In the latest news on the disengagement front, police seem to be wavering on whether or not to allow the massive anti-disengagement march from Netivot to Gush Katif to continue. After initially blocking roads in the West Bank and turning back up to 100 buses full of anti-disengagement protestors, the police have allowed those who successfully arrived in Netivot to march on towards Kfar Maimon. After being barred from entry at the gate, an emergency session of the Yesha Council and the Israeli Police reached an agreement to allow the marchers to enter Kfar Maimon for the night. The future of the march is uncertain – as Gaza is now closed, entering without a permit is a violation of Israeli law, but the marchers insist on making their way to Gush Katif, in order to (according to the police) set up a massive tent city in order to stop or interfere with the disengagement.

I was interested in marching, not because I’m anti-disengagement (I’m not, although I do have my reservations), but because like it or not this is the biggest thing happening in Israel right now and I wanted to get a feel for it. However, when the police declared the march illegal and the Yesha Council declared that they would march on to Gush Katif regardless, I decided that violence started by either the marchers or the police was a possibility and that I wasn’t especially interested in getting beaten for a cause I didn’t support. So far, no violence has broken out, but it seems the potential is there. After all, it only takes one jittery policeman or one extreme marcher to start a conflagration.

Right-wing MKs and settler leaders, including MKs Effi Eitam (National Religious Zionist Renewal) and Zvi Hendel (National Union), and Binyamin Regional Council head Pinhas Wallerstein, were at the front of the march to ensure that the protest remained nonviolent.

Wallerstein, along with other settler leaders, met with Police Insp.-Gen. Moshe Karadi as the march started in an effort to reach an agreement on continuing the protest with police approval.

Wallerstein, speaking to The Jerusalem Post, said that the meeting concerned “a mode of conduct.” He explained that there would be no violence and no efforts on the part of anti-disengagement activists to break through police or IDF checkpoints.

I’m encouraged that the leadership of the march is committing itself to nonviolence and trying to keep things under control, but with somewhere between 10000 and 50000 marchers (one number according to the police, one according to the Yesha Council), attempts by activists to resist police are not only likely, they have already happened.

As protestors waiting by the thousands outside of Kfar Maimon, several dozen stormed the police barricade and managed to break through, but scattered nearly immediately. An anti-disengagement activist who was among those who broke through the police barrier told The Jerusalem Post that police responded without violence.

Fortunately, it was nothing major and the police responded admirably. However, Wallerstein’s promise has already been broken, and he ended the promise with a vague threat, and a small amount of extreme right protestors threatened outright war:

Wallerstein also insisted, “we will march to Gush Katif and the police will not be able to stop us.”

Far-right activist Baruch Marzel said, “Let’s hope that the Yesha Council will finally understand that there can be no dialogue with Sharon, it’s time for war.”

Demonstrators strolled with their backs and backpacks bedecked with bumper stickers distributed by the National Jewish Front, which read, “In a war, we’ll win.”

I realize that the vast majority of the marchers and the organizers have only peace in mind, but as I said before, it only takes one person to start violence.

Personally, I am against the blocking of the march in theory. It is the right of citizens to peacefully protest as long as they do not turn to violence and do not violate the laws of the country. However, I can sympathize with the dilemma of the police, as at least a small number of marchers are vaguely threatening violence, and even the march’s leadership has committed to the mass breaking of law – entering Gaza. I hope the Yesha Council decides to stop the march at Kissufim, and I hope the marchers don’t try to break through what will likely be massive police buildup at the crossing. It is the right of the marchers to protest, but I truly do not want to see anyone get hurt or chas v’chalilah die at the hands of the police force dedicated to the protection of Israeli citizens. There is a lot riding on this, including the sympathy of non-marchers for the anti-disengagement movement as a whole, and certainly the Yesha Council realizes this – I just pray they realize that people will get hurt if they try to break into Gaza, and violence with the police all over Israeli and world news will likely not help their cause. The anti-disengagement movement needs to prove to the world that it is not controlled by the kind of people threatening all-out war with the Israeli government, that it is instead a grassroots movement of normal people who are (only) willing to peacefully protest the removal of Jews from the territories. This is its big chance, and it can either go right or terribly wrong.

Meanwhile, in other anti-disengagement news, the recent dummy bomb scare in the Jerusalem Tachanah Merkazit bus depot (a propane canister with timers and a wire was discovered in a stall in the men’s bathroom) was discovered to be the handiwork of two religious soldiers, who were allowed to bypass the normal security checks at entry because they were in uniform. Now, I don’t care what your attitude is towards disengagement is, this is absolutely horrifying behavior on the part of the soldiers. To exploit the deepest fears of every Israeli and close down one of the busiest bus stations in Israel is not valid protest, it is irresponsible and twisted. Planting fake bombs is not a good way to drum up further grassroots support for disengagement, it is only a way to increase support for the other side out of sheer disgust.

