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September 25, 2016 / 22 Elul, 5776
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Judea and Samaria Jews Must Prepare Now to Avoid Deportation

Palestinians celebrating their freedom by burning the abandoned synagogue in Netzarim, in the Gaza Strip. The authors urge the Jews of Judea and Samaria to prepare for the next deportation with a smart and non-violent pursuit of independence.

Palestinians celebrating their freedom by burning the abandoned synagogue in Netzarim, in the Gaza Strip. The authors urge the Jews of Judea and Samaria to prepare for the next deportation with a smart and non-violent pursuit of independence.
Photo Credit: Muqata

First, in order to remove any doubt, let us emphasize that we object vehemently to illegal actions or to violence against Israeli citizens. Our entire approach is founded on the traditional Jewish values of peace and justice, and we are far from those who call for a civil war. We’re not pacifists, and the right to self defense is rooted in our tradition, but violence among fellow Israelis is inherently unacceptable.

The optimists among those who are loyal to our nation and our land assume that there’s no chance for any agreement to come out of the current negotiations of the Netanyahu government with the Palestinians.

Even if it turns out that they were right, nevertheless, a sane and responsible public must prepare for any possible contingency, including the possibility that an Israeli government will agree to retreat and uproot settlements. One of the most horrifying mistakes in 2005 was people’s denial of the inevitable until the very last moment, saying: “It will never happen.” This delusional approach prevented real preparation to stop the deportation.

We must assume that the Israeli government will, indeed, pursue the dismantling of settlements at some point. We must embrace the Jewish approach that “One should not rely on a miracle.” Ariel Sharon uprooted settlements only because he could. Therefore, any plan to prevent another expulsion must make any such attempt impossible to carry out.

In 2005, we discovered that democratic protests and political schemes have no effect on the Israeli establishment. Articles in the press and appeals to the courts met with a solid wall of hostility and alienation. Even supposing that the approach of “Unity and Love” would change a little bit the popular view in favor of the settlements, the Israeli authorities will still not hesitate to act directly and openly against the will of the people. These facts have been proven countless times.

It’s time to learn from the errors of the past and think outside the box.

It’s simple: every resident of Judea and Samaria must decide now, today, whether he or she are willing to lose their property come the expulsion, or protect it wisely.

Our recommendation to those who are afraid of staying in their homes after Israel retreats: sell your home quickly, as long as you can still get some value for it. See what happened to the residents deported from Katif and northern Samaria only to remain impoverished refugees in their own country. Don’t wait for the last moment: take whatever you can now and run!

But those who are unafraid, and believe in their rights according to the Torah, the laws of the land and international law, must declare now: “We’re staying.”

At which point anyone in their right mind would ask: how can we stay? They’ll bring over soldiers and policemen to evacuate the settlements! Are you recommending violent resistance?

Our answer is: absolutely not! In our view, the melodramatic scenes of “settlement evacuations” were nothing more than a spectacle for the media. The IDF leadership was willing to send soldiers to Katif and northern Samaria because they knew the settlers would put on a little show, yell out a few extremist slogans, and be dragged by cops and soldiers, until, at last, they would go quietly where they were told.

If the IDF were to know that the settlers are serious this time around, it’s reasonable to expect that it would not accept this traumatic mission. But even if the IDF sends armed soldiers, they won’t be able to overcome determined residents barricaded inside their settlements. And even if the military commanders managed to convince some soldiers to use violence against civilians, we must then abandon each settlement and hide in the hills.

Ehud Tokatly and Yori Yanover

About the Author: Ehud Tokatly and Yori Yanover have been collaborating on various artistic and journalistic projects since 1971.

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