Friday, February 10

The Knesset Fascists pass the "The Theft Bill"

The third and final reading of the “Theft Bill” was passed by 60 - 52 votes in the Knesset. This odorous bill is now on its way of legalizing theft of privately owned Palestinian lands for the establishment of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. In other words, there will be no more evacuations of settlements and outposts by Supreme Court order if a Palestinian landowner has proof that the outposts and settlements were built on privately owned land as in the case of recently evacuated Amona.
Israeli parliament members vote during a Constitution, Law, and Justice,
Committee meeting

The Regulation Law:The law legalizes and protects thousands of Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria which were built with government backing and lacked absentee land claims, but against which there are now property claims.

Under the Regulation Law, homes built on such properties will be allowed to remain, and owners with proven claims to the land will be given a choice of receiving an alternate plot of land or monetary compensation for 125% of their land's value”.

The amazing situation is that Israel has the power of jurisdiction over the Palestinian land owner in the occupied territories according to this law.

There is another viewpoint that claims that the Regulation Law does not contravene International or Israeli Law. According to several leading legal scholars, the “Regulation Law” does not contradict Israeli law, and precedents both inside and outside Israel can be invoked to justify its passage within the context of international law.

This is an extremist right wing Bayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home Party) attempt to weaken the Supreme Court and strengthen the settler movement as well as destroying any attempt to reach a peace agreement based on the Two-State Solution (which is moribund).

This very controversial Regulation Law has been condemned not only by the Israeli left of center political parties, but also by many members of the Likud Party. Even PM Benjamin Netanyahu is aware of the dangers that this law presents to Israel in International World forums including the Secretary General of the UN. Even the Attorney-General, Avichai Mandelblit, has stated that the law is illegal and he will not support it.

This move to pass the Regulation Law was a political move from the right and PM Netanyahu was sucked in by Bayit Hayehudi leader, Naftali Bennett, (who Netanyahu dislikes and fears) on his extremist right wing flank to put his weight behind this law. Netanyahu did not participate in this vote as he was on a plane returning to Israel from London.

The French statement came shortly after the United Kingdom issued a condemnation of the law; a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with British Prime Minister Theresa May in London, saying that the legislation damages Israel's international standing.1

If ICC prosecutors take their duties seriously, the legalization law significantly raises the pressure on them to put Israeli officials – even Mr. Netanyahu – on trial for complicity in the war crime of establishing and nurturing the settlements.2

If members of the Likud Party as well as the official opposition express opposition to this odious law then it is obvious that this law is against the interests of Israel. With the “theft law,” to quote Likud Knesset member Benny Begin, about to be voted on in Jerusalem, Netanyahu did not dare divulge the contents of his talk with British PM Theresa May about the UN resolution condemning the occupation in general and the land-grabbing settlement enterprise in particular.3

Many Knesset members in the ruling government coalition are not really as patriotic as they appear to be on the surface. They are interested in remaining in power even if it means being tools in the passing of laws that are populist in order to gain support from the various settler movements in the occupied territories. Netanyahu views Bennett and his gang as a threat to his power base and he will do what he can to prevent his support base from moving towards the Bayit HaYehudi Party.

It is hoped that the Supreme Court will examine this odious piece of legislation and annul it. This is the only hope that we in Israel have of getting this law out of the statute book.

A Foreign Ministry document approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and obtained by The Jerusalem Post tells foreign capitals: “The [settlement regulation] law will be reviewed by the Supreme Court.”4

There is no doubt that this right wing Government Coalition is the most polarizing government since Israel’s establishment. Most of its members pander to the most basic racist mentality in Israeli society in its widest context. The hatred for Arabs, prejudice towards those who do not believe in the official government line is viewed as traitors and as potential Fifth Column that needs to kept under observation. Even culture is moving towards strait jacketing under Israel’s Minister of Culture and Sport, Miri Regev. She “punishes” cultural activity if it is avante garde politically by threatening to remove financial subsidies for their activities on a personal basis.

Democracy in Israel is about to be subjected to a very rough ride and the definition of traitor will be a very wide definition indeed. Beware! “Trumpism” is on the rise!

  1.  7 Feb. 2017, Accessed 10 Feb. 2017.
  2.  7 Feb. 2017, Accessed 10 Feb. 2017.
  3. 9 Feb. 2017, Accessed 10 Feb. 2017.
  4. 9 Feb. 2017, Accessed 10 Feb. 2017.

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