by Hillel Fendel, IsraelNN.com
Grassroots organizations in Yesha (Judea and Samaria), together with the National Union faction in the Knesset, have published a rough draft of a plan to actively fight the construction freeze. The program is formulated carefully and logically, yet deals with what it calls an “existential threat” and the “first step towards the destruction of most of the Jewish presence in Yesha.”
The Komemiyut (Proudly Upright) organization will disseminate the plan in post offices throughout Judea and Samaria at the end of this week. The program begins by outlining the calamitous nature of the construction freeze decision by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, explains the draconian nature in which the freeze is expected to be implemented, and concludes with an operative set of steps to fight it.
The decision to freeze all construction in Judea and Samaria is not something that can be easily ignored. It is nothing less than the first step — irreversible, under natural circumstances — towards expulsion and destruction of a far worse extent than what we experienced in Gush Katif and northern Shomron.
Just as it was naïve to believe that the expulsion from Gush Katif would legitimize Israel’s right to defend its southern communities — the world expressed its “understanding” for this right in the Goldstone Report — it is similarly blind to imagine that after ten months, the world will allow us to resume building. Past experience shows us that the international pressure and the Palestinian appetite will simply grow stronger.
It is also detached from reality to think that local town councils in Yesha will ever again be allowed to authorize construction. The freeze decree is clearly the beginning of a slippery and dangerous slope leading to the destruction of the entire Jewish settlement enterprise. One must be naïve to believe that this is only a temporary measure and to strenuously defend it, as Cabinet Ministers Yaalon, Begin, Lieberman and others have done.
The handwriting is on the wall in large, clear writing; we must simply open our eyes, read and internalize.
The very day (Friday) after the construction freeze order was signed, and up until the minutes that the Sabbath began, freeze orders were distributed to local mayors. Aerial photos were even taken in order to document the status quo. The speed with which this process was done shows that this was not a sudden decision, but one that was preceded by careful, long planning — far from the eyes of the public and by deceiving the voters.
The next logical step is negotiations and Israeli withdrawal from most of Yesha and the destruction of the towns and expulsion of their residents.
It is still not too late, however, to stop this. We can still bring the healthy political forces in the nationalist camp to get Netanyahu to change his path. We can still get Israeli society, and the decision makers, and the Defense Ministry subcontractors — those who do not realize that they should refuse the orders — to realize that choking the settlement enterprise in Yesha is mission impossible.
Know Your Opponent: How They Plan to Enforce the Freeze
The defense establishment is relating to the enforcement of the freeze as a national mission encompassing the entire IDF, from the Chief of Staff down to the regional brigades in Yesha. Just like before the Gush Katif expulsion, the army is preparing to provide “mental preparation” for the policemen and soldiers who will take part, including motivational talks about how the freeze is critical for national security. Some 40 teams of inspectors, including representatives of the Civil Administration, Border Guard, and IDF guards, will enforce the freeze, driving around in bullet-proof vehicles to the various communities.
They will attempt to create a “deterrence effect” by arresting individuals who will serve as scapegoats by being punished severely, with the expectation that others will be afraid to follow in their footsteps. This is critical for the government, since they know that they will not be able to deal with thousands of opponents — but if we realize that in truth they cannot punish thousands of us, and we thus break their “deterrence effect,” and simply not be afraid of them — we will have won.
Plan of Action: Basic Principles
We must create an atmosphere of tension and agitation, in order to get the nationalist-camp politicians to truly pressure and threaten Netanyahu.
We must also employ psychological warfare, in the sense of, “We’re upsetting the board and not playing anymore.” There must be no dialogue with the government or the IDF. Dialogue only serves their purposes, of keeping things under control. Their fear of the unknown and lack of control is much greater than ours, and if we don’t talk with them, they have more to lose than we do.
Netanyahu, for instance, has humiliated the Yesha leadership by refusing to meet with them ever since he was elected — except for immediately after the freeze orders were issued, when he wished simply to calm us down and neutralize our ability to fight. Meetings of this sort can help us in small things, but the price will be our ability to wage an effective fight.
We call upon the mayors, rabbis and community leaders not to meet with or have any contact with anyone connected with the enforcement of the freeze. This “extreme” move will significantly complicate the enforcement, and will also broadcast a message of how grave the construction freeze truly is.
A basic assumption is that the State will not be able to enforce the freeze in the face of thousands and tens of thousands of opponents. Neither will the IDF be able to handle refusals by dozens and hundreds of soldiers.
The struggle must therefore be broad and comprehensive, and supported by public leaders and rabbis. Groups of dozens and hundreds of adults and youths must be organized, where everyone places a brick on a new building. In this relatively simple manner, we will show that enforcing the freeze is impossible and that we will not take it lying down.
We must also not be afraid to be arrested. We must fight their psychological warfare by showing that we are not afraid, and turning this approach to our advantage. The courts will not be able to deal with hundreds and thousands of indictments and arrests. It will not only stop up the court system, it will also broadcast a message of lack of control, of impending catastrophe, of a nationalist party against the public, etc.
In short, the motto is, “Arrest Means Victory.”