All those who demanded that the Arab residents of the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Shimon Hatzadik, also known as Sheikh Jarrah, honor the district and magistrate’s court rulings and vacate the Jewish-owned homes there must now honor the Supreme Court’s contrary ruling. Israel’s highest court has overturned the lower courts’ rulings, allowing the current residents to remain for the time being.
The judges recognized in their 96-page ruling that the point at the heart of the dispute was the “recognition of the registered owners’ rights of the Jewish committees that purchased the land at the end of the 19th century and of the Nahalat Shimon company that filled their shoes.” They were nevertheless divided, however, over the question of the Arab tenants’ right to the homes. They decided that until a real estate arrangement is completed at the site and the question of rights to the land is made clear, the current inhabitants can continue living in the disputed homes.
With that being the case, we must, unfortunately, conclude that Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, who took over the Arab residents’ struggle in Sheikh Jarrah, have won. Palestinian terrorism and violence have won. It may be temporary, but it is a victory nonetheless.
The justices have done their work, and their decision must be honored.
While they certainly did not intend for it to be the case, their ruling could provide a tailwind to terror. The Supreme Court’s ruling on Tuesday could encourage further attacks on Jews and provide a tailwind to those setting fire to Jewish cars and homes, those who tried to stab Moriah Cohen, a resident of Shimon Hatzadik, to death, those who for many months now have pelted rocks and Molotov cocktails at Jewish homes and residents in Shimon Hatzadik.
The ruling could also encourage those who seek to leverage their struggle for Sheikh Jarrah to ensure their all-out war on Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem is restored to the agenda.
This is not good news for the Jewish pioneers living in the heart of Jerusalem. The police, who for many months did not provide the Jews of Shimon Hatzadik with security, must now get their act together and create the kind of deterrence that prevents Arab rioters from interpreting the ruling as a license to carry out further and even more serious attacks on Jews.
At the same time, Israeli Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar would be wise to ensure that his ministry’s registry clerk expedites the registration of the disputed lands and determine ownership of them as soon as possible.
Nadav Shragai is a veteran Israeli journalist.
This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.