A Hotbed Boils Over
Mr. Alpert is a religious Jew who feels that he has a God-given right to settle anywhere in the land of Israel, even in violation of Israeli court orders. He lives in the Yitzhar community, which has outposts deemed illegal by Israel. Religious pioneers take their cue from Torah, not Israeli courts, and build anyway. This only adds to the friction with neighboring Arabs who see this as aggression. The Yitzhar area is noted for violent struggle. Killings, shootings, crop burnings, and destruction have been reported coming from both sides. With any event, it is hard to know who started it.
Two Jews were killed on August 5, 1998, by terrorists. In 2008, a vigilante attack shot up a nearby Arab village, wounding eight people, and torching houses in retaliation for the stabbing of a nine-year-old Jewish boy. Ehud Olmert called the attack a pogrom (against Arabs). This April 2013, Jewish pioneers attacked a Palestinian schoolbus full of girls; and stoned it, causing injuries. By the end of April, the pioneer Eviatar Borovsky would be stabbed to death by an Arab seeking to clear his family's honor.
This is far from a complete list. A quick search on the internet will show that the area has become a place of regular violent confrontation. Both sides have committed crimes.
Throughout Israel, facing what they feel is an Israeli government selling out Israel's patrimony, pioneers are becoming extreme. They have been suspected of being behind a pipe bomb attack on Israeli Jewish critic Zeev Sterhell, and of distributing flyers which offered rewards for the death of Peace Now activists.
Mr. Albert had been ordered by the Israeli court to stay out of Judea and Samaria for six months for reasons that are not clear. He had stated his intention to defy what he considered an improper court order. The rest is history.
According to [Boaz Albert,] the order was issued only because of his public remarks against the policies of the IDF concerning combating terror, and not because of any illegal acts. The Yeshiva World
The town of Yitzhar is considered a hotbed, where there are claims of pioneer violence not only against Arabs, but also against Israeli security. Innocents, on either side, are not safe.
"To us, deterrence is more important than catching the specific terrorist. We're fighting against a nation," Mr. Ben Shochat said. -- NY Times
This is the context behind Mr. Albert's arrest.
On right-wing Zionist websites, the tasering of Mr. Boaz Albert is being condemned -- and rightly so --but left out of their condemnatory discussions is a full discussion of violence surrounding Yitzhar; violence sometimes coming from pioneers.
So how do we deal with this? Does one dismiss Mr. Albert as affiliated with a lunatic fringe of violent pioneers provoking the Arabs? One might, except that history has shown that Arabs do not need much provocation.
One might suggest that Mr. Albert got what he deserved for violating a court order. Maybe so; but it did not have to be so violent. It was not the arrest so much, but the violence of the arrest, which is controversial.
Pro-Palestinians have picked up the story, too; and ask where is the outrage when Arabs are mistreated this way. Now, videos are coming out of tasered Palestinians. And the dance goes on. Both sides are sympathetic only to their own victims.
I am not here to defend police brutality, if brutality it even be. However, it should be obvious that tasers are a symptom, not the problem. The problem is two groups who violently detest each other, and who want the other group to go away.
It should be obvious, by now, that no negotiation is possible. Both sides see the land as their patrimony, and neither will budge an inch. Both sides claim the same sacred spaces. Both sides are capable of violence, and both sides twist the truth.
Both sides admit it is a low-grade war. Yitzhar has been demonized; but to be fair, it is acting under siege from murderously violent neighbors. Of course, the Arabs would say the same thing about Yitzhar, with a degree of justification.
That being said, the opposing sides are not morally equivalent.
While I might oppose some of the pioneer methods and violence, I cannot tell a Jew he has no right to settle on his patrimony. That is the root of the problem! Does a Jew have a right to settle in Judea and Samaria?
Apparently, the world says, 'No!' Worst of all, the Israeli government can't make up its mind. However, the Yitzhar pioneers say, 'Yes!'
The only answer to this problem is separating the people.
That is an ugly, but necessary solution. The West should stop trying to impose a peace where none is possible. Instead, it should seek a practical solution.
Strong diplomatic pressure should be put on every Arab state to start naturalizing, and absorbing, the Palestinian refugees among them. Trade sanctions should be considered. As much public scorn should be heaped on the Arabs for their treatment of the Palestinians as is heaped upon Israel. It should be relentless. When the Arabs demand the Right of Return, the West should counter that the Palestinians have a Right of Naturalization.
The Palestinians in Judea and Samaria should be offered economic reimbursement, and residency papers, to move elsewhere; and yes, the Israel government, and World Jewish community will have to pay a large portion of this. Professor Martin Sherman of Tel Aviv University, MK Moshe Feiglin, and the late Rabbi Meir Kahane all have made similar suggestions. None of these men were wild eyed liberals.
I, myself, independently, have arrived at very similar numbers and conclusions; and have suggested that South America -- with its history of assimilating Arabs -- would be a good venue, if the Arab states prove recalcitrant.
Israel is starting to exploit its gas reserves. Where there is gas, there is oil. Europe will soon be off the Arab oil teat. America may soon be energy independent due to fracking. The Arab states should be told their economic glory days will soon be over. The West will cut them off from trade, traffic, immigration, and communication if they persist in jihad.
The West should warn them of a 21st century version of a Cordon Sanitaire. All flights, and shipping will be cut off, with naval boats stationed off the North African coast to immediately return refugees. No more antibiotics, no more medicines, no more viagra for 80-year-old Saudi princes.
That day is not here yet; but in 10 years it will be. The Arabs should be set straight now.
On Israel's part, Israel cannot defend the right to settlements, if it does not annex Judea and Samaria. In this the Arabs have a point. Israel cannot negotiate and settle at the same time. Israel has left Judea and Samaria in a "twilight zone," giving the Arabs a "right" to fight. It is dishonest to speak of settling "state land," if the land is not annexed by the state.
Israel counters that Jordan treated it as "state land;" but Jordan, at least, had the guts to annex it. Israel is talking out of both sides of its mouth. In doing so, the Israeli government has brought a lot of this on herself.
If Israel wants the West to finally stand up to Islam, Israel must stand up to Islam herself. Netanyahu should walk out of the talks, annex the land, and offer the Arabs one of two choices:
Reimbursed packages, with residency papers, for another country; or eventual citizenship in Israel with enfranchisement -- as Ben Gurion gave the Arabs in 1949 -- to be effected over time, provided the Arabs remain peaceful, and obey Israeli law. Moreover, the Arabs should be told that Hebrew will be the only official language. The state will not be multicultural.
The Bantustan option of discontiguous Arab territories is not a viable option. Regarding Gaza, it should be officially declared an independent state which is in a state of war with Israel; and until peace is settled, under Israeli naval blockade.
As for Mr. Boaz Albert, I do not know if he has acted innocently in the past or not. I do know that he has a moral, even if not legal, right to be there. That is the core issue. The rest is detail.
Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who is neither Jewish, Latin, nor Arab. He runs a website, http://latinarabia.com/, where he discusses the subculture of Arabs in Latin America. He wishes his Spanish were better.