Shulamit Aloni Translation: Pre-Messianic Pangs
[There's little to add to this fiery opinion peace from the former Meretz Leader. Shulamit Aloni served as Minister of Education in Yitzhak Rabin's cabinet. She is always worth reading. -Sol Salbe]
The scorched earth policy carried out by the IDF in the Occupied Territories in recent years has had me puzzled. What is the point in destroying greenhouses and uprooting orchards, vineyards, ornamental trees and especially olive trees and more olive trees? I have often thought that the motivation lay in the way that owners of new mansions hanker for old trees, and that the IDF's contractors have been eager to cater to that demand.
The trouble is that the trees have not always been uprooted properly. I can recall the way 400 olive trees had their branches sawn off overnight in a massive act of vandalism. On that occasion, no one in the IDF saw or heard anything. To this day there's a pretence that "no one knows" who the perpetrators were. But we do know why and in whose interests.
Now the picture has become clearer. It's Minister of Agriculture Israel Katz's secret plan for the redemption of the land. Two days ago we were privileged to find out in Yediot Acharonot that the honourable minister "has issued an instruction to plant 72,000 olive trees on 250 hectares in Judea and Samaria". All this is being carried out with the purpose of "keeping the plantation land ownership in Jewish hands and to prevent its future transfer to the Palestinians."
It transpires that there is no need to get government approval to rob the Palestinians of their land. There certainly no need to reach an agreement with the Palestinian Authority. It's elementary, my dear Watson. We have got the power, we are the occupiers and by virtue of that power we are given a special dispensation to destroy, uproot, rob and steal whatever turns the fancy of this or that minister, or the settlers, or the army. The settlers' and the Likudniks' hearts are beating with pre-Messianic pangs, and this just reinforces our special dispensation.
There is no doubt that our redemption is just around the corner. But to hasten it we have to expedite the war between Gog and Magog -- the one that will bring forth the Messiah. Let's face it -- no one expects the Palestinians to cheerfully accept this robbery of their land, which comes on top of what has been stolen previously with the encroaching Wall, expanding settlements, the expulsion of the cave dwellers, the plugging of the wells etc etc.
The truth is that no one in the government wants peace with the Palestinians. We want the whole Land of Israel.
There's another aspect, somewhat more hush-hush but a lot more grandiose and expensive - the whole plan to hasten the Gog and Magog war is predicated on what is still called the "Israel Defence Force".
The Chief of Staff and his Minister are so preoccupied with defence that they are preparing to bomb Iran. They earlier used their not inconsiderable talents to put the fear of Iraq into us, and emptied the public coffers in the process. Fortunately for us, the United States beat us to it thereby denying the IDF the mantle of liberating Iraq from the yoke of Saddam Hussein. Now, using his Persian mother tongue, Mr Mofaz is warning Iran as if the problem of its armament was Israel's alone and not the whole world's.
We, who don't give a hoot for the opinion of the entire UN membership or for international law, we who have refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, we have adopted the strategy of force - we have decided that it is our mission to destroy Iran's nuclear capability. Iran doesn't have that capability as yet, but we and India, Pakistan and Russia -- the countries surrounding Iran - do. Our mission is clear and it is up to us to provide the lead in a war whose consequences no one can predict
But this is no subject for wise deliberation, just as there was none for the stealing of those 250 hectares or the expenses incurred in the planting of 72,000 olive trees. In the planning of another unnecessary war, the main thing is that we have motivation, and plenty of that.
[Translated by Sol Salbe from Ynet (13:20, 29/07/04) -the web site associated with Yediot Acharonot -Israel's largest circulating daily.)
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