Thursday, May 18, 2006

High on a Hill

In letter circulated among nationalist-religious youths and obtained by Ynet, youth
Right-wing youth activists have disavowed the Yesha Council in a letter obtained by Ynet.

"Not only have these go-getters not contributed to the struggle in Gush Katif, but they have caused damage, and continue to cause damage. We won't listen to their orders, we will organize for an independent struggle, and lead a different struggle, an uncompromising struggle," the letter said.

In recent days, the youths distributed the letter to youth activists in the Bnei Akiva, Ezra, and Youths for the Land of Israel youth movements, as well as youth centers in Judea and Samaria. The letter said: "We are turning to you as people who have experienced the expulsion from Gush Katif, who fortified themselves on the roof of the synagogue in Kfar Darom, as those who stayed in the homes in Amona, and those who are horrified to hear about the agreements and plans by Yesha Council members, which haven't learned a single thing from their failures."

The letter contained a harsh attack on Yesha Council Chairman Bentzi Lieberman, and his colleague, Chairman of the Har Hebron Regional Council, Tzviki Bar-Hai, and Chairman of the Gush Etzion Council, Shaul Goldstein.

According to the hilltop youths, these figures "damaged the movement," and added in the letter: "You can't win with love."

"Fortunately, we did not let them dictate the pace in Amona, or to decide the rules and lead the struggle, and that's why the struggle there looked as it did. The time has come launch an open struggle against the corrupt body of the Yesha Council," the letter said.

Yesha Council spokeswoman Emily Amrusi said in response: "In our eyes (the letter) is idiotic; at a time when all of our energies should be invested for the struggle against the government and the uprooting program, we should not waste forces on internal struggle. The Yesha Council is and will remain the largest, oldest, and most organized body, with the greatest level of experience in wide-ranging public protest. Those who criticize the Yesha Council also know that there is no replacement."

Amrusi said that "those youths are going through adolescence in typical rebellion against the establishment, which in this case happens to be the Yesha Council. We do not feel threatened by this and we do not have a need to apologize or justify ourselves before a few dozen teenagers who require educational care."

Peace Now Director-General Yariv Openheimer said that "the golem has risen against its creator. The Yesha Council, which has raised whole generations of youths for years, and educated them to break the law and not care about the State, and to fight against Palestinians, is forced to deal with the loss of values and a dangerous radicalization. The Yesha Council must hold itself to account and fight against extremists."

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