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Miri Shalem

The Status of Former Jewish Assets in Judea and Samaria – Rethinking the Court’s Ruling in Valero

By Demographics, Recent

This paper is the first in a series of student academic essays published by the IZS as part of 2019 Call for Papers project. It explores the status of the former Jewish properties in Judea and Samaria that were seized by Jordan in 1948. Contrary to the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Valero case (2011), this paper concludes that Israel legally can, and should, return the property to its former owners.

To learn more about the arguments supporting this conclusion, read the full research.

Here is a link to a short YouTube video

https://youtu.be/fWpKEh7If6c

February 2019 Newsletter: The Status of Former Jewish Assets in Judea and Samaria

By Newsletters, Recent

Shalom,
This month we explore the status of the former Jewish properties in Judea and Samaria that were seized by Jordan in 1948. Contrary to the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Valero case (2011), this paper concludes that Israel legally can, and should, return the property to its former owners.

IZS Chairman Dr. Yoaz Hendel takes it to the political level and we wish him luck in his run for a Knesset seat.

Former Jewish Assets in Judea and Samaria

We are proud to open a new research section, in which we will give a stage to excellent student academic papers.
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In this first research, Russel A. Shalev examines the High Court Valero ruling, according to which a property’s transfer to Jordanian custodianship eliminated any ties between the previous owners and the property pending the cancellation of such a transfer as part of a peace agreement.

Left, the interview of the researcher, Russel Shalev.

At the time of the armistice agreement between the State of Israel and the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan in 1949, approximately forty square kilometers of land and several hundred buildings previously owned by Jews in Judea and Samaria lay in Jordanian hands. 1 Subsequently, the Jordanian government, applying Mandatory ordinances, seized the former Jewish assets, declaring them enemy property and vesting them in the Enemy Property Custodianship.

When Israel conquered Judea and Samaria following the 1967 Six Day War, many of the former owners expected to regain control of their property which had been seized from them by the Jordanian government. Despite this expectation however, the Israeli government has not released the property, instead continuing to hold the assets as Jordanian national property. The Israeli Supreme Court has argued that the Jordanian seizure of the assets as enemy properties essentially extinguishes the ties between the property and its original Jewish owners.
This paper will argue that the Jordanian seizure was illegal, was the result of Jordanian aggression and unrecognized annexation of the territory, and thus should be seen as invalid. Recognizing confiscated Jewish assets as Jordanian state property would be a violation of the principle of ex injuria jus non oritur, unjust acts cannot create law.
After having established that Jordan’s illegal actions cannot grant them legal rights, we will examine the claim that Jewish properties cannot be returned to their original owners barring comprehensive treatment of parallel Arab claims on Israel. We will argue that Jewish properties in Judea and Samaria are sui generis, ie. a unique historical and legal phenomenon, and that they are much straightforward legally than Arab properties in Israel. Conditioning their return on parallel Arab claims would erase the distinction between aggressor and victim. We will see from Israel’s experience in Jerusalem that such parallelism is unnecessary and that the return of Jewish properties will not open the gates to a flood The Status of Former Jewish Assets in Judea and Samaria 8 of Arab claims. Finally, we will argue that Israel has a unique historical obligation to restore the seized Jewish properties.

For the complete study

Blue and White Human Rights
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After a year and a half under construction, the new facility at the Qalandia crossing opened on February 20th. It includes six personal and belongings screening spots and twenty automatic documentation checking monitors. Workers show their magnetic card and can go through within seconds.

Nadav and Shmuel, our volunteers at the crossings around Jerusalem, sum up: ”The new crossing is a considerable change in all the way the place works. The maximum waiting time has dropped to five minutes. We see a lot of workers who used to cross earlier. Everybody we have been talking to is very satisfied with this change, to the extent people from Beit Lehem drive all the way to cross from here.”

For those who missed it, last month’s Tablet coverage of our activities in Qalandia can be found here.

Institute News

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Congratulations to our chairman Yoaz Hendel for being #2 of Moshe Yaalon’s Telem movement and running together with Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid’s Bue and White party.

Yoaz’s dedication to Zionism, the state and national liberal values are important assets for Israel in general and the Knesset in particular.

