Sunday, September 07, 2008
Enticement to Abandon Yesha
Today's weekly Cabinet meeting features two controversial items: The offer to compensate Jews for abandoning their homes in Judea and Samaria, and a proposal to restrict Supreme Court powers. The first item will center around a proposal by Vice Premier Chaim Ramon to offer compensation to Jews who wish to leave their homes in "isolated" Yesha communities. Ramon, formerly of Labor and now of Kadima, has been accused of adopting policies of the far-left Meretz party.
Many ministers have expressed opposition to the very discussion of voluntary evacuation, and criticism has been raised that this is the beginning of "Disengagement II." Shas leader Eli Yishai, Minister of Industry and Trade, said last week, "The proposal lacks public, legal and humane legitimacy."
No vote is scheduled for the proposal today.
Yesha Chief to Ministers: Watch Out for Meretz Data
Danny Dayan, chairman of the Yesha Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria, warned the Cabinet ministers that Ramon plans to present them with data compiled by a Meretz member. The findings purportedly show that 40% of the Jews living in Yesha are interested in leaving even before an agreement is reached with the PA, in exchange for compensation.
The data was compiled by Ruby Nathanson, a member of the Meretz party directorate, Dayan says. "Ramon granted Nathanson the contract to carry out this poll without a public tender," Dayan said. "Nathanson is well known for his hostility towards the Jewish settelment enterprise in Yesha, and has publicized in the past exaggerated and baseless figures regarding the cost of Israel's presence in Yesha."
The daily Yediot Acharonot newspaper reported that Ramon's plan offers one million shekels ($280,000) to each family that agrees to leave - plus more for agricultural or commercial land, and more if it moves to the Negev or the Galilee. Only some 62,000 residents of the 290,000 Jews living in Judea and Samaria (not including greater Jerusalem, which boasts another 250,000) are included in Ramon's proposal.
No Basis in Reality
Dayan said that the 40% figure to be presented today by Ramon similarly has no basis in reality. "The ministers of the Government of Israel would be well advised to know that the Deputy Prime Minister is toying with them, and they should relate to his figures accordingly," Dayan added.