Monday, March 11, 2013

Political Calculation: Kahan Commission vs. Judea and Samaria

Here's a final installment in our series of posts on our Sabra and Shatila publication. Final, not because we've exhausted all the points of interest in the 250 pages of documents we posted on the matter; simply, it's time for this blog to move on. Hebrew-fluent readers are encouraged to read the entire cache.

On February 8, Yaacov Meridor, Minister of the Economy and an old political ally of Menachem Begin, explained why accepting the recommendations of the Kahan Commission would be unjustified but politically necessary: only thus would the government survive the political crises and be able to continue with its historical mission of settling Judea and Samaria:
If we had a stronger political base perhaps we could respond to the commission's recommendations by sincerely thanking its members for their efforts: 'They were essential, and now we'll study your recommendations. We'll try to prevent future mistakes. But we cannot accept your recommendations regarding the officers and politicians. You're judges, and your task was to uncover the facts. But it's our task to make decisions. That's what we were elected to do. The government chose you to investigate the facts, not to make decisions.'

Sadly, however, the commission did make recommendations, and we have no choice but to accept them.

The fate of Judea and Samaria hangs in the balance, that's clear. In Washington, they're just waiting for this government to fall. At this moment, the top priority is to remain and continue bearing our flag. [...] So we have no choice but to make painful sacrifices to protect Judea and Samaria, to protect the Land of Israel, no matter how great the pain, and there is pain.

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