Publications

The following English-language articles were published by members of the Institute and contain references to a wide range of issues on the public agenda:

IZS Chairman Dr. Yoaz Hendel bids farewell to readers after years of holding his weekly column (Yediot Aharonot).
Founding Chairman of the Institute Israel Harel laments the Jewish Home’s shift toward sectarianism (Haaretz).
Institute CEO Miri Shalem argues Livni’s fall symbolizes the end of a certain kind of political left (Yediot Aharonot).
Head of Blue&White Human Rights Nave Dromi explains why the left’s personal attacks won’t end the day after Netanyahu (Haaretz).
Progects’ manager Nicolas Nissim Touboul shows how France’s way to deal with antisemitism is flawed (Ynet).

Law Enforcement In The Arab Sector

By Recent, Rights, Duties and Law

Three years following the October 2000 events, the Or Commission published its recommendations for the improvement of the relations between the Israeli police and the Arab society. The commission’s report made recommendations in three major areas: the treatment of Israeli Arabs as non hostile, the promotion of dialogue and cooperation between the police and the Arab society, and equal enforcement of the law in the Arab sector. This paper examined the degree to which these recommendations have been implemented in the 15 years since the issuance of the Orr Commission’s report.

With regards to the treatment of Arabs by the police, we found that the Israeli police uses excessive force towards the Arab society compared to the Jewish society. However, based on the data examined, it is hard to determine whether this is the result of discriminatory practices or the relatively high friction between the police and parts of the Arab population. In addition, the Arab sector is, to some extent, subject to over-policing. In recent years, the percentage of arrests that didn’t result in pressing charges among Israeli Arabs was significantly higher than its equivalent in the Jewish sector. These issues have probably accounted for the decline in the level of trust in the police among Israeli Arabs since 2003.
With regards to strengthening the dialogue between the police and the Arab sector, we found that government decisions aimed at expanding the Civil Guard apparatus in the Arab sector have been partially implemented. Moreover, Arab volunteers in the police make up a small part in proportion to their share in the population.

With regards to equal law enforcement in the Arab sector, we found that major Arab cities are still lacking in police stations. This is in part the result of objections by some of the Arab municipalities to allocate lands for the purpose of establishing new police stations. In addition, Arabs’ participation rate in the police force is much lower than their share in the population. Efforts to tackle these problems have been made as part of the implementation of government decision No. 922.

Our research concludes that, in the 15 years since the issuance of the Orr Commission’s report, there have been minor improvements, however, there is still a lot to be done to amend the relationship between the Israeli police and the Arab sector. For this to happen, the Israeli government should take measures against police officers who use excessive force and continue to promote equal law enforcement. It is also critical that Arab leaders and elected officials work together with the Israeli police to encourage more Israeli Arabs to join the police.

To the full research…

Ribui Kashruiot

By Kashrut, Religion and State No Comments

Multiplicity of Kashrut Certification – This study examines the phenomenon of multiple kashrut certifications in the local food products market. The study aims to assess the extent of this phenomenon and to draw conclusions from the findings as to the relevance of Chief Rabbinate kashrut certification for the food manufacturers. The study’s findings clearly indicate the Israeli food manufacturers’ ready willingness to acquire private kashrut certifications in addition to that of the Chief Rabbinate mandated by law, this despite the high extra costs involved. The study also found that in many cases, the Chief Rabbinate’s function in this field was deemed ineffective or one that lacked any added value from a kashrut perspective.

Read the complete study here.

Family Reunification through the Lens of the Nation State

By Rights, Duties and Law

Claims are periodically voiced against the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order) that prohibits the entry into the Green Line of Palestinians in order to reunite with their Arab spouses living in Israel.  The law was legislated in 2003 and ahead of its (annual) renewal, there are those calling for its annulment due to its supposed discriminatory nature. This paper examines the justifications for preventing family reunification and demonstrates that unlike the approach of the Supreme Court which bases its support for the law solely on grounds of security, the demographic justification – preserving a stable Jewish majority – also bears not insignificant weight. This study presents the foundation of this justification – the legitimate existence of the nation state. The discussion of this illustrates the importance of the Nation State Law as providing validation for the various means of defending the State of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish People, including, preventing family reunification.

To the full research…

Is population density a threat to Israel’s future?

By Demographics

Warnings of a demographic threat have been periodically issued in Israel in recent years. This time, however, the concerns are not of the risk of an Arab majority but rather, of extreme over-population… in the Jewish sector of the population!

