The High Court of Justice's decision to order the dismantling of the Migron settlement outpost, which has been putting down roots on private Palestinian land for more than nine years, is one of the most serious indictments ever filed against Israel's political establishment, legal system and security apparatus.
Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch and her two colleagues on the bench ruled that the outpost was built and expanded in defiance of various restraining and demolition orders. They stressed the severe and ongoing damage that was done to the rights of the petitioners (two of whom died while the case was being heard ), as well as to the rule of law.
The justices pointed out that had the state not allowed the outpost to be set up in the first place, and then refrained from enforcement operations to stop its expansion, it would not now be required to deploy large forces to evacuate the residents of what has become a large outpost. In the merely bad case scenario, the conduct of the political, legal and military establishments with regard to Migron attests to helplessness in the face of the settlers, who have become the masters of the state. In the even worse case, this affair reveals a symbiotic relationship between the public's elected representatives and the executive branch, on one hand, and the land thieves and lawbreakers (even according to the state's own definition ).
Even after the court had issued its harsh verdict on the state's intolerable foot-dragging in evacuating the outpost, the State Prosecutor's Office refused to set a target date for dismantling it. Moreover, just two months ago, the state promised the High Court that it would destroy three permanent buildings at Migron within 45 days, but Defense Minister Ehud Barak then sought to delay the demolition on the dubious grounds that the timing was inappropriate for "operational reasons."
In another case, relating to an outpost on the outskirts of the settlement of Ofra, Barak stunned the justices with a delusional request that implementation of the demolition order be postponed until the end of final status negotiations with the Palestinians.
This experience shows there is good reason to fear that the government will also find an excuse to postpone implementing the High Court's order to evacuate Migron by the end of March 2012. But every additional day on which the state collaborates with the Migron criminals and their ilk - by providing them with funding and security, and ignoring their robbery of defenseless victims - is another day of shame for justice, law and democracy in Israel.
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