Bold BluffWhat do you do when the cards in your hand stink but the pot has already sucked up too much of your cash? You bluff.

That’s right, you bluff. What else are you going to do? Fold?

Nah, folding is for wimps. Folding is for namby pamby do gooder Lefty terrorist-lovin’ hippies. Folding is for wusses who don’t understand the enemy. Folding is for yefei nefesh (beautiful of heart, or bleeding hearts) and overweight prime ministers who may have spent their lives serving the country on the battlefield and the political arena but have gone senile about Israel’s security in their old age. Folding is for, well, it’s for guys who work, do miluim, spend half their income on taxes, live on overdraft and simply can’t spend days and days protesting against the Government. Folding is for fryerim (suckers).

Shalom Gaza

But that’s not our Israeli settlers. Nope. That’s not for our Gaza and West Bank settlers. No siree. Our settlers bluster and bluff.

You got 7500 settlers living among 1.2 million Palestinians? We’ll put on orange stars of David and compare their removal to genocide.

Countless dollars wasted and (more important) numerous lives of both civilians (Jew and Arab) and soldiers (Jew and Arab in the IDF) killed and ruined to support a piece of land which has virtually no historic value unless you are a descendant of the Philistines? We’ll force these soldiers to leave their families, do miluim and risk their lives and safety to remove not only us, but our supporters (who are afraid their settlements are next) who are moving into our area just for this purpose. We’ll be sure to pelt them with rotten eggs, tomatoes and sewage water so these comfortable Tel Avivians understand how hard it is to live out here.

A democratically elected parliament and government have passed all the necessary tests in order to remove us from this godforsaken piece of land? We’ll claim there is about to be insurrection and refusal on a scale of thousands of active and reserve soldiers if this goes ahead. We’ll be sure to call the democratic process undemocratic just to make sure they can justify their refusal.

The undemocratic argument falls on deaf ears? We’ll get the Chief Rabbi of the IDF to claim that if a former chief rabbi (Shapira) instructs him to join the refusal, he would. Then, after we drop the hint, we’ll have him back off. Hamevin yavin (those who understand, will understand).

What are they doing this for, our hypocritical Gaza settlers who have no compunction about taking from the State of Israel when they need; who have no complaints about the thousands of soldiers and gobs of military equipment who protect them from harm when those soldiers are doing their bidding; who are glad to participate in the government and Knesset when their needs are served, especially when they get special treatment over average Israelis; and who have no difficulty attacking refuseniks on the Left for their disloyalty to the State?

They are doing this to prevent 7500 settlers from vacating an area from which no Palestinian suicide bomber has entered Israel and where a fence has sealed off from Israel a hostile population. They are doing this so Israel cannot, in one stroke, eliminate 1.2 of 3 million Palestinians who are now living under Israeli rule. They are doing this so that legions of soldiers will continue to risk themselves to protect 0.085% of Israel’s Jewish population when the same significant resources could be utilized to protect much larger patches of Israel’s population.

And what will the settlers get for their trouble? Well, if they succeed, they will have undermined the IDF, its legitimacy and its strength forever. They will undermine Israel’s democratic character forever. They will establish that Israel is actually a nascent theocracy, not a secular Western democracy. They will ensure that Israeli Arabs, Palestinians, and the single-state-solution loonie Left will use the same tactics when it’s their turn to whine.

Sometimes, if your cards stink, even when you have a lot invested in the pot, it’s best to fold.

Story about settler leaders threating IDF Chief of Staff with refusal to serve of thousands of soldiers.

Rabbis, including some who serve in the IDF come out publicly with their intention to refuse to participate in the evacuation.

Soldiers protecting an outpost in the West Bank lose their water supply when settlers opposed to their legal, government sanctioned evacuation, sabotage their equipment and supplies and violently attack Israeli police.

Red faced IDF Chief of Staff Ya’alon meekly accepts explanation of IDF Chief Rabbi who publicly states that he would refuse to obey orders to evacuate if given such instruction by another rabbi.

Somebody please stop the madness.

About the author

themiddle

29 Comments

  • I dunno T_M. You know I’m all in favor of the pullout from Gaza. You know I’m offended by the misguided self-righteousness and arrogance demonstrated by some of the settlers. But ….

    *sigh*

    But we are actually unilaterally disengaging from Gaza. Gaza that was the launching ground for Nasser’s fedayeen raids into Israel. Gaza that because of it’s geographical position would make a great launching ground for an invasion into tiny, tiny, ever-vulnerable and oh so precious Israel. Gaza that was the effective birthplace of modern terrorism.

    Our government put the settlers into Gaza, for any number of reasons, most of which boiled down to strategic. Now, they’re pulling out and dislocating people from their homes. Sure, the settlers’ presence has taken its tolls on the nation, but try to be sensitive to the fact that these same settlers didn’t just pay for their homes with government grants; many paid with their lives at the hands of a callous, murderous and intractable foe.

    No matter how we do it, regardless of our intentions, that foe is going to see the pullout as a victory. This pullout will serve to strengthen their resolve and provide them with further encouragement. Just wait till you see the celebrations in Gaza city followed by the rain of Quassam II rockets after the last Israeli departs.

    What the hell… let the government know that strategic concessions should not be made lightly. But more importantly, let the enemy and the world know that we are ready, eager and willing to take back whatever we’ve generously given away should the Palestinians and their leadership step up and meet our challenge. Let the enemy know that there are people who will fight to the death to protect their homes and their families and their right to live in peace.

