OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Nitzan Alon has done it again. You may recall that
Alon was the “senior military official,” who as commander of the Judea and
Samaria Division blamed the massacre of the Fogel family in March 2011 on
undefined acts of vandalism in Arab villages allegedly carried out by
He also told The New York Times that he disagreed with Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s view that Hamas’s takeover of Gaza following
Israel’s withdrawal demonstrated that a unilateral withdrawal from Judea and
Samaria would be reckless in the extreme.
Over the past four months Alon
has been criticized for his refusal to take actions to end the massive
proliferation of terror attacks against Jews in Judea and Samaria. For months
Alon ordered IDF soldiers to stand down as Palestinians hurled rocks and
firebombs at them and at civilians. He set rules of engagement that are so
restrictive that soldiers are better off running away from Palestinian mobs than
defending themselves and Israeli civilians.
After Adva Biton, a
three-year-old girl, was critically wounded when her mother’s car was stoned,
and as online videos proliferated of IDF soldiers fleeing from assaults, and of
Israeli civilians being beaten and assaulted on the roads with firebombs, rocks
and bullets, the media finally began reporting on the terror surge. Public
pressure mounted for Alon to finally take action or be fired from his
You might think that given public scrutiny of his failures Alon
would keep a low profile. But he hasn’t.
On Tuesday he spoke to a group
of foreign journalists and diplomats and said that in his “professional”
opinion, if we don’t start negotiations with the Palestinians soon, we are
likely to see an escalation of Palestinian terrorism against
Alon’s claims deserve scrutiny because they expose just how
deeply his political views impede his ability to understand and competently
perform his duties. Alon disclosed that the Popular Committee Against the Wall
and Settlements is the group behind the riots and the attacks on Israeli
civilians and military forces. The group, he revealed, is bankrolled by the
According to Alon, out of respect for US Secretary
of State John Kerry’s attempts to renew peace talks, the PA suspended the
group’s funding. He explained that this PA decision has led to a steep drop in
Alon said that the PA has kept its funding cutoff – like
the funding itself – secret. He attributed the PA’s silence to its leaders’
modesty and moderation.
In his words, “They weren’t looking for
diplomatic recognition for the move but rather for the territory to quiet
Alon also mentioned that PA security forces are involved in stone
and firebomb attacks on Israelis.
He warned that if Kerry’s attempts to
start peace talks between Israel and the PLO fail, then Palestinian terror will
get worse. In his words, “If, in a few weeks, the attempt of the American
involvement will go [away] with nothing, I’m afraid that we will see this trend
of escalation even strengthening.”
The implications of Alon’s revelations
The supposedly grassroots groups of local rioters –
including children – attacking IDF soldiers and Israeli civilians with bullets,
firebombs and stones are not at all independent or grassroots.
wholly owned and operated franchises of the PA. And the ones leading the attacks
are the US-trained Palestinian security services.
Most people would take
these two pieces of information and conclude the PA is an enemy entity engaged
in a massive and sustained terror campaign against Israeli forces and civilians.
But Alon missed this. Alon revealed the secret PA funding of the rioters to
prove its moderation by also revealing that the funding was temporarily
Alon’s strategy for dealing with the violence is not to do his
job – deploy forces judiciously to defend the country and its citizens from our
His strategy is to pressure the government to surrender to all
of the PLO’s territorial and political demands.
Because that is Kerry’s
Since he entered office in February, Kerry has come here
nearly half a dozen times to force Israel to accept all of the PLO’s
preconditions for negotiations.
These include an agreement in principle
that in the framework of a peace deal, Israel will surrender to the PLO all of
Judea, Samaria and northern, southern and eastern Jerusalem and expel the
550,000 Jews living in these areas from their homes. They also include a
complete and continuous abrogation of Jewish property rights in Judea, Samaria
and eastern, northern and southern Jerusalem, and the release of Palestinian
terrorists jailed in Israeli prisons.
It ought to go without saying that
there is no connection between military affairs and Alon’s positions, and his
ideological blindness to basic strategic realities renders him unfit for
But it doesn’t go without saying. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon
continues to support Alon despite his ideologically induced
Alon is just one – albeit an important one – of many
unelected public officials whose actions stand opposed to his responsibilities,
to the public interest and to the official policies of the
Take Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein. A year ago today, a
committee of distinguished jurists led by retired Supreme Court justice Edmond
Levy submitted a report to the government on the legal status of construction in
Judea and Samaria. The Levy Report was not a radical document. All it did was
set out the legal basis for the positions that have been adopted by every
Israeli government since 1967. Like every single government since 1967, the Levy
Report stated that Judea and Samaria do not fit under the international legal
definition of territories under belligerent occupation, and as a consequence,
the Fourth Geneva Convention does not apply, and Israeli communities in these
areas are completely legal and legitimate.
