Moving forward

Monday, January 24, 2005

Thou Shalt Not Steal

Thou Shalt Not Steal
Surely, everyone can understand the eighth of the Ten Commandments relayed to Moses by God to the people on Mount Sinai after they were delivered from slavery in Egypt.

“And God spoke all these words, saying: ‘I am the Lord your God…’

“Thou Shalt not Steal.”

What we are witnessing today, not far from the Sinai is blatant theft of land by the Israeli government. Palestinians now living 20 miles from their homes and properties have been forced out by Israel. The Palestinians are unable to get to their land due to the Wall built by Israel. A Wall built on Palestinian land, not on proper borders.

As reported in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, “The Sharon government implemented the Absentee Property Law in East Jerusalem last July, contrary to Israeli government policy… The decision was presented to the prime minister and attorney general and met with their approval, but the decision was not publicized until now and is not listed on the Web site of the Prime Minister's Office.”

This law allows for illegal and immoral theft of property from the rightful and present owners.
The article went on to say, “When East Jerusalem came under Israeli law, then-attorney general Meir Shamgar directed that the law not be applied to West Bank residents who have property in the parts of East Jerusalem that became part of the State of Israel. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin reissued that directive in 1993.”

Palestinians are watching their land being stolen right from under them. Via this unlawful law, Israel matter-of-factly steals the land. It’s just absolute theft!

People often wonder why those people in the Middle East have been fighting over land for over 50 years now. Well, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out. The Israeli’s are stealing land owned by Palestinians, and have done so for before. What this creates are more Palestinian refugees. You can cast blame where you want but, ultimately, it is the Israeli's that are stealing land. Right NOW they are displacing Palestinians. Not just by theft but by home demolition as well. You don't have to go back 50 years this time.

These acts are immoral and against all religions and conventions. The silence is deafening.

In America today we take the simple-one message approach. Things are either good or bad; you're either on the side of good or evil. Well, this issue forces us to choose sides and be accountable for the consequences. Why? Because, we sit by and watch our ally, one we support monetarily, a supposed democracy, arrogantly thumb its nose at morality with our help. Security is no excuse.

Palestinians have been owners of the land for thousands of years. Palestinians and Jews have lived as neighbors side by side in peace for thousands of years before the inception of Israel. They are all "people of the book."

The land in East Jerusalem is being stolen NOW. Don’t support it and don’t be a party to it. The result is only more conflict with more children dying on both sides.

The onus is on America to act swiftly and on principle. And, more importantly, Jewish Americans, the Israeli public and Jews all over the world should be outraged and vocal. How can they sit by and allow this to happen. Their image has and will continue to be tarnished worldwide. Their children will continue to live in conflict for years to come because of this. It is the root of evil in this whole conflict.

You cannot steal a person's home and property while they are on it, erase their history and deny them a future. It won’t work. You should not turn a blind eye to it either. No matter how strong your army, your lobby, your influence in mass media… the ugliness and ill-effects will present themselves. The quest for freedom and justice and the will of the Palestinian people cannot be deterred.

We can all register our indignation on this.

Another simple understandable piece to this--the last of the Ten Commandments:
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house… or his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your

It has to stop now--for the love of God.

Saffiya Shillo


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