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Israel Justice Minister Tzipi Livni – You can hold me in contempt ANY TIME!

You may recall, dear Jewlicious reader, that the settlers in Gaza have been reacting a little aggressively to the disengagement which they reject and abhor. They have also had the support of numerous rabbis who have advocated that IDF soldiers disobey orders; indicated that they will fight soldiers who will come to remove them; managed to create serious traffic jams in central parts of Israel which will presumably become much worse as the disengagement proceeds; generated regular demonstrations with thousands to tens of thousands of dedicated opponents to the disengagement; in some cases, particularly in northern Samaria, attacked soldiers; and, of course, there have been very strong hints by settler leaders that a civil war is pending with even one settler leader (Efi Eitam) recommending that the IDF collect all settler weapons prior to the disengagement in order to prevent an accident which would lead to more.

Did I mention that whole buffoonish Gazan settler movement to characterize the IDF and the Israeli government as Nazis? Did I point out that Rabbi Dayan of the Rabin pulsa denura fame has indicated he now has permission from kabbalist sages to perform the same curse on Sharon?

So what have Sharon and his peeps decided to do?

They’ve decided to create a sub-class of winners that benefit from threatening the government and the stability of both the state of Israel and the IDF.

We have two slightly conflicting stories about how much exactly has been promised, but the general theme in both the Haaretz and Jerusalem Post (ck, please note the picture of Jewlicious Tzipi Livni, who is not only Minister of Justice and of a political bent that just doesn’t seem very Middlish to me, but she is also, uh, I may have already said, quite Jewlicious) versions is the same: in exchange for quiet and a peaceful pullout from Gaza, the Sharon government has consented to the settler-instituted plan of giving the Gazan Jewish families a large block of Nitzanim land. Nitzanim is between Ashdod and Ashkelon, and represents one of the last unpopulated areas with beachfront in Israel. While the settler neighborhood won’t be ocean front, and is supposed to avoid harming the nature reserve there with its famous sand dunes, it will be close. Expect some encroachment over time.

Jpost:

In the course of the meeting, Livni proposed the establishment of four new towns in the Nitzan area in addition to the possibility of building a new neighborhood in northern Ashkelon. Livni stressed that the Nitzanim nature reserve would not be harmed.

Implementation of the plan would be dependant on a minimum number of settlers moving to each new settlement. Livni added that if the settlers agree to the move, then they would be able to form their own autonomous regional council. She also agreed to defend the plan before the government.

And Haaretz:

…Justice Minister Tzipi Livni in Tel Aviv…told the head of the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, attorney Yitzhak Miron, who is representing the settlers, that the government agrees to the establishment of four new communities in the area of Nitzanim. This latest twist comes despite government intentions to house the evacuees in 1,000 housing units in new neighborhoods to be constructed in the north of Ashkelon.

A second demand raised by the settlers was to allow them to continue to maintain an independent municipal entity to replace the Gaza Coast Regional Council, which will cease to exist following the pullout. On this issue too, the government folded: The settlers were promised that they will be granted independent municipal status, subject to a minimum number of residents populating the new communities and the 400 residential units to be added to the Nitzan community. The number itself was not set at Monday night’s discussion.

…The government also met the settlers’ demand for “guarantees” for the implementation of the Nitzanim plan as a condition for their orderly and quiet evacuation of the Gaza Strip.

According to a high-ranking political source, the government has promised to anchor the Nitzanim plan in a new government decision, as well as a special law that will also anchor the budgetary source for the implementation of the plan in the framework of the 2005 State Budget Law.

The settlers will get to build and own single family homes on 500 square meter plots, not a small matter in space-constrained Israel.

I guess this isn’t such a bad outcome, if they actually stick to this promise and if they don’t destroy the sand dunes, because the settlers do need relocation. This will also give a lifeline to the small town of Nitzan nearby. What isn’t clear is that any of this is being done with a clear assurance of a peaceful departure by the settlers. It surely seems that this is the tradeoff, instead of being done with a sense of goodwill on both sides, but nothing seems locked in and there are no guarantees.

