Constitutional Property Rights in Israel and the West Bank

Oxford Handbook on the Israeli Constitution (Aharon Barak, Barak Medina and Yaniv Roznai, eds., Oxford University Press, Forthcoming)

24 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2021

See all articles by Ronit Levine-Schnur

Ronit Levine-Schnur

Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliyah - Radzyner School of Law

Date Written: July 10, 2021

Abstract

Property dispossessions, in particular of Palestinians owners, were an integral part of the establishment of Israel. Years after its foundation, the state constitutionalized basic human rights, property rights included. I argue here that this constitutionalization had no effect on past grievances. It was not followed by recognition of or reparations for past wrongs. It also did not lead to a changed approach with further application of laws enacted prior to constitutionalization, apart for the case of formal land expropriations from (mostly) Jewish owners in Israel. Considering newly enacted laws, the Israeli Court identified its powers to invalidate them if they did not meet constitutional standards. Despite many attempts to bring the Court to execute its powers, it did so based on violations of property rights in only four cases in the thirty years since the enactment of Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty. All cases involved the rights of specific groups, which are under political dissensus, including asylum seekers, Palestinians, and Jewish settlers in the Occupied Territories. I offer a condensed but comprehensive overview of the status of property rights before and after their constitutionalization, with particular emphasis on cases where newly enacted laws have been invalidated.

Keywords: Property dispossession, Israel/Palestine, land grab, land conflict

Suggested Citation

Levine-Schnur, Ronit, Constitutional Property Rights in Israel and the West Bank (July 10, 2021). Oxford Handbook on the Israeli Constitution (Aharon Barak, Barak Medina and Yaniv Roznai, eds., Oxford University Press, Forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3884024 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3884024

Ronit Levine-Schnur (Contact Author)

Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliyah - Radzyner School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 167
Herzliya, 46150
Israel

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