Moral Clarity When Dismantling Outposts

First, I must forwarn that I’m blogging from LA, where I am serving as the student representative for the executive committee of the American Jewish Press Association. This gives me little time to write, and a basic inability to hyperlink or spellcheck, so please excuse the sloppy nature of the next few posts.
The topic of outpost dismantling came up in a conversation I had with a senior Israeli official, and I felt I should relate it here.
This official, who will not be named, made a very simple point: he himself, one would assume, is right of center, and yet the question of outpost dismantling to him is a no-brainer, as it should be to any law-abiding citizen of a democratic state. In his words, “if Shalom Achsav [Peace Now] would be putting up fences, the government of Israel would act in exactly the same way: no unauthorized actions may be taken by Israeli citizens when they conflict with the rule of law.”
That is the crux of the matter, and why the protests last week had so little popular support in Israel. Illegal Outposts are illegal, ’nuff said, and a government by rule of law must first and foremost protect and enforce the law, and not selectively enforce it based on politics. Those who would oppose the rule of law should be treated as criminals, all politics aside. Yes, peaceful protest and dissent should be allowed, but the clashes that erupted last week are unacceptable means of protests in my book.
In the end, I hope the leaders of the settler movement will come to accept this and take responsibility over their activists. While I in no way believe that a comparison can be made between the Palestinian terrorist groups’ activities and those of the settlers, on a basic level Israelis cannot expect the Palestinians to rein in their factions while not doing so themselves.


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