TEL AVIV (Nov. 2)
Some 1000 Israelis who bitterly oppose the government’s peace policies jammed into the Ohel-Shem Hall here last night to launch a new movement called “The Eretz Israel Loyalist Front.” Its declared aim is to mount a mass protest movement to foil the Camp David agreements which it brands a capitulation to the dictates of President Carter and President Anwar Sadat of Egypt.
Leaders of the new group include Herut firebrand Geula Cohen; former Minister of Trade and Industry Yigal Hurwitz who resigned from the Cabinet after the Camp David accords were signed by Premier Menachem Begin; Likud MK Moshe Shamir and Rabbi Haim Druckman, a National Religious Party MK. The movement itself appears to comprise dissenting Likud and NRP MKs, members of settlements in the occupied territories and disciples of the Gush Emunim and Greater Israel movements.
Cohen denounced her own colleagues for refusing to allow the group to use Herut Party headquarters, Jabotinsky House, for their rally. “There are no more wolves at the Ze’ev (Jabotinsky) fortress, only ostriches,” she said. Shamir exhorted the “Loyalist Front” to sound the alarm in Israel and the diaspora over “the terrible dangers being brought upon us by this government of capitulation.”
He claimed the government was withholding the truth about the Carter Administration’s plans to “truncate Israel” and force the repartition of Jerusalem. He warned that the autonomy plan for the West Bank and Gaza Strip opened the road for a Palestinian state.
Druckman claimed that Sadat’s peace intentions were false because he refused to allow Israel to retain its settlements in Sinai. Later, representatives of settlements in the occupied territories told reporters that they have little faith in the government’s declared policy of strengthening existing settlements on the West Bank. They said the plan would not solve the main problems because the settlements would not attract settlers.
Settlers from the Jordan Valley warned that once the autonomy plan came into effect, absentee Arab land owners would file claims that would prevent the expansion of Jewish settlements. Members of Yamit, in northern Sinai, said the government has already frozen plans for the construction of six new classrooms even though the evacuation of Sinai is still several years off. They said the World Zionist Organization has refused permission to start new plantations in the region.
It was learned, meanwhile, that the Nahal movement will establish two new para-military settlements, one on the slopes of Mt. Hermon overlooking the Golan Heights and one on the Sinai border. Several watchtowers will be built in Galilee to emphasize Israel’s sovereignty over land used by Arab herd-owners.