by Caroline Glick
As the local and international press corps converged on
These little-reported attacks are the consequence of one of the most dangerous emerging threats to
Over the past decade and at a frenzied pace since the 2005 withdrawal from
Firebombing Jewish-owned vehicles is small potatoes in comparison to developments at the center of mass of the Israeli Arab onslaught: state land. Over the past decade, Israeli Arabs have seized millions of dunams of state land.
The dimensions of this phenomenon were spelled out in last year's State Comptroller's Report. While the local and international Left pillories
Most of the open land in
As the Comptroller's Report makes clear, the threatened and abused farmers have no official body to turn to for help. While incidence of land theft has increased more than 50 percent in recent years, enforcement measures at all levels have decreased by 81%. In 2007, courts issued just 5,400 judgments on illegal construction. Of these, only 193 led to demolition orders. And just a handful of those orders were carried out.
The absence of state protection has led farmers and ranchers to abandon their lands. For instance, continuous harassment by Arabs from the
In the South, the situation is no different. Illegal Beduin squatters from the Taarbiya tribe that migrated to
Omer Council Chairman Pini Badash has been the target of repeated attacks. Badash bought an airplane to document the illegal construction as part of his efforts to force the state to act. The Beduin burned his plane. They burned his wife's car in front of her and have repeatedly threatened to kill him.
LIKE THE farmers and local councils, the army has simply given up. The IDF has abandoned training areas throughout the North and South. For instance, the Nevetim Air Force base has abandoned 17,000 dunams stolen by Beduin. According to the Comptroller's Report, 220-250 families have squatted on the land and built approximately 800 illegal buildings. Between 2004 and 2008, there was a 53% increase in the number of illegally built structures.
Rather than defend its bases and the surrounding areas, the IDF has limited the movement of its own officers. The IAF has prohibited its fighter pilots (!) from traveling alone on the highway linking Tel Arad with
Just as its grantees played a lead role in the formation of the UN's Goldstone Commission and the drafting of its defamatory accusations against
Cowed by the twin forces of the Red-Green alliance, successive governments have tried to solve the problem by buying off the Arabs. The Olmert government built a village for the Taarbiya Beduin outside of Omer and gave each family
Just this past Sunday the cabinet unanimously approved a multi-year program to transfer
LUCKILY FOR Israel, the leadership vacuum created by successive governments is beginning to be filled today by a group of law abiding, idealistic young Israelis. The New Israeli Guardsman is a voluntary organization formed two years ago by the sons and daughters of distressed farmers and ranchers.
Yoel Zilberman was an officer in one of the IDF's elite commando units who got tired of watching his father - a farmer at Moshav Tzipori in the Western Galilee - despair as Arab gangs from surrounding villages cut his fences, stole his livestock and wrecked his crops. During his furloughs, Zilberman began carrying out night time patrols of his father's fields and repeatedly intercepted thieves as they infiltrated his land.
Over time, Zilberman realized that it wasn't enough for him to guard his father's land. His efforts just deflected the problem onto his neighbors. So he organized his friends, the sons and daughters of other farmers in the area, and formed the New Israeli Guardsmen, named after the original Guardsmen - the first Jewish self-defense organization in the
The New Israeli Guardsmen - which today operates throughout the Galilee and the
Recognizing that the long-term solution to the problem is to increase the public's dedication to classic Zionist ideals of Jewish control over the Land of Israel, in addition to building and manning guard posts, the Guardsmen organize courses and lectures on Jewish history, Zionism, Jewish philosophy and other relevant topics at their guard posts for the general public.
Next year, 30 young men carefully vetted from a pool of 300 volunteers will receive a yearlong deferral of their military service to serve with the Guardsmen. They will be split into three groups of 10 and man three guard posts in the Galilee and the
The Guardsmen operate on a shoestring budget scraped together from private donors. Contingent on raising the necessary funds, the group intends to increase its corps of volunteers tenfold by 2013. If it meet its goals, 6,000 volunteers and 300 national service program members will operate from 30 guard stations in the Galilee and the
Zilberman believes that the success of the Guardsmen will empower the state to take the necessary action to enforce
In light of the growing force of the international campaign to delegitimize
By the same token, the state will only enforce its laws without prejudice when it is certain that the public will rally behind it. Our leaders need to know that the public will stand behind them when the New Israel Fund grantees collaborate with the international Left and the Islamic Movement to demonize
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.