SOS Israel is planning a campaign to choose a flag and anthem for the new Jewish state it plans to erect in the West Bank in the event of an Israeli withdrawal from the territories.
The initiative will be published in this week's "Our Land of Israel," a pamphlet distributed in synagogues on Shabbat. A prize of several thousand shekels will be awarded to the participant whose design is adopted.
In an article entitled "The Coming Earthquake," Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpe writes: "In the wake of the Annapolis Conference at which the Israeli government agreed to the establishment of a Palestinian state with its capital in Jerusalem and the defense minister's (Ehud Barak) proposed 'evacuation compensation' law, many are asking themselves 'what can I do now?'."
"Are we just going to stand aside like lambs to the slaughter while the malicious government destroys the lives of tens of thousands of Israeli families, as we did to our brothers in Gush Katif? Are we going to surrender to the 'axis of evil' in Jerusalem and help it turn 120 thousand Jews into refugees in their own land, hundreds of thriving communities into mere rubble? Is it possible to lend a hand to something which threatens the very physical existence of millions of Jews?"
Before hordes of anxious talkbackers hit reply, the rabbi has his own answer to these questions: "The answer is simple," he writes. "First of all we must understand that 'it will come to pass,' in other words- to internalize the lessons of the cruel expulsion from Gush Katif and to cease living in illusions. It is upon us to choose if we want to be brought to the slaughter, God forbid, or to stand up for our lives against the government's intentions.
"There is no doubt then that the only solution is to immediately declare the establishment of an autonomous Jewish state in Judea and Samaria. The time has come to seriously consider erecting a legal body that will unite the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria as a state-to-be," Rabbi Wolpe wrote.
As Rabbi Wolpe propagates his plan for the new West Bank state, another idea has taken hold among the right-wing grassroots. Groups of rabbis, including Yesha Rabbis Council Chairman Rabbi Dov Lior, are encouraging youth to sign a personal commitment and hand it over at army induction centers. The commitment states that these youth will refuse any order to evacuate settlements or outposts.
Initiative organizers state that they thus aim to prevent draft-dodging as well, given the fears of many young people unwilling to be drafted that they will participate in evacuations. They can thus "feel more comfortable" by signing the personal commitment.
The form the inductees will sign includes the soldier's name, his personal number and the following statement: "I commit to guard and defend state security as is required of me and to carry out all missions thrust upon me according to IDF values. On the other hand, I refuse to execute any illegal order to evacuate settlements or outposts, or expel Jews from wherever they may be."
Accordingly, soldiers will ask that the form be placed in their personal file.