You will remember that at the end of last year, some extremist Rabbis in Israel issued a disgusting edict calling on Jewish Israelis not to sell or rent land to non-Jews.
The edict was universally condemned. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said:
“Such things should not be said, neither about Jews nor Arabs,” he said. “They must not be said in any democratic land, and especially not in a Jewish democratic state that respects the morality of the heritage of Israel and the Bible.”
President Shimon Peres said:
“Every person is created in God’s image – that is one of the main tenets of Judaism, and it forms the basis for democracy,” said Peres.
“The state of Israel is composed of Jewish citizens and non-Jewish citizens, and we all have the same rights, which include the right to practice any religion,” he continued.
“This fundamental right is engraved in our Declaration of Independence, as well as in legislation forged in the Knesset. I call on all of us to keep intact the true nature of the democratic, Jewish and egalitarian State of Israel,”
The incident was internationally reported and was a very black mark against Israel’s reputation.
Here is a parallel incident. Let us see if this gets any international coverage at all. So far, it has apparently had none at all.
A Palestinian Authority court in the West Bank on Tuesday sentenced a Palestinian man to 10 years in prison after finding him guilty of selling land to Israelis.
The 70-year-old defendant, whose name was not released, is from a village in the Nablus area.
He was convicted by a Palestinian magistrates court in Nablus of selling land to the “enemy” in 1981 – in violation of Article 114 of a law dating back to 1960.
The verdict was taken in the presence of the defendant, his lawyer and prosecutor Khalil Salameh.
Baha al-Ahmed, head of the PA prosecutor office in Nablus, said that the PA would chase any Palestinian who dares to sell lands to the “enemy.” He said that he was acting on instructions from PA Prosecutor-General Ahmed al-Mughni.
“This is a very serious offense that affects the entire Palestinian people,” al-Ahmed said. “Those who violate the law will receive the maximum penalty.”
Here is the report in Arabic, which says that the 70 year old man has been sentenced to ten years hard labour. I understand that the penalty under the law in question is death. That’s what 10 years hard labour for a 70 year old man means, in any case.
My prediction is that there will be no international outcry and probably no reporting of this case outside Israel and Palestine at all.
Bear in mind that this isn’t some extremist religious leaders, but the Palestinian Authority.