I do not like to give advice to people in times of distress. Every time that a settlement facing destruction begins to debate whether or not to take the "offer" (in other words, the extortion) or to cling to its principles and its place, I adopt our Sages' advice and do not judge others until I am in their place. It is easy to dish out militant advice to the residents of Migron (in the current case) but they will be paying the price and not me. So I remained silent. But when I saw their ad campaign last weekend; determined ads that emphasized that they have no intention of accepting the "cut and paste" compromise being proposed to them, I stood at attention and saluted these heroes from the bottom of my heart.
I read in the newspaper about all the pressure being applied on them from within. I read all the articles that called upon them to accept the compromise, the long lists of settlements that acted "logically" in the past, and the like.
So, residents of Migron, because you have already made your decision and publicized it, I allow myself to write this article about why you are so right.
I will begin from the bitter end. Your struggle is not for your home in Migron or in Giv'at Asaf. If you do not accept the compromise and if Netanyahu, G-d forbid, does acquire the hegemony that he wants in the upcoming Likud primaries; and if the Likud MKs will no longer be able to stop him then there is definitely a chance that the legislation to legalize the outposts will not pass and your homes may be destroyed, G-d forbid.
But you are not fighting for your homes; you are fighting for all the settlements. You are fighting for my home in Karnei Shomron and for the homes of all the dear people in the settlements who are now trying to convince you to evacuate and do not understand that they are the next in line.
It is true that in the history of the settlement movement there are a number of examples of relocation that actually worked. But all those examples are from different times, when the wind was at the back of the settlements and the general attitude was in favor of the pioneers. They are examples from the times when the Labor party established Gush Katif and Shimon Peres sent a generator to Ofra and the Likud established Yitzhar. Then, when the government wanted the settlements and the only issue was how to circumvent the Supreme Court, relocation was plausible.
But today, the wind is blowing in the totally opposite direction. Today, Israel is withdrawing into the Green Line. That is the strategic picture. They have already built the wall, the border and the international border crossings that we pass every day. The Prime Minister has already declared his endorsement of two states and he insists on keeping the settlements' favorite guy, Ehud Barak, in a position of power. When the wind is at your back, you can set out your sails and let it take you in the right direction. But when the wind is blowing against you, you have to crouch down and keep a firm hold on the ground.
We have a very good example; not from thirty years ago, but from the previous government. And here I must add with pain that the main force behind the current relocation proposal is the very same Zambish, whom we all remember from his actions during the Expulsion. This man still enjoys the ear of the Prime Minister or the General on the ground. He does not understand the new reality and without meaning to, is turning himself once again into a tool of destruction. When Olmert replaced Sharon, the new PM understood that expulsions erase the indiscretions of the past and bring the unrestrained support of the media and justice system. Olmert decided to outdo Sharon and dreamed up the "Convergence" plan that schemed to do to Ofra what the "Disengagement" did to Neveh Dekalim.
And what saved Ofra?
After the bloody pictures from Amona, Olmert's popularity took a nosedive and he eventually lost his prime ministerial seat.
Netanyahu cannot allow those pictures to be played out again. If he will clearly understand that you are not going to willingly go, he will do all that he can to make sure that the legislation legalizing the outposts is passed.
By the way, there is no reason to wait for destruction. Until Jan. 31st, the day that the primaries for head of the Likud will be held, there is a political way to make Netanyahu run after you and authorize the new law. We need to enlist all of our energies, just like we did in the referendum on Gush Katif, to get people to get out and vote for the candidate running against Netanyahu for chairmanship of the party.
Netanyahu wants to achieve a complete hegemony in the Likud; a hegemony that will allow him to claim that he got an open check from the party members to carry out his plans for the future. (He spelled out those plans in Bar-Ilan and the US Congress). That is why every percentage point is so critical to him. That is why these elections are the only effective political weapon available for the settlements. If there were not primaries now in the Likud, Netanyahu would not have prevented Barak from destroying Ramat Gilad last month.
We must firmly cling to our Land, on the one hand, while uniting to empower the faith-based force in the Likud. This is what must be done now to save Migron and to ensure the continued growth of the settlements.