Op-Ed: J'Accuse on Migron: Why I Stand with the 'Settlers'

If Jews have no right to a barren hillside in Samaria, desolate all through their exile, Jews have no claim between the river and the sea.

Contact Editor
Giulio Meotti,

Israel news photo: Flash 90

Migron's days seem to be numbered. The Jewish town is slated for evacution at the end of the month.

The 'settlers' have become one of the most maligned groups of people in the world. They are the world-opinion-be-damned homesteaders.

That is why I felt the need to write this "'J'accuse" genre article  in favour of these kippa-wearing Jews, standing atop a wind-swept hill, quoting Deuteronomy to legitimize and solidify their claims to Judea, Samaria and the Golan.

The young people of Migron, all of whom serve in the IDF, among them many commanders, have stern faces which radiate calm and self-confidence.

In their faces and fate lies the future of Israel.

In addition to destroying the integrity of the land and the unity of the nation, in addition to impairing the right of the people to life and security, erasing Migron means reducing the State of Israel to the dismal status of a protectorate of the United Nations Security Council, as orchestrated by the United States.

It means giving a victory to a people that would destroy Israel in a minute and drive the Israeli Jews into the sea, if they had the means.

The so-called "doves" claim that they are opposed to any kind of transfer of the Arab population, but have no compunctions about transfering the Jewish idealistic population of the Golan, Gaza, Judea and Samaria.

For more than 100 years, since the Zionist Return to Zion began, the Jewish people waxed strong in their land. In the absence of “peace”, the Jews grew to 7 million. It was possible because they had a national ideal of building a nation and liberating a homeland. If Migron falls, the Jewish liberation of Judea and Samaria will be at risk - and much more.

Since the Arab masses don’t want Migron alone,  but plan on going on to “Ashdod, Beit She’an, Haifa, and Jerusalem”, as the Palestinian Arabs chant at their Nazi-style rallies, Israel today faces two alternatives: either a Jewish republic protected by the Golan-Samaria-Judea high ground, in which Migron is one of the citadels, or the “Brave New Israel”, the “Hong Kong of the Middle East” aka “the new Benelux”, which will be a truncated, non-defensible and un-Jewish state without its Biblical hearland.

If Migron is saved, Israel will never allow the Syrians to dominate the Jewish landscape as seen from the Golan Heights and it will not leave the Temple Mount again , Hebron the city of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, Western Samaria - or any part of Jewish sacred patrimony. But if the Arabs are able to defeat Migron, everyone else in Samaria will might go down soon after.

A paper is circulating among the right wing public against Migron’s demolition. It says that “the destruction of our communities” is the manifestation of “the persecution of Jews in their own country by their own people”.

They are right.  Migron is the laboratory of Israel's mistakes: the total lack of any mention of historic Jewish rights to the land while proclaiming rights of an Arab "Palestinian people"; the capitulation to the principle of "territory for peace" in an open-ended fashion for which Israel will pay on all fronts; the establishment of a hypocritical and defeaning rule that "the difficulties of peace are better than the sacrifices of war", which played into Peace Now's guilty hands; the precedent of the dismantling of Jewish communities, homes and fields by the decision of the Knesset; the freeze on settlement in Judea and Samaria.

Migrom's residents are investing blood, sweat and toil in the building of the country. Migron mixes the fulfilment of biblical prophecy, the imperative of making barren hills bloom, the protection of Israel's borders and the sort of morally clear Zionism that is purveyed in Leon Uris's "Exodus".

The pioneers of the Second and Third Aliya coined the phrase: “The plough will draw the border”. It’s Jewish blood which determines the lines of Jewish sovereignty. Blood establishes a covenant between the earth which absorbs it and the people of Israel. The more blood there is, the stronger the covenant will be.

Abandoning Migron means betraying the memory of the dozens of Israelis butchered during the first and second Intifada. Is the Supreme Court longing for the "sacred cannon" that shelled and killed Jewish brothers on the ship Altalena?

Migron also has a strategic value for the security of Israel. The 1,000-metre-high Baal Hatzor mountain near Ramallah, which commands the area, is like Mount Scopus and the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, which stand 800 metres above sea level. If the Arabs were sitting up there where Migron now is, they could fire missiles into Tel Aviv.

Israelis can recall the wars of 1948, 1967 and 1973, when Arabs attacked from the east. Judea and Samaria’s Jewish communities prevent this from happening again whether through terror groups, rockets or renewed conventional confrontation. It is better to meet an attack on the river Jordan or on the Samaria-Judea mountain range than at the outskirts of Kfar Saba.

In that sense, Migron is like Ein Gev, one of 52 "tower and stockade" kibbutzim established from 1936 to 1938 in isolated regions far from other Jewish settlements. Ein Gev, the first modern Jewish settlement on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, could be reached only by sea for several years.

Everybody knows that Migron matters, because an Israel within the arbitrary Green Line is undefendable. The lives of Jewish people would be in mortal danger should Jerusalem trade those stretches of land which safeguard Jewish security. Migron keeps terrorists from taking over the area and serves as buffer zone for the larger Israeli cities.

A country nine miles wide is not viable. It's a recipe for disaster.

The question of the legal status of Migron and the other Samaria's outposts goes back to when Israel recaptured the land from Jordan's illegal occupation in the Six Day War. It was at that time that a grave mistake was made by Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, one which has bedeviled the Jewish State ever since.

Based on false legal advice, Israel preserved the existing laws of Jordan in Judea and Samaria. Hence was born the term "occupied territories" and the blood libel of "private Palestinian land".

Migron, if it falls,  will fall on a lie.

With a large majority of the Israeli electorate against giving back the Jordan Valley and the areas surrounding Jerusalem (Ma’aleh Adumim, Givat Ze’ev, etc.), with Gush Etzion close to being a matter of national consensus, with western Samaria (Ariel, Emanuel, etc.) trailing close behind, are the Arabs willing to negotiate on this basis? Only fools would think so.

In the Jewish-Arab conflict, which goes back to the first settlements of Rosh Pina and Rishon Lezion in the early years of the last century, there is only one rule: all or nothing.  It is deciding to give up all of Judea and Samaria (Peace Now's dream) or insisting on "not one inch".

If Israel has no right to a barren hillside in Samaria, to land left desolate during the period of Jewish exile, then Israel has no claim to any other place between the river and the sea.  As far as Israel's enemies are concerned, the Jews of Sheinkin, Ramat Aviv and Rehavia are also "settlers". The PLO and Hamas, like Hizbullah head Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, are aiming at a Lebanon-style withdrawal to the very last centimeter.

That's why the brave young Israelis who live in and loven the "outposts" hold the last line of defense against the danger of retreat to the 1948 borders. Migron is linked right to the gates of Auschwitz.

The writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the acclaimed book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage, JPost, Ynet and Commentary. He is at work on a book about the Vatican and Israel.