Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Time to take a stand

Time to take a stand

Dror Eydar

The settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria is the heart of the Likud movement. To sabotage the settlement enterprise is to strike at the conservative camp's ability to govern and steer the Zionist ship back on course. Decades of language and collective consciousness control have turned the settlement enterprise in Israel into an "obstacle" and a "crime" and Zionism into an empty metaphor.

You can't just shave five buildings off a community, remove them as though they were a diseased tumor and relocate them. Behind these five buildings lies an entire settlement enterprise whose enemies — some of them our own Jewish brothers — pray for its destruction. These enemies of the settlement enterprise realize that the majority of the population supports the settlers, even if the media uniformly doesn't. That is why they employ dozens of human rights organizations (a code name for organizations that strip Jews of their right to live in their country) and wield the swords of the High Court of Justice and the State Prosecutor's Office.

Pretty soon, following their "success" in destroying the Ulpana neighborhood of Beit El (the High Court of Justice ruled that five of its building had been built on privately owned Palestinian land and must therefore be demolished by the end of the month), the people of B'Tselem, Peace Now and the New Israel Fund will find more private "owners" of dozens of neighborhoods and communities in Judea and Samaria, and obviously demand their demolition.

Everyone knows that the land in question was a rocky plot of land on which nothing had ever been built or grown before the settlers came. The purported Palestinian "ownership" of the land refers to a last-minute Jordanian record from the early 1960s, reflecting the Jordanian effort to prevent uprisings by bribing clan leaders and mukhtars (village heads) with lands.

It is also a well-known fact that these lands — which were liberated from the Palestinians and paid for in full — could not have been registered with the Israel Land Administration because the Palestinian leadership threatened anyone who sold land to Jews with death.

Another well-known fact is that even Jordanian law stipulates that when the value of construction and crops on a plot of land exceed the value of the land itself, then the owner must be compensated and that which was built or grown must remain intact.

Furthermore, unlike any other legal proceeding, the residents of the Ulpana homes in question were not given the opportunity to present their case in court and have had no say in the debate over the destruction of their homes.

The argument that the outpost arrangement bill (which aims to retroactively authorize the construction of the disputed buildings while compensating the original owners) is on a collision course with the High Court of Justice is a propagandist lie. The job of the High Court of Justice is to enforce the rule of law, which originates in the legislative branch of government. If the Knesset can't legislate a law that protects our natural, historic and religious right to the land that is the cradle of our nationhood — the very justification for our return to this country — then by all means, let us relocate the Knesset building to the Supreme Court parking lot.

The so-called "rule of law" is an Orwellian term suggesting contempt for popular rule. It is precisely the Jewish settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria that reflects the true spirit of rule of law, because it is the reason, among others, and the goal that the current coalition was elected to achieve. The outpost arrangement bill is somewhat of a lesser evil, but it could also resolve the problem, and provide the settlement enterprise with a legal umbrella while compensating the land owners, who, even if they won't admit it publicly, would be much happier to receive generous compensation than a plot of land they will never use. The government, for its part, should inform the court that its initial ruling was mistaken and allow the residents to defend their property in court.

A bloody debate has raged in present-day Israel between proponents of the settlement enterprise and its opponents, but the current government is nearly unanimous on the issue. So how is it that a conservative government, led by Likud, is once again uprooting communities? Let us recall that the Likud already fell apart once, to the joy of the media and the Left, and gave birth to Kadima, a political mutation that facilitated the destruction of the Jewish communities in Gaza and brought two pointless wars upon us.

Without realizing it, we have grown accustomed to the demolition of Jewish homes, here a house, there a street, and finally an entire enterprise. Remember Gush Katif? That cannot be allowed to happen again. There are moments in history when a certain act deviates far beyond its physical bounds. It is not five buildings that are going to be demolished in the Ulpana neighborhood. What will ultimately be destroyed is the very principle of standing up to protect our simple, natural right — which has been upheld by the Law of Nations, by morality and by history — to settle our homeland. This principle allows us to defend ourselves from the Iranian threat, and the European economic threat that wants to drown us. It is not too late.