Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Migron: Our Fate Isn't for Court to Decide

Maayana Miskin Migron: Our Fate Not for Court

Residents of Migron responded Monday to a High Court case debating their future by rejecting the court's right to be involved in the matter. “The future of Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria should not be decided in this court or any other,” they said.. Recent lawsuits involving Migron and other established Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria -- such as Ofra, Beit El and Neve Tzuf – are aimed at determining political issues in court, they warned. Such suits “have become a standard method used by the extreme Left with the goal of destroying Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria,” they said.

If a debate over Jewish life in Judea and Samaria is to take place, they said, “its place is with the Israeli public.” The legal system is not the place to decide political and diplomatic policy, they argued.

The suit against Migron was brought by the leftist group Peace Now, which argues that the land on which Migron was built belongs to Arabs living in a nearby town. Residents of Migron say Peace Now's claims are false.

A separate legal battle involving the ownership of the land is taking place outside the High Court. Migron representatives have asked the High Court to withhold judgment until the question of ownership is resolved.

Peace Now and similar organizations have called for Migron to be destroyed in any case, as it is located in an area claimed by the Palestinian Authority as part of a future Arab state, and has not received official government authorization.

Besides debating the court's jurisdiction, residents offered arguments in defense of their right to remain in their current homes:

“We, the residents of Migron, say once again that our settlement in Migron stems from the people of Israel's right to settle in its land as part of the process of the return to Zion, by the power of our historic and moral right.

"We were sent to this place ten years ago by representatives of the state of Israel responsible for settlement, in order to establish a community on a barren, rocky hilltop that had never been worked. We did not disinherit anyone from their land.

"Due to this fact, we are not prepared to accept any proposal or agreement involving evacuation or moving the community to another part of the land of Israel.”

The Yesha (Judea and Samaria) Council and the Defense Ministry have agreed that Migron will be destroyed in exchange for the construction of 1,450 housing units in the nearby community of Adam, a larger Samaria town. Only 50 houses will be built in the first stage of construction; they will be offered to the more than 40 families living in Migron.

Comment: "Settlements" are villages, towns or cities, inhabited by Israeli citizens, living in the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria.

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