The Constitution, Law and Justice Committee held a heated debate on Wednesday regarding attempts to prevent the demolition of the Samarian community of Amona.
Amona is slated for demolition in approximately six months due to outstanding claims of ownership on the land on which it is built. The Supreme Court rule Amona illegal.
At the opening of the debate, MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli (Habayit Hayehudi) said Jews should ”not be expelled from their homes in the Land of Israel anymore. The Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people; the Jewish identity is indisputable. The Jewish people`s connection to its land cannot be severed. From Amona we will go to other places and expand the Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel.”
(Amona, photo: Ya`akov)
MK Osama Sa`adi (Joint List) said, ”You`re trying to implement a policy that will ensure continued confrontation with the international community that considers settlements to be contrary to international law. If you will continue to support the annexation of conquered territories, the conflict will continue and both peoples will pay the price for that in blood. Even among the Jewish public, there is no majority for your solution. The only solution is to evacuate the settlements in the occupied territories and establish the state of Palestine.”
In response, MK Moalem-Refaeli said, ”You want to throw us into the sea.” Sa`adi replied: ”You do not recognize the rights of the Palestinian people.” Moalem-Refaeli answered, ”My world outlook is to impose full Israeli law on the settlements in Judea and Samaria.” Sa`adi said in response, ”You stole Arab lands. I support peace; I am more generous than you.” Moalem-Refaeli replied: ”You support the murder of Jews, not peace.”
During the debate, Slomiansky said, ”We have returned home. This was our home 1,000 years before the Prophet Muhammad was born, so how can it be claimed that we stole land? The Temple and the Kingdom of Judea began hundreds of years [before the Common Era], before Islam existed. This is our deed, and this is why the United Nations recognized the Land of Israel. We returned after 2,000 years in exile. We are currently in the external rooms, and we want to enter the living room. But we do not want to steal lands which are owned by others. This is our outlook, and this is also the ruling of the Halacha.”
Sa`adi said in response: ”You are building on private land, and then you ask to regulate the construction through legislation.” Slomiansky said in response, ”There is no owner and no plaintiff; there are leftist movements that seek to destroy homes built by the government. Even if a mistake has been made, you give the owner financial compensation or alternative land. You do not destroy a community! Even for the lofty cause of peace, you do not destroy homes. There are other solutions. I support two states for two peoples, one state from the sea to the Jordan [River] and another state from the Jordan eastward.”
MK Yehuda Glick (Likud) said, ”If you want to cancel the demolition in Amona, it`s very simple: cancel the demolition orders! It will take the Defense Minister exactly a minute to cancel the administrative demolition orders. If the government has already imposed almost all of its laws on Judea and Samaria, why not impose the Planning and Construction Law? The High Court of Justice ruled that the Knesset is authorized to impose its laws everywhere.”
MK Zouheir Bahloul (Zionist Camp) said, ”This community was born in sin, like all the other Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.” Turning to Moalem-Refaeli, Bahloul said, ”You are leaning on controversial history. The Labor Party, which I am a part of, also has a part in the historic injustice in Judea and Samaria.”
At some point, both Sa`adi and Moalem-Refaeli were ejected from the meeting by Committee Chairman MK Nissan Slomiansky (Habayit Hayehudi) for arguing disruptively.
MK Amir Ohana (Likud) said, ”When you dig into the ground of the Land of Israel, you find remnants of the Jewish Temple and not of Palestinian houses. I placed myself at the service of the citizens of the community. I will do everything I can so that Amona would not be destroyed.”
Adding to his words, MK Nava Boker (Likud) noted, ”Instead of debating on ways to strengthen the Jewish community, we are discussing its destruction. I hope that a resolution will be found to prevent the destruction of the community.”
MK Nurit Koren (Likud) added, ”The country provided the lands and the budgets, so we are not thieves. If we were wrong, we will pay. In practice, even when it turns out that the lands were legally purchased, the citizens are unable to enter their homes.”
MK Ksenia Svetlova (Zionist Camp) replied to MK Koren and said, ”It is because the documents are forged. This is the most right wing government that has ever been here. Change the laws – I will object, but if you succeed – I will respect it. We demand that there will be no harm to the rights of other people; this country is governed by civil law.”
Former MK Orit Strock claimed that ”The subject of Amona was brought to the High Court of Justice by leftist elements which were funded by the EU. During that time the Ministry of Justice cooperated with left-wing parties.”
Peace Now Director Yariv Oppenheimer said, ”We will change the government through publicity and at the poll stations. We petition the High Court of Justice in order to create norms. My standards may be high, but I expected that there will be a few righteous right-wing members that the `do not steal` value is important to them, so they will join us and prevent the stealing of lands.”