And as for me, I’m getting away from it all. I’ll be going to the Karmi’el Dance Festival, a…well…really huge festival of modern dance with Israeli music and orchestras and all that jazz. Not really my thing, but a friend insisted that it was the coolest thing ever and that I had to go with her, and since she got leave for it and bought me a ticket and everything, who am I to say no? After that, I’ll be disappearing into the Arava with a friend on a kibbutz there for a few days. So although I wasn’t able ultimately to get a first hand look at the kinds of Israelis who attend protest marches, I will be able to report on the kinds of Israelis who go to 3-day dance festivals and the kinds of Israelis who camp out in the middle of the desert, look at the stars and smoke hash. Just because I’m such an, um, fearless reporter. So I’ll be gone for awhile, and please, please, I don’t want to come back and see 189,000 posts about how this post shows that “Michael clearly hates anti-disengagement protestors/the religious/Charedim/the police/the government/Arab/puppies.” ‘Cuz I don’t. Especially not puppies.

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57 Comments

  • Good choice on not marching M cat. Thousands of Israelis, relgious Israelis, marching across the desert-the worst traffic jam in the state’s history. And for what? Protesting a decision by the gov’t to withdraw from Arab-dominated territory? The image of that lone Chinese businessman standing in front of those tanks at Tiananmen square in ’98 comes to mind. But I think that that form of protest, clearly civil, was somewhat more legit. It was against senseless tyranny and irrational violence against progressivism…In Israel, people are already getting hurt in fruitless efforts to stop what must be done.

    And smoking hash under the stars, in a kibbutz, where chocolate, Leben, and Israeli salad are always available in bulk supply-M I can’t beleive you once considered passing that up!

  • Yeled yeled yeled, you’ve misunderstood me. It wasn’t a choice between marching with the protestors OR smoking hash under the stars glomming on Israeli yummies. It was a choice between marching with the protestors THEN smoking hash under the stars glomming on Israeli yummies, or NOT marching with the protestors, then smoking hash under the stars glomming on Israeli yummies anyway.

    Brother, my priorities are straight.

  • Michael, you can be our eyes and ears there. March! If you’re worried, just bring along the champion Iranian/Swedish wrestler. Tell him we’ll get him a laptop.

  • middle it sounds like this anti-disengagement march is becoming the new Running of the Bulls of Pampolona. Lonely Planet and Let’s GO Israel should’ve put it in the festivals section.

    “Wear comfortable shoes. Do like the locals do: shout slogans, wear orange, push against others when fighting in the falafel line! Bring lots of water.”

    And shit, I’ll march for a laptop. I’ll also put money down that you won’t find the words ‘Iranian/Swedish wrestler’ anywhere else on the net. Google it, if you so dare…

  • We’re not giving away lap tops willy nilly. Certainly not to Iranian/Swedish wrestlers, not to marchers and not to people frontin’ like they marchers. I mean hell, I need a new lap top and even I’m not getting one. Little Rami Wattid has a better laptop than I do. Sheesh.

  • I’m kicking myself for not being in Kfar Maimon right now, but now my wife seems to be suggesting that I take time off work and go down south.

    In the meantime:

    Letter of Elihu Schultz, Sho’a Survivor
    Re: Prisoner’s Numbers Tattooed on the Forearm

    Last Friday (15.07.2005) I listened on the radio to an interview by Judy Moses. The interviewee was a woman settler from Gush Katif who had written her identity card number with a pen on her forearm. She reported that on entering the Gush Katif area she refused on principle to show her identity card. Instead she demanded that she be permitted to proceed to her home that was located in Gush Katif, pointing out that not allowing her to do so would be discrimination only because she was a Jewess. Ms Moses condemned her attitude in general and in particular because she dared to make a comparison between those murdered in the Sho’a and those who will be transferred out of Gush Katif as part of the Disengagement Plan, a policy that had been democratically and legally adopted by all the relevant governing bodies.

    I contacted the radio station in order to take part in the discussion. But when I was asked whom I would support, I answered honestly that supported the settlers. This answer resulted in a refusal to permit me to participate.

    I was a prisoner in the Nazi work camps. My prisoner number is tattooed on left forearm. This fact gives me the right, perhaps even the obligation, to participate since both the interviewer and interviewee did not correctly address the question under discussion.

    Ms Moses claimed that it was a disgrace to place a “number” on the forearm. Tens of thousands of these Jews were killed in the gas chambers, but since the Gush Katif settlers face no such danger any use of symbols like the number-on-the-forearm is a desecration of their memory.

    It is my obligation to correct a basic mistake. Those on whose forearms a number was tattooed were not the ones who were executed and gassed; they were the ones who were sentenced to remain among the living. You might ask what kind of a life was in the Nazi slave camps but for many it meant survival. The tens of thousands who were gassed and killed in other horrible ways did not have a number on their forearm. The Nazis were in such a hurry that they were sent to the gas chambers without their name being registered and without being given a number, let alone tattooed on the forearm. My mother and my sister, for example, were killed anonymously! At the selection place, only those who were sent to the right received a number on their forearm; they had been sentenced to a life of slavery and exploitation as long as they were fit to work.