And that is what gets me a little concerned here. There is this lingering bad taste that comes up, not unlike bile when you’ve over-eaten, that what has happened here is that a lot of fist-shaking, screaming and actions that continue to undermine Israeli society and the IDF have resulted in capitulation by the government. I don’t know whether there’s a name for this. I guess we could call the government pusillanimous (ck: www.dictionary.com), or we could call the settlers blackmailers. I dunno, I’m not clever enough to figure it out but I know those settlers are no suckers (fryerim). Nope, those would be the leaders in the government if they don’t get an absolute peaceful pullout in exchange for this significant offering.

Please allow me to recommend that any person who creates a problem during the pullout should be left out of this deal.

About the author

themiddle

32 Comments

  • Uh… FUCK ARIEL SHARON. I wanna kill that m*therf*cker. I’m gonna chain my ass to the Gaza strip and foment a civil war.

    OK. I’m not. And Ariel Sharon is a swell guy.

    When can I pick up my beach front property?

  • Exactly! You got it now, ck. Don’t forget to brandish that weapon and to send your teenage daughter to block a main highway during rush hour.

  • Yeah but still. We put ’em in Gaza. We asked them to go and live there. Many died as a result. Men, women, children… whatever. They can have the property with my blessing. 500 square meter plots isn’t so much. My friggin entire apartment is bigger than that.

  • your comments are ridiculous. This is nothing to do w/ my political opinions which are decidedly left, but on a social level – which Israelis seems to ignore: How would you feel if you’ve been living in a place for 30 years and then were forced to move with no job in sight, no schools for your kids to go. The kids who use to run across the street to play with friends, now can’t – because they are now in some unknown neighborhood. The corner makolet is closed down – no friendly storekeeper not to mention that the firendly storekeeper now has no parnasa, and none in sight. Well how would you feel? These people should be given land. We want to give Aza up, well – did you think it was going to be for free? Why should the people in gush katif be the only ones to suffer? And another thing – most of the people who live in Azza are very moderate, they won’t fight, they’ll just walk out. Don’t be mislead by the extremists from the Shomron. and get down from your ivory tower.

  • Well, we invited them to live in Gaza, and we subsidized them, and we put soldiers’ lives on the line to protect them, and we gave them the ability to live near the ocean in homes that were superior to what many Israelis can afford inside the Green Line.

    Yes they were under attack, and yes the state made it clear they were invited to live there. On the other hand, the state is already offering compensation and has made a good faith effort to relocate them.

    They are getting the plum because nobody wants to fight and they have done an excellent job of making people believe and accept that the pullout will involve a significant fight.

    Oh, and your math is probably off unless you have a warehouse for an apartment. 500 sq. meters is 5400 sq. feet which is a standard lot size in many parts of the US and Canada these days.

  • No Gella, I don’t disagree with them getting something or even being compensated for their losses. As my third paragraph from the bottom points out, “this isn’t such a bad outcome.” However, this was not arrived at nicely. Bassi has been compared to Judenrat, the government and IDF have been compared to Nazis, there has been talk of a civil war and of disobeying orders, etc. etc. etc.

    There could have been a different approach altogether. Now perhaps their approach has now been vindicated since they seem to be getting a good deal, but there is still a deep sense that a rift has been opened that will be difficult to heal and it has not happened because of Sharon but because of a disrespect for the authority of the democratic institutions of the state.

    I should also point out that they are setting a precedent for how any settlers from Judea and Samaria might be treated in the future, and removing them will now become even more expensive and challenging than one would have thought in the past.

  • Gella Ka’s point is interesting. I work with a sworn leftist, but we agree that the left has turned itself into a whore. Traditionally, the left is ‘social’, not security oriented, but in Israel, the left is virtually ignoring the humanistic ‘plight’ of the settlers and frankly couldn’t care less about where they should live.

    TM and CK, you are apparently still high on the ‘rising bread’ that you’ve had after Pesach. Perhaps too much direct intake of yeast?

    Over Pesach, I took my wife, kids and friends and drove around over a dozen of the settlements on the chopping bloc in Gush Katif and North Samaria to see what was at stake and you guys joke about the plan to pull these people out of their homes and send them to hell as if you take it for granted?

