Co-publication with Magnes Press
The Land Shall Not Be Sold in Perpetuity
The Jewish National Fund and the History of State Ownership of Land in Israel
Aims and Scope
The State of Israel is the only Western state where the majority of lands are still owned by the State and by a public body related to it (The Jewish National Fund). At the root lies the divine command stating that the Land of Israel belongs to God and therefore should not be traded in perpetuity (Leviticus 25). This principle has been applied to almost all of the State lands, and was established in a Basic Law. Since the 1980s there were many pressures in Israel to privatize at least part of the State’s and JNF’s lands, due to the general privatization process of Israel’s economy, the deepening globalization process, and the transformation of Israel to an individualistic society. However, only a small portion of the lands were privatized, constituting 4% of the area of Israel. The book is based wholly on primary sources. It describes and analyzes the history of the ideological, social and legal processes that took place and their development since the beginning of the 20th century until today– processes that brought about the unique phenomenon of the State of Israel as an advanced capitalistic state whose lands are mostly state-owned.