Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Could Allowing Israeli Settlers to Fend for Themselves be a Good Idea?

כ"ז לחודש האחד עשר תשע"ד

Rumors of "abandoning" settlers in Yehudah and Shomron (Judea and Samaria) have been for years. The following reports are nothing new, save for confirmations,...of the existence of the rumors.

Certainly, one must be careful with rumors, or even slips or open statements of unreliable politicians. Nonetheless, let's have some fun speculating about these rumors, slips, and statements, and see if we can formulate an reasonable hypotheses about what could, would, or should happen.
Times Of Israel: PM would let all settlers remain in West Bank, official says
Netanyahu will not force any Jews living in what would become ‘Palestine’ to leave, and would insist they get the option to stay where they are under peace deal
Raphael Ahren January 26, 2014

PM Netanyahu
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not intend to uproot Jewish settlements anywhere in the West Bank, and will not force any settlers to leave, even under a permanent peace deal with the Palestinians, a well-placed official in the Prime Minister’s Office told The Times of Israel on Sunday. Rather, the prime minister will insist that settlers be given the free choice of remaining in place and living under Palestinian rule, or relocating to areas under Israeli sovereign rule, the official said.

That requirement seems certain to constitute a significant obstacle in Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, since Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has categorically rejected the idea of any Israeli — soldier or civilian — remaining in a Palestinian state. (cont.)

...Netanyahu was and remains a fierce critic of the 2005 disengagement from Gaza, under which prime minister Ariel Sharon forced the evacuation of all Gaza settlers and the demolition of their settlements.

(Tip: Tomer Devorah)
Netanyahu's coalition partner Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) does not seem to like this plan...
Times Of Israel: Bennett on Netanyahu’s plan for settlers: ‘Never’
PM’s vision of a ‘Jewish minority’ staying in place in ‘Palestine,’ first reported by Times of Israel, draws furious response from right-wingers, Palestinian officials
Marissa Newman January 26, 2014

Naftali Bennett
Minister of Religious Affairs,
Commerce, and Druze?
Senior coalition politicians — including Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, and Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin — slammed comments made Sunday to the Times of Israel by an official in the Prime Minister’s Office, who indicated that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pushing to allow Israeli settlers the choice to remain in situ under Palestinian sovereignty as part of a future peace plan. (cont.)

MK Danny Danon

MK Danny Danon (Likud) said something interesting...
”Where there is no military presence and responsibility, there will be no security for any Jew,"

Hmm... I am not so sure about that. But let us move on for now, and read what the Hag of the East had to say about the proposal...
Times Of Israel: Palestinians: Yes to Jews, no to settlers in our state
Hanan Ashrawi
PLO Executive
Netanyahu raised issue of settlers remaining in a future Palestine during recent talks with John Kerry, Palestinian official says
Elhanan Miller January 27, 2014

The Palestinian refusal to accept Israeli settlers in their future state does not stem from anti-Jewish sentiment, Palestinian officials said on Monday. Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, told The Times of Israel that Jews and members of all religions would have the right to apply for Palestinian citizenship. But “Palestine” could not accept “ex-territorial Jewish enclaves” where residents maintained their Israeli citizenship status, she said. (cont.)

Esser Agaroth (2¢):
I thought this might happen, and I actually have somewhat mixed feelings about it.

On one hand, I'm afraid for them. On the other hand, how do we know that this will be the route to the new Kingdom of Israel?

I can see the suburbanites running away, and the warriors from Yitzhar sticking around, with the "10's chasing after the 100's."

It is too complicated, costly, and traumatic for the IDF, and for that matter, the Israeli Government itself, to be involved in any mass expulsions of Jews. I believe that most Israelis across the political and religious spectrum can see the logic in this statement, in agreement with it or not.

And so, if the IDF and the government itself limit their involvement as much as possible, what, then are the options?

1. Have some other entity, like the U. S., with its troops, do the Israeli Government's dirty work.

2. Find a way to convince the settlers to move out on their own,...perhaps by scaring the heck out of them.

3. Let the settlers "take their chances." Many will even want to do just that. And then, if they are annihilated (God Forbid!), the Israeli Government can "I told you so!" and "Look at how barbaric the Palestinians really are!" both in the same breath. And, of course, those pesky settlers will no longer be around to "cause problems," such as follow the Torah, instead of Israeli law.

Leaving Israeli settlers to fend for themselves would be an easy and relatively cheap way to get rid of them, just like another certain, former, Israeli prime minister tried to "get rid of" the pesky settlers of Hevron, back in 1994/תשנ"ד, by letting the Arabs do the job for him. Reprehensible, but true.

Before Purim of that year, posters in Arabic read, "We will finish the job Haman started!"(See Esther 3:5-11)

But, then a certain physician became the ultimate glitch in his plans.

You can call this a 1994 "conspiracy theory" if you insist,...as long as you look at the writing on the wall of 2014.

However, I do not see such negative, end results occurring. Just as Israeli President Shimon Peres has said that he is an optimist, in a way, so am I.

