Thursday, March 02, 2006

Amona & Tamra: Find the Difference

From Israel Harel's Ha'aretz op-ed:-

About a day before the mounted policemen swooped down with cudgels on Amona's youngsters, Yesha leaders Bentzi Lieberman and Ze'ev Hever met Ehud Olmert. They asked him in the interest of public order and in an effort not to deepen the rift between the religious-Zionist public and government branches - courts, army and police - to prevent an evacuation by force.

We promise, they declared, that within a week, the houses condemned for demolition will no longer be in Amona. The acting prime minister rejected their request - arrogantly and condescendingly, they said. You want confrontation at any price, they said angrily. You want to turn us into enemies of the people and give yourself an image of a strong leader on the eve of elections. They told him that the situation after the pullout from Gush Katif is extremely sensitive, and should not be put to the test merely for election considerations. It could explode.

In those very days, the Israel Lands Administration's Galilee district began preparations for carrying out court orders to demolish a number of houses in Tamra and other Galilee communities, which were built illegally on state land. The date for demolishing one of the houses in Tamra was set for February 23, about a week before the parliamentary investigation committee began probing the violent events in Amona. But the house, like other condemned houses in Tamra, was not demolished. "Unfortunately, we cannot carry out demolitions in the Arab villages, because the police are not prepared to safeguard the process," ILA Northern District Director Gabi Weisman told Maariv.

And he asks:-

Quite a few organizations like the Movement for Quality of Government frequently petition the High Court of Justice to order the state to enforce Knesset laws. But when it comes to the government's shortcomings in the face of the wholesale violation of planning and construction laws in the Arab sector, all such movements keep quiet. We expect them to act and petition the High Court in this sector too. Then it would be very interesting to see what the High Court will decree. Will it uphold the law in Tamra as it did in Amona?

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