The headlines read as follows: Near Lynch in Hevron; Soldiers Blame Orders (Israelnationalnews); IDF troops assaulted after wandering into Hebron's Arab area (Haaretz); Commander's error prompts Hebron humiliation (ynetnews); Those are the Israeli headlines.
What happened in Hebron yesterday can surely be defined, as above, as humiliation. But it is much more than that. It is a “Chilul HaShem” or in English, a desecration of G-d’s name. A supreme goal of a Jew is “Kiddush HaShem,” meaning to sanctify G-d’s name. Yesterday’s events were the direct opposite.
Netanyahu’s visit in Washington next week will undoubtedly be a gruesome labyrinth-like obstacle course
Soldiers stationed in Hebron can frequently be seen ‘running in the streets,’ i.e., keeping in shape, running, stretching and exercising. Late yesterday afternoon a group of soldiers left the ‘normal’ running area and found themselves in one of the “other” neighborhoods of the city, still occupied only by Arabs, still without any Jewish representation. One of the soldiers, not sure where they were, asked a local resident how to get back to the “Jewish area.” That ‘friendly Arab’ pointed in the opposite direction from where they needed to go, and the group found themselves lost, deep in Hebron. Due to the fact that they were exercising, only one of the soldiers was carrying a weapon.
Before they knew it, the group was surrounded by a large group of Arabs, who began screaming, pushing and throwing rocks. The one soldier with ammunition feared to use it; orders prevent a weapon from being used without explicit permission from higher ranking officers, unless it’s really a case of ‘do or die.’ The soldiers, after battling the Arabs in hand-to-hand combat, took off, fleeing on foot, until finding their way out, and reaching the ‘Jewish’ part of the city.
Three troops were hospitalized as were three Arabs.
This is peace, goodwill, and a desire for mutual coexistence.
According to information I received from two sources, one of the conclusions reached by the Hebron military commander was to forbid running exercises at night anywhere in Hebron.
This is farcical. Israeli soldiers ‘running away’ from a group of attacking Arabs?! Israeli soldiers attacked because they were on the ‘wrong side of the city?!’ Israeli soldiers being forbidden to exercise at night for fear of entering the ‘wrong side of the city?!’ (Soldiers frequently exercise at night when it’s cooler outside.)
What happens when Arabs come over to the “Jewish section’ of Hebron? They have access to about 98% of the city. In a small area closed off for security reasons, bypass routes are provided. The Arabs coming into the “Jewish area” aren’t attacked, kicked, threatened, beaten. They cross back and forth between the two sides of the city at will, without any problems. I’ve put together a short movie and photos showing Arabs coming over.
If I were making the decisions, I would demand that daily IDF exercise runs took place in the exact same area where the soldiers were attacked yesterday, providing 'extra security,’ should it be deemed necessary. I would also make efforts to find the attackers and deal with them accordingly. It is unthinkable that Israeli soldiers are so attacked, without any IDF response.
Of course, the best response would be to rejoin the ‘two sides of Hebron,’ and immediately move Jews into all neighborhoods of the city, integrating Hebron and removing the humiliation of Jews being found ‘in the wrong place.’ Yet it seems such a solution will take some time to be implemented.
Unfortunately, such incidents are not, at present, an exception to the rule. Yesterday also, Arabs hurled rocks and bottles at Beit Hadassah. The IDF response was negligible. A neighbor of mine, who witnessed the attacks, told me that at one point soldiers in the area put their heads down and did not respond when rocks were thrown at them. The nauseating account of a soldier stationed in Hebron appeared on israelnationalnews.com earlier today, in which he describes how the IDF’s hands are literally tied – they are forbidden from taking any actions, offensive or defensive, without expressed permission from high-ranking officers, even while being attacked. In many cases patrols are told to ‘wait for reinforcements or get out of the area.’ Again, Israeli soldiers being ordered to retreat, to run away, in the face of enemy attack.
All this while the State of Israel is coming under international attack from all corners of the world.
What’s written in international press? “World powers demand Israeli settlement freeze. The Quartet of Mideast peacemakers “condemns” Israel’s East Jerusalem building plan. (MSNBC); Israeli settlements threaten world security. Israelis should work toward a government of national unity, and not one beholden to the extreme right -- whose policies threaten world security. (Christian Science Monitor).
These attacks, led by Obama, Biden, Hillary and Co. are aimed at forcing continued Israeli concessions. The Quartet’s goal is a Palestinian state within 2 years, thereby ending the ‘occupation…’ Netanyahu’s visit in Washington next week will undoubtedly be a gruesome labyrinth-like obstacle course, designed to squeeze him, leaving him with nothing, leaving Israel with nothing.
So far, even with criticism that can be leveled at the government, Netanyahu’s been holding his own better than might have been expected. He could easily have folded on Jerusalem, but is continuing to express Israel’s ancient, G-d-given rights to our eternal capital. Just as legitimate criticism is expressed when need be, I think, as the Prime Minister leaves for the United States, it is incumbent upon us to encourage and strengthen him, in an effort to prevent Israel’s position from crumbling within the walls of the White House.
Let’s all remind Bibi: next week, as we begin the holiday of Passover, we celebrate the liberation of our people from foreign slavery. Three thousand three hundred years later, let’s continue forward, in that same direction, and not head backwards, into Pharaoh Obama’s servitude.