Previous generations understood that if we wanted to return to Eretz Yisrael and build a country, we would need to purchase much of the land. Perhaps it was because of the first Jew, Abraham, who paid 400 shekels for Hebron. Even though G-d promised us all of Eretz Yisrael, Abraham purchased Hebron and this ensured for the far future that ownership of Hebron is undeniably Jewish. Probably a lot of motivation came from the Jewish sources about the importance of owning 4 cubits (4 amot) of land in Eretz Yisrael. It is also a good bet that many Jews who for almost 2,000 years were at best guests in host diaspora countries, wanted to ensure that what lands we would settle we would purchase and feel like we really are finally in ‘Our’ home.
Organizations were established to purchase lands in pre State Israel, mainly from local Arabs who at the time felt little or no Nationalistic loyalty to Turkish and later British controlled Palestine. Some of these organizations assisted individuals to purchase lands privately while others such as Keren Kayemet L’Yisrael, otherwise known as the Jewish National Fund, pulled donations from Jews worldwide and purchased vast amounts of land in the organization’s name.
As the new government of Israel made the local Arabs who wished to stay citizens, attitudes changed with time to the point where Israeli Arabs are building illegally, squatting on government and KKL lands, and those with money are purchasing large amounts of private lands from unfaithful Jews who for the right amount of money will sell out. The result?
In the South, the Negev is being systematically taken over by the Bedouin who grab state lands and build illegally with impunity.
In the North in Israel’s Galilee region, local Arabs have learned from their cousins in Judea/Samaria to plant olive groves and build houses within the olive groves until a new village comes into fruition. That not being enough to satisfy their appetite for Eretz Yisrael, they purchase private lands from Jews in order to make their presence felt in and around once completely all Jewish areas.
With the government and Jewish Establishment lacking backbone and faith, some individuals and organizations have taken to combatting the internal loss of our sovereignty. Regavim fights in the courts to stem the tide of illegal land grabs and illegal construction. The Israel Land Fund (ILF) assists private investors to purchase lands in and around Jerusalem as well as in mixed Arab Jewish areas in the Galilee. For years Ateret Cohanim purchased lands in Jerusalem’s Old city from local Arabs. Our business originally was established to encourage more Jews to purchase private lands in Israel’s Galilee and have the land worked by all Jewish labor (Avoda Ivrit). We are continuing these activities and have successfully stopped sales to Arabs from Jews on several occasions, and referred many Jewish investors to those who had Arab owned land for sale.
It is important to note, that in most cases, Arab land owners will simply refuse to sell to Jews. Some out of hatred of Jews and a Jewish State, and others out of fear of violence from other Arabs.
Unfortunately far too much land has been relinquished to those who don’t want a Jewish State.
An Opportunity: A Small Window Has Opened
Recently we were offered to purchase some parcels of private agricultural land in the Upper Galilee that are owned by local Israel Arabs. How? Greed. An Arab businessman from the area has quietly approached us and is willing to bring us Arab families who are ready to sell their family lands to Jews quietly and quickly at slightly higher than market prices. Obviously, our lawyers will need to do extra work to guarantee ownership to write up iron clad contracts for the sellers to sign.
This is an opportunity to not only play defense by preventing Jews from selling out. It is a great opportunity for Jews to purchase private lands and put them back permanently into Jewish hands. This is a truly great way to strengthen and ensure Jewish sovereignty in the Galilee without relying on weak governments no matter who wins the almost annual elections!
To learn more how you can play a role in saving the Galilee, contact us.