By Everett Mendelsohn
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Additional resources for A Compassionate Peace: A Future for the Middle East: A Report Prepared for the American Friends Service Committee
Settlers are armed and organized into paramilitary units, and, together with their ultranationalist political supporters within Israel, they promise to resist vigorously any return of the land. The policy is one of de facto annexation. The Begin-led coalition, defining the occupied regions as part of the Biblically promised land oflsrael, envisages no acceptable plan which would allow withdrawal. The coalition has instead set about building the infrastructure for 22 I A COMPASSIONATE PEACE permanent control and has invested significant amounts of govern ment money in a network of roads, settlements, and other structures.
DASH, together with the National Religious Party (which had brought its members into coalition in every government since 1948) and Agudat Yisrael (a small ultraorthodox party) gave Begin his political majority in the ninth Knesset. There is irony in the fact that it was Menachem Begin, from the hawkish end of the Israeli political spectrum, who was the prime minister when President Sadat chose to make his dramatic visit. Begin's politics have marked the Israeli participation in the peace process that developed and, in large measure, complicated a solution of the Palestinian problem.
Initial reports by local military authorities attempted to cover up the incident, but persistent probing brought an inquiry by the minister of defense, Ezer Weizman. Ultimately, he found that his own officers had not provided him with accurate accounts, and he finally acted to remove the West Bank military commander from his post and to discipline several subordinates. 18 In the annals of the occupation, the Beit Jala incident is not unique. However, in this instance Israeli authorities took corrective measures against the military governor in charge.
A Compassionate Peace: A Future for the Middle East: A Report Prepared for the American Friends Service Committee by Everett Mendelsohn