The article below, reviews the Israeli Left's responses to the Gilad Farm issue (a paradigm for settlement expulsion), and takes a deeper 'look' beyond it, to understand the true meaning of their behavior and it implications for Israeli society. Ariel Natan Pasko works as an independent analyst and consultant. He has a Master's Degree in International Relations & Policy Analysis. He also has degrees in Economics, Politics, and Jewish History & Thought.
With the Love of the People, Torah, and Land of Yisrael... Ariel :)
"Shut Up Or Maybe We'll Kill You"
By Ariel Natan Pasko
As I sit down to write this, I wonder, am I putting my life in danger? According to Arutz Sheva's article, "Left's Hate Campaign Gaining Momentum"(Oct. 21), MKs and left wing notables "warn" that the actions aimed at preventing the dismantling of Yesha (Judea, Samaria, & Gaza) outposts are "setting the stage for another political assassination". 'Political Assassination' those words ring out in my mind. Considering what several spokesman of the Left have said in the last few days, I too worry, that some crazed person from the 'Looney Left' will try to murder a personage from the Right (Jerusalem Post Oct. 25, Minister Effi Eitam- NRP, received death treats by phone, e-mail, and fax Thursday, his office blamed incitement by the Labor Party).
After Monday's car bomb attack at Karkur Junction near Pardess Hanna, that killed 14 and wounded 65; unnamed officials close to Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor), partially blamed the settlers at Gilad Farm for the terrorist attack. "If the soldiers are not busy removing outposts, they can be used to defend the country," one official said. The IDF (Israeli Army) should be dealing with the crucial task of protecting the state and not wasting forces on marginal tasks it is forced into, like the outposts" (Jerusalem Post Oct. 22). Well, who gave the order to waste the troops on a highly divisive political action? DM Ben-Eliezer seems to be pushing the issue, ahead of the November 2002 Labor primaries. But more importantly, notice the not so subtle insinuation that the 'settlers' or Jewish towns are to blame for terrorism against Israel. It's virtually a 'blood libel'.
Quoting from Arutz Sheva (Oct. 21), one of the most extreme statements came from Meretz MK and opposition leader Yossi Sarid who said, "All of the settlements were created by law-breaking and violence and I hope the spread of this cancer will end quickly. The outposts are worse than suicide bomb belts." Jewish towns and villages are CANCERS? Well you cut cancers out, don't you? You kill cancers. Similar to MK Sarid's remarks, Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg (Labor) called the people at Havat Gilad "Jewish Hamas." And what are we supposed to do if we see a suicide bomber about to explode himself? Shooting him might be a reasonable response. Are MK Sarid and KS Burg urging people to shoot settlers? Worse than suicide bomb belts, Jewish Hamas. REALLY?
Ha'aretz (Oct. 21) reported that MK Yossi Sarid said the settlers' militias had started a revolt over the weekend that the government had to destroy. "If the settlers' revolt is not crushed, it will be the end of democracy and the beginning of chaos in which each man will attack the other," he said. Is he hinting that the Left will feel it necessary to attack people that don't agree with them, people who exercise their free speech and assembly rights? People who peacefully protest government policy in a democratic society (even through 'civil disobedience') don't need to be crushed or destroyed. The beginning of chaos and the end of democracy has started, through MK Sarid's verbal assaults.
Similarly, Arutz Sheva reported (Oct. 21), Agricultural Minister Shalom Simchon (Labor) said that the actions of the right wing over the past 48 hours "endanger the existence of the State of Israel." REALLY? Over 600 people killed and thousands injured from terrorist attacks in the last two-years, don't endanger the existence of the State of Israel? Arafat's War, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Syria, Iraq, Iran, they don't endanger the existence of the State of Israel? Only a bunch of idealistic kids on a barren hilltop somewhere in the middle of the Historic Jewish Homeland, endanger the existence of the State of Israel.
In a cabinet dispute Sunday (Jerusalem Post Oct. 21), Environment Minister Tzahi Hanegbi (Likud) accused Industry Minister Dalia Itzik (Labor) and other Labor ministers of using the Rabin assassination as an excuse to attack the right. Hanegbi reacted to an angry outburst by Itzik at ministers about the settler violence at Gilad Farm. "The settlers are trying to kill Israeli democracy." I told Sharon, "You saw what happened to Rabin, this they will do to you," Itzik said. The end of democracy; endanger the existence of the State of Israel; trying to kill Israeli democracy; KILL ISRAELI DEMOCRACY, KILL YITZHAK RABIN, KILL SOMEONE ELSE, that's the hysteria emanating from the Left today.
