Aharon Pulver, Israel Ind. FundThe writer is Executive Director of The Israel Independence Fund www.fundisrael.org.
Perched on a windswept hilltop within earshot of Itamar, the homes and the synagogue of Givat Arye were built exactly on that same goat herders path taken by the vile murderers when infiltrating into Itamar. Standing on Givat Arye one need only glance upwards, towards Itamar, to see the snake like continuation of that footpath - leading directly to the Fogel family home.
While they built without formal building permits, Givat Arye’s young residents are not extremists, as some media minions would have us believe. They do not sow seeds of dissent and sedition, they do not condone lawlessness nor do they promulgate insurrection.
It is not they who sought to destroy, to pillage and to murder, to wipe a peaceful neighborly existence away forever. They do not shriek for vengeance and blood, nor do they ululate endlessly in a ritual of mourning that bears only the rotten fruit of perpetual hate. They do not steal into Arab villages in the darkness of night to sow death and destruction in demoniacal fury that reflects Dante’s hell.
Instead, Itamar’s young citizens, in an act of dedication and heroism that should be related by the poet laureates of a proud and grateful people, placed themselves in harm’s way, declaring clearly and without hesitation, and with absolute faith, their simple and pure dedication to shielding Itamar’s residents with their only strategic asset - themselves.
They built a strategically placed community dedicated to protecting and defending, and lo! what they have built with their own hands has been callously and arrogantly destroyed! And by whom?
Our government. Yes, our own government.
In a better world, a saner world, our government, immediately after the murders in Itamar, would have declared those areas surrounding the community and vital to its defense, areas like Givat Arye, to be an integral and inseparable part and parcel of Itamar forever - and open to Jewish building.
In a better, saner world, our government would not subject some citizens to draconian regulations, allowing homes and synagogues to be destroyed in the middle of the night, without right to appeal or legal process, while turning a blind eye to tens of thousands of illegal homes and mosques built throughout the country by others, afforded immediate unquestionable immunity by their ethnic status.
In a saner, less hallucinogenic Israel our national land resources, in Yehudah, in the Shomron, in the Galil and the Negev alike, would be managed to insure Israel’s strategic depth and the future of the Jewish state, and not squandered in a vain attempt to buy love from an implacable enemy who views our continual genuflection and pandering with outright loathing and contempt.
In a world gone mad, only 70 years ago, Jewish partisans in the forests of Eastern Europe, sang their defiant Yiddish anthem “MIR ZEINEN DO”…”WE Are Here!” in an eternal exclamation of their willingness to dedicate their only strategic asset, their very selves in every meaning of the word, to provide that legacy of unimaginable bravery we all hold dear today.
The young men and women of Givat Arye are no different from our People’s heroes whose Yiddish chorus resonated defiantly in the forests of Europe.
The same bravery and tenacity, the same ingenuity and self-sacrifice, the identical sanctification of life, as opposed to our oppressors unending sanctification of blood lust and murder, the very same placement of ones very self on the proverbial line - all that is the very essence of Givat Arye.
“MIR ZEINEN DO", fortunes and futures, loved ones and life itself, all of it on the line. All of it, for us.
The young men and women of Givat Arye are no different from our People’s heroes whose Yiddish chorus resonated defiantly in the forests of Europe. Nor are they different from the young Jews who defended Tel Hai and those who trudged up the mountains of the Western Galilee and founded Hanita!
The heroes of the past and those of the present give birth to those of the future. So it has always been. So it is now. We are blessed.
Beloved American poet, Robert Frost, wrote about the settling of America: "The land was ours before we were the land's...Such as we were we gave ourselves outright... to the land..Such as she was, such as she would become."
But where are the poet laureates of our proud people?