Monday, June 04, 2007


Migron has the feeling of an outpost on its way to becoming a town. Home to a few dozen families, most of whom still live in trailers, the town is festooned with makeshift electrical and lighting poles, fabricated from wooden posts with their bases either squeezed between the boulders in the soil or loaded into discarded rusty oil barrels weighted with field stones.

Migron houses, with the established settlement of Adam in the background, and my own town of Pisgat Ze'ev even further back.

Welcome to Migron

The Preschool

But Migron is also an outpost in the crosshairs. In order for an outpost to become a settlement it must pass through ten stages of approval. The first stage, authorization from the local municipality, is easy enough. With the Arab world dumping money into the Palestinian Authority, and funding roving tribes of nomadic Bedouin immigrants to settle permanently, competition in the open hilltops surrounding Jerusalem becomes intense. Every Jewish settlement needs to build as many outposts as possible in order to hold its territory before it is encroached upon by rapidly expanding Arab settlements in the vicinity, and therefore approves as many outposts as possible. The next stages of building involve water hookup, electricity, etc., each of which require their own approval. At the end of the day, after all the previous steps have been accomplished, the defense minister signs his final approval and an official, legal Jewish community is born.

Migron had passed through the first nine stages of approval, to the point that banks were confident enough in its eventual success to loan homeowners the money they needed to build permanent structures. But politics being what they are, the international community registered its shock and outrage at Jewish growth with then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who ordered the Mirgron's destruction to placate them. The army showed up with hundreds of soldiers, but the settlers showed up with thousands of activists, so the army threw up its hands and went home. Leaders come and go, but Migron seems to pop up again from time to time. Whenever the current defense minister is challenged from the left within his own party, he rallies his base by ordering a meeting to discuss a plan of action for calling an assembly of officers to draft a game plan to destroy Migron. Nothing has come of it all yet.

Migron's first two permanent structures.

Migron still has the pastoral, open feeling of an unfenced town. Security consists not of fences and patrols, but a ferocious guard dog.

Benji scans the perimeter.

The coast is clear. No milk biscuits or fire engines.

Looking north towards Rimmonim.

The mikveh (purity bath) for immersing dishes and cooking utensils.

Foreground; migron. Background: Kochav Ya'akov.

Yours truly in Migron

Looking back at the mother settlement of Kochav Ya'akov from the outpost of Migron. A small garbage fire burns in the midground.

1 comment:

Moving to Migron said...

Thank you very much for visiting us here in Migron. I have just a correction to your beautiful pictures. The picture of the ritual bath is a refurbished, ancient water cistern that is very deep. We have a modern, real mikveh for dishes.

Additionally, I find it important to point out that the garbage fire is the neighboring Arab village. Here, we have a garbage collection and a recycling center.

I hope you enjoyed your visit!