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Monday, March 26, 2012

Haste makes waste

Back in the bad old days leading up to the disengagement, one of my chief complaints (accusations, actually) against those driving the disengagement was not so much what they wanted to do, as how they insisted upon doing it.

Nobody has ever been able to give me a convincing explanation of why the disengagement had to be carried out in a headlong dash before any arrangements could be made regarding the needs of those being transferred (ethnically cleansed, if we must be accurate) from gaza, such as new housing, compensation, employment, education, social services, etc.. 

There was also no attempt to coordinate the exit from Gaza with the Palestinians.  This resulted in the power vacuum that allowed Hamas to stage of a violent coup.

The Israeli leaders, and their cheerleaders on the left, simply kept chanting that we needed to get out of Gaza as soon as possible, and anyone who wanted to delay for any reason was called anti-peace and unpatriotic.

Remember that?  I know some of you do... and others have conveniently blocked it from your memory.

In the end, it was all about manufacturing a violent confrontation between the left and right where none was necessary.  Any compromise on the timing or scope of the disengagement would have helped defuse the conflict, so compromise and delay were unthinkable. 

Ariel Sharon had serious legal troubles looming, and the only way he could keep the press from hounding him was to make sure he continued acting in a way that pleased those on the left;  meaning driving the Gaza settlers from their homes, rather than offering them a way to move in an orderly, humane and dignified manner. 

The message was clear:  There was an enemy in Gaza that required swift and uncompromising attack... and it wasn't the Palestinians.

Now, with the Supreme Court's nullification of the Government's signed compromise with the residents of Migron, we are seeing a replay of this previous hasty insanity.

The Supreme court has taken a radical leftist position which, despite all claims to the contrary, has nothing to do with the rule of, or respect for, the law.

The primary issue is that some Arabs brought suit against Migron claiming that part of the settlement was built on private Palestinian-owned land. 

Now, in any normal country, if someone comes to you and says you are living on their land, the burden of proof is on the claimant to actually show that the land is theirs. 

Not here. 

To date the Arabs (and their leftist Israeli NGO backers) have never produced a shred of evidence to indicate that the land is theirs (or anybodies, for that matter).  In fact, at the crucial stage where they were required to present the proof, they simply didn't show up in court.

Again, in any normal country, at that point the case would have been dismissed for lack of evidence.

Not here.

At that point the Supreme Court decided that evidence wasn't necessary, and issued rulings demanding the destruction of Migron according to an arbitrary (and accelerated!) timetable.

Seeing the writing on the wall, the current Likud government began trying to work out a sane compromise with the resident of Migron which would satisfy their needs, as well as the demands of the Supreme court for the destruction of the settlement. 

Despite the claims from the left that the settlers were incapable of compromise, a reasonable deal was eventually reached which would serve everyone's needs (while ignoring the inconvenient legal fact that the original legal imperative to move had never been proven by the Palestinians and their Peace Now handlers).  A new settlement would be build a short distance away from the current location on land that was not in dispute.  And once the new housing was ready, the residents of Migron would move there... thus removing the key claim of settlers living on 'private Palestinian Land'.

Apparently, as with the disengagement, a compromise which would remove a source of friction/conflict between the right and left, was the last thing the Supreme court wanted.  So they nullified the compromise agreement and set an arbitrary and early date by which Migron would have to be demolished... a date by which it will be all but impossible to arrange new housing for the people who had agreed to the compromise in good faith.

Mind you, there is no need for this headlong rush to throw the settlers out of their homes and destroy the settlement.  To date there is still not a shred of evidence that the land belongs to any private Palestinian owner, so there are no damages that would be compounded by the delay called for in the compromise agreement.

There is simply an activist Supreme court which ignores, rather than supports the rule of law... and seeks only to punish those on the right who dare to challenge their agenda.

There was no need for the reckless haste of the disengagement from Gaza.  It only served to punish the settlers with homelessness, joblessness and a slew of social problems from which many will never recover.  And there is no need now for the reckless haste with which the Israeli Supreme Court is demanding that Migron be evacuated and demolished. 

