after the violence subsided. On October 20, police arrested six young Jewish men in Tel Aviv for allegedly firebombing two Arab homes in an attempt to spread the anti-Arab incitement to Jaffa and other mixed neighborhoods around Tel Aviv.
On September 9, a number of Jewish local and district-level government leaders held a conference under the banner of the Renewing Zionism Movement in the Galilee town of Kfar Tavor, during which the leaders urged the need to “Judaize” the Galilee and warned of dire consequences if Jews lose their majority in the Galilee.
In contrast the neighboring Gilboa Regional Council actively promoted Jewish-Arab coexistence, including by holding a Gilboa Coexistence Festival in August and cohosting, with the NGO Abraham Fund Initiatives, an interfaith breaking of the Ramadan fast on September 11.
During the year the Israel Land Fund NGO launched a program to purchase Arab land in the Galilee and market it at discounted rates to Jewish buyers by distributing flyers to synagogues throughout the region stating the time was ripe to redeem the “Land of Israel.”
Public debate continued over the idea of “transferring” Arab-Israeli communities from Israel to the Palestinian territories (in return for transferring Jewish settlements in the West Bank to Israel) as part of a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Arab Israelis overwhelmingly condemned the proposal, while Jewish opinion ran the gamut from support to condemnation. Members of Yisrael Beiteynu, a right-wing party headed by Knesset Member Avigdor Leiberman, advocated the idea in media interviews at public gatherings throughout the year. In a March poll commissioned by the Knesset television station, 75 percent of the Jewish public supported the transfer of at least some Arab Israelis as part of a peace deal with the Palestinians, including 28 percent who believed all Arab Israelis should be forcibly transferred.
Although Arabic is an official language, the National Insurance Institute requires that documents submitted for claims be translated into Hebrew.
Approximately 93 percent of land was in the public domain, and of this approximately 12.5 percent was owned by the Jewish National Fund (JNF), whose statutes prohibit sale or lease of land to non-Jews. In 2005 the attorney general ruled the government cannot discriminate against Arab Israelis in marketing and allocation of lands it manages, including those of the JNF. As an interim measure, the government agreed through the Israel Lands Administration (ILA) to compensate the JNF for any land leased to an Arab by transferring an equal amount of land from the ILA to the JNF. Legal petitions against the JNF policy of leasing public land only to Jews were ongoing at year’s end.
Arab-Israeli advocacy organizations have challenged the demolition of illegal buildings in the Arab sector on grounds that the government restricted building permits, limiting Arab natural growth. New construction is illegal in towns that do not have master plans and in the country’s 46 unrecognized Bedouin villages. In 2004 the Supreme Court ruled that omitting Arab towns from specific government social and economic plans was discriminatory. At year’s end, according to the government, master plans were completed for 29 of the country’s 128 Arab communities. According to the Harvard International Human Rights Clinic, between January and August, authorities demolished 97 Bedouin homes. On December 15, authorities demolished the entire Bedouin village of al-Atrash, consisting of at least 12 homes.
At year’s end the government had not complied with a 2006 Supreme Court ruling that government development policy making impoverished areas eligible for special funding was discriminatory because it included only four Arab communities among the 539 communities slated for enhanced assistance.
Arab Israelis were underrepresented in most fields of employment, including government, despite a five-year-old affirmative action program to promote hiring Arab Israelis (including Druze and Bedouin) in the civil service. According to the government, 6.2 percent of government employees in 2007 were Arab.
