November 25, 2021 1:04 PM
On the hiking site Amud Anan we are told that a place called Zvi’s farm (Hahava shel Zvi) was created in February 2019. Palestinians from villages in the area northwest of Ramallah remember that as early as late 2018 settlers they began to push them out of their lands. As Kerem Navot, a civil society organization that monitors and researches Israel’s land grabbing policy in the West Bank, revealed, the farm owner received a permit from the Grand Rabbinate of Israel in 2018 to raise cattle for meat. kosher.
The Amud Anan site goes on to explain (in Hebrew): “The farm has a herd of cattle for slaughter. The aim of the farm is to preserve the lands of Neveh Tsuf (the settlement of Halamish) and redeem the land ”. The description of the company ends with this request: “We would be happy to receive help from anyone who wants to help out on the estate”.
And he receives help from an organization called Hashomer Yosh (The Guardian in Judea and Samaria, named after the armed Zionist organization active between 1909 and 1920), whose declared goal is “to increase personal security and economic and restoring national pride and faith in farmers and ranchers ”in the West Bank. It is also of great help that the army, civil administration and police refuse to apply the law and carry out demolition orders against the farm for its illegal construction.
The voice of the protagonists
In the three years since the appearance of Zvi’s Farm, the same miracle that happened to all the other violent Jewish farms and estates in the West Bank has also occurred here: the authorities have not removed Zvi Bar Yosef from the Palestinian land on which he has settled. Equipped with weapons and a substantial amount of money for a relatively young man, Zvi and his supporters have taken control of more than 2,500 dunams (250 hectares) of land belonging to the villages of Jibiya, Kobar and Umm Safa, according to estimates made by the ‘NGO B’Teselem and appearing in his report State affair: Israeli embezzlement of land in the West Bank through colonial violence.
The report is difficult to read, even for those familiar with the Zionist enterprise, the redemption of land and the expulsion of Palestinians. It reads like a history book, except that it deals with the present. But unlike the story we Israelis learned in school, here in the report we learn about the embezzlement of land from the voice of those who have been expelled.
“Zvi said that we have no land there, that those lands are a gift that God has given them”
The following is the testimony of Muhammad Abiyat, 63, a resident of Umm Safa, to a researcher from B’Tselem: “This settler and the people who live with him treat our lands as if they were their own. He chases out every Palestinian he sees, farmers, landowners, nature walkers, and locals who gather wild herbs. They have a flock that grazes on everything: be it green, dry, whatever it passes by. The flock descends into the orchards and fields like a swarm of locusts and destroys our trees and crops. Just as it devastates the stone walls, the sacred burial places and the ancient ruins ”.
“For the past two years the settlers have appeared and chased me every time I tried to reach my olive groves. We did not harvest the olives and we lost two years of income. Last year I lost ten thousand shekels (almost three thousand euros). In August 2019 I went with a relative to my olive grove to check the trees before harvest. Suddenly settler Zvi appeared with a little boy brandishing a stick. They were grazing cattle on my olive grove. When I tried to drive the cattle away, Zvi attacked and chased me, throwing stones at me. He could have killed me. Luckily a boy from my village came and made them leave ”.
“In February 2020 we were on our way to our land when the settlers started chasing us. They came as far as our homes, three kilometers away. They broke the branches of five olive trees before our eyes. In October 2020 I went again to check the olive grove before harvest, and again they threw stones at me, chasing me with sticks and threatening me with firearms. Zvi told me: ‘You are not allowed to come here’. He said we don’t have land there, that those lands are a gift that God has given them ”.
(Translation by Francesco de Lellis)
This article appeared in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
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