Israel, Shmisrael: Is This Where We’re Headed?
“We have to stop the hysteria we are all rousing. Instead, we must say: ‘We will get through this, we won’t leave here.’ What happened? Kassams, shmassams!” – Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres, addressing Knesset reporters in June, 2006 in regards to a surge in rocket attacks on Sderot in Southern Israel.
“Well, all I can say on this all is ‘ulpana, shmulpana’ – the whole thing is a racket, a scam.” – Jerusalem Post columnist Hirsh Goodman wrote in the Friday June 8th edition of the paper, on why Israel should destroy the five contested Ulpana buildings in Beit-El without national fanfare or protest.
Goodman, using an unoriginal form of rhyming word poetry – borrowed of course from now President Shimon Peres and – based on the skewed logic of the Oslo “peace” camp supporters – expressed his outrage at Israel for turning the matter of the five contested Ulpana neighborhood buildings in Beit-El into a front-page issue.
According to Goodman, “There is nothing here that should have ignited a national debate… In all, this is a legal issue about five buildings on legally contested land.”
Goodman’s article is an obvious attempt to downplay the true significance of the Ulpana matter. He not only mirrors Peres in style by using the “ulpana shmulpana” jab, but both men through their insensitivity – Peres by downplaying the suffering of the residents of Sderot and Goodman by failing to show empathy towards the 30 families who may soon be rendered homeless – reveal their true defeatist and delusional ideologies.
It is an indisputable fact that following Israel’s Gaza pullout and subsequent Hamas takeover there has been an increase in rocket fire by 500%. Sderot turned into a near ghost town as thousands of residents left temporarily or permanently, seeking refuge in cities that were out of rocket range (at the time). I hardly doubt that those who were and are still suffering this day from the rockets, (extremely relevant this week as dozens of rockets have landed in Southern Israel), especially an entire generation of traumatized children – who according to experts 75-90% of which experienced symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder – would downplay the kassams as being “Shmassams.”
The same holds true for the stress leveled on the 30 Ulpana families, along with other families living in places like the Migron and Givat Asaf communities, whose fate hangs in the balance. Of course it is the children in these places who are suffering the most psychologically, something Goodman totally ignores.
This is DéjÃ vu, as once again Jewish buildings are slated for demolition before a real solution for their inhabitants has been found. But putting the human factor aside, something a Jewish government should stop making a habit of doing, what we’re really talking about here is not simply five buildings but an overall ideology about what’s best for the future of the State of Israel in its never ending battle of survival.
On one side it’s the camp of Peres and Goodman, which says it’s okay to downplay the threat, appease the enemy, turn over land, and be prepared to pay the price in blood along the way as long as in the end we’ll achieve “two states for two peoples.” On the other side we have those who recognize that by simply listening to the incitement spewed by our “partners” to their own people in Arabic, it’s easy to understand what their true intentions are. That is, not taking over the land where Ulpana and Beit-El sits but the land upon which Tel-Aviv University sits and all other Arab areas pre-1948 sits – an issue that the land for peace formula has failed to address successfully.
So yes, I do agree, as Goodman mentions in his piece, “if you were a Palestinian family sitting round the dinner table tonight, assessing the week’s press, wouldn’t you just be clapping your hands in glee?” But not because of chaos or Jewish hunger striking protestors outside the Knesset, but because of officials inside the Knesset, and more specifically inside the state prosecutors office and inside the Supreme Court, willing to pull Jews out of their homes based on a still unproven “claim” of ownership. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were dinner-time celebrations over an ideology, which I believe sadly discriminates – favoring Arabs over Jews based solely on ethnicity.
For the past 64 years, the Arabs have tried war, intifada, propaganda, and other campaigns in an attempt to recapture the entire land of Israel. Now it seems that with the authorities we have in place, a new strategy is being implemented in which the Arabs, assisted by extreme left wing Israeli NGO’s who are funded by foreign governments (especially EU countries) are turning our own legal system and courts against us in order to tear down the state literally brick by brick.
Based on the government’s decision to go along with the prosecution and the court on Ulpana, unless the prime minister overrules them all at the 11th hour and saves the neighborhood as he should, this strategy will have worked.
Bottom line: despite Goodman’s claims, the Ulpana story is hardly just about five contested buildings. Whether the attitude is “Ulpana, Shmulpana” or “Kassam Shmassam”, I fear that one day we’re headed towards a situation where decision makers in positions of great authority within Israel’s legal aristocracy would find it possible to justify saying “Israel, Shmisrael.”