Jewish Home MK: Great decisions bring great opposition

MK Smotrich says left's outrage shows how dramatic Regulation Law is, says he stands with Amona residents.

Shimon Cohen, Eliran Aharon ,

MK Bezalel Smotrich
MK Bezalel Smotrich
Miriam Alster/Flash90

In the wake of the historic decision to pass the Regulation Law, Arutz Sheva interviewed Jewish Home MK Bezalel Smotrich.

Smotrich said he does not feel he is being attacked by the right, and mentioned the comparison between the Regulation Law and the decision to create an "incomplete" State of Israel in 5708.

"I definitely have mixed feelings," Smotrich said. "This is a strategic, not just a tactical, accomplishment. It's not a business deal in which we gave something and got something else in return. We've accomplished a goal which we've been dreaming about for many years, a regulation which will tear apart the Supreme Court's mask of hypocrisy. It tells the world Judea and Samaria are not occupied, and that the Knesset decides who will live in Judea and Samaria, and is willing to take responsibility. That's what the Regulation Law is all about, but obviously we're still upset that we haven't managed to legalize Amona in its present location."

Smotrich also emphasized that, "Amona is not being evacuated. It's staying on the same mountain, but we will have to apply the absentee property laws, in two stages. The first stage will be unpleasant, because we have to move 16 dunams. We have a commitment from the Cabinet that the next stage of the absentee property solution will add 60 or 70 dunams (over 15 acres, ed.) to the community, so we can make a proper town. This is something we'll need to do in the coming months, to show we've succeeded in this process. But Amona is staying on the same mountain, and we've passed the Regulation Law, which is a huge accomplishment, even if we are all mourning the fact that Amona's homes will be destroyed. And you know, you can't fix the entire world in one shot.

"We're in a different position than we were previously. We're dealing completely differently with things [politically]. We didn't try to make deals, we just grabbed the bull by its horns and passed the Regulation Law. This would not have happened without the heroic residents of Amona, who led the battle. I respect them, and I respect their opposition to the agreement we have come to. Even their own campaign did not focus just on Amona, but rather on the domino effect it would have caused. This is the first time in decades that the Knesset is passing a law regarding Judea and Samaria.

"Look at how much the left is protesting this law, they understand how dramatic it is and what it means, that it is practically like annexing Judea and Samaria and that it legitimizes the Jewish towns in the area, and that it really is the Israeli government who wants Judea and Samaria settled. It's a dramatic change, and we're still managing to leave Amona on the same mountain, even if it's not exactly as it was before. It's not the best [solution for Amona], but the benefit is much too great to ignore."

Smotrich also said he doesn't want to get into an argument with Amona's residents, who hoped the law would neutralize past Supreme Court decisions dealing with the same issue as the Regulation Law.

"I don't want to argue with Amona's residents. I love them with all my heart, they are my personal friends and I feel obligated to every one of them both on a personal and national level. We won't leave anyone behind. No one will pay a mortgage for a home he no longer lives in, and that's important."

He also said he would be there on the day Amona was destroyed and moved to another site on the mountain.

"Of course we'll be there if Amona is evacuated. We all admire and appreciate Amona's residents," Smotrich said. "This expulsion is horrific, no one wants it and no one likes it, but the only ones who are responsible are the Supreme Court justices... I don't think the expulsion is the right thing to do, it's absolutely wrong, but let's remember who is truly at fault."