The assertion that only religious-Zionists object to the uprooting/transfer plan is about to be bashed in a big way, with a large anti-disengagement event to be held by secular Galilee pioneers.
Moshav Nahalal in the Galilee, one of the most prominent of the secular moshav movement, will host the first of a series of gatherings protesting Prime Minister Sharon's expulsion plan. The plan calls for Israel to unilaterally withdraw all its forces, its 8,500 citizens and their homes from Gush Katif and northern Shomron this summer, and abandon the land to the Arabs.
The gathering at Nahalal is scheduled to take place on Monday, Feb. 14, and will signal the solidarity of the veteran workers' settlement movement with the newer settlers. "We won't leave the Gush Katif pioneers alone in the field," they say. "Their struggle is our struggle."
The announcement of the gathering states, "This is our historic land. Our enemies who waged war on us since the beginning of Zionism will not be satisfied with one piece of land or another. Their ultimate goal is to uproot and banish us from the entire Land."
"We know about the plans being cooked-up in smoke-filled room calling to abandon and expel the residents of the Jordan Valley and Golan as well. Far from the spotlights, an international border crossing is being built in the northern Jordan Valley near Mehola – and this is clear proof of the dark storm about to come upon the Zionist enterprise.
The statement notes that supporters are expected "from all over the country, from a range of the pioneer settlement movements that effected the miracle of the Zionist revival of the nation returning to its land." The organizers "call on everyone with a human and national conscience to come and sound the rational voice of Zionism, nationalism and settlement, against the attempt to illegally and unethically uproot and destroy the Katif bloc and northern Samaria."
One of the organizers, Beit She'an valley Kibbutz member Yoav Toviah, told Arutz-7 last night, "This is not an official gathering, but rather of individual members of the settlement movement here. Let's not kid ourselves: most kibbutz members – I don't know about the moshavim – are in favor of the disengagement. But there are some, like myself, who oppose it." He said that among the organizers are some who have long considered themselves "Land of Israel people," as well as those "who have recently come to the conclusion that this process is both a blow to democracy and a needless destruction of a settlement enterprise in the Land of Israel."
Asked if their support would translate into active opposition in Gush Katif/Northern Shomron itself during the evacuation if it occurs, Toviah said, "I can't speak for others, but I can tell you that already 2-3 weeks ago I sent a fax saying that I would be there on that day."
The organizers' announcement quotes the speech of Simon the Maccabee to Syrian-Greek King Antiochus over 2,100 years ago, in which he said, "Not a foreign land did we take, and not over the property of foreigners did we rule – but the inheritance of our forefathers that was captured illegally and that is in the hands of our enemies. And when the opportunity arose, we restored our forefathers' inheritance."
The statement, phrases of which sounded like they were taken from the National Union party platform, continued, "Facing obtuse powers of evil, facing people with no Zionist or settlement values, and facing a mad dictator who is dragging the country to a civil war – we will establish anew the scale of Zionist and settlement values that built the State of Israel, the national home of the Jewish People."
The statement also refers to the democratic values that were trampled along the way to disengagement: "The nation has already decided three times in favor of keeping hold of Gush Katif: once when the nation overwhelmingly elected Sharon because he said that Netzarim would be like Tel Aviv, while Mitzna, who called for uprooting and destruction, lost." The second time was in the Likud referendum, which gave a large victory to the anti-disengagement camp and which Sharon promised to adhere to but did not. The final instance was the Cabinet decision, when "not only several Likud ministers betrayed their party membership's decision, but Sharon stabbed Israel's democracy in the heart when he created an artificial majority by firing two ministers on the eve of the vote. Who needs a government anyway, if you can just fire ministers before the vote and attain any majority you want."
"We won't leave the Gush Katif pioneers alone in the field," the announcement concludes. "Their struggle is our struggle."