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August 18, 1995 - Image 42

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-08-18

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and were thus exempt from
paying the mortal price of
the war."
Thus the precedent, at
least, is clear. Another oft-
heard claim against the le-
gitimacy of pursuing the
present peace policy is that
regardless of the outcome of
the elections, the Rabin gov-
ernment no longer com-
mands a majority among
"the people."
It should be noted that
practically everyone in Is-
rael, in politics and without,
is forever speaking in the
name of "the people."
Until now, the will of the
people has only been deter-
mined by national elections.
Indeed, ever since the sign-
ing of the Oslo accords, the
opposition has been calling
for "elections now."
But it has failed, despite
a slew of no-confidence mo-
tions, to bring the govern-
ment down. And given that
weakness, it also cannot
muster enough parliamen-
tary support to force a
referendum on the govern-
ment before the negotia-
tions on the Interim
Agreement proceed any fur-
ther (as representatives of
the settlers demanded of
were running neck and neck (41
Mr. Rabin last week).
percent each), with Mr. Rabin
So for the present, only pub- leading Mr. Netanyahu by eight
lic opinion polls give an indica- points if other candidates were
tion of what "the people" really included in the race.
want. It's therefore interesting to
Which brings us back to what
note that a recent survey, con- is, not what might be. The one
ducted by Dr. Mina Tsemach, conclusion that can safely be ven-
yielded moot results. Taken at tured from these findings is that
the height of the settlers' demon- for all the philosophizing about
strations, it showed that if elec- its "right" to rule, the durability
tions were held now, Labor, of the Rabin government will be
Meretz, and the Arab parties decided not on the highways or
would win only 52 of the 61 seats on the hilltops of Judea and
needed for a parliamentary ma- Samaria but in the Knesset. And
that's a place where
But the Likud and
"the votes are count-
(Above) An irate
the smaller parties on
ed, not estimated," as
the right would still driver's rage explodes Mr. Peres recently put
trail them with a mere as he grabs the throat it.
50. Eight seats would of a right-wing Israeli
Thus, the biggest
demonstrator. The
be won by the ultra-Or-
question today is
driver was one of
thodox parties (which
whether the Interim
thousands stuck in
could go, in whole or in traffic in more than 80 Agreement will be
part, to either camp).
locations throughout
brought before the
And the rest of the 10
Israel on Aug. 8.
Knesset at all. The
seats would be divided
government is not re-
among a collection of
quired by law to do so (though it
small parties (David Levy, the is the accepted practice), and Mr.
Third Way, and an immigrant Rabin has not yet made up his
list) that have yet to be estab- mind on this point. But in the age
lished, may never materialize, of party primaries, he probably
and whose stand on the peace will come under pressure from
process — and tactics in coalition Labor deputies who will not want
bargaining — can only be to be tainted by a decision that
guessed at today.
appears undemocratic or even
All in all, the chances of the patently unfair.
right look more promising. But
The one consolation is that
as everyone in politics knows, the whatever happens now is likely
public is fickle. Last winter, after to happen quickly. The American
the Dizengoff bus bombing and government has proposed that a
the massacre at Bet Lid, Mr. Ne- signing ceremony be held in
tanyahu was running far ahead Washington on Sept. 6. At least
of Mr. Rabin in the polls. Yet last the suspense about whether the
week, despite the bus bombing in agreement will be brought before
Ramat Gan and the settlers' on- and passed by the Knesset, will
going demonstrations, the two be over before long. El

Sending A Message

West Bank militants
are creating surprisingly
favorable impressions
across the Green Line.

missioned at the start of August
by Yediot Aharonot, the country's
largest daily newspaper, found
that 52 percent of Israelis sided
with the settlers — either in all
their protests or just in their le-
gal ones — while 46 percent op-
posed them. In a poll for Ma'ariv,
the country's No. 2 newspaper,
54 percent were against dis-
mantling the settlers' impromp-
tu, illegal mini-encampments set
neers. This gets on people's up recently on a few West Bank
hills, while only 31 percent fa-
he conventional wis- nerves.
"Ninety percent of the pro- vored pulling them down.
dom in Israel, articu-
(On Sunday at the encamp-
the testers are from the 'knitted kip-
and pa,' or religious Zionist, sector ment near Beit El, three Beit El
much of the news me- of the population," Mr. Dankner settlers were arrested on suspi-
dia, is that the West continued. "The majority of the cion of shooting to death a Pales-
Bank settlers' cam- Israeli people are not with them." • tinian in a crowd that had swept
The militant wing of the set- through the outpost, burning
paign of civil disobedience has
turned off the majority of Israelis tlers and their supporters — holy books and other property.
across the Green Line, or, at best, those who are fighting the army The settlers were taken to a
and police force up and down hills Jerusalem police station, and
left them indifferent.
"Most Israelis haven't felt con- in the West Bank, cursing and some 200 demonstrators de-
nected to the settlers for a long screaming at police and soldiers manding their release got into a
time," said Amnon Dankner, a as they are dragged off at demon- violent confrontation with police.)
columnist for the Ha'aretz news- strations, the thousands who
paper and panelist on the TV talk burned tires and blocked 80 ma- Honking For Support
jor intersections in the country
The settlers' stand is taking
show "Popolitica."
`The settlers caused this alien- during evening rush hour on place during the time of year
ation because they violate the Aug. 8 — definitely are creating when hundreds of thousands of
law, and are ready to clash with a strong impression across the Israelis stream into Ben-Guri-
the army. Israelis find this hard Green Line. It might be assumed on Airport and fly off for vaca-
to take. Secondly, the settlers' ar- that their radical actions are leav- tions abroad. These masses of
rogance leaves the impression ing the mainstream of the coun- vacationers are thought to rep-
among the secular majority of Is- try's bourgeois population cold. resent the non-ideological ma-
raelis that they think they're on But this assumption might be jority of Israelis, the ones who
supposedly have no patience for
a mission from God, that they are wrong.
A public opinion survey corn- the settlers' provocative, disrup-
the only real Jews, the only pio-

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