Yesha Council, stop isolating the 'settler minority'

Change your strategy before it is too late. Peace Now also sees us as an isolated minority and that is what the public sees.

David Bedein

OpEds Peace Now Protest
Peace Now Protest
credit David Michael Cohen

The Yesha Council: Adherent to the Peace Now Strategy to Isolate the 

"​settler minority"​

In 1993, those who promoted the Oslo process made sure to portray the opposition to "land for peace" as a "​settler minority​" who were locked into their “ideology and  real estate.”

This "settler isolation" approach was  best elucidated by PR expert Yekutiel Federman, once the  owner of the Dan Hotel Chain, sponsor of Abie Nathan's Voice of Peace and funder of PEACE NOW.. on the pages of the now defunct-Al HaMishmar. the former Mapam-Meretz daily newspaper, in October 1993.  Federman advised the Rabin-Peres government to "isolate the 3%" of the population who live in Yesha, and to attack them personally. Prime Minister Rabin therefore referred to 'settlers' as propellers which he would allow to spin uselessly and whom he promised to ignore.

For the last 23 years, the Yesha Council seems to have absorbed the Federman/ Peace Now strategy.

Even now. In well funded demonstrations against the destruction of Amona, the Yesha Council only mobilized Jews living  in Judea and Samaria, without inviting anyone else to the speak from the platforms of their rallies, as if the wanton demolition of a thriving community was only the problem of Amona and the Jews who live Judea and Samaria.

At no time did the full page Yesha ads for Amonah include Jews who were not Rabbis or residents of Judea and Samaria.

Nor did the Yesha Council reach out to Jewish landowners within the 'green line' who may suffer the consequences of the Amona precedent .

In other words, as did the Oslo advocates, the Yesha Council did not stress that the Amona precedent represents a threat to all of the people of Israel, and not only to Judea and Samaria.

Haggai Segel, writing in Makor Rishon on September 23, 2016, reported court judgments which can still be enforced against thousands hundreds of Jewish homes within the green line where absentee Arab landowners still lay claim to their  land that Jews took possession of between 1950 and 1952. Even more important, the Adalah Arab rights organization has hired a team of lawyers to help absentee land owners lay claim to these lands.

In other words, Yesha could transform homeowners within the green line  into allies, and they must begin to do so asap.

And what about the Yesha Council playing the human rights card? At no time does the Yesha Council appeal to protect the fundamental human rights of a   family who has lived in a home for years to not be thrown into the street in the cold of winter, because that parcel of land was allocated by King Hussein a generation ago to his subjects.  

If the leaders of the Yesha Council continue to opt for the Peace Now strategy, they will succeed in isolating and destroying themselves and the Settlement Enterprise.