Let Us Defeat the IDF

In normal countries the majority would have been out of its mind by now: To let a relatively small group of disengagement foes dictate an agenda at such a high price is inconceivable.

The three arrows that indicate the routes for the attack that is being planned by the Jewish settlers and their supporters for this coming week are no less than the heart of a war map. Tens of thousands of citizens of the State of Israel are going to battle with their government, their parliament and especially the army and the police force of a sovereign state. This is a violent irredentism by a small minority that has a culture of its own and laws of its own for which the source of authority is not elected by a public. However, it has no objections to continuing funding from the state against which it is fighting for its war against that state.

This week, this battle map will compel the Israel Defense Forces and the Israel Police to deploy thousands of soldiers and officers to defend the state's sovereignty and laws at an unbearable cost. This is not a matter only of the cost per soldier or policeman, the price of the food and the fuel and the physical damage to vehicles that comes to tens of millions of shekels, but also of the neglect of the country's security during that time: Citizens will not be able to receive the service to which they are entitled from the police, the Magen David Adom emergency medical service stations will be on call for the war against Jewish settlers and the IDF will have to decrease its routine defense activity to build another layer and another layer around the Gaza Strip.

The citizens of Israel can rightly see themselves as abandoned during this time, thanks to the settlers. In normal countries the majority would have been out of its mind by now: To let a relatively small group dictate an agenda at such a high price and paid for from its pocket is inconceivable behavior. Isn't it at least possible to demand that this defensive operation against those who are subverting the government be paid for from the lawbreakers' budget?

But the settlers know they can still rely on someone. The majority that is paying for it will stay at home this time too as the orange convoys pass by and laugh in their faces for being suckers and continuing to obey the laws of the state. Mothers will continue to just click their tongues when they see their perspiring soldier sons or police husbands suffering the filthy verbal insults heaped upon them from every side. But it is not only a matter of insult. This time the Jewish settlers have learned the lesson of Kfar Maimon and are explicitly trying to exhaust the security forces. It appears this is no longer about a battle for preserving the holy land of Gaza, but rather a question of who will win. To achieve this aim they are prepared to trample even those who have already asked to leave the battle zone, prepare their new homes and start the next chapter.

There is no act more legitimate than the efforts of minorities to participate in the decision-making process. This is the essence of democracy. There is no greater crime toward it than the attempt by the minority to gain control of the monopoly on decision-making. The Middle East abounds with radical minority organizations that with a pretense of democracy are trying to topple governments and replace them with theocracies. In Israel, this has always been the Arab minority, especially the extreme religious part of it.

The Jewish population, since the establishment of the state, has in its vast majority adopted politics as the legitimate battlefield. A Jewish underground? The Temple Mount Faithful? The hilltop youth? Jewish assassins? All of these have been chalked up as margins of the margins, the hallucinatory and lunatic fringe. But what can be done when this fringe suddenly begins to move along three routes that are heading toward Gaza but in the end will harm Jerusalem? What can be done when the traditional role of Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben-Gvir is now being played by "upstanding citizens" like settler leader Pinhas Wallerstein or National Union MK Zvi Hendel and when extremism has become the mainstream?