MideastWeb Middle East Web Log

log  archives  middle east  maps  history   documents   countries   books   encyclopedia   culture   dialogue   links    timeline   donations 


An Existential threat called "Yesha": An open letter to the leaders of Yesha - Arnon Sofer


Professor Arnon Soffer of Haifa university is not known for his "leftist" views. His open letter to the leaders of Yesha (the heads of the settlement movement) explains why he, and the majority of Israelis support disengagement and why we are fed up with the settlers ideology. We do not all agree necessarily with his prognostications concerning the security fence and the final borders of Isael, but it is safe to say that a majority of Israelis understand that the era of settlements is coming to an end - much too late. This article was published in Yedioth Ahronot in Hebrew. A Hebrew version circulated on the Internet is posted at Mideastweb here. Below is an unofficial translation.

An Existential Threat called "Yesha"


You have destroyed the periphery, turned us into a third-world country and led us to demographic disaster. If you win now, it will be an additional contribution on your part to the liquidation of the Jewish State.

An open letter to the heads of the settler movement.
Arnon Soffer

You have declared war in the legitimate state of Israel. You are trying to shake the legitimacy of the rule of law, of the IDF, of purity of arms. You are weakening the national immunity of this country, which is in any case not among the strongest nations in the world. This borders on betrayal of the fatherland, and for that there can be no forgiveness. You have learned nothing from general history or from Jewish history. In your delusions, you are leading our precious Israel to another disaster on the model of the Bar-Kochba revolt.

You know quite well that we, the Jews, are a minority in "Greater Israel," and even if we accept the false demographic statistics of your friends from the United states, we will still be a minority here within twenty years. This means that international opinion, including that of the United States, will claim that our situation is like that of South Africa, and that the solution for the land of Israel is to turn it into a bi-national state. It is doubtless clear to you, as it is clear to me, that a solution of this sort means the end of the Jewish entity in this crazy part of the world. The fact that you ignore this central fact is a crime. All your proposals to transfer the Arabs of Palestine to Jordan or Sinai are idiotic, and I am sure that you yourselves also do not believe they are at all practical.

Thus, disengagement is a life potion for a democratic and Jewish state. Most of the nation in Israel, and you included, know this. There is no need for a referendum or for cynical procrastinations of the implementation of disengagement, and for removal of 24 superfluous settlements right now, and at a later stage - about 40 additional ones. I am not even counting the ten illegal outposts - which have to be removed in any case and for which we may pay very dearly, because Washington does not forgive liars. Like all of us, you too know that the main reason for the disengagement is not the terror. The terror is, was and will continue to exist regardless. However, the disengagement will triumph and will return sanity to the state of Israel. I am sorry for the people who will have to pay for it by parting from their communities and their homes, because they were misled. At this time it is a matter of 8,000 inhabitants of Gush Katif and in the second and third stages - about 60,000 inhabitants of Judea and Samaria [Yesha, West Bank]. However 320,000 settlers will remain in their communities and their homes if you will calm down.

The Negev suffers; the Galilee is abandoned; calamity in Jerusalem

The security barrier prevents suicide bombers from entering the State of Israel and reduces friction between us and the Palestinians. However, above all, it determines the borders of the Jewish state. You, more than most citizens of Israel, know that the route of the fence includes 80% of the inhabitants of Judea and Samaria within the area of the State of Israel. With the tacit agreement of the United States, that is a great achievement, which may yet be lost because of you. Your war for the Katif area and for settlement on the other side of the separation line is sterile and useless. Israel will have to give up the areas of Judea and Samaria that are on the other side of the separation fence, that is clear to anyone who has eyes in their heads and who also listens to Condoleezza Rice and the US presidential advisors. However, meanwhile, your war is exacting terrible cost. First and foremost, it has caused the collapse of periphery of the state of Israel.