IBA TV and Arutz Sheva reported (Oct 21), that left wing activists on Sunday night demonstrated outside the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, demanding additional Yesha outposts be dismantled. Demonstrators called on Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, not to give in to "terrorism by the settlers." Legitimate (and I might add, legally protected if not violent) protest is terrorism now. Arutz Sheva adds, left wing politicians are calling on legal authorities, namely the State Attorney General, to declare the Yesha (Judea, Samaria, & Gaza) Council a rebellious illegal organization following its recent role in the resistance to the dismantling of Gilad Farm in the Shomron. Terrorism, rebellious illegal organization, it sure sounds like 'Orwellian Double-speak' meant to confuse people and stifle FREE SPEECH.
Yet Arutz Sheva (Oct 22) reported that Yesha Council leaders on Monday reiterated their position, calling for passive resistance only, explaining once again the council remains opposed to any and all violence against soldiers and police. Doesn't sound like much of a rebellious illegal organization, DOES IT?
Are these leftists the same people who recently, during Rabin Memorials (as they do constantly), reminded us that 'words can kill', and constantly warn against incitement to violence? Is it real caution and concern for verbal violence and its side effects, or is it a methodical attempt at curbing discussion and (G-D forbid) opposition to their 'pipe dream' of peace.
'SOVIET-STYLE' DIS-INFORMATION CAMPAIGN
It seems a 'Soviet-style' dis-information campaign about the events leading to the expulsion from Havat Gilad has occurred. For example Ha'aretz reported (Oct 21), that Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer called Monday for the head of the Yesha Rabbinical Council, Rabbi Zalman Melamed, to stand trial for issuing a religious ruling forbidding settlers and soldiers from evacuating the illegal West Bank outpost of Havat Gilad. "I request that we not go back to the atrocious scenes from seven years ago [referring to the murder of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin]," the defense minister said at Monday's meeting of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. "You, the rabbis, who called upon settlers to refuse to evacuate the outposts, issued similar calls seven years ago which led to the murder of Yitzhak Rabin." Can he really say that with a straight face? Here they go again, blaming half the country for Rabin's death.
The TRUTH is, as reported on Israelinsider.com (Oct. 15), in a joint statement, signed by Rabbi Zalman Melamed, Rabbi Elyakim Lebanon, Rabbi Dov Lior, and Rabbi Daniel Shilo, the rabbis noted that Defense Ministry orders calling on soldiers to dismantle outposts take them away from security duties. The rabbis' statement said:
1. Every outpost in Eretz Yisrael (the Biblical boundaries of the Jewish State) was established as part of the commandment to settle the Land, and therefore it is strictly forbidden to evacuate its residents.
2. The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) is the People's army, and its mission is to prevent terror and to defeat Israel's enemies.
3. It is forbidden for any party, including an Israeli government minister, to misuse his standing and order the IDF to dismantle outposts, thereby bringing about a public debate on the issue.
Arutz Sheva reported (Oct. 21) that, Labor MK Tzali Reshef called the recent actions of the Yesha rabbis against the government "incitement to murder, the worst seen since the Rabin assassination" seven years ago.
Foreign Minister Shimon Peres in his comments concerning the Yesha Rabbinical Council also took the liberty to degrade many Torah scholars and spiritual leaders, without any consideration for their position in their respective communities. FM Peres Sunday called the rabbis "shitty inciters," blaming them for contributing to setting the stage for the Rabin assassination.
The TRUTH is that the rabbis suggested that soldiers ask their commanders to excuse them from evacuating Jews from their homes, saying that it contradicts their beliefs (according to Arutz Sheva Oct 15). I don't hear incitement to murder or rebellion against the state. I hear a Halachic ruling that advises to whomever cares, what Rabbinical opinion is on the matter.
But the 'Soviet-style' dis-information campaign continues, illegal outpost, illegal encampment, these terms have been used so frequently in the last few weeks and months, that we hardly question them. But is Havat Gilad truly 'illegal'? According to all accounts, Moshe Zar bought the land; it's privately (and legally) owned property, no disputes there. So what is illegal?
