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It discusses the increasingly regular discriminatory treatment against Jewish settlers and settlement products by the international community and now the Israeli government itself. It raises the question, are there two types of Jews, and asks, will the settlers declare independence?

Back in 1989, the radical Rabbi and former Knesset member Meir Kahane, members of his - still then legal - Kach Party, and an assortment of other miscellaneous - what are euphemistically called today - right-wing extremists, met in Jerusalem, to found the State of Judea. Their program was based on the assumption that an - as yet unknown - Israeli-Palestinian peace process of the future, would call for the expulsion of Jews from parts of the historic Land of Israel, specifically the 1967 liberated territories called Yesha, i.e. Judea, Samaria (the West Bank), and Gaza. In case of this eventuality, they proposed that Jewish settlers declare independence from Israel and establish their own Jewish state, to be called the State of Judea. This idea, was to provide a political and defense alternative to the Jews of Yesha, since the Israeli government, it was believed, would be abandoning them, and turning over sovereignty of the land to an Arab entity.

In juxtaposition to the commonly heard phrase, "two states for two peoples," i.e. Jews and Arabs or Israelis and Palestinians, one can summarize their idea in the phrase, "two states for one people," i.e. Jews-Judeans and Israelis. Let me point out here, there is a historic precedent for it, just open the bible to the Book of Kings, and you can read about the Kingdoms of Judah and Israel.

Be that as it may, 15 years ago, this idea - of two Jewish states - was the purview of those exclusively on the right side of the political spectrum in Israel, but not anymore.

Referring to Sharon's disengagement plan from Gaza and areas of Samaria, and the forced expulsion of Jews from their homes and communities, American academic, Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, suggested a different type of strategy to avoid a civil war in Israel, "Should the [Israeli] government go ahead with the forcible removal of Jewish residents of Gaza, intra-Israeli violence appears to be a distinct possibility. Which in turn makes me wonder why the Israeli authorities do not take quite a different track and merely stop providing security for them."

This idea has also been proposed in an article in the left-leaning "intellectual" Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz entitled, "If they do not evacuate voluntarily". In it, the author referring to Sharon's Gaza Plan states, "Israel cannot afford a national trauma of this magnitude. Therefore, the disengagement must not be carried out by force. The government had better announce in advance and unequivocally that there will be no forced evacuation, and plan the implementation of the disengagement accordingly. If there were any chance of it succeeding, it would be preferable to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority over the possibility of allowing the settlements, or some of them, and the settlers who so wish to remain under Palestinian rule..."

Speaking of the compensation process and the final date of evacuation the author continues, "One can hope that by that date, not many settlers will remain. But those who do choose to remain - and this must be said regretfully, but decisively - will do so on their own responsibility...Does this mean that Israel is 'abandoning' the settlers? This question cannot be considered out of context. The settlers' fate is not the only thing at stake: The fate of the entire state is...The settlers cannot expect the Israeli majority to agree to subordinate its destiny to theirs..."

So, along with promoting the constant threat of a civil war, writers, thinkers, politicians and generals from the Left, are beginning to define "settlers," as being from another group, whose "destiny" is different. For example, Ha'aretz has in the past few months promoted the "two-state idea," with such lurid titles as, "Land of Israel vs. State of Israel" and "The other Jewish state".

In the "Land of Israel vs. State of Israel," the author states, "Still, the extreme right can't be portrayed solely by means of the debate with Sharon. Its activists act on behalf of another country: the 'Land of Israel.' That country has for years been engaged in subverting the State of Israel...It's part of the great battle between the State of Israel and the Land of Israel, where the residents [i.e. settlers] are not bound by any democratic game. The Land of Israel is a messianic-religious nationalistic entity, in part racist, and it has a lot of clout among the people who live in the State of Israel."

And in "The other Jewish state," the author, in discussing the State Comptroller's Report writes, "In fact, we have to think in terms of two Jewish states, one within the Green Line, living according to Israeli law, and the other across that line...The gap between the two Jewish nation-states is quite clear from the other data scattered in the report. This refers not only to the amount of money that has been invested in the settlements, but to the method..."

