Time to wake up
June 20, 2004
Any time the word violence pops up, especially in the context of ‘right wing’ activists, ‘condemnation’ is an automatic byproduct. So it was late last week when Uri Elitzur, editor of the Israeli monthly magazine Nikuda, legitimized limited violence against anyone attempting to expel people from their homes in Yesha.
In an interview printed in Arutz 7’s weekly newspaper, B’Sheva, Elitzur said, “Uprooting a community is illegal and shocking, and therefore it is justified [for a soldier] to refuse orders to do so, and [for a resident to use] violence and any other means by which to defend his home from which he is being expelled for political reasons. I recommend refusing orders, since they are illegal; whoever fulfills these orders will be brought to trial… In my opinion, any use of force, except for live weapons, is legitimate in such a case. After the fact, even someone who injures those who come to expel him – I would accept his behavior with understanding.”
Elitzur is not your run-of-the-mill militant. He was Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s Chief of Staff for almost a year and a half, in essence, supporting Netanyahu following his abandonment of Hebron and during the Wye fiasco. He was, at that time, branded ‘traitor’ and other such pleasant invectives.
Following such explosive remarks, it comes as no surprise that the Israeli left demands Elitzur’s arrest, indictment and conviction for ‘inciting violence.’ President Moshe Katzav, a one-time rightist himself, also found it proper to condemn Elitzur’s comments. That too is no great shock. However, that fact that Yesha Council chairman Bentzi Lieberman also jumped on the bandwagon is a bit disconcerting, to say the least. Lieberman rejected appeals to soldiers to refuse obeying orders in the case of community expulsions and reiterated opposition to ‘any form of violence, physical or verbal, against soldiers’ evicting families from their homes.
Many people, in Israel and around the world, mistakenly believe that the Yesha Council ‘represents’ everyone in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. They do not! The Yesha Council is composed of mayors and heads of councils of Yesha communities. These people are elected by their respective constituent communities to provide services rendered by a town council or municipality. Such services include education, sanitation, limited security needs, road safety, and the like. They are not elected to represent political ideologies of their constituents, not individually, and certainly not as a whole. These people are dependent upon governmental funding to keep their communities fiscally alive. They need to cooperate with the offices of the various ministries, such as education, heath, welfare, etc. in order to received monies vital to their community’s wellbeing. Following the dismantling of the ministry of religious affairs, the person responsible for such services is none other than… the Prime Minister himself.
In other words, if these people, as good as they are, as sincere as they are, as idealistic as they are, too vehemently oppose government policies, they are effectively cutting off the branches on which they perch.
So it comes as no surprise that Bentzi Lieberman, mayor of the Shomron Regional Council, opposes ‘any violence’ and repudiates demands for soldiers to refuse to obey orders. Were he to agree to these ideas, even tacitly, he would ‘lose face’ with those ‘important people’ necessary to budget his constituent’s needs and even meet with him and his friends on a fairly regular basis, such as the defense minister and the prime minister himself.
It should also be noted that many of these council heads have long-established personal relationships with Israel’s top brass. For instance, an extremely well-known and influential Yesha leader, known to be very close to Ariel Sharon, invited Sharon’s son Omri to join him this year at his Purim table. How could a top-ranking Yesha leader, who is supposed to be in the forefront of the battle to stop Ariel Sharon’s madness, drink wine and make merry with one of the people thought to be most responsible for Sharon’s betrayal of Eretz Yisrael?
In other words, the Yesha Council does not, under any circumstances, represent Yesha’s citizens. They were not elected to do so, and their statements do not necessarily characterize Yesha community resident’s opinions.
That must be understood.
Getting to the heart of the matter, none of us favor violence. None of us believe in randomly striking anyone, shooting anyone, etc. Such behavior is illegal, immoral and unethical. However, it is just as illegal, immoral and unethical to evict people from their homes and from their land. It is even more illegal, immoral and unethical to not only abandon that land, but to ‘transfer’ it to blood-sworn enemies, who have vowed to continue killing Jews until ‘the occupation is ended.’ ‘Occupation,’ in their lexicon, meaning not only Hebron and Beit El, but also Tel Aviv and Haifa.
It is also illegal, immoral and unethical for an elected leader to totally and unequivocally reverse essential positions which formed the basis of his election. It is also illegal, immoral and unethical for a leader to ignore and overlook a ‘binding referendum,’ which clearly rejected his stated, reversed policy.
However, it is legal, moral and ethical to defend one’s self, one’s family, and one’s property. Anyone arriving to expel men, women and children from their homes must be willing to accept the consequences of their actions.
According to latest reports, Sharon and his team of gangsters are again bypassing supposedly ‘accepted decisions.’ It is now reported that the attempted forced expulsion from Gush Katif will be concluded by the end of 2004, and not in September, 2005 as first expected. Sharon is getting worried that the right, in conjunction with own Likud party, will find a way to prevent the catastrophe, so he’s planning on finishing it fast, before we can get organized. Sharon is playing dirty, against the rules, while forcing us to ‘keep our hands clean.’
I repeat (if I don’t, I too will find myself in jail), nobody likes violence. Nobody wants violence. Especially against our own brethren. But it’s time to wake up. The reality is, if Sharon insists on trying to implement his ‘Jewish transfer’ from our homes and land, it’s going to happen. Like it or not. And afterwards, when the Committee of Inquiry sits in judgment, ready to point its finger at the ‘guilty party,’ let it be known now, well in advance, where the responsibility lies – just past the door to that office, in that big chair behind the big desk, directly with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.