According to Aviad Visoli, head of the Headquarters on Behalf of the Land of Israel, Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer is in contempt of court for dismantling the Gilad Farm without granting a hearing to its residents (Jerusalem Post Oct. 21). Visoli quoted from a decision by Supreme Court Justice Tova Strasberg-Cohen regarding a petition by him that she rejected. Visoli petitioned the High Court on the legality of outpost evacuation in June of this year. Strasberg-Cohen rejected the petition, but in her ruling wrote, "I would assume the government will behave according to the law with regard to everything having to do with the evacuation of outposts, if it decides to evacuate them, and that outposts will not be evacuated without granting their residents the right to a hearing, if there is not a reason that has been clarified that denies them this right." According to Visoli, the government did not grant the residents of the Gilad Farm a hearing before evacuating the outpost. SO WHO'S BREAKING THE LAW?
Visoli also said that under paragraph 34 (4) of the Jordanian Planning and Building Laws (No. 79), which are in force in Judea and Samaria, the use of land for agricultural purposes is not defined as construction that requires a permit. Private land, no need for permits, so again I ask, WHAT'S ILLEGAL?
The Left continues its Bolshevik dis-information drive with accusations of massive violence on the part of 'settlers'. Did you see any violence? I've watched most of the news broadcast on IBA TV for the past week (Oct. 16-22), and have seen the same footage of police and soldiers pushing, pulling, and hitting people. I saw settlers passively resisting, being dragged away. I saw one scene of someone pushing back a policeman after being viciously shoved. I saw a little boy maybe 7-8 years old being shoved by a policeman. I never saw any rock throwing, or other attacks on police or the army. I believe if it was so widespread, they would have filmed it and shown us.
Oh yes, it seems no matter how long they choose to edit the footage, they always show (former Kach leader) Baruch Marzel being pushed by several policeman, backpedaling, almost tripping, and trying to walk past them again. By focusing on Marzel, I suppose the news is trying to make a parallel, to the 'famous' Kikar Tzion Protest (blamed by the Left for Rabin's murder), that footage always focuses on the Kach flag, Binyamin Kahane on someone's shoulders dancing, and the picture of Rabin in a nazi uniform. That picture, I remind you, was made by Shabak (General Security Services) agent provocateur Avishai Raviv. What ever happened with his trial anyway? Raviv passed out the picture with the express purpose of gaining media attention to prove the Rights violent intent. Although long since discredited as an authentic expression of the 'National Camp', the Left continues to use that footage to incite against half the country.
According to news reports, 2,000 protesters were at Havat Gilad last Wednesday, over 1,000 were there Saturday night; as of Sunday (Oct. 20), only 25 policemen, 17 soldiers, and 19 settlers were treated for minor injuries, on the spot. That's for what, cuts? Seven policemen were brought to the hospital with light injuries, and released. With what, sprained fingers from pulling too hard when trying to throw people off the roof of the building that they were 'defending' (i.e. passively resisting evacuation)? I saw it on IBA TV. It seems the Left equates 'civil disobedience' with outright revolt. Or a sprained arm from chocking someone, as the photo on the front page of the Jerusalem Post (Oct. 21) clearly shows. I think its terrible that anyone, citizen or member of the security forces, got hurt however minor. But, with the numbers of protesters so high, and the police & army determined to complete the expulsion, no matter what, I would have expected much higher figures for injuries, since it's been portrayed as a violent riotous event, a 'near revolution' by the Left.
According to Moshe Zar, owner of the Gilad Farm, who spoke to Arutz Sheva (Oct. 21), "First, to say that people are raising hands against policemen is simply not true; it's a total lie. Saturday night, we were sitting here about 120 people, boys, girls, and others. Suddenly 200 huge special-unit policemen, each one a gorilla, came and lined up about 80 meters from us. All of a sudden, they started running towards us like a swarm of bees, and started swinging and attacking and punching us horrifically. They didn't begin by asking us to leave, but just started hitting, like animals! There was not one policewoman amongst them [to deal with the girls]. Not one of us hit back; they started hitting us! The Prime Minister and everyone else talking about people who hit policemen are mistaken; none of us hit, except one case I saw where five or six policemen were on top of one kid, kicking and punching him; wouldn't you try to fight back in such a situation?"
"[Regarding Wednesday's incident], there were a few youths who threw rocks at cars, and this disturbed me greatly, but the ones who started a real war were the policemen! Not one of the policemen wore an ID tag or their ranks (isn't that illegal? A.N.P.), even the police commander of Ariel! When asked their names, they all said that their name was Shachar Ayalon (the commander of Shai). There is no bigger lie than to order policeman not to give their names!"
