04 June 2007

Hevron: the Patriarchs Vs. the Protesters

Showdown in Hevron Tuesday Over Jewish Future in Land of Israel

by Ezra HaLevi

The building standing on the Ma'arah.

The Hall of Avraham and the structure over the cave entrance leading to the resting place of Avraham and Sara.

(IsraelNN.com) Peace Now will hold a protest against the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria in the heart of Hevron’s Jewish neighborhood Tuesday. Counter-protesters say they will be there too.

The left-wing anti-settlement group petitioned the Supreme Court to force police and IDF officials to allow the protest and provide security for it after their application was rejected.

“The settlements in Hevron are a symbol of the occupation in its ugliest manifestation,” reads Peace Now’s promotional material regarding the protest. “About 600 violent settlers living in the heart of the city strike a painful blow upon the lives of the about 35,000 Palestinian residents, who suffer each day from their schemes and military restrictions.

“We, the Israeli public, are the ones that pay the price for the dangerous craziness of the settlers…we send our soldiers to protect them and we absorb the resulting hatred and extremism that they sow.”

The posters go on to say that settlements signify the end of Zionism and invite protesters to demand the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Kumah, a Neo-Zionist movement promoting mass Aliyah (immigration to Israel), says it has organized a counter-protest to signify the Jewish people’s embrace of Hevron and the rest of the Land of Israel during the week of the reading of the Torah portion of Shelach, dealing with the ten spies and their rejection of the land. “Of 12 spies, only Joshua and Caleb yearned for the Land,” a Kumah statement read. “Caleb received his strength from the forefathers buried in Hevron - as it says of him: ‘and he came unto Hevron.’”

Kumah will be providing transportation to Hevron from Jerusalem’s Binyanei HaUmah conference center 9 AM, stopping also at the Gush Etzion Junction.

The Gush Etzion Action Committees also sent out an alert, calling on local activists with cars to meet at the Gush Etzion Junction at 9:45 AM in order to travel to Hevron in a convoy. Public transportation is also available via Egged’s 160 bus, which leaves every hour. Activists arriving by bus will meet at Kiryat Arba’s Bank Leumi at 10:30 AM.

Some activists have called upon the public to use Peace Now’s buses. They are leaving Jerusalem’s Gan HaPaamon (Liberty Bell Park) at 9:30 AM and Tel Aviv’s El Al early check-in at the Rakevet Tzafon area at 9 AM. Organizers of those buses can be reached at 054 215 1128 (Noa, for Jerusalem) and 054 440 5157 (Dolev, for Tel Aviv) or emailed at: noa@peacenow.org.il and dolev@peacenow.org.il

Kicking Off Left-Wing Campaign
The Hevron protest is part of a larger campaign prepared for months by left-wing groups aimed at grabbing the headlines with anti-settlement protests and activism from June 5-11, the six days marking 40 years since the civil dates of the 1967 Six Day War. Activities include:

  • A conference near Caesarea for youth, organized by Peace Now, aimed at galvanizing public opinion to accept the Arab League’s initiative, which calls for a return to the June 4, 1967 borders and the flooding of Israel with Arab refugees and their descendents.

  • A protest calling on Israel to open negotiations with Syria.
    Bike riding against "the occupation" in Tel Aviv.

  • Several groups such as the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), Taayush and the Tel Romeida Project plan on confronting IDF soldiers, dismantling checkpoints, destroying Jewish agriculture they claim lies on Arab land and vandalizing “symbols of the occupation.”

One wonders if Peace Now would protest any Jewish existence in the last remaining city (G-d forbid) of Israel should their dreadful policies come to fruition with the dismantlement not only of the "evil settlements" but of most of Israel by inviting murderous barbarians to invade in the name of "return".

The first mention of Hevron in the Torah is found in Bereshis 13:18 when Avraham moves his tent to the "plains of Mamre which are in Hebron; and he built there an altar" {p. 27, Artscroll, Stone Edition, Tanach}. Sarah was living in Hevron and Avraham's returning there (to her) according to Rashi is the result of Hashem's promise in 13:16 {I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth so that if one could count the dust of the earth, then your offspring, too, can be counted.}

Hevron then, is associated with divine blessing, the promise of a vibrant and numerous Jewish people. Later, Avraham, purchases the Cave of Machpelah from Ephron the Hittite establishing the site as a holy Jewish shrine. At the time of the spies dispatched by Moshe to the land, in Bamidbar 13:22, we find {..."he" arrived at Hevron"} he being, Calev ben Yefuneh. Calev was the leader selected to ascend to the land to spy on the people who lived there from mateh Yehuda (tribe of Judah). Calev heads for Hevron to pray al kivrai avos (on the graves of the patriarchs) according to Rashi. Rashi also states that the narrative of the spies follows the narrative of Miriam and the punishment she received for Lashon Hara concerning the wife of Moshe so that the spies learn the lesson of the dangers of slander. When the land was conquered during the time of Yehoshua, Calev was given Hevron as an inheritance. David was anointed King in Hevron and it was his home at the beginning of his reign.