    I really don’t think you guys are mature enough to seriously deal with the issue anymore. Stick with the Jewish-lite items and you’ll do fine.

  • Josh, I’m glad your friend of the Left agreed with you that the Left is whorish but I’m surprised that you guys neglected to mention the Right, the Orthodox parties and Shinui.

    The Left in Israel is not the issue here and neither is the “humanistic” angle. The settlers have made the stakes so high (see the first two paragraphs in this post and note that it’s the Reader’s Digest version) with respect to this disengagement that it is very difficult for many to see this as a cry out for pain. For heaven’s sake, many people who oppose the disengagement continue to use the Nazi analogy!!!!

    By the way, at least one kibbutz (or are kibbutzim no longer of the Left) was trying to bring over Gazan Jewish families.

    Instead of blaming Leftists, Rightists, Sharon, the Government, the IDF, etc., etc. and then accuse those who post about it here as immature, why don’t you have a deep dialogue with yourself and ask whether it was worth undermining the values and democracy of the Jewish state, not to mention the strength and resolve of its army over the objection to this disengagement.

    What is the point of Gazan settlements if the Israel we have is torn apart by those who refuse to accept democratic decisions?

  • Josh: Joke? I joke all the time. Yet, I feel for the settlers. Please look at some of my comments before being so quick to judge me as anti-settler.

  • ck, he wasn’t calling you anti-settler, he was calling you immature because you dare to joke about something they are comparing to…churban habayit (destruction of the Temple).

  • Being somewhat torn on the subject I’m not going to contribute to the main discussion but T_M your standards are low. I mean common.. Jewlicious? No way.

  • I love Jewlicious sometimes. Your link was interesting and it led to Lea Nass. She’s a mother of 5, a Likud member and has a Ph.D. in biochemistry. Now that is one hell of a Jewlicious combination.

  • Normally extreme-left Supreme court Justice Heshin seems to agree with Josh: http://www.a7.org/news.php?id=110782

    Funny how Josh is not allowed to change issues mid-thread. Is this a new rule? When are you going to stop the orthodox-premarital sex mega-post?

    T_M,
    the humanistic left ignoring proper treatment of 8000+ refugees is an issue whether you want to deal with it or not (by minimizing that with how these settlers and/or supporters protest). I only recal one ‘human rights’ organization having the balls to voice ‘some worry’ over the issue. Nothing more from them or you.

    You’re rehashing the old ‘we moved the settlers once, we can move them again’ claim and beside being tiring, it’s quite degrading. Another myth you love to rehash is that the ‘settlers lived in Malibu, while others have had to live in smog-filled Tel Aviv’. Why do I have to remind you that the government begged people to come live on the border settlements that the poor people in Tel Aviv didn’t want to go near.

    Frankly, I could say the same about you too. While us Israelis have had to work hard for little money in this semi-arid land, you galut Jews are living the life with cheap homes, cheap cars, and high salaries. I suppose then that if someone comes along and says “Jews, move somewhere else”, then I shouldn’t bat a tear either, eh? Don’t worry my friend, I pray that it shouldn’t happen, but your day will come sooner than later. I warn my family, I warn you.

  • Josh, by changing the topic, did you mean that you wished to discuss my (im)maturity or ck’s and we foiled you by sticking to Jewlicious Israeli politicians? At least we didn’t include Efi Eitam.

    By calling that justice “normally extreme Left” and then posting that article, are you trying to contradict your own earlier statement about the Left?

    As I’ve written in our discussions previously, I do feel sorry for what these families will have to go through. My point is that you somehow want people to take their threats, their screams of “Nazis,” their attempt to undermine the IDF’s authority over its soldiers, etc. and ignore them. Not only are they being taken seriously, but they’ve changed the equation for everyone by scaring people enough that the PM feels comfortable saying that the country is on the brink of a civil war. But despite this, you still want people to be entirely sympathetic. The state “sent” them there and they went but now the state wants them to be “sent” elsewhere and the state is Nazi-like.

    Your last paragraph, again, places the state of Israel in the status of an antisemitic or Nazi-like regime. You do this in the same comment where you praise the extreme Left wing SC judge. Is this a mature position to take?