    So nothing’s changed. I’m eager to get the hell out of Gaza, and eager to never have to go back there again. Yes, the settlers you describe are wrong, and you are, of course, right. But what’s the point of gloating about it? I take no pleasure in forcing Jews out of their homes. I won’t gloat and I won’t revel in my own self-righteousness.

  • CK, I certainly am not gloating. I’m not gloating because it’s not in my nature. But even if I were a gloater, I wouldn’t gloat here for a number of reasons. First of all, I feel for the settlers. I do. I understand they are investing their life and passion and safety to live in a place they believe in wholeheartedly. Second, I don’t think I can gloat because the pullout hasn’t happened yet and until it happens, will be difficult to achieve and complete. Third, even if it does happen, there has already been such damage done within Israeli society because of this, that it will take a long time to heal the rifts and new perceptions of Israel’s sacred cows. Fourth, and finally, I believe the settlers have won a significant strategic battle in that everybody now dreads the idea of a West Bank pullout of any size.

    I’m not gloating, I’m angry. What you are reading is bitter sarcasm.

  • I feel sorry for you. You’re lack of proper Jewish education has allowed you to be doupted by the leftist Israeli media and all the foolish people singing along. Aza is part of Eretz Yisrael. There is a very clear and significant Jewish history here. Try learning a little.

    I seriously doubt that you have even been to Gush Katif or spoken with anyone from here. How can a silly little self righteous whiner write such garbage and be called “themiddle?” Maybe you should visit the communities. See that we are a peaceful, warm people with a love for Yisrael which is obviously much greater than yours. How can you complain about miluim (have you even been in any army?) Complain about the taxes, fine, we all pay, but destroying some of the largest, most productive farms in Israel which bring in millions of dollars a year, is economic idiousy.

    Destroying our towns in Gush Katif will not end terror. The Kassems will still rain down. The terrorist will still blow up in our cafes and buses. The arabs will still be terrorist. The only differecnce is that they will see that the Israelis are weak. That they do cave. That terrorism pays.

    I will not waste more time responding, simply because I know that you will not care. You will find some nice Americans in their year abroad in Ben Yehuda Street, sit in a pub, drink beers, while wearing your cheesy Zahal shirts, and think that you are being very enlightened and intellectual. Maybe you’ll understand when, after a few more years of nonstop terrorism, the next “disengagment” is from your apartment. May if you move out of that area, our arab cousins will finally find their true love for us. Maybe all the Israelis should just give up and move. Hey wait, I think I understand now……you are an idiot.

  • Ya allah. See what happens? Contempt (“Buffoons”) breeds hatred which breeds more hatred. Some comments are not worthy of a response. All I can say is thank back on Tisha B’Av – sinaat chinam, rampant hatred of our fellow Jews is what lead to the greatest calamity that has befallen us.

    TS, all I can say is that you sound exactly like those guys did in Yamit. Also, I should caution you against assuming anything about anyone on this blog.

  • Poor old TS: my Jewish education is there, the relationship with Israel is there, the “productivity” issue has been dispensed with in another post, the issue of terror and Qassem rockets is not addressed by the presence of absence of civilian Jews in Gaza, your sense that you are the only concerned party about “rewarding terror” is absurd especially since it’s Sharon leading the disengagement (that’s not to say it isn’t a valid concern, but everybody makes choices as to what is preferable and what is worse in certain situations, and the choice has been made in this instance), and your contempt for American Jews who don’t live in Gush Katif but live in Jerusalem which has been attacked far less than Gush Katif but has had far more suicide bombings and murdered Israelis than Gush Katif, is duly noted.

    I want to point out that you decidedly did not address the issues I raise about undermining of the IDF, of Israel’s democratic institutions, etc.

    CK, your comments about the rampant hatred of other Jews is fair. I would point out that there is no hatred in my post, just a great deal of anger. I believe the great division and hatred is primarily being caused by those settlers who refuse to accept the will of their State and who see themselves as the central figures in its destiny and are willing to cause irrepairable harm to its institutions in order to preserve a way of life that is entirely untenable without those institutions. It’s not as if my post gave TS the idea that he should hate people in coffee shops on Ben Yehuda.

    What a choice it was, choosing the moniker The Middle.

  • Yes, exactly sinat chiman. That is what is it when my fellow Jews are being orderred by my Jewish government, to kick Jews out of their Jewish communities on their G-d given Jewish Land. And what is the “settlers” hatred? Have we been hating anyone? Maybe its just me, but when families who happen to be living a peaceful life are torn from thier homes, shouldn’t they have the right to protest? Shouldn’t there be some form of vote? Shouldn’t this NOT happen in a democracy? Shouldn’t the nation wake up and smell the donkey manure?

    Can you imagine if the opposite situation were proposed? Maybe the solution is expelling the arabs? Maybe for true peace, the arabs should move? Heck, if we find it so easy to destroy Jewish towns, why is there a problem destroying s few arab towns?

    This arguement boils down to a difference in hashgafa. You seem to believe that Jews have no right to live on their land (Read: You are not a Torah-believing observant Jew, who knows that HaShem has given us ALL of Eretz Yisrael FOREVER) Whereas, I know that Yesha is the heart of the Jewish Nation and should not be given away to terrorist. Because of your beliefs, it seems easy to destory Jewish communities even if there is absolutely nothing being promised in return. You are fine with accepting the will of the state (your capitaization of this word astounds me). Sharon is a man. He has made a huge mistake. That does not mean that I must accept his thinking as correct.

    I wonder what you thought about the original Oslo debackle. Even Barak agrees that it was a huge mistake. Making deals with these devils will not lead to peace, it will lead to more death and destruction.