    The extermination policy did not start immediately when Hitler and his party assumed power in 1933. Instead the situation of German Jews worsened gradually until the war broke out in 1939. The Nazis started with driving the Jews from their homes, depriving them of opportunities to earn a living, confiscation of their property and a general delegitimization of Jews. If we compare this process with what is happening here today, we get an entirely different point of view of what is usually presented in the media.

    In Germany Jews were expelled from their homes and were forbidden to live in the center of towns. In Israel Jews/settlers expect to be expelled by force from the homes that they purchased or built legally.

    In Germany Jews were expelled from their stores and their factories. In Israel we will be driving Jews from their hothouses and the workplaces where they earned an honorable living. Many raised produce which formed a significant part of our agricultural export, thus earning foreign exchange for the State. All are to be thrown out like dogs, without any chance for earning a living. Salaried employees, like local council employees, teachers, kindergarten teachers, doctors, etc., will not be dismissed from their jobs so that they cannot even file for unemployment compensation.

    Synagogues, schools, cemeteries all are to be desecrated. We shall not mention Crystal Night in November 1938 when the Germans burnt down most of the synagogues. And all this is only the beginning.

    As for observing the laws: everything that was done to the Jews in Germany and in the Nazi-conquered territories was done strictly according to law. The Nürnberg Laws were adopted with an overwhelming majority, more than 95%. Any one who opposed the anti-Jewish measures was considered as a law-violator and punished accordingly. Just as German laws were not legal because they were racially discriminatory from the very beginning, so must one oppose the laws on which the followers of the Disengagement Plan base their actions.

    Every people in the world are entitled to have an object that they can hate. The Jews have played this role for many generations; the reasons for this hatred were manifold and varied. Our forefathers crucified their god and we slaughtered Christian children because we needed their blood to bake matzot. In Israel we searched for an object of our hate until we discovered the settlers. They are responsible for all the troubles that have befallen us. Even the murderer of Rabin grew up and was educated in the settlement of Herzeliya. We must follow the Russian example: hit the (Jewish) settler and save the democratic-Jewish state (Russia). The entire Disengagement Plan is not a rational plan or one developed to strengthen our military position. Everybody agrees to this because after the Disengagement our military situation will not be better just the opposite, it will be much worse. We are not expecting any compensations because this Disengagement is completely unilateral. There is only one reason for this plan: a blinding hatred of our fellow man, even if it leads to self-destruction!

    The ancient Jewish kingdom was destroyed because free-floating hatred. The division among the people was one of the principal causes for its demise and this is what we can expect now. Let no one delude himself that after the Disengagement everything will return to its previous situation and we will all live in peace. This process will most definitely divide the people; it will divide the government, the army and the police force. And with the active aid of this government and the political parties which support it, the Arabs will be victorious and establish concentration camps in the Negev or in Sinai. I know already the names of those who will act as Kapos in the camps. Pay attention and beware.

    Elihu Schultz
    Birkenau Prisoner B-13421

  • Hate to be the one to point this small little error in an otherwise interesting posting but… There’s no such word as irregardless. It’s a double negative and basically you’re saying that it really is of regard.

    Still love your posts Michael… definitely make my day more passable at work 🙂

  • ok, ya had me right up until you used the word irregardless. *sigh*
    It’s regardless, not irregardless. that would be a double negative of sorts.
    yeah, nitpicky, but that word in particular makes me wince.

  • *grin* I’m with you on that one… irregardless is right up there with the blatant abuse of the words I and seen and the non-word anyways. Stops me dead in my tracks every time. 🙂

  • The Democracy of Israel has been the glue that kept the society functioning on a level that was acceptable and prosperous for the population. You had people coming from so many countries and so many customs on their Judaic observances.

    Yes there were tensions w. the Edot, but by and large the country functioned because of the committment to democracy.
    And now these morons want to do what? Cause a revolution? Sacrifice their lives for this cause of theirs? THey want to break this Democracy by force.

    They know the army will have to use force. And these low life so called religious leaders are egging on their young people to commit violence.

    It is sick. Sickening. I was going to send my teen age daughter for a visit this summer, but now I am not sending her there now.

    Maybe next year.

  • Just to show how generous I am, if ck wins a Koran contest, I will personally chip in $1.28 (that’s what’s in my desk drawer at the moment) to buy him a laptop. And if he takes on a Swedish Iranian wrestler, I might even add in the quarters in my wallet. Go, ck!

  • jobber,
    the democracy has turned into demofarcy.

    The government hijacked by a rogue politician who abandonned his election platform, the media who is backing him up at every oppurtunity and spreading disinformation, the courts who take a step back when they know the law is being broken and call this ‘not wanting to interfere with politics’, and the police that shamelessly, two days in a row, stops buses they ‘suspect’ of going to break the law and threaten bus drivers and bus companies with fines, jail, and more if they transport pro-Israel supporters.

