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How to Save the Settlements from Abandonment

By Moshe Feiglin

Translated from the article in Makor Rishon

More and more, it looks like we are headed for an Abandonment Plan.

In an article titled “Without Evacuation and Without Compensation,” (Ha’aretz, Jan. 1 ’10) Dr. Alexander Jacobson proposes setting a date upon which Israel will retreat from Judea and Samaria, abandoning the Jewish residents of those areas to the mercies of the new sovereign. Jacobson correctly understands that the expulsion of approximately ten thousand residents of Gush Katif will not work for the hundreds of thousands of Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria. Even if all the state’s mechanisms would fully cooperate with the criminal idea of expulsion, Israel simply does not have the money to implement it. So with a mischievous wink of the eye, the friendly doctor falls back on the murderousness of our neighbors. “They will make the Jews’ lives there impossible,” Jacobson explains in laundered terminology, “but for that, the Law of Return exists.”

It is reasonable to assume that we will see the old Yesha Council leadership – Wallerstein and Zambish – rise up again, over the heads of all the naïve people who were called upon to be a part of the “new leadership” in Yesha; in other words, to cover up the fiascos of the past and to pave the way for their return to positions of power. This leadership will then proceed to fight the previous battle or more specifically, the grandmother of the previous battle.

Yesha Council leaders like Zambish and Wallerstein cannot comprehend that the Zionist “mutant gene” of Peres, Alon and Galili, that allowed for the establishment of Elon Moreh, Beit El and Ofra has since been deleted from the establishment’s genetic code. The open door of the Revisionist movement, through which the settlements of the early days of the Likud government were built, has also been shut tight. They continue to fight – not for settlement – but for public opinion, as if the Zionist spirit from which Gush Emunim drew its legitimacy still exists.

And so, with declarations of love, cherry tomatoes, door-to-door visits and heartrending cries in the face of the IDF robots, Gush Katif was destroyed. Now, as the Abandonment Plan takes form, the Yesha Council will pay millions to public relations experts and with the comfortable logic of the olden days of Gush Emunim they will explain how Yesha is crucial for security, how nice the settlers are and how uncivil it is to abandon them. They will project an image of the settlers as beggars – objects of pity and scorn. They will reinforce the demonization campaign that is already being waged against them, cement their second-class citizen status and ensure that nobody will give them a shekel in compensation.

There is only one thing that nobody from the Yesha Council will say. The truth.
The main obligation – and according to some, the only obligation – of a state toward its citizen is to provide them with security. If the State of Israel is incapable of upholding its basic contract with its citizens in Judea and Samaria, that is fine. But just as when a couple decides to divorce, their decision comes with a price tag, so too, when a state chooses to opt out of its basic contract with its citizens, there is a price tag attached. The state cannot leave with all of their shared assets. The settlers, who lawfully built their homes and paid with their taxes and lives so that they could get security from their state, deserve to get their investment back.

You want to leave? No problem. Just return everything that you have taken from us to help you provide us with your basic commitment. Give the settlers the weapons that were bought with their tax money so that they will be able to defend themselves.

This type of demand by the settler leadership will reveal the real motivation behind the Abandonment Plan; to use terrorists to force the Jews to flee. This demand will ensure that the public debate that will ensue when the plan is announced will focus on rights and not on pleas for mercy.

I have no illusions that somebody will really give the settlers who choose to remain in their homes their share of Israel’s arsenal. It is reasonable to assume that ultimately, this type of debate will not help either and that if this evil plan reaches a practical stage, it will be implemented. The Yesha and Hesder yeshiva leadership will then get what they wanted: the government will have left the IDF out of the political debate and will not have pitted them against the citizens. Not one soldier will refuse orders and not one soldier will wave a sign. Everything will be simply wonderful.

Now that we know what to expect from the current government and what to expect from the Yesha leadership, we have only one small question: What can we do to prevent this madness?
The simple answer is that anybody who thought that we can prevent Israeli retreats with convincing and love – or with demonstrations and a determined struggle, has to understand that those methods will not work. There is one way to prevent retreat and to change direction and that is – to rule. It is time to understand that he who rules makes the rules.

The faith-based public now has a golden opportunity to lead the country. Binyamin Netanyahu has initiated a new membership drive for the Likud. His goal is to strengthen his position against the ideological members of the Likud. He could not care less about the small, rightist parties. Netanyahu understands that at the end of the day, the only obstacle to his Abandonment Plan is inside the ruling party – the Likud.

“You have no idea how much influence you have,” explained Chairman of the Knesset Committee, MK Yariv Levin in his speech at last week’s Manhigut Yehudit dinner. “I do not want to think about to what lows we would descend without your large ideological faction inside the ruling party.”

Everybody who holds the State and the settlement enterprise dear must register for the Likud now. Mass registration of the loyal public will ensure that the Likud will oppose the Abandonment Plan. But the registration will also accomplish something much more important. Netanyahu’s chair is shaking. His wife’s embroilment in scandal is just the tip of the iceberg. Registration now for the Likud will ensure that Bibi’s successor will not continue with his evil plan.

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