Israel is in the midst of a national crisis of hitherto unknown proportions that is not well known to the average citizen, according to Joel Busner, founder of the “Buy a Piece of Israel” project. He says that Jewish farmers and landowners are victimized by the illegal takeover of their land in the Galilee and the Negev through means of robbery, violence and intimidation by their Arab neighbors. Illegal grazing, planting and residential construction by Arabs have taken place over huge tracts of Jewish owned land that were liberated at the founding of the State of Israel in 1948. It would appear that the government of Israel has been unwilling or unable to enforce laws that would prevent such actions.
Katzover claims the Arabs are planting olive trees, and then, after seven years, claim ownership. “That is how they work,” she said. “The Defense Minister is really closing his eyes. When we tried to build houses [in these areas], they destroyed them eight times. When we tried to plant trees, we received orders to cease and desist. To the Arabs, no orders are given – only to Jews. Therefore we call upon everyone to come and join us in the fight to take these hills,” she said.
The Gush Etzion activists note that there is a catch to their struggle, in that if they do nothing in response to Arab plantings, the Arabs take over, while if they (the Jews) initiate a planting of their own, the army comes and throws them off, essentially reserving the land for Arabs.