SIR – Maerton Davis’s letter (10/4/2020), posted from Kfar Vradim, the industrial settlement founded by the Israeli Jewish businessman Stef Wertheimer on stolen Palestinian land in the Galilee, is full of misleading inaccuracies, both historical and contemporary.
Davis does not tell us that Kfar Vradim was built in 1984 as part of a government plan to ‘Judaize the Galilee.’ Despite mass expulsions of Palestinians by Zionist militias during the 1948 war in what Palestinians call their Nakba (catastrophe), Palestinian Arabs remained an overwhelming majority in the Galilee.
Kfar Vradim, built on land expropriated from residents of the nearby Palestinian village Tarshiha (and on lands expropriated from Palestinians who fled in 1948) is the sixth-wealthiest community in Israel. It is largely dominated by secular, Ashkenazi Israelis, who are closely associated with the founding of the state, and who have dominated its military, economic, political, and cultural elite for decades.
Despite claims to inclusion and equality, in 2018 Sivan Yechieli, head of the Kfar Vradim municipal council, froze land bids in an area slated for the town’s expansion, because ‘too many Palestinian citizens of Israel had won bids in the previous round and were moving into Kfar Vradim.’ According to journalist Edo Konrad, despite the Zionist mythology we have been taught as truth, Israel’s colonial policies are the brainchild of the same Ashkenazi Jewish elite that has always believed that Israel’s future rests first and foremost on Jewish demographic and geographic domination.
That’s why Kfar Vradim’s refusal to allow Palestinians to purchase houses in Kfar Vradim, is the result of a long, violent process, whose ultimate goal is to Judaize — to take what belongs to Palestinians and hand it over to Jews. In this sense, Konrad writes, Israeli colonialism — even inside its internationally-recognised borders — is far from over.
Your readers should also be aware that Davis’s letter wrongly argues that Palestine belongs to the Jewish people and that Palestinian Arabs are usurpers rather than the indigenous owners of the land who have been expelled and whose lands and property were stolen by the Zionist colonisers.
Dr Ronit Lentin,
Cornmarket, Dublin 8.