A 2000 law requires that minorities have “appropriate representation” in the civil service and on the boards of government corporations. As of December 2007, Arabs (including Druze and Circassians) filled 51 of 528 board seats of state-run companies. Of the 55,000 persons working in government companies, 1 percent were Arab.
The law exempts Arab Israelis from mandatory military service. Citizens who do not perform military service enjoy less access to social and economic benefits. Arab Israelis generally were ineligible to work in companies with defense contracts or in security-related fields. In June the government started a civilian service program for citizens not drafted for military service, giving Arab Israelis and Haredi Jews the opportunity to serve and be eligible for the same benefits accorded military veterans. According to press reports, the National Service Administration registered almost 600 Arab-Israeli volunteers during the 2007-08 academic year.
The Israeli Druze community comprised approximately 8.3 percent of the minority population, and the Circassian community numbered some 3,000. Males of both communities were subject to the military draft, and the majority accepted willingly. Some Bedouin and, to a lesser degree, other Arab citizens not subject to the draft also served voluntarily. Non-Jewish military veterans complained that they continued to receive fewer benefits from their service than Jewish veterans.
The Bedouin population was the most disadvantaged. Half of the 160,000 Bedouin lived in seven state-planned or eight recognized communities, which were impoverished but received basic state services. The seven state-planned townships were among the eight poorest communities in the country, according to a March 31 report by the NGO Human Rights Watch. The other half of Israel’s Bedouin lived in at least 46 unrecognized villages, which did not have water and electricity and lacked educational, health, and welfare services. The unrecognized villages, made up mostly of tents and shacks, evolved as a result of the government’s refusal to recognize Bedouin land claims based on traditional usage prior to the establishment of the state.
Government planners noted there were insufficient funds to relocate Bedouin living in unrecognized villages to new townships, and the average Bedouin family could not afford to purchase a home in existing townships. Many Bedouin also complained that moving to government-planned townships required giving up claims to land they had lived on for generations. On December 11, the government-appointed Goldberg Committee for Regulation of Bedouin Settlements in the Negev urged the government to recognize officially and extend services to unrecognized villages where existing structures were not obstructing regional master plans, and to provide assistance for the relocation of others.
On April 1, the government acted on a 1993 pledge by the late Prime Minister Rabin to authorize the construction of a permanent community for members of two Bedouin tribes in the Negev who had appealed to Rabin for assistance to overcome their unrecognized status.
In 2006 Adalah petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn a Water Tribunal decision not to connect unrecognized villages to water service. The Supreme Court’s ruling was pending at year’s end.
The approximately 20,000 non-Israeli residents of the Golan Heights are subject to Israeli authority and Israeli law. Israel accords them permanent resident status, but most of them are Druze and citizens of Syria who largely have refused or been denied Israeli citizenship. As legal residents, they received Israeli travel documents and held identity cards that entitled them to many of the same social benefits as Israeli citizens. However, Druze communities in the Golan Heights received little or no support for municipal services or infrastructure maintenance (see Annex for discussion of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem).
The government prohibits Druze citizens, like all citizens, from visiting Syria; the government allowed noncitizen Druze from the Golan Heights to visit holy sites in Syria through the ICRC-managed pilgrimage program.

