Right-Wing Refusenik Petition

Ha’aretz reports:

A right-wing petition signed by 185 Israel Defense Forces officers, former lawmakers, scholars and public figures is calling on police and IDF troops to disobey orders to evacuate settlements.
The petition urges troops to “listen to the voice of their personal and national conscience,” and refuse to take part in the removal of settlements, an act they define as a crime against humanity, a national crime and an explicitly illegal act.

This seems to correspond with Neve Gordon’s analysis that the military ideology that up until now argued for a greater Israel for security reasons (and still does to a certain extent), is gradually divorcing from the religious ideology. The security arguments were adopted by the religious right wing in order to appeal to the vast majority of Israelis who did not accept the religious reasons for a greater Israel. Now, as the extreme right wing embraces the call for refusal, the divorce is becoming more and more complete. The day soldiers are sent to evacute the small percentege of settlers that constitute the religious fundamentalists, this divorce will manifest itself not only in the form of refusal but probably also in violence. This will be much worse than what we’ve seen in Yamit. During the first Intifada my father was called a “Nazi” by the Hebron settlers he was protecting. Now that the religious fundamentalists have nothing to rely but their own private religious militarism, I think its time to start worrying. The increasing amount of settlers’ violence against Israeli security forces should be an obvious warning sign.

45 thoughts on “Right-Wing Refusenik Petition

  1. I’m pretty sure that the “small percentage of Settlers” pulled more people for the Gush-Katif-to-Gaza line than your latest “peace” rally. It’s not minority who are against a Judenrein Gaza.
    You didn’t want to rough up Arabs, they don’t want to rough up Jews. How do you think that makes you a better person?

  2. If you don’t relate any kind of religious ideology to the State of Israel, what’s the point? Why do you care? Move to New Zealand or Uganda or France.
    I don’t get it.

  3. velvel, the zionist movement was SECULAR. only a minority of it was religious. are you telling me the zionist movement or any other national movement has no base other than a religious one for its claims? an interesting thought.
    Regarding your first post – i support the right-wingers right to refuse. i am just worried that they will turn to violence.
    now comes the question, but reverse – do YOU support leftist refusal? hmmm…. i smell hypocracy.

  4. Actually, I think the first secular zionists were also anti-religious, and I don’t understand that either.
    No hypocrisy there. I like Jews better than Arabs. I’m free about it.
    I support a fair exchange of populations as a result of the conflict. We took all the Jews as they were kicked out of their Arab homelands. The Arab nations should likewise take their Arab buddies back.
    Jews come first. Jews in Israel especially come first. And Gaza is part of Israel.

  5. There were always anti-religious zionists, true. The first zionist though Nathan Birnbaum, the man who coined the word zionist ended up leaving the movement because he wanted to keep the state Jewish whereas Herzl didn’t.

  6. Assaf,
    The difference is so clear;
    ‘leftist’ draft-dodgers are not pacifists who are against a ‘voluntary’ war – they are simply abandonning their nation in time of war, by refusing to fight the genocidal enemy, or even work in support positions in the army,
    ‘right-wing’ abstainers are refusing ‘red-flag illegal’ orders and refusing to take part in making Judenrhein, otherwise, they don’t refuse to fight or make coffee for generals.
    why do you ‘swallow’ the propaganda that only the settlers are ‘extreme’ ‘right-wingers’? I assure you that there are just as many, if not more right-wingers within the green line. The media likes to describe all those participating in protests in Tel Aviv, human chains, preventing destruction of outposts, etc… as settlers, but the truth is that many citizens of ‘little Israel’ show up for these events as well, and many are also secular.
    Your favourite [newlywed] extremist of them all lived in secular Heziliah, not yesha.
    please stop demonizing me and ‘worrying’ about right-wing violence, it ruins your credibility. The left is coming off one of their most successful summers of organizing ‘peaceful’ ‘protests’ against the separation fence. The left didn’t have a problem of literally cutting up the fence (my taxes paid for), and whined like little weenies when getting shot for breaking the law.

  7. Vevel and Josh – Enough with the term Judenrein. Unless you truly mean to equate the IDF with the S.S. – which I am sure you do not.
    Did the I.D.F make Yamit Judenrein?
    The Yamit withdrawl was just a bad night for a few yeshiva boys.

  8. Asaf: Actually– the first Zionists (not in name, but in ideology) were probably Alkalai and Kalisher, who were Rabbis. Rav Kook spread his ideology contemporaenously with the early 20th century Zionists. So the argument that Zionism somehow “belongs” to secular Jews is total bullshit– even if religioius Zionists were a minority.
    Anyway, I say let the IDF and the radical settlers fight it out. Bottom line is that these fundamentalists are acting in a way that hurts Israel’s security and is contrary to Jewish values. I think it’s OK for the government to say that Israeli security and mainstream Jewish values take precedence over extremism and often racism, even if the latter are couched in a faux- “truly Jewish” facade.

