High Court of Justice restores power to its owners

Matti Golan

High Court of Justice restores power to its owners

Matti Golan
At stake in the Migron affair were not just property rights but, as the settlers ask, who rules the country?
26 March 12 16:14, Matti Golan
The settlers were „dismayed” by the High Court of Justice ruling that the settlement of Migron, which it was held stands on land privately owned by Palestinians, must be evacuated by August this year. It’s not clear how they imagined there could be any other decision. Perhaps they hoped that the new president of the Supreme Court, Asher Grunis, would pull their chestnuts out of the constitutional fire. They and their right-wing friends worked so hard to enable Grunis to be appointed president, on the assumption that he would do their bidding.

But instead of the collaborator they hoped for, they got a judge. Is there any chance that they will ever understand that it isn’t a matter of Beinisch, Barak or Grunis, but of law and integrity, two notions they refuse to recognize.

Now, senior government ministers will have to eat not only the porridge they cooked, but the hors d’œuvres they were served by previous governments, since 1999, that assisted in setting up Migron, unlawfully, and then allowed the settlement to continue in existence.

In fact, those same ministers deserve to have to twist and turn now, because some of them also sat in the previous governments, particularly the two main protagonists, Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak. It is perhaps poetic justice that those who permitted the settlement to be founded and to exist will be those who will now have to evacuate and demolish it.

Brave, and cowardly

Migron, like many other settlements in Judea and Samaria, is a result of weakness on the part of those in government in the face of the force, political and physical, wielded by the settlers in the name of God and the nation. In another context, I have already remarked on the strange phenomenon of men who prove their courage on the battlefield, and become timid and scared in the political arena. The most prominent example was Moshe Dayan, but Netanyahu and Barak, ex-Sayeret Matkal both, are not far behind.

Who rules?

The Migron hot potato was tossed from one government to the next, beginning with the first Netanyahu government. Leadership that knew where it was going and why would have nipped the project in the bud. But no government did so. Not Netanyahu’s, not Barak’s, not Sharon’s, not Olmert’s, and not now. I heard one of the heads of Migron angrily attack the High Court of Justice ruling, exclaiming, „Who rules this country?” To judge from the Migron affair, the answer is you who are asking the question, you and your friends, are the real rulers. For who has power if not the one who consistently holds himself above the law?

The government has divested itself of its governing authority and handed it to the people of Migron and their like. But fortunately, there is the High Court of Justice, and it has come to the government and told it in a way that arouses pride and respect: „Power is not your possession that you can give it up in favor of others. Power belongs to the state, and we, the judges of the High Court of Justice, will guard it for the sake of the citizens of the country, just as we maintain the property rights of those who own land.”

Of course, the affair is not over. Those of the extreme right, and the not so extreme, don’t give up so easily on what doesn’t belong to them. Throw them out of the door, and they will try to get in through the window, through any cranny they can find. And there will certainly be those in high places who will help them.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes-online.com – on March 26, 2012