The Victims of Abuse

Such is the nature of the beast that is Ariel Sharon. But the Judea, Samaria and Gaza Council and its leadership, including Bentzi Lieberman, continued to ignore the coming disaster. Certainly, they should have put up all the political and emotional opposition they needed to defeat the plan. But they failed to develop a Plan B.

Yehuda Poch,

Yehuda Poch.jpg
Yehuda Poch.jpg
Arutz 7
Bentzi Lieberman, former chairman of the Judea, Samaria and Gaza Council and head of the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council, came out in support of Binyamin Netanyahu in the Likud leadership race. By the time Lieberman issued his endorsement, it was no secret that Netanyahu would win the primary, whether on the first ballot or in a run-off. It is also no secret that Lieberman, together with the rest of the Judea, Samaria and Gaza Council, is a strong supporter of Netanyahu from time immemorial, and of the Likud party in general.

The Likud has done the residents of Judea, Samaria and Gush Katif no favors. They have been very slow to respond to increasing violence on the part of the Palestinians, they have been fully part of the cognitive dissonance that has gripped Israel when it comes to Israeli possession and right over these areas, and the party itself has perhaps led the country in suffering such a complete ideological meltdown that Ariel Sharon's "Disengagement Plan" this summer was even possible.

Those expelled from Gush Katif and northern Samaria this summer are still suffering. Dozens, if not hundreds, of families are still living in hotels, tent cities or even less, four months after the expulsion. Those in "proper" housing are also only in temporary quarters, as not a single permanent home was prepared for them before the expulsion. Their children have no regular educational framework, and the psychological trauma experienced by virtually all the families, particularly those previously victimized by terrorism, will have immeasurable costs in human and financial terms far into the future.

This misery was brought upon the Jewish people by the Jewish government of the Jewish State out of a concerted desire to rid itself of parts of the Jewish homeland. It has been the assumed mission of the Judea, Samaria and Gaza Council through the last thirty-odd years to protect and develop particularly those parts of the Jewish homeland most under threat by our enemies - and even by our various governments. But the Council has played a very large part in the misery now being suffered by the expellees.

Any half-intelligent observer could have mentioned when the "Disengagement Plan" was first approved that it would be rammed through regardless of the consequences or the roadblocks in its path. Many did. Such is the nature of the beast that is Ariel Sharon. But the Judea, Samaria and Gaza Council and its leadership, including Bentzi Lieberman, continued to ignore the coming disaster. Certainly, they should have put up all the political and emotional opposition they needed to defeat the plan. But they failed to develop a Plan B.

The Judea, Samaria and Gaza Council should have begun establishing new communities two years ago, in case the expulsion actually came to pass. And in the event that the plan was defeated, those communities would be ready and waiting to house anyone who wanted to move there, helping the government with its stated mission of developing the Negev. They could have provided subsidized housing for the poor, new communities for immigrant populations or served any other purpose the nation needed.

This would have won kudos across the political spectrum for the Judea, Samaria and Gaza Council, and it would have created a huge amount of new respect for the political Right, guaranteeing them the coming elections, even over the candidacy of Ariel Sharon.

Instead, the Judea, Samaria and Gaza Council did none of this and the political Right is in complete disarray - in danger of having perhaps only four members in the next Knesset. And Bentzi Lieberman still pledges his loyalty to Binyamin Netanyahu - a man with tremendous leadership potential and who has implemented quality policies in many spheres, but who never set out a clear anti-Disengagement position.

To be sure, Lieberman's criticism of Moshe Feiglin, the only true right-wing candidate in the Likud primaries, is completely justified. Feiglin does not have the power to create a truly leading party of what is left of the Likud. It is questionable whether any of the leadership candidates can do so. And Feiglin is the least experienced of the group. But Feiglin's response to Lieberman's endorsement of Netanyahu deserves some amplification:
"We saw just a few months ago the wonderful ability of Lieberman, and the Judea, Samaria and Gaza Council leadership in preserving the settlement enterprise. Just like a battered wife who covers up with make-up the bruises she received from her husband, so too Bentzi and his friends return again and again to Bibi [Netanyahu], who embraced Arafat and who enabled the Disengagement. Because of the Judea, Samaria and Gaza Council, Bibi knows that he can safely carry out the next expulsion, because the settlers will always forgive him."
Feiglin's response is very much on the mark on a number of levels. The best advice anyone can give to a battered wife is to leave her abusive husband and seek a divorce. Many such women do not do so out of fear or confusion, but only those who do are able to recreate their lives in the proper manner, free from the emotional trauma such abuse causes.

Until the Judea, Samaria and Gaza Council is prepared to begin acting in the long-term interests of the population it claims to represent, they will continue to play the neglectful parent role, as the government plays the abusive parent role. And the children of this abusive marriage - the residents of Judea and Samaria and the rest of the Israeli right-wing - will continue to suffer emotionally and physically at the polls.

Copyright 2005. All rights reserved. Reproduction in electronic or print format by permission of the author only.




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