Establishment right wing turn on their violent settler offspring

December 20, 2011
Sarah Benton

Shoot the Jewish terrorists

Former general says radical rightists behaving like terrorists, should be treated as such

Uri Saguy, Op-ed:, Ynet news

The rioters who attacked IDF soldiers resorted to terror, and terror should be addressed firmly. However, the prime minister declared that these people are not a terrorist organization, thereby showing a leadership failure, to my regret.

In the absence of leadership, we may have to facilitate a confrontation and win it. As the people who ruin us hail from our midst, we must take action. I fear these domestic threats more than I fear the Iranian threat. At this time, we are in the midst of a messianic, delusional process that is violent, belligerent, intolerant, and also un-Jewish.

My friends and I gave this State our finest years for the sake of an objective that was bigger than us. Yet for the first time in my life I fear for the country’s future and maybe even for its fate.

We grew up here, we raised children here, and we saw our grandchildren being born; all of them contribute to the state and perform the missions they are tasked with. However, it seems that in a generation or two, we shall be a persecuted minority in a sea of haredim, fanatics, Arabs and parasites. This is not what we were hoping for.

What we have here is not just another political dispute about giving back the territories. This argument is about us and our survival.

I read the words uttered by former IDF Chief Rabbi Avichai Ronsky, who expressed doubt as to his ability to raise his children in such atmosphere. And he lives in Itamar. I disagree with him politically, yet I agree with every word he said.

Grave, chronic disease

While I still served in the IDF, I invited Professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz to address my soldiers in the wake of the Six-Day War. He sounded like a prophet of apocalypse, yet to my regret I can today fully endorse his prophecy, which spoke of three phases to follow that war.

In the first stage, he said, we shall see euphoria, upon our return to our ancient sites. Next, we shall see the emergence of messianic, radical and dangerous nationalism. In the third stage, we shall see Israeli society becoming more brutal and the emergence of a police state.

Seemingly, what we see now is merely an abscess, yet in my view this is in fact a grave, deep and chronic[ally] disease. At this time, some say that all we can do now is fight for the patient’s quality of life. There are good people among us as well, yet we no longer determine society’s normative code.

I can say one thing, however – we must utilize real force against all these rioters. The restraint shown by the division commander and his deputy during the latest clashes should be lauded, yet had I been there, and people would have hurled a stone at my head and threatened my life, I would have shot them. Terrorists should be shot.

Uri Saguy, former IDF intelligence chief

Blame it on the rabbis

Radical, violent settlers have been cultivated for many years by extremist rabbis
Yakir Elkariv, Op-ed, Ynet news

We should keep things in proportion: A bunch of religious nutcases do not threaten Israel’s very existence. After all, if the army really wishes to do so, it can embark on a Cast Lead-style operation against them which they won’t forget for many years to come.

However, the army is not a gang. It shows responsibility and restraint – even when these people produce smalltime provocations in order to divert attention away from the evacuation of outposts.

Should this phenomenon keep growing, there will be no choice and a clear rule will have to be formulated: Anyone who endangers the lives of IDF soldiers or damages military equipment will be characterized as an enemy and handled like an enemy – even if he happens to wear a kippa. Those who play with fire lose the right to complain about burns.

Yet there is no wonder this is happening. After all, these bad weeds are being carefully cultivated in the backyards of radical rabbis who have been poisoning Israel’s public sphere for long years with their nationalistic, dangerous and foolish ideas.

After all, for these rabbis the Torah and the Land of Israel are everything, while the State of Israel can be a fleeting episode as far as they’re concerned. And if a soldier intends to evacuate an illegal outpost tomorrow morning, harming him is permissible.

These righteous, unseen rabbis have been exposed for the miserable people they are. If they endorse the violent acts yet remain silent, they are cowards. But if they object to these acts yet fail to condemn them, they are even bigger cowards.

In any case, the rabbis already lost their traditional right to roll their eyes, play dumb and say: We didn’t know. If we know, you too know. And if you are missing out on the opportunity to show leadership precisely at a time when such leadership is needed more than ever, don’t be surprised if soon you’ll discover that you are no longer relevant.

The Yesha Council is the umbrella group for the town councils of the settlements. It was founded in the 1970s as the successor to Gush Emunim. For the legacy of Gush Emunim, go to Violent ambition of group that drove Israeli Occupation

‘Yesha cooperating with ministers to change media’

Outgoing Yesha Council director surveys movement’s achievements over past few years, warns of consequences of ‘price tag’ operations

Attila Somfalvi, Ynet news

Before he retires as director of the Yesha Council, Naftali Bennet has sent a letter outlining the movement’s achievements in the past two years and the challenges it now faces. The Yesha Council, Bennet reveals, has spent the past few months engaged in a campaign to change Israel’s media and legal system in cooperation with Knesset members and ministers.

In his letter, Bennet also addressed recent ‘price tag’ operations which he said “go against all of our values.” He added, “Such actions cause an enormous damage to the image of the settlement enterprise which wipes away years of achievement.”

Having served as the Council’s director for the past two years, Bennet announced last September that he will be retiring at the end of the year. A replacement has yet to be appointed.

During Bennet’s tenure as director, the Yesha Council uploaded more than 100 Youtube videos and created the My Israel movement, which boasts 62,000 members. “Creating the movement is a revolution in the campaign for the State of Israel’s future and nature,” he stated. “We have successfully by-passed the media in getting messages across and now have the ability to reach hundreds of thousands of people. This has strategic significance.”

Much of Bennet’s time as Yesha director was spent fighting the settlement construction freeze. With this campaign he discovered the power in getting the public to put political pressure on the government.

“Many believed that once (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu entered the slippery slope of agreeing to freeze all Judea and Samaria settlements it would be very hard to come out of it,” he recalled. “The key to our campaign was identifying that this will be decided on the political sphere and getting the public on board in putting pressure on our elected officials, mainly those in the Likud.”

Bennet takes pride in the council’s success in creating a political atmosphere which forced Netanyahu to halt the freeze but acknowledges that Yesha was only partially successful as settlements are still under de facto freeze.

“The main lesson we have learned is boosting our activity in the political arena,” Bennet concluded. “It is better we invest energy in preventing a bad decision from being made than putting that same energy into fighting the bad decision after it is reached.”

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