The Right (and Left) To Refuse

The right wing refusal movement is growing, and the numbers of people signing refusal petitions are already easily surpassing the equivalent petitions from the anti-occupation left. The anti-occupation refusal movement was a radicalized reaction to the Intifada – The first youth refusal declaration happened in August 2001, and was followed by a declaration of the combat soldiers mostly in reserve. Since the Israeli left was marginal in the first place, the refusal movement that grew out of it only gave it new energy.

The new right wing refusal movement, on the other hand, is a very bad strategic move for the Massianic settler movement. The settler movement was supported by Israeli governments in the last four decades due to the fact that the army’s military ideology coincidenced with the settler’s religious aspirations for a greater Israel. If the right wing will turn its back to the military, it will be commiting political suicide. Many Israelis feel a lot of animosity towards the messianic settlers and support Sharon’s policies mostly for “security” and “military” reasons. All that being said, any person should obey his or her conscience regardless of “political benefit”, so the question of strategy is partly irrelevant.

It is important to remember that that current right wing refusal movement doesn’t really exist. It is just showing off its potential power in reaction to Sharon’s disengagement plan. It is as if the people behind the refusal petitions are trying to say, “this is whats going to wait for you if you remove a few settlements in the Gaza strip, so don’t even think of touching the west bank.” The good news is, as I said, that this radicalization in the right may also signal the firsts steps towards its decline in political power. Inshalla.

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