Weinstein is supposed to serve
as the legal adviser to the government. But in the case of the Levy Report, and
not only in this case, he acted instead as a political commissar. He abused his
legal position to intimidate the government not to adopt the findings of a
committee it impaneled, and whose recommendations were aligned with its own
Post-Zionists like Alon and Weinstein, like their
comrades on the Supreme Court and in the media, are intimidating enough on their
But their subversive behavior is supported by the US and the EU.
Kerry’s obsessive focus on forcing Israeli concessions to the PLO, like the EU’s
decision to support of an economic boycott of Israeli exports, strengthens the
position of radicals like Alon and Weinstein. They make it all but impossible
for the government to implement its own policies.
In many respects,
Netanyahu has given in to these pressures. Not only has he overseen the
appointment of post-Zionists like Alon and Weinstein.
By appointing Tzipi
Livni to serve as justice minister and the minister responsible for negotiations
with the PLO, he has ensured that nothing will be done to remedy the phenomenon
of radicals being promoted to positions where they can undermine the policies of
Moreover, as Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel
acknowledged this week, due to the confluence of foreign pressure and the
empowerment of post-Zionists in the public sector, the government is not
respecting Jewish property rights in Jerusalem. It is banning construction for
Jews in the capital by preventing planning committees from convening to approve
Netanyahu is using similar administrative tools to enact
an undeclared freeze on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria.
taking these actions, Netanyahu is betting – probably correctly – that he will
not be forced to surrender Judea and Samaria, because Mahmoud Abbas will never
agree to negotiate with Israel.
Under Abbas’s leadership, Palestinian
society has been so radicalized that there is no Palestinian constituency that
supports peace with Israel. So, too, the Islamic world has become so radicalized
since US President Barack Obama came into office that there is no regional
support whatsoever for a Palestinian decision to recognize Israel.
Netanyahu’s policies may allow him to survive Obama’s second term without
irrevocably destroying the country, on the ground, the lives of Israel’s
citizens are not being defended, and their legal and civil rights are being
Ariel, like Bayit Yehudi party leader Minister Naftali Bennett,
doubtlessly wishes to end this state of affairs. But so far, their efforts in
this area have been limited to calling for the government to change its
policies. They and like-minded government ministers have the power to fix this
And the time has come for them to act.
The Levy Report
provides several recommendations for respecting the legal rights of Jews in
Judea and Samaria. There is no reason for the government not to implement these
recommendations – even without formally adopting the report.
main recommendation is to take the government out of the zoning process. The
property and civil rights of Jews in Judea and Samaria must be accorded the same
respect as those of all Israelis, regardless of the political views of appointed
officials or foreign governments.
Local councils and municipalities in
Judea and Samaria, as well as Jerusalem’s municipal government, should have the
power to approve building plans within their municipal boundaries.
bring about this, the government must remove the Interior Ministry from the
zoning process in Jerusalem. The government should not have the power to convene
or block the convention of local planning boards.
As for Judea and
Samaria, the sale of private land should not require the approval of the civil
And in accordance with the recommendations of the Levy
Report, a land registry should be established and anyone with legal title to
land should be required within three to five years to register his holdings or
lose his ownership rights.
So, too, in keeping with the Levy Report,
Israeli courts should be empowered to adjudicate land ownership disputes in
Judea and Samaria. The government’s position on land disputes should be
determined only after the disputes are adjudicated in properly constituted
courts of law.
Beyond the Levy Committee’s recommendations, to further
privatize the field, as is the case in the rest of the country, state land that
is within the boundaries of recognized communities should become the property of
the communities, not the state.
Since 1967, the Israelis who support
Jewish settlement of Judea and Samaria based their actions on the assumption
that the government is interested in securing Jewish rights. Certainly after the
government forcibly expelled the Jews of northern Samaria and Gaza from their
homes, this assumption is unjustified. With the empowerment of ideologically
driven radicals like Alon and Weinstein to key positions it is downright
Rather than expect the government to act as a partner or a
defender, we should simply demand that it serve as a neutral facilitator, and
privatize settlement activities. Only by taking the government out of local
planning and zoning councils, focusing efforts on buying private land and
establishing a land registry for Judea and Samaria, while requiring land
disputes to be adjudicated by properly constituted courts, can Israelis secure
their property and civil rights.[email protected]