  • This is the most recent in several posts by T_M that parrot the propaganda used to discredit the settlers. While I don’t think you’re “too young” to form an opinion – I think you have to take the sources available to you with a large grain of salt.

    Those of us living up close in Israel see the following things quite clearly:

    – So far the government has NO concrete plans for feeding and housing these people in either the short or long term.

    – So far the compensation offered the settlers nowhere approaches housing costs in the mainstream market. It in no way compensates the settlers for 30 years of mortgage and equity investment – recall that the “generous government aid” amounts to a few percentage points on the mortage and a few percentage points on income tax. The lion’s share of the money invested in these homes and synagogues was private money – family nest eggs.

    Here in Israel it is almost impossible for anyone to buy a house with nothing down as in the US – most young Israelis rely on considerable chunks of money from parents and family. The government’s offer is a pittance compared to the equity invested.

    – Left wing thinkers and commentators have betrayed every social welfare program on their platform in order to keep Sharon’s goverment alive – and some of their rhetoric almost froths at the mouth with open hatred for the settlers and the Right. This is most definitely a grudge match/desparate power play, rather than a carefully considered policy. The ideal of crushing their opponents – including crushing the settlers financially – has already been voiced in the most thinly veiled terms. There is open talk of “the need to shame the settlers”.

    I think that T_M and others have latched onto propaganda coming from that angle.

    Up close in Israel, we also see clearly that:

    – Despite dire, trumped-up warnings, no violent opposition has materialized.

    – The settlers are limiting themselves to acts of civil disobedience similar to what liberals applaud in Lebanon, Ukraine, and elsewhere.

    – As in those other conflicts, many members of Israel’s civil service, police, and civilian army are foot-dragging and openly declaring they will not carry out a policy they feel was set by fiat.

    Nothing going on in Israel is in any way more “extreme” or “threatening” than the American civil rights movement or the people-powered revolutions in East Germany, Ukraine, or Lebanon. The left has overreached, Sharon has trashed the notion of accountability that is democracy’s core. This is what you get when you try to shut up all dissent.

    Let’s remember that the nations of Europe regularly conduct national referendums on purely economic/political topics like joining the EU. The demand for a referendum on the explusion – and the incredibly hypocritical paddling to avoid it by leftie “watchdogs of democracy” – have radicalized many MOR Israelis who would otherwise be apathetic.

    We saw the consequences over Passover – crowds 2 and 3 times that expected thronged to Gaza and Samaria to protest the withdrawal.

    There is nothing sinister about any of this – this is exactly what those democratic rights of assembly and free speech are all about. When those in power try to force through edicts that the majority oppose – they should expect such opposition. When those in power try to shut down all avenues for dissent and policy debate, they should expect civil disobedience.

    Those who sow oppression reap a whirlwind.

  • The topic was being chained to the left-wing’s unsympathetic view of the human side of the expulsion, not your immaturity on this post.

    My comment about Hesin wasn’t contradictive, it was made a la ‘exception that proves the rule’.

    Besides the fact that I’m not sure which part of my comment refers to the government as nazi-like, I’ll say this anyway:
    Nazi is a loaded term. The Nazi of 1933 is not the Nazi of 1945. When people call Israeli police Nazis and the current gov’t nazi-like, they are not implying that Sharon is Hitler, the IDF is the SS and that the police are the gestapo reincarnated. Some people would argue that comparing the current situation to the Bolsheviks, Stalin, Lenin, KGB is even worse because more people died on their commands than in the Nazi death camps.