    Learn from history. The post Oslo years have been filled with terrorism, with a new intafada. No peace partners. No peace. Nothing but the arabs killing Jews and the world blaming the Jews for thier own deaths.

    What do you think Israel will gain from the destruction of Gush Katif? Honestly. Without whining, without sarcasm, without rhetoric. What good can come from this?

    Army/miluim: still need to fight the same terrorist, with their same goals of destroying Israel

    Taxes: Still need to run the same army and services as before

    Peace: yeah, right. Pack another nargila dude!!!

    International pressure: hey, Jews keep giving it up, your not dead yet.

    What is there to gain? Instead of your sacrasm and anger about what I don’t know) tell us what good will come of the expulsion?

  • Still stuck on those myths, eh?

    First off,
    this is definitely no bluff. Yamit, less than 15 years old, was a few hundred people refusing to leave (many not residents). Gush Katif and North Shomron are several thousand folks and children who’ve been there for just ‘a bit’ longer, and will be joined by thousands more to protest and prevent the demolition. It’s also closer to the centre of the country, so it’ll be easier to get to as well for the gatecrashers. Claiming this is a bluff is showing that you really do not know what is at stake here.

    Now the rest:
    -‘democratically elected’ is a weak claim to hide behind. Sharon ran on a platform ridiculing the Mitzna retreat plan, and then hijacked his right-wing party and put very heavy pressure on many, many people to fall into line with the newly adopted plan. Arafat was also democratically elected BTW (and don’t be juvenile and claim that I’m comparing Sharon to Arafat because I ain’t),

    -Gaza is actually more a part of Jewish history than Tel Aviv, Rehovot, Ramat Hasharon and everything in between. You conveniently ignore North Shomron, which by itself has more meaning to Jews than Eilat and Haifa. But you took upon yourself to decide which part of Jewish history is worth commemorating and which is unimportant. Please go back and review Jewish history.

    -the Gaza fence is porous and three suicide bombers have made it through, and countless others, call them simple workers, also manage to get past the legendary Gaza fence. I know because when I was there guarding it, patroling it, and listening on the communications net while the army tried to look for a group of SEVERAL ‘blokes’ that made it over and into Israel a few kilometres. We assumed at the time that we (actually an adjoining unit) caught all of them, but most of us were skeptical. You seem to have been sleeping lately because otherwise you’d’ve noticed that the war has gotten more technical and a rain of mortars and surface-to-surface missiles fall on southern Israel every day. http://www.weaponsurvey.com A Kassam on Sderot is the same effect as a bus in Tel Aviv, but apparently only for those living there, and you probably have not even been to Sderot, or Sa’ad, or Nir’Am or know anybody there either to care about bring the border up and firing rangers closer to them.

    -last but not least,
    -Olmert’s ‘Disengaement 2’ bubble last week. Arabs/Palestinians piss us off in the future? Hey, we’ll retreat unilaterally from even more land. That’ll show them not to mess with the mighty Jews.

  • Josh and TS: You both make some valid points and I don’t want to be dismissive but …

    There are competing interests involved here, even from a Torah perspective. For instance, killing yourself or even allowing yourself to be killed is a sin. However if someone tells you “sleep with this married woman or I will kill you” or “worship this idol or I will kill you” you’re supposed to choose death.

    There is no doubt that Jewish land is sacred – but what is the higher value? Hatred, divisiveness and civil war? Or a piece of land that serves no immediate purpose to us?

    As far as what’s going to be, well, I don’t really know TS. I know what I want and what I don’t want to happen. I don’t want Jew on Jew violence. In that respect and despite my reservations, I bend to the law of the land.

  • You berated Ezra for reposting on Jewschool, but reposting to your own blog rather than replying properly is okay?

    I didn’t reply to your ridiculous alternative-cost research of having the army in Gaza and North Shomron protecting only 8000 Jews or 0.085% of the population and how you infer that Jews should be defended on a cost-per-person basis. And your total lack of military strategy by saying that this money could be better spent protecting heavier concentrations of Jews. The mayor of Sderot thanks you very much:

    S´derot Mayor: Defend Our Country, Flatten Gaza

    BTW, you never bothered to comment on the fact that this is no ‘disengagement’ plan. Israeli will still rule, and be responsible for the 1.2 million Gazans exactly like they are now. Have you ever been to Gush Katif? It’s practically totally seperated from the rest of the Gazans. Leaving Gush Katif gives the Gazans more Egyptian border area to tunnel under (something else you’ve overlooked).

    Are you revealing your true colours? One of my good left-wing friends reminded me of how much he ‘hates’ settlers and how is agrees with Ephraim Sneh’s claim from the past week that a civil war with a few Jewish dead is better than continuing ‘the occupation’.

    Labor MK Sneh: Civil War Has its Merits

  • You berated Ezra for reposting on Jewschool, but reposting to your own blog rather than replying properly is okay?

    I didn’t reply to your ridiculous alternative-cost research of having the army in Gaza and North Shomron protecting only 8000 Jews or 0.085% of the population and how you infer that Jews should be defended on a cost-per-person basis. And your total lack of military strategy by saying that this money could be better spent protecting heavier concentrations of Jews. The mayor of Sderot thanks you very much:

    S´derot Mayor: Defend Our Country, Flatten Gaza

    BTW, you never bothered to comment on the fact that this is no ‘disengagement’ plan. Israeli will still rule, and be responsible for the 1.2 million Gazans exactly like they are now. Have you ever been to Gush Katif? It’s practically totally seperated from the rest of the Gazans. Leaving Gush Katif gives the Gazans more Egyptian border area to tunnel under (something else you’ve overlooked).