  9. my initial remark is that yerushalmis and nachlaot sruggies who formed the chain to gush katif are far from the majority.
    the majority is torn, attempting to balance their own security with their traditional liberal/socialist values. the majority stood behind olso only a few years ago. that’s because the majority wants peace, for themselves and for their neighbors.
    this peace may come at the cost of settlements (many of which are considered illegal under israeli law) which were initiated for strategic military purposes.
    most people are troubled by the potential of withdrawl, not because they support the settlements (which they see as an open provocation), but because they support their cousins and brothers and sisters and friends who differ in opinion from them and choose to live in these places.
    ideological support and sympathy for one’s fellow jew are not the same thing.
    i would not want to force my friend or relative from their home where they have lived for 10 or 20 years. but, if it is a step that is necessary to securing their lives and my own, then it is a decision i will have to make.
    now i recognize that many of the people living on settlements are not religious jews, but rather those at an economic disadvantage who can not afford housing in wealthier neighborhoods. the average salary of an israeli, if i’m correct, is in the vicinity of $12,000/yr. these people are not the problem. they don’t have ideological attatchment to the land.
    i also believe that there are many wonderful religious people, and that observant judaism is a very beautiful thing, which i myself identify with and take on in certain respects. thus i believe, religious people, in general, are not the problem, because not all of them believe the settlements are beneficial to israel’s security.
    the problem really, is the arrogance exhibited by ideologically-bent religious settlers which grows from the fact that many of them are anglos and recent olim who suffer from b.t. syndrome, meaning they assume that every jew who doesn’t accept their often racist, nationalistic and apocalyptic interpretations of scripture, is a rasha defying the law of god. this position, established to resist external challenges to their new-found or renewed faith, often becomes volatile, because, in the end, it amounts to a grave insult to the intellect, dignity, and humanity of every jew of diverging opinion. thus it is inconsistent with jewish values because it turns the concept of ahavat yisrael on its head, essentially stating, “i will only love my fellow jew under the condition that he accept what i believe to be the correct interpretation of torah.”
    beyond this fact, the demand that the people of israel who did not endorse the actions of their government in the creation of settlements foot the bill (and their children’s lives, if not their own) for the sake of entities which have outlasted their strategic purpose and become, instead, liabilities, is also audacious. the majority may care about you as people, and care about your lives and your well-being, but they could care less about your religious dogmatism and fulfilling skewed prophecy.
    it is not for religious settlers to decide whether or not the settlements in the shtachim go — that is for either the knesset or the sanhedrin to decide. the do not have the right to take the law into their own hands.
    yigal amir took the law into his own hands. bachur goldstein did so as well. next, who will it be, the 2004 class of bat ayin?
    on an another note: god promises the biblical lands to the descendants of abraham. but god does not promise all of this land specifically to the descendants of isaac. god promises abraham and hagar to make ishmael a nation, that would, to an extent, share in abraham’s inheritance. and so, while specific lands were granted to the descendents of jacob in the conquest of canaan, gaza is not one of them. thus, could that land not be ishmael’s land as well?

  10. Ronen –
    The first Zionists who actually worked for a state were secular. The religious Zionists did not believe that autonomous rule was necessary, tho some did call for aliyah to an Arab state there. (Come on, man, intro to Zionism 101)
    It is appropriate to say that the religious Zionists had an influence in the shaping of the formal state of Israel, but without the secularists, there would be no state.
    I don’t think Asaf has claimed that “Zionism ‘belongs’ to secular Jews.” Which is in fact, as you say, bullshit (technical term). But Velvel’s comment “If you don’t relate any kind of religious ideology to the State of Israel, what’s the point” actually does negate most of the points made in the First Zionist Congress and beyond. Asaf was right to note that…. The ‘religious base’ of Zionism can be seen as an historical foundation in the land of former Palestine (beyond New Zealand or Uganda, as Velvel suggests) but does not call for a fundementally religious governance.

  11. mo-
    Why add this: “yigal amir took the law into his own hands. bachur goldstein did so as well. next, who will it be, the 2004 class of bat ayin?”
    …I am consistently floored each time someone brings up Baruch Goldstein. Are there any other people besides Yigal and Baruch that are known as Jewish/Israeli terrorists? (don’t spout off a researched list, I’m making a point of who one thinks of in these cases)… On the other hand, I know none of the names, though many many cases, of Arab terrorism against Jews (settlers and non).
    Why is that? Because for us, Yigal and Baruch are the blatant exceptions, which you yourself point out. There are those in the Jewish world that have hatred for the Palestinians or Arabs, but the violent attacks in the scope of Baruch’s or the impact of Yigal’s are few and far between.
    My point is, the settlers shouldn’t feel the right to “take the law into their own hands” if it means hurting IDF soldiers whose interests lie with the majority of the state and/or the Kinneset. But if they did, that would be a very new type of clash.