36 thoughts on “Israel in the State Department's Human Rights reports

  1. None, silly, that’s what staff are for. And if you’re a junior Representative and have only a couple staff…you’re probably not on any important committees and your opinion probably doesn’t matter anyway.

  2. Interesting that the report has a separate annex dealing with the conditions in “the occupied territories”, but includes “the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights”. I wonder why they didn’t include the Golan as part of the occupied territories.

  3. “I wonder why they didn’t include the Golan as part of the occupied territories.”
    Because this is a human rights report, and Israel is ruling over millions of human beings in Gaza and the West Bank….and ruling over millions of rocks on the Golan?

  4. Jonathan, over 35,000 people live in the Golan. It’s not a matter of how large the size of the population there. It’s a political matter of whether or not to define the West Bank, Gaza, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights as either Israel, territory occupied by Israel without offering citizenship to residents there, or territory annexed by Israel in a move not recognized by the US Government (the Golan and east Jerusalem both fit this description).

  5. But the situation for the 20,000 Druze and 15,000 Jews living on the Golan is not at all analogous to the situation of the Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, and east Jerusalem.
    What human rights violations are being carried out against the Druzim and Jews on the Golan?
    Because the US didn’t recognize the Israeli annexation of the Golan means that the people there are suffereing human rights abuses? Perhaps, as such, Isarel is still violating the international legal prohibition (whatever exactly international law is) against occupying territority taken in war–although we shouldn’t lose any sleep over that.
    So much, JS posters make the very legitimate point that the just solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict is official annexation of the territories and citizenship to Palestinians–the one-state idea….but when Israel annexes the Golan and offers citizenship to the Druze who live on it, there is a human rights violation?

  6. I think only I support one state here. Despite commenting exclusively on one state solutions for two weeks I have only two state critiques of my proposals.

  7. “What human rights violations are being carried out against the Druzim and Jews on the Golan?”
    Not much.
    According to the report:
    “The approximately 20,000 non-Israeli residents of the Golan Heights are subject to Israeli authority and Israeli law. Israel accords them permanent resident status, but most of them are Druze and citizens of Syria who largely have refused or been denied Israeli citizenship. As legal residents, they received Israeli travel documents and held identity cards that entitled them to many of the same social benefits as Israeli citizens. However, Druze communities in the Golan Heights received little or no support for municipal services or infrastructure maintenance (see Annex for discussion of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem).”
    “Because the US didn’t recognize the Israeli annexation of the Golan means that the people there are suffereing human rights abuses?”
    I was simply pointed out that I’m surprised at the grouping of territory in the report. Yes, it does matter what the U.S. does or does not recognize, because this is a US Government report. I’m surpised that in writing this report, the government includes pre-67 Israel and the Golan Heights. And then there is a separate report on east Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. I’m wondering why they wouldn’t write 1 human rights report about the lands the Israeli government controls (i.e., all the territories mentioned above), or write 2 reports – one on what the U.S. government recognizes as Israel, and one on territory the U.S. government classifies as “Israeli occupied” (i.e. east Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights).

  8. I’m not arguing over one-state, 2 states, or 3 states here. I’m just confused about the report itself, in light of U.S. stated policy.

  9. No doubt that the Druze communities should receive better support for municipal and infrastructure maintenance. Even if we say that this is a human rights problem (I would say inadequate funding is far more accurate a discription,) there is nothing else in that paragraph that comes close to a human rights violations, to me at least. Really, all kinds of groups and populations suffer from government neglect in Israel; there’s no excuse, but it doesn’t mean that the situation for the Golan Druze is in any way analogous to the Palestinians’ in the territories.
    As for the U.S. report, I see your point.

  10. The Palestinian territories are were the bulk of the human rights issues are, it only seems reasonable to me that they dedicate a separate section to it.
    “None, silly, that’s what staff are for.”
    I am guessing a few actualy do read such reports, but not many.

  11. Also, Victor, I consider one state with equality for all ideal. However, I don’t support the incorporating the territories over decades while stratigicly maintaining demographic superiority you suggest. Furthermore, knowing many political issues which make the ideal solution unlikely, I recommend a just two state solution on the basis of international law.

  12. You seem to imply there is justice inherent in international law. That’s an interesting perspective. We should discuss it at length sometime.
    Who said anything about “strategically maintaining demographic superiority”?! What I’ve said is that a prolonged process to peacefully integrate the territories is the only way to practically digest and work through the various issues – decades of violence, indoctrination, inadequate civil services, etc. For those who are scared of the “demographic threat” – and I am not, as I’ve repeated ad nauseum – I merely said that a prolonged process will also allay their concerns.
    I’m glad to have you on board the one state choo choo train, Kyleb.

  13. Your one state plan leave millions under martial law for decades, and would be controlled by the public’s insistence on a strong demographic majority regardless of your own. Furthermore, your plan leaves millions of refugees permanently dispossessed. If you could overcome those issues, I would happily be on the one-state train, but until then I have to pragmatically support the two-state solution.

