The ‘Land of Israel’ lobby doesn’t trust wobbly Netanyahu

Big settler bash over the weekend as the Knesset’s “Land of Israel lobby” toured the West Bank and called on the government of Israel to adopt the Levy (“Israel is not an occupying power“) Report.

MK Yaakov Katz , Chairman of the National Union Party says at 1:10 in the video the Land of Israel Lobby chairman members present at the bash represent 40 or 50 Knesset members. It’s instructive with regard to how inundated they are. And when they threaten Netanyahu with abandoning him they are a force to be reckoned with. This is why Israel keeps moving further to the right.

Israel National News:

MK Eldad told Arutz Sheva during the tour, “Recently we witnessed the destruction of the Ulpana [neighborhood in Beit El] and we saw the Israeli government destroying Migron and we understand that if the Netanyahu government would adopt the legal recommendations of the Levy Report, all these obstacles that prevented the preservation of Migron and the Ulpana could be prevented. We could have saved these settlements.”

He added, “The next threat is on Givat Assaf and Amona and if the Levy Report is not adopted, Amona will be destroyed, Givat Assaf will be destroyed and many other settlements [will be destroyed] as well. So we came here today to call, from here, on the government to fully adopt the Levy Report.”

……

“I’m afraid that Netanyahu is more obedient to the pressure from the United States and from Europe than to the pressure from his own voters,” he said. “We are here to explain to him that he will lose the base of his own voters if he will surrender to the demands of the international community and destroy more settlements in Israel.”

MK Ya’akov Katz (National Union) noted the great growth in the Jewish population in Judea and Samaria and said, “The State of Israel has to understand that the more than 45 years that he we have been in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights and east Jerusalem are longer than the 19 years that we were not in those areas. Most of the Jewish people and most of the citizens in Israel today were born already in the ‘big’ Eretz Yisrael, which is still not so big, rather than in the ‘small’ Eretz Yisrael.”

For more Levy Report coverage check out ‘Levy Report’ fallout felt in DC, and online and NYT’ sees end of 2SS in Levy report, Munayyer sees Israel’s growing int’l isolation.

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani
Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Nakba, Neocons, Occupation, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics

{ 26 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. FreddyV says:

    ‘Most of the Jewish people and most of the citizens in Israel today were born already in the ‘big’ Eretz Yisrael, which is still not so big, rather than in the ‘small’ Eretz Yisrael.’

    Sorry, have I read this wrong? Is this to suggest that they’re not done with expansion? Are we talking about a Biblical ‘Nile to the Euphrates’ aspiration?

    If so, it completely validates the hostility of the surrounding Arab nations for the last 64 years.

    • Is this to suggest that they’re not done with expansion?

      where have you been? jordan is part of eretz israel, or haven’t you heard? parts of lebanon too. google ‘eretz israel map’

      • ColinWright says:

        Don’t stop there, Annie. Shahak claims — and I see no reason to doubt him — that the Talmudic prescription for ‘Israel’ runs from central Anatolia to northern Egypt, and includes the island of Cyprus.

        It doesn’t really matter. One aspect of it all is that Israel will always have a need for an external enemy to maintain internal unity — and so will always seek conflict with her neighbors. There would never be a halt to Israeli aggression.

        …if she were an individual, she’d have to be locked up. There’d be no way around it. Since she’s an institution, she’ll just have to be disbanded.

        • seanmcbride says:

          ColinWright wrote:

          It doesn’t really matter. One aspect of it all is that Israel will always have a need for an external enemy to maintain internal unity — and so will always seek conflict with her neighbors. There would never be a halt to Israeli aggression.

          Zionism requires an endless supply of enemies to maintain its internal cohesion as an ethnic cult. It was a crazy venture from the word go — there was never the slightest possibility of Israel attaining real peace with its neighbors or with anyone else.

          Without maintaining a sustained state of hysteria over perpetual threats from enemies, Zionism (and Israel) would quickly fall apart.

          But this is the really weird part: Zionism is grounded in a messianic ideology which envisions the creation of an era of universal and eternal peace! Striving for this glorious age of peace is its supposed raison d’être.