The Negev is suffering, both from the point of view of the situation of its inhabitants and strategically. Because of you, the state doesn't find time or resources to solve the problems there, and we may reach a point of no return. The Galil is also being abandoned by Jews, and nobody is taking not, since the national attention is directed at the 8,000 inhabitants of the Katif area, to the Yesha rabbis who have become our strategists, and to clearing up roadblocks. You certainly know that without the periphery, we will be left with a state consisting of the Gush Dan (Tel Aviv) area, which will have a limited lifetime. You are directly responsible for this process. The most terrible price, which borders on tragedy, is the loss of Jerusalem. Your claims that Jerusalem is at the top of your concerns, and about the "city that has been united" are empty verbiage. The city is gradually being taken out of our hands, and it is mostly your fault. The secular Jews are leaving Jerusalem for Mevasseret, Modi'in and Tel-Aviv, and you send the inhabitants of Jerusalem who are loyal to you to the territories.

You are also responsible for turning Israel into a third world country. The substrates are collapsing, because you paved over a thousand kilometers of useless bypass roads. Instead of allocating funds to education, culture, desalination and improving the environment, the state supports you in the destruction of everything good in the land of Israel. Look at what you did to the forest of Har Homa, to the forests to the east of Jerusalem in the direction of Jericho, to the Itamar region etc. etc. You gave legitimacy to illegal construction in the open, and we are all paying for it and will pay for it. You proved that illegal construction doesn't occur in just one Israeli sector. If that is not enough, in recent months, you proclaim unashamedly that you will harm the economy of the country and destroy the infrastructure. Among your people violence has become a way of life - damage to cars with blue ribbons and physical injury to anyone who disagrees with you. The lynch of Muassi that was documented was but a small example of what is taking place and has been taking place in a few years on the other side of the green line.

Another such victory and we are lost

You have appropriated for yourself the love of Israel and the love of the divine, but in reality you are doing the opposite: You are leading all of us - knowingly - to a terribly calamity, and all this for what? In order to defend a handful of people who erred, who misled others and who did some bad things for many years. The sad truth is that you know all of this. However, the State of Israel and its future are not foremost in your thoughts right now, since you are involved exclusively in a war of personal survival. It is clear to you that the false national mission that you led for 35 years, and which has cost Israel a lot of blood, huge damage to the periphery and many billions of dollars - is about to collapse. Suddenly it turns out that we are approaching the end of your age of anarchy. Moreover: you will be asked to give a public accounting before your constituency, before the citizens of Israel and the entire Jewish people. Therefore, the State of Israel doesn't interest you at present, and you are willing to sacrifice it on the altar of your ego.

And one final question: Have you thought about the possibility that you might be victorious over the rule of law and prevent the disengagement? Have you thought about how a "victory" like that might influence world opinion and especially the United States? Have you thought about what would happen to the State of Israel one day after such a victory? Such a victory would be yet another one of your contributions to the liquidation of Israel. You know it and you don't care, as you are an egotistical gang engaged in a personal war of survival.

You led a whole flock to noplace, and now you haven't the courage to admit it, and to disappear from the stage of Israeli history. You err and lead others astray and you endanger the existence of the State of Israel. Disengagement is the life potion of Israel and it shall be carried out and shall return Israel to sanity. No disengagement means the destruction of democratic Jewish Israel, and it would happen far more quickly than you imagine.

Arnon Soffer is a Geographer and Demographic Researcher, head of the Department of Geostrategy at the University of Haifa.

This informal translation was made by MidEastWeb for Coexistence.