    The democracy is now a lie. Tommorow perhaps, the government will fall in a no-confidence vote. In the mean time, the ‘disengagement’ is falling apart.

  • Josh, one can’t but have respect and compassion for Elihu’s viewpoint and experience. But one has to view the analogy of disengagement with the Hitler period with something akin to revulsion.

    And, he’s really got it largely wrong with respect to the unfolding of the Holocaust. Specifically, the notion that that horror unfolded in a “lawful” manner simply doesn’t accord with the facts.

    No legitimate legislature existed in Germany after June, 1934, at the latest. And the anti-Jewish measures put into place in the following years amounted to a kind of insane improvisation (albeit one fully consistent with Hitler’s writings and public pronouncements). There was nothing lawful, or arguably logical, about it. No one took a vote on it, or on Hitler himself after March, 1933, for that matter.

    Those of us who respect and admire Israel in the US and elsewhere do so, in large part, because we see Israel’s democratic values and commitment to human rights as consistent with our own (in my case, American) values and ideals. How has the Sharon government has acted in a manner inconsistent with democratic processes? Surely, if he lacked public support, presumably the deputies of the Knesset would toss him out on his ear.

    Does anyone really think that Ariel Sharon belongs with the likes of Heinrich Himmler or Reinhard Heydrich? Good Lord.

  • Josh, your last comment proves my point. If Sharon’s a “rogue,” he’ll face a democratic sanction.

  • Jobber there is no democracy in Israel. Remember they banned an ‘idea’ from participating in the ‘so-called’ democracy.

    Kach can’t run and mcuh of Israel is disenfranchised.
    We are seeing results from that playing out before us.

    There is no democratic way out. That has already been shut off- that is why it seems logical to me that only a revolution can change things.

  • Mark my words, Schmo: the moment a single soldier is killed by any of the people involved in the anti-disengagement movement, it will mark the end of not only the anti-disengagement, but also for support in Israel of the settlement movement.

    It’s not “Jews do not expel Jews.” Rather, it is “Jews do not kill Jews who bravely protected them for years.”

    Revolution, my ass.

  • middle,
    so holocaust survivors are buffoons? or only the ones that don’t say what you think they should say. I’m willing to agree with Elihu, that going through hell gives you the right to speak and be heard, as long as your marbles are still there. Elihu still seems to have them.

    I wonder if this hebrew will show up. It’s from debka and it has been removed. Asking why Sharon is still around:

    ראש הממשלה ללא מעצורים. אין איש בצמרת הישראלית שמעז לומר לו, עצור עד כאן!

    יום שלישי, יב תמוז תשס”×”, 00:16, 19 ביולי 2005

    אריאל שרון, הוא ראש ממשלה שדוהר ללא מעצורים, זאת היא הדעה שרווחה בלילה, בקרב הצמרת הפוליטית, הצבאית, המשטרתית, והמשפטית, במדינת ישראל, לאחר האירועים שהובילו להפגנת מתנגדי ההתנתקות ביום ב’ 18.7 בנתיבות. אבל בכל הצמרת הזאת לא ×”×™×” איש אחד שהיה לו אומץ הלב לקום ולומר עצור!

    לכך היו שתי סיבות:

    1. חלק מהשרים וראשי המערכות השונות מקווים בסתר ליבם ובאלם לשונותיהם, כי גם לאיש הזה ישנם גבולות אנושיים והוא יישבר לבסוף. הם טועים!

    2. כל המינויים, עליהם עמל אריאל שרון זמן ×›×” רב, כרמטכ”ל, מפכ”ל, ראש שב”×›, הוכיחו את עצמם. כל אחד מאלה, היודע בסתר לבו, למי הוא חייב את מינויו לא ×™×¢×– להמרות את פיו, למרות שכמה פעמים ביום הוא מקבל מסרים סותרים.

    כך קרה שביום ראשון, 17.7, אמר סגן שר הביטחון זאב בוים, ‘×›×™ תוך כמה שעות צה”ל ייצא לפעולה קרקעית נרחבת,’ ×›×™ ×›×›×” אמר לו להגיד שר הביטחון שאול מופז, שדיבר לפני כן עם ראש הממשלה. אבל בוים לא ידע, ×›×™ אמרו לו לומר דברים אלה כדי להרגיע את דעת הקהל, מבלי שאיש התכוון לכך.

    כך קרה לרמטכ”ל רב אלוף דן חלוץ, אשר הציע בהתחלת השבוע תוכנית פעולה להשתלטות על אנשי ×”×’’יהאד האיסלמי. זוכרים? יש מבצע נגדם. אבל במקום ×–×” נאמר לו לבצע חיסול ממוקד, אחד בגדה, ואחר כך מיד לעצור, כדי שלא לפגוע באבו מאזן.