          All of this is crying out for psychoanalytic explanations.

          Is it possible to go crazy from getting into arguments with Zionists? Most assuredly so, if you are expecting to be dealing with rational actors.

        • pabelmont says:

          You mean what Israel is doing isn’t just “noise”? Obama, listen up!

        • Mooser says:

          “Since she’s an institution, she’ll just have to be disbanded.”

          Now, I’m clearly not as smart as you, Colin (a long ago out-marriage stole my +15, darn the luck) but as far as I know, you “disband” a country (after of course, first asking it to politely, and being refused) by invading it, destroying its ability to resist, and then either taking over the country, or destroying it and scattering its people.
          I gotta admit “disband” is such a nice way of putting it.
          Of course, if you know of somebody or some organisation who could “disband” Isreal without violence, for God’s sake, don’t keep it a secret!
          First gangster: “Gee, I ain’t seen Larry “tunafishcan” Lowery around lately”
          Second gangster: “Oh, Larry? Well, he got, you know… “disbanded” by Billy “the bloviator” Bingham and Sam “the secunder” Povinsky, see.

        • Mooser says:

          “All of this is crying out for psychoanalytic explanations.”

          Maybe it makes them feel Jung again.

        • ColinWright says:

          Mooser says: “as far as I know, you “disband” a country (after of course, first asking it to politely, and being refused) by invading it, destroying its ability to resist, and then either taking over the country, or destroying it and scattering its people…”

          Now I’ve repeatedly made it clear that I think Israel can simply be asphyxiated with a comprehensive boycott ala South Africa. In any case, it’s obviously insane to seek to physically destroy a nation with 100-200 nuclear warheads.

          You’re just desperately seeking a way to twist my words so you can vilify me.

      • FreddyV says:

        Hey Annie,

        I’m very aware of the theological argument, but I thought it was kept within the confines of the ultra religious of Judaism and Christian Zionism and not within any mainstream. To hear this spoken of in matter of fact terms is more than disturbing and needs to be challenged.

        Has anyone thought to seek a refutation from Netanyahu, or any major politician in Israel?

        • freddy, it’s thick.

          Has anyone thought to seek a refutation from Netanyahu, or any major politician in Israel?

          as a matter of fact yes. if you open the first “Land of Israel lobby” link in the main post you can read they are discussing migron 8/28

          Meanwhile on Monday, residents of Migron whose land was not purchased and are to be evicted filed a request with the Supreme Court, asking that their eviction be postponed.

          As part of an agreement negotiated between the residents and the government, the evicted residents agreed to move to a caravan site in nearby Givat HaYekev. However, the site is not yet completed and not suitable for living.

          The request was filed after the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council submitted an opinion to the Supreme Court stating that the site is not yet ready for occupancy due to safety hazards which still remain on the site.

          go to the site, check it out and open the embedded links. the people attending this thing include ” Binyamin Regional Council”. note in the main link israel national news “Knesset Members in Binyamin”, Binyamin is what they call: link to torahalive.com

          anyway, you can read about this recent court shenanigans here:

          link to mondoweiss.net

          yesh din and michael sfard are working their butts off challenging these people. also, of vital importance read

          Influential Israeli org ‘Regavim’ focused on expelling Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line

          link to mondoweiss.net

          In all of these arenas, Regavim has one clear goal: the brutal and selective implementation of planning and construction laws, encouraging the state to demolish Palestinian homes or public buildings.

          watch the video in the Regavim link. this is really really happening. these people are very effective, and their wacko.

          then google ‘mondoweiss uplanda’ and ‘mondoweiss migron’ ‘mondoweiss michael sfard’, we’ve written a lot about this stuff and netanyahu:

          High Court refuses Israeli gov’t petition on Ulpana, will the repercussions be felt in the Israeli elections?

          link to mondoweiss.net

        • oh, and don’t miss link to mondoweiss.net

          Michael Sfard: ‘The Israeli government has declared war against the rule of law’