    Are you revealing your true colours? One of my good left-wing friends reminded me of how much he ‘hates’ settlers and how is agrees with Ephraim Sneh’s claim from the past week that a civil war with a few Jewish dead is better than continuing ‘the occupation’.

    Labor MK Sneh: Civil War Has its Merits

  • Why can’t I post ‘long’ posts? Anyway, two parter….

    You berated Ezra for reposting on Jewschool, but reposting to your own blog rather than replying properly is okay?

    I didn’t reply to your ridiculous alternative-cost research of having the army in Gaza and North Shomron protecting only 8000 Jews or 0.085% of the population and how you infer that Jews should be defended on a cost-per-person basis. And your total lack of military strategy by saying that this money could be better spent protecting heavier concentrations of Jews. The mayor of Sderot thanks you very much:

    S´derot Mayor: Defend Our Country, Flatten Gaza

  • And…

    BTW, you never bothered to comment on the fact that this is no ‘disengagement’ plan. Israeli will still rule, and be responsible for the 1.2 million Gazans exactly like they are now. Have you ever been to Gush Katif? It’s practically totally seperated from the rest of the Gazans. Leaving Gush Katif gives the Gazans more Egyptian border area to tunnel under (something else you’ve overlooked).

    Are you revealing your true colours? One of my good left-wing friends reminded me of how much he ‘can’t stand settlers who ‘rule the country’ and how is agrees with Ephraim Sneh’s claim from the past week that a civil war with a few Jewish dead is better than continuing ‘the occupation’.

    Labor MK Sneh: Civil War Has its Merits

  • CK, your sentiments, as usual, are lovely – unfortunately, your willingness to so readily point your fingers at an entire community so arbitrarily is puzzling.

    These people have not only put their lives on the line for a higher cause, but are trying to engage in simple civil disobedience – a concept we American-born Jews learned about from MLK since Grade 1 but which Israeli are not taught.

    Now, from the standpoint of Ahavat Yisrael and Jewish Unity and all that Jazz – expressing your sympathy in the very same breath as you refer to their having to leave the homes they built with their hands and dig up the children they lost in the process – all without a peep of legal protest – to “preserve Jewish unity” – is frankly, sickening.

    Now, if you really have sympathy for the Jews of Gaza, you would ask T_M nicely (and privately, perhaps) to tone down his attacks and discuss the strategic and ideological desirability of this plan rather than playing the Israeli media game, which works as follows:

    *They have stopped discussing the de-merits of the retreat from Gaza and northern Samaria – presenting it as a fait accompli and hinting that such a withdrawal will improve the economy and somehow decrease miluim service (both fraudulant populist notions recycled from Oslo)

    *Civil disobedience is presented as “disregard for the law” successfully due to the fact that while young American are taught about Martin Luther King Jr. and Ghandi, Israeli kids are not.

    *Present declarations of IDF soldiers and officers saying they would disobey the expulsion order as an “illegal order” as though they are “refuse-niks” when in fact they are simply applying one of the most basic lessons every soldier learns in Basic Training – there is something called an illegal order and it is your responsibility to know when an order fits the bill and not carry it out. “Just following orders” is not accepted in the IDF, as was demonstrated last week when a group of soldiers were held accountable and punished for obeying an open-fire order at an Arab car that ran a checkpoint. “Such an order must be refused,” said the judge. From the shrill cries accusing the noble folks who dared publicize the fact that they see the black flag hanging over such orders of tearing apart the IDF you would think the mere act of refusing an order is evil in and of itself. The truth is, I trust most Jews would refuse illegal orders – the trouble is, the removal of people from their homes just doesn’t cross that line for many folks, apparantly.

    Well not Amos Oz, who declared proudly: “Transfer will not take place – it is impossible – we would lie under the trucks and blow up the bridges…tear the state apart to prevent such a thing.”

    You see, some get much more agitated when those being expelled happen to be Muslims or Arabs.

    *Talk over and over about how the people of Gaza are sucking the country dry militarily even though they have the highest percent of children in elite fighting units of any sector in Israel. Stoke hatred against settlers and Chareidim by taking econimic benefits such sectors were granted democratically and citing them without any sort of balance (when’s the last time T_M compared his ‘housing grants’ and other such obsessions of his with those of the kibbutzim, with the tons of foodstuffs destroyed for the sake of unions, with the insane price of the useless unilateral-withdrawal wall).

    Man, I was through responding to T_M on this matter because I think we have pretty much hashed out most of the points, but it is now the CK’s of the world who worry me more. Those Jews who truly love Israel, the Land and the Nation – but who have fallen victim to the nasty smear campaign being waged against those who still believe in the Zionist dream and the Jewish Project.

    Look, nobody is drafting you to live side by side with these courageous folks. In fact, even if you get up and make Aliya and join the IDF nobody is going to force you to enlist in a combat unit stationed in Gaza. At very least allow those directly involved to protest without slandering them on this eternal electronic monument to the historical times we live in. Realize that your words will still be available on-line far after this chapter of our history ends and the next one begins. Pro-retreat arguments on Jewlicious are fine – great even – they stimulate the public and let everyone know both sides of the coin, but pretending the vicious attacks on me and my fellow Jews are justified because some Haaretz reporter finally saw a rock being thrown by a guy whose house was being destroyed with sledgehammers as his wife and kid are wrestled to the ground by men wearing the uniform he wears multiple times each year – is simply over the red line.

