Recently, the Israeli High Court ruled that it is illegal to
prevent Arabs from purchasing land in a Jewish settlement.
This paved the way for the Ka'aden family from Baqa-el Garbia
to approach the Israel Lands Administration regarding the
purchase of a plot of land in the Jewish settlement of
Adal Ka'adan has been working for 24 years as a certified
male-nurse in the Hillel Yaffeh hospital in Hadera. In 1995
he saw an ad for the sale of a plot of land in Katzir for
$17,000. When registering he met a few people from the
hospital who told him that they happen to like him
personally, but Arabs are not accepted on the settlement.
"I figured that it wasn't worth it to waste the $17,000 I had
for the plot of land on a lawyer, and turned, instead to the
Civil Rights Association," he related. "This issue is
related more to my quality of life than to ideology. I live
in Baqa-el-Garbia, which is like a ghost town. There is no
educational activity there in the afternoon, no sewage system
and no normal roads. "Worst of all is its school system," he
continued. "As a person who has worked for many years with
Jews, I know how much they invest in their educational system
for children of kindergarten age. I wanted to live in a place
where my daughters would receive a normal education, and
would be able to go to swimming in the afternoons."
The Ka'adan couple declared: "We believe that we have opened
the door for other Arabs to decide where they want to live,
and to state there preferences. There are those who will
prefer to purchase a better car, and those like me who want
to improve their quality of life. All that we wanted to do is
to escape our intolerable life in our village, Baka-al
Gerbia, and to find a better place from the point of view of
quality of life and education."
Reporters tried to ascertain if additional Arab residents
would follow suit, due to the fact that Katzir overlooks Baqa-
el-Garbia, where the Ka'adan couple lives.
The secretary of the Baqa-el Gariba council Chi-am Ka'aban
says that there are 21,000 residents in the village, most of
whom aren't aware of the possibility of purchasing land in
neighboring Katzir. "Nonetheless, there are quite a few
young people for whom this is an important option," he says.
"Here land has run out." He himself isn't interested in
moving to Katzir. "My dream is to move to Tel Aviv," he
All of these expressions point to a paradoxical trend. The
petitioners to the High Court did not seek an economic right
for the purchase of real estate. They simply announced that
they had decided to make good on their right to live with
Jews. They were sick and tired of life in Baqa-el- Garbia,
and in their opinion, they could find quality of life and
educational system in the Jewish settlement.
The whole question is: should they prefer living in a small
Jewish settlement like Katzir, or in a large Jewish city like
Tel Aviv? What counts is to live in a Jewish region, and
In other words, if a few hundred more Arabs would decide to
use the right granted them by the High Court, and would move
to Katzir, the Ka'adan couple would want to run away from it,
because then it would then remind them of their first place
In brief: the High Court sharply attacked the claims of the
residents of Katzir, who are not interested in living with
Arabs, and accepted the claims of the petitioners, who also
aren't interested in living among Arabs!
It is interesting to note that the members of the Ka'adan
family pointed to the High Court's decision as a "precedent"
which would enable them to acclimate into the Jewish
community, and to integrate within it.
"We had a feeling that the court would issue such a verdict,"
they said. "It's a pity that it took so long. If Russian
immigrants who come here with a different culture can
acclimate, so can we."
Their daughter has her own reasons to be excited. "I am happy
that I am about to meet Jewish children and to study with
them," she said. "I am certain that I'll be much better off
in Katzir than in Baqa-el Garbia. I'll meet children. I'll
play with them. I'll learn Hebrew."
The analogy they made regarding the "integration of the
Russians" is very meaningful. They are not referring to the
Jewish immigration, because it is clear that when Russian
Jewish immigrants come to Israel and settle among Jews, they
will integrate as best as they can, even if they have been
detached from their heritage.
A Jew is a Jew, and Jews from various countries and with
different mentalities have always lived together.
These Arabs are surely referring to the non-Jewish immigrants
from the countries of the CIS, who assimilate among the Jews
in Israel and "integrate" among the Jewish population. This
is indeed a serious trend which has now created a precedent
regarding the "integration" of Arabs among Jews.
However, on this issue even the claims of the Jewish Agency,
which was considered a respondent in the High Court were
"The acceptance of the petition," warns the Jewish Agency
"means putting an end to the settlement enterprise which the
Jewish Agency established from the beginning of the century.
It constitutes the undermining of its freedom of
consolidation and the thwarting of its raison
There is no doubt that the raison d'etre of the Jewish
Agency is the concern for Jewish settlement in Israel. It is
possible to understand the Jewish Agency for being outraged
that it is being forced to worry about homes for Arabs on
But how can the Jewish Agency fight against this objective,
when it serves as the central force in the importing of
masses of non-Jews to Israel?
What's the difference between a Provoslavian Christian from
the Ukraine and a Shi'ite Moslem from Azrebeijan, or an Arab
from Baqa-el Gerbia?
The recent affair, which began as a debate over the sale of a
plot of land and which aroused in many the faint feeling of
the need to preserve Jewish identity, must be examined from a
broader perspective. The residents of Katzir are not happy
that Arab children will study with their children and will
integrate into society there. But they should be wary, many
times over, about the absorption of hundreds of thousands of
immigrants from the former Soviet Union, many of whom
disguise themselves as Jews, study in our schools and
integrate into Jewish society, to the point of total
It is for that reason that maronan, gedolei Yisroel
have instructed us to begin preparing genealogy records that
will prevent assimilation.