It has long been Israel’s answer to merging Orwell with Chelm, the mythical town of amusing stupidity in Jewish folklore. For years, the Israeli government has provided social security and other social welfare payments to convicted Arab terrorists and murderers. If an Arab otherwise entitled to unemployment insurance, welfare payments, pensions, or other “social” payments happens to engage in terrorism and happens to be imprisoned, he and his family continue to receive the welfare payments. If the terrorist dies, his dependents collect survivor benefits, like orphans in the US whose parent has passed away but was covered by social security. Terrorists disabled while planting bombs or attacking Jews could collect disability insurance stipends.
In 2012, an initiative was begun in the Knesset led by David Rotem (from the Yisrael Beitenu party), to cut the stipends and pensions paid to convicted murderers and terrorists by 50%. That is correct – the Knesset was only one-half working against welfare support for terrorists, by preserving only half of the stupidest idea in human history. Rotem wanted to eliminate the Paychecks for Terrorists Program altogether but there was too much opposition from the rest of the Knesset and the government’s pin-headed lawyers. Israel’s Ministry of Justice bureaucrats opposed any reduction in the welfare benefits for the mass murderers. It would be unjust, you see. Insensitive to the needs of the families of the terrorists. The Israeli Left denounced the initiative as “anti-democratic.”
This past week a related initiative in the Knesset sought to deny pensions to convicted terrorists freed from prison, such as in any of those mind-numbingly stupid “prisoner exchanges” in which Israel sets the mass murderers free to wander the avenues and byways. The bill does not really strip them of welfare payments altogether, it just says they cannot start collecting benefits until the full prison term to which they had been sentenced is finished. That way they cannot collect early if they are released before the end of the sentence.
What is amazing is that the Israeli Left voted against the bill. How dare anyone deny terrorists and their families the benefits of Israeli welfare payments! The Menshevik Israeli Labor Party voted against the bill, showing that its electoral strategy seems to be to challenge the ultra-leftist Meretz party over which party will attract the most votes from the treason constituency. But even within the Netanyahu coalition, there were dissidents who voted against the bill and in favor of the terrorists.
In particular, Amram Mitzna voted for the terrorists. Mitzna is now a member of Tzipi Livni’s party, which is part of the Netanyahu coalition. This is the same Mitzna who once was a contender for Prime Minister from Labor, and before that served as the Third-Worldish mayor of Haifa.
Meanwhile the Israeli Left continues to endorse boycotts and more boycotts against Israel. In some cases it claims it “only” wants boycotts directed against settlements, and in other cases it supports world-wide boycotts against all of Israel. Since all of Israel built and maintains the “settlements,” there really is not much of a difference. Ex-Meretz Kommissar Yossi “Call Me Ishmael” Sarid is the latest to endorse boycotts, writing in Haaretz this week.
It needs to be emphasized that these endorsements of anti-Israel boycotts show how fundamentally anti-democratic the Israeli Left is. The Israeli Left has failed miserably over decades to persuade the Israeli electorate and public of the correctness of its “ideas.” Since the vast majority of Israelis REJECT the platform of the Left, the Leftists stoop to anti-democratic means – by attempting to get their anti-Israel friends all over the world to subvert Israeli sovereignty and impose the will of the tiny Israeli Leftist minority on the country through extortion and economic warfare.
There is no difference between boycotts of settlements and boycotts of all of Israel. A democratic Left would attempt to peddle its opinions in the Israeli marketplace of ideas and try to persuade the Israeli public of the correctness of its positions. If successful, the voters would elect governments who would force the “settlers” to leave the “occupied territories.” The “settlers” are where they are because the Israeli government and the bulk of the electorate want them to be there, in “settlements.” The economic warfare against “settlements” is in fact a program of aggression against the electorate who decided to have “settlements” constructed and maintained in the first place, and who continue to wish these “settlements” to thrive and grow. The settlements are the will of the Israeli people and the voting public.
The boycotters, including their amen chorus within the radical Left in Israel, are opposed to democratic rule. They want to strip the Israeli electorate of its rights of sovereignty. They want to coerce the country into accepting a program endorsed by perhaps two or three percent of Israelis and opposed by the rest. The Left insists that removal of “settlements” is the path to peace. But the rest of Israelis think that removal of settlements simply eliminates all obstacles to the erection of a new Islamofascist terrorist entity in the suburbs of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, one that will be used by the terrorists to launch endless massive rocket and missile attacks against the Jews.
Israelis who are not part of the tiny Leftist fringe see the settlements as mine canaries that measure the true intentions of “Palestinians.” They also believe that Israelis have at least as much of a right to live in “settlements” in Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”) as Arabs have to live inside Israel. The Jews are the true indigenous population of the Land of Israel and they are no more “occupiers” when they live in the West Bank than Native Americans are when they live in North America.
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