The Hityashvut Tzeyira (Young Settlement) forum has called on the new government to legalize the illegal Jewish outposts in the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria as soon as possible, without waiting for a vote in the Knesset.
More than ever, the people of Israel are concerned with the question of who decides what is legal and what is illegal: the Bible, or the political establishment? The forum wants to legalize illegal things on a political level within a very short time, although from their point of view there is actually nothing to be legalized, because those Jewish outposts are already legal according to Scripture.
The forum’s demand is aimed in particular at its representatives in the coalition, the ministers from the right-wing Religious Zionist Party and Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power). The term “Young Settlement” stands for dozens of illegal outposts that have been set up in Judea and Samaria without government approval. For years, the Supreme Court has interfered in this regard. No government has been able to solve the case so far, not even the right-wing governments under Benjamin Netanyahu in the between 2009 to 2021. And so the legal standing of thousands of settlers living in these so-called outposts in Judea and Samaria will likely be one of the more difficult topics also for this new settler-friendly government. A contentious issue that Washington is expected to meddle in.
Under Netanyahu, Israel has basically frozen Jewish construction in the biblical heartland for the past 15 years, under pressure from successive American governments. The Jewish settlers held this against Netanyahu for years. Now they hope that the right-wing government will step on the gas and sanction the outposts. Of course, these outposts in Judea and Samaria are legal for Jews and Christians who believe in the Bible, but not for their more secular (or Muslim) opponents. Whether the new government is really capable of legalizing the so-called illegal outposts is doubtful. America and the EU will, as always, put heavy pressure on Israel to keep their hands off these lands. Ultimately, the decision rests with Netanyahu, and not with his more right-wing ministers, who do not want to take foreign opinions into account.
With posters on the streets and advertisements on the Internet, the forum is currently campaigning to finally get down to business. The Jewish Settlers Council (Yesha) understands that the current coalition gives them a unique opportunity, and they definitely don’t want to miss it. “Is this the last winter we’ll be cold? Now it’s up to you,” reads a poster with pictures of their representatives in the Israeli parliament. According to the coalition agreement with Itamar Ben-Gvir’s right-wing nationalist Otzma Yehudit party, the decision is expected to be put to the vote within 60 days of the government being formed.
“We welcome the formation of a stable nationalist right-wing government for the first time in years and the inclusion of the Young Settlement agenda in the coalition agreements,” the forum underlined. “Now that the government is stable and functioning, the humanitarian hardship of over 25,000 residents in the settlements over the winter demands that you finally provide a permit for these new settlements to be connected to electricity, water and other infrastructure.”
In theory, the new governing coalition should be capable of dramatic decisions regarding Jewish settlement policy in the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria. All that matters is how considerate the government will be to foreign and Palestinian pressures. Israel’s Supreme Court will also intervene, although it is in its own struggle with the Likud-led government.
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