Thursday, February 23, 2012

Eydar - Praise Peace Now

Dror Eydar..
Israel Hayom..
23 February '12..

Here is a familiar scene from recent years: Peace Now, or one of its clones, petitions the High Court of Justice against construction in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. It is a game of sorts: the settlers build and Peace Now demolishes, or tries to demolish. Eros vs. Thanatos.

Until recently, the state’s response to such petitions was that the construction was in fact wrong, that the homes were slated for demolition and so on. We will see. Everything will be fine. In short: you’re right, but … The legacy of the Olmert administration.

This situation, which has long mired the construction, has been a thorn in the side of many officials in the current government, for whom Jewish settlement is a priority.

About a year ago, the prime minister convened a meeting in which it was decided to distinguish between communities built on state lands and communities built on disputed land, which may be privately owned. It was decided further that communities built on state land would be gradually made legal and legitimized. These decisions are justified not only by the Jews’ moral right to their land, but also by international law.

But Peace Now, by force of habit, petitioned the court against the construction in Shiloh and in Shvut Rachel. As we know, Shiloh is mentioned in the Quran as an Arab community that has existed since creation. Who would believe the stories in the Bible indicating that Shiloh was the capital of the Tribes of Israel for hundreds of years? Peace Now's argument was that these communities lacked the necessary zoning authorizations – as is the case in countless cities, even within the Green Line – making construction there illegal.

In response to the petition, the state provided the zoning permits, legalizing the existing construction and even authorizing future construction of hundreds of additional housing units. At this rate, Peace Now Secretary-General Yariv Oppenheimer will get a Zionism medal for instigating the construction of entire cities.

These days, when the Yesha Council (the umbrella body of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria) is asked by communities that lack zoning permits how to expand construction, they direct them to Peace Now. Maybe they will petition the High Court of Justice …


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