Mitzpe Kramim, located on a mountain ridge overlooking the Jordan Valley in the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council, may go down in the history of our return to the Land of our Forefathers alongside the first modern settlement, Petah Tikvah (1878), the first modern city, Tel Aviv (1909), and the first new settlement after the miraculous victory of the Six-day War, Kibbutz Merom Golan (July 14, 1967). On July 27, 2022, Israel’s Supreme Court reversed an earlier decision to determine in a 4 to 3 decision:
A real estate transaction made in good faith between the agency in charge of government-owned and abandoned property in Judea and Samaria and a buyer of any property that the agency considered at the time of the transaction to be government property, will not be disqualified even if it is proven that the property was not government-owned at that time. This applies only within the boundaries of the existing settlement, and while providing adequate compensation to the registered owners or to anyone who proves their ownership.
The immediate result of the above ruling is that the 54 families of Mitzpe Kramim, which was established in 1999 by the Ehud Barak government and approved personally by then-Central Command Chief General Moshe Yaalon, will not be forced to leave their homes. The ruling ends the nightmare begun in 2005 by Ariel Sharon, who sicked Attorney Talia Sasson on the entire settlement enterprise. Sasson vigilantly and meticulously mapped every single spot where existing Jewish homes may have extended into Arab-owned territory and condemned all of them to demolition via court orders.
Based on that evil initiative of a prime minister who was looking to evade criminal prosecution by collaborating with anti-Zionist elements in Israel’s law enforcement apparatus, the supreme court in 2020 sentenced Mitzpe Kramim to death. The court back then recognized the validity of the good faith argument but ruled that it didn’t include Mitzpe Kramim.
Justice Noam Solberg (expected to become president of the court in 2028 and lives in the settlement of Alon Shvut in Gush Etzion, yeah! – DI), who was part of the majority opinion in Wednesday’s decision, noted that the outpost was moved to its current location after the “Outpost Agreement” that was signed in 1999 between then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak and the heads of the Yesha Council, whose goal was to regulate outposts in Judea and Samaria.
According to Solberg, the outpost was moved “for the purpose of regulating the settlement on the planning level, and with the assumption that the new location would be suitable for settlement, both from a proprietary point of view and from a planning point of view.”
Justice Solberg also noted that after the 1999 relocation of Mitzpe Kramim, it began to function as an independent settlement, without any doubt on the part of the civil administration or the political echelon regarding the legality of his location.
Until Talia Sasson laid her purple pencil on it.
Now to the even better news: what worked for Mitzpe Kramim should work for an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 other Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria whose owners were turned into criminals by an enthusiastic settlement-hater, released by a criminal prime minister (whose son ended up serving time – DI). Wherever Jewish settlers can make the case that they purchased the land or it was given to them in good faith, believing it was not the private property of some local Arab, those homes will be safe.
The new ruling came about after former Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, who was encouraged by Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, appealed to the court to reexamine Mitzpe Kramim’s status, for all the reasons that were later noted by Justice Solberg.
Now, the fact that two of the nay votes in the court’s 4-3 ruling belonged to Court President Esther Hayut and Deputy President Uzi Fogelman illustrates the dire need to put Ayelet Shaked back in charge of the Justice Ministry, to continue her crucial effort to appoint conservative justices. The fate of continued Jewish life in Judea and Samaria depends on it. Gideon Saar proved to be too eager to please his friends on the left, Benjamin Netanyahu is just not a right-winger, and the Religious Zionism folks don’t have the aptitude for the Justice Ministry. We need Ayelet (just not an Ayelet hanging out with Meretz of Benny Gantz).