For an agreement, against confrontation
Agreement reached between Yesha Council and the government on evacuating the unauthorized outpost at Migron is a good one, and both sides should be commended for their responsibility and courage in choosing compromise and agreement over confrontation and the danger of bloodshed.
The agreement reached between the Yesha Council and the government on evacuating the unauthorized outpost at Migron is a good one, and both sides - the government and the Council of Jewish Settlements in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza District - should be commended for their responsibility and courage in choosing compromise and agreement over confrontation and the danger of bloodshed. There is no cause for surprise at the howls of protest being voiced in extremist circles on both the left and the right. They were predictable and only prove the compromise was appropriate and fair.
As for the response of the left, I admit it is beyond my ken to comprehend why it is permissible and desirable to talk with enemies, but it is forbidden to talk with rivals. Why is it that the same people who are all for speaking to our worst enemies, to terrorists and murderers, outright reject all talks with members of our own people - even if they are, according to MK Zahava Gal-On, "lawbreakers."
Gal-On and her ilk support holding talks even with Hamas - an organization that flies the banner of Israel's destruction - because it believes that dialogue is always preferable to bloody confrontation. But when it comes to the settlers - even those who do not break the law - there is no place for dialogue, for an agreed-upon evacuation, for creative solutions that do not in any way entail acceptance but are nonetheless in line with the law. When it comes to unauthorized outposts, the radical left demands that the letter of the law be pursued - here, there is no room for compromise - only total surrender will be accepted.
As for the extreme right, this is a small but dangerous group of individuals who do not recognize the State of Israel, do not honor its institutions or its laws, and for whom the Israel Defense Forces, the Israel Police and the Shin Bet security service are enemies. This group also includes people for whom violence has become a legitimate course of action. They run amok, injure innocent Arabs and damage their property, and ridicule IDF soldiers. These people and their actions are as "a root that beareth gall and wormwood." There is no connection between these people and the ideology of religious Zionism.
The majority of the [Jewish] residents of Judea and Samaria are law-abiding and loyal to the state, and disagree completely with the radical right. But the true test is that of the leadership. For that reason, there is great significance in the Yesha Council decision to approve an agreement which has the inhabitants of Migron evacuating - albeit in two years and on condition they will be allowed to move to an existing community (but there is nothing wrong with that) - and everything built at the site destroyed. All this, despite the opposition of the residents themselves and the extreme right wing.
Of particular importance is the reasoning put forth by Yesha Council leaders, who emphasized that this was a court ruling that must be honored and that the Amona evacuation, which "ended in bitter disappointment for all parties," must not be repeated.
It should be hoped that this is a true turning point, and that after a long period of following in the wake of the extremists the Yesha Council has decided to stop giving in, and instead to faithfully reflect the feeling and belief of the overwhelming majority of the residents of Judea and Samaria and of the State of Israel. The council's true test will be that of time - whether it can continue to stand behind the agreement and to denounce anyone attempting to obstruct its implementation.
After the disengagement from the Gaza Strip, there were those who ridiculed the slogan Be'ahava Ninetze'ah (we shall conquer through love). They believe they will conquer through force. It would be wise to make it clear to them they can prevail only through love and persuasion, and anyone who thinks he can convince the State of Israel by using force will only bring destruction upon himself.
The writer is a principal research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies.
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