The compromise which was reached between the residents of Migron and the Israeli government would have accomplished exactly what the court is demanding.  But it would have allowed the settlers to show their patriotism and desire to do what's good for the country (even when the law and common sense are in their favor). 

But the Supreme Court simply can't stomach a situation where the evil nationalists are allowed demonstrate their patriotism.  They must be punished... herded like cattle from their homes... maybe even forced into a violent confrontation with the army that will be sent to destroy their town.  Anything to promote conflict and antipathy between the left and right. 

The reason is simple:  If the left and right ever begin to work hand-in-hand, one of the first things they'll do is change the self-perpetuating nature of the Supreme Court (they pick their own successors!), and establish some sort of checks and balance to ensure an activist, unelected judiciary can't rule in place of the legitimate government of the country.

Posted by David Bogner on March 26, 2012 | Permalink


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There is a higher court: the IDF. If you take my meaning.

Posted by: antares | Mar 26, 2012 12:46:40 PM

So why does the government feel obligated to listen to the Supreme Court, if the latter is so obviously ignoring the law?

Posted by: Russell Gold | Mar 26, 2012 1:42:29 PM

Anteres... Israel is not some banana republic that imposes political change with military coups. I'm surprised that you would even joke about such a thing.

Russel Gold... Because right now the system is out of balance and the judiciary and state attorney hold an unhealthy amount of power. Those that oppose them tend to find themselves under all sorts of legal investigations.

Posted by: Treppenwitz | Mar 26, 2012 1:54:39 PM

I thought it was strange that in all the articles I read there was never any mention of a deed to the land produced by the Arabs. Is that how it works in Israel - you can just walk up to a piece of land and says it's yours? I think more people need to know that the Supreme Court doesn't rule by evidence, but by convenience. We all know what happens when there is no justice.

Posted by: nanaloshen | Mar 26, 2012 5:05:06 PM

>At that point the Supreme Court decided that evidence wasn't necessary, and issued rulings demanding the destruction of Migron according to an arbitrary (and accelerated!) timetable.

This requires a bit of explanation. The Supreme Court doesn't assess evidence or hear witnesses. It's not their job. To appreciate the full force of the injustice in this case, you need to understand that land disputes are generally handled in District Court (mechozi), where the usual rules of evidence apply. However, the leftist lawyers who brought this suit knew they had no chance of prevailing there. So instead of suing the residents of Migron, they sued the state in the Supreme Court (sitting as the High Court of Justice). The residents were not even a party to the case and had no opportunity to even present a defense. The state was represented by Osnat Mandel, who has zero interest in the property rights of the residents of Migron and hence presented no defense of those rights. In fact, the factual basis of this case was never adjudicated. (In a separate suit, the supposed owners of the land sued for compensation in District Court and as soon as they were asked to present evidence of their ownership claim they withdrew the suit.)
Benny Begin's role in the case is comi-tragic. He is the last mamlachti putz who still believes in the impartiality of Israel's judiciary (on purely ideological grounds -- he'll never let the facts sway him). So he (together with the other half of the Self-Righteous Brothers, Dan Meridor) blocked any proposed solution that might have dealt with the underlying injustice. He insisted on a local fix that made believe there was no institutional issue here that required solving. Well, that just blew up in his face.

Posted by: Ben Chorin | Mar 26, 2012 6:52:56 PM

So what happens if Netanyahu just ignores the court and follows through on the original deal?

Posted by: Freddy Terranean | Mar 27, 2012 7:11:54 PM

Here's an idea: Why not have the Supreme Court Justices personally host the families of Migron in their own (undoubtedly beautiful) homes while they hammer out the details?

Yes, I know, I know...(sigh)...

Posted by: psachya | Mar 28, 2012 6:32:07 PM


Perhaps I misread. I never intended that the IDF stage a coup. I thought the Supreme Court ordered the IDF to destroy the settlement. Were I the IDF commander, I would refuse on the grounds that I do not take orders from the Supreme Court. But I know not who the court ordered to destroy Migron.

It appears to me that the Supreme Court has overstepped its bounds. Whoever receives the order should refuse it. Let the robes go to Migron with picks and spades and enforce their own order.

Posted by: antares | Apr 1, 2012 10:41:59 AM

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