Beit El's Ulpana neighborhood
Photo: Amir Levy

Say no to civil war

Op-ed: Settlement regularization bill won’t prompt clash with world, but can avert clashes among Jews

As opposed to the impression created around here in recent days, the settlement enterprise’s continued existence does not hinge on the settlement regularization bill. With the help of God and Zambish (settler leader Zeev Hever,) this enterprise is doing quite well already.


Some 350,000 Jews reside in the homeland regions liberated 45 years ago this week. These residents will not go anywhere even should the homes of Beit El’s Ulpana neighborhood be razed, or moved, or whatever.


The vision of partitioning the land has suffered clinical death, thankfully. According to the latest polls, most Israelis no longer believe in the viability of the childish slogan of two states to the two peoples. Even the leftists are starting to shun it. What was not achieved by one’s brains was achieved by time and by the Palestinians.


Hence, the debate over the settlement regularization bill is not about our future, but rather, merely about our quality of life around here. Indeed, the proposed law is meant to reinforce the principle of equality before the law.


The hundreds of thousands of settlers and their dozens of fans in the Knesset are fed up with the situation whereby the fate of entire neighborhoods is determined by the High Court of Justice in the presence of one side only; the Arab side. They don’t wish to rob anyone, but rather, only ensure that real estate disputes are decided reasonably at lowers courts, as is common in Israel and in any other enlightened state.


This isn’t a war crime

Should it turn out that a neighborhood in question was established in good faith on private land, the owners shall receive proper compensation. This is precisely what is customary in Raanana, in Washington, and even in The Hague. If the owners failed to protest in time and waited for the attorneys of Peace Now to wake them up the day after the new neighborhood was inaugurated, they will have to settle for money; plenty of money.


Yet the homes shall stay intact. This is not a war crime or racism; it’s justice.


On Tuesday it turned out that according to an opinion drafted once upon a time by Supreme Court Justice Hanan Meltzer, when he was still an attorney, this would be an acceptable arrangement even in line with the Ottoman law still applicable in Judea and Samaria.


That is, a regularization law is already in place there. The problem is that the State Prosecutor’s Office and the legal branch of the Civil Administration chose to ignore it. Because of them, an urgent legal need arose to entrench the matter in Israel’s law books as well.


Should the prime minister regain his senses at the last moment and endorse the regularization bill, he will not instigate a war with the wide world out there; he will merely spare us needless wars among the Jews. Even on a cloudy day, one can see Amona from Beit El.




פרסום ראשון: 06.06.12, 11:02
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