A week ago the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the most religious and right-wing in the State of Israel’s history, ordered the forced evacuation and demolition of a small illegal Jewish outpost to the north of Jerusalem in central Samaria.
The demolition of A’yira Shachar caught the right-wing religious camp somewhat off guard. Many had believed that a Netanyahu government dependent on the settlement-supporting Religious Zionism party would be a boon to the settlement enterprise.
But the government, like those petitioning the demolition, argued that in addition to not having permits to establish a new outpost, A’yira Shachar was built on “private Arab land.” When Jewish settlers plant themselves on open state land, they are less likely to be removed.
A group of rabbis from surrounding large Jewish settlements responded with a letter to the government correcting what they insist is a gross error in recognizing “private Arab land” in much of Judea and Samaria.
“Shortly before the liberation of Judea and Samaria, King Hussein of Jordan, arbitrarily and without any authority, distributed large parts of the territories of Judea and Samaria to the various [Arab] clans. This ownership was never realized, the fields were not sown, and most of the time these are barren lands whose so-called ‘owners’ do not even know that the lands are registered in their name. There is no reason for the State of Israel to respect Hussein’s arbitrary division and thereby allow Arab takeover of very large parts of Judea and Samaria,” they wrote.
The rabbis said they were particularly disappointed that the current Netanyahu government had gone along with this lie, rather than rejecting the narrative of Israel’s enemies by “standing tall and strengthening our grip all over our country.”
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