I posted my plan for the new Ministerial Committee now created, as this paper reported happened today:
The government on Sunday voted to remove the issue of West Bank settlements from its purview and instead handed the matter over to an 11-member ministerial committee, headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu...It marks the first time in 16 years that the government has amended a 1996 decision, Decision 150, taken during Binyamin Netanyahu’s first term as prime minister. Decision 150 determined that the creation of new West Bank settlements must have the approval of the full government...Vice Premier Shaul Mofaz, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Trade, Industry and Labor Minister Shalom Simhon and Minister Michael Eitan opposed the decision. Vice Premier and Negev and Galilee Development Minister Silvan Shalom, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Energy and Water Resources Minister Uzi Landau, Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver and Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov abstained.Netanyahu will head the committee. Other members will include, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Vice Premiers Shaul Mofaz and Moshe Ya’alon, Minister-without-Portfolio Benny Begin, Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein, Environment Minister Gilad Erdan, Sa’ar, Interior Minister Eli Yishai and Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz....The committee is tasked with issues regarding policy, construction authorizations and demolitions, including the creation of new Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. It would have the ability to formulate governmental policy with respect to unauthorized construction, both on state land and on private Palestinian property. It would also formulate the principles and policy by which the state would respond to petitions to the High Court of Justice on land issues in the West Bank.
I wonder, having voted against the committee''s establishment, will those ministers now serve on it?
As for my suggestion, I remind you it is quite simple:
As the Jordanian regime was an illegal occupier, it had no authority to distribute property from what is defined as state or waste lands. These were to be reserved, as per the League of Nations decision to grant Great Britain a Mandate to reconstitute the Jewish national home, to facilitate "close Jewish settlement" on those lands (Article 6).
And I did write to the committee members, asking that they instruct state officials to review all such instances, collect all registery details and then declare such transactions of property as null and void and thus cause them revert to their original status as state and waste lands.
This, of course, will assuage the fears of Peace Now and other extremist groups that government actions could be illegal.
My other previous suggestion, that Arab locations of residency within Israel''s former pre-1967 boundaries be termed "settlements" and their residents as "settlers", I will continue to push. Language and semantics should be even for all. That''s a democratic position.
Oh, did you write to the committee members in support of my proposal?