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Jerusalem - Israeli Media: AP Has Its Kibbutz ‘Palestinian’ Land Report Wrong

Published on: November 20, 2011 12:46 PM
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 Kibbutz MeiravJerusalem - An Israel media report, picked up worldwide, claims Israel, for the first time, has given supposed Palestinian Authority land to a kibbutz whose land was within Israel before the Six-Day War in 1967. 

An investigation by Arutz Sheva reveals another in a long line of anti-nationalist media reports that mainstream media spread in its ingrained bias against Israel.

Haaretz reported last week that the land in question was given by Israeli authorities to Kibbutz Meirav, located southwest of Beit She’an in the Jordan Valley. The newspaper reported, “Israel has previously built roads on and given Palestinian land in the West Bank to Jewish settlements, but this is thought to be the first instance of Palestinian-owned land being transferred to a community on sovereign Israeli territory.”

True to form, the Associated Press then reported, ”The land — about 365 acres (148 hectares) from the West Bank Palestinian village of Bardaleh — was seized by the nearby agricultural community of Kibbutz Meirav, which lies inside Israel proper, said Dror Etkes, a prominent researcher and activist against Jewish settlement in the West Bank.” The news agency did not quote any other official or nationalists.


Meirav spokeswoman Judy Singer told Arutz Sheva the land in question has a long-term lease and actually belonged to neighboring Kibbutz Maaleh Gilboa for 25 years

“The status quo has not changed.”

Not only is the alleged transfer of Palestinian Authority land to a kibbutz “for the first time” untrue, the claims that the land is “Palestinian” also is highly questionable.

Sources at Maaleh Gilboa told Arutz Sheva that none of its land is in what is defined as “beyond the Green Line”—that is the Armistice Line of 1949. The original article quoted a resident of the village of Bardeleh, which is located beyond the 1949 border, as stating that the land in question belonged to him.

A former official of Maaleh Gilboa said no Arab ever claimed ownership of any of the farmland. This reporter worked in the kibbutz’s fields 25 years ago and confirms that there never was any Arab claim over land, long before anyone every thought of building a security fence.

The parcel in question is located east of the highway, which separates Bardeleh from the Jordanian border. Moreover, a farmer at Maaleh Gilboa stated that the land never was farmed by Arabs even though the kibbutz left the land fallow because it had more acreage than it could work.

He added that he thinks the Haaretz journalist misread the maps. The article stated that the report of the security fence, which Haaretz described as the “separation barrier,” was changed in order to keep the land under Israeli sovereignty.

Kibbutz Meirav confirmed the newspaper’s claim that it refused to show the newspaper the lease for the land, explaining it was a matter of principle that it does not have to prove its right to farm the land.

The newspaper said that the Bardaleh resident claiming ownership of the land showed it a deed. However, most “deeds” under the Jordanian government were simply documents of Jordanian rulers divvying out land to a select circle of friends.

Even if there is an official deed, the newspaper said the plot concerns a grand total of nine acres, far from the 375 acres allegedly to have been “seized” by Israel.

As for Israel confiscating Arab farmland for the security fence, the same action is taken against Jews. Maaleh Gilboa lost large plots of farmland for the fence.

Kibbutz veterans also denied the charge that the route of the fence was changed to the disadvantage of Arabs. On the contrary, Kibbutz Maaleh Gilboa tried and failed to convince the government to move the security fence further south so that it would be built on Arab land and not Jewish land.

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Read Comments (3)  —  Post Yours »


 Nov 20, 2011 at 01:44 PM eighthcomment Says:

Darn, I was hoping the AP report was on target


 Nov 20, 2011 at 02:17 PM YJay1 Says:

"He added that he thinks the Haaretz journalist misread the maps."

What makes him think that the journalist ever even looked at that map? Left wing journalists usually don't read maps and don't care about any facts to begin with. They're just here to push an agenda - the facts doesn't really matter.


 Nov 20, 2011 at 03:53 PM shmobagel Says:

Don't Confuse Me With The Facts, My Mind Is Made Up....


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