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Influential Israeli org ‘Regavim’ focused on expelling Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line

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There is a frightening article at +972 about an extremist national-religious social movement  whose influence is on the rise in Israel. They are being recieved with open arms by much of the government apparatus.  They call themselves Regavim.

Their goal is to promote “a Jewish Zionist agenda for the State of Israel” but what that agenda amounts to is the expulsion of the Palestinian population from what they consider to be Jewish Land.

+972: Rightist group’s creeping state influence, on both sides of Green Line

Regavim does not deal with settling the land with Jewish Israelis, but rather with the expulsion of the Palestinian population on both sides of the Green Line. The association is active in Area C of the West Bank, in the Negev, the Galilee and the “mixed cities.” In all of these arenas, Regavim has one clear goal: the brutal and selective implementation of planning and construction laws, encouraging the state to demolish Palestinian homes or public buildings. The demolition orders issued lately for the entire Palestinian village of Susya in the South Hebron Hills are the fruit of its labors.

Their rhetoric about ‘Arabs taking over the land of Israel’ in the video is blatant. We referenced Regavim recently in Michael Sfard: Addicted to the process, seems they’re in like flint with Gerald Steinberg and his NGO Monitor.

A central theme of its recent critiques has been of NGO “lawfare,” achieving “political” goals through the courts. There are at least three examples of pro-settler Israeli NGOs engaged in “lawfare,” as defined by NGO Monitor: the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, the Israel Law Center and Regavim, but you will not find even an acknowledgment of their existence among the hundreds of documents on its Web site. We have another option. Steinberg’s and Dermer’s cynicism has created an opportunity to dismantle the power structure that forces Israelis to continue defending Palestinian human rights, 42 years after the “temporary” occupation of the West Bank and Gaza began.

Regavin makes some outlandish allegations on their website claiming Israel’s Supreme Court shows ‘extremely’ preferential treatment for the ‘Extreme Left‘. Interestingly, unlike B’tselem, nowhere do they link to their ‘data’ backing up these allegations.

From their homepage:

This issue is so important, complex and widespread that we believe that only the state holds the key to a realistic overall solution to rooting out this problem. Based on this assumption, Regavim’s activities are directed at influencing all the State of Israel’s government systems in order to bring them, and effectively the whole country, to act based on the fundamental principles of Zionism and protect Israel’s lands and national properties.

More from  Rona Moran and Miryam Wijler’s +972  must read article.

In recent years, since the Israeli disengagement in the Gaza Strip and the dismantling of the settlements there, the extreme right in Israel has embarked on a campaign of settling the “mixed cities” of Israel (cities with sizable Arab and Jewish populations) by forming “Torah clusters” (Garinim Toraniim) – in Jaffa, Acco as well as Lod. At the same time, Jewish nationalist shows of force have escalated within Arab localities. Regavim is a characteristic expression of this wider campaign. It takes a considerable amount of cruelty to encourage the state to tighten even further the veritable noose of planning restrictions around the neck of Palestinian communities within the Green Line. Palestinian citizens of Israel own a very small percentage of the lands they had owned before 1948, most of their localities do not have master zoning plans, and the local and regional planning committees are staffed exclusively by Jewish Israelis.


Regavim’s activity is based first and foremost on the work of coordinators on the ground, who systematically document construction in Palestinian communities. This documentation serves the association in lobbying planning committees, local authorities, the Civil Administration in the occupied territories, and others. They have a single demand: to force these institutions to place sanctions on Palestinians. In some cases, the association appeals to court in order to force the implementation of standing demolition orders, or to produce a planning policy that is as Zionist as possible. Regavim promotes existing transfer plans such as its efforts to influence the Prawer Committee recommendations to take a harder line against the Bedouin community.

In April 2009, Regavim sued the Abu Basma Regional Council in the Negev, where the number of inhabitants in all known localities in the council’s area is about 45,000, but in fact the council provides services to another 35,000 citizens who live in unrecognized villages. The council ranks dead last in the socio-economic scale of the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics and where the council is not providing inhabitants within its jurisdiction area with the most basic services: connection to the water supply grid, regular garbage collection, sanitation infrastructure, and where access roads are not paved and the council’s welfare services are collapsing.

Here, of all places, is where the Regavim association suddenly discovered an urgent need to intervene “for the sake of the council’s inhabitants.” In its petition, the association demands the demolition of eight structures, which describes as “villas” and whose owners it describes as “real estate barons.” For Regavim, then, they have no qualms about using whatever means necessary to “protect the nation’s lands.” To that end, they encourage the state to beat to a pulp its most oppressed population.

Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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27 Responses

  1. radii on September 5, 2012, 4:33 pm

    these extremist zionist groups breaking into the open is helpful – the situation can be framed as the ongoing ethnic-cleansing started in 1947 by an apartheid regime which employs serial war-crimes to achieve its ends – including the systematic torture and murder of children … think that about sums it up

    • annie on September 5, 2012, 4:37 pm

      this video is downright freaky radii. on regavim’s homepage they have a shorter version and underneath it invites you to watch the longer version. the last half of it is so over the top complete with scare music.

      • on September 5, 2012, 6:00 pm

        Over which top, Annie? It may be scary, as you say, but there is no surprise in any of this. Physical ethnic cleansing, by any means possible and necessary, is part and parcel of Zionism –“liberal” or “conservative”, Ben Gurion or Jabotinsky.
        And let me add the necessary regulatory disclaimer, to assure you that I am not comparing it to Nazism: the Zionist haven’t lighted the ovens. Yet.

      • Mondowise on September 5, 2012, 7:49 pm

        “the Zionist haven’t lighted the ovens. Yet.” …oh really? tell that to the families of the thousands murdered…see if they agree. not to mention how the Zionists’ strategy is to cook one at a time so as to be nearly imperceptible (to the blind, that is). to the extent your comment is dishonest and irresponsible is to the same extent izrael keeps on ‘lighting the ovens’.

      • on September 6, 2012, 2:04 am

        “…oh really?”
        Yes, really, in the sense that they massacre by bomb, bullet and fire and, as you rightly say, their strategy right now is to cook one at a time. The “argument” made by those who are trying to ban every comparison to 1939-45 is that *literally large, systematic extermination of entire populations has not taken place. We add “yet”.

      • Mondowise on September 6, 2012, 9:00 pm

        sardelapasti – thanks for clarifying your point, i understand. “those who are trying to ban every comparison to 1939-45” are the blind majority. and, as we all know, murder is murder, it cannot be qualified by which form is better, bomb or bullet vs oven…nor is a massacre of many at one time any less barbaric than cooking one at a time. the same evil intent is present. fortunately, intelligents don’t need anyone punching holes through the zionists’ laughably weak hasbara and criminal whitewashing as the inherent, barefaced idiocy of both screams volumes for itself and is immediately self-evident to any and every decent human being.

  2. seafoid on September 5, 2012, 5:14 pm

    Zionism is dying. No middle class ideology can survive when it is driven by extremists who don’t understand the basic rule of law.

    This summer was the toughest summer Israel has known, apart from wartime. Because the Zionist project – in its secular, liberal, civil and egalitarian form – failed. Not “will fail,” but “failed.” The reasons can be listed one after the other, but it’s enough to think about the little four and a half-year-old boy whose hands and face were covered with burns after a Molotov cocktail was hurled at the car in which his family was traveling on August 16, near the Bat Ayin settlement. The boy’s name is Mohammed Hassan Jayada. All six family members, Palestinians from Nahalin, were wounded, two of them critically.

    Not long after the attack, pictures appeared in the media of the three children who were being held for the crime. They were arrested on August 26 at the Jerusalem yeshiva they attend. The boys were just 12 and 13 years old, with long, fair sidelocks hanging down below broad skullcaps, their faces blurred because of their status as minors, wearing striped shirts with their tzitzit visible underneath, handcuffed. These young boys are the suspects in this terror attack.

    It’s impossible not to feel the pain when a child is a victim of terror, and it’s impossible not to cringe when a child is a terrorist. But by the look of these children – whose guilt is yet to be proven, and one wholeheartedly hopes that they were not the ones who did this – it’s clear that something has become completely twisted. The boys are suspected of deliberately hurling a Molotov cocktail at a car and setting six people on fire, permanently scarring the children in the car. It’s clear something has become twisted because the moment that nationalist crimes are being committed by children, we have entered a void.

    Whoever treats other people this way has no understanding of what it means to inflict disability, to cause charred skin and horrible agony. And whoever has lost this understanding has lost his humanity. So the child suspects, if they turn out to be the actual perpetrators, are also victims. They are victims of an upbringing that preaches violence and hatred, and voids the term “human being” of all meaning. The father of one of the suspects told Haaretz that his son did not do anything, adding that, in any case, the incident cannot be seen as completely divorced from the reality in Judea and Samaria. He meant the reality from his point of view, naturally, whereby the land belongs to him by divine right and he is redeeming it from the hands of the evil nation of Amalek.

