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Friday, January 13, 2006

Senior IDF officer: Extremists a threat

Israel Matzav

With Palestinian terrorists trying to find ways to smuggle arms from Gaza to Judea and Samaria, the IDF is more concerned with Jewish 'extremists.'

Senior IDF officer: Extremists a threat

A senior IDF officer warned on Thursday that the behavior and actions of extremist Jewish groups operating in Samaria pose a far greater threat than terror actions to the people of Israel. [I don't understand this. What greater physical threat could there be to the Jewish people than an organized group that is trying to murder us? If this isn't hyperbole, I don't know what is. CiJ] If left unchecked, the problem will continue to increase, he said, and turn into a matter of national concern.

In an unprecedented statement that revealed frustration at the failure of security forces to nab those responsible for destroying Palestinian olive trees in the West Bank, the officer likened the actions of the extremists to "a volcano waiting to erupt."

"We are talking about an entire group of youth, who in the past were considered the cream of the crop, the heart of the IDF leadership and the heart of Israel. Today we are witnessing an extremely worrying trend - youth are becoming more and more detached from the state and its institutions and symbols," he said. [You take a bunch of kids, you throw them out of the only homes they have ever known and you leave them to live in poverty in hotels and hostels with parents without jobs and with all their belongings in 'storage' - and you expect them to love the State? Blithering idiots! CiJ] "Some of the extremist groups' actions endanger us far more as a people than the terror threats, which we know how to confront," he said.

... In the past the IDF designated specific areas in which Palestinian farmers coordinated with the army to harvest the olive crop and were guarded by soldiers to prevent any confrontations. Because of this, said the officer, there were very few incidents. However, the intervention of organizations affiliated with the Left, who appealed to the courts declaring that such action had a detrimental effect on the sale and marketing of olives, caused the courts to change their approach and demand that the army stop designating specific guarded areas. "All the destroyed trees were in areas where leftist groups were in contact with Palestinian farmers," the officer said.

The leftists' actions encouraged the Palestinian farmers to operate in areas without coordinating with the IDF, thereby indirectly attracting the wrath of extremist settler groups, he said.

The officer also blamed the leadership of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip (Yesha) for failing to recognize and deal with the problem. He refused to accept the insistence by Yesha leaders that in many cases the Palestinian farmers were destroying their own trees to receive compensation from Israel. [That certainly sounds at least as plausible to me as the accusation that the 'extremist settlers' are destroying the olive trees. CiJ]

"Without a doubt, bands of extremists are responsible. [If it's 'without a doubt' where's the evidence? This guy ought to be sent to learn what Jewish law says about adjudicating monetary matters based upon estimations rather than evidence. CiJ] It is a shame that the settler leadership fails to condemn such actions and deal with the situation instead of inventing stories," the officer said.


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