'They sold us out!'

Amona residents blast Jewish Home over deal to relocate community, abandon demands to retroactively apply Regulation Law.

David Rosenberg , | updated: 12:44 PM

Emergency meeting of Amona supporters
Emergency meeting of Amona supporters
Eliran Aharon

Amona residents and their supporters expressed dismay Monday morning at the deal worked out between Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu which would pass the Regulation Law – but without a critical clause necessary to save Amona.

The tentative agreement, worked out Sunday evening, would ensure the passage of the Regulation Law, normalizing Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and protecting them from land ownership disputes.

As part of the deal, however, Bennett surrendered a key Jewish Home demand, that the law include a so-called “Amona clause”, which would give retroactive protection, thus preventing the destruction of Amona, which is slated for demolition by December 25th.

Instead, the two agreed to apply the Absentee Property Law to a number of plots nearby the town’s current location. Under this framework, Amona residents would be evacuated, their homes relocated to an alternative site on the same hill, and the new location given protection under the Regulation Law.

While Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, one of the Regulation Law’s backers, praised the deal, calling it “an extraordinary historic achievement,” residents of Amona called the move an act of betrayal.

In a statement to supporters Monday afternoon, the Amona Resistance Council blasted the Jewish Home, saying they had abandoned the community by taking the easy way out.

"Amona woke up to a difficult morning. They [the political leadership] betrayed us in the end. Once again the [country's] leaders have shown themselves to be little apparatchiks. Once again they chose to close a deal rather than to break new ground - at our expense of course."

“Now they're going to try to present the destruction of Amona as an achievement...we're not buying it."

Rabbi Yair Frank, who serves as the town’s spiritual leader, also condemned the deal, noting that the residents themselves were never consulted.

“What is important to understand here is that this is not an acceptable solution for the community, this is something that the residents of Amona cannot live with,” Rabbi Frank told Radio Kol Hai on Monday. We demand that the town be normalized in its [present] location.”

“If the government and the Knesset accept the logic of compensation rather than evictions,” continued Rabbi Frank, referencing the Regulation Law, “then there is no real problem to make it retroactive as well. Why can’t this include Amona?”

“This solution is not a solution, it’s a disgrace.”