Ends and Means

The YESHA Council totally lost track of its goal. It, and many others, thought that since legally a referendum was a good method to force the government to repeal Disengagement, it should be the goal. Suddenly, the means became the end, and we ended up short and thousands of families are now homeless.

Batya Medad

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Arutz 7
On Shabbat, I found myself in a very unpleasant argument. At first glance, we were all in agreement. The Judea, Samaria and Gaza (YESHA) Council had failed in its campaign against Disengagement.

The argument was about the campaign and slogan that the YESHA Council preached to the very end. And actually, just a short time ago, when I entered my home after a "fitness walk" with friends, I saw that Pinchas Wallerstein, the Council's chairman, was on television explaining that he ran the correct campaign.

Maybe I'm just too much the CPA's daughter and can't forget that one and one are two, but it seems to me that if the campaign failed, then obviously there's something intrinsically wrong with it. If it had succeeded in repealing, canceling Disengagement, then I would have praised them and admitted that I was wrong. Over the past few months, I have been very blunt and public in my opposition to their campaign for a referendum. (Read Why I Won't Be At Sunday's Demonstration, from January 28, 2005.)

Did you catch it? Yes, the Council demonstrated for a referendum, not to repeal Disengagement. Their slogan was, and still is, "Ten l'am lihachlit." - "Let the People Decide." It sounds like some professional public relations experts, the superficial type, composed it. It sounds modern, liberal and theoretically, should go over well with the people who don't normally support Jews in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

There are only a couple of problems. One is that it could, and was, used against the same anti-Disengagement crowd, since it supports "democratic process". It takes for granted that the majority is always right and that the majority will vote the way they expect.

The second and most important reason that it's a disaster is that it doesn't educate the people of the dangers of Disengagement. The YESHA Council totally lost track of its goal. It, and many others, thought that since legally a referendum was a good method to force the government to repeal Disengagement, it should be the goal. Suddenly, the means became the end, and we ended up short and thousands of families are now homeless.

The YESHA Council's anti-Disengagement campaign should not have been for a referendum, and it should not have been an emotional plea to save a few thousand good, adorable, hard-working, large families.

The anti-Disengagement campaign should have been a strong campaign showing how withdrawal from Gush Katif and northern Samaria would endanger the entire country. "From Here You Can See" Tours should have set out frequently to the Sa-Nur and Chomesh mountains to give people a chance to see what vantage points were to be turned over to terrorists. Movies and stills from the sites, showing how they look over into the coastal plain, should have been shown and distributed.

Information campaigns should have been mounted explaining how much more difficult it will be to defend the southern part of the country without Gush Katif. Again, a picture campaign, this time showing the guns pointing directly into Ashkelon and other population centers.

There should have been clear and simple quotations from the Arabs, explaining that they're not offering peace, and certainly not promising it. The public needs to know that the Arabs were just making more and more demands for "after Disengagement"; the same for the Americans, Europeans and the United Nations. None of them were shy about their true intentions. The "Road Map" was the least of it. After Sharon's enthusiasm in turning thousands of Jewish Israelis into refugees, it's now even more difficult for an Israeli government to reject foreign demands.

And don't forget that a large, successful Israeli export business was pulled out by its roots. Prize-winning vegetables and flowers will no longer be sold; their farmers are now unemployed, and the hothouses either destroyed or passed through moneymaking agents to Arab terrorists. Yes, I kid you not. There are fewer vegetables in the Israeli markets, and I told my husband that I'd rather we don't eat lettuce than give our money to those benefiting from Gush Katif's destruction.

In addition, some of the communities that were destroyed were promised as permanent compensation after the Sinai was given to Egypt and its Israeli communities were destroyed.

The anti-Disengagement campaign should have focused on stopping Disengagement. The various points I mentioned should have been part of the information campaign to help convince the public. In my short list there are enough issues to suit every sector in the Israeli population, and with the funds the YESHA Council spent on their totally unsuccessful campaign, they could have convinced the nation. There wouldn't have had been any need for a referendum, because the government wouldn't have wanted it to go to a vote.

Just like the United States never invaded Cuba to depose Castro, George Bush would have quieted down once he saw that Ariel Sharon was totally out of favor with the Israeli public. And yes, I really admire Castro and Cuba for doing their own thing since 1959. Mao, Khrushchev and their ilk are long gone. The "Iron Curtain" and Berlin Wall are dust and debris, but Castro's still at the helm.

The lesson is that America really is just a paper tiger when a country takes itself seriously. Israel once did; in the early decades we didn't get all the "aid" so prettily tied with strings. We won the Six Day War with the help of G-d. World Jewry prayed and donated money for ambulances. There was great unity, and it was a wonderful experience.

The dangerously unsuccessful anti-Disengagement campaign was nothing like it. And even worse, Pinchas Wallerstein and his friends are insisting that they did the right thing. How could it have been right when the results were so disastrous?

Need I say more?

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