Or, perhaps better, redefining my focus in these postings. I will continue to take a look at important news events. But I have decided that the current situation also calls for some other approaches.
First, I want to encourage readers to get the word out with regard to good things about Israel — and there are so very many good things. You can offer a genuine service to Israel by doing this. To that end, I will from time to time be providing links that can be shared with others.
Today, I provide these:
A video of the dedication of a 9/11 Memorial in Jerusalem. It makes clear what are our shared values and concerns. Americans should be pleased by this. (With thanks to Donald S.)
Just for fun, to show a joyous side of Israel, I provide a link to the Nefesh B’Nefesh Chanukah celebration video, with 150 olim (new immigrants) dancing on Ben Yehuda Street in the center of Jerusalem. (With thanks to the many who shared this.)
More to follow.
You can also help Israel by broadly sharing this link, for which I thank Gil Z. This provides pictures taken in Gaza very recently for Eid celebrations — they ran in an Palestinian Arab paper.
Were you under the impression that the Gazans were starving (because of big bad Israel)? You’ll change after seeing this:
Then, and most importantly, I want to use these posting to educate people about “the settlers” and “the settlements,” as they are so much at the heart of current political dissension right now. I continue to get feedback about how residents in our communities in Judea and Samaria are seen as “radicals” and “crazies” and “troublemakers.” It’s time to set the record straight.
Judea (or Yehuda, which is to the south) and Samaria (or Shomron, to the north) are the two regions in Israel between the Green Line and the Jordan River, and represent the heart of our ancient tradition in the land.
Today, because of communication I received yesterday from a resident, I want to focus on the Samarian town of Kedumim. Kedumim was founded during Chanukah 1975 by a nuclear group (a garin) of young people convinced of the Jewish right to live in the ancient homeland. Founded on the site of what had been the city of Samaria, capital of the ancient northern kingdom of Israel, it was the first modern Jewish city in Samaria, situated not far from Shechem.
Today it boasts a host of cultural activities and youth programs; a library; a number of schools (including a school geared to ADD boys, one of the finest innovative high schools for girls in the country, and a center for science and technology); a yeshiva; and 14 synagogues, including three Yemenite.
Samaria is a mountainous region, and Kedumim has been established on a number of hilltops. Its location, overlooking the Ben Gurion airport, makes it important from a security perspective.
Always eager to teach the world about the good of Israel, I shudder as I write this, deeply ashamed of the law enforcement techniques applied here by Jews against Jews. But this is a story that needs to be told.
Residents of the town came out yesterday in large numbers to block the entry into Kedumim of building inspectors from the Civil Administration intent on serving “stop-work” papers. This represented the fourth time that the inspectors had been on the site — residents had previously prevented their entry.
Why did they block the inspectors? Certainly because of their ideological conviction regarding the right of Jews to live and build in their ancient homeland. But also because, in the words of the resident who wrote to me (who shall remain anonymous):
“…freezing” is illegal…since it is not a law or decree for anyone except Jews in a particular region and discriminates against a minority (in Judea and Samaria Arabs outnumber Jews in many places).”
This is a refrain I’ve encountered several times now. The anger is great because Arabs are still building. It is a Jewish government that has put only Jews in the position of being restricted.
And so yesterday, the police came out in force — some 200 strong, with several vehicles.
According to Arutz Sheva:
“The Shomron Residents Committee reports that on their way to Kedumim, the forces drove through three nearby Arab villages – Funduk, Haja, and Kadoum – places that the army generally considers too dangerous to enter in order to apprehend terrorists or confiscate weapons.
“To the Jewish residents’ horror, they learned that the Arab residents applauded as the convoy of forces drove through.”
Just as distressing was the fact that the police were accompanied by Yassamnikim. (Yassam is an abbreviation for Special Reconnaissance Unit — a Yassamnik is a member of Yassam.) The unit was set in place during the second Intifada, but has been retained for “special” circumstances. These guys, who actually wear black, are experts in strong arm techniques.
According to the Post, Kedumim mayor, Hananel Durani, said that he was sitting with the protesters, but was then was beaten and dragged away by police. Additionally, Yassamnikim were caught on video manhandling young girls.
My resident correspondent described the situation this way:
“…if you could have seen the pathetic bravado of hundreds of police and Yasamim against a handful of high school kids this morning in Kedumim, you would weep some more for the lost compassion and love for fellow Jews and the grandeur of the Zionist vision that our so-called nationalist leaders have lost.”
This is the situation that our prime minister, and defense minister, and a limited security cabinet (not the whole government) have wrought. Do they imagine this will strengthen us?
Additional words would be superfluous here, but I’ll have more to say soon…