Beleaguered Olmert Seeks Refuge, Plans to Uproot Yesha Outposts

PM Olmert has asked DM Peretz - both of whom are under pressure to quit - to prepare a plan to destroy small Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria.

Hillel Fendel ,

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has asked Defense Minister Amir Peretz - both of whom are under heavy pressure to resign - to prepare an organized plan to destroy small Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

News of Olmert's request was included in a State response submitted to the Supreme Court Tuesday regarding an appeal from last year. The suit in question, submitted by Peace Now and a group of Arabs, charges that the town of Migron is illegal and must be destroyed.

Olmert has asked that the plan to destroy Jewish homes be ready within two months. He has thus apparently changed his policy regarding the destruction of unauthorized outposts. In the past, he has frozen plans to do so, explaining that the timing was not right in light of the diplomatic situation with the Palestinian Authority.

Migron: Strategically Situated
Situated atop a strategic hill, 6 miles north of Jerusalem, between Beit El, Psagot, and Michmash, Migron is included in Olmert's demolition request. Peace Now, the radical left-wing organization dedicated to destroying the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria [Yesha], claims that most of land on which Migron was built belongs to Arabs.

Migron residents, however, say Peace Now worked hard to find the Arabs in question and convinced them to file the suit against the Jewish town.

Peace Now and Israel's Enemies
Binyamin Regional Council head Pinchas Wallerstein said that Peace Now worked together with Defense Minister Amir Peretz for their common political goals. Peretz says that the government no longer needs time to negotiate a compromise with the Migron residents. Wallerstein, who built Migron, said, "Peretz apparently feels that the main thing is his bid to win his party's primaries [later this month] - even if it means that several dozen more families will be thrown out of their homes.... He was advised to call off talks with us, because it would not look good for his primaries campaign if he comes to an agreement with us. It's very sad to see a man who puts his own personal interests ahead of those of the nation."

Wallerstein explained Migron's critical strategic importance in that it overlooks the highway leading to many Jewish towns in the Shomron: "A few years ago, former Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer [of Labor] agreed that this place must remain [settled by Jews]. Very sadly, Peace Now reminds me of other dark times in Jewish history when Jews would join up with their enemies against their own people..."

Even ex-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared that Migron was strategically vital, Wallerstein said: "He told us, the members of the Yesha Council, that he had informed the Americans that he insists that this place and three other outposts must remain, despite other previous commitments that might have been."

"In this spirit," Wallerstein continued, "the Defense Minister agreed that Migron would not be removed, and all Central Commanders since then have also demanded that this location remain as is. Furthermore, many different government offices have helped Migron with infrastructures, and it was even decided in the Defense Ministry to begin with planning the permanent community."

Wallerstein said that Peace Now has other court suits coming up against the town of Haresha, 11 miles northwest of Jerusalem, and against a neighborhood in Eli, 18 miles north of the capital.

Modern-Day Zionism
One resident of Migron, Aviva W., told Arutz-7, "When we arrived here, it was clear that the land had no claimants and no one working on it... We are a continuation of the Zionist enterprise and the Zionist dream - just like all the pioneers who came to the Land of Israel over the centuries, starting with the students of the Gaon of Vilna [early 19th century], and later the First Aliyah [1882-1903], and the Second Aliyah [1904 - 1914], etc. - there is no difference. If anything, we are more in the heart of the Land of Israel than Tel Aviv is. The only difference is political - an arbitrary difference made based on what is convenient for different politicians at different times - but we are doing the same thing that Land of Israel pioneers have done for generations."

Founded in March 2002, Migron (mentioned in Samuel I 14:2 and Isaiah 10:28) grew quickly, reaching 42 families after only a year and a half - at which point the government abruptly clamped down on further growth. Over 200 people, including well over 100 children, now live there. A synagogue and two homes are in permanent structures, while most of the residents live in mobile homes. Six government ministries, the Civil Administration, the Electric Company, Mekorot Water Company and other official bodies have all taken part in establishing infrastructures for the community.

Olmert now proposes a series of criteria to decide which outposts will be destroyed and when. The criteria include:

  • the level of expected resistance to the destruction
  • the legal status of the outpost and whether it can be evacuated immediately or not
  • the amount of families living in the outpost
  • the legal status of the land on which it was built.

Olmert's top aides can be faxed at 02-6546717, 6705475 and 6513955.