Wednesday, May 10, 2006

My Comment on new Moetzet Yesha Idea

Here's the text of my comment on a story in the Jerusalem Post on the Yesha Jewish Communities Council:

To rely solely on Rav Shapira ain't smart.

a) most Jewish revenants residing in Yesha are secular;

b) we even have non-observant intellectuals to help out;

c) we need to mount an effective direct non-violent campaign and our Moetzet Yesha leaders don't know how to do that or even want advice as I experienced;

d) our struggle also has to favorably reflect on the high values of democratic civic culture;

e) the dangers facing us persoanlly are one thing - but the dangers facing Israel is the dimunition of Israel proceeds are perhaps greater, especially as if G-d
forbid, Olmert's plan is realized, then we too will be with our new neighbors of the receiving end of Kassams and Katyushas.

A more broad-based strategy needs to be worked out and an expanded leadership developed.

And here's an excerpt from the story:

Hoping to unify religious Zionist ranks in advance of their anticipated fight against further territorial withdrawal, settler leaders are seeking spiritual advice from former Ashkenazi chief rabbi Avraham Shapira and 10 other prominent rabbis.

The Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip met with Shapira on Tuesday and has sent 10 rabbis from the territories a list of halachic questions relating to the struggle to preserve the settlements, including the question of a soldier's refusal to follow orders and the relationship of the settlers to the army and the state in general.

"It's important to let our public know that their leaders are not working alone," said council spokeswoman Emily Amrusy.

While the council's platform of principles with respect to the struggle against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's convergence plan is still under debate among council leaders, some points are already clear. The council opposes the use of violence, Amrusy said.

Binyamin Regional Council head Pinhas Wallerstein said the council was also opposed to "verbal violence, such as cursing."

Still, he said, "we need to flesh out, with Shapira's help, exactly what is considered violence and what is legitimate opposition."

On Monday, the council held a series of meetings to discuss its new platform and to consider strategy, including the idea of paralyzing civilian traffic through the use of roadblocks as was done in opposing disengagement.

It also spoke of political lobbying, including renewing the fight for a national referendum. Political strategists, such as Eitan Dorshav of the Likud and Yuval Porat, who headed the failed national referendum campaign, attended the meeting.

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