Sharon creating
anti-settler unit?

By Aaron Klein

With Sharon’s plan to vacate the Gaza Strip drawing near and the possibility of settler resistance high, Israeli lawmakers are debating the most appropriate means of removing the settlers from their homes, and some in Israel are charging that Sharon is secretly assembling a combat unit to carry out the withdrawal.

Several sources within the settler establishment have charged that Sharon is quietly putting together a special unit of soldiers composed of Arabs and extreme Israeli leftists who are more distanced from the settlement movement and less likely to refrain from using force to remove Jewish residents from Gaza.

Mike Guzofsky, director of the Jewish Legion in the Tapuach settlement and a former Kahane leader, told WND: “There is no doubt the decision to give Jewish land to our most bitter enemies and uproot Jews from their homes and farms and to expel them is a decision which is dividing the nation of Israel. It is therefore understandable that Sharon needs to create a new special unit to implement this dirty work.”

Guzofsky yesterday posted signs in Jerusalem that feature a fake advertisement for joining the unit.

“Wanted,” the signs read, “Non-Jews living in Israel who wish to join a huge and exciting anti-Semitic project. … Needed: dynamic, motivated, violent and healthy soldiers, preferably without any special sympathy for Jews and without strong patriotic feelings toward the Land of Israel, who are seeking a challenge that offers the opportunity to take out your aggressions on Jew boys.

“Don’t miss this golden opportunity to be supplied with uniforms, equipment, wonderful benefits and instructions to beat and expel Jews from their homes. Apply to Ariel Sharon …”

Another settler leader, who asked that his name be withheld, also said a non-Jewish and leftist unit is being formed.

“The Shin Bet is looking very carefully into the background of every possible soldier who will be involved with this anti-settler unit,” he said, “and if there’s anything that hints at sympathy to us, they are not allowed to serve.”

Official sources within Israel, including the prime minister’s office and the Ministry of Defense, would not comment. Several IDF sources, however, told WND they were informed of the possibility that a special unit may be created to help with the removal of the settlers, but said they were not aware of the specific composition of any such unit.

Effi Eitam, chairman of the National Religious Party, drafted a bill last week that would prohibit the IDF from taking part in settler evacuations. The bill, which was defeated in Parliament, argued that “the army should only be used against enemies of the state” and that since “residents of the outposts are not enemies of the state,” it is wrong to employ soldiers to remove them.

Eitam said Israeli police, which many feel are not properly equipped, should handle the evacuation.

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz has said he, too, would prefer that soldiers not take part in evacuations. Mofaz plans to work within the government to press the issue since Eitam’s bill was not passed, a Defense Ministry spokeswoman said.

Internal Security Minister Tzahi Hanegbi, under whose authority the Israel police falls, rejects Eitam’s and Mofaz’s proposals. Hanegbi has argued in many forums that police are inappropriate replacements for soldiers because they lack sufficient manpower, and he claims police are also more likely than soldiers to face violence from settlers.

Many are expecting violent confrontations with settlers as Sharon’s 2005 deadline for vacating the Gaza Strip draws closer. Some Israeli commentators are even speaking about a civil war.

As WND recently reported, a small group of leaders held a series of meetings over the past few weeks to discuss plans to disrupt the Gaza withdrawal, including some actions that could start as early as this month. The plans include causing traffic jams in protest, agreement to stop paying taxes, the removal of any fences the IDF erects to keep settlers out and disobeying orders from the Israeli authorities. Settler leaders said the planned revolt could easily turn violent

Hanegbi warned last week the next assassin of an Israeli prime minister is ready and looking for the opportunity to strike.

“There are people who have already taken the decision that, come the day they are going to ‘save Israel,’ that they are going to kill the prime minister,” Hanegbi said.

But Guzofsky says Sharon has been falsifying reports of planned settler violence and assassination conspiracies to discredit the settlement movement and make the withdrawal more palatable to the Israeli public.

“Sharon and his Shin Bet director with the collaboration of the leftist Israeli media feel the need to lie and create fictitious stories about alleged violent plots against soldiers and the prime minister being hatched by right-wing extremists who will violently oppose their expulsion. We speak of only passive resistance even though we are being asked to leave our homes like sheep,” said Guzofsky.

“Obviously the lies aren’t working though, if Sharon needs to create a special unit to do the job,” Guzofsky said.

Related stories:

Assassin of Sharon ready to strike

Civil war in Israel?