This past Friday, June 14, in a front page news story that headlined in the Israeli newspaper, Makor Rishon, it was reported that the Israeli government had ignored the ruling issued by the BAGATZ, the Israel High Court of Justice, which forbid the Waqf, the Islamic Authority, from damaging the remains of antiquities unearthed on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

During Ramadan, Makor Rishon confirmed that the Waqf systematically destroyed artifacts discovered in massive rubble that it truckloaded off the Temple Mount.

Despite the ruling of the Bagatz, the Israeli law enforcement system did nothing to stop the trucks of the Wakf. Why?

That is because the rulings of the Bagatz are enforced in an arbitrary manner and often ignored by the Israeli government.

The Israeli government systematically ignores Bagatz enforcement in the Arab and Bedouin sector.

Yet the same June 14 edition of Makor Rishon quotes the current Israel Chief Justice Esther Ohayun that she expects the Israeli government to enforce all rulings of the Israeli government.

However, during the recent campaign to save 15 homes in the Netiv Avot community of Elazar, a senior government minister, Yariv Lavine, advised the Israeli government to ignore the BAZGATZ to bulldoze Jewish homes.

Lavine is a lawyer who served in a senior position in the Israel Bar Association before he was elected to the Knesset in 2009, and knows how the law works.

Yariv advised activists to base their campaign on pressuring the government not to enforce the Bagatz.

Yet activists ignored Yariv Lavine’s solid advice, and the campaigns to stop demolitions of Jewish homes mistakenly embraced the idea that the Bagatz in Israel is sacrosanct.

However, the entire Israeli legal system in Judea and Samaria operates under arbitrary military law.

Key decisions rest with the Israeli Prime Minister, who is responsible for the GSS, otherwise known as the Shabak, and the Israeli Defense Minister, who shares administrative responsibility with the PMO for the Israeli law enforcement system in Judea and Samaria.

In other words, law enforcement depends on how much pressure is placed on the Prime Minister from across the country and around the world,  besides the affected population  Judea and Samaria, who constitute less than 5% of the population of Israel.

The way to apply pressure on the Israeli government to stop future destruction of Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria is for as many people as many people as possible, outside Judea and Samaria, from all walks of life,  from all over Israel, and from all over the world,  to send short, reasonable and personal messages to the PMO asking him to ignore the Israel High Court of Justice, the BAGATZ….

The clear the message to the PMO should be: You do not have to destroy a home because of a housing infraction. 

The Council of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, known as the Yesha Council, limits its outreach to 10% of the  Jewish population in Israel – to the residents of  Judea and Samaria and to the modern Orthodox Jewish communities in Israel, and  makes no effort to influence Israeli public opinion, let alone world opinion.

The Yesha Council will not galvanize support behind Yariv Lavine’s idea that the government should not enforce decisions of the Israel High Court of Justice which defy common law, human rights and civil liberties of home owners.

While advocates of Jewish home demolitions in Judea and Samaria spread the false notion that the only way to protect Arab housing rights is to demolish homes of Jews, that claim can be easily countered in the public domain.

It is all a matter of systematic mass communication of public concern to the Prime Minister of Israel.


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.