Are the People in Sheikh Jarrah Being Mistreated?

  • 1 minute read
  • • by Sharon Koifman
  • • September 22, 2022

Israel courts are proven to be some of the most liberal and fair courts in the world. This was a legitimate legal process that concluded that the 4 Arab families were not paying the rent, and did have ownership of the place. Being evicted is never fun, yet it happens all over the world.  No one turns it into a political crisis unless it is in Israel, of course. To understand the explanation of the case, please read the long answer.

I know you probably expecting a bit of legal jargon about why Sheikh Jarah’s expulsion of four families is legit. But before we sink deeper into this rabbit hole to discuss legality for hours, how about we discuss the fact that the Israeli Supreme courts, which is one of the most liberal courts in the world, has spent years on making this decision.

This is a court that always has at least one Arab judge on the panel and known to shock Palestinian leaders with the ability to put Israeli in jail when crimes are committed on Arabs. There even known to make decisions that drastically handicap Israelis in handing terrorists.

Now we have an issue that went through 60 years of due process. In the Western legal world, people are forced to move quite often. It’s never fun, but only in Israel it turned into a world crisis. A well-documented legal process showed that those housed did not belong to these families.

And the fact that this perfectly led to legal process riots and uprising is another bullshit that the Anti-Israel Marketing Machine wants to distract us with. And as usual, these are the types of topics that pull us away from the fundamentals.

But yes, I know some of you guys love this legal mambo jambo, so without a due here it is:

First of all, a little bit of background. In 1876, Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews bought some lands in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, where the tomb of Shimon HaTzadik (the High Priest who were besties with Alexander the Great). They built their homes there and lived peacefully with the Arabs.

They were pushed out of the land by Jordanians during the 1948 Independence War, and Jordanians gave away 28 Jewish homes to the Arab refugees of Palestine.

In 1967, after the Six-Day War, Israel retrieved Jerusalem. Then some settlers realized that they could claim these homes by the Absentee Property Law.

The law is bloody simple: Jewish refugees had the right to claim not-owned property.

Israel let the Arabs live in Sheikh Jarrah all this time, and it didn’t even ask for rent. But the Sheikh Jarrah Arabs never recognized Israel or tried to regularize their homes with the State.

Those lands are Jewish, don’t forget that. And there are still Arab lands in Sheikh Jarrah even if those four families go out.

So let’s get legal:

1) The families placed in Shimon Hatzaddik (“Sheikh Jarrah”) were placed there while Jordan was illegally occupying all of Jerusalem, after ethnically cleansing all Jews from the area, including the owners of the property.

2) After Israel recaptured the land in 1967, the owners came forward with the deed and title to the land, showing their original ownership. To be fair, the Original ownership is without a doubt the most controversial fact that is not so easy to prove.

3) In 1982, the Israeli Supreme Court offered the residents the opportunity to show their ownership of the land through any deed, at all, even one issued by the Jordanian government during its occupation. They failed to do so. The court accepted a compromise that the title owners had good title to the land, but that the residents were “Protected Tenants” and could not be evicted unless they failed to pay rent. The residents accepted this compromise.

4) The residents have never paid a *dime* in rent.

Also, it was not like “500” residents. It’s 4 families. Who have long acknowledged they didn’t own the property and were ready to accept the court ruling until Hamas and the PA decided they needed to gin up another war to distract from their failing governments.

5) The lawyers representing the families admitted in court that they recognized that the Jews had the legal right to the land. Also, the Jordanian-UN documents showing the placement of the families refer to the property as (formerly) “Jewish-owned.”

6) The current owners (and courts) offer these Palestinian families, who were placed there by the Jordanians after the Jews were ethnically cleansed from the West Bank, a long-term lease on the property at a very reduced cost. The families refused.

So here it is, all the legalese that you need. If you are a lawyer for the other team, I’m sure you would disagree with most of this because, as a lawyer for the other team, it is your job to disagree and find holes in these arguments. But at least you can’t sit here and deny that this is not a legitimate case that went through a legitimate due process in a very legitimate liberal court. This is not some reflection of Jews discriminating against Palestinians.

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