Several senior ministers in Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition are threatening to dismantle the current government and force early general elections if the ministry of defence follows through with a promise to demolish 30 homes in the Israeli settlement of Ulpana. [...]
Mr Barak responded to the groundswell of opposition to the demolition of the Ulapana units on Sunday, insisting, “we are responsible for the rule of law, we are responsible for Israel being a normative country among advanced nations and we are additionally responsible for somehow finding a solution for the Ulpana neighborhood.”
The first permanent housing blocks of what is now Ulpana were built on a hillside next to Beit El settlement ten years ago. A series of demolition orders have been issued by the Israeli government on the illegal structures since, none of which have been executed. Only when the Palestinian owner of the land launched a case against five of the latest apartment buildings in Israel’s high court did the Netanyahu government vow to demolish the buildings by May 1. The High Court closed its file on the case as a result of the government’s promise.
That a debate of this nature, over a settlement that in Israel’s own eyes is illegal, and that the High Court has said must be removed, is absurd. How within government ranks can there be this kind of disdain for a High Court ruling? How also can Michael Oren claim that the Supreme Court is a bastion of democracy with Jews and Arabs serving side-by-side when members of the government he represents doesn’t recognise its authority?