Photo: Gabi Menashe
Arieh Eldad
Photo: Gabi Menashe
Ilan Shalgi
Photo: Knesset website
Meir Porush
Photo: Knesset website

Land Decision Slammed

Politicians rage over Attorney General decision to sell JNF land; Shinui and Meretz welcome change

TEL AVIV - Nation Union Knesset Member Arieh Eldad said Thursday he believes Attorney General Menachem Mazuz has violated the declaration of independence by choosing a democratic Israel over a Jewish state.


Eldad responded to Mazuz's decision to allow land managed by Israel Lands Administration, including land owned by the Jewish National Fund, to be sold without discrimination to Jews and non-Jews alike.


Eldad told Ynetnews he believes Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni should dismiss Mazuz, if they have "any trace left of Zionist conscience."


"But, I find it hard to believe the Prime Minister would do this," he said. "After all, Mazuz decided not to try him."


Likud Knesset Member Moshe Kachlon said he plans to convene a meeting with the Likud faction to discuss the party's stance on Mazuz's decision.


Agudath Yisrael Knesset Member Meir Porush said he believes Mazuz's decision demonstrates Israel has lost its standing as a Jewish state.


Porush said he would call for Knesset members to support him in trying to change Israel's basic land allocation law, so "Israel's land would only be sold to Jews."


National Religious Party Chairman Zevulun Orlev said he believes the decision contradicts Israel's definition as a Jewish state.


"JNF land does not belong to the state, it belongs to the Jewish nation," he said.


However, there are politicians who support the new decision.


Meretz Knesset Member Ran Cohen said he believes the decision is important because it acknowledges an attempt to changes years of discrimination. 


"Finally a justice prevails for Israel's citizens," he said.


Shinui Knesset Member Ilan Shalgi said he believes JNF has a historical role which ended with the establishment of Israel.


"We are talking about leasing land, not transferring ownership," he asid. "The state can keep an eye out to prevent land from falling into the hands of hostile countries."


National Democratic Assembly Knesset Member Jamal Zahalka said he believes this decision would not solve existing land allocation disputes.


"It's too little, too late," he said.


פרסום ראשון: 01.27.05, 14:56
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