The pending eviction, the first ordered by the nation’s highest court, has been touted by backers as a victory for the rule of law, the health of Israeli democracy and even the potential for a two-state solution to the conflict with the Palestinians, who hope to build a state in the occupied West Bank where Migron sits.
But from the view of this outpost and its supporters, the decision signaled the erosion of the Zionist enterprise by leftist forces colluding with a judiciary that has overstepped its authority, stoking the prospect of clashes between Israeli police and settlers who resist orders to move.
“You don’t build a house in Israel to be destroyed,” said Migron resident Aviela Deitch, 39, referring to the rolling West Bank terrain surrounding the outpost, part of the land ultra-nationalist settlers believe was given by God to the Jews. “This is home. This is the final stopping point.”
Most foreign governments deem all Israeli settlements, which house more than 300,000 Jews in the West Bank, as illegal. Israel distinguishes between settlements it approved and dozens of unauthorized outposts, including Migron. But Israeli authorities have rarely moved to dismantle the outposts, and many have been provided roads, water pipes and electricity by the government.
With the threat of conflict hovering over it, Migron has emerged as a test for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose ruling coalition includes right-wing pro-settlement parties but has also come under fire for proposing bills critics say would erode Israel’s democratic character.
Some members of those parties threatened this week to abandon the alliance if the outpost is torn down; others, including members of Netanyahu’s hawkish Likud party, said they would push legislation to retroactively legalize Migron and similar outposts.
Legal experts question the constitutionality of such a move, and Netanyahu does not support it, an Israeli official said. Binyamin Begin, a Cabinet member who is the prime minister’s Migron negotiator, said it would show the world that Israelis are “thieves and villains in the name of the Torah,” according to Ma’ariv, a Hebrew-language newspaper.
That appeared to be a reference to the ideology of most outpost residents, who view it as religious duty to settle in what they refer to as the greater Land of Israel. In recent years, extremist settlers have stepped up attacks on Palestinians and their property, as well as on the Israeli army, to prevent the dismantling of illegal outposts. Israeli leaders, including pro-settlement activists, have condemned the attacks.