AmonaAmona PR division

The judicial system in Israel has become a farce. Judges discuss matters that are not within their jurisdiction. In practice, the powers of the court are not defined by law.

There is no judicial review, even though it is critical for determining ownership of land. This makes it impossible to determine 'the facts.'

The judges do not hear witnesses, and are therefore unable to determine the authenticity of the relevant documents. They only have the arguments of anarchist organizations representing so-called 'landlords' in Judea and Samaria, who claim that they own the land on which Jews have built houses. Their determinations are not legal in the full sense of the word, and therefore should not be taken as divinely ordained from Mt. Sinai.

It is permitted to disagree with judges, even if they sit in Givat Ram (where the Israeli Supreme Court is located) - which, incidentally, is built on "occupied land." There is a a need to find a way to restrain some of the power the courts have taken for themselves. This will not harm the democratic character of the State of Israel. On the contrary, it is the involvement of judges in areas that are the responsibility of the legislative or executive branches that harms the delicate balance of power between the branches of government.

This is the right way to handle the issue of the 'settlements." After the War of Independence Israeli law was applied to Ramle, Lod, Jaffa, Be'er Sheva, Haifa, and many other places, and no one said anything about it harming Israel's democratic character. David Ben-Gurion did what he had to do and all the land that the state controlled at the time became part of the state which had claimed it.

We have the legal tools to do this now and we must. Otherwise, in a few years, we will once again be faced with the demand to "return" the land to its "owners," land that is not included in the borders of partition (As voted on by the UN General Assembly in 1947). Anyone who thinks that by retreating to the "Green Line" the long hoped-for peace will come is fooling himself. There is no difference between what was done in the time of David Ben-Gurion and what the government should be doing now.

After the Six Day War Israeli law was applied to East Jerusalem by the expansion of the jurisdiction of the municipality. Years later, Menachem Begin applied Israeli law to the Golan Heights and now we have to finish the job.

It is unthinkable that tens of thousands of Jews could lose their homes because of the stupidity of the legal system. It cannot be that a citizen in Ofra or Amona will pay taxes and fees to the State Treasury, but when he asks the state to protect his home the state turns to Ottoman or Jordanian law.

Dr. Chaim Misgav is a well known Israeli lawyer and author.