By Ted Belman
Israel is fulfilling settlers’ expansionist dream says Zvi Bar’el but it is a misleading title. In fact its all about the hated settlers who are destroying democracy.
He argues that in the name of redeeming the land the settlers want “a country in their image. A country where the halakha (religious law ) is the law, the rabbis are judges and the police are their servants. A proper Jewish state.” That’s democracy for you.
He complains that
“the exiled minority who dwell on rocky hills and in subsidized housing – who, from their place of exile, managed to bend the mother country to their will, to shape its image, to determine its laws, its budget and its foreign policy, and to fence in its citizens with the barbed wire of fascism.”
He is so wrong. The settlers themselves are certainly a minority but their supporters are not. Besides there is no prohibition on a minority fighting for their vision of the state. The left does it all the time. If this isn’t democracy, what is?
“The milestones that led to the establishment of their state are scattered along the 44 years of their subterfuge. Some of them stand rusty and crooked, like interesting clues for political archaeologists, others are fresh and shiny, like the Boycott Law, the Nakba Law, the recognition of Ariel College’s status as a university, the Loyalty Law, the Admissions Committee Law – which will also soon become habit and a way of life, as though there was no other life beforehand. Democracy will then become a “phantom pain.”
He goes on to complain that the settlers used salami tactics, a slice at a time, and in so doing they disguised their goals. Nonsense, their goals are transparent and never hidden.
“The “settlement enterprise” knew how to camouflage itself. Only a few more hours of prayer in the Cave of the Patriarchs, begged the settlers; just let us clean up the site of the Avraham Avninu synagogue in Hebron; only a small and intimate neighborhood in Kiryat Arba; just a small increase in the population of the neighborhood; only an outpost and an access road. And as though in a military diversion exercise, the “enemy” – Israeli governments, center-left Knesset members, various peace movements – bought this camouflaged plan as though it were the real plan.”
So what was the real plan?. He writes, “the conquest of the State of Israel.”
He thinks that the American Jewish Diaspora should tell the Israeli government how to behave, what policy to follow and which liberal values to adopt. But complains that American Jews didn’t dare intervene accepting that
“The values of that state are no longer the values of that same Judaism; the dream of its settlers is no longer their dream. So the American Diaspora made way for the other diaspora, the militaristic, tyrannical one – the one that dictates from a distance of a few kilometers, but from the depth of the abyss, the new values of the State of Israel.”
Essentially he is complaining that Israel is worshipping a different G-d, before it was the G-d of Socialism and universalism and now its the G-d or Nationalism and particularism. He can’t stand it.
These are the values that are imported to Israel from the territories and that have received the protection of the law. Because in the settlements there was no need for a law in order to exclude Arab settlers, even though the area is state land; in the settlements there was no need for the Nakba Law – it was imposed by physical strength. The Loyalty Law is certainly not relevant, since it is the citizens of Israel who are required to swear allegiance to the settlements and not vice versa. Nor was there need for the Boycott Law, which establishes the supremacy of the interests of the settlements over those of the mother country.
He believes this policy of confidence, national purpose and strength will lead to another Masada. Au Contraire.