Begin: Migron Bill is unconstitutional

MKs say court is run by “extreme left;” Begin: WE can’t only accept verdicts we like.

Migron outpost aerial_311 (photo credit: Baz Ratner / Reuters)
Migron outpost aerial_311
(photo credit: Baz Ratner / Reuters)
The “Migron Bill” is unjust and would go against the constitutional right to property as defined in Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, Minister-without- Portfolio Bennie Begin said on Wednesday.
Begin said the Migron Bill is “not just and not logical,” speaking in an emergency meeting called during the Knesset’s spring recess by MKs Danny Danon (Likud) and Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi) in order to convince the government to approve the legislation. The bill states that outpost homes built on land classified by the state as private Palestinian property may not be demolished if they have been in place for more than four years and if at least 20 families live in the community. It also proposes compensating the Palestinian landowners instead of evacuating homes.
“The law cannot allow private Arab lands to be used to build Jewish settlements,” Begin said.
“If the bill passes, the court will cancel the law, because it opposes the right to property, which is protected by a basic law.”
According to Begin, “settling our homeland is based on our natural, historical right to the land, but also relies on the power of the state. We have the power; therefore we must be fair and careful.”
The Ministerial Committee for Legislation rejected the bill in December because it believed that it would harm negotiations between the Migron residents and Begin.
The residents were working on an agreement through which the outpost would be voluntarily relocated to state land two kilometers away near the Psagot winery.
Last month, however, the High Court of Justice rejected the agreement’s timeline and insisted that the outpost of 50 families in the Binyamin region must be evacuated by August 1, instead of by November 30, 2015, as the state requested.
In reaction to the court’s decision, there has been a renewed push to legislate on the issue, by way of preventing Migron’s August 1 evacuation.
According to Danon, the High Court is populated by the “extreme Left,” and the makeup of the current Knesset shows that the general public is against those opinions.
“The extreme left can’t fill this hall, and can’t convince the public that their opinions are correct,” Danon said. “They don’t even try to get votes. Instead, they go to the courts and complain.”
The Likud MK said that matters of ideology, such as settlements, should be decided in the Knesset, by elected representatives.
Orlev accused the courts of lacking respect for government decisions or the majority of the Knesset, saying that they are being used to promote Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s political agenda.
“The heart of the matter is that the government has yet to fulfill its commitment and come up with a worthy arrangement for the residents of Migron,” he said.
Begin said he is working hard to make an arrangement to which Migron residents would agree, and pointed out that the High Court rejected the timeline in the agreement, but not its core: To rebuild the homes on state-owned land nearby.
“We cannot do what some public figures have suggested and only accept court decisions that we like,” Begin explained.
“We reached agreements on Migron with great difficulty, though some MKs encourage the residents not to do so.”
“If we hadn’t reached an agreement,” he said, “the settlement would not exist as of a month ago.”
Begin then quoted his father, former prime minister Menachem Begin, who said after the High Court declared in 1979 that Eilon Moreh must be moved, “It would be unnecessary to relay messages such as ‘we have to respect the court’s decision,’ as that would be obvious.”
The minister pointed out that tens of thousands of settlers built homes since then, and that there are over 360,000 Jewish Israelis living in Judea and Samaria.
“Not every situation has a solution that is totally satisfactory,” Begin said.