In 1997, the first demolition order was issued against the West Bank settlement outpost of Amona. In 2003, another demolition order was issued. In 2006, the state deigned to raze a mere nine buildings. In 2008, the state admitted that construction on the site was illegal and announced that the entire outpost would be razed. In 2011, the state announced that the outpost would be evacuated by the end of 2012. By the end of 2012, nothing had happened.
Now, in mid-October 2013, 16 years after the first demolition order was issued, the state is asking the court for a postponement – yet again. Here’s the explanation this time: “In the government’s view, an evacuation on such a scale at a time like this is liable to harm Israel’s diplomatic interests ... When there are weighty considerations on one hand, and no concrete petitioner on the other ... the diplomatic considerations take precedence.”
It would be interesting to know what those “diplomatic considerations” on which the state based its position actually are. Is the fact that Israel is holding low-intensity talks with the Palestinians supposed to be a consideration for the court in discussing the evacuation of lawbreakers squatting on land that doesn’t belong to them? Is there a necessary connection between implementing the High Court of Justice’s repeated rulings and the diplomatic process, which, more than anything else, seems like a tactic aimed solely at reducing international pressure?
And in general, when “the state” requests another postponement, is it really the state that stands behind this request, or is it a group of politicians from the coalition’s right flank, who are exerting pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in order to benefit their voters from those same illegal outposts? Isn’t “the state” supposed to be a national entity for which the High Court’s rulings are a guiding light, rather than merely the collective face of Housing Minister Uri Ariel, Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett?
Amona is not just an outpost built through deception on privately owned Palestinian land; it is a symbol of a state that mortgages the future of its citizens to a messianic, anti-Zionist dream dictated by an aggressive, violent gang that has taken over the political and institutional centers of power.
The fact that even the prosecution is collaborating with these lawbreakers, and that Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein is backing this illegal takeover of private land, ought to worry every Israeli who desires to live in a sane country.