To whom does Migron belong?

[Be-Ahavah U-Be-Emunah – Ki Tetzei 5771 – translated by R. Blumberg]

The HCJ (High Court of Justice) ruled that the residents of Migron must evacuate the town because they have taken over private Arab lands.
Sounds fair enough: “Don’t steal.”
All the same, perhaps someone would be willing to explain to me who exactly those Arab owners of those lands are? "No problem," the High Court will answer, "there’s a precise list of the Arabs. You can look at it."
All the same, might I not be allowed to ask yet another question? How is it that those Arabs, themselves, did not know about their ownership, and when the people of Migron came to them to pay them, they were very surprised about this gift falling upon them from heaven? After all, they never lived on these lands and they never worked them. The builders of Migron were enormously careful to settle only in rocky fields. You can peruse dozens of years of aerial photos and you’ll see that there wasn’t even a single house there, and not a single tree. And indeed, during the nine years in which the town flourished, not one Arab said a word. So, if you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to know how it suddenly became theirs? “Very simple,” the HCJ explains. “Before the Six Day War, in about 5725, King Hussein carried out a fictitious registration and distribution of these lands to Mukhtars closely associated with him. It’s elementary. These lands belong to those Mukhtars, and to their descendants, and to their descendants’ descendants, till the end of time…”
It’s very interesting to know that King Hussein is the owner of our Land. Yet first I’d like to ask a preliminary question of the HCJ which supports the legal foundations of the King of Jordan’s decisions. Surely that same King Hussein, himself, made a condition that if those Mukhtars didn’t work those lands and didn’t pay taxes, at the end of a number of years the lands would return to the king. Now then, they did return to him, and they are therefore state lands. To this the HCJ responds, “It’s true that according to the King of Jordan these lands returned to our country, but we are stricter than the King of Jordan, and whoever applies strictures is praiseworthy. Yet we rule like the King of Jordan and not like the King of Jordan. We rule like the King of Jordan that the lands will be transferred to those Arabs, but against the King of Jordan we say that the lands will remain theirs even if they don't actualize their ownership. We rule that it is theirs, and that is the law. The law is the law, and the law has to be preserved! ‘The law of the kingdom is law!’ (Baba Batra 54b).”
At this juncture, your honors, I shall stop asking innocent questions and say what is in my heart, my mind and my conscience.
First of all, the people of Migron are law-abiding citizens. They were in the past, they are now, and they will be in the future. They serve in the army, and some of them are officers. The women are mostly teachers, nurses and social workers.
Yes, “the law of the kingdom is law,” but the theft of the kingdom is not law. A discriminatory law is not a law. Even according to your approach, that these are Arab lands, it’s enough that the people of Migron should pay. There is a legal precedent regarding a settlement that was established on the private land of a Jew, and the court ruled: You cannot uproot families for whom this is the center of their lives. You cannot destroy homes. Rather, since the town was established innocently, it’s enough that the owners should be compensated.
Migron was established innocently. It was established by the State of Israel, with State planning and State funding. Nothing could be more innocent than that. The Jewish State was interested, for strategic reasons, in contiguous settlements.
So is that how things are, that a town built on Jewish land cannot be uprooted, but a town built on Arab lands can be uprooted? That’s a discriminatory law, and a discriminatory law is illegal. How righteous the people of Migron are, that they are fulfilling a law that is no law!
Yet we have to go back further still with the HCJ’s decision. As noted, the Government decided to be strict at our expense, more than King Hussein, and according to that, the court is acting legally in a formal sense. In other words, according to the Government’s decisions, we decide what is legal and what is illegal.
But first you have to ask a different question. Who says that these lands belonged to Jordan in the first place? Did we sell them to them? Did we give them the lands as a gift? In the past, did they have a country here or did we? “Now Shaul was staying on the outskirts of Gibeah, under the pomegranate tree at Migron” (Shmuel 1 14:2). Was it really the King of Jordan staying there?!
Did we conquer Migron from the King of Jordan, or did we return to our Land? Is it occupation or is it ours?!
For close to 2,000 years, conquerors came and went, and now we have returned. If thieves came in our absence, does the land suddenly become theirs?
We’ve come home! It’s ours and it's not occupation. It’s our Land according to G-d, according to history, according to nature. G-d gave it to us and He promised us, through His prophets, that we would return to it, and now we have returned.
With all due respect to the Prime Minister and the HCJ, the statement that the lands belong to the King of Jordan is fantasy. How did Arab lands suddenly crop up here? They were ours and the Romans banished us from our land. For thousands of years we longed for our Land and prayed for it. Then, suddenly, due to Turkey’s collapse, it belongs to the King of Jordan?! That’s an outright lie! No! It’s been ours from time immemorial, as long as the heavens were over the earth.
It’s true that Maran Ha-Rav Avraham Yitzchak Ha-Cohain Kook wrote to the JNF that we are going beyond the letter of the law in paying Arabs for lands that are actually ours, because we want to fulfill “Love your neighbor as yourself” even vis-à-vis the non-Jews (Ma’amarei Re’iyah). And Rabbenu Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook likewise said that we have no business troubling this individual Arab or that, and if a piece of land belongs privately to an Arab, we won’t settle there. Rather, the main thing is that from a national perspective, this is our Land. And indeed, even now we are ready to pay a private Arab for land that doesn’t belong to him, but we cannot agree under any circumstances to the pronouncement that this land belongs to the King of Jordan, and that he, of his own free will, can distribute it to whomever he wishes. That constitutes unconscionable weakness.
Already before the State was established, there was talk about conceding parts of our Land and cutting the Land into pieces, and Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook wrote his article: “We Must Have Perfect Faith regarding the Torah and the Land”. This is not a new problem. This constitutes weakness and impotence. There is but one thing for us to do: to cry out in a loud voice: It’s ours! It’s ours legally! It’s all legal!
During the British Mandate, the British High Commissioner asked Rav Kook: “How can his honor support illegal Aliyah to Israel?” Rav Kook replied, “When there is a conflict between national law and international law, international law holds sway.” The Commissioner expressed puzzlement: “I know of no international law that permits Jewish Aliya to Israel.” Rav Kook answered, “The Bible! The Bible is international!”
According to the international law of the Bible, Migron belongs to us and not to the King of Jordan. The nations agreed to this, as well, at the San Remo conference, ninety years ago.
The statement that the King of Jordan can decide is unparalleled nonsense, and it has no precedent in world history. Therefore, let us be strong and courageous for our Land and for the cities of our G-d.