If you like this post - click to Reddit!
add to del.icio.usAdd to digg - digg it

Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log at http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000368.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to mew-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.

by Moderator @ 05:46 PM CST [Link]


Middle East e-Zine

Midde East News

Opinion Digest

Late Updates


Middle East Glossary

Middle East Maps

Middle East Books

Middle East Documents

Israel-Palestine History

Israel-Palestine Timeline

Middle East Countries

Middle East Economy

Middle East Population

Middle East Health

Zionism History

Palestinian Parties

Palestinian Refugees

Peace Plans


Middle East


Blog Links

OneVoice - Israeli-Palestinian Peace Blog

Bravo411 -Info Freedom

Israel News


Michael Brenner

Dutchblog Israel

Dutch - IMO (Israel & Midden-Oosten) Blog (NL)



Alas, a Blog

Little Green Footballs

Blue Truth

Fresno Zionism

Reut Blog

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Blog

Simply Jews: Judaism and Israel

Jeff Weintraub - Commentaries and Controversies

Vital Perspective


Meretz USA Weblog


MIDEAST observer

On the Contrary

Blogger News Network- BNN

Google Sex Maps

Demediacratic Nation

Realistic Dove

Tulip - Israeli-Palestinian Trade Union Assoc.

On the Face

Israel Palestjnen (Dutch)

Middle East Analysis

Israel: Like This, As If

Middle East Analysis

Mid_East Journal

Z-Word Blog

Dvar Dea

SEO for Everyone

Web Sites & Pages

Israeli-Palestinian Procon

End Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: One Voice


ATFP- American Task Force on Palestine

Americans For Peace Now

Shalom Achshav

Chicago Peace Now


Peacechild Israel

Bridges of Peace


Israeli-Palestinian Conflict



Zionism and Israel

Zionism and Israel on the Web

Israel - Palestina:Midden-Oosten Conflict + Zionisme

IsraŽl in de Media

Euston Manifesto

New Year Peace


Christian Zionism

Jew Hate

Space Shuttle Blog

Israel News Magazine


My Ecosystem Details
International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

Link 2 us
We link 2 U.
MidEastWeb- Middle East News & Views
MidEastWeb is not responsible for the content of linked Web sites

Replies: 2 comments


Nu? Yallah! Let's kick the Arabs out. Before you say "How?" Let me just say that the gov't seems to think they can kick 8000 Jews out of their homes in a few weeks. The gov't simply needs to apply its plan to the Arabs, taking a bit longer, of course. Oh, I forgot your a member of the Erev Rav, a true and total hater of Torah and all things Holy.

That being said, I may agree with you with respect to the Yesha Council leadership. They're completely useless, and don't really have much of a clue about Torah, unlike the Yesha Rabbinate which is doing its best.

Posted by Yonathan Ya'aqobi @ 08/08/2005 11:49 PM CST

The Torah says what the boundries of Israel are! Those that do not adhere to it wil answer for it. Even the president of my country and his staff. May Israel Live Forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Sher @ 08/14/2005 03:58 AM CST

Please do not leave notes for MidEastWeb editors here. Hyperlinks are not displayed. We may delete or abridge comments that are longer than 250 words, or consist entirely of material copied from other sources, and we shall delete comments with obscene or racist content or commercial advertisements. Comments should adhere to Mideastweb Guidelines . IPs of offenders will be banned.

Powered By Greymatter

[Previous entry: "Terrorist Kach Soldier - A blow to Sanity, Peace, Israel, IDF and Zionism"] Main Index [Next entry: "Swearing allegiance in Tel Aviv"]


Thank you for visiting MidEastWeb - Middle East.
If you like what you see here, tell others about the MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log - www.mideastweb.org/log/.

Contact Us


Editors' contributions are copyright by the authors and MidEastWeb for Coexistence RA.
Please link to main article pages and tell your friends about MidEastWeb. Do not copy MidEastWeb materials to your Web Site. That is a violation of our copyright. Click for copyright policy.
MidEastWeb and the editors are not responsible for content of visitors' comments.
Please report any comments that are offensive or racist.

Editors can log in by clicking here

Technorati Profile

RSS FeedRSS feed Add to Amphetadesk Add to Amphetadesk

USA Credit Card - Donate to MidEastWeb  On-Line - Help us live and grow