OUT­POSTS

Jerusalem Post - - FRONTLINES -

his govern­ment has back­tracked on even that clause.

Two re­ports un­der his govern­ment’s aus­pices, one in 2012 and one pub­lished this year, have spo­ken of the need to au­tho­rize these com­mu­ni­ties.

The Knes­set in 2017 passed leg­is­la­tion, now un­der ad­ju­di­ca­tion be­fore the High Court of Jus­tice, that would retroac­tively le­gal­ize il­le­gal homes on pri­vate Pales­tinian prop­erty, in­clud­ing in the out­posts.

The se­cu­rity cabi­net in 2017 cre­ated a com­mit­tee to for­mu­late a plan to au­tho­rize 70 out­posts.

MK Beza­lel Smotrich has sub­mit­ted a pri­vate mem­ber’s bill to the Knes­set calling for the au­tho­riza­tion of those out­posts and ask­ing that they al­ready be treated as le­gal com­mu­ni­ties. This in­cludes, of course, those out­posts in this week’s State Comptroller’s Re­port.

But while the bulk of the govern­ment and its politi­cians are al­ready con­sid­er­ing that these com­mu­ni­ties are here to stay, the state comptroller pro­duced a re­port that reads like it was still the year 2003 in Is­raeli pol­i­tics.

It was al­most as though this re­port had been tucked away in some govern­ment vault for 14 years and then dusted off and re­pub­lished.

It un­equiv­o­cally stated that all such build­ing ac­tiv­ity in the out­posts, in­clud­ing those whose au­tho­riza­tion is pend­ing, was il­le­gal and must be stopped.

Govern­ment bod­ies, in­clud­ing the coun­cil, can’t en­force the law at the same time that it is break­ing the law.

To left-wing groups, whose sup­port­ers fear Is­raeli an­nex­a­tion at­tempts rather than il­le­gal build­ing moves, the re­port seemed passé.

To right-wing politi­cians it was just one more doc­u­ment that proved the out­posts must be im­me­di­ately le­gal­ized.

In the end, the most shock­ing thing about the re­port was not the in­for­ma­tion it pro­vided but that it was writ­ten at all. •

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