Unease. Déjà vu from Sharon’s great Expulsion. It began with a column by Hagai Segal, who depicted the insistence of Migron’s residents not to move from their current location as a sort of childish stubbornness. After all, Kedumim was founded after it was moved from its original location and ultimately grew into a thriving community. So how dare those “children” of Migron, who never heard of settler leader Ze’ev “Zambish” Hever, think otherwise?
After reading that column, I already began to feel that we lost: Migron, Ulpana Hill, it doesn’t really matter what exactly will happen on the ground. Just like in Gush Katif, the struggle on the ground is really just make-believe. The real decisions on the fate of the settlements are being made in an entirely different place where the principle has already been determined, or, to be more specific, preserved. Now it is just a question of price. The deal is really being closed between the settler leaders with the same old Sebastia/Kfar Maimon mentality and the prime minister’s advisers.
I recently spent time attending meetings with Likud ministers, trying to convince them to vote in favor of the Ulpana Law. In a lively two-hour conversation, one minister analyzed the entire scheme of considerations and pressures with which the government is dealing. He left no stone unturned as he explained the facts in detail and analyzed them once again. But he gave me no answer.
When we got up to leave, I said to him, “You know, there is a certain moment in which all the right answers are no longer relevant. The political outcome is really not important. There is a certain space that you enter, without even realizing that you are there. But if you continue from that space to make all of these logical calculations, you lose everything.”
“That is true,” said the minister, “but we are not in that space.”
And then I understood the problem: “we are not in that space.” And we are not there because of the same mentality that plagued us in Gush Katif. The destruction of Migron and the Ulpana Hill doesn’t move us into that space. The victims are still being represented by the same Yesha Council, whose very existence will always ensure that we do not reach the space in which the settlers and their tens of thousands of supporters will embark on a genuine struggle to save their land.
We thought we were going to Kfar Maimon to battle the Expulsion. But in truth, everything was already decided before we started out. Our role was to play a bit with the army. The army’s role was to be sensitive and determined. Afterwards, we cried. It was everything but a struggle. The role of the Yesha Council was to ensure that we would never get to that space – to the genuine struggle.
The entire settler establishment is dependent on government funding. Even more, it is mentally dependent on the government. They refuse to understand that Judea and Samaria are “out,” that the reality has changed since the good old days of Sebastia and Menachem Begin. Judea and Samaria no longer exist in Israel’s long-term plans. All they are is a huge white blotch in the middle of the map of Israel. The only new settlement currently being built by Israel is Ruabi – for the Arabs.
True, in the midst of this strategic process, Zambish can still get authorization for a public building here and there. But the strategic picture is the negative of the gleeful days of Sebastia. The enticement to remain on good terms with the establishment, the source of the Yesha Council’s power, blinds them to the necessity to fight it.
When Migron will, God forbid, be destroyed, or when the homes on Ulpana Hill will be sealed (or even have a worse fate thrust upon them), the Yesha Council will decry the destruction. Nobody expects otherwise. Their role is to ensure that there will be no genuine struggle. They will guarantee that we will once again be dragged from our homes like harmless sacks of potatoes, while the country will continue with business as usual. Our rightist journalists will write terrible things about Prime Minister Netanyahu. The hilltop youth will continue to hate the state. Everyone will play his role in the grand drama whose finale has already been written.
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