BY ELIANA BENADOR
It is not the first time that the government of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decides not to win a war, fearful of international pressure most likely, and instead takes the “building path” as way of retaliation to a terrorist massacre. How effective is that?
Israel’s former ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, considers it “a pattern:” “The government does something that is unpalatable to the right wing, whether it be making concessions in the peace process or, in this case, agreeing to a cease-fire in Gaza, and then it attempts to palliate the right by building in Judea and Samaria or, in this case, reclassifying land.”
History shows he may be right.
Back in March 2011, the Itamar tragedy took place and five members of the Fogel family, the parents Udi Fogel, 36, Ruth Fogel, 35, and three of their children Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and three-month-old Hadas, were butchered during their sleep on a Shabbat night.
Hadas’s tiny body was stabbed 16 times. And, something that has not been so widely reported by the complacent world media, is that the Muslim Palestinian barbarians decapitated the Jewish baby Hadas… May her memory be blessed.
Netanyahu’s military response to the barbaric attack then? Building.
Fast-forward to this beginning of September 2014.
In the aftermath of last June kidnap and, yet another, murder of three yeshiva boys, Israel launched a war. In hindsight, however, it appears that victory was not on the menu, as the Israelis begged for ceasefire after ceasefire, each to be dutifully broken by Hamas.
After a seven-week-long Gaza war, the prime minister, unilaterally ended the war by signing a ceasefire agreement with the terrorists. He was counting on Mahmoud Abbas to sever his alliance with Hamas prior to resuming any peace process.
Four days after the Netanyahu-Hamas agreement, Palestinian Authority President Abu Mazen also known as Mahmoud Abbas, instead of severing ties with Hamas, rather agreed with them on a three-phase plan that would lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state, reported the London-based Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat last Saturday.
A real slap on the face for the prime minister.
As a result, the IDF took over 400 hectares, almost 1,000 acres, in Gush Etzion, conferring it the status of “state land,” a political and military move with an added symbolism.
Gush Etzion is where Yeshiva Makor Hayim is located, the alma mater where Naftali Fraenkel and Gil-Ad Shaer studied, two of the three students teenagers kidnapped and murdered by Hamas last June.
If anyone had until then any doubt, a senior Hamas terrorist, Salah al-Aruri publicly admitted that his murderous team, Hamas’s Izzadin Kassam Brigades, were behind the kidnapping and murders.
Speaking at a conference of Islamic clerics in Turkey, he praised the “heroic action of the Kassam Brigades who kidnapped three settlers in Hebron.”
[On a side note, it is peculiar to see how one of the “black sheep” of Islam, Turkey, is now being accepted as an equal opportunity partner by their Arab Muslim peers. But, Turkey, watch it, it won’t last forever. After all, one of the unifying elements is their irrational hate of Israel.]
Despite the breach of trust and the admission by her terrorist colleague, Hanan Ashrawi, a Palestinian Liberation Organization leader, considered that the Judea and Samaria land appropriation: “clearly represents Israel’s deliberate intent to wipe out any Palestinian presence on the land and to willfully impose a de facto one-state solution.”
Indecent accusations by Hanan Ashrawi, who has recently even attacked President Barack Obama for acknowledging Jewish history, while at the same time, she would like to make the world forget how back at home, Palestinian texts educate their children in the hate of Israel and the Jews.
Meanwhile, Israeli Minister of the Economy, Naftali Bennett, from the Bayit Yehudi party, praised the decision to take over those extra hectares in Gush Etzion stating that, “What we did yesterday was a display of Zionism… Building is our answer to murder.” Right.
On his part, Davidi Perl, the head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, said: “The announcement paves the way to establishing the new city of Gva’ot … The murderers of the three teens wanted to plant fear in our hearts and disrupt our daily lives, and our answer is strengthening the settlements and constructing both inside the main blocs and outside of them.”
Gva’ot is located in the westernmost area of the Gush Etzion settlement bloc. It is “named for the hills (gva’ot) from which Balaam spoke” as it appears in the Torah or the Old Testament, Numbers 23:9.
Thus, officially, on August 31, 2014, Israel has declared Gva’ot as part of Israeli land in the region of Judea and Samaria.
Does the world care that Judea and Samaria belong from time immemorial to the Jewish people, as it is recorded in the Torah?
Over five thousand years ago, Abraham purchased that land at an onerous price so that the Jewish patriarchs and matriarchs be buried there.
Indeed, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and Sarah, Rebecca and Leah, are in their eternal rest in Ma’arat HaMachpela, the Cave of the Patriarchs, in Judea and Samaria.
Needless to say, the United States condemned Israel for appropriating the almost 1,000 acres of land in Judea and Samaria and declaring it under “state control.” Unsurprisingly, they are now urging the government of Israel to reverse the decision.
The Americans should relax because, sooner or later, in one way or another, the Netanyahu government is not going to disappoint them.
Upon announcement of Israel’s plan, the Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat also called for diplomatic action against Israel. “The Israeli government is committing various crimes against the Palestinian people and their occupied land,” he told AFP, assuming their favorite role, aggressors turned victims.
There is a caveat though, and whoever wishes to appeal the decision has 45 days to do so.
Nonetheless, the army has informed that the land never had any Palestinian claim of ownership.
In all, Netanyahu’s zionist government seems unable and unwilling to win a war.
So, Americans and Europeans who have an issue with “settlements” development, should relax.
After all, the whole of Israel is a settlement.
Eliana Benador: strategist consultant, adviser, opinion writer, and speaker, was founder of Benador Associates and is head of Benador International, based in Geneva, Switzerland. Her website is www.elianabenador.com. You may follow her on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook.