Snooping for information
Snooping for informationIsrael news photo

Veteran settler and ex-MK Elyakim Haetzni warns Judea/Samaria towns against divulging construction information to Obama’s roving representatives.

Emissaries of the Obama administration have been traveling around Judea and Samaria in recent weeks, asking residents about construction in their towns and passing the information back to Washington. In Efrat, for instance, the “capital” of Gush Etzion, Regional Council head Sha’ul Goldstein met with an American diplomat who asked for a briefing on the pace of construction in the region.

Goldstein said, “I told the residents to tell the truth: that we have come home to build and to remain on our land.”

Elyakim Haetzni, a long-time resident of Kiryat Arba, 25 minutes to the south, is more wary. In a letter to his fellow settlers this week, Haetzni wrote, “It is likely that an American investigator/supervisor will arrive in your town. We should not cooperate in any way with those who come openly to restrict our progress and to actually uproot us from our roots.”

“In light of the pressure constantly being exerted upon us from the Americans,” Haetzni continued, “cooperation with them is like a victim cooperating with his executioner.”

“Any piece of information, no matter how insignificant it seems, can be used against us by a hostile element. The talks that they are having with our people is the first step in a large intelligence gathering and supervisory network that [U.S .envoy George] Mitchell is building here. It would be very strange for us, of all people, to cooperate with something that will be used against our own government.”

“It’s great chutzpah of a foreign government to openly collect information and supervise a country on that country’s own territory. We must not cooperate with this brazenness.”

“Beyond our non-cooperation,” Haetzni wrote, “we must also take active steps on this matter. We must announce that we are closing our gates before them, showing that they not in charge here, and not only don’t we owe them an accounting, they don’t even have a right to ask for one.”

“Every creative idea by which we can show the Americans and/or the media that we will not allow anyone to trample our sovereignty and our lifeworks, will be welcomed,” Haetzni concluded.