A blog dedicated to investigating events as they occur in Judea and Samaria, in Israel and in the world, and as they relate to global powers and/or to the Israeli government, public figures, etc. It is dedicated to uncovering the truth behind the headlines; and in so doing, it strives to do its part in saving Judea and Samaria, and by extension, Israel and the Jewish People, from utter destruction at the hands of its many external and internal enemies.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Fwd: Our World: The new Guardians of Israel

Thanks, Gabriel, for this interesting article.

I think we should add; tell people to purchase DOGS from Mike Gusofsky - Yekutiel Ben Yaakov. It will help protect the farms!


Our World: The new Guardians of Israel
Caroline Glick , THE JERUSALEM POST Mar. 24, 2008

Moshav Tzipori, in the Lower Galilee, is a microcosm of the history of the
Land of Israel. A regional capital under King Herod, Tzipori was the seat of
Jewish learning and the preservation of the Torah through some of the most
tumultuous periods of Jewish history.

After the Romans destroyed the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE, refugees
from Jerusalem fled to the Galilean town. Rabbi Yehuda Hanassi, who presided
over the writing of the Mishna, or oral law, moved to Tzipori from Beit
Shearim, and it was there that he codified the six books of the Mishna and

The Jews of Tzipori revolted against the Roman Emperor Constantine, refusing
to accept Christianity and the city was destroyed. The Jews later returned
during the Islamic period. On and off, for the next millennia, Jews settled,
were forcibly removed and resettled the city several times under various
conquerors of Israel.

During the 1948 War of Independence, the ancient city was the site of a
major battle between the new Israel Defense Force and the neighboring Arab
villages assisted by invading forces from Syria and Lebanon. The Arabs were
routed. In 1949, Moshav Tzipori was founded.

LAST FRIDAY afternoon, the struggle for Jewish control of Tzipori, the
Galilee and the Land of Israel as a whole continued on the ancient ground.
On that quiet afternoon of Purim, under the blistering sun, three horses
stood happily grazing in a field of shrubs and grasses. The only problem
with the otherwise pastoral scene was that the horses belong to Arab
squatters from the Kablawi clan. In recent years, the Kablawis have built
themselves an illegal village of some 20 houses masquerading as storage
containers on stolen Jewish National Fund land adjacent to Tzipori's fields.
The horses, who entered through a hole cut into the field's fence, pranced
about and ate, destroying the field that was painstakingly cultivated for
the moshav's cattle herds.

The farmers and ranchers of the Galilee, like their counterparts in the
Negev are at wits' end. Fearing Arab riots or political condemnation by the
Israeli Left, Arab leaders, the Islamic Movement and their allies abroad,
the police and the state prosecutors have simply stopped enforcing the laws
against the Galilee and Negev Arabs. Surrounded by increasingly hostile and
lawless Arab and Beduin villages, local Jews' livestock and crops are
continuously plundered.

They are faced with three equally unacceptable options for contending with
this state of affairs. They can do nothing and let their livelihood and
lives' work be destroyed. They can pay protection money to Arab criminal
gangs, who in exchange agree not to rob them. Or they can try to sell off
their lands and abandon agriculture altogether.

The obvious recourse - filing a complaint with the police - is an exercise
in futility. Thousands of complaints are filed each year. Almost none of
them end in indictments or trials. Most of the files are closed by the
police due to "lack of public interest."

ON FRIDAY, the field in question belonged to a cattle rancher named Haim Z.
Over the past few years, Haim has filed more than 250 complaints against
local Arabs from the Kablawi family and from neighboring Arab villages like
the Islamist stronghold Mashad with the police. None have ever gone
anywhere. Last year, a helpful police officer recommended that Haim simply
start paying protection money.

Last year Haim told his son that he had had it. The son of the moshav's
founding generation, Haim said that he just couldn't go on anymore. The
state's refusal to protect Jewish property rights had forced him to devote
all of his energies to playing cat and mouse games with Arab poachers. He
couldn't invest in his herd. He couldn't develop his land. All he could do
was sit by and watch as year in and year out, his lands were plundered, his
cattle stolen and the work of his life and his father's life was destroyed.

HIS SON, a 23 year old soldier in one of the IDF's elite commando units
decided that it was up to him not only to save his father's farm, but to
stem the tide of Arab infringement on Jewish land and property rights. Due
to his position in the IDF, his name is classified. We'll call him J - for

In response to his father's desperation, J. took a storage container to a
hilltop that overlooks Tzipori's fields, the surrounding Arab villages and
the access routes to the moshav's fields. He placed a sofa, a bookshelf full
of Jewish history books, religious texts and philosophy classics, and canned
food inside and moved in during his furloughs from the army. Rather than
hang out with his friends, he began standing guard. He confronted every Arab
he caught infiltrating the moshav's fields, and both filed complaints with
the police and chased them away.

