Latest update: February 20th, 2014
In less than a month, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon has managed to implement the underhanded legal trick called the Disruptive Use Order in order to uproot a 10-year-old olive grove in the Shilo Valley. His purpose is to pursue and put on trial a group of Jewish minors who were abducted and abused in the Arab village of Kutzrah – instead of the Arabs who abducted them.
Yaalon also wants to arrest pregnant women – Jewish, of course – for the crime of not carrying their ID cards, and destroy the home of the Samaria Settler Committee’s secretary – a home that is no different from any of the other homes in Kidah. That is, except that its owner waged a political campaign against Yaalon.
When I heard that Yaalon had used the Disruptive Use Order despite the recommendation of the Levy Report (appointed by the prime minister to examine the legal aspects of land ownership in Judea and Samaria) to abolish it and despite the fact that the minister had clearly made a commitment to abolish it before the elections, I quickly protested against his actions from the Knesset plenum and activated all the political power at my disposal. After all, the logic behind the Disruptive Use Order is that the Land of Israel belongs to the Arabs and that the Jewish presence there is “disruptive.” For that reason, no proofs are needed for its implementation. No legal procedure is required. It is enough to announce: “You are bothering me, so get out of here!”
If there had been any chance at all for an improvement in the minister’s conduct after my protests, it evaporated with the political right’s glee and the surge in Yaalon’s popularity after his remarks against Secretary of State John Kerry.
“Love conquers all,” settler leader Ze’ev “Zambish” Hever waxed poetic on the fresh grave of Ariel Sharon, the destroyer of Yamit and Gush Katif. Well, at least Sharon also built settlements. But Moshe Yaalon? What exactly has he done? He mumbled something against Kerry in private and the new uprooter becomes the hero of the settlement movement?
It is no wonder that after a short time, the Defense Minister figured out who he is dealing with and sent his bulldozers to carry out the targeted attack on the home in Kidah. Those who hurried to cheer Yaalon carry some responsibility for the destruction.
Yaalon is not the problem. Personally, until the last spate of destruction, I actually respected and liked the man, who radiates integrity and simplicity. When his book was published, I hurried to buy it and read it from cover to cover. I understood from the book that Yaalon is a decidedly positive person – with nothing new to say. It was clear to me that in trying times, he would fail, just as all of the right’s leaders until now have failed. If there is any difference, it is that from the moment the anticipated deterioration began, it appeared with surprising strength. Yaalon, after all, is a straight shooter. If he has decided to “get” the settlers, he does so without creating diversions or making confusing statements.
Those afraid to take responsibility and create an essential alternative to lead Israel will always find themselves lobbying. They will always cheer the empty words of the newest leader of the right. Those words may come from a positive place, but they do not have the essential foundation that would actualize them. Ultimately, all those leaders fall into leftist patterns. The settlers have no choice but to cover their crimes – with “great love” – against the settlements. Why? Because they simply never bothered to create an alternative.
For the left, which does not suffer from a lack of leadership mentality, just the opposite is true. Beautiful words do not impress it. When the right implements its own policies, the left continues to attack until it brings it down and takes its place. That is the big difference between those who see themselves as an alternative and those who will eternally search for their legitimacy in other circles.
Moshe Yaalon has to know exactly what is expected of him as the defense minister of the so-called national camp. He must abolish the Disruptive Use Order once and for all, implement the Levy Report and rebuild all that has been destroyed and uprooted.
But the next time elections come around, Yaalon will release a heartwarming statement, others will talk about his great merits – some of which he showed us this week – and all the sides will play their part: The sun will shine, the right will cheer on Yaalon – and the bulldozers will continue to rumble up toward the settler’s homes.
About the Author: Moshe Feiglin is the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and a member of Israel's Security and Defense Committee. He heads the Manhigut Yehudit ("Jewish Leadership") faction of Israel's governing Likud party. He is the founder of Manhigut Yehudit and Zo Artzeinu and the author of two books: "Where There Are No Men" and "War of Dreams." Feiglin served in the IDF as an officer in Combat Engineering and is a veteran of the Lebanon War. He lives in Ginot Shomron with his family.
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