Olmert can’t count on the IDF

I have been calling for insubordination in the IDF, for civil disobedience if you like. Better to have 10,000 soldiers refuse orders to evacuate Jews then 200,000 people marching in the street. A recent poll showed 30% support the soldiers who refused. IDF Eviction Refusal More Widespread Than Reported That’s only the beginning. I believe momentum will build.

Bibi has been playing it safe and refuses to take a stand. Barak is showing more balls and said the peace talks are a fantasy and no one is going anywhere until the Arabs can maintain security. Peace is three to five years away.

Bibi is now afraid of Feiglin drawing too much support so he is attacking him.

But not Aryeh Eldad. He appears at every demonstration to resist evacuation orders. And now he has come out and imagined a full mutiny. Ted Belman

Half a People’s Army

MK By Arieh Eldad

August 9 2007

Two years ago, the Orange Youth stood opposite blank-faced soldiers and policemen come to expel them from Gush Katif. The youth watched them streaming in black uniforms through the streets like a tidal wave. They watched weeping families being put into the street. Then they saw the streets being emptied and the big bulldozers coming. Seven minutes were enough to turn a beautiful house into a pile of rubble.

Seemingly, it was all over in a few days. We didn’t see any conscientious objection in the army. We didn’t see any civil disobedience. All the government’s fears proved groundless. All the alleged threats proved empty. The disengagement was seen as a victory not a national trauma.

But a few months later in Amona, the scab on the wound proved thin. Olmert refused to accept any compromise and ordered the destruction of the homes in Amona and took the opportunity to teach the settlers a lesson they would never forget. Indeed, the Orange Youth, the graduates of Gush Katif, fought in Amona and will never forget it. The emergency rooms of Jerusalem filled with 250 of the injured that day. And the army and police—which will not admit this publicly—learned their lessons, too. But not Olmert and his government. This week, two years after the disengagement, Olmert and Barak decided to see if the army was ready to execute another order of expulsion; if soldiers who were 16 in Gush Katif and Amona were ready. When they had stood opposite thousands of soldiers and police acting as automatons, they swore that this would not happen to them. They were the generation that was expelled, the generation of Amona. They would not obey orders to expel Jews. And so Olmert and Barak decided to test them with a seemingly minor expulsion.

Three thousand soldiers and police were enlisted this week to expel two Jewish families from the Hebron market place. Only Olmert and Barak know why it was necessary to again drag the army into enforcing public order and removing “squatters.” Perhaps they have forgotten that soldiers are drafted into compulsory service in order to protect the country and fight its enemies, not to expel Jews. Aren’t the thugs of the SWAT teams and the border guards enough without requiring the participation of the army’s battalions? A minority of soldiers refused to participate to in the expulsion, were court-martialed and sentenced to terms of imprisonment. The homes were evacuated within a few hours. Another victory. Just like Gush Katif. Just like Amona.

The Olmert government needs to learn the lessons of Hebron. But it should not do so with a stop-watch to measure short-term victories (everyone knows that it is only a matter of hours or days before the Jews will return to the homes they were forced to evacuate). Better the government should hold binoculars to better see that the conscientious objection that was seen this week in the Duchifat Unit is only the tip of what we can expect if the government orders the army to expel tens of thousands of Jews from their homes in Judea and Samaria. And such an expulsion would be the necessary result of the Olmert-Peres-Abu Mazen-Condoleeza Rice plan. The settlers of Judea and Samaria, however, are not the settlers of Gush Katif. Moreover, the settlers of Judea and Samaria have seen the bitter fate of those of Gush Katif and so none of them will be misled by government lies about generous compensation and a “solution for every person.” In Judea and Samaria, they will have to be forcefully uprooted, perhaps killed, in order to facilitate the establishment of a Hamas state on the ruins of their settlements. If Olmert and Barak think that they can give the army the order and the expulsion will follow, they would do well to look carefully at what took place this week on a minor scale in Hebron and realize that they do not have an army that will execute such an order. He who complained a week ago that with the spread of the acceptability of draft-dodging among the Israeli youth, the people’s army has become an army of “half the people,” surely knows the facts. He who is worried about the possibility that in the army “everyone will choose which order to obey,” would do better to exert all his strength to ensure that the army not become a political tool and not be given a clearly immoral order that most of its soldiers will not obey—and anyone who sees the expulsion of Jews from their homes in the land of Israel as something terrible will see this as a clearly illegal order, one that, in the language of an Israeli Supreme Court decision, “has a black flag flying from it.”

Some people wanted to learn from the disengagement that by intensive brainwashing (at the time they called it “mental preparation”), one can in three months turn 50,000 soldiers and policemen into robots who do not see the black flag. But today there are thousands of youth, those who form the backbone of the Israeli army, who experienced “shock therapy” in Gush Katif and Amona that made them immune to such brainwashing. The army may well be only an army of “half the people,” but Barak and Olmert would do well to consider that from their point of view it may well be the wrong half.

August 10, 2007 | Comments Off on Olmert can’t count on the IDF

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