Given his impossible schedule, J. enlisted his friends to help out. The sons
of other desperate farmers, who also serve in combat units, they joined him
enthusiastically. Within months, J. had set up an organization of more than
a hundred young volunteers - soldiers, college students, and high school
students from his moshav, other moshavim in the lower Galilee and
surrounding non-agricultural communities.

He called the organization, Hashomer Hayisraeli Hahadash - or the New
Israeli Guardsmen. The original Hashomer, or Guardsmen was established in
the Galilee in 1909 for the same purpose - protecting Jewish farming
communities from Arab marauders who demanded protection money from the
farmers. It was the progenitor of the Haganah, which in turn, became the
Israel Defense Force.

As J. puts it, "We're not simply a security service. We see ourselves as a
new movement. Our activities rest on three foundations: securing the land,
expanding our operations throughout the Galilee and the Negev, and teaching
Zionist and Jewish values to our members, our communities and the general

TZIPORI, ONE of the stops of the Cross Israel Hiking Trail, is a popular
destination for school groups, youth groups and just regular hikers. J. has
organized visits to his guard post for thousands of hikers over the past
year. During their visits the hikers listen to lectures about the New
Guardsmen, about the Jewish history of the Galilee and the development of
agriculture in the area, and topics of general interest provided by local
residents, politicians and professors.

Friday afternoon, after noticing another encroachment on his father's field,
J. called the police at the Nazareth police station. Joined by two of his
fellow guardsmen, who are also sons of farmers and soldiers in commando
units, they waited in the sun for over an hour for the police to arrive and
planned their moves. They approached the horses with reins and bits.

"We will seize the horses and bring them back to our stable. If the Kablawis
pay the damages, then I'll give them back, if not, I'll sell them," J.

As the young men approached the horses, Yasser Kablawi, the head of the clan
appeared. According to Haim, over the past year, the Kablawis have trampled
his fields with their animals on more than 20 occasions.

Haim, who arrived at the scene some 10 minutes before the police made their
grand appearance turned toward Kablawi and said, "Why are you doing this?"

"This land belongs to the JNF, not to you," Kablawi said.

"Why are you lying? I sat in your home with the JNF inspector months ago,
and he told you straight that this is my land. You know you are stealing
from me, and you're doing it while you're illegally squatting on JNF land.
You've caused me tens of thousands of shekels in damages by trampling my
fields today alone, and you know it."

By the time the police arrived, J. and his friends had roped one of the
horses. Kablawi was joined by three grandsons and four sons. J. was joined
by another seven Guardsmen. It was a standoff.

THE POLICE, who were informed of the presence of a journalist at the scene,
acted with some resolution. After speaking with the JNF inspector, they
explained to Kablawi that he could either sign a statement acknowledging
that the land belongs to Haim and that he would be arrested if he trespassed
again, or they would allow Haim to seize his horses. Kablawi signed.

J.'s activism is not just a personal quest to save his father from economic
ruin. "If it were just about me and my family, my brother and I could take
care of the thieves. They'd leave us alone. But then they'd just move on to
our neighbors. It isn't about one family. This is a question of control over
the land of Israel. The state is weak. We need to be strong if we want to
remain here."

Last month, J. registered the Guardsman as a non-profit organization. He has
a grand vision for the future.
"In the space of just a few months, I have brought in thousands of people,
exposed them to our mission. I have more than a 100 volunteer guards. We
have reduced theft by 80 percent.

"I want to raise money to buy night vision goggles and some all terrain
vehicles to do proper patrols. I'd like to be able to give students
scholarships so that they can guard and study at the same time. I've been in
touch with farmers and ranchers in the Negev and they are anxious for us to
expand to the south. I believe that within five years, the Guardsmen can end
the protection rackets."

BACK IN June 2005, then vice premier Ehud Olmert gave an American audience
his opinion of the Israeli people. "We are tired of fighting, we are tired
of being courageous, we are tired of winning, we are tired of defeating our
enemies," he whined.

Young people like J. and his colleagues, secular, yet deeply rooted Jewish
sons and daughters of Galilee and Negev farmers, like their religious
friends prove everyday that Olmert was not speaking for his countrymen.
Whatever messes Olmert and his colleagues in the government still manage to
make before they are finally thrown from office, it is absolutely clear that
these young people and millions like them are willing and able to clean them
up for themselves, their countrymen, and for the next generation of Jews in
the land of Israel.

IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis

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