Amona betrayed

Evacuating Amona

Evacuating Amona

I have been watching the TV and listening to the radio all day with a growing sick feeling in my stomach, as anger, fury and frustration overtook my feelings of sadness as the community of Amona was evacuated and destroyed. Anger at our government, fury at our Supreme Court and frustration at the lack of any organized response from the politicians whom we voted for as well as at ourselves – and I include myself in that list.

A few weeks ago I wrote a couple of posts about Amona, the first being a general backgrounder on the Amona dilemma, and the second about a possible solution to the problem.

Up to the last few days it looked as if the solution was going to go through. And then – even before the Supreme Court managed to issue its ruling! – the government gave the instruction to evacuate the settlement.

Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman added insult to injury by ordering the destruction of agricultural plots despite these not being included in the court order.

Some of the police lined up to enforce the evacuation of Amona

Some of the police lined up to enforce the evacuation of Amona

And what now for the poor evacuees of Amona? Where will they go? Has the government lived up to its promise to have learned the lesson of the Disengagement (aka expulsion) from Gaza and provided alternate housing?

It has not! The Supreme Court knocked down the suggested solution of alternate housing in Ofra, because after all, you cannot have Jewish settlers actually settling anywhere can you? That would never do! Human rights for everyone except Jews, doncha know? (Yes, I am burning furious about this. The unfairness, the injustice, the inequality, is blatant and burning and absolutely outrageous and unacceptable).

The Supreme Court struck down the outline agreed to by the residents of Amona and the government last month, which would have provided alternative housing for the residents who are being evacuated from their homes.

The court accepted the petition by the leftist organization Yesh Din, which argued that the plots of land which the State had set aside to construct alternative housing for the residents of Amona through the use of the absentee property law, was private Arab land.

MK Moti Yogev (Jewish Home) slammed the court’s decision. “The Supreme Court whose political composition is determined by President Miriam Naor, prohibited a step which could have alleviated this injustice. Do not worry. We do not only pray ‘Restore our judges as in times of old’ (a Jewish prayer). We will act in every way to curb the dictatorship of the Supreme Court, the ‘High Court of Injustice,’ and to restore democracy to the State of Israel.”

Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) said that “In light of the Supreme Court’s decision the government must approve the construction of a new town for the residents of Amona. That would be an appropriate Zionist response, and we must implement it as soon as possible.”

No construction had begun on the plots of land agreed upon by the residents and the government, and the residents of Amona are left without housing.

NOW Bibi has woken up and set up a committee (duh) to discuss a housing solution. So the ex-residents of ex-Amona will have to live in tents in sub-freezing temperatures (several were treated for hypothermia today) while the government gets off its backside and has a big long think about what to do with these inconvenient Israelis.

Shomron Regional Council head Yossi Dagan warned that our enemies are celebrating at watching our struggle.

RJ Streets at Israellycool also mentions the glee of the Arabs who ostensibly claim the territory, and concludes with this disgusting statement by the Mayor of Silwad:

The Major of Silwad was very happy, so excited, he let slip:

The only solution is for those expelled from Amona was to return to Europe where they came from.

THAT shows what the Arabs think of us. In their eyes we are not the indigenous people of the country. They regard as interlopers, temporary colonizers who will soon be gone. And if they continue getting help from our treacherous leftist NGOs and biased judicial system, who never saw a human right that belonged to Jews living over the non-existent Green Line, they may very well get their way G-d forbid.

Meanwhile a very interesting statement from the IDF commander in charge of the infamous Gaza Disengagement warned that the Left is deluding people:

General (Res.) Gershon Hacohen, who commanded the 2005 Gaza “Disengagement,” in which every Jew living in the Gaza Strip, some 8000 Israeli citizens, was forcefully expelled from his home by the government of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, sharply criticized the Amona evacuation and attacked the left-wing organizations acting against Amona.

In a Radio South interview Hacohen said that “there is no place for another eviction of Jews and anybody who thinks that way like ‘Generals for Israel’s security’ (a campaign of former army officers calling for an evacuation of communities in Judea and Samaria, ed.) doesn’t understand what is going on in this area, since the State of Israel cannot defend itself within the Green Line borders.”

“The residents of Judea and Samaria are protecting Tel Aviv. This is a national interest of the first order because there is no possibility for Israel to survive on the coastal plain alone, ” Hacohen asserted.

He added that “if we leave we will have shootings on Road 6 and mortars on Ben Gurion airport and the IDF will not be able to perform [defense] operations on a daily basis.”