    לא צמרת הצבא, ולא איש בצמרת הישראלית, איננו מטפל, מלבד הטיפול השגרתי של העמדה למשפט, בתופעת הסרבנות ההולכת ומתפשטת בצבא ובמשמר הגבול בממדים רחבים.

    כך קרה ביום א’ בלילה וביום ב’ 18.7, למפכ”ל המשטרה רב ניצב משה קראדי, אשר חשב שיש לו מינימום של עצמאות תפעולית, והגיע להסכמים עם ראשי יש”×¢ לגבי הפגנת ומצעד ההתחברות, ונאמר לו לבטל את כולם, ולמנוע בכל מחיר את קיום ההפגנה. הדרך היחידה לעשות זאת הייתה לנקוט פעולה לא חוקית כמו עצירת האוטובוסים והחרמת הרישיונות של הנהגים. והקמת מחסומים ברחבי הארץ לעצירת התנועה האזרחית.

    אפילו כאשר היועץ המשפטי לממשלה מני מזוז, אמר למפכ”ל, ×›×™ פעולותיו מנוגדות לחוק והוא לא יוכל להגן עליהם בפני הבג”צ, המשיכו קראדי והשוטרים בפעולות. אולי חוסר הברירה בו הועמדו שוטרי ישראל, וההכרח לפעול נגד החוק, הוא שהביא לכישלון פעולתם. לכך השמשטרה התקפלה פעם אחר פעם. פעם בנתיבות ופעם בכפר מימון.

    ביום ב’ הגיעו התוהו ובוהו במדינת ישראל לשיאים חדשים. קצין בכיר אחד אמר, ‘ כבר אין הבדל כל כך גדול בין מה שמתרחש אצלנו ואצל הפלסטינים.’

    וזו רק ההתחלה. לפנינו יש לפחות עוד חודשיים כאלה

  • Yes Josh, even Holocaust survivors who compare the situation today to Nazi Germany and the Israeli government to the Nazi government are buffoons.

    Buffoons.

  • first of all get your news correct they accuse two religious soldiers of placing the gas tanks because the shabak had to blame a religous unit.. and they stopped more then 100 buses they had 100 buses stopped just from jerusalem ill like to know where u get your news from

  • Gosh, you ladies are right. I feel like an idiot, especially ‘cuz that common error also annoys me. I blame the late hour and my own lack of re-reading my own post. But I fixed it. Thanks!

  • Baruch, if you re-read, you’ll notice that the source where I got my news from is linked to: the Jerusalem Post, not noted for being a tool of the Evil Leftist Agenda.

    And the soldiers were caught on video camera. Unless the Shin Bet completely staged them being caught on video, which is an extremely wacky conspiracy theory, it looks like they did it. The police said up to 100 buses, and I’ll believe the police.

  • Here is a ‘secular settler’ (Im sure being secular will make Jobber and TM more sympathetic).

    “Farhan, a Libyan-born Jew who left Tripoli for Israel at the age of three in the wake of the 1948 war at Israel’s creation, said seven families were willing to stay in the mostly secular Gaza settlement of Elei Sinai after Israeli troops leave.

    Farhan, 59, helped establish Elei Sinai after being forced to leave the Sinai settlement of Yamit in 1982. Like the West Bank and Gaza, Israel captured Sinai in the 1967 war, but returned it to Egypt under a peace deal.

    ON THE MOVE AGAIN

    “I fled from Tripoli, endured the displacement camps in Israel, and then I was kicked out of Yamit. Today I won’t be a refugee again. I have no strength,” said Farhan, a restaurant owner. “The Israeli government says it is concerned for my security if I stay here. I will worry about my own safety.”

    -why should Jews has to always move?!
    Its disgusting and I support every demonstration and every effort to bring down the corrupt Israeli government and system.

    Here is the whole article.

  • Hey Schmo, did he call them Nazis? Many months ago I told you that I am fine with those who wish to remain behind and live among the Palestinians. Amira Hass does it and nobody has harmed her. Good luck to them.

  • You know, why hasn’t anybody harmed Amira Hass? I guess the Palestinians realize that she’s totally in their ideological pocket. And given her cadaverous face and unpleasant attitude, they’re showing what appears to be superhuman restraint. If only they could do the same for other Israelis!

  • Greetings from Kfar Maimon!

    Unlike Michael, my wife, son, and I have been participating since Monday in the march. A brief summary of the facts – and misinformation – so far:

    Lot of foot-dragging/disarray/unclear direction from police and army on the ground. During the first night’s 8 km hike from Netivot, the army arbitrarily stopped the crowd halfway to Kfar Maimon. The crowd (50,000 sounds right)moved into a nearby field and just sat down in front of the lines of soldiers. Men, women, and children. We cheered the helicopters with their spotlights as if it were a rock festival.

    After 45 minutes, the army backed down – just as inexplicably as they showed up. Did they expect people to turn around after they were allowed to leave Netivot? Much evidence that someone in Jerusalem was just banging on a table, making these guys jerk around without a plan.

