Report: Netanyahu Mulling Ulpana ´Seizure´ (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gabe Kahn 05/08/12)
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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reportedly said Sunday that saving
Beit El´s threatened Ulpana neighborhood is a "challenge the public
Now, following the Supreme Court´s rejection on Monday of his
government´s petition for a 90 day extension in which to determine a
solution to the problem, the need for a solution is imminent.
Arutz Sheva learned on Tuesday that Netanyahu is weighing his options
for averting the destruction of the five homes slated for demolition
against a ticking clock.
Sources close to Netanyahu say the short time allotted – a mere two
months – would make drafting legislation and passing legislation to
legalize the houses extremely difficult.
Additionally, the Supreme Court has previously ruled Israeli law does
not apply in Judea and Samaria, which are under military
As a result, if Netanyahu were to pursue legislation as many of his
senior ministers have demanded, he could be signing a legislative
dead-letter into law.
Instead, he is said to be considering an alternative solution wherein
the Defense Ministry would issue a seizure order for the threatened
houses and land.
Such an order instructs the military commander of Judea and Samaria
expropriate the land from its legal owner, after which it becomes
By changing the status of the land and house, the political
leadership would theoretically be able to leave the houses (and their
residents) where they are.
Despite the apparent ease of issuing such an order – an
administrative fiat rather than legislation – such a move could prove
Decisions by the Elon court in 1980 placed administrative decisions
under "more meaningful review" than legislation which raises doubts
about whether the move would be upheld by the Supreme Court.
The issue has also dredged up an ongoing controversy about the
Supreme Court´s exercise of judicial review to nullify laws – and in
this case, government policies – it deems “unconstitutional” in the
absence of a formal Israeli constitution.
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 between
branches of government in Israel´s Basic Laws – including those of
the court itself – the extent of that power, and whether it is
exercised prudently, remains deeply connected to the personality of
the sitting justices.
Critics say that judicial review – as it has been wielded to date –
has raised disturbing and difficult questions about the sovereign
will of Israel’s voters when government policies concerning
diplomatic, political, and security issues are overridden.
As a result, either path – legislation or a seizure order – could
place Netanyahu´s newly forged 94-seat supermajority on a collision
course with the Supreme Court.
Some legal observers have said Netanyahu´s now-stable coalition has a
third option – refusing to carry out the order (which the Court
itself has no power to enforce) until a more suitable solution can be
implemented. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 05/08/12)
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