Referring to Israel's investment in building Jewish communities in Yesha, the author complains, "It involves the creation of a different Jewish identity - and hence a different culture - from the one that exists in Israel. Underlying this identity is a concept of territories; Jewry as an elite that deserves the best and for which the whole existence of the State of Israel is no more than a feed-line...The comptroller seeks to, almost begs to, apply Israeli criteria to a population that from the outset established its foundations on divine law."

But it's not only the Israeli Left that sees settlers and settlements as "different" from Israel...

For over a year and a half now, the European Union has been arguing with Israel over the inclusion of products from Yesha, under its Free Trade Agreement with Israel. The Europeans began demanding that products produced in the settlements, since they don't originate in "Israel," don't qualify for import tax-free status. Although the Foreign Ministry's policy had been not to give in to European pressure on this matter, Trade and Industry Minister Ehud Olmert last year began working on a "solution". His solution? Israel will label all products for export with the geographic location in which they were manufactured, for example, Made in Israel - Tel Aviv, or, Made in Israel - Gush Etzion, thus enabling the EU to identify and tax products from Yesha. It also will enable pro-Palestinian consumers in Europe to more easily boycott Yesha products, something the far-left Israeli "peace" group Gush Shalom has been promoting for a number of years.

And elements of the Israeli government are facilitating this...

Then there's the recent 14th Ministerial Conference of the 115-member country Non-Aligned Movement, the largest international body outside the United Nations.

According to their "Declaration on Palestine," they wrote, "The Ministers welcomed the Advisory Opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice on the 'Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory'". They referred to the "contravention of relevant provisions of the Hague Regulations and the Fourth Geneva Convention" and stated, "The Ministers further underscored the Court's conclusion that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, have been established in breach of international law..."

And then in section 5b state, "With regard to Member States, the Ministers called upon them to undertake measures, including by means of legislation, collectively, regionally and individually, to prevent any products of the illegal Israeli settlements
from entering their markets consistent with the obligations under International Treaties, to decline entry to Israeli settlers..."

They called on their 115 member countries to boycott products from Yesha communities and to forbid entry of Yesha residents into their countries.

Israeli officials quickly brushed off the boycott call. "We are sorry for this decision," said one official, "But we think this political decision will be impossible to implement." And about the ban on settlers, they said that, "Israeli Passports don't have local addresses." But that's not entirely correct, most countries require visa applications, which will require Israeli home addresses. What will an Israeli wannabe tourist from say Ma'ale Adumim or Ariel do? Fill out the form with his real address when he wants to go to India, Thailand, Chile, or Kenya and be denied entry? Or, lie on the form, go there, get arrested for a traffic violation, and if found out where he really lives, be held for prosecution for lying on a visa application as well?

Clearly, the international community, Israel's Left, and the Israeli government are making a distinction between Jewish settlers and settlements in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, and Israelis in Israel proper.

And if all this weren't enough, Israeli Attorney-General Meni Mazuz - based on an Israeli Justice Ministry legal team study - has recommended to the government, that it "carefuly examine" the possibility of formally applying the Fourth Geneva Convention - which governs the treatment of civilians in an occupied territory - to Yesha. This would reverse the policies of all Israeli governments since 1967 - that the territories are not "occupied" as defined in the convention, but rather "disputed". Though Mazuz intends it to apply to the treatment of the Palestinians for humanitarian purposes, it could give the Jewish residents of Yesha, the international status of "war criminals," since another section of the convention has been used to define settlements as illegal.

With all this effort on the part of the international community to define two different groups of Jews, class A and class B, and the Israeli government acting as a willing accomplice, and with the Israeli government pursuing a policy to expel Jews from their homes, or simply remove Israeli Army security and abandon them, will Jewish settlers decide to declare their independence from Israel? Only time will tell.

Ariel Natan Pasko is an independent analyst & consultant. He has a Master's Degree in International Relations & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites, in newspapers, and can be read at:


(c) 2004/5764 Pasko






I'm used to these reversal strategies from the Israeli right wing, but there is a small consideration of practicality here. If the US Jewish right tries to provide the settlers directly with funds, by-passing the Israeli economic system, it will cause a currency crisis.

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