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Ratcheting Up Middle East Tensions

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Along with aggressive wars, "(n)othing is closer to the law of the jungle than a system of distorted laws and procedures" that permits whatever authorities wish, regardless of lawful principles and justice.

Israel's proposed legislation will stop evicting settlers on privately owned Palestinian land by forcing them to prove ownership. If passed, doing it in court will be required.

According to Yesha Council head Danny Dayan, the bill doesn't expropriate private land and approve settlement communities retroactively. It lets courts have final say.

Peace Now lawyer Michael Sfard disagrees. He calls claims about Palestinians not proving ownership spurious. They're designed to violate High Court rulings. Israel and settlers know Palestinians are rightful owners. Some of them provided valid documents proving it.

According to Peace Now director, Yariv Oppenheimer, the proposed law amounts to a land grad at the expense of rightful Palestinian owners. It's been ongoing for decades.

They're up against extremist leaders who want all valued West Bank areas colonized and Jerusalem entirely Judaized to exclude Arab citizens. 

Combined with other repressive legislation and threatened war, 2012 looks increasingly ominous.

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