Officer. I can't.

What are we going to do? Some of those poor settlers are suffering from non-stop attacks on their character, their true intentions with respect to the pullout plan, their attacks on the current PM of Israel and his cabinet. Apparently it is only government plants from the shabak doing this. The settlers have done nothing wrong. They don’t deserve any of this.

Nope, when some stopped all traffic in the middle of the country, that was just exercising of free speech. When some hit soldiers and threw rocks at them, that was just a phys ed class gone awry. When they called Sharon a traitor, that wasn’t them, it was a government operative goading them. When their spokesperson said that their strategy was going to backfire, they didn’t let him embarrass himself any further and let him resign. When Sharon invited their leaders for discussions, they were very generous in spirit when they let the country know Sharon was pushing Israel to civil war.

Yup, those settlers are just fine.

And now we have another fine settler, Binyamin Regional Council head Pinhas Wallerstein, who is about to inform his constituents that they should do whatever it takes, including risking their lives, to prevent the pullout.

“Once they declare Gaza a closed military zone we will not clash with soldiers to get in, but we will certainly get there even if it means going through Palestinian cities while endangering our lives,” he adds. “If there is a need, we will not hesitate and we will lay our lives on the line to fight the evacuation.”

Claiming that the resistance to the disengagement would “significantly affect the future of the settlement movement and the State of Israel,” Wallerstein calls on opponents of the plan not to “shirk from their responsibility to exercise their civil and moral right to resist the destruction of the Zionist dream.”

Read all of it here, people.

edit for the self-righteous crowd: There are many settlers who will support the government’s actions in Gaza. They will do this out of their strong faith in Zionism, in a democratic Israel, in the process and authority of a freely elected government and despite their grave misgivings. I believe that the majority of the settlers belong to this camp and should be applauded and supported, even if we do it with tears in our eyes.

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themiddle

18 Comments

  • 54 dead, 80 wounded in Binyamin. Is it really necessary to take such a smug and self-righteous tone T_M? Regardless of how right you and I may be in our support of the pullout (and our rightness is debatable), I take no pleasure in this. None.

  • Demonization 101
    TM of Jewlicious takes smugness to a new level, with this post from today:

    Media badmouths settlers again
     
    What are we going to do? Some of those poor settlers are suffering from non-stop attacks on their character, their true intentions wit…

  • If you want to prevent more deaths and the destruction of the fabric of the country, make sure that Wallerstein backs off. There was nothing smug or self-righteous here. There is anger at the sabotage of an attempt at peace and an attempt to remove ourselves from the morrass of Gaza.

    Let’s see: the cabinet votes for it in significant numbers, the Knesset votes for with a majority, the public polls show 3/4 of the country supports this, an elected PM with some victorious battle experience is risking his life to do it, the Palestinians have resigned themselves to the fact they will be examined carefully once the Israelis leave to see whether they can manage themselves or not…

    And yet…

    What you’re reading here is the head of a minority within Israel who rejects the process entirely. Oh sure, he won’t directly confront soldiers, he’ll just go through Palestinian towns or areas in order to reach Gush Katif, and if some soldiers have to risk their lives to extricate him and his buddies, that’s okay because he’s doing this to save the Zionist project.

    There are many settlers who will support the government’s actions in Gaza. They will do this out of their strong faith in Zionism, in a democratic Israel, in the process and authority of a freely elected government and despite their grave misgivings. I believe that the majority of the settlers belong to this camp and should be supported.

    However, those who encourage the movement to undermine this process deserve censure and approbation. Yes, they have suffered losses, and those losses are painful. But losses have been suffered by people in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Netanyah and even those settlements in Gaza that have already agreed to relocate. Many of those settlers who rightly support the government and its decisions have also suffered losses. The self righteousness and smugness belongs to those who think that their ideological – and perhaps religious – faith, even if it undermines the government, supersedes all else and they can ride on the backs of the victims in order to justify the destruction of a country by tearing it apart.

    Shutting up about it because, well, they’re hurting inside, is to miss the point. He, and the other, more extreme speakers in that Jerusalem Post article, are bent on destroying what Israel wants, what the government wants, the chains of authority in Israel, and the right of a democratic country to determine its own destiny and future.

    If you are in 1995 and can see that certain people are encouraging violence, anger, and disrespect for those in power, even if their motives seem decent (love for “Zionism”), the last thing you want to do is be silent, or allow those who speak in favor of these breaches to do so with impunity.

    Think about that ck, and David.

