Two things here. First, there is a fundamental difference in how Jews and arabs are being treated in this process—which looks like grounds for a legal challenge to me (but I admit that understanding the bazaar world of Israeli Law is quite beyond me . . .). The arabs are building EVERYWHERE unchecked, running crazy over everyone's land, stealing olive trees right and left, hustling cattle, destroying crops, and desecrating holy sites--but no one asks they be removed or resettled or even arrested (in fact, even when we convict them of murder and rape, they are released and patted on the head by Peres, "good little terrorist, now be nice!")
Second, if the Yesha council thinks they can negotiate for others, they have a big surprise coming. They have been serving in some sort of legal capacity in their own minds, but they don't have the mandate or the authority from most communities to negotiate whether or not people can stay in their homes.
It seems the Yesha council is taking a lot more power than they are authorized to take, and they may end up destroying themselves in the process. They already have a black eye about what happened in Gaza (as they should—telling people to leave like sheep! For what? Homelessness and unemployment??? Helping the government to provide a launcing ground for missles into Israel?).
I don’t think they had better push their weight around in Samaria and Judea or assume they have any power to talk to the government on behalf of the hilltop communities.
There are essentially two groups:
Most of those who serve on the Yesha council are ensconced into their comfortable little suburban communities with paved streets, security patrols, lighted walkways, well-appointed homes, and comfortable jobs.
Then there are the hard-scrabble hilltop groups who live in caravans or converted shipping containers on the tops of rocky hills with one or two neighbors, their dogs, their guns, and their four-wheel drive vehicles. They creep up rutted dirt roads at 30-degree angles, fight snakes and arabs on a regular basis, and, by their very presence, protect the surrounding area from arabs who will shoot their rockets from those very same hilltops into Jewish communities from Ariel and Tel Aviv.
One group cannot and should not speak for another.
by Hillel Fendel
(IsraelNN.com) Over 100 unauthorized Judea/Samaria outposts - slated to be tomorrow's new Jewish towns - are on a ministerial committee's agenda today (Sunday). The committee's chairman, Minister Chaim Ramon (Kadima), says that at least 26 outposts should be destroyed immediately.
The timing of the session is acute, in that the State is due to give a response this week to the Supreme Court on a suit brought by Peace Now and a group of Arabs against the Jewish outpost/community of Migron.
Peace Now, which has been working since 1978 to uproot all Jewish presence in Judea, Samaria and Gaza and make room for a Palestinian state, claims that Migron is largely built on Arab-owned land. Migron residents, however, say Peace Now worked hard to find the Arabs in question and convinced them to file the suit against the Jewish town.
Migron, with 43 families, is strategically situated atop a hill six miles north of Jerusalem, between Psagot, Michmash, Tel Tzion, and the Shaar Binyamin Commercial Center.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak is under heavy pressure by left-wing groups to order the demolition of Migron and at least 25 other outposts in Judea and Samaria (Yesha).
Arutz-7's Uzi Baruch spoke with outpost expert Pinchas Wallerstein, a Yesha Council leader and head of the Binyamin Regional Council. Wallerstein said that though Barak is more open to discussion than was his predecessor Amir Peretz, "this still doesn't leave a lot of room for optimism." Barak has a strong military background, having served as the IDF's Chief of Staff from 1991-95.
Asked to explain the details of the Migron case, Wallerstein said he refuses to separate the Migron story from that of the other outposts: "We demand a comprehensive solution for all the outposts at once. Otherwise, we'll solve one problem, and then a new one will sprout up in Beit El, and in Kfar Adumim, and in other places. We also have another demand, and that is that even if an outpost has to be physically destroyed, its community must be relocated."
"No community or outpost in Yesha is considered legal until it has the signature of the Defense Minister," Wallerstein said. "Therefore, these 100-plus outposts are technically and formally illegal. But in fact, in 98% of the cases, all they need is that signature. If it turns out that in some of the locations, we were tricked and the sale was fictitious, or incomplete, or whatever, we are willing to talk about moving them a few hundred meters - but only after we discuss it with the Yesha leaders, and only in the framework of a comprehensive solution."
It therefore seems that rumors that the Yesha Council had agreed to relocate Migron to the Shaar Binyamin commercial area, about two kilometers away.
Asked about outposts that might be found to have been built on privately-owned Arab land, Wallerstein said, "There may be a handful like that, and there are solutions that will be acceptable to the professionals involved - but I am doubtful whether they will be acceptable to our politicians..."
"The problem is worse than it appears," the veteran settlement leader said, "because even established communities are facing all sorts of bureaucratic and political obstacles. Dolev, for instance, does not have enough classrooms, yet new ones are not permitted to be built or brought in. In Ariel, as well, which is a full-fledged city, Mayor Ron Nachman says he has similar problems..."
"In the Arab sector, however, the situation is the opposite. A ministerial committee recently decided that for every Bedouin or Arab outpost or town that is not recognized as such - meaning it is illegal - a committee will be set up to see how it can become authorized and legal."
Meanwhile, in response to the left-wing push to destroy Jewish presence in Yesha, the Land of Israel Faithful youth organization announced today that it plans to build, over the upcoming Sukkot holiday, five new Jewish locations in Yesha. "We do not agree to any compromise involving the uprooting of Jewish towns or outposts," the group announced, "even if the Yesha Council agrees to it. Whoever starts with concessions and compromises, will end up giving up everything."