    So tell me how intelligent people are supposed to describe the situation that:
    – right-wing road-blocking protesters are arrested and beaten while other folks like the histadrut adn taxi-drivers are not given special treatment?
    – that Satmar protesters are beaten, and then if they try to run away into their yeshiva, the police rush in with full riot gear, start beating uninvolved Satmars captured on video, and then claim that they didn’t breach the Yeshiva?
    – that the media regurgitates this claim even though their is video proving otherwise?
    – that ordinary bystanders, let’s say even protesters who are standing on the sidewalks and not blocking the roads are arrested and forced to agree to house arrest?
    – that teenagers wearing kipas in the vicinity of protests ( a few blocks away) are taken down to station for questioning and threatened?
    – that right-wing activists are framed and harrased?
    – that the police remove their name tags and refuse to identify themselves as required by law?
    – that the police internal affairs department says that they will not prosecute any officer during a specific future time span?
    – that even regular right-wingers, even if they are upstanding citizens and sit on city hall councils, are confined to their houses while certain ministers visit their towns?
    – that anyone with a kipa is forbidden to enter the grounds of a hotel in which Sharon is speaking?
    – that the police have stopped buses filled with religious families and children and forced them to turn around on the suspicion they were going to protest?
    – that the police are under orders to prevent anyone wearing an orange shirt from approaching the Kotel?
    – that the government in its defence in the Supreme court is now saying that the Balfour Declaration was nullified after the British ended its mandate in 1948?
    – that the army is lying and slandering a certain group of citizens?
    – that his majesty the Prime Minister is on the record in a cabinet meeting accusing all anti-expulsion activists of being guilty of incitement?
    – that the President is also on the record of saying, “sometimes you have to defend democracies with undemocratic means”?

    Buffoonish?

    ‘undermine the authority’ – hmmm, democracy and free thinking is a big problem. When one side, and not just a tiny minority but a big chunk of the population, sees that the army (their kids and themselves as miluimniks) are being given orders that aren’t moral, you think that they should just shut up and accept the democratic process that brought Sharon to power as eternal and undisputable? When the Americans and Canadians were herding Chinese and Japanese into camps duing WWII, would it have been acceptable to try and ‘undermine the army’s authority’?

  • Josh, you completely ignore statements by settler leaders about a pending civil war. You ignore warnings by Efi Eitam (!!!) that the IDF should collect settler weapons before the disengagement. You minimize the impact of roadblocks and the threat of many more to come. You ignore the numerous failed attempts within a parliamentary system to bring down the government or change the disengagement plan. You ignore the morality of giving people the right to live in a place and then withdrawing that right, as if choices and decisions are carved in stone forever and ever and circumstances don’t change decisions made by socities and governments. You ignore numerous polls showing a 2/3 majority support for the pullout. You ignore the very significant effort the government is making to accomodate the settlers in Gaza as they move ahead. You ignore the warnings by the government watchdog (name escapes me right now) who determined that compensation levels for the settlers are being set too high. You ignore that along with these handsome parcels of land and compensations, all of these families will receive yet another $30k handout because they will settle in the Negev or Galilee.

    The list goes on.

    Nobody is saying the settlers and their supporters shouldn’t protest. However, to claim the leadership didn’t come out of a meeting with Sharon and accuse him of being responsible for a civil war that ensues, would be a lie. To claim that rabbis have not told soldiers to disobey orders despite this being a decision by democratic means of a democratic government that has been challenged unsuccessfully regarding this decision, would be a lie.

    And the list goes on.

    Protest, but do it democratically and stop demonizing the government. As for your comment about the Nazis in 1933 vs. the Nazis of 1945, you should know that I encounter that argument frequently among pro-Palestinian Lefties. I dismiss it for its absurdity with respect to the Palestinians, but in your case I think it is even more absurd. Please don’t bother arguing this point because I’m tired of the fucking moronic “this is like the Nazis” or “Bolsheviks” argument. This is NOTHING like them. Really and truly.

  • Guys, you may have missed the point. The opposition to the disengagement unites a broad range of right-wing groups in Israeli society, some moderate and some not as moderate. They are making all the noise and because of them comes the (hopefully hysterical) fear of civil war.

    The settlers facing expulsion are stuck between that group which they are hoping will succeed and the real fear they have for a penniless future and the break-up of their thirty-year-old communities. Without undermining the chances of a change in government policy, they need to worry about their futures.

    As for beachfront property, Gush Katif itself is beautiful beachfront property. If we can give beachfront property to our Palestinian cousins, we can give beachfront property to our soon-to-be-homeless Jewish brothers.

  • Returning to the REALLY important issues:

    Lest you think the Right has a monopoly on Jewlicious politicians the Left offers Orit Noked. Mother of 3, Attorney, staff seargent, Labour-Meimad.