    I’ll end with this. A friend wrote this letter today:

    Dear Mr. Rivlin,

    I read in today’s news reports that you spoke very emphatically in the Knesset against any form of refusing to obey orders. The quotation that caught my eye stated: “… any trouble, tragedy or hardship that falls on us is like nothing when compared with civil war that starts in refusing to obey orders.” Did I get this wrong?

    What I’m trying to understand Mr. Rivlin, is where does disobeying orders lead to civil war? That’s quite a leap! I can understand that disobeying orders can lead to imprisonment. I can even, in my wildest imagination; understand where disobeying orders might lead to disenfranchisement. What I do not understand, because I, and the people amongst whom I live, do not have the slightest intention of raising our hands against our brothers, what I do not understand Mr. Rivlin is where does passive civil disobedience lead to violence and death, unless perpetrated by the state!

    The question we have to ask Mr. Rivlin, is what kind of Israel do we want to live in?
    · Do we want to live in an Israel where young men, raised to believe they are serving in the Israeli Defense Forces (please note the operative word – defense!), are forced to act against everything they were raised to believe; to act against the very reason they were willing to risk their lives to begin with?
    · Or do we live in a society that, when that society’s institutions make mistakes, as institutions invariably do from time to time, these same young men, their fathers brothers uncles and friends, willingly place their careers and their civilian records in jeopardy to defend those values they have learned from us and adopted as their own – such as the belief that the People of Israel have a right to live in the Land of Israel and that any non-negotiated forced uprooting of Jewish communities is tantamount to moral and religious heresy?

    As a Jew who believes there is something greater than this material world; as a Jew for whom the State of Israel is at best a vehicle for realizing the Jewish People’s millennium old aspirations to return to the Land of Israel; the validity of the State and all its representative institutions is measured to the degree it aides these aspirations or G-d forbid hinders these aspirations. A State of Israel that turns it’s back on Jewish values, that denies the Jewish People’s right to live in the Land of Israel, that denies the Jewish People’s right to establish a sovereignty in our ancestral home – this is not a state that I am willing to serve, this is not the state that I raised my son’s to serve and defend; this is not a state that the Jewish People will long support, monetarily or morally. Such a state will have abdicated its right to call itself a home for the Jewish People or to intimate that it speaks for the Jewish People.

    I’m long past the age when the IDF comes knocking at my door to ask for my services, but I have two young sons who proudly serve in our people’s army. If the time comes when they are faced with the dilemma you raised, I don’t know what they will decide. I do know that if they choose to sit beside me in prison for acting on their beliefs, I will only have pride and joy that I merited raising such sons.

    B’Kavod Rav,
    Yoel Ben-Avraham
    Shilo, Benyamin

  • Josh, my true colors are that the settlers should wake up and realize that only part of their enterprise will end up succeeding, and that’s the part just East of the Green Line. That will end up keeping 80% of the settlers within Israel and not put all that hard work and financial commitment to waste.

    The last thing I want is to fight settlers. I consider them brothers in spirit. Just as settlers see themselves as chalutzim redeeming a land where our history is imprinted, I see the same.

    Where we differ, as TS pointed out, is that I do not approach this land as god-given. It is the cradle of my nation, my history, my culture. It is historically where my forefathers lived and dreamed of returning. What has brought me back there is Zionism, which is a national movement to achieve self-determination as a Jewish people and nation. It can be read as a movement that has its roots in our religion, but it is decidedly not what drives Zionism for most Jews and most Israelis.

    For this reason, I wish to focus on preserving the State of Israel. I can’t figure out what to do with 3 million Palestinians. I don’t want them there, but there they are. They’re having lots of babies, they’re harming my diplomatic, academic and especially economic stature around the world, they’re forcing me to send in 18 year olds to control their lives. I don’t want that because it harms me in many ways, not the least of which is the morally ambiguous situations confronting those soldiers.

    So then I have to decide what is practical and what is doable. I believe that something between the Barak offer at Camp David and the Clinton Plan discussed at Taba is what is practical and doable. I don’t know whether the Palestinians are on the same page as I, so I believe I’ll have to take certain unilateral actions to improve my situation. Why unilateral? Because otherwise, I’m letting the Palestinians dictate the situation and what they want is NO barrier and NO peace so they can turn to the world and claim that Israel is like South Africa.

    It is absolutely obvious that Gaza is worth leaving. The West Bank, I’m more concerned about leaving. But Gaza is a no-brainer, as much as it hurts you to hear me say it. Just as an example, if Sderot’s mayor wants to level Gaza (fat chance), it’s much harder to do with Jewish civilians there. In fact, nothing becomes easier with you there. Tunnels are being dug with or without your presence. Arms will be smuggled in anyway. The cost is exorbitant – and my analysis was based on a number of sources and conservative, to say the least – in lives, limbs, resources and money. In fact, I didn’t even get into the diplomatic and economic costs to Israel because of Gaza. Enough of Gaza. The idea of a precedent is also moot since Yamit was a precedent.

    As for the West Bank, I see a whole host of different problems there. Ultimately, the only way to stop attacks by Palestinians is to achieve a diplomatic peace. A real peace. They won’t go there until they are stuck inside their own “state” or “autonomy” and find that borders are closed to them, access to Israelis is closed to them, terror is very difficult to commit, and they get blown up every time they send a mortar over the border. For economic reasons, they will seek peace. They will also seek to join the Arab country closest to them because that border will be far more easily penetrated than ours.

