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Palestinian chief thug Abbas has demanded that Israel pull all settlers from Hebron. Heavily provoked by the government’s plan to evict Jews from the Peace House in Hebron, throngs of unruly Jewish youths engaged hostile Arabs in stone-throwing fights. As both sides keep pelting each other, Border Police started their standard anti-riot measures. Dozens of Jews, even girls, were arrested. Some of them were not engaged in any violence, but had simply entered an abandoned Jewish house (Beit Shapira) nearby. Police blocked the road to Beit HaShalom in order to stop new defenders from coming; the blockade was unsuccessful.

Olmert concurs that Jewish pioneers are somehow a threat to Israeli democracy. Olmert is a bit inconsistent: if Israel has abandoned Hebron, the ancient Jewish capital, to the Palestinians, then what do the events there have to do with democracy in Israel? Also, it’s great if the pioneers actually threaten the Israeli strain of democracy where state-controlled media convince Jews to abandon common sense, patriotism, and the Torah.
Obscenely, Olmert’s remarks came in his speech at Ben Gurion’s memorial. It was Ben Gurion who took Israeli land from Arabs, evicting them en masse, and wouldn’t be anything but sympathetic to the Hebron settlers. The Israeli establishment has turned many hawks, such as Ben Gurion, Levi Eshkol and Yitzhak Rabin into post-mortem doves.
Olmert misrepresented the Supreme Court’s decision as mandating the eviction, though the court has only allowed it.

Barak has now reversed his promise of two days ago, and braces for the eviction. Livni has joined the chorus of self-hating Jewish leaders who prefer to be harsh with their fellow Jews rather than with our enemies in the Palestinian-occupied territories, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran.

The Council of Settlements initially rejected negotiations with the government over the Peace House eviction—a welcome change from their earlier tactics of collaboration. Now they plead with the government to stop the eviction. Local Jewish leaders, on other hand, have lost hope in the negotiations and openly encourage the house defenders to stock rocks.

The defense is completely disorganized, which is astonishing given the considerable number of experienced, IDF-trained commandos who support the patriotic movement. The Yeshiva kids who fill the house are completely unsuited for a confrontation with tough Border Police. They overreact to irrelevant news, vacillate between courage and fear, run randomly under stone attacks, and cannot execute most simple maneuvers. Lumpens and unruly kids in need of  discipline are equally useless for defense. A small contingent of two dozen trained soldiers could defend the building way better than the motley bunch herded there by their hapless, militarily incompetent leaders.

8,796 Palestinians entered Israel for medical treatment in the first half of 2008, as opposed to 7,176 for all of 2007, and 4,932 in 2006 (figures by the Jerusalem Post). As the rocket attacks on Sderot doubled, Israel’s concern over the Palestinians’ health tripled.

The Times reports that Barack Hussein Obama’s Kenyan grandfather was an active member of Mau Mau revolt, which is now misinterpreted as a popular uprising against British rule. It was not so: just thirty-two British citizens were killed. The participating tribes butchered between 50,000 and 200,000 of each others’ members with considerable brutality; children constituted up to half the victims.

On a side note, British troops behaved in their usual manner: there are abundant reports of torture, killing of POWs, mass executions, and rape. Fifty years after the event, the British presume to lecture us on the treatment of our Palestinian enemies.

The Western image of tough Israeli settlers is just another media lie. The early settlers, leftists, were indeed tough. They enjoyed full governmental backing, and they were strong and proud of it. Since the 1970s and especially the 1980s, the face of the settlers has changed: they are religious conservatives, at odds with the government, and thus habitually insecure.

Settler leaders developed an understanding with the government that anti-establishment rhetoric would be permitted, and some clashes allowed, but no major resistance would take place. This happened infamously in Kfar-Maimon, when the chief settlers sent a huge crowd of Gush Katif defenders in a roundabout march along the fence to exhaust the crowd. The understanding held for the Beit HaShalom evacuation: the leaders’ goal has been to erect hurdles before the evicting forces, and that’s it. Obviously, those amateur hurdles couldn’t stop the well-trained and battle-hardened government forces. So it came down to farce.

It took the military police hardly an hour after a surprise attack to clear the entire building of its hapless defenders, who were mostly disorganized kids. Almost immediately after the police broke into the building, the defenders started walking out—and who would expect yeshiva kids to do anything else when they don’t even have physical training lessons in their school? Girls and women have acted more bravely.

Considering the circumstances, the violence was minimal. Dozens of the defenders were lightly wounded, but the violence fell far short of a typical crowd dispersal in any civilized country. Four were seriously wounded as the police clubbed their way into the rooms. Tear gas and stun grenades fall short even of the summer’s pogrom in Mea Shearim, where police used colored water cannons.

Typically for the evacuations, kids tried to kick the policemen in riot gear—to no avail, of course. Others prayed as were being dragged—also to no avail, because God doesn’t perform miracles for those who wait for them passively. Aiming incompetently for a PR effect, local men left their wives with small children crowded in one room—but policemen brought the wall down and escorted the abandoned ladies out relatively politely.

The evacuation went so smoothly, it was as if the government merely slapped the settlers in the face. Insulted at the eviction’s straightforwardness, some started low-level riots and hurled stones at Palestinian houses, and one man non-lethally shot a few random Palestinians. Palestinians, in their turn, engaged in a stone-throwing contest with Beit HaShalom’s defenders.

The settlers will try to re-enter the houses despite the army post there.

There is no point in condemning the government. Of course, it only consists of rodef and malshin traitors who don’t even realize the obscenity of evicting Jews as Palestinian rockets keep falling on Sderot and hundreds of Jewish petitions are pending against Palestinian squatters. The eviction demonstrated decisively the settler movement’s political bankruptcy. The official right-wingdom is still worse. Bizarrely, Uri Ariel, Yuval Steinitz, et al., denounced the grassroots violence that is the right’s only hope to prevail against the leftist monster of a state.

Hardly coincidentally, the state prosecutor closed a major investigation against Olmert, the Bank Leumi privatization case. His thirty pieces of silver were meted out in exchange for Olmert’s acquiescence to the Hebron eviction.

December 2008
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