    • Mondowise on September 6, 2012, 9:44 pm

      “driven by extremists who don’t understand the basic rule of law.” i don’t mean to be argumentative, but i completely disagree with this. these zionist extremists know and understand perfectly well what the basic rule of law is, which is why they purposely defy, deny, and ignore the law. their parasitic survival depends on manipulating what they know about it, a further indicator of how they clearly scoff at the law (which they do understand) by thinking themselves above it, like all criminals. i really don’t think it’s helpful to use rhetoric which seemingly excuses them or eases their accountability by saying they don’t get it. these criminals get it, and they must be held to full account and prosecuted. i get so tired of the often too-weak language used. the world needs to get bold and stand up to izrael, not politely say in a weak, obsequious way, “gosh, i’m so sorry, maybe it’s just you didn’t understand us”. BS! there is no excuse for their crimes, period.

  3. lareineblanche on September 5, 2012, 6:05 pm

    Wow. Just a caricature, amazing. It’s really spoon feeding the information to people, with almost no nuance at all.
    Anybody taken in by this propaganda is already on board anyway though, and needs no convincing of anything, hence the lack of factual information and the non-existence of any real arguments and the couching of everything in this shallow, vague rhetoric of “the great nation”, “our people”, etc. Always this fear of being overrun by a nefarious group usurping the “rightful owners” of their property and rights. Anything considered not part of the “nation” (however it’s defined) is a malignant foreign influence to be eradicated, but they can’t come out and say it openly, so they’re forced to go through legal channels. In other words, a typical extreme right-wing movement, with fascist tendencies.
    I’m reminded of the same hollow rhetoric in interviews with members of the US Nazi party, for example.

    Such ideologies are sometimes derided as “anti-government” by liberals, but quite the contrary; they’re very pro-government, they just don’t think the government is doing its job – keeping out the “rabble”.

  4. Bumblebye on September 5, 2012, 6:40 pm

    Crazy ziofreaks!
    I noticed their cut-out Eretz Israel includes a chunk of Jordan. Wonder when and how they plan to pressure the government to invade and take that over.
    The place is NOT their ‘homeland’. It’s the place maybe a handful of their ancestors came from, and the source of their religion. Same is true for those who are Christian.

    • on September 5, 2012, 11:18 pm

      “…their cut-out Eretz Israel includes a chunk of Jordan.” Well, duh, the official list of lands belonging by rights to “Israel” include all of Jordan, as declared in 1937 at the Poaleh Tsion world congress by Ben Gurion, and (unanimously?) approved, if memory serves.

      “Wonder when and how they plan to pressure the government to invade and take that over.” No need for pressure, that list has always been the essential government program for all governments, realized by leaps and bounds whenever possible.

  5. Henry Norr on September 5, 2012, 7:01 pm

    Hey, Annie, check out Urban Dictionary’s definition of the expression “in like flint”:

    Used by morons who are either too stupid, young, or lazy to make themselves aware of the original meaning of the phrase “In like FLYNN.” Originated from the actor ERROL FLYNN, who was an early twentieth century actor well known for being a ladies man.

    Next time you hear someone say ‘in like flint’ slap them unless they’re talking about the 1967 movie by the same title.


    • annie on September 5, 2012, 7:05 pm

      ok henry! will edit.

      actually i better check with adam and phil. do most people even know that?

      • eljay on September 5, 2012, 7:16 pm

        >> do most people even know that?

        Probably not. Just like most people probably don’t know it’s “cater-corner” and not “kitty-corner”. ;-)

      • dbroncos on September 5, 2012, 9:11 pm

        I’ve heard ‘in like flynn’ and the story behind it, but never ‘in like flint.’ I agree with Henry, It stands out as a malapropism.

      • annie on September 6, 2012, 1:21 am

        i sent them an email and they have not responded. it’s sooo out of my hands!

      • Mooser on September 7, 2012, 10:18 pm

        “actually i better check with adam and phil. do most people even know that?”

        No, Annie the expression “in like Flint” is perfectly valid. It comes from a time, long before you were around, when people actually had to put both fluid and flints (usually shaped into small rods) in their cigarette lighters. As these things will in a capitalist, advertising-driven society, even the ease with which replacement flints could be inserted in a lighter became the subject of advertisements.
        “In like flint” is sort of the “Flick your Bic” of the 50’s and early 60’s.

  6. Henry Norr on September 5, 2012, 7:13 pm

    Just went to +972 to read the Regavim article, but I was stopped in my tracks by a headline to another article on that page: “Migron evacuation proves Israel’s land policy is political.”

