Oped: It´s Not the Court´s Fault, It´s the Government´s (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Yair Shapiro 05/13/12)
INN} ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS
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(translated from the Hebrew press by Arutz Sheva)
Let me make one thing clear: If, G-d forbid, the homes on the Ulpana
hill in Beit El are destroyed, the blame will not fall solely on the
shoulders of the Supreme Court Justices.
Chief Supreme Court Justice Asher Grunis´ hands are clean on this
issue, and Prime Minister Netanyahu bears much greater responsibility
for the planned destruction than do the pair of hostile judges,
Justices Fogelman and Joubran.
The troubles of the Ulpana hill began, as did those of all the Jewish
communities in Judea and Samaria, with the frenzied preparations for
carrying out the "disengagement" policy in that fateful summer of
2005. When it became clear that the greatest political patron of
the "settlers," Ariel Sharon, had turned his back on them, and had
really decided to destroy the communities of the Katif Bloc and
Northern Shomron, all the other government echelons and those outside
it realized that permission to destroy had been granted.
That summer, the civil administration rushed to issue the writ to
destroy the homes in Amona, and Peace Now filed suit in the Supreme
Court for the same purpose, claiming that the homes there had been
built on private Arab land.
It took the judges only four days to issue a first ruling. It took
just two more weeks for the government´s legal office to announce
that the buildings there would indeed be destroyed. The residents
demanded and received a schedule for the destruction.
And from that time onwards, the wheel of destruction seems to be self-
The Civil Administration (the governing body of Judea and Samaria),
which has broadened the concept of private land to the point of
absurdity, issues writs of destruction. Palestinian Arabs, or Israeli
organizations supporting their national struggle, file suit. The
government´s legal representatives scurry to agree and fix dates for
destroying homes, and the judges rule accordingly.
Had there not been a violent struggle in Amona, rest assured that the
Kadima governments would have carried out the death penalty on other
neighborhoods and communities.
This wheel of destruction could have been arrested by Netanyahu´s
right-wing government, which includes the Jewish Home (NRP) Party in
its ranks. If Minister Hershkowitz (Jewish Home Party) did not fear
Netanyahu and Netanyahu did not fear the media, a simple note to the
civil government on a change in policy, a call to order of the
government´s legal office, or merely a government decision, would
have caused even Beinisch´s hostile court , and certainly Grunis´, to
throw out the claims.
The suit for destroying the Ulpana hill was filed during the last
days of Olmert´s government, but the hearings on it continued deep
into Netanyahu´s term of office.
It is not the Supreme Court Justices who demanded the destruction of
Jewish homes on the Ulpana hill, it is the civil government
bureaucrats of Prime Minister Olmert´s term who issued the writs; the
Arabs who filed suit simply wanted to force the state to act on those
The Supreme Court did not hurry to issue a conditional ruling in this
case, as the government, they felt, had returned to the right of the
map. If in Amona they took only four days to deal with a suit asking
for destruction, on the Ulpana hill they began to discuss the topic
only eleven months after it was filed, way after Netanyhau,
Leiberman, Yishai and Hershkowitz came into power – and after they
gave them sufficient time to tell the cvil administration about any
change in government policy.
But the policy simply did not change. Four hearings took place on
this issue, and in each and every one of them, the governemnt´s own
legal office, Netanyahus´s representatives, said that the land on
which the buildings stood is private Palestinian Arab land.
The residents claimed that the land is not stolen, that it had been
bought by them in good faith, but the state insisted that from a
procedural point of view, these are private lands, and that there is
no standing to claims of purchase as long as the Land Registry has
not recorded the purchase and as long as no request for approval of
the purchase has been filed with them. (Ed. note: Everyone knows that
this would be a death knell for the Arab seller.}
Since there is no license extant, even if there was a deal, it is not
to be recognized.
And lest you suppose that the complicated wording of the definition
of private land was written by hostile bureaucrats who kept their
dark plots secret from the right wing ministers, note that a year ago
the state handed the judges its last response, in which it wrote that
just two months earlier, "the Prime Minister held a meeting with the
senior ministers, the attorney general and other relevant figures. At
that meeting, the foundation of a policy for destroying unauthorized
homes on private land was laid as well as that for legalizing the
standing of construction on state land. The policy states that
unauthorized building on private land is to be destroyed."
At that meeting, Netanyahu´s ministers, not Beinisch´s justices,
decided to act to remove the buildings of Ulpana hill within a year.
That is what the state promised the judges, and they then signed the
As in the story of Migron, the government seems to have done
everything in its power to ensure that the judges would in the end
humiliate the state´s legal representatives in court. Perhaps the
residents of the Ulpana hill should have sent flowers to the legal
office for listening to the government´s request insisting that they
go to court with a strange and unclear message a week after the date
that the ruling set for destroying the homes.
The state asked to renew the hearings because "the Prime Minister and
the ministers´ forum wish to debate anew the way to implement the
policy upon which they decided, and also their opinion on the
But how can one renew a hearing in a legal case when it is already
closed? If the judges would have allowed that, they wrote
justifiably, they would have destroyed one of the basic principles of
justice with their own hands, the principal that case can be closed,
the existence of a moment in time where both sides realize that the
decision is final.
Now the government ministers keep coming to visit the Ulpana hill,
wringing their hands, and debating the idea of passing a specific law
to circumvent the Supreme Court ruling.
But it is not the evil decree of the judges that they must remove; it
is the evil decree of destruction that they decided on all by
themselves. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 05/13/12)
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