As is alluded to in the article, this Peace Now protest coincides with the weekly reading Torah reading, parashas Shelach Lecha. It is in this sedra that the punishment to remain in the wilderness for 40 years was proclaimed for the lack of emunah of the M'raglim (spies) and the disasterous affects it had on the Jewish people. It is this sedra which set into motion the 9th of Av as the day of national misery for B'nai Yisroel.

“The settlements in Hevron are a symbol of the occupation in its ugliest manifestation,” (snip)
“About 600 violent settlers living in the heart of the city strike a painful blow upon the lives of the about 35,000 Palestinian residents, who suffer each day from their schemes and military restrictions.

“We, the Israeli public, are the ones that pay the price for the dangerous craziness of the settlers…we send our soldiers to protect them and we absorb the resulting hatred and extremism that they sow.”

The very idea of selecting this particular week to travel to Hevron, spilling this vile Lashon Hara, not only has political but religious overtones. The lesson of the spies in Shelach Lecha is that they slandered the land of Israel, calling it a "land that devours it's inhabitants" Bamidbar (13:31). Further, those 10 spies (not including Calev and Yehoshua) led the masses of Israel to doubt that Hashem will deliver the people to the land that had been promised to them since the time of the Avos. For this sin, the M'raglim died and the males of B'nai Yisroel between the ages of 20-60 condemned to expire over the next 40 years wandering, never reaching the land. Their children would conquer the land in their stead.

Yet today, the spiritual heirs of the M'raglim will lead a protest against the will of Hashem and for the purpose of leading the people to despise the promise that He made with the Patriarchs to inherit the land forever. Hevron, the ancestral heritage of Israel, ancient resting place of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, King David's first capital, will be the scene of a modern showdown between the followers of HaKadosh Baruch Hu and the followers of the modern false deity of Ba'al, peace (ie. surrender) at any cost.

A real irony is in the request for security. On one hand the lefties have been critical that the state uses it's soldiers to defend these "evil" Hevron Jews, but at the same time have no moral qualm about asking the state to provide those very same protesters protection. One could imagine that the non-believer friends of Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov could have also thought their actions were "dangerous craziness of the settlers". The Patriarchs however, led by Hashem, knew better.

Maaseh Avos Siman Labonim, the actions of the Avos are a sign (example) for the children. One might guess the same would be true for the apikorsim. The similarities of those who wished to take the people back to Egypt and those that call for a surrender of the land handed over to the Jewish people during the nes (miracle) that was the Six Day War in 1967, are not lost, in fact they themselves are, in a wierd sort of way relying upon this congruence for perverse political reasons. What is the similarity of returning to Egypt and an Israel that surrenders land and invites millions of murderous barbarians to "return" to "their" land? It is all about personal and communal accountability to Hashem. The ancient struggle between those who seek to erase Torah, to conceal from view and ridicule cheshbon nefesh (accounting of soul) and those who seek to fulfill the mission of Hashem to bring light into the world and to make this lower world a dwelling place for Him goes on. The world of the Jews and their adversaries, both internal and external hasn't changed an iota since the time of the Patriarchs.

Final note:
a history of The Hebron Massacre of 1929.

Historic photos of the massacre.

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What Words Offend Arabs? The Truth.

Children's Poetry Booklet Recalled After Arabs Complain
(Israeli censorship kowtows to Arabs.
When Will We Tell The Truth Without Fear)

(IsraelNN.com 7 Sivan 5768/June 10, '08) Ynet's web site and Arab complaints against a ten-year-old boy's poem about terrorists has resulted in the recall of all of the Nes Ziona municipality's children's poetry booklets.

Ynet boasts that its coverage of the poem resulted in its being recalled.

The text of the poem (Ynet's translation):

Ahmed's bunker has surprises galore: Grenades, rifles are hung on the wall. Ahmed is planning another bombing!What a bunker Ahmed has, who causes daily harm.Ahmed knows how to make a bomb. Ahmed is Ahmed, that's who he is, so don't forget to be careful of him.We get blasted while they have a blast!Ahmed and his friends could be wealthy and sunny, if only they wouldn't buy rockets with all their money.

Poetry competition director Marika Berkowitz, who published the booklet, was surprised at the protests and told Ynet: "This is the boy's creation and this is what he wanted to express. Of course there should be a limit, but I think the there is no racism here. 'Ahmed' is a general term for the enemy. These are the murmurings of an innocent child."

The Education Ministry told Ynet: "The local authority that published the booklet should have guided the students in a more correct manner through the schools. The district will investigate the issue with the local authorities."
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