Thursday, May 28, 2015

  • Thursday, May 28, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
Ma'an reports:
A Swedish company established in 2007 was used to cover up the sale and transfer of a West Bank church compound to settlers funded by American millionaire Irving Moskowitz, Israeli media reports.

Spotlight has been held on the church compound, located nearby the Palestinian refugee camp al-Arrub between Bethlehem and Hebron, for the last week due to contradicting allegations regarding the compound's ownership.

Pastor Keith Coleman, head of the church that originally owned the compound since the 1940's, told Haaretz that the compound was sold to a Swedish company called Scandinavian Seamen Holy Land Enterprises in March 2008.

While Coleman believed group was a church group based in Haifa planning to renew the use of the church, Haaretz reported that, "The Swedish group was established in Stockholm in 2007, and seems to have been used as a cover for transferring the ownership of the compound to the settlers. The group does not seem to have any offices."

After buying the property, the Swedish group registered the purchase with the Israeli Civil Administration in 2012 and received necessary approval, the report said.

Following registration with the Civil Administration, the Swedish company announced its dissolution. The group had no offices or assets except for this church compound at the time, Haaretz said.

Ownership was then passed to the nonprofit organization American Friends of the Everest Foundation. The American organization operates from occupied East Jerusalem. and its sole contributor is American millionaire Irving Moskowitz.
Isn't this awful? The good Christians who owned the building thought they were selling the land to another good Christian group, but it turned out that they were really selling it to scheming, ugly Jews!

Which is, of course, a war crime according to the Rome Statute, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Haaretz adds some pertinent details:

A young man named Emanuel was in charge of the contacts with the Palestinian workers at the site, and he presented himself as a Norwegian who wanted to renovate the church and return it to its former condition. This cover story was also told to the IDF, which knew nothing about the intended use of the site.

As a result of the publication by Haaretz, a source in the Gush Etzion Regional Council told Haaretz that the property “is owned by the Swedish church and belongs to them; it doesn’t belong to us.”

The massive reconstruction of the compound, which can house some 20 families, has been going on for the last few months to ready it for settlers to move in. There are several security guards on the site posing as workers. A new fence has been built, despite a stop-work injunction issued by the IDF’s Civil Administration in the West Bank, since no building permit for the fence has been issued. But no permit is needed for the refurbishing because the buildings, which stand at the side of Route 60, were constructed long ago, in the late 1940s.

The site contains eight buildings, including a large central structure and several smaller ones. Over the years, a Presbyterian church operated there. Twenty years ago the church was turned into a hostel, but the business venture failed and the place was abandoned and left in ruins – although a Palestinian from the Aroub camp stayed in one of the buildings.
How dare Jews buy some ruins that are being used for squatting by an Arab and intend to use them for something useful!

Everyone who cares deeply about peace and justice is spitting mad that Jews managed to buy some property in an area that is designated by the president of the Palestinian Authority to be Jew-free.

Arab media is also all over this story about how a Jewish American millionaire bought some dilapidated, abandoned buildings, obviously a grave violation of human rights law. Only Christians and Muslims are allowed to buy buildings in Palestine, not Jewish Shylocks! Everyone knows that!

True, these millionaire Jews did all of this behind the backs of the IDF, so there is no possible way that they can be considered to have violated even the skewed readings of the Geneva Conventions or the Rome Statute as it is currently written.

But everyone knows that this is not about international law. It is about justice and human rights - the human rights for people who hate Jews to not be fooled into selling Jews any real estate, even if those Jews would not object to living under Palestinian Arab rule.

It isn't as if HRW or Oxfam or Amnesty will ever issue a statement denouncing discrimination against Jews in real estate transactions in Palestine. No - these paragons of human rights support such discrimination.

Because, you know...Jews.



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