Right-wing activists, politicians battle for Migron

Five of the six coalition factions urge Netanyahu in a letter not to demolish unauthorized settler homes.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
January 25, 2012 22:13
2 minute read.
Migron residents walk by site of demolished home

Migron residents walk by site of demolished home_311. (photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)

 
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Supporters of the West Bank Migron outpost sent an automated message to thousands of Likud members on Wednesday pretending to represent a fictional organization called “Left Now.”

The message called upon the Likud members to vote for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in their party’s January 31 primary.

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The only other contender for Likud leadership is far-right party member Moshe Feiglin.

“Please come and vote for Netanyahu so we can finally evacuate Migron and then destroy the rest of the settlements in the occupied territories,” the message said.

“Only Netanyahu is good for us. So don’t stay home. Don’t listen to your friends. We know what’s best for you.”

Separately, on Wednesday, five of the six coalition factions — Likud, Israel Beiteinu, Shas, Habayit Hayehudi and United Torah Judaism — urged Netanyahu in a letter not to demolish unauthorized settler homes. The National Union faction head also signed the letter.

In its letter, the faction heads included a legal opinion from former Foreign Ministry legal adviser Alan Baker and attorney Harel Arnon in support of an alternative solution, such as compensation, to the demolition of illegal homes.



In the letter they told Netanyahu that he had an obligation to cancel all planned demolitions, including that of Migron in March.

In spite of the letter, faction heads agreed to impose discipline should a private members’ bill by MK Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi) to legalize unauthorized settler construction be brought to the plenum.

Netanyahu has rejected all legislative initiatives to legalize unauthorized settler construction.

Orlev withdrew the bill in light of the coalition’s stance.

Migron settlers took their case to the Internet on Wednesday, where they posted a three-minute video on YouTube in defense of their outpost.

This summer, the High Court of Justice ordered the state to raze the outpost because it was constructed without the proper permits on land which the state has classified as belonging to private Palestinians.

The decision came in response to a Peace Now petition about the outpost, which is located in the Binyamin region of the West Bank and is home to 50 families.

In the YouTube video, which showed stick cartoon figures telling the narrative of Migron, the settlers said that the High Court of Justice decision was a miscarriage of justice.

They noted that they never had a chance to prove to the court that the land had not been properly classified.

The video charged that Peace Now cared more about the Nakba Day than Independence Day, and had deliberately targeted their homes for demolition by finding Palestinians who would claim the outpost lands were theirs.

“Until then, they [these Palestinians] never dreamed that they had a connection to Migron,” the video said.

It continued to charge that Peace Now petitioned the High Court of Justice against Migron instead of appealing to a Magistrate’s Court because it lacked proof that the Palestinians owned the land.

By turning to the High Court of Justice, the video said, Peace Now skirted the normal judicial process.

In the video, the residents ask how the state could threaten to demolish their homes without giving them their day in court.

When political interests can destroy a fair judicial process, “this becomes more than Migron’s problem,” the video stated as its last line.

Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.

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