-- March 25, 2012- Supreme Court Gives Rejects Government Compromise on Migron

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Israel Update
A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

March 25, 2012- Supreme Court Gives Rejects Government Compromise on Migron

The Israeli Supreme Court issued an important ruling this afternoon, in an on going case, relating to the removal to the outpost of Migron. Migron was one of many unauthorized Israeli settlements built in the past decade. The settlement of Migron, however, was deemed by the court to be on private Palestinian land, after the Palestinian owners sued. Over the past few years the removal of the settlements has been delayed numerous times by appeals to the courts including to Israel's Supreme Court. The court, however, had ordered the removal of the Migron settlement in the past, and had further set a date for the end of this month. The Israeli government tried to reach some sort of compromise with the settlers, in which they would leave on their own accord. After much effort, a compromise was reached last week, allowing the settlers to remain for 3 years while a new settlement was built somewhere else. With the agreement in hand, the government then went back to the Supreme Court and asked for delay in the implementation of the agreement.

At the hearing last week justices seemed to question the request. One Justice wondered whether three years would turn into seven. Another Justice asked why the plaintiff (the Arabs whose land was in question) were not part of the settlement talks. Today the court gave its answer. They denied the government's request for a three year delay. However, they agreed to delay the removal of the Migron settlers until August 1, to give the children in the settlement time to finish out the school year.

One of the interesting factors in the Supreme Court's decision was that new chief, Justice Asher Grunis, was one of the judges in this unanimous ruling. Grunis had been the darling of the right. Grunis' appointment had been pushed by right wing Knesset members who believed he would be more sympathetic to their views. In this case they were disappointed.

So where does it go from here? Prime Minister Netanyahu stated the government will respect the decision of the court. Right wing Knesset members say they will pass a law to overturn the court's decision. The settlers say they will not agree to move under any circumstances. The Tal Law that allows the Haridim not to go into the army also expires this summer. It promises to be a challenging summer for the government.

There was an interesting article in the New York Times on Saturday on how The United States is coming close to achieving energy independence. The article is entitled: U.S. Inches Toward Goal of Energy Independence

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