  • i was supposed to meet wallerstein last wednesday but he was too busy having a coronary outside the knesset. check out the details of my meeting with his underling here.

  • For those who want to read about the majority of settlers who oppose the actions of people like Wallerstein and who support the government – despite their pain and disagreement with their actions – I strongly recommend you locate a copy of the Feb 21 Jerusalem Report magazine and look for the Ina Friedman article, Other Voices. Alternatively, you can pay a little and read it here.

  • TM

    For a start, take the criticism of your post with grace, rather than labeling us critics “the self-righteous crowd”. Doing so does nothing to refute claims that you sound smug.

    Your post was not just about Wallerstein, but also all “the settlers” who do things like protest in the streets. As I elucidated in my post, what is wrong with that? THAT is democracy in action.

    I also happen to disagree with you when you talk of “the right of a democratic country to determine its own destiny and future”, since there was no referendum on the plan and all..If the government agrees to a referendum, and a majority of Israelis support the plan, then I agree that this is a “democracy determining its own destiny and future”, as opposed to a government.

    I will end off by saying that your clarification comments certainly paint a different light on your post, and had they been there to begin with, I may very well have not been so angered by it.

  • Dave, you don’t like being called self-righteous? Neither do I. You took offense, so did I. I did take your criticism with grace and rather than attack you, responded in detail about my reasoning.

    Just so we are clear, “self righteous crowd” meant the crowd calling me self-righteous.

    As for the referendum: a referendum isn’t about democracy when you have a democratically elected government and parliament. They have the authority to make the rules as has happened here. It’s not as if there isn’t a spirited debate going on in Israel and the Knesset. There is, as there should be. The referendum here is intended to undermine the will of the majority and the will of the government. Funny how nobody demanded a referendum to launch the settlements or to fund them.

  • TM, my friend, it’s not about “Shutting up about it because, well, they’re hurting inside”, its just about saying it, but saying it with a degree of sensitivity and not lumping an entire group with differing opinions into one, as you are sometimes wont to do.

  • That would be me I guess. I was just dismayed by the flip tone you took. Your clarification was much more nuanced and balanced – as well as respectful. Its all about countering sinat chinam with ahavat chinam. You know I still think you rock – just look at what I wrote in Israellycool 😉 I never told you not to express your opinion either. Just ya know, I was struck by how you wrote it. That’s all. Now I must dash off to the bank or earn the ire of the Uppitty and wrathful shiksa.

  • Laya, I was careful to qualify what I wrote with the word “some.” I’ve now highlighted the word for all to see.

    Ck, I wrote it with anger. SOME of these guys are going to get others killed, and perhaps are unknowingly encouraging a loonie or two to do deeds that will make us all wish that we would have shut them up previously.

  • only after the fact did you change it to “some” TM, still, thanks for the edit.

    I can understand your frustration, but why don’t you try NOT writing things in anger, or at least not posting them until you’ve had a chance to go over it with a calmer disposition.

    It usually makes for better reporting.

  • Uh guys, don’t make me laugh. This was well thought out and the anger remains there long after reading the article. But thanks for the posting tips.

  • Nope, when some stopped all traffic in the middle of the country, that was just exercising of free speech.

    Actually, the government/shabak plant that spoke with Maariv took responsibilty for that.

    As for your some of your other facts:
    the cabinet votes for it in significant numbers, cabinet doctored, ministers fired beforehand
    the Knesset votes for with a majority, false
    the public polls show 3/4 of the country supports this, FALSE, latest polls show between 55-60% and dropping slightly as time goes by
    an elected PM with some victorious battle experience is risking his life to do it, so what? so was Kerry battle-heartened (and personally, I’m sick of generals becoming politicians.
    the Palestinians have resigned themselves to the fact they will be examined carefully once the Israelis leave to see whether they can manage themselves or not…Don’t tell me you believe this for 1.76 seconds

    Laya’s right,
    research your facts before you get all emotional.

    I can’t wait for Yaalon to strip off his uniform. Not that he’s a righty, but just wait for some major bombshells about what he thinks after being shut up for the past year.

    Oh, and another thing about civil disobedience…nah, why bother, you’ve made up your mind from way over there that Israel should be chopped up and the settlers are evil for protesting and resisting expulsion.

  • See what happens when you guys post naked women and Jesus on the same page as serious life and death issues!

  • Don’t waste your time looking, Roman, we have none here. Maybe Josh was undressing them in his mind… 😆

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