Supreme Court Rejects State Request for Ulpana Extension (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gabe Kahn 05/07/12)
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The Supreme Court on Monday unanimously rejected the state´s petition
to postpone the destruction of five buildings in Beit El´s Ulpana
neighborhood until July 1.
Ten days ago, the Attorney General asked for a three-month extension
in order for the government to find a way to legalize the buildings.
The judges wrote, "The state´s argument that the situation is
exceptional and unique, and demands more time to find remedies
requiring more discussion, is baseless."
They also noted that the court had a vested interest in maintaining
the principle of finality in its decisions, which the state is liable
to adhere to, in order to maintain the orderly work of the courts.
"Will the state ask us to review our decisions every time it alters
its policies? Are we establishing an open-ended process of judgment?"
They asked, rhetorically.
"Indeed, a policy change is not grounds to deviate from a final
judgment from this court," they wrote. "As noted above, the basis for
reopening legal proceedings does not exist without exceptional and
"Such circumstances were not presented in this case, even if it
raises significant and difficult social policy questions for the
public," they concluded.
MK Uri Ariel (National Union) responded sharply, saying, "It is now
clear to all that the Prime Minister is not a staunch defender of
settlements. He created a snare for the right by arguing her could
normalize the settlements without passing a law."
"We demand the prime minister to bring the law before the Knesset
dissolves itself to change the situation," he said.
As they have in the past, the Supreme Court justices on Sunday
declined to wait for a decision by the Magistrate’s court over
whether the land the threatened structures were build on was legally
The buildings in question were built on land purchased by Beit El
several years ago. However, the seller turned out not to be the real
owner and the latter filed suit to get his land back. The court ruled
in his favor and the government agreed, without argument, to destroy
One year later, the government´s legal office came to see the area
and realized that the buildings in question were permanent, apartment
blocks, built in good faith by people who thought they had legal
ownership, and that the legal office should have asked the courts to
allow them to try and find a way to solve the ownership problem
before the court issued a ruling.
The three judges, Chief Justice Gronis, Judge Salim Jubran and Judge
Uzi Fogelman now assailed the state for seeking to delve into the
evidentiary question of ownership when they had already issued a
Judge Salim Jubran said, "I do not understand where there is a valid
exception in your request. How does this pertain to the rule of law?"
Judge Uzi Fogelman said, "there is a judgment and we expect the Prime
Minister and Minister of Defense and Attorney General to carry it
Sixteen years ago, the Israeli Supreme Court decided in the Mizrahi
case that Israel´s "Basic Laws" amount to Israel´s formal
Constitution and it enjoys the power of judicial review
However, in the absence of a clear separation of powers in Israel´s
Basic Laws – including those of the court itself – the extent of that
power remains deeply connected to the personality and politics of the
Some legal scholars charge the Supreme Court with a narrow
ideological composition not representative of Israel´s popular
plurality and that this means they could effectively act as a self-
appointed oligarchy and weild a veto on Israel´s representative
democracy. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 05/07/12)
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