Many rabbis and prominent Israeli figures on the Right have recently proclaimed that it is a violation of Halacha (Jewish law), and even of democratic norms, for the Israel Defense Forces to forcibly expel Jewish "settlers" from their homes in the Golan Heights, Judea, Samaria and Gaza (even if such expulsions were to be required by the provisions of a peace treaty between Israel and its Arab "neighbors"). They consequently conclude that the "settlers" have a transcendent right to resist any such removal attempts.

As might be expected, prominent Israeli figures on the Left have countered that Israel is a nation of parliamentary-approved laws -- not one of anarchy, and certainly not one of Halacha. They consequently conclude that any resistance by "settlers" to government-enforced removals, whether by word or deed, constitutes sedition.

But that principled attitude seems to apply only if the victims of a hypothetical government-enforced transfer are to be Jews. Here is what two prominent Leftists -- Yossi Sarid is now Education Minister of Israel in the government of Prime Minister Ehud Barak -- had to say a decade ago when the victims of a hypothetical government-enforced transfer (albeit merely a temporary displacement dictated by security considerations) were to be Arabs rather than Jews.

© Mark Rosenblit


 This is the Red Line

by Yossi Sarid and Yair Tzaban

Op-Ed column --Yediot Achronot, June 27, 1990

[The following article, written in 1990 by two leading politicians from the Left, warns that they and their followers would refuse orders to TEMPORARILY remove Arabs from their homes -- IMRA]

"In light of the suggestion of Geula Cohen to uproot complete villages from their place until the completion of the harvest, we want to tell all of the transfer supporters -- it is our obligation to say, and we call on you to read our lips. We are speaking slowly and clearly, and not only in our name. We have a question: who hates this land more -- those who burn its forests and fields, or those who destroy houses and empty villages and exile, and when does the land cry out for more? And we have an answer: those who send a fire to one field are liable to burn the entire country, and those who would exile one village -- men, women and children -- are liable to carry out a complete transfer. In order to remove a bride from the wedding canopy, an old man from the shade of the fig tree and a baby from his cradle and to exile them to the Jericho desert, someone has to carry it out. So that there will be no misunderstandings between us, and it is not said that we did not warn you in advance: we will not obey the order to transfer, and our children and pupils will not obey them. Geula Cohen, Rehavam Zeevi and Meir Kahane will have to somehow carry out the work of the exile by themselves, while we stand in their way and lie in the roads. We oppose the refusal to serve in the territories, and even the nationalist Right knows that without us there is no other dam holding back a flood of conscientious objectors. But the day that the transfer order is given -- which is a totally illegal order -- will be the day that orders are refused. To everyone interested in knowing what our red line is -- with this we mark one point on this line; and, from now on, it cannot be mistaken. This is where it passes -- by villages which are not silent."

Yossi Sarid and Yair Tzaban


Translated by Dr. Aaron Lerner

IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)

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