    But the Right comes back with this. Whoo! She can filibuster me anytime she wants.

  • As someone here in Israel, and someone who is sickened by the posters which liken Israeli soldiers to Nazis which are splattered all around the Central Bus Station…I find it very, very difficult to trust the settlers. These are people who are threatening to attack the same soldiers who defended their asses for years. Even if the government does build a settlement on Nitzinim, even if they do it right on the sand dunes, you can pretty much depend on the settlers not keeping their word and not moving peacefully.

    Just to make one thing clear…. I am in favor of fair and even generous reparations. I am in favor of coming up with a plan to allow communities to relocate together–that seems to be the least traumatic solution. I believe that the settlers deserve our sympathy and our support for the pain they will suffer. I do believe that it is a concern that there is no concrete plans for how people are to be housed once they are moved. (I was thinking about that just this morning, while reading the paper on the way to work this morning).

    On the other hand, I believe that the settlers have to take some responsibility for the lack of progress, insofar as they come up with unreasonable demands (destroy a nature preserve)(Independent local authority even though they don’t have enough of a population). Perhaps they should start to realize that, after all of these years of jerking around the country and basically playing cowboy in the stachim (-illegal outposts/ harassing the local Palestineans), the world does not revolve around them, this is a country with laws and rules and these laws apply to them as well. And for that matter, a lot of those people living in some of them “smog filled” cities are dreadfully poor, a lot of kids are getting sub-standard education, a lot of the elderly are reduced to eating in soup kitchens –perhaps they deserve a wee bit of the money too? And maybe the Gush Katifers can make do with apartments (like the rest of us), or even big apartments (not so many of us) as opposed to villas?

    And another thought: the fate of 8000 Jewish refugees is a tragedy of epic proportions but the fate of several million Palestineans is no big deal and hey, just f**k ’em?

    If there is one thing that kind of sums up this whole balagan for me, it would be this: a couple years ago, there was an ad/poster campaign to expel the Palestineans to Jordan. Yes, that’s right, expel several million men, women and children from their homes, their communities, their jobs etc and send them to a foreign country that does not want them. This was considered “the answer” to our problems. Now, one can see bumper stickers with the exact same font and layout, but this time saying “Expelling won’t help”. Because, of course, expelling Jews is bad. Other people, well, you see, they are not really people.

    A country that can support and nurture a body of people with that type of twisted, warped value system definitely needs to get out of the occupation business.

  • Daphna and TM,
    don’t be ignorant of the fact that the same settlers you claim are threatening to attack soldiers (please prove this, otherwise it’s libelous. Prove that settlers are planning on attacking soldiers. Is it something you overheard on the bus?) are soldiers themselves and whose sons and daughters are soldiers as well.

    Anyway, we know what side of the fence you’re on. You believe in myths like the settlers initiated the Nitzanim alternative as well as ignore the fact that they already are a local municipal authority. While you are at it, remind the folks in Beit Shean that a city in Israel is officially 30 000 people not their current 17000.

    TM,
    YOU ignore the fact that it was leftist leaders who were first to state the NEED for a short civil war, a second altelena, and a healthy 20 kill body count that would be acceptable. Months ago I posted these comments by former shabk heads and links to Vilnai and Sneh saying these inciteful things.

    Except for what Efi Eitam said (and it wasn’t a warning even), you ignore the truth on each and every point you brought up. morality, polls, government accomodation, government watchdog (was a leak from the prime minister’s office).

    I’ll tell you my problem and yours; Lately, I’ve had too much time and access to news. I read the left and the right, live in the territories, speak with ‘settlers’ every day, and have visited Gush Katif a few times besides knowing a few people there. From what you keep claiming, it’s evident that your reading is confined to the same media outlets, and frankly you have no clue what settlers are really like or what they actually want besides what some ‘reporters’ are printing.

    FWIW, both of you. The area in Nitzanim that the government wants to turn into new settlements is currently thousands of dunams of farmland. The sand dunes were never part of the picture, only smoke blown in your eyes in order to think how cruel the settlers were for demanding that precious land when frankly it was not their initiative in the first place. Stop reading headlines, start investigating the facts.

