November 14, 2007
The first step is to dispel all illusions. There shouldn't be any false hopes or mistaken impressions. Yesha council leaders called it an 'impending tsunami.' Big mistake number one: it is not impending; it is already upon us.
There may be those who are unaware of what's going on. Hebron is a good place for a beginner's education.
The purchase of Beit HaShalom, that huge 3,500 square meter structure between Hebron and Kiryat Arba some eight months ago is history. Presently eight families, including lots of children, are keeping Beit HaShalom Jewish. If there were not living there, in almost subhuman conditions, the site would have been long lost to Hebron's Jewish Community. As it is, the powers-that-be are doing their utmost to have us expelled from here too, but the wheels of justice spin slowly.
Where do things stand at the moment? Following purchase of the building, one of the neighborhood Arabs began dancing a war jig, claiming that the building belonged to him. Actually, he was involved in the purchase as a middleman, and had absolutely no idea who the actual buyer was. When the purchase was concluded, he had no choice but to scream bloody murder, otherwise his brethren would first torture and then kill him. During questioning by the Israeli police, he was shown a film of himself counting the money he'd received for the building. His response: I gave the money back and canceled the deal.
As a result of his loud denials and claims that the documents were forgeries, the Israeli supreme court ordered a police investigation to determine the legitimacy of the purchase. The initial police inquiries in March showed that the purchase was indeed legal, that the papers were in order. However that was not enough for the Supreme court. A second, in-depth investigation was necessary. The police were ordered to hand over their findings within 45 days. In the mean time, the Jewish residents of the building were forbidden to make any structural changes at the site. Any construction, or anything resembling construction, would necessitate a special permit, granted by the Defense ministry or the Israeli Civil Administration, a quasi-military organization under the jurisdiction of the Defense ministry, i.e., the government.
Forty five days came and went; the police returned to the court and requested an extension; the investigation was still under way. Since then, the police have requested numerous extensions, their job not yet completed.
In the meantime, winter approaches. Winter means wind, rain and cold. The residents of Beit HaShalom, perched on a hill overlooking Hebron and Kiryat Arba, began preparing for five or six months of winter. However, there were a number of issues to deal with. The building's windows were all open with no possibility of being closed because glass had never been installed. There was only one electric line running into the building, nowhere near the power needed to allow the residents to live normally. The third problem: the roof had never been sealed. Heavy rain would cause major leaks inside people's living quarters.
Hebron's leadership requested a permit from the Defense ministry on humanitarian grounds to: tar the roof, close the windows, and install additional electric lines. This request reached the desk of Defense Minister Barak. Barak, in August, refused to allow negotiations and delay forced expulsion of two families from the Mitzpe Shalhevet neighborhood. He gave the final orders: send in 3,000 troops to throw out the 'settlers.' Barak remained true to form and refused the latest request: no tar, windows or electricity.
The community appealed this decision to the Civil Administration military panel. Last week the answer came in: No, no, and no. The windows and electricity were refused unanimously. The tar was voted down two to one. Such actions, taken by Jews in a disputed building, might be considered an 'act of ownership.' Children, rain, winter, humanitarianism aside: let them suffer.
I've been told that the Israeli courts ruled, concerning illegal Bedouin settlements in the Negev in south Israel, that the government must allow them proper infrastructures on humanitarian grounds. Bedouins yes, Hebron Jews, no
Make no mistake, we will heat the building, using a generator and portable heating units. The fuel is very expensive – at least $6,000 a month. (That's over $30,000 for the winter.) The equipment will cost over $5,000. The real problem will be the leaky roof. However, we'll find a way to deal with that too. That's not really the problem. The real issue is the attitude of those people called 'leaders' – running the country.
It really shouldn't come as a surprise. After all, the government abandoned Yesha's Jews during the Oslo War, allowing people throughout Judea and Samaria to be shot at for over two years with almost no reaction or serious attempt to stop the attacks. So too in Gush Katif, where missiles fell for over five years. The reward for their heroism: expulsion and further abandonment.
Again, the war drums are rumbling. A synchronized orchestra, conducted by the American Secretary of State, with the Israeli prime minister standing in the wings, acting as first violin, reminiscent of legends of Nero's fiddling as Rome burned.
This being the case, what's the big deal, a few cold, wet Jews in Hebron?!
The big deal is that all of these instances are absolutely nothing compared to what's being planned. Tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of Jews expelled from their homes, with nowhere to go. The heart of Israel being abandoned to the deadliest terrorists on the face of the earth, disguised as 'partners for peace.' Hebron, Jerusalem, Beit El, Shilo, – all to be disposed of, like a dirty diaper. Not only the places; the people too. And that is exactly how they will relate to us: the like contents of a dirty diaper.
It's not yet too late, but the countdown is getting close to liftoff. Don't be fooled and don't be surprised: This is what's in store for us in Israel. And afterwards, when our 'partners' start shooting down planes flying into, or leaving Ben Gurion airport, don't say you weren't warned.