    Whoda thunk it?

  7. ColinWright on September 5, 2012, 7:18 pm

    The endless tidal wave of lies is just intolerable.

    I think I could take this — I might really be able to ignore it and get on with other things — if it weren’t for the continual, egregious, insulting, vicious, manifest…

    lies! They just provoke me. There’s nothing as vile as Israel. There really isn’t.

    • Mooser on September 7, 2012, 10:26 pm

      “There’s nothing as vile as Israel. There really isn’t.”

      Not even the Indians destroying Washington States salmon stocks? Not even the opponents of life-saving torture? What about the vile attempts to ban life-protecting guns? Or “severely disturbed” people who “act out with impunity” and refuse you the proper awe? Would you say they are just as vile, or somewhat less so?

  8. ColinWright on September 5, 2012, 7:25 pm

    “…the expulsion of the Palestinian population from what they consider to be Jewish Land…”

    This is frigging demented Neo-Nazi nonsense without a shred of historical support for it, and I’m tired of keeping quiet while people pretend otherwise — or pretend it isn’t simply the logical extension of Zionism.

    • annie on September 7, 2012, 12:56 am

      or pretend it isn’t simply the logical extension of Zionism.

      yes, regavim’s definition is confirmation. “”a Jewish Zionist agenda for the State of Israel”

  9. justsayin on September 6, 2012, 12:59 am

    The very fact that the horses are outright, should show the illegitimacy of the entire illegal creation as ” a criminal act with malice & forthought”. not to mention the cult of zion..brainwashing hate into the children to carry-on the insanity. Is it not right to fight anyway possible when it comes to these levels of inhumanity, which obviously would never be reprogrammed back to normality, can any of them be?

    • annie on September 6, 2012, 1:32 am

      programmed back to normality? some of them most probably. most of them in their lifetimes? doubtful. their children, of course. just look at germany and our own country. the south..yes of course they can join the vast majority of our human race. our arms are open, mine are anyway.

      breathe, pray, love and stand with the truth. someday they will come around. i have faith in humanity. i really do.

      • ColinWright on September 6, 2012, 4:39 pm

        Annie Robbins says: “..’yes of course they can join the vast majority of our human race.”

        No doubt. However, the process will be vastly accelerated if they leave Palestine first.

        …It’d actually be interesting to look at the descendents of groups like the French colons and see what their attitudes are like and how central those attitudes are to their identity. That’d probably give you some idea of how long this is going to take — once the Zionists have left Palestine, of course.

      • Mooser on September 7, 2012, 10:38 pm

        Colin, a lot of that depends on how much support they will find in the countries they are exiled, or exile themselves to. However, if the one-state solution is enacted, all those people can stay right there in Israel, and I’m sure Zionists will find a use for them.

        I’m not sure I get this whole “one-state” thing. Where did anybody get the idea it was anything but a death warrant for the Palestinians. They would all be in Israel, at the mercy of the Zionists.
        Unless, just like after WW2, somebody was willing to defeat, occupy, shatter and outlaw the previous Zionist government, investigate every person who may have been employed by the Zionists for illegal acts (gosh, that sounds like the entire male population of Israel, and more besides) and arrest, prosecute and sentence those who have. In the meantime this whoever-it-is can keep the peace in Israel, keep the Israelis from each-other’s throats, keep them from murdering Palestinians either singly or en masse, while reorganising the entire educational, political and economic affairs of the country. And, oh yes, try and prevent somebody from blowing up the hotel where they are staying, or shooting them down in the streets.
        And the successful bidder for this job will get in return- nothing. Now. who wants a bid form and details? Easy now, don’t all rush me, there’s plenty to go around.

        Exscuse me for living, but somehow I get the idea, go ahead and call me cynical, that when somebody finally assembles the force and motivation to defeat Israel, re-assembling Israeli society for the Israelis own good won’t be on their minds when they fight their way into Tel Aviv.

  10. Mooser on September 7, 2012, 10:46 pm

    This is a very discouraging post. Why, it could make a guy think Israelis are indeed, quite vile. Where are the people to tell me it’s not true, then tell me that Regavim is onlt a small extremeist organisation, and then tell me that even if it is true, and Regavim is an influential organisation, that they persoonally don’t approve of this? Cause I know that’ll make me feel soooo much better.

    And has anybody run this article past Satter? I see a bunch of “potentially anti-Semitic” parts to it. After all, most of the people this article is talking about are Jewish. You can’t get past that.

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