16 December '16..
I have avoided writing about Amona until now. This is because the legal issues surrounding the notion of land ownership in Judea and Samaria are so arcane that one legal scholar (email correspondence) wrote that “the number of people who have a good understanding of West Bank property law can be counted on one hand.” And I don’t want to add to the noise by writing yet another amateur legal brief about it. There are, though, some things that are clear and worth saying.
First of all, let me state my prejudices: I do not believe Jews living in Judea and Samaria are an “obstacle to peace,” nor do I think that Jewish communities there are illegal or even “illegitimate,” whatever that means. Indeed, I think that Jews settling anywhere in the land of Israel are performing a religious and Zionist mitzvah, and I’m all for it. Those who find this position offensive can stop reading now.
The last time I mentioned Amona, someone took me to task for advocating “land theft.” It’s private Palestinian land, he said. What more do you need to know? Well, actually there is a great deal to know. Some of the complexities are discussed here. It’s worthwhile reading if you care about more than slogans.
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