Hunting Season in Hebron
By Yossi Baumol, Hebron Fund Executive Director
In 1944, before the State of Israel was founded, the “Hunting Season” or “Saiszon” was declared against the Irgun by the Jewish establishment. It was announced in an official bulletin that included the following quote: “They must be removed from our classrooms, banished from our workshops! Their propaganda, whether written or spoken, must not be permitted... No refuge must be given to these malefactors in the homes of your parents, relatives and acquaintances! The incorrigible despoilers must be isolated and abandoned, until they are spewed out of the ranks of the Yishuv!
Once again in recent years, with the end of the Succot holiday, Israel’s official hunting season begins. Today of course, the hunted are the "settlers", who are royally lambasted by the Israeli media every year at this time, as part of the annual ritual preparation for Yitzchak Rabin’s yahrzeit. The public must be reminded, that it is the bearded, gun-toting settlers who are all to blame for the murder perpetrated by the skinny little, clean shaven Yemenite former employee of the Shabak from Herzelia.
This year this annual rite takes on an added significance as the hunting season also doubles as the promo for Israel’s national election campaign. Accordingly, once again Netanyahu and other middle of the road politicians will be implicated in the crime of the century which supposedly dashed all hopes of peace – a peace process which must roll on, in spite of all the facts, no matter what the cost in Jewish blood. On the other hand, left wing politicians such as Ehud Barak, who in the recent, failed coalition talks tried his best to defend the Supreme Court from Justice Minister Daniel Friedman, will be royally rewarded by a fawning, cooperative Supreme Court as well as by the adoration of the media.
As is the case with other Jewish rituals, so too, the Settler Hunting Season is connected to the agricultural cycle – in this case, the olive harvesting season. In recent years in order to justify these vicious seasonal attacks, the Jewish farmers of Samaria were framed again and again by anarchists and leftists and accused of destroying Arab olive groves.
On the other hand, if a Hebron scapegoat could be found, that would be better than all the hilltop settlers! After all, something must be done to offset the impression that Israelis still love Hebron! Isn’t this the ideal time to strike back - just a week or two after Succot when over 50,000 Israelis visited Hebron and a week or two before Shabbat Chayei Sarah when we have another 30,000 guests for Shabbat?
So, right on schedule, the Federman-Tor Farm in between Kiryat Arba and Ramat Mamre is destroyed, little children are flung out of their homes at 2 AM, barefoot in the broken glass. All the Israeli press sees fit to publicize is the fact that a grief-stricken bystander cursed the soldiers.
The next day, all of a sudden, the long delayed court case over Beit HaShalom is heard again in the Supreme Court. Faced again and again by the hard facts of the justice of our case, waffling Supreme Court judges shamelessly pull out from their hats alternate lame excuses to justify throwing another 10 families out of their homes.
Where is the truth? Where is justice?
The answer is in Tehillim 85,11: “The truth springs from the land and justice will be seen in the heavens!” The Vilna Gaon, quoted in "Kol HaTor", chapter 5 explains this passage: "In our holy work of ingathering the exiles and building Zion, we must be forewarned: In direct proportion to the success of our holy work, the forces of evil will gather their strength in order to hinder and try to thwart our efforts by deploying their main weapon - the eradication of Truth. Yet like in any worthy cause, a "Wakening from Below" (mystical term denoting human initiative) is required. Our work from below for the liberation of Truth we will be enhanced from above and countersigned by the Holy One Blessed be He.”
Despite the frustration and the challenges, we know we were put on this world to do good deeds. We know that in the end we will win. We know that if we exhibit dedication and messirut nefesh for the land, Hashem’s justice will smile down upon us from the heavens.
We cannot despair. Today we can all act, but we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Seize the moment. Show you care. On November 17, you have the opportunity to stand up for the most idealistic community in the world – the heroic Jewish Community of Hebron.
The Hebron Fund
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Brooklyn, NY 11230
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Phone: (718) 677-6886
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