Photo: Dan Balilty
Elyakim Haetzni
Photo: Dan Balilty
Homeland not for sale
After peace promises fell short, ‘Peace Camp’ offers settlers money to leave

For the sake of full disclosure: For the past 35 years I’ve been living in Kiryat Arba, which is located beyond the separation fence. For that reason, I belong to what would be the first wave of expulsion and thus became a subject for the pity of Knesset Member Avshalom Vilan, who submitted (with Ehud Barak’s backing) a bill aimed at offering me financial enticement to sell the love for my homeland that brought me to Hebron.


A Teleseker poll among settlers discovered that only 1%, “quality of life settlers,” responded favorably to Vilan’s initiative, and that’s ok. Those who came because of material benefits would leave because of them as well. Among those who would agree to sell their home we found almost no religious people. The ones who look and behave like Jews the most are the ones who are least like the anti-Semitic stereotype promoted by Goebbels, who predicted that if the Jews get a state they will sell it for money. And still, Vilan’s ugly initiative raises important questions.


After Israel withdraws to the Green Line, the next Arab demand will come – withdrawal to the 1947 borders (based on the Partition Plan.) This will be coupled with a law that would offer money to people outside these borders: In Nahariya, Nazareth, Jaffa, Ramle, Lod, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Kiryat Gat, and Be’er Sheva. How many will take the money and leave? Avshalom Vilan, it is better that you don’t ask.


Just like the Green Line failed to stop the mortar shells, which landed in Gush Katif before, from hitting the camps of the military that destroyed the settlement bloc and the kibbutzim who celebrated its demise, this Line will not stop the epidemic of selling the homeland. The Saudis will do to you what you are doing to the settlers. Because as Roman Emperor Vespasian said when he introduced a tax on public lavatories, money has no smell!


Forceful expulsion impossible

There is something tragic in seeing a kibbutznik like Vilan, one of the leaders of an idealistic movement that collapsed under the temptation of capitalist materialism, attempting to entice patriots to sell their souls. Don’t do unto others what you wouldn’t want to be done unto you!


Today, there are about 300,000 settlers, more than five percent of the Jewish population and 20 percent of the Judea and Samaria population (1.5 million Arabs.) The Jewish community in Judea and Samaria is the only thing in Israel’s national existence that still grows and “time is on its side”, and this is why it serves as a target for the arrows of Israel haters, both domestically and from abroad.


The forceful expulsion of such masses is impossible. Yet even if Vilan and Barak buy half of the settlers who live “five minutes from Kfar Saba,” tens of thousands would still remain. Kibbutzniks who became real-estate agents forgot that during their days of glory they were a minority. What percentage of the Jewish people was Zionist? Woe on them, the destruction missionaries, who have run out of ideological stockpiles. The “Peace Camp,” which has despaired of convincing people with promises of peace now wants to buy lost souls using dirty money.


Woe on them, because if they manage to replace the pioneering minority that is trying to lead the State up the mountain by a hedonistic, cynical, and corrupt minority that effortlessly slides down the mountain, the entire nation would be left with money in its hand but without a home.


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