Feb 4, 2006

Get the facts straight!

I am finding that Jews (and al achat kama v'kama the goyim) in Chutz Laaretz have no idea as to the facts of what happened in Amona last week. I have received email from a number of friends and relatives decrying the extremists for forcing the police to get violent. They place the blame solely on the plate of the "settlers".
This was my response:
I don't get to say this often but you are wrong. But you are wrong because you are misinformed and not aware of what happened. You are entitled to any opinion you want as to whether the whole event should have taken place or not, but you should only form that opinion after being aware of the facts.
Separate from the issue of whether those houses should have been destroyed or not, the police were not provoked into the violence. Do not just read the headlines. Read the details and the stories from people who were there. Look at the pictures. Speak to people who were there. Find out more than what the CNN headlines offer you as information, who are always supportive of Jews giving up land.

Do not forget: this is a replacement government, replacing a caretaker government leading up to elections. While technically he legally has all the powers of a Prime Minister, it is completely unethical for him to have made such a drastic move like this at this time. This neither needed to be done now (he could have waited two months until after elections), nor in this fashion.
Olmert, even if for some reason he felt it had to be done now, could have reached a compromise (as compromises had been offered, similar to the compromise reached in the Hebron market 2 weeks prior). The police went in looking for violence and they provoked it. Even the left wing parties in Israel have called for an investigation into how the police got so violent, because they really were out of hand.

Are you aware that they did not dismantle the settlement of Amona? The settlement still stands with the original caravan houses. Are you aware that this was not an "evacuation" or "disengagement" ala Gush Katif? The settlement of Amona still stands and Amona is a legal and government approved settlement. This was a destruction of 9 houses that were built without building permits. That is why this event did not have to go through various committees and government votes to pass, and that is why the police force was used rather than the army.

Are you aware that there are over 37,000 Tzavei Harisa (orders of dismantlement) on buildings all over Israel? Are you aware that there are over 8500 of these orders on houses owned by Arabs? They have not lifted a finger against any other outstanding illegaly built building, yet they claim that this was simply the police cracking down on people breaking the law by building houses with no permits. Where is equality in law? Why are they not going into Lod or Tul Karm or Beer Sheva or towns in the Galilee or Umm Al Fahm or Ramat Bet Shemesh with 8000 policemen with bulldozers to knock down illegal houses?

Are you aware that the land the settlement of Amona sits on, was legally purchased privately by Jews from Arabs? This was not a situation of Jews stealing Arab land. The government picked on easy prey in Amona because it would be an opportunity to portray the settlers in a bad light prior to elections, thus generating a lot more support for Ehud Olmert and Kadima, as he comes out of this looking like someone who is strong and will stand up to the settlers.

Again, you are entitled to your opinion that the land should be given to the Arabs as part of a peace deal or even unilaterally, if need be, but do not say that the settlers provoked the violence and the extremists forced the police to act like brutes because they took the law into their own hands. That is not what happened. That is simply how the media and the government want to portray it.

Rafi

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