The macabre joy, in the political sphere and in the media, over the destruction of Gush Katif recalled the horrible joy following Oslo that ended in national weeping after the suicide bombers began to appear.
Now there is the same terrible atmosphere as there was then, an atmosphere which is preparing the ground for a new, massive Gush Katif evacuation in Judea and Samaria. Terrorists are very busy these days because they feel that Israel is on the verge of abandoning more land to them. The US “framework” calls for evacuations of some 80,000 Israeli Jews – so far.
“Two states for two people”, the essence of the Left’s doctrine, has been adopted by some of the rightist meainstream; “settlement” construction has been frozen for almost one year; thousands of “settlers” still live in a legal limbo and under the threat of the “price tag” blood libel; the purchase of Beit Hamachpela in Hevron was found to be legal, but its Jewish dwellers were evicted anyway; and there are the brutal evacuations of women and children in Migron and other strategic outposts, the destruction of the Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El.
In Gush Katif there were fewer signs of an imminent disaster than there are today. Minister Yaakov Peri, a former head of the Shin Bet, just declared that an interim deal between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs “would see at least 25% of Judea and Samaria residents evicted from their homes”.
In the most optimistic scenario, that formulated by Ehud Barak, this 25% will be abandoned to the mercy of the Arabs. Their days are numbered anyway.
David Makovsky has just joined the US “peace team” led by Martin Indyk. Read what Dr. Makovsky writes in a study about the total amount of Jews to be evicted so as to reach an agreement with the Arabs: 77 communities and 59,872 Jews in the scenario most close to Bibi Netanyahu’s demands; 88 communities and 94,226 Jews in the “1967 lines” scenario.
The Israeli authorities already have a list of Jewish towns to be erased from the book of Jewish history and life. Givat Asaf? Amona? Now it seems just a question of price. And the US will pay for the evacuation of dozens of towns. The American economy is improving, after all!
Don’t forget that Gush Katif was legal and it was a “settlement bloc”. But they destroyed it anyway. And as in Gush Katif, the current role of the Yesha Council seems to be to ensure that “the extremists” don’t get any public role or space, and the IDF is training to be “sensitive” again.
Everything on Judea and Samaria has already been decided in a cold, distant building. There officials decided that a Jew can build only within the Czarist “pale of Jewish settlement”, that no further government land will be allocated to Jewish life and that Jewish human and democratic rights can be trampled in the day light (read it: Boaz Albert).
Judea and Samaria don’t seem to exist in Israel’s long-term and existential plans. A government which has not yet settled the refugees it ethnically cleansed from Gush Katif, less than 10,000 people, will not hesitate or have scruples to deport thousands of brave, innocent and loyal citizens.
The question now is: Will “the settlers” fight for their homes and beliefs? If yes, there is still hope. If now, they will be finished by the government of Israel.
In the very days during which terrorists and mass murderers are leaving Israeli prisons, Jews are fearing for their houses, future and history. And their lives.
The writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book “A New Shoah”, that researched the personal stories of Israel’s terror victims, published by Encounter. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary. He has just prblished a book about the Vatican and Israel titled “J’Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel” published by Mantua Books.