Chief Justice Asher Grunis
The extreme efforts to appoint Asher Grunis to the presidency of the Supreme Court, following the Aharon Barak and Dorit Beinisch years, are being presented as ridiculous in light of the recent High Court of Justice ruling (rejecting a state-sponsored compromise and enforcing the evacuation of the outpost of Migron by August). But there is nothing ridiculous about it. Those who thought that Grunis would supply rightist rulings essentially expected him to practice the same kind of judicial activism as Barak and Beinisch – only from the Right.
But Grunis is not an activist. He is a formalist. On this issue he had no choice but to rule the way he did, unless he was willing to go the activist route and bend the law in accordance with his personal views, the way Barak and Beinisch did.
The ruling to evacuate Migron was actually made long ago. The question was enforcing it, or more accurately, not enforcing it. Let me put the minds of the naysayers at ease: Despite expressions of disappointment, when it comes to the court’s general direction, it has embarked on a new path.
This was not a monumental decision – the deal that the state struck with the residents of Migron remained intact – only the timetable changed (the initial compromised stipulated an evacuation in 2015). Next time, when Grunis rules on an issue that is a bit more significant, that will actually affect the character of the Jewish state, leftists will have to restrain their objections and repeat their mantras: “rule of law” and “democracy” and the like.
The fact that most of the Migron residents belong to the generally compliant religious Zionist camp has gone almost entirely unnoticed. This particular stream of religious Zionism is characterized by the adherence to the rule of the land even when contrary to their individual ideology.
Many Migron residents are students of Rabbi Zvi Yisrael Tau, an educator, philosopher and exceptional intellectual. Following the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Tau issued harsh remarks on the atmosphere that preceded the murder. He warned of a systematic societal collapse and urged internal soul-searching. He changed the way his students studied. In Gush Katif (a Gaza settlement bloc that was evacuated in 2005) he encouraged his students not to resist the evacuation. The emphasis was always the mission: He explained that they were on a mission on behalf of the nation, and if the nation didn’t want the mission to be carried out, then they should try to convince the nation, and if they failed they had to accept their fate.
Did the Migron affair end up lumping these national Zionists with the most extreme settlers who exact “price-tag” revenge on Palestinians? What did it do to their weakening arguments in the face of opponents who claim that “there is no one to talk to?” Has anyone thought about this?
Dear friends, the battle over the land of Israel is wider than the question of the existence of one community or another. Sometimes a finger must be sacrificed in order to save the entire body. Not to mention the fact that in this particular case we are not even talking about amputation – all that is required is relocation, not demolition.
The Palestinians are not going anywhere, and nor are we. We must learn to live with them in peace. These days, the U.N. Human Rights Council is convening, once again, to condemn Israel for what it sees as “occupied territories” and what we see as our homeland and the cradle of our nation. Though we are not required to comply with that group of automatic hypocrites, we mustn’t give supporters of the Human Rights Council any ammunition to use against us, especially when compromise is possible.
Minister Without Portfolio Binyamin Ze’ev (Benny) Begin must be commended for his loving and sympathetic mediation of the Migron compromise. He was disgraced and humiliated by the leftist media over it. Those who once hailed him as a democrat, the court’s gatekeeper and the advocate of the rule of law were suddenly inciting against him on Migron.
Begin sustained insults from the right side of the fence as well, especially from the radical Right, which basically went about killing the messenger instead of dealing with the real issue. Since their loss in the 1992 elections (when Rabin was able to establish a leftist coalition after more than a decade of the rule of the Right), some in the radical Right haven’t learned their lesson: To them it’s still all or nothing.
This is not the consensus, even among the residents of Judea and Samaria. But the opponents of the settlement enterprise are just waiting for remarks like that. They are also waiting with anticipation for violent clashes between the army and the settlers – Let’s go! Fight!
Channel 10 commentator Avishai Ben-Haim spoke Monday of the cruelty displayed by leftist NGO Peace Now in acting to expel children and families from their homes (the court’s decision to evacuate Migron was based on a Peace Now petition arguing that the outpost had been built on private Palestinian land). Ben-Haim was subjected to a hailstorm of criticism by his colleagues over this remark. Though Ben-Haim’s views represent the majority in Israel, in the media he is in the minority of the minority. To our great shame. On the other hand, Peace Now represents a negligible minority in the fringe of society, but most journalists are sympathetic to its cause and its message.
Sigmund Freud spoke of two central desires, represented by Eros and Thanatos -- sexuality vs. death; creation vs. destruction. The analogy begs to be made: While the pioneers of our time are busily building our nation and making it flourish, a small but loud and well-connected minority is busy trying to demolish the life’s work of these pioneers, which is in fact our own life’s work.