    About that “agreement” to “let” us enter Kfar Maimon: the protesters made camp in a field outside Kfar Maimon. Just before dawn the army and police deployed to surround the camp – probably hoping to dry up the march by keeping us out in the sun, with no services, and forcing us onto buses. Instead word was quickly passed thru the camp – and everyone quickly folded up and moved into Kfar Maimon.

    This took over 1/2 hour, during which the army and police did little to stop us – again, an indication that the foot soldiers are (a) dragging their feet because they are not supporting the Sharon government, and/or (b) not receiving clear orders – which confirms many charges that there has been poor-to-no preparation for the expulsion. It’s clear that the move into the village has made life a lot easier for us – food, water, other services. My son went to a screening of Lilo and Stich in the village library yesterday.

    About the “violence” at the gates of Kfar Maimon:

    All day yesterday cars with loudspeakers announced a gathering at 4:30 PM where our next steps would be announced. At about 3:45 the police took over the village’s PR system and started announcing that the march was called of, and buses were waiting to take us back to Netivot – the same buses we didn’t get on in the morning! One or two guys were walking around urging people to make their way to the gates – but we immediately noticed that none of them had the official shirts/hats/armbands of the Yesha Council officials.

    When we got near the gate, a hysterical guy was shouting an obvious BS story about how the police had beat up an old lady. That was all we and others had to hear – we immediately started shouting that this was a provocation. To their credit, most of the young people immediately stopped and listened to our explanation. The officials showed up and immediately announced that this was all false.

    Of course those 5-10 minutes of video – and the handful of young guys that got whipped up into a pushing match – were what led the news.

    All the speakers and printed materials given out here have stressed the nonviolent nature of the march, which was upheld last night and throughout the day. And most of the young people here came of age during the days of Oslo – when they saw their parents and teachers dragged through the media mud. They are very savvy.

    PS – the police has taken control of the village’s PR system – a lovely bolshevik touch – and today’s announcement that we are pressing on tonight had to be done with jury-rigged amplifiers and megaphones.

    Overnight, our ranks have swollen by several thousand as people stream down to join in. We pitched our tent for the night in an open park area that contained 4 tents. When we woke there were at least 12 tents and tens of people in sleeping bags. I have met several friends who arrived last night by driving through the fields. Again, this is an example of confusion/lack of motivation on the part of the army – they are obviously not enforcing the close-off policy strongly or consistently.

    We have heard other horror stories – the army boarded buses and took the drivers’ license away, so he could not continue to drive. And a group of bus companies from the north is suing because the police called them and threatened them not to take jobs that involved driving people to the protests.

    Democracy in action – NOT.

    Currently the police have planted items saying that the protesters had given up and were – ludicrous to us because we were simultaneously hearing the leaders of the march announce (over the remaining megaphones and amps!) that we were setting out on the 2nd leg of the march at nightfall, and welcoming new arrivals.

    We still don’t know if we will continue from here – my father is not so young, and it is very hot. But be very careful what you read in the papers, folks…

  • … and thanks to the Wolf family of Kfar Maimon for letting me use their internet link.

  • About the hash, it comes from Lebanon, and is a means of support for the terrorists there, so you should never use this in Israel. Some Kibbutzniks grow their own products this would be a much better alternative.

  • Holy crap Ben-David… thanks for the on the scene reporting. And of course thanks to the Wolf family. I’m kind of speechless really and I appreciate your sharing this with us.

  • Democracy in action not my ass. You are deliberately trying to provoke a violent reaction from the police to advance sympathy for your ’cause’. You have learnt well from the Palestinians.
    This is what the elected government decided. Leave it alone and get back to work, if you have a job. Trust fund babies my ass.

  • Jobber,
    the junta exposed what it thinks of democracy:
    – holding up between 300-400 buses around the country because people opn them might break the law (the original rally was permitted as well as the march to Kfar Maimon),
    – placing an unprecedented siege on the Kfar Maimon moshav not allowing ANYONE to enter or leave, even families who had had enough on the first morning,
    – using soldiers for the siege when soldiers have absolutely no legal authority to arrest civilians or frankly even touch them in an area not declared ‘closed military zone’,
    – not allowing food and water to enter the moshav,
    – not allowing unrelated moshav residents to exit,
    tresspassing on fields and damaging private property
    – not allowing minors to return home for failing to show identity cards (that they aren’t issued until 16years), etc…

    A friend who is in Kfar Maimon is saying that the regular soldiers are putting up little if any resistance at all. He came late (his bus in Kiryat Shemona was held up illegally by the police) and when the got to the Kfar Maimon area, the soldiers carrying out the siege sitting in the fields actually pointed out to his group how and where to get into the moshav through the perimeter fence.

