Friday, September 04, 2009

Should Israel demolish illegal Palestinian homes in the West Bank?

The Israeli High Court - usually regarded as heavily leaning to the left - has asked the state to explain why it dismantles so many illegally-built Jewish homes in the West Bank (that is, outposts), compared to illegally-built Palestinian homes (that is, homes built on land owned by someone else). The hearing was held following a petition by a right-wing group, "Regavim movement for the protection of national land".

Judging by some of the comments on Ha'aretz, the idea that the law should be applied to Palestinian homes sits uncomfortably with many people who are adamant that it must be applied to Jewish outposts.

Historian Yaakov Lozowick comments:

Now I understand that lots of folks will be rolling their eyes at this point in deepest frustration: Don't you understand... the entire Occupation is illegal! The State of Israel is illegal! Zionism is the abomination!

Ah, but that's exactly my point... these people don't care about law, international or otherwise, unless they feel it says what they wish it to say. Were someone to prove otherwise, they probably would reject him (or her) as a Neocon or a fascist or an AIPAC-stooge; but it wouldn't make any difference anyway, because were the legal pillar of their argumentation to be seriously weakened they'd simply abandon it and move on to other arguments.

In other words, legal arguments are being used by the left-wing only because it suits them politically. Of course, this works both ways. This legal petition was only brought by the right-wing activists in order to prove their political point too. And once they have forced the state to commit to demolishing Palestinian homes, they can no longer really argue that the law should be ignored in their case as well.....

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