Tzipi Livni
Tzipi LivniIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Opposition leader MK Tzipi Livni on Sunday justified the Supreme Court’s decision to reject the compromise agreement reached with the residents of Migron in Binyamin. Her reasoning for justifying the decision is that it would be immoral to move the residents, just to have them move again in the future.

Speaking at a Kadima party event, just two days before the primaries for the party’s leadership, Livni said the court’s decision was a binding one and added, “But beyond the Court's position - the idea that there is a hill nearby on which the settlers will be able to exercise their ideology - is immoral. It is immoral to take these people, uproot them and plant them on a nearby hill which might also be evacuated.”

Livni added, “There is a government here which is not ready to accept the desired decision to settle the residents in a place which will not be evacuated. It insists on not deciding. Leadership must make decisions - not run away from them and not wait for the court to decide in its place.”

The Kadima chairwoman also said that the race for her party’s leadership on Tuesday, in which she will face off against rival MK Shaul Mofaz, is a battle for the future of the State of Israel.

“The battle for the party leadership is not an internal Kadima matter, but a battle over what Israel will look like – whether the current coalition will continue,” Livni was quoted by Army Radio as having said.

The Supreme Court earlier on Sunday rejected a compromise deal between the government and the residents of Migron and set a new deadline for the eviction of the residents.

The three judges, Supreme Court President Asher Grunis and judges Miriam Naor and Salim Jubran, gave the government until August 1 to evict the residents.

Migron was built with government help on land whose ownership is unclear, except for the fact that it is not state land. Peace Now launched a lawsuit before the Supreme Court aimed at destroying the community. Since only Magistrate's Courts adjudicate land ownership in Israel, the question of who owned the land was not decided in the Supreme Court, although it seems that some of it was given by King Hussein to Jordanians who never laid claim to it. Jordan was an occupying power in Judea and Samaria from 1949-1967.

The compromise, worked out by MK Benny Begin (Likud) with much difficulty, would have had the residents move to a small, nearby area that is uncontested state land and have the present Migron houses used by the government for other purposes. A compromise moving them to a large, new suburb to be built near the existing community of Adam on state land was worked out by the Judea and Samaria Council two years ago, but the residents rejected it, still hoping to save the existing community.

In both compromises, the residents were to remain in Migron until the alternate houses were built. The compromise was agreed to by both government and residents in order to avoid both the violence that accompanied the destruction of the houses at Amona in 2006 and the bitter split in the nation that occurred due to the expulsion from the Katif Bloc in 2005.

The courts, however, made saving Migron in its present location an impossibility and now have made the new compromise unachievable.