    Another source who managed to drive quite near to Gush Katif through many roadblocks regular soldiers let him pass, say that he was finally stopped only when he had to deal with an officer (who has promotion/career considerations).

    jobber,
    I also have confirmation about ‘supposed’ protesters inside trying to stir up emotions. The police are dirty, Sharon’s private militia. I don’t trust them anymore or the attorney general Mazuz himself who decided on the legality of preventing thousands of people from travelling to Netivot because they might break the law the next day.

  • Josh, I don’t understand something. For months now, the anti-disengagement forces have used civil disobedience to violate the law. They have used children to do it very often as well. They have made it clear that many would like to make their way into Gaza to establish a larger population that would need to be evicted.

    And yet, you’re complaining that the police is using your tactics and strategy against you. Isn’t that a little disingenuous? You mean that you get to break laws all you like, but the government has to watch and do nothing?

    The police isn’t “dirty” and neither is the “IDF,” and moreover the real danger is that many of the settlers and their supporters believe that because Israel’s government isn’t bending over for them, that they can now denounce the government and its institutions – the very institutions that enabled the settler movement in the first place.

    What you’re doing is unacceptable, not what the government is doing.

  • don’t put words in my mouth.

    I never said the army was dirty, just the police and this is also coming a few people I know on the inside. It really is too bad. There are many tzaddikim serving on the police, but many bad apples too.

    And if we are still glorifying ‘democracy’, and I’m sure that I’ve brought this up before, in a democracy, a civilian breaking the law never waives his civilian rights. In the law, there is specific limits to the way police can/need to arrest law-breakers and bring them to court for formal judgement under the law. (you know the blindfolded lady with the scales? (though this is not a jewish idea BTW))

    No matter how severe someone breaks the law, the police are never allowed to go above the law. That is illegal, right? They are always restricted by the law and THIS is what keeps democracy rolling. Once the Israeli police is given free reign to use ‘all force to stop protesters’ (Sharon in yesterday’s peptalk to police), then they are no different than their Chinese, Romanian, Soviet counterparts, etc…

    You love to bring up Yigal Amir. He was convicted of murder, he was sentenced to murder. (If he had a decent lawyer, he wouldn’t even been called to trial because of the many problems in his arrest and tampering of evidence, as well as fabricated police and hospital reports) Anyways, you can’t after the fact dream up a whole new law to retroactively punish Amir, right?

    Please don’t tell me you support the Israeli police breaking bones and beating up non-resisting protesters.

    Please tell me what law the tens of thousands of pro-Israel supporters were breaking in Kfar Maimon?

  • Josh, the only ones breaking bones are the settlers who broke the bones of a police officer last week in Gaza.

    I also want to know from other sources, not a source that calls the police “dirty” that they have violated any laws. Stopping you from demonstrating because they fear security issues is perfectly legitimate since public safety is their responsibility. You think it’s okay to violate laws because no matter what the police cannot? Great, just don’t be surprised when they use harsh tactics that are legal. If you consider that dirty, you should know that civil disobedience is a dirty business.

    Anyway, do you have any links to any stories that confirm that the police has violated laws? I mean, I realize the government, police, army and media are all in on this conspiracy to uphold the democracy’s decision to have the disengagement, but still, I would think some newspaper out there would report on a serious infraction by the police – it’s not as if there aren’t enough anti-disengagement supporters with phones and cameras to record and report the incident.

  • Oy. Dudes, I explained it all already. It’s part of Sharon’s larger plan. So stop hating on each other already and just, you know, get with the plan and stop getting all uptight and hating on each other.

    Mean people make ck cry.

  • Please…

    A. Israel ain’t no democracy. I already explained that they banned the ONLY ATERNATIVE, which is to remove the arabs from our land.

    Josh your unwillingness to say the simple truth that the government has banned a party, Kach, that has the support of many many people and I think would already be in power.

    Josh it is this that gets you and others into difficulty when making your points wih fellows like TM and jobber. You are reduced to arguing whether the police are corrupt or why or why not you can violate the ‘law’ by marching. You get into all these rediculous unwinnable arguments.

    When you say the truth, simple and clear there is no arguing back against it. When Rabbi Kahane spoke the left could not argue back – they could just ban and defame – but all Israel knows he was the wise man who saw the future-not the Yesha leaders no they saw nothing.

    So Josh don’t be stubborn like your elders in Yesha-argue effectively and say:
    “Israel is NO DEMOCRACY because they have disenfranchised much of Israel by banning the party of those people.”

    I have no party to vote for in Israel.

    Josh what is happening to the settlers and the rightwing parties is ‘Middah K’neged Middah’ for what they silently aquiesed to when Kahane was banned. Yes Yesha too was happy when he was banned.

    Thats the way G-d works measure for measure- maybe not immediate – but certain to come.

    The same thing with the terrorism in Europe and the united states: measure for measure for what they arrogently chastised and continue to chastise Israel and demand that they be nice to the ‘poor palestinians.’

    The truth Josh the truth without fear- that’s what wins arguments.

