He who dares

Back in Yorkshire we Jews had a common word with our non-Jewish Yorkshiremen. We shared the word dare, but it had different connotations.

Jews would use ‘dare ‘, in the context of ‘how dare you?’ That meant that you had been caught out, usually in lying or being too big for your boots. But for the non-Jews, it was generally in the context of, ‘I dare you.’ In other words, a dare was a test of bravery. A dare was to take risks and succeed.

In our strange mirror world, we Jews were surrounded by those that set store in daring. They set the tone; they were leaders – someone to admire. Those who dared were those who led; they who set the tone and led.

Amongst the Jews, he was far from this. He or she was a person to be held in contempt. Someone who dared in the Jewish world was untrustworthy. In the non-Jewish world; well a risk taker to kept at arm’s length. Jews do not like risks, and those surrounding us do. Jews thought about the consequences; those about us lived for the thrill. I suppose we were more into surviving, and risks of any kind were a threat.

In Med School, we learned all about the group known as risk-takers. These were those who belong to the  ‘this won’t happen to me,’ mindset. Members sharing the mindset felt themselves immune to the consequences of smoking, being overweight and much more, even thinking.  Theirs was not to worry theirs was to do and not die. The glorious risk-takers could go through yellow lights and white lines. Life was one continuous attenuated game of Russian Roulette.

In Israel, I feel like Alice through the looking glass. Before continuing, I will dare to tell you a few facts about myself. I am a card-carrying member of the Likud party. I was a co-founder of Oranit and set up the Municipal Council. Before, I sat on the Samaria Area Council; I worked hand in glove Gush Emunim. Like them, I strongly oppose any form of Palestinian Statehood. The sovereignty of the entire Land Of Israel belongs to the Jews and the Jews only.

Why is this a daring statement? If you read on, I think that you will see for yourselves.

For 35 years, I have lived under Military Rule. As a resident and a manager, I have never ever felt any practical difference between myself and a resident within the so-called Green Line. We, in Oranit and all of Yehuda and Samaria, enjoy every benefit, service and rights as anyone else. Be it Health, Education, Social Services, Security, Infrastructure- we are in the plans, on the map and taken care of. All this is more than adequately done by mirror images of Area Services linked, as everywhere, else to their respective ministries.  The services are under the nominal and titular auspices of the Military Governor’s Office.

Why change? What is broken that needs fixing? As one who is au fait, I not only ask; I can answer— Nothing.

But, before Netanyahu is so brave as to ‘make history,’ I dare to ask my questions. What will happen with land issues? Most of the settlements are near the Green Line. They were owned or claimed to be owned by Israeli Arabs. In 1948 these lands were administered by the Jordanian Authorities in the name of the then’ absentee landowners.’ In 1967 the properties were still considered ‘administered.’ On annexing the ownership of the land will come into contention. Oranit and many villages like us enter into a legal imbroglio that no-one wants. Not even the Arabs who have cooperated and gained, want this can of worms opened.

On annexation, we lose the de facto,  tacit and meaningful cooperation with the Palestinians. An intifada is all but probable to start. Who needs it? We have de facto control of the whole of the Land Of Israel. Make it de jure and, like the de jure rule in East Jerusalem, we will have no meaningful control.

Now all Oranit’s services are coordinated and part of our areas future plans. To whom will we belong? How will we be integrated into their future plans, if at all? We Israelis know the answer- there is no answer. Daring does not include planning. We will be tossed into an administrative vacuum.

Daring leaders are unquestioned. These dare-devils are Kings until shown that the King is naked or bare, as in bare-faced liar. Trump’s gift is a Trojan Horse -it includes Palestine. So who is being lied to- Trump or us?

To dare is to ignore details. Unfortunately, for the dare-devils,  the devil is in the details.

This devil is leading us to pure hell.

About the Author
Born in Leeds in 1944, Michael Benjamin is a retired Psychiatrist and medical auditor, co-founder of Oranit, aspiring author and inveterate cynic.
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