How Hope Won Out In Amona
Illustration: Border Policemen Arrest Protester During Evacuation of Amona (Image Credit: Avi Ohayon/Government Press Office of Israel)
The heart-rending, sickening sights of idealistic Jewish boys and girls brutally attacked and wounded — both physically and to the depth of their beautiful Jewish souls — have returned to haunt us in Amona.
An area of forty dunams was purchased from private “Palestinian” Arab owners for almost five million shekels by Jews. As to the origin of this private ownership: when King Hussein of Jordan wanted to secure support for his one-man regime, he allocated large tracts of public land in Judea and Samaria to many of his subjects. This was illegal from beginning to end according to international law, since Jordan's annexation of the "West Bank” was illegal and never recognized. It is these "private" lands that are the subject of the controversy.
Land transactions in the "territories" — that is, lands that Israel liberated in the Six Day War — are unlike similar transactions in "Israel proper." Life for Jews in these areas is far more complex than for other Israelis.
The IDF Civil Administration (CA) is the law in these areas. Ultimately it is a tool of the government — the prime minister. The CA would not win a popularity contest among the Jewish residents of these areas — they would doubtlessly do far better among the Arab population, and for good reason.
The two temporary homes that were recently smashed on the lone, windswept Samarian hilltop had waited a long time for a final signature by the CA to give the legal purchase the final green light. Of course this kind of long, arduous, and painful journey to finalize a purchase of property simply does not exist in "Israel proper.”
As usual, the final signature was held up again and again. No reason was given — as usual.
A few miles away another "illegal outpost" sitting astride the major Highway 1 continues to grow, even after years of court deliberations that finally culminated in a high court decision for its evacuation.
The difference between the two? Amona is Jewish — the other, Khan Al-Ahmar, is Bedouin Arab. Amona proudly and lovingly flies the flag of Israel — Khan Al-Ahmar brazenly flies dozens of PLO flags for all the passing traffic to see. Amona is an attempt to build and strengthen the Land of Israel — Khan Al-Ahmar was created to stop just that. Amona is not funded and backed by the EU, PLO, Israeli leftist NGOs, Israeli leftist politicians, and the world media — Khan Al-Ahmar is.
Destroying Amona and brutalizing hundreds of Jewish youth will not draw the attention of the world. But carrying out the court's decision on Khan Al-Ahmar will.
Who is the ultimate arbiter of what happens with both? Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu — nothing of this sort happens without his say.
This is not new. One can debate as to why he follows this same discriminatory pattern repeatedly, but it is a fact. He voted for the destruction of Gush Katif and northern Samaria in 2005 together with then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. He gave Hevron and additional areas away to former PLO Chief Yasser Arafat. He freed thousands of terrorists, many of whom, predictably, returned to killing Jews.
The list is long and depressing; what happened recently in Amona is totally in character. What did not happen at the proud and growing PLO base on Highway 1 is also typical. This unequal crackdown on Jews was not a day to be proud of our "right-wing nationalist" government.
It was, though, a day to be very proud — nay, to be in awe — of our very finest youth, our hope. These youngsters knew they were going to be exposed to the elements on a very cold night. They knew they would see the threatening approach of a huge number of rough men, armed and eager to brutalize and humiliate them.
They could have chosen a more pleasant evening.
Bless the parents and teachers that produced this generation. Their parents pioneered the historic return to our beloved lands in the last generation despite Arab terror, rough pioneering conditions, the Israeli government and its hostile CA, and the world.
History is made by individuals, not by brute force and cynical politicians — they are always temporary. We are in the midst of a historic moment. In historical terms, a moment can last a generation or two — we are at that moment. Great things are happening, along with great pain. But this too is nothing new.
Contact Shalom Pollack, veteran licensed tour guide, for upcoming tours at Shalom Pollack Tours: Personalized Tours in Israel. Click here to read more of this writer’s work in The Jerusalem Herald.