    Even if they don’t, I will be better able to focus on making my country better. We’ve had 2100 Israelis die in traffic accidents since 2000, and fewer than 1000 Israelis, including soldiers, killed in this war launched by the Palestinians in the same time frame. Not only that, but our losses are much smaller now. Imagine if even a small portion of the resources going to the settlers now could be used for traffic control and accident prevention?

    Oh, and both of the people who you quote in your links qualify as not so smart.

    Speaking of not so smart, I admit that I’m not so smart, but I’m also not so stupid that I’m going to rewrite all of those posts in that long discussion. Ezra had written one long article, posted it on his site and then went around inserting it into the discussions on other sites. Besides, I thought TS should have the benefit of seeing the previous discussion – not to see my comments, but to see yours.

  • Ezra,

    Man, I was through responding to T_M on this matter because I think we have pretty much hashed out most of the points, but it is now the CK’s of the world who worry me more. Those Jews who truly love Israel, the Land and the Nation – but who have fallen victim to the nasty smear campaign being waged against those who still believe in the Zionist dream and the Jewish Project.

    Sorry guy, I love Israel, the Land and the Nation more than you can imagine.

    I believe that you are sabotaging its prospects for long term survival. You’ll note CK has already asked me a number of times to “tone down” my writing. I’ll do it as soon as those settlers who are attacking the very foundations of Israel, its society and its military, realize that they are destroying much of what is good and worth preserving about Israel. Keeping the land and maintaining an occupation forever is meaningless if you have gutted the values of your country in the process.

    If you recall, the last conversation we had was over whether the IDF and Israel’s leaders are Nazis or Judenrat.

    If that’s not undermining EVERYTHING, I don’t know what is. Maybe you guys who support these insidious views should “tone it down.”

  • Josh, just to finish off my points:

    this is definitely no bluff. Yamit, less than 15 years old, was a few hundred people refusing to leave (many not residents). Gush Katif and North Shomron are several thousand folks and children who’ve been there for just ‘a bit’ longer, and will be joined by thousands more to protest and prevent the demolition. It’s also closer to the centre of the country, so it’ll be easier to get to as well for the gatecrashers. Claiming this is a bluff is showing that you really do not know what is at stake here.

    This is even worse. If you’re not bluffing, then I really do think the IDF should simply back out of the areas where you people live and let you survive on your own. It should be no problem since you’re importing other settlers. Have fun!

    Democracy. Sorry, you’re living in it and you want to change the rules when they don’t suit you.

    Historical Gaza. I don’t see how this has greater connection to our history than Tel Aviv. Please let me know. Northern Shomron? Yes. So what? The settlements are not indefinitely supportable and sometimes you have to make difficult choices.

    Qassem rockets. Are definitely a problem. Whether you are there or not…

  • Open the Chumash T_M. Grar is the name. Avraham Avinu was informed that it is part of Eretz Yisrael, Yitzhok Avinu called it home.

  • Couldn’t find the verse where Itzchak had anything to do with it.

    The verse you allude to with Abraham (Gen 10:19) seems to suggest that Grar, near Gaza, is part of Canaan. However, the same verse also includes land that goes to Zidon and what is now the Litany River which are both in Lebanon. Should we go after that land as well? Anyway, it seems that in Genesis 21, Abraham is residing near Beer Sheva, and the Torah calls the area nearby the Land of the Philistines (Gen 21:34). So does that make my claim above about this being Philistine land correct or incorrect? Even in Joshua, where Gaza is apportioned to one of the tribes, in the very next sentence, it includes all of the land until the River of Egypt. Does that mean you have designs on all of the land up to the Nile? Should Israel start preparing for war now?

    By the way, this shiur about the borders of Israel was enlightening.

  • More than four thousand years ago, long before George Bush got to the White House, G-d gave a roadmap to the Jewish People. The borders of the Holy Land were established and sealed by the Covenant between G-d and the Children of Israel – an irrevocable constant which can never be changed[1].

    The idea of dividing the Land of Israel is not new. In the wake of the Intifada of 1936, the Royal British Committee drew up a map dividing Eretz Yisrael, called the “Partition Plan.” The Plan called for two states, Israeli and Arab, who would dwell side-by-side in peace. In response, leading rabbis at that time voiced their opinions. Chief Rabbi Herzog called for a general assembly of all the leading rabbis, but it was canceled because of the reign of Arab terror that made travel to Jerusalem perilous at that time. Nonetheless, the majority of the rabbis unequivocally established that dividing the Land of Israel was prohibited by the Torah[2].

    Rabbi Yaacov Moshe Charlap, Rosh Yeshiva at the time of Mercaz HaRav in Jerusalem, stated:

    “Behold, the matter is simple and clear – Heaven forbid that the Jewish People relinquish any tiny concession of any iota of land that is sanctified with the holiness of Eretz Yisrael…. There is no doubt that if the matter reaches the point where we will need sign an international agreement that includes any form of surrender of our rights to Eretz Yisrael, it is preferable for those signing to chop off their thumbs, rather than to chop up the garden of Zion.”

    Rabbi Charlap continues:

    “Just like a person who states that the entire Torah is from Heaven, except for one letter, he is considered a heretic, so too one who states that all of Israel belongs to the Jewish People except for one footstep, behold he is totally cut off from the holiness of the Land and he violates the soul of Israel….for Israel is undividable. A division of Eretz Yisrael will inevitably lead to war…not to mention the wrath of G-d which will be cast upon us Heaven forbid….Eretz Yisrael is for the Jewish People the Land of Life, its soul and the source of all of its vitality. Even an iota that is missing fatally weakens its life, just as when the heart is pierced[3].”

