Monday, August 27, 2007

Outposts and peace don't mix

From Ha'aretz
Once again, talks are reportedly being held on how many outposts the settlers will evacuate voluntarily, in exchange for the state "laundering" other outposts. Judging by the previous round, the outposts slated for laundering will indeed be legalized, the settlers will vacate a few rusty shacks, and most of the outposts will remain in place. The defense minister's office is not embarrassed to say that Barak "is studying the issue and has not yet formulated a position."

The incentive for these talks is not a governmental commitment to enforcing the law in the West Bank, sparing the Israel Defense Forces from having to devote troops to defending land thieves and saving the public treasury tens of millions of shekels a year in expenses. Nor does the urgency stem from the previous government's promise, under the road map peace plan, to evacuate all outposts established after March 2001. The talks also have no connection to the report on the outposts that attorney Talia Sasson submitted to Ariel Sharon's government two and a half years ago. Just as with the nine houses that were evacuated in the Amona outpost in early 2006, here too, were it not for fear of a Peace Now petition to the High Court of Justice, it is very doubtful the authorities would have roused from their lengthy slumber.

[...]

Aside from the legal problem, the expansion of the settlements, particularly the outposts, clearly contradicts the prime minister's talk of peace. What significance could there possibly be to negotiations with the Palestinians on an agreement of principles for ending the occupation if the government is at once holding negotiations with the settlers on legalizing outposts in the very heart of the West Bank?

What significance indeed? A relatively small group of religious settlers, convinced they are fulfilling the biblical prophecy, seem to be holding Israel's government in a stranglehold.

Here's another article about the Migron situation, Israeli settlers and the wider implications for peace in the ME.

4 Comments:

At 1:03 PM, Blogger Mad Zionist said...

Gert, if you were more well versed in Israeli politics you would know that it is a few extremists from "Peace Now" who are holding Israel hostage and forcing the "laundering" (love that PC term for ethnic cleansing) of thousands upon thousands of innocent civilians from their homes just because they are Jewish. This is the definition of anti-Semitism, but is swept under the rug by the dhimmis and radicals in the government who seek to normalize and desensitize the world's opinion about persecution and vilification of Jews.

 
At 1:23 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Mad Zionist:

You're being naive, cynical or manipulative here. The settlers are a relatively small minority of Israelis that occupy also a relatively small part (in terms of actual territory) of the land of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria, if you prefer). It's clearly they who have created facts on the ground, then found quite a bit of support from non-settler Israelis. These facts on the ground and the support that exists for them gives them the leverage they so seek.

Had partitioning been accepted, we wouldn't even be sat here talking about this.

The settlers (at least the more fundamentalist ones - the bigger blocs nearer to the green line are a slightly different kettle of fish) are hypocrites: they flaunt the laws of the state Israel (not completely though, as there does seem to be some state collusion too), yet expect the state to build and maintain the checkpoints, construct settler-only roads and provide army protection for their hamlets.

I maintain that if to them the biblical meaning of the word Israel is more important than the nation state of Israel they should be able to accept also Palestinian rule. After all, they only accept God' law.

What's the alternative to withdrawal/disengagement/convergence (reconfiguration will be the next term used, I bet - LOL)? Drive off all Palestinians from the land? Genocide? The Kingdom of Judea and Samaria?

This situation is getting more serious by the day and shows that religion should always be relegated to the personal sphere and not be allowed into the earthly kingdom.

 
At 2:28 PM, Blogger Mad Zionist said...

Gert, you don't understand the magnitude of the hatred that exists in Israel from the progressive left towards the Jewish settlers. The settlers are viewed as the bogeymen, the reason all terrorism exists, the reason Israel is hated by the moslem world, the reason that Israel is limited economically, the reason Israel is not accepted fully into the EU, the reason your country's universities have banned Israeli academics, the reason that Israel is not a paradise of secular humanist enlightenment, the reason that the State of Israel must maintain a huge army and mandatory draft, the reason that the UN condemns Israel every other day...shall I continue??

Look, I know it is hard for you to understand this, but the Jews of Judea would rather live in Judea without the state of Israel's blessing or aid than be deported. They are largely self-sufficient and can defend themselves quite nicely from the frothing moslems that surround them. The greater enemy to the settler is Ehud Olmert rather than Mahmoud Abbas.

If the State of Israel could do the settlers one favor it would be to stop evicting them and let them decide for themselves where they choose to live if and when Israel surrenders to the arabs and orders the full retreat of the IDF.

Sorry, but this is not about the settlers persecuting anyone. They are settling land that the Jews won from Jordan in war. Land that the Jordanians renounced their claim for. Land that they live in peace in, seeking only to have peace and be left alone.

 
At 2:50 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Madze:

"Gert, you don't understand the magnitude of the hatred that exists in Israel from the progressive left towards the Jewish settlers. The settlers are viewed as the bogeymen, the reason all terrorism exists, the reason Israel is hated by the moslem world, the reason that Israel is limited economically, the reason Israel is not accepted fully into the EU, the reason your country's universities have banned Israeli academics, the reason that Israel is not a paradise of secular humanist enlightenment, the reason that the State of Israel must maintain a huge army and mandatory draft, the reason that the UN condemns Israel every other day...shall I continue??"

No, please don't, it's pointless. You're presenting the extreme ends of opinion that exists on this situation in the secular part of Israel, as if all secular Israelis adhere to these views. The body of opinion on these matters in Israel (secular AND observant) is a whole, wide spectrum, not just a few simplistic jingoisms.

"Look, I know it is hard for you to understand this, but the Jews of Judea would rather live in Judea without the state of Israel's blessing or aid than be deported. They are largely self-sufficient and can defend themselves quite nicely from the frothing moslems that surround them."

That may well be so but it's a "wishing on a star"-position. People need the framework of a modern state. You can't wish Biblical days to come back and live according to Torah alone. That would be madness. Even the "Kingdom of Judea and Samaria" will need some form of legal frame and a central authority. Probably something based on a hyper-free-market model (LOL).

"If the State of Israel could do the settlers one favor it would be to stop evicting them and let them decide for themselves where they choose to live if and when Israel surrenders to the arabs and orders the full retreat of the IDF."

You overestimate the settlers' military might and underestimate Palestinian resolve and ingenuity.

"Sorry, but this is not about the settlers persecuting anyone. They are settling land that the Jews won from Jordan in war. Land that the Jordanians renounced their claim for. Land that they live in peace in, seeking only to have peace and be left alone."

Going by your logic, military conquest is the end that justifies the means. Well, don't be surprised then if in return the Palestinians will want to apply the same logic. The result would be a bloodbath on both sides and with many innocents caught in the crossfire of course.

I didn't use the term "persecuting" but if standing, as a relatively small minority, in the way of a just resolution in the form of a two-state solution (or a binational federation) then I suppose you could possibly class that under the rubric of "persecution".

 

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