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The Cross of Bethlehem II

Netanyahu Breaks Leftwards

IDF Strikes "Oz Tzion" Outpost



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On December 28, 2012, Benjamin Netanyahu made a serpentine strike with the unmatched gracefulness of a venomous snake; this time his poison was aimed at the settlers in the West Bank. The news was prosaic; a force from the Border Guard was ordered to evacuate Oz Tzion ("Zion's Courage" in Hebrew). This outpost is situated between Jerusalem and Ramallah, near Givat Assaf. Its founder is Daniela Weiss, former Head of the Kedumim Local Council; she is one of the best known leaders of the West Bank settlers. As in two previous occasions, the evacuation failed.

Oz Tzion

Oz Tzion - Dec 28, 2012
Checkpoint Watch: Testimonies from Occupied Palestine

On Friday morning, West Bank commander Brig. Gen. Hagai Mordechai ordered the forceful evacuation of the outpost. The soldiers delivered to the place found about 200 settlers led by Kiryat Arba's rabbi Dov Lior and rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu of Safed, both close to Naftali Bennet, leader of the Jewish Home party. The soldiers were wildly outnumbered; the settlers refused even to negotiate with them. Rocks were thrown at the soldiers. Unable to solve the stalemate, a government minister ordered the retreat of the soldiers. They are expected to return after the end of the Sabbath with a larger contingent.

Daniella Weiss

Daniella Weiss
Palestinian Christians in the West Bank: Facts, Figures and Trends

Who is Who

Veteran readers of this website have probably recognized all the abovementioned names. Netanyahu attacked the settlers and Jewish orthodoxy aristocracy. Dov Lior was featured in Monster Rabbi; he is the problematic religious leader of the Qiryat Arba settlement in Hebron; recently they acid-tested Netanyahu. He is directly connected to the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. Leading rabbis have testified that he was the source of rulings labeling the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin a "rodef" and a "moser" (“pursuer” and “giver,” in other words a traitor who endangers Jewish lives). Yigal Amir - Rabin's assassin - used to travel to Hebron to get advice from the rabbi. He also instructed Baruch Goldstein, who massacred many Palestinians praying at the Cave of the Patriarchs in 1994. After the massacre, the rabbi ruled that Goldstein was “holier than all the martyrs of the Holocaust” (and the ADL didn’t sue him!).

No less disgusting is Shmuel Eliyahu, rabbi of Safed; while being a civil servant, he issued a religious decree (parallel to Muslim fatwa) instructing residents not to rent rooms or houses to Israeli Arabs, in other words to Palestinians with Israeli citizenship. Jewish denizens who dared to trespass the order were threatened (see Racist Rabbis).

Daniella Weiss became involved in the current event only as the founder of the outpost to be evacuated; yet, this is relevant. She is one of the most outspoken members of Gush Emunim ("Block of Believers"), the movement that began the Jewish settlements in the West Bank. In the past, she said in an interview to Haaretz, "the only "Price Tag" action acceptable is the establishment of a new outpost in response to every outpost that had been demolished by Israeli authorities." Price Tag is the name adopted by a settler's organization that is violent towards Muslims and Christians. In other words, she declared the Israeli government "non-Jewish."

Oz Zion

Oz Zion | After the April 2012 Attack


Netanyahu's Serpentine Qualities

The timing of the event is odd. Its target is weird. Why would Netanyahu order such an attack roughly three weeks before the elections. The evacuation could wait. As Israelis say in situations in which there is no rush, "What, did a war begin?" Then, among all the outposts awaiting to be evacuated or moved, Netanyahu chose one which is in a strategic point near Jerusalem and that is linked to prominent settlers and leading rabbis. Is Netanyahu attempting to lose the upcoming elections? The clue as to what is going on is in the abovementioned Naftali Bennet. His party, the Jewish Home, is getting stronger by the day, getting votes from Netanyahu's Likud. Netanyahu must stop the trend.

Delaying the evacuation should have been interpreted by the settlers as an acceptance of their policies by Netanyahu. Encouraged by their success, they would have voted en-masse for the Jewish Home and the National Union. Instead, Netanyahu opted for a head-to-head attack on Bennet, targeting his favorite projects. Unable to win additional settler votes, he still can portray himself as a powerful leader respectful of Israeli law (settlements and outposts are both illegal under international law; however, under Israeli law settlements are legal and outposts are illegal). Doing this, Netanyahu proved his serpentine qualities. By running in a joint list with Avigdor Lieberman, Netanyahu secured his position as leader of the main right-wing movement. Since then, a crack appeared in this alignment, mainly due to Mizrahi voters who don't like his alliance with the Russian immigrants. Netanyahu answer was a swift zig-zag leftwards. His strike on the outpost will be well seen by the Jewish center and left. Netanyahu's slow deterioration in polls may be stopped. Mr. Netanyahu, how do snakes say "cheers?"

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