Ahead of Passover, Hebron showdown reminds Israel of freedom (HAŽARETZ NEWS OP-ED) By Israel Harel 04/05/12)
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I couldn´t believe my eyes. "The IDF fears the Machpela House in
Hebron will turn into a site of pilgrimage." What is there to fear?
For what reason did the Jews establish a state if not to allow, among
other components of sovereignty and independence, a pilgrimage on the
Passover holiday to Hebron, the city of our forefathers, with the
Jewish army protecting the welfare of the pilgrims?
Another fear, no less symptomatic: "In the IDF, there are fears that
the house will turn into a symbol." Here once again is the spirit of
the IDF on the festival of freedom 5772.
The head of the land section in the legal department of the
Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Major Kobi
Avtzan, wrote to those who bought the Machpela House in Hebron that
the decision to evacuate the house was "based on considerations
of ´public order.´" And if "public order" was not enough for him,
Avtzan added, "It is illegal to take the law into your own hands in
all matters related to seizing land." Let us make clear what Avtzan
is saying: Without a permit from the Civil Administration in the
territories, you may not exercise your ownership of land. But does
this regulation also apply to Arabs?
Instead of the Likud government´s policy being that Israeli Civil
Administration officers must aid the redemption of land and property
in Judea and Samaria, as has been the policy throughout the entire
history of Zionism, the "right-wing" government is taking advantage
of the aforementioned discriminatory regulation, and preventing Jews
from exercising their ownership of property.
And what about other rights, such as property rights? Defense
Minister Ehud Barak and some senior commanders seem to have forgotten
that the Israel Defense Forces is also the arm of the Jewish people,
tasked with fulfilling our nation´s historic rights in the heart of
our homeland, while certainly following the law as well as its own
moral imperative in the heart of the city of our forefathers.
Our hold on the Land of Israel has depended, for more than a hundred
years, on struggles that do not even begin to compare with mere fears
of "disruption of public order." And if the Palestinians try to
disrupt public order because of the purchase of the Machpela House,
the security forces must be there to prevent them from doing so. So
simple, so elementary.
Something very basic has gone wrong in the way the senior political
echelons identify and think. This error has been projected down to
Major Avtzan. It has caused a lack of faith in the justice of our
path, and it has led to low motivation amongst our defense officials.
We have experienced the results of this continued failure in, among
other places, the flight from Lebanon in 2000, the blood-soaked
events called the Second Intifada - which lasted until Barak was
replaced and his successors broke the yoke of terror - and in the
fiasco of the Second Lebanon War. Yes, all these events were the
result of the commander´s spirit. And in this man´s hands, which were
even willing to hand over the Temple Mount to Yassir Arafat,
Netanyahu has entrusted the campaign against Iran.
Barak exploited the IDF and the police for a political goal, and
surprised and shook the right. But even this latest extreme trick
will not bring the left back to him. He has lost the trust of the
left and he has spat in the face of the Likud, which now understands
that this man lacks morals and restraints, and that it must prevent
Netanyahu from guaranteeing him a place on the party´s Knesset list.
"In every generation," we will read tomorrow night in the Passover
Haggadah, "every person must see themselves as if they had left
Egypt." For this vision Jews have carried throughout all the
generations the yearning for personal and national freedom. It is for
good reason that the Machpela House in Hebron has turned into a
national event that is stirring souls. It symbolizes the dichotomy
between Barak and his ilk, for whom the messages of the Haggadah are
just a mixture of words without any commitment, murmured - if at all -
just as lip service, and between those for whom these words are a
binding guide for national and personal life. (© Copyright 2012
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