  14. It is unconscionable that people should live under Marshall law indefinitely. Of course, this is the situation in several normal countries, including Egypt. However, nowhere did I propose that the Palestinians be left under Marshall law. They will be spending this time preparing for integration, developing civil society, political parties, effective policing, coordinating education, farming, visa regimes, and many other areas of policy. It will take years to develop simple things that any civilized society has, like city building plans for every village. There can be village elections, regional elections, school board elections…
    Regarding demographics, I’ve said earlier that an extended, multi-decade project with multiple review boards, timelines, etc. will allay fears people have of demographic time bombs. As a generation of children grows up in a time of peace, sharing large portions of education curriculum, the demographic issue will melt away. You can’t expect perfection overnight. We’re talking about a 25 year plan, here.
    Regarding Palestinians living abroad, this is an issue that needs further study and we can discuss it separately.

  15. Egypt is repressed largely because they have been enraged for decades over what Israel is doing to Palestinians, while billions in US aid goes to prop their tin-pot dictatorship up over them. And Palestinians are living under Marshall law indefinitely until they are either granted Israeli citizenship or Israel withdraws to allow them to form a state of their own.

  16. Victor, that’s mostly what Bibi Netanyahu and the Israeli right have proposed. Problem is, they’ve been proposing that since ’67 under the auspices that people “developing” civil society (as if they didn’t have a substantial one ready to take action already) don’t still want to kill their oppressors. It’s not worked for 40 years, it’s not going to suddenly start working.
    As to the demographic threat, it won’t go away on the Jewish side unless Israeli Jews stop wanting their state to be Jewish in character. Where’s the action plan for Israeli Jews to be welcoming to non-Jews? That’s the other half of the civil society quest.

  17. Kyleb, Egyptians are under martial law because elements within Egypt kept trying to murder their leaders. It has nothing to do with Israel, and attempting to tie these two completely unrelated issues together is quite indicative of your propagandist mindset.
    KFJ, the only thing we need to know about Bibi is that he had his chance and he failed. The only positive things he has done are with regards to transforming the economy to a more sustainable and growth-oriented capitalist model. It’s incredible that he would be elected back to power after his dismal foreign policy.
    As for your contention that what I’m suggesting is the platform of the Israeli right… I wish I could say it’s true! Every hard core right winger in Israel gets elected on a simple platform – keep us safe, annex the territories. And each one of them betrays this basic electoral platform the moment they are in office and starts throwing guns and money at Fatah!
    They all blame it on “pressure”. That’s the role of a Jewish leader, to withstand pressure! If you can’t handle the pressure, get your butt out of there and let someone else in who WILL withstand the pressure. But of course, no one ever steps down. Not even Olmert after losing a war! No one is responsible for anything, much less coherent policy.
    So… proposal of the Israeli right? Maybe in far flung theory, but never actually put into practice, and judging from the circus that is emerging, it won’t be anytime soon.
    As for the “demographic threat”, it is based on certain perceptions and realities that can and will change over time. I posted links previously how the demographics we use today are decade old optimistic PA projections, and have no basis in reality. I don’t know if anyone followed that link or wants me to repost it. This issue is not the big problem everyone claims it to be, and with proper planning in 25 years there is no reason why it cannot be resolved peacefully, even for those to whom it is of paramount importance.

  18. But, what does it matter if we somehow maintain a Jewish majority? We’re still left with a situation with, what, 40% of the state of Israel being comprised of non-Jews? That’s untenable if we want this to be a homeland for Jews.

