DOES PRIME MINISTER Benjamin Netanyahu believe in peace? Maybe not..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed the threat by settlers to bring down his government when he told the Knesset on Monday that he intended to demolish the West Bank outpost of Amona outpost.
“I am certain that at the end of the day the [Amona] residents will evacuate responsibly,” Netanyahu said as he spoke of the small hilltop community of 40 families that the High Court of Justice has mandated must be razed by December 25th.
“We need to remember that we are a nation of laws,” Netanyahu said as he informed the Knesset that the state has asked the HCJ to delay the evacuation, so that it can be done in an orderly fashion.
The Campaign to Save Amona has stated that the family have no intention of leaving of their own volition and have warned politicians, including Netanyahu to watch out for their seats in the next election should their community be destroyed.
A number of right-wing politicians, including within the government, have also threatened to bring down Netanyahu should he carry out the HCJ mandate.
Most of Netanyahu’s Likud and Bayit Yehudi factions have thrown their support behind a bill they have pledged to pass that would retroactively legalize 2,000 unauthorized homes in all of Judea and Samaria that are built on private Palestinian property. The bill offers to compensate the Palestinian landowners either financially or with alternative lots.
If the legislation passed, than there would be no need to evacuate Amona.
Netanyahu’s comments in the Knesset, therefore, hinted to his intention not to back the bill, even though there are plans to place it on the agenda of the Ministerial Legislative Committee this coming Sunday.
Netanyahu told the Knesset that there won’t be another government that would help their enterprise, more than his has done.
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog, who spoke immediately after Netanyahu, reminded the parliamentarians that the HCJ had issued its ruling in 2014, thereby giving the state two year, until next month, to evacuate the outpost residents.
He added that the issue was whether a nation of laws would sanction land theft by authorizing 2,000 homes built without permission on private Palestinian property.
Politicians can’t argue about the need to comply with law and they try to skirt a court ruling, Herzog said. They can’t speak of the importance of the rule of law, and simultaneously support a bill to retroactively authorize such settler homes throughout the West Bank.
“You are talking about an arrangements bill for private property that would harm the principles of Justice of a nation of laws, that is not an Arrangements bill, it’s a concealment bill without shame,” Herzog said.