(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Despite a High Court of Justice ruling to evacuate the Binyamin community of
Migron, just north of Jerusalem, by today, August 1, 2012, the future for the 60
families living there remains in limbo for several reasons.
reported in this newspaper recently, the state has asked the court to delay by
29 days – from August 1 to August 30, the evacuation of Migron citing security
concerns – fearing potential “Ramadan” violence.
however, justices have been listening to arguments with respect to a petition
filed on behalf of Migron claiming that an anonymous US donor has legally
purchased (or re-purchased) up to 80 percent of the land where the community now
sits from local Arabs who say they own the land.
If that is in fact the
case, the government’s newly created Ministerial Committee on “settlements” says
that if the purchase is found to be authentic there is no reason to evacuate
Migron – end of story.
All of this, despite the fact that Migron was
established 13 years ago – with the government’s Housing Ministry backing – on
land that was at the time declared “Ownerless State Land,” thus making it a
legitimate location for the establishment of a Jewish community.
only years later, in 2006, that a petition by Peace Now claiming that the area
was privately-owned Arab land, did the court side against Migron’s
NEVERTHELESS, WHILE all of this drama is being played out in
the political and judicial echelons, some of Migron’s youngest residents have
dedicated the rest of their summer vacations towards trying to save their
Led by 13 year-old Yosef Tzvi Dietch, a group of nine
pre-pubescent boys have started selling popsicles for NIS 2 a stick, in order to
try and raise enough money to purchase the 20% of land that was not bought by
the US philanthropist.
Instead of being off at summer camp, or hanging
out by the pool, the boys have started selling popsicles in shifts down at the
Kochav Ya’akov gas station juncture two kilometers below, with high hopes that
they will be able to sell enough frozen treats to make a
According to Dietch, he and another one of his friends came
up with the idea, after seeing a political advertisement in a weekly Torah
portion parsha sheet, which was distributed to synagogues around the country,
calling on Jews in all of Israel and the rest of the world to help “buy” the
rest of Migron. Dietch figured that instead of waiting for outsiders to chip in,
as a resident of Migron himself, he would get the ball rolling.
realistically, Dietch knows that it will be a nearly impossible feat to sell
enough popsicles to purchase more than 20,000 dunam, which according to one
community source is valued at several million shekels, he and his young band of
entrepreneurs were unwilling to sit back and do nothing while their homes were
being threatened – even if their actions end up being merely
Dietch’s mom, Aviela, expressed great pride in her son and his
friends for trying to creatively alleviate what could be yet another painful and
confrontational eviction in which Jews are removed from their homes by their
WHILE THE residents of Migron did reach an agreement,
facilitated by Minister Bennie Begin, to relocate their community just two
kilometers away from its current site near the Psagot winery, that location is
not yet livable, plus history has shown that past evacuations can spur Jew
versus Jew violence.
In a 1985, adventure-comedy produced by Steven
Spielberg called The Goonies, a group of teen misfits from a lower-middle class
Oregon community go on an expedition to find a Spanish pirate’s hidden treasure
in order to prevent their homes, already under foreclosure, from being
(Spoiler alert.) In the end, despite fighting off wanted
criminals also trying to get their hands on the treasure, and surviving
potentially fatal booby traps set by the pirates years before to protect their
booty, the children succeed in finding the riches and ultimately save their
While in the real world selling popsicles might not yield a
similar treasure’s sum to save their homes, it is inspiring nonetheless to see
these Migron youngsters making the effort.The writer is a media expert,
freelance journalist and the host of “Reality Bytes Radio,” on