"Settlers' violence" does not appear to be the issue at all, not only according to Moshe Zar, but also according to Samaria-Judea District Police Chief Shachar Ayalon. Ayalon told Gush Etzion Regional Council head Shaul Goldstein yesterday morning that none of the injuries were caused by the settlers. "He told me loud and clear," Goldstein told Arutz Sheva, "that none of the [policeman] were hit by settlers. All the policemen that were hit were hit (hurt) because they fell because of the darkness and they broke their glasses. No one of them was hit by settlers..." So, where's all the violence that's supposed to have happened?
The Last element of the Left's 'Soviet-style' dis-information program is its attempt to 'posul' (make unacceptable) Minister Effi Eitam. In an interview with Israel Radio on Sunday (Oct. 20), Eitam called Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer "a fool and a liar," (although not a proper Jewish way to speak, who hasn't seen Israeli politicians screaming, not listening to each other, and even calling each other names on the popular TV show- Politica). Eitam sharply criticized Ben-Eliezer for not accepting responsibility for the army's evacuation efforts, which began Saturday afternoon and violated the Jewish Sabbath. Eitam charged that Ben-Eliezer's decision to evacuate outposts at this time were part of his Labor Party re-election campaign (views echoed by Internal Security Minister Uzi Landau-Arutz Sheva Oct. 22). But in Sunday's cabinet meeting, Eitam took back his statements. In an official apology, Eitam said that he intended to criticize the Sabbath evacuation of Havat Gilad, and not Ben-Eliezer personally.
The Jerusalem Post reported (Oct. 21), that Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer said at the end of Sunday's cabinet meeting (based on Eitam's earlier interview with Israel Radio), "Eitam's charges are the kind of wild incitement that was rampant prior to the murder of Yitzhak Rabin." Again using Rabin's death to SHUT PEOPLE UP!
Arutz Sheva (Oct. 21) said that Labor Party Secretary MK Ofir Pines called on State Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein to take immediate action against rabbis, MKs, and cabinet ministers, who incited towards violence (what incitement? A.N.P.), in the recent dismantling of Gilad Farm. Pines called for acting "without silk gloves" against Rabbi Melamed, head of the Yesha Rabbinical Council and Minister (NRP) Effi Eitam. "It is unacceptable that they permit themselves to incite towards rebellious actions against the law and democracy," he added.
But in contrast to Pines' dis-information, Eitam at Sunday's cabinet meeting, emphasized that he was opposed to soldiers refusing to obey orders (to evacuate outposts) on the one hand, and also objected to settlers attacking soldiers during evacuation efforts. "I call on the settlers to refrain from confrontations with IDF soldiers and condemn all violence against soldiers and policemen," he said. I also heard him say this, on Sunday evening (in English), on Israel Radio. So, you tell me, where is Eitam's call to incite towards rebellious actions against the law and democracy or the kind of wild incitement that was rampant prior to the murder of Yitzhak Rabin, other than in the minds of people who want to frighten half the country into submission.
With all I have pointed out, I didn't even refer to the claim substantiated by the Israeli Army Chief Rabbi that he, in fact, didn't authorize transport of soldiers on the Sabbath and that soldiers were lied to by their commanders. As reported in Ha'aretz (Oct. 29), Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Ya'alon, after a thorough investigation, called the Sabbath desecration, "a serious lapse," and issued a review & revising of standing orders dealing with Sabbath issues. Or, the promise made to the Zar Family that would allow them to return to work the land during daylight hours, and that the army would station soldiers at the site. Which after last Wednesday's very peaceful evacuation, was vehemently denied by Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer, and the agreement broken by the army.
The Israeli Left having seen its 'pipe-dream' of peace with the Palestinians go up in smoke (from shooting, mortar attacks, and suicide bombers, in Arafat's War against Israel), is determined to use 'Orwellian Double-speak', false accusations, and to re-interpret events to fit their ideological views (might I say) emotional needs, to promote their false messianism. 'Soviet-style' Dis-information, otherwise called OUTRIGHT LIES are being used to turn one part of the Israeli population against another part. Threats of 'civil war', 'political assassination', 'rebellion' are used to frighten people from public & legal opposition to their failed 'peace policies', and stifle FREE SPEECH. The Israeli Left is saying, "SHUT UP OR MAYBE WE'LL KILL YOU." ARE YOU FRIGHTENED? I'M NOT!