  12. mo,
    Don’t believe that you are the morally better than right-wingers because you want peace. Right-wingers want peace just as much. It’s just that we feel giving away land isn’t going to work, just as it’s never worked.
    Gaza belonged to the sons of Jacob before it ever belonged to any Ishmaelite.

  13. Judenrein is simply a German word for “without Jews”. That’s the plan, for perceived security or not. There’s no way around that word. The IDF is obviously not the SS. I’m talking about the policy, not the army. IDF has nothing to do with the decision/policy.
    Can Muslim Arabs live freely anywhere in Israel? The answer is yes. Why couldn’t Gaza be “handed over” without uprooting Jewish cities? (not that I endorse that idea at all) The only Arab population that ever got moved out of Israel was by Arabs.

  14. right wing does not want peace with arabs. it wants peace without arabs. the whole concept of transfer is a development of this sick approach to the conflict.

  15. We want peace with Arabs. We just find it impossible, at this point to trust any of the current Arab organizations and governments. The only way to acheive peace, at this time is with force.

  16. Mo –
    “the majority is torn, attempting to balance their own security with their traditional liberal/socialist values. the majority stood behind olso only a few years ago. that’s because the majority wants peace, for themselves and for their neighbors.
    this peace may come at the cost of settlements (many of which are considered illegal under israeli law) which were initiated for strategic military purposes. ”
    Everyone wants peace that isnt the issue. The problem with giving up settlements is that IT WONT BRING PEACE! The arabs arent willing to trade us peace. That is the bottom line.

  17. giving up the settlements has nothing to do with the arabs giving us peace in exchange … it has to do with making israel’s borders defensible and with funding priorities. we’re not pulling out of gaza in exchange for peace, we’re pulling out of gaza cuz it’s a lot easier to put a fence around all of gaza than to cut out the jewish settlements in the territory. the idea is disengagement, not land for peace.

  18. That’s not how the terrorists are looking at it. They see it as encouragement – that their tactics are working. I don’t know which is worse, land-for-peace, or land-because-we’re-tired.
    There isn’t an easy answer, and I definitely don’t believe pulling out of Gaza is it.
    In case you didn’t notice, there already is a fence around Gaza. The IDF will be in Gaza on a regular basis, even after planned pullout. The only Jews leaving will be carrying suitcases.

  19. Judenrein is simply a German word for “without Jews”.
    Unless you are saying it is normal for English-language writing to randomly lapse into German occasionally then, no, it is not simply a German word for “without Jews”. Particularly when used in non-German-language contexts, it is a purposeful evocation of Nazism. You really don’t need to do that to make your case, I think — it needlessly poisons the atmosphere.
    We just find it impossible, at this point to trust any of the current Arab organizations and governments. The only way to acheive peace, at this time is with force.
    If you are saying that the Gaza pull-out will not be successible if the result is to make Gaza a lawless, unpoliced territory in which criminal elements like terrorists will enjoy untrammelled freedom to plan and commit their crimes — well, I doubt anyone would disagree with you.
    But maybe the point is that Israel shouldn’t be that police force? (Who should? Good question; the thing is to find the answer, and advocate that position, no?)

  20. ah, right velvel. so hamas leaders said the left encouraged them to commit terrorist attacks.
    Lets see.
    1. if the statement is indeed true, then hamas leaders have no reason to say that out loud and deligitimize the left because then it is going against its own interest of making the israeli left stronger and thus divind israel and weakening it.
    2. if the statement is false (i mean, do u really believe hamas leaders or any other hamas propaganda? do me a favor), then we can only assume that the reason they said this is to deligitimize the left in order to weaken the left and the peace camp. in fact, every single hamas attack weakens the peace camp just as much as every IAF attack strenghten the palestinians support for hamas (in both cases this is against their own interest).
    thus i support the second option, because not only does it make sense with the history of lies and propaganda of the hamas, but it also makes sense with the hamas strategy of of violence that pushed all israeli society to the right wing side of the political map in order to avoid any real compromise with the PA.

  21. 8opus,
    What’s the English word for “making a land free of Jews”? The Moslems have a word for it, but I can’t think of it. I guess we have to invent a Jewish word for it.
    I think it’s just as disgusting a policy now, as it was in Germany. Even moreso because it’s a part of Israel.
    Israel has to be the police-force in Gaza. What’s a reasonable alternative? I don’t believe there is one.

