Settlers indulged but not used (Jane #15) - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Ben Gurion
    • 17.10.05 | 03:28 (IST)

    Jane, you are one of the few "good" people on this board. (I mean good instincts.) But you completely overlook the historical dimension of the settlement project. What to do with the Arabs of the Land of Israel was a question that troubled Zionism from the early days of Jewish settlement. Jabotinsky thought that they could be suppressed until, running out of choices, they would accept Jews as majority in the land. Labor wanted to gain Arab agreement to living within a Jewish majority but, beginning in the 1920s, they also realized this would not happen. Eventually the Zionist movement agreed to the division of the Land and having two states (1937 Peel commission, 1947 UN resolution). In the 1948 war, led by the Labor movement, we REFRAINED from conquering the West Bank in order not to be saddled with a large Arab population. Herut submitted a no-confidence resolution for that in the first Knesset (1949). After the 1967 War, Labor goverments acted according to the Allon plan, which intended to keep some areas, such as the Jordan Valley and the Judean Desert, but return the rest to Jordan. Why? Israel did not want to be saddled with a large Arab population. Settlements were confined to the areas intended to be kept. In 1977, Likud came to power and open up the entire Territories for settlements. They wanted to keep the Greater Land of Israel. What do you do with the Arabs? They had no clue, but this didn't stop them. The religious settlers were also subscribers of that dream. But they, at least, knew what would happen: The messiah would take care of the Arabs. Problem solved. Meir Kahana also recognized the Arab problem. That's why he had his answer: transfer (deportation). It is not correct to blame Labor and Likud governments alike. They acted very differently. It is not correct to look at most of the settlers as dupes who followed a mistaken government policy. They were pushing to be settled, even despite the government's wishes. This already happened in the days of Labor (in Hebron, Samaria), and today you see it in the "illegal outposts". Some settlers, the Kedainiks, went to settle for financial incentives. The majority went settling because of their own ideology. Because of the government involvement in this stupidity, I accept that the Settlers should receive some monetary compensation. But I do not share their pain. They were partners to the crime and they deserve to suffer, for all the suffering they caused the State of Israel and, even more so, the inhuman behavior they showed towards their Arab neighbors.

    from the article: After the Yesha Council lost the `ayin'
    First published 00:00 16.10.05 | Last updated 00:00 16.10.05
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