How to Defeat the Sharon Plan

The Sharon Plan remains a threat to all of Israel. The Sharon Plan isn't the Sharon Gaza Plan. It isn't the Sharon Disengagement Plan. It's the Sharon Retreat Plan.

David Bedein,

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credit David Michael Cohen
The Sharon Plan remains a threat to all of Israel. The Sharon Plan isn't the Sharon Gaza Plan. It isn't the Sharon Disengagement Plan. It's the Sharon Retreat Plan.

The people of Gush Katif made it an agenda item for all of the people of Israel when they brought buses from all over the country on Israel Independence Day, generated by the strategy that reached homes throughout Israel before the Likud referendum. The demonstrations organized since then at the Knesset have destroyed that image of a national revulsion against the Sharon plan and have instead transformed the impression into a concern expressed only by the people of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, making it into a sectoral issue rather than a national emergency.

Few people have bothered to read the Sharon Retreat Plan. By calling it the "disengagement plan", and by repeating "disengagement plan" over and over again to the media, most people, even most members of the Knesset, prefer to assume that the Sharon plan deals only with the withdrawal from Gaza, and not with anything else. Tragically, the Judea, Samaria and Gaza Council has given credence to the myth that the Sharon Plan only concerns withdrawal from Gaza and the Shomron by making that their very slogan, and by repeating the word "disengagement" over and over.

Supporters of the Sharon Retreat Plan have played it smart by representing themselves as "the majority of the people of Israel", and have even termed their support group the "Majority Lobby". They bring people from across the country to their demonstrations, while the opposition makes the mistake of declaring that their demonstrations are limited to Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

The opposition to the Sharon Retreat Plan have only been relying on the sentiments of the people of Israel for the people of Katif, and for their "love of Katif and the Shomron", which provides no basis to galvanize support for a national movement. Regrettably, this creates a self-centered focus on Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and a seeming lack of interest in, for example, Ramat Aviv, Haifa, Afula, Eilat and Dizengoff Street.

The movies produced by Katif have only shown the potential suffering of people from Katif as a result of the retreat plan, and have neglected to show the potential suffering of people from the rest of Israel. The implication is that they only care about Katif.

In contrast, here is an effective, systematic strategy to implement to defeat the Sharon Plan:

1. Hold public forums focused on the PLO war with Israel, not just with Gush Katif. And emphasize that the PLO is not a peace partner, in accordance with clause one of the Sharon Plan. And ask how, then, the Sharon Retreat Plan can once again provide military training to the PLO, handing over IDF bases and Israeli civilian communities to the PLO, as mandated in clauses five and eight.

2. Organize families from all over Israel whose loved ones have been murdered or maimed by the PLO to deluge members of the Knesset and the media with opposition to the Sharon Retreat Plan, because the Sharon Retreat Plan proposes that Israel again provide training to the PLO, as it did in Oslo II. The message should be: "Last time, we warned 'Don't give them guns' and we were right. This time, we can say: 'Don't give them a Fatahland next to our heart.'" Remember, no one in the Knesset or the media have bothered to read the PLO training clause in the Sharon Plan, and that includes MK Benny Elon and Hanan Porat.

3. Pioneer purchase of a piece of property in Gush Katif and offer shares in that property to several thousand people, who would thus become landowners there. That will transform thousands of people into residents of Katif.

4. Promote a visual portrait of Ariel Sharon with masking tape over his eyes and his ears, indicating his wish that the Israeli public will not see nor read the Sharon Retreat Plan. Follow up with a cartoon of armed PLO killers cheering for the ballot voting for the Sharon Retreat Plan ("Today Gush Katif, tomorrow Shomron; the next day, Gush Etzion, and after that, S'derot and Ashkelon. Jaffa and Haifa to follow.") Ridicule of an authoritarian ruler always conveys the message.

5. Organize a vigil outside of the Peres Center. The Peres Center for Peace maintains an investment of more than $100 million in a special development fund for the Palestinian Authority (January 1998), and another $64 million that has been allocated for the Palestinian communications company known as Pal-Tel (June 1999). In other words, Peres maintains a private financial stake in the PA. Remind the world of that conflict of interest, as Peres prepares to assume the reigns of power.

6. Form a Mohammed Dahlan pursuit task force. Sha'ul Mofaz, in his role as IDF Chief of Staff, identified Dahlan as the man responsible for an attack on a school bus in Kfar Darom in November 2000. That attack left two school teachers murdered and three children from the Cohen family of Kfar Darom as partial amputees. Mofaz told the Cohen family that Dahlan was the man responsible. Ehud Olmert wrote in the Wall Street Journal of June 3rd, 2002, that Dahlan was responsible for running the entire terror operation throughout Israel since September 2000. Olmert then called for Dahlan's execution. Therefore, the time has come to issue signs all over the country: "Dahlan -- the Next Arafat"; and quote Olmert's call for Dahlan's execution. The latter alone should be enough.

7. Reach out to other communities and involve them in the struggle. Visit S'derot and help them form their own committee against the Sharon Plan, independent of Eli Moyal. Appoint a reporter to visit every kibbutz that has been shelled. Organize a grassroots committee of kibbutzniks who will oppose the Sharon Plan.

8. Create a simple flier and bumper sticker that shows the missile threat to the rest of Israel if there is a withdrawal from Samaria and Gush Katif.

9. Remind everyone that the law firm of Ariel Sharon adviser Dov Weisglass represents the Jericho casino. Ask if there will be a Weisglass Casino in place of Katif.

10. File hundreds of legal cases against the government. File hundreds of police complaints against the government for violation of Israeli human rights laws, because the state is offering Israeli private homes to terrorists. The plan of the World Bank in this context makes that quite clear.

How many people realize that international law protects the right of Jews to purchase land anywhere west of the Jordan river, and that Israeli civil liberties protect any citizens from being expelled from their homes? One of the ads should emphasize that the "Sharon Retreat Plan means ethnic cleansing."

11. And one additional element. Remind the whole world about the new law that criminalizes demonstrating against the Plan. Israel's claim for international support is that it's a democracy. In this context, use Natan Sharansky's quote to the effcet that the new law is worse than the worst laws of the Soviet Union. A video advertisement with Sharansky making the statement could even be distributed.