    Rabbi Reuven Margoliot, author of “Margoliot HaYam,” wrote:

    “I agree with the opinion of absolute opposition to accepting the Partition Plan. There is a need to amass a determined opposition with all force against the Plan’s acceptance to explain to the community and to the Jews the world over that a tiny canton of Israel cannot survive[4].”

    Rabbi Pesach Frank, Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, stated:

    “If the Jewish People have the power to acquire all of Israel as bequeathed to us from our forefathers, the matter is simple – we do not have permission to relinquish even one footstep of Land to foreigners, as it says, ‘Do not sell them the land.’ Where do we learn this? ‘Rabbi Yose bar Chanina says, Do not give them possession in the Land[5].’ ‘ Behold it is explicit that there is a Torah prohibition forbidding the sale of even a single tree to the gentiles[4].”

    Rabbi Yechiel Michal Tekuchinsky, author of “Luach Eretz Yisrael,” stated:

    “Definitely, without a doubt, we and all of us have absolutely no permission (to sign) a peace agreement to remove any portion of the Land to others. Not only are we not allowed or permitted to relinquish, there is absolutely no value to any concession, just like it is impossible to change the borders between day and night, so it is equally impossible to change the borders of the Land as designated in the Torah, for both these matters were sealed by He who gave the Torah, the Master and Creator of the world[4].”

    Rabbi Kaniel of Haifa said:

    “I believe that no one at all has any permission whatsoever, whether an individual or a group, to concede the right of the Jewish People to Eretz Yisrael in all of its boundaries. For the elected representatives of the nation are only caretakers in their responsibility to the Jews of all generations, and they do not have the right to tamper with the inheritance of the Jewish People from our forefathers[4].”

    Quoting the Gemara[6] he states:

    “We learn that King Omri merited kingship because he added one city in the Land of Israel. If we truly want a state and we aspire to the crown of sovereignty and kingship, we mustn’t relinquish our existing settlements, that it should be said regarding us ‘They despised the cherished Land and did not believe His promise,’ (Psalms, 106.) Rather, we must increase the settlement of the Land[4].”

    If this is what the rabbis said when we did not have a Jewish State in Israel, how much more should we today champion our G-d given right to Eretz Yisrael and work to strengthen its settlement in all of its Biblical borders.

    In the immortal words of Kohelet, “A generation comes, and a generation goes, but the Land remains forever.”

    ——————————————————————————–

    1. Genesis, 13:7; 12:16: 13:17; 16:18: 17:8. See the proclamation “L’maan Daat,” by HaRav
    Tzvi Yehuda Kook, printed in the book “Torat Eretz Yisrael,” pg. 374.
    2. For a history of the period, see the book, “Pulmus HaHaluka B’tekufat HaMandate,”
    by Shmuel Dotan.
    3. “Zikof HaKooma, Daniel Sirkus, His Life and Deeds,” by Pincus Sirkus. Pg. 112.
    Also, Tachumin, Vol. 9, Pg. 270.
    4. Ibid.
    5. Avodah Zora, 19B. Deut. 7.
    6. Sanhedrin 120B.

  • TS, did you read the article in Hebew that Josh just posted? It show the guys from Hamas, et al, saying that they will never conclude their war over their land, as commanded by Allah, and will continue to attack until the “enemy” (us) is defeated and vanquished.

    You sound no different.

    I want peace.

  • How do I sound no different? I don’t think that I wrote that I want to kill Jews. I don’t think that I wrote that I want to push Israel into the sea. I never called for the destruction of Israel. And I certainly never condoned any sort of violence.

    If you ask me, the people calling for the Jews to be expelled from their land sound exactly like the hamas terrorists.

    I want peace also. I just refuse to be blinded by the mindless blather of the leftist media. Logical anaylsis shows that expelling Jews from thier homes will not bring peace. History my friend. History. Learn from the Olso mistakes. The are not interested in “just” Gaza. There is no end to their demands until Israel is completely destroyed.

  • TS, You sound like them because you use god and god’s intentions (as deciphered by men) to stake your claim and to refuse compromise.

    No matter how you slice it, your presence in Gaza does not bring about peace. Your removal might not bring about peace either, but your presence is definitely a hindrance, not a help. I want to remind you that Oslo may have been a mistake and may not have been. We can’t know for sure because we continued to build new settlements, while doubling the settler population.

    But again, all your presence does is get in the way. we could lop off this area and the obligations it imposes upon us at a relatively small cost and with great benefit. That might lead to peace. Even if it doesn’t, it only improves Israel’s situation. If you remain, I will have to maintain the status quo, which is what the Arabs want and what hurts me the most.

  • What????!!!!! Your logic escapes me. How is a peaceful population, not harming anyone, all of a sudden the cause of the terror. Before Israel retook Gaza, there was still terror. In fact, there were outright wars against us by multiple Arab nations with the soul purpose to destroy Israel. Before Israel retook Gaza, the Egyptains were in control….without a hint of giving it to the so-called Palestinian people.

    And for the statement that we don’t know if Oslo is good since the settlements still exist….WHAT!!!!???? Gee, I thought Oslo failed when some of my freinds blew up while having coffee. Then I realized that it was still pretty bad when I was almost blown up while on a date. Then I read the news one day, and over 1,000 of my fellow Jews had been killed in the past 4 years alone, and over 6,000 had been injured. But I guess you think that Jews are a legitamite traget since they are the Zionist enemy, and as such are soldiers of the enemy. How can you blame those poor little terrorists…its all those Jewish houses that drived them to kill. My goodness, another couple of trailers, prehaps even a small town built on Jewish owned land, that certainly calls for a megasuicide attack. How dare the Jews live in their own land.