        • another thing freddy, these kinds of stories (the one here today) are a dime a dozen of you venture over to israel national news. i amnot posting this because it is rare or unusual. and i don’t post it because i don’t think people don’t already know it’s going on. i post it so we do not forget this progress is marching on very fast and even tho some of these kinds of points only get a few comments or tweets it is important not to get so used to them we let months and months go by without documentation. because we know the expansion is a drip drip drip affair but it is certainly escalating. these people work in conjunction with house demolitions and evacuating palestinians off their land. and the little engine driving this ethnic cleansing are these fanatics working in conjunction with the government and lots of secular people. open the “MK Yaakov Katz” link. google mondoweiss ‘messiah’s donkey’. it all works hand in glove and we have to stop it or our grandchildren will be having these same discussions about areas in jordan in a couple decades. the fanatics are not slowing down, not stopping. they are growing and escalating.

        • ColinWright says:

          Annie says: “…Michael Sfard: ‘The Israeli government has declared war against the rule of law’ “

          This is news? Anyway, when was there ‘rule of law’ in Israel in any meaningful sense? I might as well announce that I am rising up against our Mongol oppressors.

          This actually raises a larger point. While I don’t question the sincerity and good will of Sfard, Yesh Din, et al — whose interests are they actually serving?

          By endlessly but with negligible success opposing the Israel’s projects in the courts, aren’t they merely lending a veneer of legality and Western-style due process to what is in fact a tyrannical process that proceeds regardless of the law and in pursuit of wholly illegal ends?

          Which is worse? If Palestinians are simply and frankly expelled from their land, or if they are expelled from their land, there’s a lot of courtly to-and-fro — and in the end, they remain expelled from their land?

          It seems to me that the outcome has been substantially the same — except that the whole process has been lent a spurious veneer of legality.

          Who has actually benefited? There’s an argument that intentionally or not, these people are functioning as propagandists for Israel, playing a necessary part in what is at bottom a cynical charade. After all, invariably either (a) Israel gets the rulings she needs, or (b) she simply ignores the rulings.

          In this case, to participate in the system is to legitimize it.

        • FreddyV says:

          Hey Annie,

          Thanks for all this. I’ll be spending a bit of time digesting it all.

          Yes, I agree that we’ll be having this discussion about Jordan unless something is done.

          One thing that came up today on BBC News is that Barak is talking about a unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank leaving the main settlements in place.

          link to bbc.co.uk

          Obviously, with the settlements and without East Jerusalem a Palestinian state wouldn’t be viable and given the financial situation in the WB, I’m wondering whether this could be an opportunity for Israel to give appearances to the world as engaging in peace and withdraw, which would put no financial burden on Israel to prop up the Palestinian economy, wait for the whole thing to collapse around the PA’s ears, then walk in and annex the whole shebang.

        • Hostage says:

          While I don’t question the sincerity and good will of Sfard, Yesh Din, et al — whose interests are they actually serving?

          By endlessly but with negligible success opposing the Israel’s projects in the courts, aren’t they merely lending a veneer of legality and Western-style due process to what is in fact a tyrannical process that proceeds regardless of the law and in pursuit of wholly illegal ends?

          Justice. The last time I checked, Sfard was one of the few people in the world who have not simply stood by or abandoned the Palestinian people to their fate.

          He has represented their prisoners who are being tortured; married couples who have been separated by The Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order) 5763; home owners and land owners whose property has been stolen; persons whose lives are endangered by reductions in the size of the IDF “safety zones” used during bombardments in built-up areas; and Israelis and NGO workers who had been prohibited from offering transportation to Palestinian passengers. In connection with that latter case, he formally accused the government of the State of Israel and the IDF with the crime of apartheid in the High Court of Justice. He also consulted in the SOAS/HSRC study “Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid?” It assembled all of the evidence and provided an expert analysis. The authors recommended that the South African government and other states should request an advisory opinion from the ICJ regarding Israel’s responsibility for the international crime of apartheid. The study thoroughly documented the evidence for other members of the international legal community.

