Right-wing MKs to PM: Support outpost legislation (JERUSALEM POST) By TOVAH LAZAROFF, JOANNA PARASZCZUK 05/08/12)
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Monday’s High Court of Justice decision to demolish 30 homes in the
Ulpana outpost in the West Bank came as parliamentarians gathered to
debate a bill dissolving the 18th Knesset.
Approval of the bill would send the Knesset almost immediately into
recess until after the September 4 elections.
Right-wing politicians responded to the ruling by calling on Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to support Knesset legislation that could
prevent the razing of the five apartment buildings in which the 30
In the past year, Netanyahu has consistently rejected all
parliamentary attempts to pass such legislation.
Unless the Knesset dissolution is delayed, it is unlikely that such
legislation could be passed in time to prevent razing of the
buildings, located on the outskirts of the Beit El settlement.
A special session could be called to vote on the legislation, but
such an event would be highly unusual.
“The state has a moral responsibility toward the residents that it
encouraged and sent to live there,” said Culture and Sport Minister
Limor Livnat (Likud).
“This is the wrong decision and it is one that the public cannot live
with,” said Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud).
“The government must quickly enact legislation that will prevent the
home demolitions and allow Ulpana residents to stay in their homes,”
Within minutes of the court’s announcement, both right-wing and left-
wing politicians had turned Ulpana into a game of political football.
“It is clear to anyone that the prime minister decisively failed to
defend the settlements. It is a Gordian knot of his own making. He
could fix it with legislation whose passage he has physically
prevented,” said MK Uri Ariel (National Union).
He called on Netanyahu to hold a special session to pass such a law.
MK Danny Danon (Likud) blamed the court and not his party for the
decision, which he noted ran counter to the will of his party.
“The court’s surrender to the extreme Left, damages [the execution]
of the people’s will, which chose to place the Likud in power so that
it could develop and build Judea and Samaria,” he said.
“It is the elected officials, the Likud-led government, which should
determine these issues and not the Supreme Court justices, which
represent their own individual opinions and not the will of the
people,” Danon said.
The Labor party spoke out in defense of the decision.
The High Court of Justice has determined in a very clear way that the
government must stop evading its obligations.
There is no alternative for respect for the rule of law, the Labor
party said, adding that political tricks won’t help and that the
court’s order should be executed and not evaded.
Meretz party head MK Zehava Gal-On stated, “The prime minister has
been punished for his conniving exercise in which he submitted a
request to cancel the [initial] ruling [to demolish the Ulpana homes
by May 1] two days before the final date for its implementation.”
Now, Gal-On said, Netanyahu will be “forced to evict the settlers in
the midst of an election campaign.”
The High Court of Justice ruling Monday came in response to a state
request to be released from its initial promise to take down the
homes by May 1.
The state also asked the court to reopen the legal case against the
Ulpana homes and to allow it 60 days to reassess its outpost policy.
The court rejected both requests.
Yesh Din attorney Michael Sfard said that the state had made a
mistake by asking the court to reopen a closed case.
In so doing, he said, it greatly expanded the implications of any
judicial judgment on the Ulpana outpost from one that dealt strictly
with the structures, to one that could impact the authority of the
“Once the state filed the unprecedented request to cancel a final and
binding ruling, the question of the case became much broader than the
issue of the five apartments in the Ulpana outpost and became a
battle over the law-abiding nature of Israeli society,” Sfard said.
But The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel slammed the ruling, saying
it was “inconceivable that the High Court ignored the rights of
citizens who bought apartments in good faith.”
“It’s obvious that if it were a residential neighborhood of Umm el-
Fahm, the justices would have found a way not to destroy the homes of
innocent citizens,” said the organization’s attorney Yossi Fuchs. (©
1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 05/08/12)
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