Right-wing settlement activist speaks up

The director and co-founder of the Israel Land Fund (ILF), a right-wing, Israel-based pro-settler group, told a small crowd of hawkish Israel supporters that “Arabs are eating the sovereignty of Israelis in our capital” during a local event on June 6.

Aryeh King appeared at Maison Marvin in Beverly Hills to discuss his organization’s efforts: Since its inception in 2007, the ILF has worked within the Israeli legal system to evict Arabs from their properties in East Jerusalem and other areas of Israel and encouraged Jews to purchase land in Israel. 

These are “land redemption efforts,” said King, who believes that because of Israel’s biblical ties to the land, all of Israel belongs to the Jews. Arabs living in Israel should immigrate to places such as South America and Canada, he said, when an audience member asked where the Arabs would go.

The event was organized by the Creative Zionist Coalition, a group whose stated purpose is to encourage individuals to make aliyah to Israel, combat anti-Semitism and create a coalition of Zionists to defend Israel and the Jewish people worldwide.

The 10 attendees at King’s approximately 60-minute lecture included Paul Schnee, president of the Los Angeles chapter of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) and ZOA National Vice Chair Steve Goldberg.

King, 35, was born on Kibbutz Alumim, which is located in the northwestern Negev desert. He currently lives in a Jewish neighborhood on the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem and says, according to the ILF Web site, that he is devoted to combating “extreme left-wing organizations pushing the post-Zionist agenda.” His local appearance was part of a tour in the United States and Canada, he said.

The nonprofit ILF employs five people — two Israelis, two Americans and one Australian. ILF’s co-founder’s name isn’t listed on the Web site. Rather it says, “Name withheld.”

According to a May article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the ILF was involved with a Supreme Court lawsuit involving the controversial eviction of a Palestinian family living in East Jerusalem neighborhood Sheikh Jarrah.

On June 6, King expressed frustration that Israelis are restricted from certain areas of Israel, calling this “anti-Semitism … with Jews against Jews.” 

He also criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying that he believes Netanyahu has allowed too many concessions to Israel’s Arab population, such as building freezes in East Jerusalem and in settlements. 

“We are on our way to losing Jerusalem” he said. “If we lose Jerusalem, I think we will lose all of Eretz Yisrael.”

He said the media does not paint an accurate portrayal of what is happening in Israel and that the complicity of the Jewish Diaspora has led to the current situation in Israel.  

Jews in the Diaspora, King said, “need to wake up.”