Posted by: Lister | February 17, 2008

Ein Iron – Mitzpe Iron

I found this story via The International Committee for Dar el Hanoun. They claim: “Israeli Government exposes its discriminatory motives,” on the grounds that there are moves to recognise a 3 year old Jewish settlement near a place where an 80 year old Arab settlement has been refused recognition.

For decades now, the position of the Israeli Ministry of the Interior has been that the area of Dar ElHanoun is unsuitable for “a new locality”, ignoring the fact that the village dates back to the 1920s.

[…] The recent demolition in Dar ElHanoun (14 November 2007) provides an illustration of the seriousness of the situation. Moustafa Abu Hillal’s home is now threatened by another demolition order.

In a recent letter, Israeli Minister of the Interior, Mr. Meir Sheetrit, has again declared that the area of Dar ElHanoun is unsuitable for a “new settlement” because of “national and regional planning considerations” and due to the “scenic qualities” of the area.

However, in a flat contradiction to Mr. Sheetrit’s arguments, the Israeli government decided yesterday to recognize a new Jewish settlement – Mitzpe Iron, which is located in the same area of Dar ElHanoun (see map below). Mitzpe Iron was only formed three (!) years ago, without proper licenses and against the position of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel and the Ministry of Environmental Protection. This time, the “scenic qualities” of the area did not prevent Mr. Sheetrit from supporting the decision to recognize Mitzpe Iron.

They also go on to suggest that part of the motive is to build Jewish settlements between Arab settlements in an attempt to keep the Arabs seperated from each other. I think that goes too far. If Jewish settlements are not built amongst Arabs, the suggestion would be that there were a policy of seperation between Jews and Arabs.

The Israeli press (see links below) reports that some ministers explicitly mentioned their motivation to support the recognition of Mitzpe Iron in order to prevent “Arab takeover” of this land.

Government moves to recognize Jewish town in Wadi Ara region — Haaretz:

The government decided Sunday to formally recognize a controversial 35-family Jewish town in the largely Arab Wadi Ara region; environmentalists and two cabinet ministers are against the move.

Environment Minister Gideon Ezra and the Society for the Protection of Nature (SPNI) oppose the existence of Ein Iron, which was unofficially established by religious Zionist families three years ago, saying it was built on protected land with unique environmental attributes.

[…] In anticipation of the hearing, the Prime Minister’s Office and Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon recommended that the government give the town its official backing. Some ministers argued that if the Jewish families moved out, the town would turn into an Arab village.

Another Haaretz article: Dar al-Hanun has been there 80 years, but state still refuses to recognize it:

The residents are bearing a grudge over a recent court order obtained by the Interior Ministry, forcing them to bulldoze the road they built in their “pirate village.” The contested road is a 100-yard stretch that the people of Dar al-Hanun paved six years ago with activists from Ta’ayush, an organization promoting Arab-Jewish partnership. In its ruling to have it removed, the Haifa District Court cited the fact that paving asphalt roads over public grounds was against the law.

[…] The story of Dar al-Hanun is the story of many Arab-Israeli towns in Wadi Ara. The town’s name means “house of flowers” in Arabic. Its first home was built in 1925 by Hussein abu Hilal, who as a young man came here from Egypt. He was Mustafa’s grandfather. He bought a couple of dunam (approximately 0.25 acres) from the Ottoman authorities, who ruled Palestine at the time.

[…] Head of the Menashe Local council, Ilan Sade, is willing to transfer the village to his neighboring council of Arara, to be recognized as one of its neighborhoods. The motion was seconded by former interior minister Ophir Paz-Pines, but his successor, Roni Bar On, opposes it. And so, as far as the state is concerned, the village of Dar al-Hanun is “open scenery,” not a residential area.

Meanwhile, the state is trying to lure the inhabitants of Dar al-Hanun to leave and move into other Arab towns, so that the surrounding area can be used for future expansion plans. So far, two of Dar al-Hanun’s families chose to leave, as well as 15 of its young inhabitants, who set up homes elsewhere.

The Interior Ministry responded by saying that Dar al-Hanun was an “unrecognized” place of residence, comprising illegal structures, which were constructed in the middle of wild scenic lands. “Illegal structures cannot constitute justification for forming new settlements,” the ministry said.

Professor Kobi Peter, an activist in Ta’ayush, doubts the state will be able to adhere to this stance for much longer. “Obviously, they will have to reach some sort of settlement which will allow the residents to live on their land,” he said.

Especially if they decide to allow a Jewish settlement to stay 3 years after it was “unofficially established”.



  1. Shalom, That’s a great article; you really brought a very wicked situation to my attention and I’m grateful to you.

    I oppose any kind of racism but I don’t think self preservation counts as racism.

    Racism is when a completely inviolable organism, like a state or any organised group, like a village council whose survival is not in danger from threat of annihilation carries out a plan of racism.

    In my, humble opinion the Arab world especially the religion of Islam, for no apparant reason has fought a war of anihilation on the the Jewish People. This is pure racism.

    I can give other examples of this as you can well appreciate.
    The Jewish People, as a group, either officially or unoficially have never launched any project of racism against any race, simply because they are different or for whatever irrational reason racists do their thing.

    Now when Israel is struggling for its survival a group of Jews is permitted to live next to an Arab village and the Jewish state restricts the expansion of the village at the expense of the Jewish village it is accused of racism.

    This is not racism, its self defense. It’s about time you started really giving up the idea of racism and start doing something about ridding the world of the pesilence of racism that rages in the hearts of many good people, the Arabs. It’s a disgrace to encourage racism. Stop doing it. Perhaps you don’t even realize you’re doing it.

  2. Sorry to take so long to approve your comment, but I don’t check this blog very often.

    In my, humble opinion the Arab world especially the religion of Islam, for no apparant reason has fought a war of anihilation on the the Jewish People. This is pure racism.

    You should read what Ben Gurion has to say about the Arab’s response to Israel. He understood that Israel isn’t hated simply for being Jewish. There is a real danger that your attitude is one which cripples Israel by removing from it the ability to make peace.

    Nobody on Earth would have sat by and accepted Britain and the international community taking away part of their land. While I would agree that Israel has a right to go on, it’s creation was a crime against the Palestinian people.


    “In our political argument abroad, we minimize Arab opposition to us. But let us not ignore the truth among ourselves. I insist on the truth, not out of respect for scientific but political realities. The acknowledgement of this truth leads to inevitable and serious conclusions regarding our work in Palestine . . let us not build on the hope the terrorist gangs will get tired. If some get tired, others will replace them.

    A people which fights against the usurpation of its land will not tire so easily…

    […] The land, the villages, the mountains, the roads are in their hands. The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country, while we are still outside.”


    “I don’t understand your optimism. Why should the Arabs make peace? If I were an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. Sure, God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? Our God is not theirs. We come from Israel, it’s true, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been antisemitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that? They may perhaps forget in one or two generations’ time, but for the moment there is no chance.”

    Sourced at wiki.

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