  22. The Hamas leaders never made any such announcement. The statements were gathered from “interviews with Hamas leadership in Gaza and Israeli prisons”. You’ll never hear a public declaration in English or Hebrew declaring the left-wing as encouragement.
    It’s also based on fact. Appeasement brings more terror. Always has. Always will.
    “every single hamas attack weakens the peace camp just as much as every IAF attack strenghten the palestinians support for hamas”
    Not true. A lot of the Pali’s support for Hamas has waned. They are realizing that the incursions are a direct result of their own mortars and other terrorist activities. It’s just difficult to say anything publicly to the contrary. Every single terror “condemnation” is only bad because it “doesn’t help their cause.”

  23. Not a “police force” as the common term. I meant a policing force to knock out weapons labs, mortar launching and other terrorist operation sites that are dangerous to Israel.
    I don’t see how it’s possible to have a normal country in Gaza with normal relations with Israel. Arafat won’t even give his people voting rights. What makes you thing we want them voting for Israel’s PM?

  24. Prodly – you’re a racist.
    regarding hamas strengh – as far as i know in the last 4 years its popularity has rised to a peak.

  25. i hope you are right:
    During the second Intifada, Hamas became active both politically and militarily. It joined with the Fatah Al-Aqsa brigades in several suicide attacks, and also began plotting to usurp leadership of the Palestine Authority from the PLO. Popularity soared as polls showed combined Hamas/Islamic Jihad support exceeding 30 percent. Hamas was blacklisted as a terrorist group by the United Sates and eventually by the EU as well, and Saudi Arabia began withholding support from Hamas. Shi’ite Iran apparently had become the financial mainstay of the Hamas, which also received moral support from the Iranian supported Hizbollah. Egyptian sponsored talks during the tenure of PNA Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas failed to produce agreement on a cease-fire with Israel, but the PLO nevertheless failed to move against Hamas, and announced that it would not do so.

  26. What’s the English word for “making a land free of Jews”? Er, “making a land free of Jews”. Your English seems pretty good — I don’t think this should be a problem with you.
    If you are telling me in all honesty that you use the German term Judenrein because you are unable to properly express yourself in English, and not to evoke the Nazi regime to which the word is irrevocably tied — well, I have an extremely hard time believing you. Why you are pushing this, I have no idea; it certainly doesn’t strengthen the point you are trying to make.

  27. I’m evoking the Nazi term because I find the concept so distasteful.
    After being kicked out of most of Europe, with the Nazi hope of building a Judenrein Europe, the Jews have come back to Israel. Now Jews are being kicked out of a section of Israel, as no other population has, to make room for a people that can’t tolerate Jews living next door any more than Nazis.
    It’s an extension of the Nazi Jew-free ideology. It’s even worse because Jews are accomodating this.

  28. Velvel, it’s really up to you. You can play propaganda and word games — you’d certainly not be alone in doing so — or you can choose to argue honestly. Ultimately I suppose it’s about what makes you feel better.

  29. Has anyone read “Murder in the Name of God: The Plot to Kill Yitzhak Rabin”? Those two almost back to back manifestos sound like the wetworks behind Rabin’s assassination are planning a reunion.

  30. We say goyim have no shame, yet i wonder where is our shame? 2000 years of galut, caused b/c of self hatred; 56 years after re establishing jewish homerule in these disputed lands and jews have to debate about civil war! Where is our shame?
    This land that we love, what makes it different from all others? Galut; the Divine Decree that this land vomits out its inhabitants who abandon the brit relationship. A brit means an alliance. I wonder, where is the alliance when a religious jew would rather drop dead than marry his daughter to a secular jew. Where is our shame? A brit requires an oath. The Ancient One swore an oath to give the land of Canaan to the descendents of Abraham yofi! What did our Father Abraham swear unto the Ancient One? Where is our shame? The land was given upon condition, the condition that we keep our part of the alliance. Religious secular right left ask who you will, what was the OATH that Abraham, Yitzak and Yaacov swore unto the Ancient One? Please don’t point to your pecker! If I’m driving to Tel Aviv and the sign saye 20 km, I’m NOT in Tel Aviv, melah is only a sign of the brit WHAT’S THE BRIT? Where is our shame. 2000 years the goyim and the religions that they BELIEVE in have abhored and despised the very people whom the Ancient One chose. Where is the honor and respect of the Ancient One? The Talmud, gemarah Sotah, end of first chapter, teaches that the language of the Mishnah “great” means affixing middot with mitzvot for the purpose of choosing one’s people ie the chosen people. After the golden calf when the Ancient said to Moshe that his descendent would inherit the brit the Ancient did tshuvah through the revelation of middot. Middot are feelings and emotions. How does a person describe the color blue to a blind man? How can a person work on his middot if they are undefined worm fuzzies? Where is our shame? In a dispute over our people or this land I and my house Choose our people – all of our people. The Divine Decree remains the so called Palestinians have no brit just as the land vomited them out in 48 it shall do so again. This really doesn’t interest me. For me the serious question rest upon whether the land shall vomit us out, like it has twice before! Nu ask around What’s the oath of the fathers? Look into the mirror and see SHAME.

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