  19. Jonathan, assuming your 40% is correct, why is this untenable? Israel has always been and will always be a homeland for Jews, regardless if a Jewish government rules it. And certainly we cannot say that this is a Jewish government – it is a Jewish majority government, but it does not adhere to Jewish law.
    I’ve stated this before, and we must return to it, because with all the facts and numbers things get distracting… why am I proposing one state? It is the most effective long term way of preserving Jewish and non-Jewish life, and this is the basic obligation of ANY government, much less a Jewish one.
    If you, as an individual – and I don’t advocate that this be done at a governmental level – are exceptionally concerned about demographics, you should look at reality as it is and change it. This, after all, is what the Arabs have done, and not just in Israel. The Arabs have had explosive, exponential population growth, and are now leveraging that growth to flood the West with immigrants, who are changing the religious and political makeup of those countries, and thus redefining the West’s core interests and values. It is not done in a coordinated way, and I don’t mean to imply that it is a conspiracy – it isn’t – but it is a reality.
    The best proven ways of bringing down Arab population growth is the elimination of child subsidies, modern education, and the employment and empowerment of women. The best proven way of raising Jewish population growth is a Jewish education, period.
    I am not advocating you start an organization to do so. I’m saying look at yourself – I mean broadly, not you specifically – at an individual level, at the life you are leading now, and at one more conducive to larger families. If demographics are your fear, then the answer is simple – stop trying to manipulate and control others, just have more children. This is what the Arabs have done, and it works.
    Furthermore, we need to start changing the Jewish (pop)culture to one that embraces families having more children, instead of stigmatizing them as old fashioned or backward. My own mother had two children, and then went on to have a very successful career (which is not over) in electrical engineering. She was a real, liberated Jewish woman – the only Jew in a class of 300, in a country where Jews were allowed to comprise 1% of this elite university, and one of only 5 women. The major regret she has today is that she did not have more children. It is a sentiment I hear from other women my mother’s age – who in their time were real bare knuckle fighters for women’s rights, not the Japs we have today.
    If Israeli Jews worried more about having children of their own, it would be the Palestinians talking about a demographic threat.

  20. “Kyleb, Egyptians are under martial law because elements within Egypt kept trying to murder their leaders. It has nothing to do with Israel, and attempting to tie these two completely unrelated issues together…”
    The issues are closely related, and one has to have his head buried rather deep in the sand to claim otherwise. Granted, I wouldn’t expect anthing else from a demographic warior like yourself.

  21. Victor, the numbers I used for the demographic threat are not the PA’s numbers, they’re a combination of UN, Israeli and academic numbers. Give or take a few hundred thousand, the population of Jews vs. Palestinians between the Jordan River and Mediterrean is 50-50. In a one-state solution, there is no Jewish state.
    Not that I mind what happens to the “Jewish” part, but I think both societies are not ready for integration and the current impasse of one ruling the other only begets ongoing violence. Two states.

  22. As for the JAPs comment, most of the Jews in my life and social scene are women and they’re all pretty fuckin’ awesome. I respectfully and totally disagree.

  23. KFJ, that “combination of UN, Israeli and academic numbers” is based on Palestinian projections that are a decade old. Perhaps you didn’t get a chance to follow the link I posted in the past, so here it is again:
    Population statistics and predictions of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) are unreliable. A BESA study that subjects Palestinian demography to rigorous analysis shows that the 2004 Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza stood at 2.5 million; not the 3.8 million claimed by the Palestinians. The 1997 PCBS population survey – which has been widely used as the basis for subsequent studies – inflated numbers by including over three hundred thousand Palestinians living abroad and double-counting over two hundred thousand Jerusalem Arabs included in Israel’s population survey. Later PCBS broadcasts echoed the forecasts of the 1997 study, reporting unrealized birth forecasts, including assumptions of mass Palestinian immigration that never occurred, and disregarding significant Palestinian emigration from the territories to Israel and neighboring Arab countries. The resulting PCBS report for 2004 inflated the size of the Arab population in the West Bank and Gaza by over fifty percent. The BESA study and further demographic research indicate that Israeli concerns about demographic pressure from the West Bank and Gaza have been exaggerated.
    Regarding the JAP comment, I was wrong to say that.

