Israel was built, in no small measure, out of chutzpah and a leap of faith. The “faith” part, despite the fact that so many of the early pioneers weren’t religious at all. Communities started this way. Kibbutzim started this way. Maybe it was a mistake, but that’s the way it always was. And, to some degree, still is.
Anyone who takes issue with the fact that something in Israel wasn’t done according to all the rules may as well take issue with the whole country. Right now, there’s one little tiny corner of the country that issue is being made over. A corner so close to my home that I can walk there without calling it exercise. A neighborhood of Elazar called Netiv Avot.
I went over there to take some photographs since it is so close to my home and because “Netiv Avot” is on everyone’s lips. The Supreme Court has determined that 17 homes there should be destroyed.
I’m not one to jump to defend anything automatically, whether because “Jews” or “Israel” or anything else. Sometimes unfortunate things happen to good people and it’s a shame, and even devastating, but there’s nothing we can do about it. I was determined to understand why this “unfortunate thing” was happening to these “good people” so I could commiserate and lend support, while respecting the rule of law and what’s right.
Except I couldn’t. With all that I could see and understand, the court’s ruling is simply wrong. I’m not arguing the legality; other people can do that. I’m arguing that in this case, the ruling is absurd, outrageous, and, quite simply, wrong.
It’s important to understand that the state encouraged the people to establish the neighborhood alongside Elazar back in 2001 on what they were told was state land. The government then continued to encourage the neighborhood’s development with supportive infrastructure.
Apparently radical left-wing NGOs filed a petition against the neighborhood 13 years after it was established, and it was determined that two strips of land that pass through a number of the houses might have been worked by Palestinian farmers and so were switched from “state land” to “private Palestinian land.”
Realize that NO Arab has claimed the land.
Also realize that in a good number of the cases, it’s barely more than a meter strip of the house in question. Or a room. Something that could easily be removed and rebuilt on land that is not on this questionable strip.
If all of this weren’t absurd enough, former Supreme Court President Miriam Naor wrote in the ruling, “Reopening the issue would undermine the principle of the finality of judgment and the principle that judgments must be implemented even if there was insufficient justification.”
Even if there was insufficient justification. Yeah, she said that.
Uh, no. This is Israel. People don’t take “No” for an answer. Certainly when families’ homes and livelihoods are on the line and it’s for no good reason.
While the homes were slated to be destroyed in March 2018, suddenly there is a plan to come in the next few days and destroy the carpentry business next door to one owner’s home since it “isn’t a house” and so doesn’t qualify for the wait until March.
Oh, and the fellow who owns it is currently doing his reserve army duty for Israel, even while he knows that Israel is going to be repaying him for his service shortly with the destruction of his livelihood.
The situation does not look good, but the people retain their hope, and unwavering love of Israel. Let’s hope Israel returns the favor.