Sunday, September 13, 2009

Things to keep in mind

Hanoch Daum

Peace Now members must keep in mind where they live. It’s ok to object to the settlements; this is a completely acceptable opinion. However, the manner in which they produce dramas over wholly legitimate neighborhoods, and mostly the manner in which they portray Israel in the world as an illegal outpost machine, is quite annoying.

Minister Hershkowitz told me this week that he intends to approach media outlets and demand that they change their terminology: “Outposts whose permits have not yet been finalized” sounds more logical than “illegal outposts.” After all, we are not dealing with illicit drugs or illegal acts. We are talking about the homes of law-abiding citizens who pay their taxes and serve in combat units, and who got a mortgage from the State, but the official registration of their property – as is the case in countless locations in Israel – has not yet been sorted out.

Peace Now members feel that they do holy work through the snitching unit they deploy across Judea and Samaria. I suggest that they think again.

Let’s be wise

Meanwhile, the settlers must keep in mind that they are not the only ones living in this world. They also must keep in mind that at the end of the day, a rightist prime minister is better for them than any other prime minister (who will not only freeze settlement construction, but also unilaterally withdraw without any reason.)

The settlers must enter the current struggle with a clear insight whereby the attitude of all or nothing won’t help. They need to make, by themselves, the distinction between neighborhoods located in the settlement blocs and remote hills that mostly feature some huts and a goat.

The settlers also have to understand the difference between homes located on State-owned lands that have not yet been approved and homes located on Palestinian land. With all due respect to the Greater Israel vision, robbery is still a severe offence, which is forbidden in respect to non-Jews as well.

Some of what we call outposts are communities just like any other, located in areas where they will stay in Israel’s hands even according to the Geneva Initiative. The settlers must fight for the rights of these communities. There is no reason to evacuate communities just for the hell of it, because of Obama.

But where is the sensitivity, for heaven’s sake? Where is the understanding that there is a dance here that needs to be danced, and that some concessions have to be made? Let’s be wise and give away a little, in order to salvage much more.

Comment: Clarity is crucial. These individuals are Israeli citizens living in the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria.

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