Skip to comments.The hidden threat of the outposts
Posted on 10/23/2002 8:41:02 AM PDT by E Rocc
The entire settlement enterprise began 35 years ago with an incident similar to this week's - an illegal settlement, which the government then retroactively legalized at the urging of several misguided intellectuals. The battle over Havat Gilad is reminiscent of that beginning, which has since, together with Palestinian terror, pushed the state into a political and spiritual blind alley. Ten years after 1967, there were still only 31 settlements with 4,400 inhabitants. Now there are more than 120 "legal" settlements with almost 50 times as many settlers. There are also some 90 illegal outposts containing 700 to 1,000 zealots obsessed with rocks. The battle against the removal of these outposts has become one of the most dangerous of all the settlement tactics. The threat they constitute is far greater than one weekend's rioting.
How can they be removed? The government knows how. It has displayed great initiative this year every time it decided to liquidate terror. The outposts are also a danger, and a particularly grave one, as they constitute an internal threat that is partially clothed - through the leadership of self-righteous rabbis and people such as Effi Eitam - in a proto-fascist style.
Ariel Sharon was quite capable of evacuating the settlements of Pithat Rafiah in order to enable an agreement with Egypt. He has chosen not to exercise his ability this time around for a reason that cuts to the heart of the matter: He does not want another agreement in exchange for far-reaching concessions. Since the days when Sharon's bitter rival, Benjamin Netanyahu, occupied the Prime Minister's Office, 106 outposts have sprung up. About one-third have received the same extorted retroactive approvals as Tel Rumeida did in the early days. The rest are illegal by any standard, or else they are shrouded in creative ambiguity.
Why remove them? Not only for the simple reason that the Jewish zealots of the West Bank are making a mockery of the law - like the outpost of Migron, for instance, which began with a Cellcom transponder and went on to a mikveh (ritual bath) for 20 families. These outposts must be removed because they are incubators for the ugliest trends in Israel over the last generation. Behind their pretensions to "a new Zionism" lies that same mix of messianism, contempt for any considerations of state and the legitimization of almost any means for the sake of an illegal end. And they are defended by politicians with proto-fascist tendencies who have never before penetrated the inner circles of the government in such force.
Why fascist? Because, even by the most dispassionate definition, people like Eitam fit the specifications of this European concept. The sanctity of the land, even beyond the boundaries of the state; the worthiness of blood sacrifice for areas beyond the horizon; the abstract concepts of the significance of the people and the homeland; and the readiness to use the nation's military might for the sake of all of the above. Israel, according to Eitam, is not just a pragmatic entity whose goal is to worry about the welfare of its residents. Its raison d'etre, from the Jordan to the sea, is "to reveal the image of God in the world ... to be the Noah's Ark of the future ... to reveal God's workings in history," and other idiocies that compete with the most degenerate texts from the height of German and Italian romanticism.
Thus, among other consequences, a moderate movement such as the National Religious Party has become a rabid, extremist party. Using its power as a kingmaker, together with its secular allies on the far-right fringe, it has created an Israeli politics of total rejection. In a sudden shift, it chose a leader, primarily due to public opinion polls, who, in its opinion, had the ability to rack up achievements among an increasingly extreme and frightened electorate that loathes Arabs and thirsts for vengeance. One of the principal tools of this stream, which has been abandoned by men of intellect and spirit, is to burrow into rocky hills in the heart of the Palestinian population - the more crowded, the better. And Israeli crypto-fascism, armed with vague religiosity, tries to bestow upon these land grab swindles an image of heroism and renewal.
Even if the settlement enterprise were not a huge barrier to any agreement, the behavior that fuels it constitutes a national threat because of its creeping Jewish fascism, which is still hidden from the eyes of most Israelis. The extremist, fundamentalist settler right - for all the innocence of some of its activists - has rapidly become a threat from within no less frightening that the terror from without. That is the reason it must be fought uncompromisingly.
Dismantling settlements is a dangerous enterprise at this time. It sends the wrong signal to the enemy. Israel should continue to build settlements until they reach a deal with the Palestinians, because without the settlements the Palestinians and Arabs would never even talk about a deal. It is the threat of slowly losing more and more land that forces the Arabs to the negotiating table. If Israel only developed inside the 1967 boundaries, the Arabs would have no reason to make peaceContinuing to build settlements would mean that the Israelis have no interest in a deal, because a true deal would eventually place most or all of the settlements under Palestinian authority. Dismantling settlements would show good faith, but more important is a freeze on existing settlement activity. US policy has favored at least a freeze for many years.
The reason the Geneva Convention banned settling one's own civilians on occupied territory is because it gives the occupier a strong internal disincentive to returning it to the original owners.
What the Israeli's do about settlements is, of course, their business, but the settlers are basically right, i.e., the land belongs to Israel. I have already said this a number of times on this site. God constitutes a majority of one and if He says the land belongs to Israel that is enough for me. Furthermore, the so called 'Palestinians' are a mixture of Arab groups and they have no legitimate claim to any of the land on the west bank and some of the land on the east bank. If you chose to believe the claims of the 'Palestinians' that is your choice but why do you continue to try to influence the rest of us to adopt that false premise?Political debate is the act of trying to influence others. Perhaps ironically, I'm one of the few on this forum putting forward a view that is exactly in line with every US administration since Nixon's.
"God" cannot be considered a "majority of one" in this matter. The Moslems have a different view of what he said in this matter, and I believe the Vatican does as well.
Saying the Palestinians have no claim to the lands they live on because they are ethnically the same as Arabs is like saying the Texans have no claim to Texas because they are ethnically the same as other Americans.
The relevancy of this point goes more to good faith than determining title for the land. Numerous outside (UN, France, Belgium ect..) and interested (Palestinians and other Arab/Muslim peoples) have made the allegation against Israel that she is a racist state similar to Apartheid in former South Africa.
The fact that Palestinian Muslims are racially, religiously and culturally indistinguishable from their Arab Israeli counterparts dispels this notion.
If Israel applied a Nazi-like ideology to their dealings w/ Palestinians they would not tolerate people who are racially, religiously and culturally identical to Palestinians among their population.
As you know, Israel doesn't just tolerate these Arab Muslim people, in fact they embrace them. Instead of being put in concentration camps and gassed they were granted full citizenship in 1948, as are their descendents. They own property, vote and serve in Israel's Kenneset. Jews in Nazi Germany were not afforded the same rights and obligations as other German citizens; rather they were murdered in a planned genocide. In comparison, Israeli Arabs, even after many subversive and treacherous acts, are treated the same as all other Israeli citizens.
If you watch the news you are aware of the charges of Nazi tactics against Israel that are common from the Arab fueled leftist propaganda machine that feeds the liberal media. These charges, while baseless, seem to persuade the more gullible and uninformed elements on the left.
So it is not a race, culture or religious distinction that would account for the disparate treatment of Israeli Arab versus their Palestinian counterparts, but rather the actions and behavior of the Palestinians that requires Israel to counter Palestinian aggression.