Monday, December 7, 2009
Priceless column by Yekutiel, in VoJ: Yekutiel, I salute you! Thank you for spelling out the evident, thank you for telling the truth, even when it hurts.
“Settlement” leaders should be the last to speak out against Bibi’s freeze
My dear readers are probably trying to figure out the meaning of this outrageous headline. “Settlement” leaders should not speak out against the freeze? Have I gone mad? Have I become a supporter of the racist freeze against Jewish construction East of Jerusalem? No, I have not gone that insane yet. I remain diametrically opposed to the suicidal freeze being implemented by Bibi and his Likud party. However, I remain no less opposed to the freezer policies initiated by none other than our own “settlement” leaders for decades.
Freeze by “settlers” themselves? Indeed! In the form of selective absorption committees that exist in every “settlement’ that make it close to impossible for singles and elders, widows and divorcees, “right-wing extremists” and so many others who do not match the mirror image of the internally pleasant stereotypical “settler” from moving into or building in Judea and Samaria. I still remember the Jewish towns in Gaza that rejected so many good Jews who attempted to move there and join them in the critical battle before the disengagement – expulsion, 5 years ago, as incredible as that may sound to some of you. The leaders in some of these towns really believed that the “extremists” who wanted to join them in their hour of need, would only “make things worse” and bring about a more definite expulsion. I still remember the decision by the town council to “expel” the Jewish Legion from Tapuach; A decision which miraculously remains in place to this day, despite the Legion’s role in protecting Tapuach from terrorist infiltrations. I still remember the shameful deeds carried out by “settlement” leaders in Hebron and Kiryat Arab against the “Kahane families” who dared to “settle” in Har Manoach, South of Hebron, 28 years ago.
As a “settlement” councilman I can confirm that many good Jews have been denied entry into our “settlement” and its association or others who have been denied the opportunity to build because of their political persuasions, specific strain of Orthodox Judaism, or due to other petty considerations. I have seen Rabbis ousted from “settlements” because of their political orientations. When I see the current Bibi freeze, I ask the painful and unpopular question: “What have we done wrong” to deserve this? Have we not been loyal to the land and to the Torah by settling His land? And I shall offer the uncomfortable, yet truthful answer: there is no Divine punishment without a crime. There is a G-d and He is loyal to reward us and punish us for our deeds and misdeeds. We can break the decree, when we search our selves and correct our ways. We can melt the Bibi freeze when we open our hearts to our fellow Jews, in the spirit of Jewish warmth and unity. Yes, when we break the freeze implemented by our own against good Jews who seek to live and build in Yesha, then and only then will we be able to look up to the Heavens and beseech the Almighty to help us break Bibi’s freeze.
When we suffer for no apparent reason, the halachic-Jewish legal approach obligates us to search our ways and to repent. I know it is easier to attack Bibi, and of course, he should be attacked for his crimes against the Jewish people. However, the time has come for us to correct our own ways as well. For those who want to see unity and love of Jews on the part of Bibi, how about showing some ourselves! For those who demand that Bibi freeze the freeze against Jews who wish to build their lives in Judea and Samaria, the time has come to stop the “selection” policy of the “settlements” themselves that has prevented so many Jews from building their lives in Yesha.
If the leaders of the “settlements” can stop fellow Jews from living in their towns, for no valid reason, let them not speak out against Bibi doing the same. Ironically, in some cases Bibi’s freeze and the “settler” leadership freeze may stem from the same motive: fear of world opinion. When the “settler” denies the “radicals” from living in their midst, what they are really saying is, “Please love us and accept us - we are moderate peace-loving settlers.” Measure for measure, we are all treated like extremist “settlers”, in the end. We might as well give them a run for their money.
Everything he says is true and correct.