I do not like to give advice to people in times of distress. Every time a settlement facing destruction begins to debate whether to take the “offer” (in other words, the extortion) to leave or to cling to its principles and its place, I adopt our Sages’ advice to not judge others until I am in their place.
These days it is easy to dish out militant advice to the residents of Migron, but they – not I – will be paying the price. So I remained silent. But when I saw their ad campaign last weekend, determined ads that emphasized that they have no intention of accepting the “cut-and-paste” compromise being proposed to them, I stood at attention and saluted these heroes from the bottom of my heart.
I read in the newspaper about all the pressure being applied on them from within. I read all the articles that called upon them to accept the “compromise.”
So, residents of Migron, because you have already made your decision and publicized it, I am writing about why you are so right.
I will begin from the bitter end. Your struggle is not for your home in Migron or in Givat Asaf. If you do not accept the compromise, and if Prime Minister Netanyahu, God forbid, acquires the hegemony that he wants in the upcoming Likud primaries, and if the Likud MKs will no longer be able to stop him, there is definitely a chance that the legislation to legalize the outposts will not pass and your homes may be destroyed, God forbid.
But you are not fighting for your homes; you are fighting for all the settlements. You are fighting for my home in Karnei Shomron and for the homes of all the people in the settlements who are now trying to convince you to evacuate. They do not understand that they are next in line.
Israel is withdrawing into the Green Line. That is the strategic picture. They have already built the wall, the border, and the international border crossings that we pass every day. The prime minister has already declared his endorsement of two states, and he insists on keeping the settlements’ favorite guy, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, in a position of power. When the wind is at your back, you can set out your sails and let it take you in the right direction. But when the wind is blowing against you, you have to crouch down and keep a firm hold on the ground.
When Ehud Olmert replaced Ariel Sharon as prime minister, he understood that expulsions erase the indiscretions of the past and bring the unrestrained support of the media and justice system. Olmert decided to outdo Sharon and dreamed up the Convergence plan that schemed to do to Ofra what the Disengagement did to Neve Dekalim.
And what saved Ofra? Amona.
After the bloody pictures from Amona, Olmert’s popularity took a nosedive and he eventually lost the premiership.
Netanyahu cannot allow those pictures to be played out again. If he will clearly understand that you are not going to willingly go, he will do all that he can to make sure that the legislation legalizing the outposts is passed.
There is no reason to wait for destruction. Until January 31, the day that the primaries for head of the Likud will be held, there is a political way to make Netanyahu run after you and authorize the new law. We need to enlist all of our energies, just like we did in the referendum on Gush Katif, to get people to vote for the candidate running against Netanyahu for the party chairmanship.
Netanyahu wants to attain complete supremacy over the Likud, a control that will allow him to claim that he got an open check from the party members to carry out his plans for the future. (He spelled out those plans in his speeches at Bar-Ilan University and the U.S. Congress.) That is why every percentage point is so critical to him. That is why these elections are the only effective political weapon available for the settlements. If there were no primaries now in the Likud, Netanyahu would not have prevented Barak from destroying Ramat Gilad.
We must firmly cling to our land, while uniting to empower the faith-based force in the Likud. This is what must be done now to save Migron, and to ensure the continued growth of the settlements.