An Existential Threat called “Yesha”

You have destroyed the periphery, turned us into a third-world country and led us to demographic disaster. If you win now, it will be an additional contribution on your part to the liquidation of the Jewish State.

An open letter to the heads of the settler movement.
Arnon Soffer

You have declared war in the legitimate state of Israel. You are trying to shake the legitimacy of the rule of law, of the IDF, of purity of arms. You are weakening the national immunity of this country, which is in any case not among the strongest nations in the world. This borders on betrayal of the fatherland, and for that there can be no forgiveness. You have learned nothing from general history or from Jewish history. In your delusions, you are leading our precious Israel to another disaster on the model of the Bar-Kochba revolt.

You know quite well that we, the Jews, are a minority in “Greater Israel,” and even if we accept the false demographic statistics of your friends from the United states, we will still be a minority here within twenty years. This means that international opinion, including that of the United States, will claim that our situation is like that of South Africa, and that the solution for the land of Israel is to turn it into a bi-national state. It is doubtless clear to you, as it is clear to me, that a solution of this sort means the end of the Jewish entity in this crazy part of the world. The fact that you ignore this central fact is a crime. All your proposals to transfer the Arabs of Palestine to Jordan or Sinai are idiotic, and I am sure that you yourselves also do not believe they are at all practical.

Thus, disengagement is a life potion for a democratic and Jewish state. Most of the nation in Israel, and you included, know this. There is no need for a referendum or for cynical procrastinations of the implementation of disengagement, and for removal of 24 superfluous settlements right now, and at a later stage – about 40 additional ones. I am not even counting the ten illegal outposts – which have to be removed in any case and for which we may pay very dearly, because Washington does not forgive liars. Like all of us, you too know that the main reason for the disengagement is not the terror. The terror is, was and will continue to exist regardless. However, the disengagement will triumph and will return sanity to the state of Israel. I am sorry for the people who will have to pay for it by parting from their communities and their homes, because they were misled. At this time it is a matter of 8,000 inhabitants of Gush Katif and in the second and third stages – about 60,000 inhabitants of Judea and Samaria [Yesha, West Bank]. However 320,000 settlers will remain in their communities and their homes if you will calm down.

The Negev suffers; the Galilee is abandoned; calamity in Jerusalem

The security barrier prevents suicide bombers from entering the State of Israel and reduces friction between us and the Palestinians. However, above all, it determines the borders of the Jewish state. You, more than most citizens of Israel, know that the route of the fence includes 80% of the inhabitants of Judea and Samaria within the area of the State of Israel. With the tacit agreement of the United States, that is a great achievement, which may yet be lost because of you. Your war for the Katif area and for settlement on the other side of the separation line is sterile and useless. Israel will have to give up the areas of Judea and Samaria that are on the other side of the separation fence, that is clear to anyone who has eyes in their heads and who also listens to Condoleezza Rice and the US presidential advisors. However, meanwhile, your war is exacting terrible cost. First and foremost, it has caused the collapse of periphery of the state of Israel.

The Negev is suffering, both from the point of view of the situation of its inhabitants and strategically. Because of you, the state doesn’t find time or resources to solve the problems there, and we may reach a point of no return. The Galil is also being abandoned by Jews, and nobody is taking not, since the national attention is directed at the 8,000 inhabitants of the Katif area, to the Yesha rabbis who have become our strategists, and to clearing up roadblocks. You certainly know that without the periphery, we will be left with a state consisting of the Gush Dan (Tel Aviv) area, which will have a limited lifetime. You are directly responsible for this process. The most terrible price, which borders on tragedy, is the loss of Jerusalem. Your claims that Jerusalem is at the top of your concerns, and about the “city that has been united” are empty verbiage. The city is gradually being taken out of our hands, and it is mostly your fault. The secular Jews are leaving Jerusalem for Mevasseret, Modi’in and Tel-Aviv, and you send the inhabitants of Jerusalem who are loyal to you to the territories.

You are also responsible for turning Israel into a third world country.The substrates are collapsing, because you paved over a thousand kilometers of useless bypass roads. Instead of allocating funds to education, culture, desalination and improving the environment, the state supports you in the destruction of everything good in the land of Israel. Look at what you did to the forest of Har Homa, to the forests to the east of Jerusalem in the direction of Jericho, to the Itamar region etc. etc. You gave legitimacy to illegal construction in the open, and we are all paying for it and will pay for it. You proved that illegal construction doesn’t occur in just one Israeli sector. If that is not enough, in recent months, you proclaim unashamedly that you will harm the economy of the country and destroy the infrastructure. Among your people violence has become a way of life – damage to cars with blue ribbons and physical injury to anyone who disagrees with you. The lynch of Muassi that was documented was but a small example of what is taking place and has been taking place in a few years on the other side of the green line.

Another such victory and we are lost

You have appropriated for yourself the love of Israel and the love of the divine, but in reality you are doing the opposite: You are leading all of us – knowingly – to a terribly calamity, and all this for what? In order to defend a handful of people who erred, who misled others and who did some bad things for many years. The sad truth is that you know all of this. However, the State of Israel and its future are not foremost in your thoughts right now, since you are involved exclusively in a war of personal survival. It is clear to you that the false national mission that you led for 35 years, and which has cost Israel a lot of blood, huge damage to the periphery and many billions of dollars – is about to collapse. Suddenly it turns out that we are approaching the end of your age of anarchy. Moreover: you will be asked to give a public accounting before your constituency, before the citizens of Israel and the entire Jewish people. Therefore, the State of Israel doesn’t interest you at present, and you are willing to sacrifice it on the altar of your ego.

And one final question: Have you thought about the possibility that you might be victorious over the rule of law and prevent the disengagement? Have you thought about how a “victory” like that might influence world opinion and especially the United States? Have you thought about what would happen to the State of Israel one day after such a victory? Such a victory would be yet another one of your contributions to the liquidation of Israel. You know it and you don’t care, as you are an egotistical gang engaged in a personal war of survival.

You led a whole flock to noplace, and now you haven’t the courage to admit it, and to disappear from the stage of Israeli history. You err and lead others astray and you endanger the existence of the State of Israel. Disengagement is the life potion of Israel and it shall be carried out and shall return Israel to sanity. No disengagement means the destruction of democratic Jewish Israel, and it would happen far more quickly than you imagine.

Arnon Soffer is a Geographer and Demographic Researcher, head of the Department of Geostrategy at the University of Haifa.

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