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Monday, June 11, 2007

Supreme Court orders government to make plan to expel Jews from 'outposts'

Yesterday, the Justice Minister (Friedmann) and the Attorney General (Mazuz) reached a compromise on how the next attorney general will be appointed. The compromise puts an end to weeks of hysteria in which past Supreme Court justices (particularly Heshin and Matza) were interviewed daily on the radio so that they could decry the 'politicization' of the attorney general's office by Friedmann. Of course, what the Supreme Court justices were really doing was trying to protect the branja. Here's the compromise that was reached:
A search committee will be headed by a retired judge, who will be chosen by the Supreme Court Chief Justice with the approval of the Justice Minister. The committee will present two or three candidates, from among whom the Cabinet will choose the Attorney-General.

Until now, the committee head was chosen solely by the Chief Justice, and only one candidate was presented. The new arrangement thus represents a victory of sorts for Justice Minister Friedmann, who wanted more of a say for the political echelons at the expense of what he perceived to be a judicial-system monopoly.

On the other hand, Friedmann gave in on his demand that the search committee head be a former Attorney General or Justice Minister.

Seventeen ministers voted in favor of the new arrangement, while seven voted against. Among the latter were two Kadima ministers, Tzipi Livni and Meir Sheetrit - both of whom are former Justice Ministers - and five Labor Party ministers.
How the attorney general is appointed is important because it is phase one in Justice Minister Friedmann's plan to wrest Supreme Court appointments away from the self-perpetuating monopoly that reflects the views of only the Israeli left. It is unfortunate that Friedman is Justice Minister under the corrupt Ehud K. Olmert and not under a squeaky clean Prime Minister, because what Friedman is trying to accomplish is important for the country's future - especially for those of us whose outlook is somewhere to the right of Meretz - and all the corruption charges against Olmert (which are quite justified as far as I can tell) just get in the way. For those who have forgotten how the current judicial appointment system works and why it matters, please go here.

I know a lot of you read my posts on this subject and wonder what they have to do with what you really want to hear about: Israel's actions in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and the war with the 'Palestinians.' Yesterday, the Supreme Court met Israeli actions in Judea and Samaria.

Yesterday, the leftist Supreme Court gave the government until July 8 to come up with a plan to expel Jews from 'outposts' in Judea and Samaria. Yes, of course, in just about every civilized country in the world, the Supreme Court would not get involved in an issue like that because it's what we lawyers call a 'political question.' Yes, of course, in just about every civilized country in the world, there would be no one other than an aggrieved property owner who could bring a court case about this because anyone else would not have what we lawyers call standing. But in Israel no question is too political for the court's intervention and no real plaintiff is required when the court's sense of justice political correctness is offended. And that's exactly what happened yesterday. With the IDF unable to handle the Kassams from Gaza and with war threatening from the north the 'Supreme Court' has decided to force the army to dedicate troops to expelling Jews from their homes based on a petition by Peace Piece by Piece Now, an entity that would not have standing in a civilized judicial system:
The order by High Court Justice Dorit Beinisch comes in response to a petition by Peace Now, which had asked the court to force the IDF to evacuate the Migron outpost, which was established in 2002 and has some 63 caravans.


Peace Now Director General Yariv Oppenheimer called Sunday's decision a "minor" step in the overall process. "The big decision will be taken a month from now when there is a court hearing."

He said that it was not clear from the document how large an evacuation plan Peretz was expected to present. There are some 105 unauthorized outposts in the West Bank, but evacuation moves have centered around a group of 24 whose removal was authorized by the cabinet in 2005.

Talks had been under way between the government and the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip regarding a compromise regarding the outposts that would avoid a violent confrontation. But such talks have stalled.
In case you are wondering,
Migron was ... established ... on a hilltop overlooking the Shomron's central artery Highway 60, which leads from Jerusalem to Binyamin and Shomron towns such as Ofrah, Beit El, Shilo, and Eli. The tall buildings of Jerusalem can be clearly seen to the south, thus that Migron is part of Jerusalem's defense belt.

The town never received all its written permits, thus rendering it an "illegal outpost," but its construction was rushed along and encouraged by many national and local government offices. In particular, a road was paved, caravans and playgrounds were stationed at the site, security was provided, and other help was administered. [In December 2003 when this article was written, then Defense Minister Shaul CiJ] Mofaz [had] ordered O.C. Central Command Maj.-Gen. Moshe Kaplinsky to prepare an order that will bypass the need to receive Supreme Court approval for the evacuation of the families.


A senior military Central Command source told Huberman that Migron has the added problem of questionable land-status. Even though much of the property is Jewish-owned, some of it is not. On the other hand, the main pusher behind the establishment of Migron was none other than Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon, who served in the past as Central Commander. Yaalon was among those who frequently warned that the site was a critically strategic point, and that if Israel does not take it, the Arabs would. Another recent Central Commander, Yitzchak Eitan, who was not a great friend of the Jewish settlement enterprise in Yesha, also insisted that the site remain Jewish. He even told then-Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer that if Jewish civilians were not permitted to remain, he would build an army outpost there. "This point must not be abandoned," he said.
For the record, none of the families living in Migron has anyplace else to go, which means that if they are expelled from their homes, they will join the Gaza homeless from two years ago (yes, most of the Jews who were expelled from Gaza two years ago are still homeless). And for those who have forgotten, Amona was also an 'outpost.'

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