11 thoughts on “A.B. Yehoshua’s La Stampa Op-Ed Calling for U.S. to Recall Ambassador – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Thanks to both Diane Mason and A.B. Yehoshua. (may Italy get out of the crisis)

    Why is it that the most impressive arguments are always so utterly simple? And how to resolve the paradox that populism also feeds on simplification.

  2. ” ‘[O]utposts’…are not dismantled due to fear of conflict with extremist elements.”

    This sounds fishy to me. I think of what the U.S. government did to the Branch Davidian ‘outpost’ in 1993. If the Israeli government was really opposed to these outposts, wouldn’t it send in the tanks and deal with them?

  3. Andy – you raise an interesting question.
    We did see the IDF forcefully remove settlers from Gaza a few years ago.

    What are the chances of a civil war in Israel should the government force the settlers out?

  4. Andy and Solution Seeker-if we want to extrapolate the ideas you are proposing, Israel could also solve the whole Palestinian problem by, as you say “sending the tanks in” and driving out the Palestinians population. However, you would not like that. Similarly, most Israelis don’t like the idea of using force to drive Jews out of Judea/Samaria. It is true, Sharon was able to do it very easily in Gush Katif (there was almost no opposition, almost all the people there packed up and left on their own) because the political leadership of the settlement movement and the old political “right-wing” was a comination of stupid, naive and corrupt. When Olmert decided to show he was “tough” at Amona a few months later, telling the police to use maximum force against passive resistance, things had changed, the old leaders were run out of the place by the protestors who decided to link arms and not just leave on their own. As a result, there were a lot of casualties among the protestors. This was just before the elections, and Olmert plummetted in the polls . Olmert then decided to use his muscle against the Arabs instead and we got the Lebanon II war.
    While no doubt many people relish the idea of using violence against their political opponents, I recall as retired Los Angeles Police Captain telling me that what the US government and FBI did against the Brach Davidians was “Gestapo-like”. He said “you don’t send tanks against American citizens”. In Israel, the situation is even more complicated because the actual status of the “illegal” outposts is not so simple as it is presented in the media (i.e. they are not so “illegal” as it seems) and that much of the Israeli public, not just the settlers, oppose using force against the people there, regardless of Alef Bet Yehoshua’s own preferences.

  5. Israel could also solve the whole Palestinian problem by, as you say “sending the tanks in” and driving out the Palestinians population. However, you would not like that.

    But you would? You would be willing to accept the equivalent of war crimes by essentially eradicating the Palestinian people via mass slaughter. Because that’s the only way that sending in tanks could drive out the Palestinian population.

    most Israelis don’t like the idea of using force to drive Jews out of Judea/Samaria.

    The don’t like it by they’ll accept it if it is the policy of their government just as they accepted the Gaza withdrawal because it was the duly implemented policy of the Israeli government.

    In Israel, the situation is even more complicated because the actual status of the “illegal” outposts is not so simple as it is presented in the media (i.e. they are not so “illegal” as it seems)

    Yes, that’s what I told my wife when she was pregnant with our twins: “You’re not so pregnant as you seem.” What a load of rubbish. They’re ILLEGAL–under Israeli law under international law. Period.

  6. The Jewish settlers and their benefactors in the Israeli government and the Israel Lobby in this country, claim that it states in the Torah that the West Bank or” Judea and Smaria” belongs to the Jews. I recently learned that the Torah really does state is that one must not cut down another person’s tree. When the Jewish settlers tear down the Palestinian peoples homes, they also cut down their olive groves, a clear violation of the Torah. So these Jewish settlers cite the Torah when it’s convenient for them and besides they make a false interpretation.

  7. Imjudy – I have a much simpler soultion: Declare the border along the ’67 lines (or some slight modification based on agreement with the Palestinians), and inform the Settlers that if they return home now they can get goverment compensation for the loss of their home, or they can choose to live in the new Palestinian State and deal with that administration. The offer for compensation is a limited one. No one is twisting anyone’s arm here. I see no reason why Jews shouldn’t be allowed to live in the new Palestinian state given that there are many Palestinians living in Israel, but if they are treated like the Palestinians are treated in Israel they may decide that life would be better on the Israeli side of the border. If I were a Settler I’d be afraid of vengance attacks and get my tuchus back on the Israeli side of the border pronto, but that’s just me. For some Settlers living in Judea and Samaria may trump living in a Jewish state, so more power to them. The Israelis might even give them visas to visit Israel every so often.

  8. The unofficial Accords signed in Geneva Switzerland by Israelis and Palestinians which former President Jimmy Carter played a part, state that some Jewish settlements can remain in Palestine. The settlers would be living under Palestinian laws.

  9. Thanks to Tikun Olam and Diane Mason for all your work to help inform us on the Middle East. It is greatly appreciated — as well as encouraging to learn of prominent Israelis who speak out against the Occupation and Settlements. Help me to understand why so many, many Israelis, including member of the military, condemn the treatment of Palestinians, the Occupation and Settlements etc. and yet, leaders of Jewish organizations in the US remain silent.

  10. Imjudy, you didn’t read my comment very carefully. I didn’t say that the Israeli government *should* “send in the tanks” to deal with the settlers in question. My point was that governments everywhere are typically not shy about using force against their adversaries, and because the Israeli government, which uses force aplenty against the Palestinians, does not use force against the settlers, then it clearly doesn’t view them as criminal in any way.

    I think solution seeker has the right idea – the IDF should leave the West Bank and then it would be up to the settlers to fend for themselves.

  11. Jeanne Capozzoli – The silence in most cases is based on two fears:

    1) Criticism of Israel will invite attacks from less enlightened Jews and thus create problems for the general running of their organizations.

    2) Criticism of Israel will give aid and comfort to those who wish to see Israel destroyed altogether, not to mention Jews in general be marginalized. Trust me, there are plenty such people out there. They are vocal and as rabid as your most right-wing settler. You can find them on the far right and the far left.

    Many Jewish organizations feel hamstrung by these two fears. Leaders and members of the organizations get caught between the different wars that Walzer helps to explain in his article http://dissentmagazine.org/article/?article=557. They are afraid that their criticism will add to the first war and they haven’t felt enough pressure to more vehemently and publicly oppose the fourth war. They generally support the 2nd and 3rd wars.

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