I cannot help but recall the images evoked by the following passage from the Torah, the end of Parashath Behar into the beginning of Parashath Behuqotai:
ויקרא כו
א לֹא-תַעֲשׂוּ לָכֶם אֱלִילִם, וּפֶסֶל וּמַצֵּבָה לֹא-תָקִימוּ לָכֶם, וְאֶבֶן מַשְׂכִּית לֹא תִתְּנוּ בְּאַרְצְכֶם, לְהִשְׁתַּחֲו‍ֹת עָלֶיהָ: כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָה, אֱלֹהֵיכֶם. ב אֶת-שַׁבְּתֹתַי תִּשְׁמֹרוּ, וּמִקְדָּשִׁי תִּירָאוּ: אֲנִי, יְהוָה. ג אִם-בְּחֻקֹּתַי, תֵּלֵכוּ; וְאֶת-מִצְו‍ֹתַי תִּשְׁמְרוּ, וַעֲשִׂיתֶם אֹתָם. ד וְנָתַתִּי גִשְׁמֵיכֶם, בְּעִתָּם; וְנָתְנָה הָאָרֶץ יְבוּלָהּ, וְעֵץ הַשָּׂדֶה יִתֵּן פִּרְיוֹ. ה וְהִשִּׂיג לָכֶם דַּיִשׁ אֶת-בָּצִיר, וּבָצִיר יַשִּׂיג אֶת-זָרַע; וַאֲכַלְתֶּם לַחְמְכֶם לָשֹׂבַע, וִישַׁבְתֶּם לָבֶטַח בְּאַרְצְכֶם. ו וְנָתַתִּי שָׁלוֹם בָּאָרֶץ, וּשְׁכַבְתֶּם וְאֵין מַחֲרִיד; וְהִשְׁבַּתִּי חַיָּה רָעָה, מִן-הָאָרֶץ, וְחֶרֶב, לֹא-תַעֲבֹר בְּאַרְצְכֶם. ז וּרְדַפְתֶּם, אֶת-אֹיְבֵיכֶם; וְנָפְלוּ לִפְנֵיכֶם, לֶחָרֶב. ח וְרָדְפוּ מִכֶּם חֲמִשָּׁה מֵאָה, וּמֵאָה מִכֶּם רְבָבָה יִרְדֹּפוּ; וְנָפְלוּ אֹיְבֵיכֶם לִפְנֵיכֶם, לֶחָרֶב. ט וּפָנִיתִי אֲלֵיכֶם--וְהִפְרֵיתִי אֶתְכֶם, וְהִרְבֵּיתִי אֶתְכֶם; וַהֲקִימֹתִי אֶת-בְּרִיתִי, אִתְּכֶם. י וַאֲכַלְתֶּם יָשָׁן, נוֹשָׁן; וְיָשָׁן, מִפְּנֵי חָדָשׁ תּוֹצִיאוּ. יא וְנָתַתִּי מִשְׁכָּנִי, בְּתוֹכְכֶם; וְלֹא-תִגְעַל נַפְשִׁי, אֶתְכֶם. יב וְהִתְהַלַּכְתִּי, בְּתוֹכְכֶם, וְהָיִיתִי לָכֶם, לֵאלֹהִים; וְאַתֶּם, תִּהְיוּ-לִי לְעָם. יג אֲנִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם, אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִי אֶתְכֶם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, מִהְיֹת לָהֶם, עֲבָדִים; וָאֶשְׁבֹּר מֹטֹת עֻלְּכֶם, וָאוֹלֵךְ אֶתְכֶם קוֹמְמִיּוּת. 

Deuteronomy 26
1. You shall not make yourselves any idols, neither shall you raise up for yourselves a graven image, or a pillar, neither shall you place any figured stone in your land, to bow down to it; for I am the LORD your God. 2 You shall keep My Sabbaths, and revere My sanctuary: I am the LORD. 3 If you walk in My statutes, and keep My commandments, and do them; 4 then I will give your rains in their season, and the land shall yield her produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. 5 And your threshing shall reach to the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time; and you shall eat your bread until satisfied, and dwell in your land safely. 6 And I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none shall make frighten you; and I will cause evil beasts to cease out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. 7 And you shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. 8 And five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall chase ten thousand; and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. 9 And I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you; and will establish My covenant with you. 10 And ye shall eat old store long kept, and ye shall bring forth the old from before the new. 11 And I will set My tabernacle among you, and My soul shall not abhor you. 12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be My people. 13 I am the LORD your God, who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bars of your yoke, and made you go upright.

I included this extensive passage here, in order to remind all of us that the so-called "settlers" living in highly ideological towns and hilltops are known for keeping to all of the above.

I envision many, but by far not all, of the suburbanites in Yehudah and Shomron pick up and leave, leaving Yitzhar, some from K'far Tapu'ah and Elon Moreh, Havath Gilad, Eish Qodesh, Havath Ma'on, and like minded towns to fend for themselves, something which many of us have wanted to do all along.

I can easily imagine Arabs running away in fear from these "crazy settlers," who will receiving the prosperity which accompanies their great emunah (faith) in the above passage.

And, just like it only took one from Israel, Nahshon ben Aminadav, to enter the Sea of Reeds, before it split, perhaps it will only take a few hundred "settlers" to keep a hole on the precious gift of a Divinely granted Homeland, before The Almighty will take care of the rest for us.

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