In every generation: The heroes of Amona

These Jews and their supporters are alone on the windy mountain, like the Maccabees of yore. Those discrediting them and those uprooting them are the Hellenists of today.

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Tzvi Fishman,

Evacuation of Amona
Evacuation of Amona
Nati Shohat/Flash 90

As the holiday of Hanukjkah and the date set for the evacuation of Amona draw closer, it is certain that if the Maccabees were living today, Yehuda and his brothers would be arrested in Israel and put into military detention, lest they violently resist the Israeli Supreme Court’s decree.

Notice what has happened. In almost every media story on Amona, and in every interview of politicians, settlement leaders, and a majority of Rabbis, the grave concern is always expressed that the protestors at Amona will resort to violence in resisting the impending evacuation. This repeated brainwashing regarding the violence-to-come discredits the idealistic young people who are gathering at Amona in the hundreds to stand up for their love and devotion to Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel.


In Amona of yesteryear, you see the evacuees resisting passively while getting trampled by horses or viciously clubbed on the head.
After the police-initiated pogrom in Amona ten years ago, I made a film with Yaacov Novik about the bloody evacuation. During the editing, we looked at hours of footage taken by settlers and TV crews, from all angles possible. All of the violence was on the part of the evacuators, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Army Area Commander, Yair Naveh, and the Israeli police, and not on the part of the settlers and the young people who gathered to protest alongside them.

In shot after shot, you see the evacuees resisting passively while getting trampled by horses or viciously clubbed on the head. And now once again, even before the evacuation has begun, the leftist media in Israel, and many rightwing politicians, Yesha leaders, and Rabbis are bashing the young, idealistic supporters of Amona with their talk of potential violence on the part of these lovers of Eretz Yisrael.

And now, a new injustice has surfaced. The Rabbi of Ofra compares the residents of Amona, and their supporters, to the defenders of Masada, “who acted against the Torah in choosing suicide rather than surrendering to the Roman legions.” Gevalt! Why dishonor the historic glory of the heroes of Masada who gave their lives to sanctify the honor of Israel and Hashem? Does this rabbi want to turn them into sinners who acted against the Torah? Why throw dirt on their memories?

If his comparison is true, then let’s bring bar mitzvah boys from all over the world to Amona to celebrate their entry into Judaism, just like the bar-mitzvah ceremonies held at the peak of Masada every day. And let’s bring platoons of new Israeli soldiers to Amona to swear their allegiance to Medinat Yisrael, just as is done at Masada today. And let’s hold gala international concerts, with the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, at Amona, just like at Masada – the site which most symbolizes the heroism of the Jewish People and their love for their Land.

As Rabbi Dov Lior has stated clearly – the residents of Amona, and their loyal supporters, are heroes. Like the heroes of Masada, they stand alone on the mountain, in the cold and rain, bracing themselves for a valiant last stand, in order to let the world know the Jewish People’s unwavering love for our Land. The campaign to discredit them is stained with the spirit of Hellenism that still lingers in the Nation, in the media, in the hallways of the Supreme Court and the Knesset, and in the minds of many well-meaning Jews for whom the message of Masada is an idealistic legend of the past, not to be championed in any practical way today.