March 8, 2011

Evacuating a West Bank outpost is undemocratic

Evacuating a West Bank outpost is undemocratic
By Karni Eldad,
March 6, 2011

At age 15, they expelled Elisaf Orbach from his home in Gush Katif in
the Gaza Strip. He was paid a small amount of compensation and went to
Samaria, to build a small, 90-square meter house to meet his needs
until he gets married and has children. For the time being, until he
finishes building the house, he was living in the adjacent "singles'

The police arrived at four in the morning last Monday. According to
the settlers, they arrested everybody sleeping at the time in the
tent, accusing them of interference with a police officer, conspiracy
to commit a crime and possession of a knife. (The settlers say it was
a regular knife of the kind found in any household. ) How someone
sleeping can interfere with a policeman and how he can conspire to
commit a crime in his dreams is still not clear to me. The fact is,
however, that anyone the police suspected of possibly standing in
their way was arrested without any reasonable pretext. They were
simply thrown into the paddy wagon. With his hands bound, on the way
to the police van, Orbach heard a tractor destroying his house, five
years after his house in the Gaza Strip had been leveled.

The five detainees arrested by the police were taken to Ariel, where
at 11 A.M. they were released. No police file was opened against them.
Apparently the conspiracy in which they were involved was not strong
enough, or their only crime was dreaming about building the land.

The tent in which they slept was erected by Shimon Weissman, a
conscript serving in the Kfir Brigade. That night he was staying with
his parents, to make sure he got back to his army post on time. When
he heard about the destruction, he went to Gilad Farm and informed the
army that it was difficult for him to serve those who destroyed his
home and that he would return to active service as soon as he finished
reconstructing the ruins.

The army went wild that day. According to eyewitness testimony, about
300 masked special forces policemen used plastic bullets to fire at
people from short range. A Golani Brigade soldier, Elisaf Guri, was
one of those hit. He is in hospital and angry, saying his unit has
never been allowed to use such weaponry to disperse demonstrations.

I have no doubt that the wild conduct of the police was not
spontaneous. It was directed from higher up. Our defense minister,
Ehud Barak, knew that Gilad Farm, like Yitzhar, was a hard-core
outpost and that destroying structures there would inflame matters. I
don't belief he would have simply taken action on his own. He got
backing from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu knows that the American veto at the United Nations on
settlement construction came at a price, that the monster must be fed.
In the rite of spring this time, the homes of the man expelled from
Gush Katif and the soldier were sacrificed. Will this satisfy the

The whole world is talking about democracy. We, too, want democracy.
Fair, genuine democracy that keeps its promises. Netanyahu was elected
by a majority of votes, because at that certain point in time at which
the last election was held, the public was more right-wing than
anything else. The public voted against destruction of the homes of
Jews. That's democracy. Netanyahu took his power and then broke with
the authority he was given. That is not what he was elected for. The
United States needs to understand that more than any other country.

But Netanyahu doesn't really care either about democracy or justice.
It is only to us innocent citizens that such notions are still
important. The prime minister prefers to be remembered as a politician
who managed to navigate between the raindrops than someone who stood
for his beliefs. But that is not what he was elected for. The only
victim he is allowed to sacrifice is himself, his job, and not the
homes of his citizens.

They have already finished rebuilding the tent that was destroyed at Gilad Farm.

Women For Israel's Tomorrow  (Women in Green)
POB 7352, Jerusalem 91072, Israel
Tel: 972-2-624-9887 Fax: 972-2-624-5380

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