His words must resonate widely and demand to be heeded by the government and the Supreme Court as well as by the Left. Unfortunately I think the only people who will pay attention will be the very people who know the lesson well already.

As for what comes next, Education Minister and Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett said that while we mourn the loss of Amona, we must welcome the “settlements bill” that once and for all regulates the legal status of the communities in Judea and Samaria:

Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) mourned the destruction of Amona in an address to the Knesset plenum on Wednesday while IDF forces demolish the town, saying that the future was uncertain for the 42 families being evicted.

“Brothers and sisters,” said Bennett, “the residents of Amona are heroes. For 20 years they lived on that mountain, under difficult physical conditions, [suffering] winter storms and summer heat, facing security threats and intifadas.”

But, continued Bennett, “worse than any natural disaster is the uncertainty of their future.”

The Education Minister spoke just hours after security forces implemented a general closure of Amona and prepared to evict residents and protesters, enforcing an evacuation order by the Supreme Court.

While a deal negotiated between Bennett and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and later signed by the town of Amona promised a peaceful evacuation in exchange for alternative housing at a nearby site for 24 of the town’s 42 families, along with a second neighborhood at a separate site for the remaining 18, no work has been done on the replacement housing.

Last week a Supreme Court injunction barred work on the replacement neighborhood adjacent to Amona’s present location.

In other words, the residents were betrayed. The deal they signed was not worth the paper it was written on!

Though Bennett conceded that despite his party’s efforts, the battle to preserve Amona had failed, he added that its loss was instrumental in the passage of the Regulation Law, a bill intended to protect thousands of homes across Judea and Samaria from suffering the same fate as Amona.

Today is a difficult day. These are very trying times.”

“We need to say the truth: we started our efforts [to prevent the evacuation] when there was already a final eviction order from the Supreme Court against us. We came to Amona, looked the residents in the yes and said that we know that we are going to fight against all odds, and we didn’t give up,” said Bennett.

But can we trust the settlements bill to pass? And if it passes can we trust the Supreme Court, or even the government, to uphold it and enforce it?  After the agreement between Amona residents and the government that they would agree to evacuate to alternative housing was struck down, how can we rely on any further promises by any state institution?

I am sorry to say that I have lost all trust in both of those illustrious institutions and I feel almost physically sick at this thought.

MP, a Facebook friend expressed it so well:

Feeling sick with pain, embarrassed, humiliated, shame, pity and many more negative feelings.

Pain for the residents of Amona. These people built their lives on what they thought was legal land (so please don’t compare them to last weeks Bedouins case .. who knew full well what they were doing was illegal).

Embarrassed… that i personally did nothing about it? Besides posting on fb and twitter. Could i have done more ? Yes. Would it have helped? Probably not. Doesn’t change the feeling.

Humiliated. By the left wing organizations and Jewish self haters. To those people… I say… great, you got your wish. You destroyed 40 families. Do you feel good about yourselves ? I only hope that retribution will come by you spending eternity in hell.

Shame. I say shame on the courts. Shame on the politicians. Shame on the establishment for ruining these peoples lives, simply because they are Jewish, right wing and religious. Shame on those responsible and shame on me for voting for them.

Pity..for the youth of today. They see that they can no longer rely on the army, the govt, or the courts to uphold Jewish human rights. How do I face my kids and tell them to rely on the establishment. Do I lie to their faces?

I hope that Am Yisrael will overcome this mean hurdle soon. In the meantime, I hope I can overcome my negativity.

It’s going to take a lot of confidence building as well as settlement building by the government to regain our lost trust.

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10 Responses to Amona betrayed

  1. Elise Ronan says:

    You can be angry at the government, you can rail against the Supreme Court, and be disgusted by the Mayor of Silwan. But the truth is a legal matter. The Court was right in their decision. They have not emptied Maale Adumim, Ofra, or the Etzion Bloc. Truth is that not everything Israel does in Judea and Samaria is right, or within its own laws. And it is the rule of law that makes Israel different than those who would wish her destruction.

    Now what the government did by betraying the people of Amona is horrible. So here is a thought, take them into where you live. Provide these families with temporary housing until something can be worked out. Don’t wait for Jerusalem to act. Klal Yisrael can act on her own to help those of her people that need homes.

    • anneinpt says:

      A couple of weeks ago I would have agreed with you Elise. In fact I did agree, and that was my point in my two earlier posts that I wrote about Amona.

