Monday, November 03, 2008

War against the Jews makes Israeli cabinet discussions

Cabinet discussions Sunday revolved around the ‘settler question’ and not Jewish settlement in Tel Aviv. Ha’aretz offers this account:
A government decision to evacuate more territory may lead to a large-scale violent conflict with settlers, complete with live fire, Shin Bet security service chief Yuval Diskin warned at yesterday's cabinet meeting. The meeting ended with the ministers voting to end all government support, both direct and indirect, for illegal outposts.

"The scope of the conflict will be much larger than it is today and than it was during the disengagement," Diskin warned. "Our investigation found a very high willingness among this public to use violence - not just stones, but live weapons - in order to prevent or halt a diplomatic process."

While Diskin did not comment explicitly on the danger of another political assassination, the timing of his warning - just days before the anniversary of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassination - was not lost on cabinet members.

"They [the settlers] don't think like us. Their thought is messianic, mystic, satanic and irrational," Infrastructure Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer said, warning of another political assassination.
In response, the Yesha council is set to file a complaint against MK Ben-Eliezer and Vice Premier Chaim Ramon for libel and incitement reports the Jerusalem Post:
The Committee of Samaria Settlers is set to file a complaint against Vice Premier Haim Ramon and National Infrastructures Minister Binymain Ben-Eliezer, claiming that remarks made by the two made during a cabinet meeting Sunday constituted libel and incitement against the settler community. Ben-Eliezer and Ramon had railed against the settlers during the meeting, which was devoted to extreme right-wing violence.

There is a real pot kettle moment in Ramon ranting about settler conduct when he was found guilty of an indecent sexual conduct against an IDF soldier in 2007. And at least one’s daughter is safe from sexual harassment by the ‘settlers movement’.

Any way, back to Ha’aretz:
"What we are seeing today is the result of a deep rift with the faith-based community, and not only in the West Bank," Diskin said. "Their approach began with the slogan 'through love, we will win' during the [Gaza] disengagement, but has now reached 'through war, we will win."

He also warned that right-wing extremists view their "price tag" policy, in which they retaliate for every outpost evacuation with attacks on soldiers and/or Palestinians, as having been successful, and are therefore liable to expand it to within the Green Line.

The Shin Bet believes there are a few hundred extremists of this type. "There is no clear leadership," Diskin said. "They are motivated by a unity of purpose - not to allow the security forces to evacuate people." Following the cabinet vote on the outposts, the Yesha Council of settlements termed the decision "scandalous and demagogic," saying there is "no connection" between the outposts and extremist violence.

"The decision constitutes collective punishment and denies essential services to loyal citizens whose only sin is living in communities that the State of Israel built and sold apartments in, but has not yet finished the process of approving," it stated. The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel also called the decision discriminatory, as many illegal Arab neighborhoods receive services from the state.

In addition to its decision on outposts, the cabinet ordered a ministerial committee headed by Defense Minister Ehud Barak to submit recommendations within two weeks on how to tighten law enforcement, including by taking action against civil servants who facilitate illegal outpost construction. Most of the meeting, however, was devoted to ministerial tirades against violent settlers and attempts by security and law enforcement agencies to pass blame.

Public Security Minister Avi Dichter said that about one-tenth of Israel's total police force is already in the West Bank, and that it is impossible to transfer additional forces there, other than temporarily for specific missions. He also said that lenient sentencing by the courts deters the police from pursuing indictments "even when they have a suspect in hand."

Dichter must have had the Noam Federman case in mind. Arutz Sheva:
The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court ordered the police Sunday evening to release Hevron community activist Noam Federman from custody. Federman was arrested on Sunday morning on charges of attacking and injuring policemen who were destroying his family's home on an unauthorized outpost. During a hearing to extend Federman's being held in custory, several policemen testified that Federman was hand-cuffed at the time he was accused of assaulting the officers.

Or who knows, maybe Dichter had the children’s case in mind when he suggested the Israeli courts were far too lenient with Jewish dissenters: Arutz Sheva
( The Jerusalem Magistrates Court ordered the release of four of the seven minor girls who have been imprisoned for three weeks despite their continued refusal to cooperate with the justice system. This, as opposed to earlier reports that all seven had been freed. One girl was released Thursday when it became clear that police knew her identity from a card in her posession, and three more were freed Friday after a court-order required the parents to identify their daughetrs. A fast day on their behalf took place Thursday.

The first 14-year-old girl that was ordered released after police admitted she had been identified due to a card that was among her possessions. She continued to refuse to identify herself, along with her six friends. The girl was forcibly evicted from Gush Katif during the 2005 Disengagement and lives at the Nitzan caravan camp with hundreds of other expellees. About 30 friends of the young activists protested outside the courthouse on Friday.

Take note, that even though Israeli police were in possession of the 14 year old girl’s identification, Israeli police still choose to detain her for three weeks because she would not offer willingly offer up her name. But Dichter is right, there is a deep rift between the secular and religious community within Israeli society and is just one of the reasons why the idea of a second Jewish state carries much more weight now than it did even five years ago.

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