          Frankly, I’m amazed that he’s still walking around in the land of the living.

        • Mooser says:

          “In this case, to participate in the system is to legitimize it.”

          Oh yeah? Well, I’d like to see you go and tell that to those nice ladies purifying, or whatever the hell the ceremony is supposed to do, Adelson’s Pound o’ Flesh Casino! I bet they tie you up with your own tefillin and gag you with a prayer shawl! Anyway shofar, so good.

        • ColinWright says:

          Hostage says: “Justice. The last time I checked, Sfard was one of the few people in the world who have not simply stood by or abandoned the Palestinian people to their fate.

          He has represented their prisoners who are being tortured; married couples who have been separated by The Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order) 5763; home owners and land owners whose property has been stolen…”

          That’s just my point. How many of these cases has he actually won? To what extent has he hampered the progress of Zionism?

          Given that he has accomplished nil, isn’t his net effect to contribute to a veneer of legality, to make it appear that ‘yes people can go to court, and appeal, and it’s all just like in the West’? But meantime, don’t the wheels just keep turning, with the courts either ruling against him, or the government simply ignoring the rulings of the court? The torture still goes on. The couples are still separated. Palestinians continue to be dispossessed.

          “…Frankly, I’m amazed that he’s still walking around in the land of the living.”

          I didn’t question his sincerity. I’m just questioning his actual role. To repeat, it seems to me that under these circumstances, to participate in the system may be to legitimize it. It makes it look like there is due process, the rule of the law, etc when in fact there isn’t.

        • Hostage says:

          To repeat, it seems to me that under these circumstances, to participate in the system may be to legitimize it. It makes it look like there is due process, the rule of the law, etc when in fact there isn’t.

          Not really. The SOAS-HSRC study had subsections devoted to the subjects of “Jurisprudence of Israel’s High Court regarding settlements” and “Application of Israeli Law in the OPT”. They detailed the complicity of the judiciary in evicting Palestinians from their lands on various grounds in order to facilitate the establishment of Jewish settlements.

          In the Highway 443 ruling, the former President of the Israeli Supreme Court, Dorit Beinish, angrily acknowledged that the repeated allegations concerning the crime of apartheid amounted to crimes of State in which the High Court was implicitly accused as an unindicted co-conspirator.

      • HemiFaulk says:

        If they make it to Cyprus they can join the EU. I jokingly said last week that Israel won’t stop until they reach the Black Sea, now I find out someone already thought of that, so much for originality.

  2. ColinWright says:

    How can I support the political efforts of this fine group?

    Last thing I want is for Netanyahu to get ‘wobbly.’ He needs to stand firm. Maybe let America know there’s a new sheriff in town or something. Speak truth to power…go on the road.

    • Hostage says:

      How can I support the political efforts of this fine group?

      If past experience is any indication, then Netanyahu is probably responsible for this shtick. It garners sympathy for him in foreign capitals if he can feign resistance to the proposition while playing the role of the moderate good guy opposite these fanatical bad guys. You’re not supposed to notice that he already “legalized” a few outposts that Israel was obliged to remove under the terms of the Quartet Road Map.

      • ColinWright says:

        Hostage says: “…Israel was obliged to remove under the terms of the Quartet Road Map.”

        Your remark suggests you haven’t grasped one of the fundamental natural laws that apply on Planet Israel.

        Israel could hardly be ‘obliged’ to do much of anything under the Road Map. Agreements are only binding on other parties; not on Israel.

        See the 1947 Partition Declaration, the Egypt Peace treaty, the Oslo Accords, and just about every ‘cease fire’ Israel has ever entered into. Israel never recognizes any obligation to honor anything. Obligations are only binding on others.

  3. seafoid says:

    “May God protect Israel if, heaven forbid, it ever turns into Yitzhar: violent, isolated, conservative, religious and backward”.

  4. pjdude says:

    given Israel’s sociopathic tendencies I always kinda of assumed Israel would just keep expanding until earth was renamed Israel as they would take everything. I mean they have shown repeatedly that they have no problems with naked aggression for land grabs.