The People Versus Daniella Weiss

Chips of hatred and separation are already flying, six months before zero hour and, as a preface to the physical destruction, are destroying the remnants of Jewish-Israeli unity.

Chips of hatred and separation are already flying, six months before zero hour and, as a preface to the physical destruction, are destroying the remnants of Jewish-Israeli unity. When only force is used, without consulting forethought - and without listening to the heart - the result is a fracture: of the Zionist ethos, a renting of the fabric of the army and the police, of the legal institutions.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's recklessness is splitting the Likud, has crushed the National Religious Party, is renewing the legitimacy of the public corruption of the ultra-Orthodox, and is stymieing the implementation of the core essence of the Dovrat report. All for the sake of the lofty ideal of uprooting Jews from their homes. This holy end justifies all the means.

Even the public bodies, especially the operational ones, are going beyond their professional-operational roles. They are joining the "emotional groundwork" process toward the uprooting. By this I mean the demonization process - otherwise, how will it be possible to carry out the uprooting in the future?

I am referring, for example, to the situation in parts of the military establishment, the upper echelons of the Shin Bet security services but particularly to the justice system, which is willingly turning itself - and the legal system it represents - into an additional victim of the storm that Sharon is brewing.

Refusal, I have stated more than once in this column, is wrong. Attorney General Menachem Mazuz was right when he ordered the investigation of Kedumim Mayor Daniella Weiss and Noam Livnat for calling on soldiers to refuse orders. Anyone who calls for refusal must be prepared, in the words of former attorney general Michael-Ben Yair, to "serve time."

The problem is that Ben-Yair himself publicly called for refusal. Not, perish the thought, for the refusal to uproot Jews from their homes - that he would advocate with the highest sense of mission - but rather the refusal to fight the enemy at the height of the war against terror. He was also prepared, judging from his pronouncements, to bear responsibility for the results.

Preachers of refusal from the left, however, just like the refusing soldiers themselves, not only were not put on trial, they were even cultural heroes and media darlings. After all, just like in "Animal Farm," all the refuseniks are equal, but some are more equal than others.

Yesh Gvul (There is a Limit), Ometz Lesarev (Courage to Refuse) and other similar movements signed up hundreds of academics, lawyers, media people and politicians who called for refusal. Unlike Weiss, they were not summoned for interrogation. Mazuz, when he had barely taken up his post, hastened to make it clear where he stood.

"I am sympathetic," he admitted, "to any conscientious objector in any issue."

For some reason his sympathy is reserved only for refuseniks from one side. It also turns out that he has sympathy for more than just the refusing kind of idealists. He extended his sympathy again, very recently, to the Sharon family idealists from the Sycamore Ranch who are leading the uprooting.

The Israel Defense Forces is even more unbalanced than the State Prosecutor's Office in its handling of refuseniks. When fighter pilots in uniform gathered signatures on a petition calling on their colleagues to refuse targeted hits against armed terrorists, effectively refusing to go into battle during a war, not one of them was charged with fomenting rebellion.

At that time, a junior paratroop officer was sentenced to jail for refusing to participate in the evacuation of an outpost, and even though he did not call on those under his command to follow his example, he certainly did not call upon them, as did the pilots, not to go into battle, yet he was ousted from the army. An elite commando living in Yitzhar who called on his comrades not to evacuate Jews is currently serving 28 days in military prison.

Arbitrariness, legal or otherwise, will not restrain the refuseniks of the uprooting, but will rather intensify their feeling of discrimination and their motivation to defy it. Those responsible for this arbitrariness are eroding the substance and consequently the authority of the law, that precious asset which is their charge. Thus they are joining the politicians, and representatives of the press, army, Shin Bet and the police, who are using the delegitimization of people who are already in an almost impossible emotional state, and making them despair altogether.

Indeed, this seems to be the goal: To weaken them, via humiliation and scare tactics, in their effort to prevent their uprooting.