Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Yamina MK Bezalel Smotrich at a press conference, May 14, 2020.

“Mr. Prime Minister, the rope that stretches around the neck of the settlement enterprise today is the same rope that will be tied to your neck some day,” Yamina MK Bezalel Smotrich warned Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, after the High Court of Justice declared the Regulations Act unconstitutional, sentencing thousands of Jewish homeowners to re-enter the nightmare of fending for the properties they purchased decades ago (High Court Revokes Law Regulating Problem Land Purchases, Move Could Lead to New Elections).

“Do not expect justice,” Smotrich told the PM who is in the midst of a court fight for his political future as well as his personal freedom.

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The 2017 Regulations Act was devised as a remedy to the injustice that was done to several thousand Jewish settlers in 2005, when the Ariel Sharon government redrew the borderlines within Judea and Samaria in a manner that positioned their properties, partially and sometimes completely, on land that no longer belonged to them. Over the next decade, the only remedy found by the Israeli high court to this discrepancy, as anti-Israeli NGOs began to drive Arab claimants to petition for their properties, was to order wholesale demolitions of Jewish homes. The Regulations Act put a stop to this carnage, which had already devoured several communities, by compelling Arab claimants to accept market value compensations for their loss.

On Wednesday, the high court struck down this remedy.

“The lost all sense of shame,” MK Smotrich said Wednesday. “The strongest political body in the country was waiting for a slack government that won’t have the power to apply the override-rule (allowing the Knesset to pass temporary laws against the spirit of a constitutional law), and would perpetuate the extreme left-wing line instituted by [former Chief Justice] Aharon Barak. After three years of waiting with their verdict, Netanyahu handed them on a silver platter the perfect timing to ban the law without fear.

“For years, the so-called High Court of Justice is trampling every right belonging to the settlers, maligns and distorts the Knesset’s laws to conform to a progressive and post-Zionist agenda that always favors the enemy’s civil rights over the civil rights of the citizens of our state. When it comes to infiltrators and Arabs, there is relief from Jerusalem to Eritrea. But settlers can be run over, and so this super-just law is disqualified because it offers relief to the wrong side.”

Smotrich called on his allies on the right, both in the government and the opposition, to move quickly to enact the override rule, so that such disgraceful interventions by the High Court may not take place ever again. He then concluded:

“And a final word to the Supreme Court justices. You should know that all dictatorships fall, sooner or later, and the people will rise, the Knesset will legislate, governing will return to the people, and the Israeli public will free itself from the violent strangulation you have imposed here in recent years. The more violent and obvious you become in your distortion of justice, the faster and more decisive will the boomerang responding to you will be. I am very sorry for the irresponsible conduct of a minute number of individuals who have robbed Israeli democracy.”

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