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Rogue Forces

November 5th, 2008by Gershom Gorenberg · 3 Comments · Politics and Policy

Why does the Israeli army defend illegal outposts rather than dismantle them en masse? Why doesn’t the political leadership give the orders for the army to act?

Yagil Levy, an excellent analyst, has a very good, and very frightening explanation, via Ha’aretz:

The bias of the army is naturally in favor of the settlers, over the Palestinians. This bias was strengthened by the deployment of the military force in three circles. The first circle is regional defense, reserve units, made up of settlers, that participate in the settlements’ daily defense. In this context, the army entrusted the settlers with weapons as reserve soldiers, and the result was the growth of armed militias in the territories…

The second circle is composed of the six policing battalions that regularly serve in the territories and are united in the framework of the Kfir Brigade…a significant percentage of the soldiers in the policing battalions are graduates of yeshivas whose ideological bias is clear, and who are subject to external rabbinical influence…

In Levy’s description, the IDF units responsible for dealing with the settlements are steadily becoming rogue forces. It’s a development that makes withdrawal more difficult – and yet reemphasizes how important withdrawal is to Israel’s future.

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Y. Ben-David // Nov 5, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    Of course, when the IDF sets up “ideological” units with special psychological training meant to dehumanize the Judea/Samaria settlers in preparation for expelling them from their homes and bulldozing their communities, that is praiseworthy “education”, right? (These were used to great effect in Gush Katif). And the same for the police YASAM units who are told to use maximum violence against the settlers since they are defined as “enemies of ‘democracy’” (these were used last week to destroy Federman’s farm when they showed up in the middle of the night, gave the families involved 5 minutes to evacuate the house, which was then destroyed with their possessions inside)..
    Are these “rogue forces” also, since they do not reflect the true nature of Israeli society which consists both of supporters and opponents of settlement in Judea/Samaria.

    Of course, the whole matter of “illegal outposts” is a fraud since they all are within the boundaries of land allocated to existing settlements and most, if not all, were in the process of getting all the bureaucratic authorizations when Talia Sasson suddenly defined them as “illegal”. The solution to their problems is not to destroy them, but to complete the legal procedures involved in their formal authoriztion.

  • 2 William Burns // Nov 6, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    The IDF is giving people only five minutes to leave before bulldozing their homes? The IDF is destroying buildings in the process of getting permits? Gosh, I wonder if there are any precedents for that.

  • 3 Yisrael Medad // Nov 15, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    “Illegal” is a relative term. It conveys a sense of criminality. People who act “illegally”, live in “illegal” locations” and promote “illegality” are actually “outlaws”. And the Arab propaganda machine utilizes such terminology to brand the entire settlement effort as “state terror” whcih in turn justifies their attacks on Jewish residents in Yesha.

    Why do not , at least, Jews adopt the term “unauthorized” since we all know that similar cases in the state of Israel as well as the administered territories are dealt with in a very different fashion.

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