“And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit, they shall not plant, and another eat.” Isaiah 65:21-22 (The Israel Bible™)
On Thursday, the Israeli High Court ordered the destruction of Derech Ha’avot, a small Jewish settlement in Gush Etzion south of Jerusalem.
The court ordered the destruction of 15 occupied homes be carried out by March 6, 2018. The court also ordered that two presently vacant homes be destroyed by the end of this year. The homes, adjacent to the city of Elazar, were built in February 2001 with NIS 300,000 ($80,000) from the Ministry of Construction and Housing.
The settlement is named after Derech Ha’avot, an ancient roadway that winds through Gush Etzion, connecting Hebron to Jerusalem. Many archaeological remains of Jewish settlement from Biblical times line the route, including ancient ritual baths used by pilgrims on their way to the Temple.
The decision to remove Jews from homes in the land God promised to Abraham’s descendants flies in the face of the prophecy in Isaiah, and has brought about the predicted result: terror.
And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit, they shall not plant, and another eat; for as the days of a tree shall be the days of My people, and Mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for terror; for they are the seed blessed of Hashem, and their offspring with them. Isaiah 65:21-23
Gush Etzion, connecting the holy cities of Jerusalem and Hebron, has been especially hard hit by the ongoing wave of violence.
Conflict over the court order highlighted the differences in opinions of right and left wing Knesset members over how democracy works. Right-wing Education Minister and the leader of the Bayit Yehudi party Naftali Bennett tweeted, “The extreme left has despaired of persuading people to establish a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria. So, it has by-passed public opinion by using the legal system as a tool to enforce the policies of the minority on the majority”.
— Naftali Bennett בנט (@naftalibennett) September 1, 2016
MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union) stated that the dismantling of the settlements had nothing to do with a peace process but was a move to prevent the undesirable rule of the majority, and was intended to reinforce the rule of law.
“The court’s decision has nothing to do with the conflict between us and the Palestinians. This is about who we are and what values we stand for,” Livni said to the press. “The Education Minister [Naftali Bennett] must understand once and for all that democracy is not a tyranny of the majority, but rather a system of values and rule of law that is preserved by the High Court of Justice.”