A miracle of sorts took place today at the Israeli Supreme court, which could be the sign of good things to come. It was during part of an ongoing discussion of Illegal Arab construction in Judea and Samaria, and this time the issue at hand was a mosque built illegally in Al-Mofkra (Regavim), on the southern slope of Mt. Hebron.
According to The Jewish Voice, the panel of judges headed by Supreme Court President Supreme Court President Grunis, with Justices Miriam Naor and Edna Arbel, opened the discussion by saying that illegal construction cannot be allowed to go on at all, especially in Judea and Samaria. The panel added that enforcement activity should be performed efficiently.
In this context, Justice Grunis said that “we must kill them when they’re young” (the literal translation from Hebrew would be “We must destroy them when they’re little”). The quip was made in front of representatives of the State Attorney’s Office, who told the court they intend to destroy the illegal mosque in the coming weeks.
The reason this can be considered a minor miracle is that both of Grunis’s predecessors, chief justices Aharon Barak and Dorit Beinish, would not have been caught dead saying something so un-PC about a Muslim house of worship. The fact that Justice Grunis was able to joke about it – and then do the right thing and force the state to take down the ugly thing – is very much a step in the right direction for the court.
Following an appeal by the Regavim movement, the Attorney General made a commitment to destroy the mosque once it was determined to be illegal. But while the civil administration was dragging its feet and not getting around to demolishing the mosque, the Regavim movement reported that mosque owner, one Mahmud Hamemda, continued to live there and had said that no matter how many times the mosque is destroyed, he would keep rebuilding it.
Following the Attorney General’s commitment to give a high priority to destroying the mosque, Attorney Boaz Arzi, representing Regavim, expressed his satisfaction. “Given the fact that the justices accepted our appeal, and gave us the relief we asked for, our petition has become moot and there is no reason not to delete it,” he stated, adding that,”if the civil administration does not do its job and we’ll see the mosque was not destroyed, we’ll have no problem submitting another appeal, until justice is done.”
The Regavim movement announced that the decision to demolish the illegal mosque should serve as a warning to the Palestinians in Al-Mofkra village. “Every illegal construction will be documented and an appeal will be submitted to the Supreme court as needed,” a movement spokesperson said. “The state’s decision to demolish the illegal mosque is proof that nearby structure are equally illegal and their fate will be the same.”