Ultimatum in Amona – rejected by residents

Amona - photo by Tomer Neuberg/flash 90)
featured photo from Israel National News (Arutz Sheva) - by Tomer Neuberg/flash 90

The 42 families of Amona faced an excruciating decision  yesterday (Israel time); to accept the “offer” agreed upon by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud), Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit or face evacuation and the destruction of their homes and livelihoods within 2 weeks. According to Israel National News (Arutz Sheva), they’ve made their decision.

They rejected the “offer”.

This is the what the government coalition proposed:

(1) to begin work on setting up trailers (what Israelis call “caravans”) for 12 of the 42 families on Lot 38 (seen circled in red, map below), which has an area of six dunams (6,000 sq. meters / 7176 sq. yards).

and

(2) for the residents to accept to have the other 30 families relocate one kilometer to the west, to the town of Ofra to wait for the Israeli government to build four portable buildings in the lots adjacent to Amona (see circled in blue), giving them permits to live there for only two years.  During this period, the government said it was their intention to petition the courts to remove owners’ names from the property in question under Amona, as they have not been present and have not paid taxes on the land for decades.

The residents of Amona were to accept the offer — with no guarantees.

ultimatum-map2-amona
screen capture of relocation map (photo by Ari Fuld)

For the last 19 years, the Arabs who held deed to the this land have been absent —expressing no interest in the land, while these Jewish families have tilled it and caused it to become productive.  According to Israeli National News (Arutz Sheva), the court case objecting to the presence of the Jewish residents of Amona was launched by a left wing organization, and not by the Arabs who hold deed to the land. In fact, only one of the absentee landlords was located and none of the “deed-holders” were named in the case.  The case was a political move to further the purposes of the political organization whose end-result was that the High Court of Israel ruled that because there is a “deed” for only four of the plots of land under which the entire community is built, the entire community must either be relocated or destroyed.

Israel National News (Arutz Sheva) reported (Uzi Baruch, 15/12/16 00:40) that residents explained in a statement on Wednesday night, why they chose to reject the offer;

“We were willing to accept the destruction of our private homes, and a move from place to place, if only a Jewish community would remain on the hill. But the proposed arrangement does not provide any guarantee or commitment that we will indeed receive an alternative home. In light of this and in view of the uncertainty in the proposal, the residents of Amona decided tonight, after ten hours of debate, to reject the proposed layout.”

The residents of Amona will be evacuated — their homes and businesses demolished and their lives left in shambles — for what?

Residents of Amona — not squatters

The residents of Amona are not “squatters” living in tents — they live in furnished homes equipped with all the amenities; running water, heat, electricity, fridges, stoves, etc.

Below are some screenshots of one home in Amona, taken from a video shot by Ari Fuld, earlier today:

inside-of-house-in-amona
Inside of a home in Amona

Here are a few more screen captures of a home located on one of the wineries of Amona:

more-insides-of-homes-in-amona
home of a winery of Amona – photo by Ari Fuld

Amona has a school, playgroundroads, vineyards and as posted in the previous article about Amona, sheep and lamb barns (see Brian John Thomas’ video, below.)

Here are some photos of Amona, from the Wine4Amona website hosted by דפיכתוֹם, courtesy of Avi Abelow:

slide1

slide2

slide3

Amona is a productive community that is known for producing award-winning wine

award-winning-wine
2009 & 2011 awards for Amona wine (photos by Ari Fuld)

Amona also raises sheep and lamb

Sheep and lamb farm in Amona (photo by Brian John Thomas)
Sheep and lamb farm in Amona (photo by Brian John Thomas)

The residents of Amona are ordinary people, with ordinary lives who work and raise their families on the land given to the tribe of Benjamin — land which that was set aside for the Jewish homeland since 1917* and which has been part of Israel since its modern foundation on May 14, 1948.

*see Struggle for Amona - Struggle for National Sovereignty for a brief history http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/12/13/struggle-amona-struggle-national-sovereignty/] 

and 

Judea and Samaria - the West Bank of the Jordan http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/12/13/judea-samaria-west-bank-jordan/ for a brief history.

The land on which Amona is built was gifted by King Hussein of Jordan to a close associate during the period in which Jordan illegally occupied Judea and Samaria (1948-1967)

This land was not the King of Jordan’s to give.

It was seized by military force when Egypt, Syria and Jordan invaded the newly-created state of Israel, just one day after it was created.

[see Struggle for Amona – Struggle for National Sovereignty, link above].

The Jordanian king having given a parcel of land to colleagues during a time that Jordan illegally occupied and annexed the land from Israel does not make that land the possession of 
(1) those families 
(2) their descendants nor 
(3) anyone that may have subsequently purchased it from them.

This land has always been Israel.

To “give’ the residents of Amona such a “choice” for nothing more than the political gain of an organization is obscene. 

A court’s role is to uphold the law as it is written, which is the High Court of Israel’s justification for having ruled in a case brought by others on behalf of an unnamed, absentee “deed holder”, who never took the case to court and was not present for the proceedings.

Such a case should not have been heard until the courts ruled on the issue as to whether a deed issued for land illegally seized from Israel is legally binding.

Until that is resolved, the residents of Amona must be allowed to stay.

 


For those wishing to help the people of Amona and get some of their award-winning wine at the same time, here is a link: http://www.dkatom.co.il/wine4amona


Here is a link to the video from Ari Fuld from which some of the above photos and information was taken:

Here is the link a video of Brian John Thomas’ visit to Amona, just prior to the residents’s decision.