    B.
    ck,
    Sharon is the same Sharon as he was years ago. Its the fools in the Yesha leadership who think that the once ‘great’ sharon only now changed.
    Read what Meir kahane wrote about Sharon 16 years ago!
    http://www.kahane.org/meir/oylem.htm
    Leopards don’t change their spots.

    Now you know why I admire Rabbi Kahane and have no respect for the others.

  • Kahane was right to be ostracized. Israel is no place for people like him. The day Israel as a state becomes dominated by the likes of Kahane will be the day when they should just turn off the lights and shut the door on the way out.

  • Well I am now back at work – returned from the protest last night. Over this morning’s coffee, some of my most leftie coworkers hashed over the recent events with me.

    EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM mentioned how outrageous it was that the government confiscated bus drivers’ licenses to keep them from taking people to the march.

    The fact that the protesters never made it to the Gaza checkpoint – and that the settlers overwhelmingly stuck to their policy of non-violence – has focused attention on Sharon’s subversion of democratic rights. Even my hi-tech coworkers – who don’t really connect with the religious and security arguments against the expulsion – are slowly getting ticked off about the undemocratic way this is being done, about Sharon’s corruption, and the subversion of the police and the army.

    Again, middle is muddled and way off on this point.

    Let’s recall that the IDF is a citizen’s army – which means that it’s likely that 80 percent of the corps voted against unilateral withdrawal in the last elections. Perhaps that number is higher among the career officers, who understand the security situation will be very difficult after the expulsion.

    So the conflicted feelings and foot-dragging we saw in the field are understandable – these people are being forced to carry out a plan they voted down.

    I heard similar stories to Josh’s about soldiers abetting the protesters making their way across the fields. One result of this week’s events is that the soldiers and police have gotten a close up look at the decent folks they will have to rip out of their homes. There has been a lot of “eye-level” interaction across the perimeter fence. They also have learned that violence cannot be used against this group – which will include men, women, and children.

  • Schmo,
    I am not a hasid of Harav Meir, z”l, hashem yikom damo, but I admire most of what he stood for. Most people are only aware of his warnings about Arabs, but most of his beauty is the simple torah he taught, the hidushim that he pulled from the torah about love for god and the fellow jew, but especially how he stressed that the Jew needs to keep his head high unlike in the diaspora. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Kahane never suggested kicking all the arabs out. He fully supported the idea of ger toshav.

    Trust me no fear, but I also refuse to blindly accept one ‘guru’, especially if he is dead, to my disappointment. Not unlike my love and support for Chabad.

  • josh you wrote: “Trust me no fear, but I also refuse to blindly accept one ‘guru’, especially if he is dead, to my disappointment. Not unlike my love and support for Chabad. ”

    –who is asking for blind acceptance?! Its all based on fact. If the one guru is right in all the cases well Josh- then you accept.

    Guys like you always use this false argument to ‘explain’ away critisms.

    Not one thing do you show wrong in his policies yet you don’t mention him- even when it would make your argumnets so much stronger.

    So is there any wonder that I think its from fear that you don’t say it?!

    By the way, the idea of Ger Toshav only applies when the Yovel is in force, nevertheless Rabbi Kahane did say that “if” an arab would swear allegience to Israel and and accept that it belongs to the Jewish people then they would be permitted to stay.

    But he was not a faker and he realized not to expect that and therefore they must be removed.

    So Josh tell me YOUR opinion-

    Should the arabs be removed from Israel or not?

  • Look,
    I’ll put it to you simply.

    They same way I admire Sun Tzu, I also admire Kahane, Jabotinsky, Harav Eliyahu Marzel, the Vilna Gaon, Rashi and more. But I am not an expert on all of them enough to be a true chasid and quote from the hip. If you think I talk like Kahane, but don’t mention Kahane, why do you think that I’m refering to Kahane? Kapiche? I’ve read a few Darka Shel’s and started to read the ‘Question’s’ book once, but really don’t know much about him other than bits and pieces in the media. So why do you expect me or anyone else that might think alike to chant, ‘Kahane, Kahane’?

    FWIW, and I’ve repeated it a few times here already, I really, really, really don’t think that the Arabs are the problem here and getting rid of them is ignoring the true problem and that is the lack of Am Yisrael’s unity around the hashem and the Torah he gave us. C’est tout. If more yidden would be religious, and unite (as opposed to keeping the segregation between ashkenz, sefard, Moc, teimani, Haredi, etc…), then the Arab will see that he can’t divide&conquer and will leave on his own.

    There are two ways to win the war (anyone have a copy of ‘The Art of War’ on hand?), actually fight and destroy your enemies resources (personnel, supplies, etc…) or through deterrence, effectively destroying his morale to fight and hope to win.

    Fighting the Palestinians is not going to win anything. Only if we choose, together, to show our love and fear of hashem will we win. But if we continue to shame and spite hashem, then he’ll continue to send his Arab messengers against us here, and continue to send his goyim to haunt the galut Jews. No kahane hear to my knowledge, just Josh.

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