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Thursday, May 11, 2006 

Yesha Council's hypocrisy exposed

I suspected they were phonies, and now, it looks like evidence has been presented to attest to that fact. From Israel National News, here's the news and a video podcast that puts the Yesha Council in a most unflattering light:
A documentary aired on Channel 10 shows members of the Yesha Council orchestrating the eviction of youths from a Gush Katif synagogue in addition to their own choreographed removal.

The film details the final hours in N'vei Dekalim's main synagogue, where thousands of youths gathered last summer for a last stand against security forces sent to forcibly remove them from Gush Katif. The film raises question about the behavior of the Yesha Council and its honesty with the public it is supposed to represent.

"At the Gates of Heaven" is the name of the documentary, which was produced by Yuval Ginzburg. Speaking with Arutz-7 Hebrew Radio, Ginzburg said the film was not made in order to be a direct critique of the Yesha Council, but to accurately portray the final 24 hours in the community's main synagogue. Due to what the footage contains, he said, certain conclusions regarding the behavior of the leadership were naturally exposed.

In one segment, aired by Yinun Magal on Channel 10 TV Monday night, Gush Etzion Mayor Shaul Goldstein is seen directing his own evacuation. He is seen being held by two soldiers, with a pained look on his face as a snapshot is taken with a camera he handed one of the soldiers. "Did it come out?" he asked the photographer. Upon confirmation, he was carried ten feet and put down gingery at the door of the synagogue.

Magal also spoke with Arutz-7, saying that although there are a number of ways to interpret the footage captured on the video, it clearly shows Goldstein asking a soldier to photograph him while other soldiers carried him a short distance at his behest. "They put him down after being carried three meters, he patted them on the shoulders and everyone went his separate way," he said, suggesting that Council members were already concerned about the repercussions of their complicity in Gush Katif and were preparing alibis.

Asked by Magal during the newscast about his behavior, Goldstein said that he did not want to walk out on his own two feet, but also did not want to burden the police and therefore only made them carry him "four cubit, about two meters," he said. "He didn't explain the necessity of having the incident photographed though," Magal said.

Arutz Sheva Commentator and former Gush Katif spokesman Eran Sternberg responded to Goldstein's remarks. "Beyond the serious questions that the scenes in the documentary raise regarding the nature of the struggle for Gush Katif," he said, "its importance lies in that it teaches us how not to wage future struggles. Goldstein's explanation that he only wanted to be dragged several meters is questionable when taking into account that the Gush Etzion Regional Council which he heads hired Eyal Arad [advisor to PM Ariel Sharon who was the driving force behind the surrender of Gush Katif] for a publicity campaign. Goldstein's actions will bring upon himself and upon us all a repeat of the scenes of Gush Katif."

Producer Ginzburg said that despite the footage, he is convinced that the heads of the Yesha Council indeed spend most of their time on promoting settlement, but the issues raised by the footage are not with regard to their intentions, but their way of operating.
Well I dissent on the part about promotion. Goldstein, and also the would-be chairman of the Council, Pinchas Wallerstein, if they were complicitors, then any promotion of living in Yesha is thus put under a question mark, since they betrayed the communities they were supposed to represent.
Magal, considered somewhat of an expert on the situation in Judea and Samaria, says that he senses a widening of the opposition to the Yesha Council in the streets. "This is due to the disappointment in the manner which the Council carried out the struggle against past expulsions, as well as concern regarding their behavior in impending withdrawals as well," he said.

This is far from the first time that such concerns have been aired since the Disengagement, but its appearance on Channel 10 has brought the issue to the fore.
Yes, it has. The Council also, back in August, pulled a real filthy trick on the public by issuing weak requests for support during the rally in Tel Aviv. This, if anything, had the effect of alienating the public from the Council considerably. I wonder if even the National Union is in cahoots with these traitors.

If the Yesha Council sold out, the public must distance itself from the Council altogether, and a new, more loyal and honest one must be assembled.

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I think you have the wrong information about the Yesha Council calling for blocking roads. I have heard Bentzi Lieberman specifically say (last spring) NOT to block roads - and he has been roundly critizied for it. You should be careful about criticizing the whole Yesha Council for Goldstein's actions - he is not necessarily representative of them all.

I guess you're right. I'll see if I can modify my argument a bit.

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