The demographer, Yakov Faitelson has conducted a study which refutes these fears. Here are the main findings: Read More

The Interdependence of Righs and Duties

By Rights, Duties and Law

This study seeks a better perspective on the legitimacy of conditional civil rights in democratic nations.

To this end, we examined legal practices that pertain to pledging allegiance and prisoners’ voting rights in the 15 most liberal countries according to the Freedom House index. We also reviewed the conscription policy in  7 democratic nations that still uphold (needed) conscription and have an equal to or higher rate than Israel in the Freedom index.

Allegiance: Like Israel, 9 out of the 15 states require naturalized citizens to pledge allegiance to the state–Canada, Netherlands, Australia, New-Zealand, Uruguay, Denmark, Ireland, Austria, Belgium.

One state (Japan) upholds a similar procedure which involves a declaration to choose Japanese nationality by the naturalized citizen. Read More

Law Enforcement In Judea and Samaria

By Rights, Duties and Law

This study examined methods of law enforcement in Judea and Samaria in three case studies: enforcement of building laws, enforcement of water laws, and enforcement of traffic laws. The study’s objective is to present the reality on the ground, primarily according to findings in relevant State Comptroller reports, and to explain the problems involved in these issues and their broader context. The main findings are presented below:

  • In the field of building it seems that there is significant under-enforcement, leading to many illegally constructed buildings not being demolished. This state of affairs stems from coordination and policy failures at different stages of the demolition process. Furthermore, no criminal enforcement exists against those violating the building laws.
  • In the water field, the lack of coordination between all the relevant bodies results in almost unhindered water theft in Judea and Samaria. The authorities fail to efficiently seal the illegal boreholes and sever the pirate connections. Here too, the authorities fail to conduct criminal proceedings against violators of the law.
  • In the field of traffic, there are two legal systems in Judea and Samaria. The Palestinians are tried before a military court while Israelis are tried by an Israeli court. A dispute regarding jurisdiction between the military prosecution and the Judea and Samaria Police has led to a situation whereby Palestinian drivers suspected of traffic offences are almost never brought to trial in the military courts.

Read More

Democracy in Dilemma: Means for Fighting Terror

By Israel Among Nations No Comments
Amit Eisenman, one of the Institute’s researchers, has recently focused on the question of the legitimacy of using singular measures of punishment and deterrence to combat a singular crime – terror. In keeping with our best tradition, we chose to examine the issue by means of a comparative study with the aim of refuting the claim that targeted preventative killings, demolitions of houses and revocation of citizenship are unreasonable means in a democratic regime.
The study examines the use of these three practices in the fight against terror in the member countries of the G7 – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Great Britain and the US. This study aims to enhance the perspective of decision-makers in Israel and to demonstrate how different countries contend with the similar challenges of fighting terror they share. The main findings are presented below:
Regarding targeted preventative killings, 4 of the 6 countries examined maintain armed UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) intended for use in this faculty. In practice, such killings have been employed by 3 of these countries in recent years (those with larger armed forces and broader scope of operations).
Although this form of house demolition is a procedure uniquely instigated by the State of Israel, a person convicted of terrorism in France also forfeits his assets to the state.
Revocation of citizenship is the most commonly employed means of those studied: all the above countries employed this practice and apart from Canada, which has foregone its use, revocation of citizenship is still implemented by the other countries. In Italy, a terrorist’s citizenship may be revoked even if he remains stateless as a result.

to the full research…

The Truth according to Breaking the Silence: An Analysis of Testimonies

By Fighting Anti-Israel Activity No Comments

In recent years, the Breaking the Silence organization has released a series of publications that expose a database of IDF soldier testimonies from their service in Judea and Samara, as well as the various Gaza operations. Based on these testimonies, Breaking the Silence has concluded that the IDF is in a moral and ethical decline. This decline, they explain, is the direct result of the continuous existence of the “occupation” policy.

In light of the organization’s statements about a systematic moral deterioration of the military system, we have conducted research in which we have carefully examined 100 of the total testimonies presented by BTS – according to select criteria: incident time and location, military layout, described damage type, context, etc., in order to deeply examine BTS’ testimonies and the validity of their conclusions.

The research suggests that there is no correlation between BTS’ claims and the conclusions suggested by their presented testimonies. Our research indicates several fundamental problems that impair the validity of BTS’ conclusions regarding the IDF’s warfare practices and its routine conduct with civilians

to the full research…

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