22nd July 2015
For immediate release:
REGAVIM URGES THE U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT & EU TO REFRAIN FROM UNDERMINING ISRAEL’S HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
Regavim, a legal advocacy organization in Israel, strongly urges the US State Department and the EU to refrain from meddling in Israel’s well-respected legal system.
Regavim responded today to the US State Department’s ill informed press statement from July 16th on “Susiya” as well as the European Council statement from July 20th. This substantial and inappropriate meddling by the US State Department and the EU in undermining the workings of the legal system of Israel is a blatant and misguided attempt to usurp the authority and power of Israel’s courts and internationally recognised legal system.
The State Department and EU were apparently misinformed about basic facts of the case. They have been misled to believe that an old Arab village called Susiya existed. This was first asserted by the Nawajah family, Arab herders, in the mid 1990’s; however Israel’s High Court (HC rulings 7530/01, 430/12, 1556/12, 1420/14) found that these assertions were demonstrably false, based on comprehensive objective historical and geographical accounts. Historical aerial photography, detailed mandatory maps, travelogues from the 18th and 19th centuries, and the population registry all established that their assertions were a fabrication. Fact: no such village ever existed. Those Arab herders were found to have homes in Yatta (a city in Area A under full control of the PA) and frequented the area near the ancient Jewish Town of Susiya only seasonally whilst grazing their flocks.
Additionally, to question the legality of the demolition orders, even though such orders had been confirmed by the High Court of a sovereign democratic nation again and again over the protracted litigation process is unprecedented. The High Court, as recently as their ruling in May 2015, specifically denied a request for an injunction against the demolition orders, despite the pending hearing, due to the continued illegal building by the appellants during the case itself, stating: “Taking the law into one’s own hands even after filing this petition precludes granting an injunction order.” (HCJ 1420/14)
“That the US State Department & EU agitate against the decisions of the Israeli High Court is contrary to all accepted conventions respecting the rule of law of a sovereign democratic country.” said Ari Briggs. “These ill informed warnings against Israel have come to be expected from anti-Israel organizations, not from Israel’s closest ally, the US.” Briggs continued, “That the EU speaks of rule of law and then has the hypocrisy to define a High Court ruling to remove illegally built structures as a ?forced transfer of population? is unbelievable”
Regavim calls on the Government to uphold the rule of law and the equal application of the law as is expected by any responsible citizen of the State.”
Regavim, a research based legal advocacy organization, dedicated to ensuring responsible, legal and accountable use of Israel’s national land. For more information, visit www.regavim.org. For more information contact Ari Briggs