    Yes, Olso failed. But not because Israel didn’t give. It failed because the Arabs never gave up their war against Israel. It failed because the Israelis still have not realized that they just don’t like us and want us all dead.

    Imagine an Arab walking in the streets of Tel Aviv. Pretty easy, right. It happens every day. And the Jews don’t even think of stoning him to death???!!! Peace right?

    Now imagine a Jew walking in the streets of Ramallah. He would be killed within minutes. Its happened many times.

    Now, you are going to tell me that his death is my fault. That somehow, if I wasn’t growing tomatoes in Gaza, he would be able to shop in the shuk. If you buy into thier logic and myth construct, you are lost.

    I know that the terrorist will not stop if you get your way and expel the Jews from Gaza. Actually, the only thing that that will acomplish is proving to them that terrorism works. So, actually, it can hurt. Hurt alot. Hurt when the kassems fall further into the heart of Israel. When the army still needs to police Gaza since the terrorist will still be coming form there. Where the rocket launchers, and other peaceful equipment will be brought in by the terrorist with the help of the PA. Nothing will change except setting a dangerous precident, and creating more pressure on Isreal to give away more land.

    One of your most glaring flaws is that you assume that Israel has to give everything, and that the Arabs have absolutely no obligation to reciprocate. From Oslo, we have placed the vast majority of the Arab population under PA autonomy, yet the terror continues. The PA continues to use its propaganda machine to brainwash its children to kill Jews, to spread the myth that everything is Israel’s fault. We have given away so much and in return we have recieved a new intafada.

    Maybe you haven’t read the news lately, but there “moderate” front runner for PM is calling the terrorist his heros and vowwing to protect them from the Zionist enemy. Sounds like a great partner in peace. He also say that he has no plans to disarm the terrorist, which last time I check is one of the basic precepts of this whole peace process thing. Should we give away our heratige to a sworn enemy who’s only promise is death?

  • Shin Bet chief warns of dire results of Israeli pullout

    By Israel Insider staff and partners January 4, 2005

    Shin Bet director Avi Dichter warned that an Israeli withdrawal from the Philadelphi route border zone with Egypt would be “unreasonable” and would rapidly transform Gaza into another “South Lebanon.” The director of Israel’s internal security agency told Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

    Dichter said the current “trickle” of weapons from Sinai into Gaza would become a “river” if the Israeli buffer zone would be removed between Egypt and Gaza. He said terrorists would migrate freely from Lebanon to Gaza, and neither the Egyptians nor the Palestinians would be effective in preventing its “Lebanonization.”

    Sharon initially had said that Israel would not leave the border zone and would not turn over ports to the Palestinians. However, in recent weeks he had raised questions about these issues and has cited legal and political reasons for Israel abandoning control over these access points.

    In addition, Dichter warned of terror groups using the northern West Bank as a terror forward base following an IDF retreat. “Nothing should surprise us if we turn the area into Area A according to the Gaza formula,” Dichter told the committee. He said the area has “a proven potential for terror.”

    Dichter said he expects the Palestinian Authority to continue protecting terrorists, and would not take steps to stop them. He said that recently the Shin Bet has stopped arresting “junior” terrorists due to a lack of space in Israeli jails.

    Leftwing leader Yossi Beilin said the security forces should ignore Dichter’s “grave” warning and focus only on carrying out the disengagement plan. He accused Dichter of being concerned only with “covering his backside.”

    Dichter expressed support for removal of settlements from Gaza, which he described as “attractive targets,” for Palestinian terror, but said maintaining military forces in Gaza would have a positive effect.

    Dichter cited statistics showing that the launch of Kassam rockets from Gaza had nearly doubled since the cabinet approved the disengagement plan in June. In the first six months of 2004, the Jerusalem Post reported, 110 Kassams were fired, with 31 landing in the Sderot area in the western Negev not far from the Gaza border. From July through December, the number jumped to 199, with 92 hitting Sderot.

    Dichter said IDF troops should be deployed in the area from which Kassam rockets are launched so as to prevent rocket attacks.

    However, Dichter noted that the “Kassam is not a Katyusha.”

    The number of attacks from Gaza also increased sharply in 2004. From 2000 to 2003, the percentage of fatalities from Gaza-launched attacks was nine percent compared with 39 percent in 2004.

    In 2004, 44 of 117 Israeli fatalities were killed in attacks orchestrated from Gaza terror groups. A total of 29 were killed in Jerusalem and along the Green Line and 16 in the West Bank

    In the second half of 2004, the pace of smuggling weaponry from Egypt to Gaza also increased, Dichter said, including 9,000 automatic weapons and 1,000 anti-tank rocket launchers, and at least 5 Strella shoulder-held anti-aircraft missile launchers.

    Committee chairman Yuval Steinitz (Likud) said that Israel cannot “put its head in the sand” in view of the data. He said it was obvious that Egypt is trying to “make Israel and the Palestinians bleed.”

    Since the start of Palestinian violence in 2000, 1,025 have been killed in attacks against Israeli targets, 30 percent of whom were security forces.

    Dichter also gave figures on suicide bombings, emphasizing their huge weight in the number of casualties compared with other attacks, the Jerusalem Post reported. In 2004, he said, suicide bombings comprised 0.2% of all attacks, but 40% of casualties. Last year, 74% of suicide bombing plans were thwarted

  • TS, you forgot to write what certain settlers said about Dichter. You also forgot to mention what he said some settlers might be planning…

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