    It’s almost two in the morning now. I just got back from the grave/tomb of Joshua Ben Nun on the day of his yahretzit. The army has set up two command centres, there is a UAV in the air circling overhead, and a few dozen visible soldiers that will be probably be replaced with a few dozen others in a few hours. It could be a ten minute walk, but us suckers need to crowd into bulletproof buses to drive from the Ariel to the middle of the Arab village that sprung up around the grave. (and I have to feel like a leech because TM thinks I’m forcing myself n these poor soldiers and ruining an otherwise good night’s sleep as well as wasting the cost of operating a UAV for the hundreds of Jews, settlers and others that are on site right now)

    The tomb includes a small outer courtyard. In order to get into the courtyard, you have to bend over because the only way in an opening about a metre high. And why is that? So that everyone bending down to get in is in effect bending down in front of some Arab grave that was conveniently placed in front of that portal.

    Good night.

  • Josh: Thanks. I certainly appreciate your 1st hand perspective. It helps round out what we get only 2nd and 3rd hand from the media. I can’t say I am now opposed to the pullout, but it does make me better understand what we’re giving up and what and who we’re dealing with.

  • Uh, Josh, congrats for making me feel guilty about the fact soldiers are needed in Ariel. I don’t know how you managed, but there you go, you did it.

    Nobody on the Left advocated or sought a civil war and comments made were in reaction to statements made by the leadership of the settlers. I’ve linked to the articles in other discussions.

    Soldiers have been attacked by settlers as recently as a couple of days ago. If I recall, some lieutenant was actually taken to a hospital. You and I both know that the verbal attacks are ongoing. Yes, at the same time there is also respect for the soldiers, so chalk it up to the weird situation the settlers have to live with.

    I know settlers personally and for many years now. Decades, in fact. Sorry.

    The Nitzanim initiative seemed to have been proposed by a lawyer of the settlers. Having said that, who cares? The state stepped up to the plate, as did the city of Nitzan, and have made a generous and fair offer.

    Ariel may not offer you the same freedom of movement as Tel Aviv, but if it makes you feel better, Tel Aviv has suffered many more suicide bombings than Ariel. In a strange way, you happen to be safer there.

    Anyway, you are compromising the quality of your life because you choose to live there. Yes, the Palestinians are not okay with their violence, but you are making a choice here and you know the situation well. You could choose to live in the Galilee instead and be a very good Zionist. You choose Ariel. The soldiers have to defend you. Israel has to explain what it’s doing there. The Palestinians will continue to attack it. And eventually, you might have to ask for compensation and some sort of new neighborhood block because you’ll be asked to leave. It doesn’t look as if the Palestinians want you to remain among them.

    Is any of this good? No, but it is the reality. Sometimes, one has to deal with reality and find the best solution. For example, Sharon knows that the Nitzanim offer is something he is only doing because reality is forcing it upon him.

  • Just to pass on a request from an interview with a Holocaust survivor that was in today’s Haaretz:

    Do not liken the disengagement plan to the Holocaust. This, coming from a woman who not only lost most of her family in the Holocaust, but who also lives in Neve Dekelim and is one of the poeple that will be relocated with the disengagement.

    She has a point. As horrible as you may believe this is, there really is a difference between a country deciding to end a policy of settling its citizens on occupied territory, trying to come to a fair solution, and paying them reparations for their monetary losses, and an war in which 6 million Jews were brutally slaughtered and more were ripped from their homes, their lives and their families…and treated with the utmost of brutality.

    Find other words.

  • (Please don’t see this as a loaded question with all the baggage I’ve already packed beforehand into this subject)

    When can the Holocaust be used? We say ‘never again’. But what does that mean? Can it be used to warn about atrocities in Darfur, Bosnia, Armenia, etc… or is it a unique event, uncomparable to anything else. We say we want to prevent another holocaust, but what does that mean?

    Please try not to refer to Gush Katif/orange star issues. I want to leave that out for now (if anyone picks up my thread).

  • I like Livni’s looks so it really doesn’t matter what action she take with the settlements.She must like being laid, back. I wonder if she is a single mother at this time, because I have a very good match for her. Can any one tell me. Peter

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