The residents of the Migron outpost held a demonstration across from the Justice
Ministry on Thursday, demanding that the government force the attorney- general
to support their High Court of Justice petition to allow 17 families to remain
in their homes until their purchase claim is adjudicated.
Theirs was a
small, quiet protest of residents only – just the “authentic people” who live in
Migron and are in danger of losing their homes, said spokesman Shuki
“This is a spontaneous demonstration against the person who made
this decision against us, despite the fact that this land was acquired according
to the laws of a democratic state,” he said.
The settlers’ posters blamed
Mike Blass, deputy attorney-general, calling for him to be brought to trial for
A Ministerial Settlements Committee initially agreed
that the state would tell the court that the 17 families could remain in the
outpost until their purchase claim was validated.
attorney-general found the decision problematic and said that even if the
purchase claim was upheld, it was not possible for the families to stay in their
Passersby on Salah ed-Din Street in east Jerusalem, where the
Justice Ministry is located, gave the protesters only a passing glance. The only
voices raised were those of young children from Migron arguing over the
distribution of snacks.
But their determination not to be evacuated and
moved to temporary housing nearby should not be underestimated, said Aviela
Deitch, one of the protesters, who came with five of her six
“I’m angry,” said Deitch. “We have played by the rules from Day
One. I grew up in Milwaukee in a Zionist house where Israel could do no wrong.
Well, this is wrong.
“We in Migron have a reputation for being compliant
and nonviolent, some would say to the nth degree,” she said.
worried. For us to be thrown out of our homes and have them destroyed, it’ll be
a step back for the entire country.”
Deitch said that in case of an
evacuation, which would coincide with the start of the school year next week,
parents in the community would have access to psychologists as well as to people
who were evacuated from settlements in the Gaza Strip during the disengagement
Similar to that momentous event seven years ago, people in
Migron refer to the possibility of an “expulsion.”
The government has
hastily erected what she calls a “refugee camp” nearby. But besides not wanting
to leave their homes for caravillot
– or large mobile homes – she said the spot
is wedged up against a sharp precipice that would make it a dangerous place to
live. It’s also too close to route 60, the residents argue.
okay that they want to move us from our house,” said her son Yosef Tzvi, 13. An
older son, 15, Hillel, is about to get his first call-up to the army, his mother
said, but his motivation to join an elite unit has been dampened by the fact
that they might be forced out.
The family moved to the outpost a year
ago, she added, because it’s a community of “people living for something bigger
Last summer the High Court of Justice ordered the state
to evacuate all 50 families who live in the outpost. It did so in response to a
2006 Peace Now petition with evidence that the homes were built on private
However, this newest legal battle over the outpost,
north of the Jerusalem in the area of Ramallah, involves 17 of the 50 families
Residents said in a petition to the court last month that
they had purchased three plots of land on the outpost, and asked for those lots
On Monday, the Attorney- General’s Office issued a response to
the petition. It notes that Peace Now attorney Michael Sfard, who brought the
case to the High Court on behalf of the Palestinians landowners, claims that the
purchase evidence was fraudulent.
An official in the prime minister’s
office said that of the three lots in question, one of the purchase claims seems
to be legitimate, which would be grounds for a 90-day stay of action on the
“The position of the government is that this claim is serious
and the Supreme Court has to decide if they did buy it legally,” the official
“We’re going to ask for a 90- day stay of action for that
particular parcel of land – but not for the others.”
MK Arieh Eldad
(National Union) came to the demonstration in support of the
“This is a total miscarriage of justice on the part of the
state,” he said. “If the prime minister dreams that this evacuation will pass
quietly, this attitude toward destroying communities, he should dream it at
night, because the reality is different.
These are law-abiding people
looking for peace, who will not raise their hands against soldiers and police.
But others won’t be able to stand by and do nothing. When people are denied the
basic right to own property, some people will come and resist
Eldad accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of being two faced
about the issue. To the media, said Eldad.
Netanyahu gives the impression
outposts such a Migron should be evacuated, and to the settlers who have
supported his government, he gives another.
“For the settlers he set up a
committee to reexamine the issues after the ulpana,” a Beit El outpost that was
evacuated in June. “To the press, Netanyahu says he’s in favor of evacuating