  24. Kyleb, you didn’t address the issue, you merely restated your propagandist perspective, insulted me and then attacked me for addressing the demographic concerns raised by others (including you!). It’s proving very difficult to have substantive discussions with you.

  25. “Kyleb, you didn’t address the issue…”
    Right, that previous post was me giving up trying to engage in reasonable discussion with you.

  26. Victor, let’s take the BESA study at face value (which I don’t, explained below) but I’m making a larger point:
    BESA says the Palestinians in the territories number 2.5 million. Israeli Arabs number 1.45 million. That’s 3.95 million. The Central Bureau of Statistics says Israeli Jews number 5.47 million.
    Jews plus Arabs between the Jordan and Mediterranian are 9.42 million total, making Jews 58% and Arabs 41%. What’s not counted here are the 4-5 million Palestinian refugees who would ostensibly move to a new Palestnian state. Not all will move for sure, but all it would take is another 1.5 million Palestinians to fully balance the number of Jews vs. Palestinians in the one-state solution. It’s more likely that 81% of Palestinians would apply for citizenship to a Palestinian state (and presumbaly a one-state solution even more so!).
    A one-state solution with a Jewish minority means totally reinterpreting “the Jewish character” of the State. Which I’m totally open to. But the conclusion you’re pointing to is not likely at all. The Jewish birthrate has no chance of catching up.

  27. “Right, that previous post was me giving up trying to engage in reasonable discussion with you.”
    How ironic is this?

  28. The Jewish birthrate has no chance of catching up.
    I couldn’t disagree more. The Jewish people have a history of exponential growth. All that is needed is a commitment on the part of individuals to do so. It is not an issue of policy, but of individual initiative. We see today segments of the Jewish community, as I believe the study indicated, with higher birthrates than that of the Arab population. This should be encouraged – not for demographic warfare against a people who may not self-identify in 50 years, but because it is a mitzvah to do so, one that ensures the continuity and success of our people.
    With regards to the rest, I have specific conflicts with the policy of extending refugee status to second, third and fourth generations, in addition to other points, but I’ll just cut down to the core – I don’t accept the notion that Palestinians have a “right of return”. We can debate history, but this won’t serve a point. We have a fundamental disagreement on this issue, and I don’t know how to convince you otherwise at this time.

  29. Victor, not that Jews couldn’t if they put their minds to it, but the single largest determinant of birthrate is income. Israeli Jews have the highest income in the region, Palestinians the lowest. The Israeli Arab birthrate is between the two.
    Unless you make the Palestinians rich and the Israeli Jews poor, the birthrate difference is going to stay with Palestinians outgrowing Jews.
    It’s not going to happen.

  30. Look at how obsene this line of thinking is, though.
    We’re trying to fight a war through our mothers’ wombs? Shouldn’t other considerations be used in deciding to have children? Will will have some type of chalkboard in maternity wards? We’ll hear things like, “Good work, Ima, only three more to go?”
    Victor, you don’t accept the Palestinian right of return, but what Palestinian accepts the Law of Return?
    The Palestinian community in Isarel doesn’t stand for it now, but it does not yet have the political ability to affect change. In our theoritical state, 40% Palestinian, how can we maintain the Law of Return (just for Jews,) the education system, the funding priorites…the list can go on. What Palestinian would ever put up with such things. Does a “Jewish government” mean only a government that adheres strictly to Halacha (however exactly we determine what Halacha is?)
    Is our fundamental mission to ensure that we can pop out more babies than the Arabs? Is that what being a Jew will be reduced to?

  31. Victor-
    Can you explain why you don’t believe that the inhabitants of this land before they were expelled and/or colonized because of Jewish repatriation do not have the right to return, and that you want to limit the label of refugee, yet people who are descended from or converted and joined the community of those who descended from people who lived here 2000 years ago do have a right to return?
    This is insane… So perhaps I am misunderstanding you

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