Israel sidesteps settlements freeze with Migron deal

on 6 Comments
Migron alarabiya
Migron (Photo: Reuters)

Sidestepping a 10-year settlement freeze, Israel reached a deal last week with the illegal settlement of Migron, allowing the outpost to violate a court-ordered eviction. Following approval from the government’s prosecutors, the outpost will now have until 2015 to relocate. Initially, the hilltop encampment was marked for demolition at the end of March.

The deal was reached after a month of negotiations with the Israeli government when Likud representatives placated the settlers’ red lines: no demolitions, no evictions, and no returning land to their Palestinian owners.

The agreement met all of the settlers’ conditions, and the outpost is protected from demolition for another two years. At that time, the settlers are to relocate to a different hilltop in the West Bank on “Israeli” state-owned land. And their semi-permanent shanty houses will remain empty, or the military will take over the hilltop. Either way, the Palestinians are not getting this piece of the West Bank back anytime soon.

Migron has had a roller coaster relationship with the Israeli government.
It is home to some 50 families including the “price tag” youth known for violently assaulting Palestinians and damaging their property. And only a few months ago, the outpost was under fire after settlers attacked a military base, prompting Israeli officials to decry  “Jewish terrorism.”

In the months preceding the March eviction date, the settlers launched a PR campaign to combat their reputation of gun-wielding youth, and successfully shifted their image to that of your average family.

During the late 1990s and early 2000s, though illegal, Migron received millions of shekels for construction. Government ministries poured cash into roads and basic services for years until being subjected to criticism. In 2003, then prime minister Ariel Sharon publicly advocated demolishing the outpost. The eviction order, however, was not pursed due to the Second Intifada.

Today, Migron has government support again including a team of ministers who lobbied against the eviction. Israeli law, a court ruling, and the Palestinian farmers who have valid titles to the area all indicate the settlers should be forced out of their make-shift structures, yet the settlers stay.

6 Responses

  1. Chaos4700
    March 9, 2012, 8:20 am

    What settlement freeze? Why are we even using that language? Israel never stopped its settlement expansion enterprise. You might as well be using the term “flat Earth.”

    Can we stop saying settlement freeze? There is no such animal, vegetable or mineral.

    • DICKERSON3870
      March 9, 2012, 12:03 pm

      RE: “What settlement freeze?” ~ Chaos4700

      FROM WIKIPEDIA (Israeli settlement):

      (excerpts) An Israeli settlement is a Jewish civilian community built on land that was captured by Israel from Jordan, Egypt or Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War. Such settlements currently exist in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and in the Golan Heights…
      . . . The international community considers the settlements in occupied territory to be illegal.[2] Israeli neighborhoods in East Jerusalem and communities in the Golan Heights, areas which have been annexed by Israel, are also considered settlements by the international community, which does not recognise Israel’s annexations of these territories.[3] The United Nations has repeatedly upheld the view that Israel’s construction of settlements constitutes violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.[4] . . .
      …As of December 2010, 327,750 Israelis live in the 121 officially-recognised settlements in the West Bank, 192,000 Israelis live in settlements in East Jerusalem and over 20,000 live in settlements in the Golan Heights.[12][13] Settlements range in character from farming communities and frontier villages to urban suburbs and neighborhoods. The three largest settlements, Modi’in Illit, Maale Adumim and Betar Illit, have achieved city status, with over 30,000 residents each.
      Israeli policies toward these settlements have ranged from active promotion to removal by force.[14] Since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, no new settlements have been established in the occupied territories.[15] However, the ongoing expansion of existing settlements by Israel and the construction of settlement outposts is frequently criticized as an obstacle to the peace process by the United Nations[16] and third parties, including the United Kingdom,[17] the European Union,[18] and the United States.[16] . . .

      SOURCE – link to

      FROM WIKIPEDIA (Israeli outpost):

      (excerpt) An Israeli outpost (Hebrew: מאחז‎, Ma’ahaz lit. “a handhold”) refers to a Jewish community built within Judea and Samaria (West Bank), (excluding Jerusalem) that was constructed between 1991 and 2004 without the authorization of the Israeli government. In comparison, Israeli settlements have been given legal status through the government…
      …The 2005 [Sasson] report gave a provisional figure of 105 outposts. It determined that 26 outposts were on State lands, 15 on private Palestinian lands and 7 on survey lands. 39 outposts were found to be on “mixed” State, survey and Palestinian land. The status of the remainder was unclear.[1][2] …

      SOURCE – link to

  2. pabelmont
    March 9, 2012, 10:03 am

    chaos4700 has a good point on language. Bloggers and MEDIA far too often use the terms used by government spokesmen without questioning them.

    On substance, the REAL STORY is that Israel not only violates international law but also violates the law announced by its own courts, even I believe its supreme court.

    But back to language.

    Another example of bad GOV-SPEAK, more important to Americans than “settlement freeze”, is “targeted killing” in place of the word “assassination” which has a long and honorable history for the same act and should be used instead.

    Often the proper term would be “assassination with killing of non-targets”, “killing of non-targets” being English for the GOV-SPEAK of “collateral damage”. What, after all, does “targeted” do as a modifier for ‘killing” except to mark the phrase “targeted killing” as GOV-SPEAK so that anyone who uses it is aligning with the government?

    Some say that the term “targeted killing” is GOV-SPEAK because it suggests that the killing is legal, whereas “assassination” suggests “murder” or illegal killing. well, one function might be to suggeset legality, but another more important function is to get MEDIA and PUNDITS and BLOGGERS to kow-tow to government by adopting the artificial GOV-SPEAK.

    Resist! IMAGINE the ruckus in the State Department (or other) press conference if the MEDIA folks insisted on saying “assassination” every time the spokesperson said “targeted killing”.

    • eljay
      March 9, 2012, 12:31 pm

      >> Another example of bad GOV-SPEAK … is “targeted killing” in place of the word “assassination” …

      - “pre-emptive self-defense” instead of “starting a war”
      - “liberation” instead of invasion, occupation and regime change
      - “democracy” instead of compliant, pro-Western government
      - “enhanced interrogation” instead of torture
      - “I accept full responsibility” instead of “f*ck you!”

      • Woody Tanaka
        March 9, 2012, 2:25 pm

        My “favorite” is that mercinaries — contract-killing scum of the earth — are now “security contractors”

  3. Woody Tanaka
    March 9, 2012, 11:04 am

    Is anyone surprised? There is no such thing as justice or the rule of law to Israelis. They are alien concepts to these people.

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