Likud Disses Disengagement

Israel’s Likud party blocked a referrendum by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon last night which would have provided for a unilateral disengagement from the Gaza strip and some parts of the West Bank.

Palestinian leaders welcomed the referendum’s defeat, Saeb Erekat setting the tone for Palestinian response by stating, “Only negotiations with the Palestinians and a peace process that is based upon international agreements will bring about peace and security to both nations,” and not unilateral moves, such as Sharon’s plan.

Erekat’s position neglects indications that the majority of both Israelis* and Palestinians, as well as the majority of the international community, supported Sharon’s plan (sans the annexation of an additional 20% of the West Bank), and that it was not opposition to unjust unilateralism that defeated the referrendum, but rather, as Arab MK Ahmed Tibi noted, it was the work of religious zealots who are making their way to the forefront of Likud’s leadership—a potentially dangerous political prospect.

*Polls which indicated lower support for the referrendum were taken amongst Likud members only.

“Everybody crumbled and bent in the face of the Kahanists in the Likud, in the face of [Moshe] Feiglin,” Tibi told JPost. “Nobody dared to stand up to Feiglin. Likud Ministers did not dare stand up to Feiglin. Sharon assassinated Rantisi and threatened Arafat in order to promote his disengagement plan, but he would not dare stand up to Feiglin. The Likud has been taken over by the extreme right wing.”

Feiglin denied the allegations, painting himself as a centrist-moderate and the current Likud leadership as left -wingers who are defying the party’s charter. I shit you not! Feiglin told the press, “I personally object to religious parties. The people of Israel simply want to remain connected to their Jewish roots.” But considering that well over 50% of Israelis define themselves as secular and, again, that the majority of Israeli citizens supported the Gaza withdrawl, the question begs, does Feiglin really believe that the desire of religious fundamentalists to “remain connected to their Jewish roots” in Judea and Samaria, outweighs the greater desire of the Israeli people for true and lasting peace?

Likud’s leadership, said Feiglin, “must understand that to appreciate the Israeli atmosphere, they must learn to look through spectacles of Jewish belief.” Feiglin, however, must understand that Jewish belief can’t be confined to just one set of spectacles. There are many pairs to choose from, and the ones he has chosen seem to have obscured his vision beyond his own provincial religious views. Even Bush administration officials are wondering how “a small minority can determine a national issue like this.”

“They forget,” says Shinnui’s Tommy Lapid, “these aren’t national elections, but a vote in Likud, and the Likud is not the people of Israel. We demand this issue be brought for discussion before the cabinet and parliament… The Likud will not determine the fate of the nation.”

Erekat presented similar sentiments on the part of his own people. “To us today, as Palestinians as we were sitting today watching the Likud people and members voting on what? On my future. My life. My children’s future. And my children’s life, determining my own future. This is absolutely unprecedented.”

Despite his frustrated incoherence, the man makes a valid point. Do Likud’s members really have any place determining the fate of the Palestinian people? Is it not ultimately hypocritical for Zionists, supporters of a movement of self-determination, to deny self-determination to their neighbors—hostile as they may be? And doesn’t this sort of activity just further substantiate their hostility?

This is where things get difficult. From the Jewish end, the debate is shrouded in the question, is Israel oppressing Palestinians because they are bent on Israel’s extermination, or are Palestinians bent on Israel’s extermination because Israel is oppressing them? It appears to be a bit of both, doesn’t it? And so it must be asked, can we really resolve this conflict without alleviating the interplay between religious fundamentalism and people’s political aspirations? In granting Palestinians truer sovereignty and freedom, as well as economic stability, would it not be possible to eliminate their negative ideologies without eliminating them as a people or eliminating them from the region, as so many like Feiglin and his ilk would like?

If you gotta “stay true,” can’t you suckas just chill in Israel proper ’til Moshiac gets here? Shit. I’m sayin, you can’t force the hand of G-d yo. All it brings is our own defeat…

4 thoughts on “Likud Disses Disengagement

  1. >Shit. I’m sayin, you can’t force the hand of G-d yo. All it brings is our own defeat…
    yeah..but what if you look at it like, the hand of g-d won israel the 67 war, and gave us jerusalem…
    yeah..maybe trying to force the hand of g-d brings our own defeat…but doesn’t denying it as well….
    i am not even that religious, but the thought of giving up jerusalem doesn’t sit well with me.

  2. “It appears to be a bit of both”? I remind you that the PLO was founded in 1964. They weren’t looking to “liberate” Hebron or Jenin at the time, but Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
    Furthermore, IMO, looking at the conflict as an Israeli/Palestinian matter, provided a distorted view of what is really an Israeli/Arab issue. What were the reasons the Arabs attacked the newborn Jewish State? Checkpoints and Curfews by the Jews? I don’t think so.
    I’m not saying Israel isn’t stirring up the pot, but to lay the blame equally is disingenuous and ignores history.

  3. The creation of the state of Israel necessitated the disposession of 800,000 Arab natives. This disposession began in the late 1800s and continues to this day.
    “The Ottoman Land Code of 1858, required the registration in the name of individual owners of agricultural land, most of which had never previously been registered and which had formerly been treated according to traditional forms of land tenure, in the hill areas of Palestine generally masha’a, or communal usufruct. The new law meant that for the first time a peasant could be deprived not of title to his land, which he had rarely held before, but rather of the right to live on it, cultivate it and pass it on to his heirs, which had formerly been inalienable… Under the provisions of the 1858 law, communal rights of tenure were often ignored… Instead, members of the upper classes, adept at manipulating or circumventing the legal process, registered large areas of land as theirs… The fellahin (peasants) naturally considered the land to be theirs, and often discovered that they had ceased to be the legal owners only when the land was sold to Jewish settlers by an absentee landlord… Not only was the land being purchased; its Arab cultivators were being dispossessed and replaced by foreigners who had overt political objectives in Palestine.” — Rashid Khalidi, “Blaming The Victims”

  4. Rashid Khalidi has a political agenda to make the fellahim, who numbered only 50 thousand or so, look like poor mistreated and misguiged peace loving people. Today’s Palestinians are not decended from the fellahim, they are Arabs who moved to pre-state Israel to find work and a better standard of living due to the entreprenurship and progress the Jewish Zionists made. The fellahim are no longer relevent in todays discussions, the Palestinians are a murderous society who seek to destroy Israel and all Jews. That is the only thing that is relevent.

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