'Price Tag' Gangs Threaten Israel Government's Authority

A Jewish authority has taken shape on the West Bank, and its goal is to replace the state as a sovereign authority, and eventually also perhaps to supplant the authority of the IDF.

There's no doubt: Judea and Samaria are here. The "price tag" gangs are not content with the reservation allocated to them on the West Bank, where they can uproot trees, demolish IDF vehicle parts and burn mosques. Like any terror organization, they operate on the basis of a limitless "bank of targets." It is not too much to hypothesize that these lists make distinctions between those whose doors should be spray-painted, and those who should be assassinated, not only on these West Bank reservations, but also in the state of Israel. But it would be a tragic mistake to relate to these gangs merely as though they were a terror organization, whose activity, circumscribed to a specific area, will be brought to an end.

Israel, well versed in the war on terror, has invented the term "terror infrastructure" which distinguishes between those who carry out actual acts of terror, and those who handle the terrorists; that is, between the "military wing" and the political-cultural leadership that cultivates the terrorists. Such a terror "infrastructure" does not exist on these Jewish West Bank enclaves. Responsibility cannot be accorded to the Yesha Council of settlements, or to the rabbis who keep their hands clean, who roll their eyes instead of taking responsibility.

But this infrastructure really exists. A Jewish authority has taken shape on the West Bank, and its goal is to replace the state as a sovereign authority, and eventually also perhaps to supplant the authority of the IDF. We are not talking about the Yesha Council, which "bows down" to government authorities, but rather the creation of a new insanity that will sponsor terror organizations under its wing.

"Instead of a governmental authority which operates to gleefully crack the skulls of Jewish youths, instead of what the state calls 'the rule of law,' there are now Jews who stand up, with the blood racing through their veins. They are not keeping mum as their land is being destroyed. We Jewish citizens who reside in strips of land designated for annexation to an artificial enemy state, to be abandoned to the authority of such a state declare that this will never happen. No, we refuse to be expelled; we refuse to be abandoned and to allow our land to be betrayed. Sovereignty and responsibility! Rights and obligations!"

This is how Bar-Ilan University Prof. Hillel Weiss lays the ideological founding for the settlers' military wing. For the purpose of carrying out this ennobling concept, the establishment of a "Jewish Authority" (parallel to the Palestinian Authority ) was declared this week; its objective is to replace the sovereign authority of the state of Israel, "which is disavowing its responsibility as a Jewish state founded for the Jews, and which chooses to serve the enemy of the Jewish people."

Statements published by the headquarters for the "rescue of the Jewish people and the land of Israel" indicate that hundreds of settler representatives were present at the founding conference of this new Jewish Authority, which was held at the Nofim settlement. Participants included Yitzhak Shadmi, Rabbi Michael Ben Horin, Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpo, Yitzhak Feldman (a leader of the Haredim for Judea and Samaria group. ). Among the greetings of support and salutations relayed were those of Patrik Brinkmann who, according to a Der Spiegel report, has ties with the neo-Nazi right in Germany. Incidentally, participants at the conference conferred a NIS 20,000 prize to the family of an IDF soldier who refused to evacuate the Ramat Migron outpost, and was sentenced to 20 days in army prison.

The ideological infrastructure is consolidating, and its political goals are being supported by an organizational framework. No, this is not a political party. A party is a detested concept that is required to vie with other parties, and contend with contrasting outlooks and heed the laws of the state, laws which the "infrastructure" does not respect. From this point on, the "infrastructure" will serve as a sovereign authority. As a source of authority, it will require tools of enforcement. Tools which are not operated by organs of the state of Israel, such as the IDF or the police. It will establish its own enforcement framework, one whose essential parts are already ready to go full swing. Members of the "price tag" gangs may not wear uniforms, but they have in their possession firearms, some of which are IDF property, and they have an abundance of targets to attack.

With criminal ease, this phenomenon can be ignored, or dismissed as a deluded organization preoccupied with ridiculous visions conjured up by persons who have not taken their medication. Even if these people are serious, one might say, they are still dealing with matters on some far-off reservation. One might keep ignoring this up to the point where it turns out, if it hasn't already turned out, that they really hold authority in the state of Israel. Do you remember how the "settlement enterprise" began?