Settlements and Security

From the genesis of Zionism, settlement and security have come together - the settlements were secured and they gave security. We wanted to forget? Bitter reality has come to remind us.

Atty. Elyakim Haetzni,

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When the Jews of Ganim and Kadim, Homesh and Sa-Nur were expelled, and the military bases were evacuated, the expulsion authorities announced that - unlike in the Gaza Strip - the army would continue to go into those areas. And now, despite that, there are more and more reports that the Hizbullah is taking over northern Samaria; and despite the army going in and going out, the danger to all of the center of the country from there is steadily increasing. Things have gone so far as the army requesting to return to Sa-Nur to establish a permanent military base there.

However, Ehud Olmert and Amir Peretz rejected the army's request, and the reason is obvious: so that the shame of the Disengagement not be exposed. The Peace Now government headed by Olmert prefers to endanger Netanya and Hadera to rolling back the dismantling of Jewish settlement in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

How does one impress upon the consciousness of the public that reviving the civilian Jewish community in Sa-Nur is imperative, even if only because in that way alone will the army have a chance of returning?

Every week, the head of the General Security Services (Shabak) Yuval Diskin sounds warnings in the Knesset and in the government about a threatening terrorist base under construction in the Gaza Strip, which is even a strategic threat, meaning an existential one, to the state. Diskin speaks of 35 tons of high-quality explosives that have already entered by way of the open Philadelphi Route and of new anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons. Even for someone who understands nothing of military matters such as the defense minister, the Lebanon war should have demonstrated for him what all of that means. Isn't the hellishness in Sderot, where he lives, fed by the explosives coming in through the Philadelphi Route?

Ever since the Disengagement, the number of Kassam rockets falling on Sderot and the western Negev has multiplied three or four times. How is it possible to deny the connection, which screams to heaven, between the rockets and the uprooting, the expulsion and the withdrawal?

In light of this situation, the demand is raised again and again that the IDF take control of the Philadelphi Route. However, it is not done for a simple reason: it is not possible. Between the Palestinian Hell to the north and the Egyptian border to the south, the geniuses of Oslo left Israel a Philadelphi Route that is 14 kilometers long and all of 100 meters wide. An army sent in there will not only not be able to operate, it will find itself in a death trap. The IDF succeeded to operate there for many years only thanks to Gush Katif, which gave it support from the north. But the Peace Now government headed by Olmert would sooner see Sderot - and soon enough also Ashkelon and Ashdod - evacuated than allow the rebuilding of Gush Katif. Such rebuilding would be understood to be an admission that the expulsion was one giant mistake.

It remains to be asked why the demand to rebuild the Jewish communities of the Strip is not heard in the Knesset, by the National Union party for instance. And why even the expelled settlers are themselves silent. Is the brainwashing of the Olmert house spin doctors, in collaboration with the hostile media, so effective? After the fall of Gush Etzion, the orphans of the fallen knew how to preserve the memory of the Gush, the longing for it and the aspiration to eventually return to it. Every year, on the anniversary of the fall of the Gush, they would climb a high hill near Beit Shemesh, from where it is possible to see the area, to remember and to remind each other. Today, that area is a flowering community called Alon Shvut.

The time has come to loudly make the demand to return to the communities of the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria, even in the ears of those whose Zionist and humanist heart is blocked, but whose mind and logic force them to conclude that the south of the country has no future without a Jewish military presence - and therefore a civilian one - in the Gaza Strip. Perhaps, someone will recall that was the reason the Jewish communities were planted there in the first place, and that Ariel Sharon and Yitzchak Rabin - when they were younger and more clearheaded, and less tired and worn out - saw the future when they planned and executed the settlement of the Strip.

When driving north from Jerusalem towards Binyamin and Samaria, one sees the wall and fence that is progressively closing in on Pisgat Ze'ev and that excludes the large community of Adam, which practically borders Pisgat Ze'ev. When traveling in the southern Hevron Hills towards Arad, one encounters a similar image: the separation fence runs south of Susia and Beit Yatir, leaving them outside sovereign Israeli territory. I assume that the residents of those communities are disappointed that they are not "inside," but that is how it must be. The function of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria is to protect the fence - from the other side. Only if Jews reside on both sides of the the fence will it not constitute a border. And that is exactly what the settlements were established for - to prevent the division of the land. Therefore, Zionist logic dictates that we demand to expand the Jewish settlement precisely on the "other side" of the fence, because only in that way will the fence have a strictly security function, rather than - Heaven forbid - a geopolitical meaning. And it surely has meaning for security. The terrorists themselves admit that it disrupts their efforts to infiltrate suicide bombers.

Leftists never imagined that they would need the Jewish communities in the territory they want to become "Palestinian" in order to protect "their" fence. Had the proponents of the fence been thinking Zionism and security alone, and not coming up with withdrawal plans, they would have planned ahead to establish new Jewish communities all along its length, as an indivisible part of the concept.

From the genesis of Zionism, settlement and security have come together - the settlements were secured and they gave security. We wanted to forget? Bitter reality has come to remind us.

It remains to be asked why the demand to revitalize settlement movement is no longer heard. Why are politicians who are identified as "right-wing" when they demand to send the army into the Gaza Strip so quick to add, "Of course, we have no intention to remain there"? And what is the connection between the failure to activate the full force of the combat troops in the last Lebanon War and the fear and hesitation that the Left and the hostile media planted in the public mind regarding any ground operation? Is it the fear that any contact between a Jewish soldier's foot and the ground - any ground - will be interpreted as "occupation," as "sinking in the mud," be it Lebanese or Gazan?

The problem is that the hostile media also managed to make the settler camp forget that its entire right to exist is based on settling the land. That camp has also begun to talk about security instead of land, and strengthening the settlements is no longer at the top of their list of priorities.

The settlement enterprise must once again rise to the top of the national agenda, both in order to recharge the depleted Zionist batteries and as a critical, irreplaceable security tool. If the settlers themselves will not raise that flag, who will?



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