By Dan Fleshler | July 24, 2007
Blogger Richard Silverstein of “Tikun Olam” has initiated an on-line campaign to protest the Knesset’s preliminary approval of a bill that would bar Israel’s Arabs from leasing JNF-owned lands that are managed by the Israel Lands Authority.
I’ve made a fuss about this bill in two previous posts. So has the increasingly intriguing Magnes Zionist. The petition is obviously meant for Jews who care about Israel and want to make it better:
We the undersigned express our profound disapproval and sorrow at the Israeli Knesset’s recent passage, on first reading, of the Jewish National Fund bill. The bill would prohibit Israel’s Arab citizens from leasing land owned by the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and managed by the Israeli Land Authority (which administers 93% of Israel’s land). The Israel High Court had earlier ruled that the ILA cannot discriminate against Arabs in leasing such land. This new legislation is an attempt to circumvent that ruling.
We applaud the High Court for putting an end to a discriminatory practice that should never have existed within a democratic state. We also applaud the Israeli MK’s, Jewish and Arab that voted against the amendment. If Israel is to be truly democratic, all its citizens must have the right to lease land held in trust by the government of Israel. Israel must not settle for anything less.
We call upon to the Knesset to defeat the amendment when it comes up for its next reading and to embrace values of equality and tolerance for all its citizens.
If you agree, then go to this link to sign the petition. Hats off to Richard for his initiative.