      I would quibble with you however on the legality issue. You think the Court was right in their decision but there is a lot of proof – ignored by the Court – that the land was NOT Arab land at all:

      1. Jordan had no right to parcel out lands
      When the Amona case first reached the Supreme Court, a representative of the land registrar for the IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) argued that despite the fact that the location was a bald and abandoned mountaintop, there existed documented parcels of land which had been registered by the Jordanian government as belonging to area sheiks and clans. However, as an invading and occupying power, Jordan had no right to award these lands. Jordan’s rule over the “West Bank” was not recognized by the vast majority of UN member states save for the UK and Pakistan, and so this local Arab “ownership” is based on a lie.

      But my main point here was that the residents of Amona came to an agreement with the gov’t to evacuate peacefully knowing that a) they would have alternate housing arranged in advance and b) that they were “sacrificing” themselves for the sake of the greater settlement enterprise in the shape of the “arrangements bill”, or the “settlements bill” as it has become known.

      But the government reneged on the deal first by not organizing alternate housing: they knew there was going to be a problem with alternate housing in Ofra yet they did nothing to fight this through the Court, nor did they try to arrange housing elsewhere. There was no immediate rush to get these settlers out of Amona. They could have waited another month while caravans were put up on Israeli land somewhere. This is the lesson that should have been learned from the Gaza evacuation, when the thousands of settlers were sitll homeless a decade later! There too there was no rush, only Ariel Sharon’s determination to avoid being indicted for corruption. With the corruption cases against Bibi ongoing, this whole story is smelling very fishy.

      The gov’t also reneged on the agreement by giving the go ahead for the evacuation even before the Supreme Court had finished dealing with the Appeals, regardless of the fact that the court ruled against Amona. It undermines the people’s trust in the gov’t if the gov’t itself acts ahead of judicial rulings.

      Everyone seems satisfied that the gov’t were correct to act as they did, but what if the Supreme Court had ruled to halt the evacuation? What then?

      As for caring for the evacuated residents and taking them into our homes, that is already being done by warm caring Israelis. Just like they did for the evacuees of Gaza. But that is a) not a long term solution and b) if the government determines that citizens must leave their homes for national reasons then it is the government’s job to organize a housing solution, even if only temporary. Even that small thing, of moving the Amona caravans up the road, was too much for them, and the town has been destroyed. What is the point of destroying property? It’s not as if it’s going to be handed to the Arabs like Gush Katif in Gaza was.

      • DP-PT says:

        Do not forget that the Court had the authority to order payment of monetary compensation or alternative land to the so-called Arab landowners had they so chosen. But of course they preferred to exile and humiliate those pesky Settlers.

      • Elise Ronan says:

        Whether Jordan had the right to make the land bequeath or not is actually immaterial to a point. When Israel liberated Judea and Samaria they codified that Jordanian and international law would govern the area. Therefore, making any Jordanian land registry legal and paramount. I agree since Jordan illegally occupied the area what they did was illegal and should have no longterm effect. But If Israel had decided to apply Israeli law immediately then the outcome may have been different.

        And as far as what your friend below said, yes Israel could have given the Arab owners monetary payment, but Israel is an “occupying force” right now, even in Israeli law, not the rightful sovereign, so that would create alternative issues since technically Israel does not have the right to eminent domain. In a way, Israel, even under Israeli law, has no more right to parcel out land than Jordan did. So maybe in a way, this actually benefits the Israeli government. This ruling, even though I doubt the Supreme Court meant it this way, is a way of substantiating Israel’s own policy of land procurement for other settlements.

        I understand that you think the government should provide homes and help these people. And good that Klal Yisrael is stepping up to help those from Amona. But I think the point should be noted, that you can NOT trust the government at all when it comes to things like this. It’s as my husband says about the US government too, you are always really on your own. Don’t rely on the government for anything ever, and you will be ok.

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  3. DP-PT says:

    The time is well overdue to change the way our Judges are chosen. If we cannot enact a law that for example allows the cabinet alone to appoint them, or for the electorate to vote on them (these methods are roughly how it’s done in the USA) then a law should be enacted to appoint an even higher court (let’s call it the Supreme Court Overview Court) at which all decisions of the current Supreme Court can be appealed, and which will have its judges appointed by the government of the day. Otherwise there is no point any more in electing a government as it is the Court that makes the rules, and they are all left wingers from Medinat Tel Aviv who represent no-one except themselves.

    • anneinpt says:

      That is what Ayelet Shaked is vigorously trying to do, and she is getting enormous flak for her “chutzpah”. I hope she is successful and manages to bring the Supreme Court back to its proper job – which is NOT to overrule laws created by the Knesset. We the people elected the Knesset. We the people did NOT elect the judges. They have become disconnected from the people they are supposed to be judging and that is a very bad thing for democracy.

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