Thursday, September 24, 2009

Quebec Superior Court Dismisses case to Stop Construction in Modiin Illite

The Palestinian town of Bil'in has tried to stop construction in Modiin Illit by turning to the Quebec Superior Court. The town tried to claim that since the construction company Green Park is based out of Montreal the Quebec courts should order a halt to the construction. They wanted to claim that the mere construction of the homes is a war crime.

The reasoning behind the ruling was that the jurisdiction belongs to the Israeli courts and should be taken there. The Israeli courts have handled hundreds of claims dealing with Palestinian complaints regarding land claims. The route of the security fence has been altered many times as a result of these law suits.

The courts were wise in avoiding making political decisions across the ocean. The construction is located in the neighbourhood of Kiryat Sefer. This Haredi community has full autonomy over their religous life including an approval committee for new residents. It is a community that takes no interest in the political aspirations of the nation. They simply want a place where they can raise their families according the way they see fit.

The construction is located just below the boundaries of where the current housing is already built. It is the most logical place to put more housing to provide for a growing community. The land is located a mere 1/2 km from the Green line. The commonly held belief is that any final status agreement will have Israel borders redrawn to include this community in exchange for land that would be better suited to a Palestinian political entity somewhere more practical. Palestinians have repeatedly rejected any land compromise. Palestinian leadership would rather have hundreds of thousands of Jews kicked out of their homes rather than take include land settled by Palestinians in Israel proper to be included in a future Palestinian State.

Issues of settlements are part of a comprehensive political solution. Israel has proven that they are willing to expel citizens for political gains. Forcing Israel to make concessions on final borders without the benefits of negotiation and compromise only undermines the whole process. Israel has already tried the focus on small issues and has received terrorism in return. The bigger problems must be solved first and then everything else will fall into place. Anything less is unacceptable.

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