Bnei Adam Clash on Hold

Rabbi Moshe Levinger of Hevron ruled that a fight for an outpost can’t be waged without the agreement of the residents – who haven’t decided yet.

Hillel Fendel,

Isolated outpost
Isolated outpost
Israel news photo

Rabbi Moshe Levinger of Hevron ruled that a fight for an outpost can’t be waged without the agreement of the residents – who haven’t decided yet.

The ongoing saga in the scenic outpost of Bnei Adam, located on a hilltop between Adam (north of Jerusalem) and Kfar Adumim (west of Jericho), has several players:

  • The long-time residents, who moved onto the breathtaking hilltop over the past five years
  • The security forces, which were sent there last week to destroy three new caravans at the site
  • The Yesha Council, which placed the three caravans there two months ago and is now willing to compromise and relocate them to another Yesha town
  • The residents of three caravans, who are leaning towards opposing this compromise
  • The Supreme Court, which has given the three families until Tuesday to move out of their caravans
  • Rabbi Chaim Druckman, who ruled that the compromise should be accepted and the families should move out on their own
  • Long-time Yesha activist Daniella Weiss and her youthful supporters, who are adamantly against the compromise
  • Rabbi Moshe Levinger, who ruled that the fight for the caravans should not be done without the support of the families
Bnei Adam is a group of shacks and other structures spread out over a few acres of scenic mountaintop desert area in the western Judean-Jordan Valley Desert. A small illegal Bedouin encampment lies above the dirt road that leads to Bnei Adam, which is otherwise isolated amidst the desolate mountains.  The first families arrived in 2004 – long after the March 2001 deadline after which start-up neighborhoods are included on the “to be destroyed” list of the United States government.

No major attempts have been made to raze the entire outpost, but last week security forces arrived to destroy the three latest trailer homes. Avi Roeh, head of the Binyamin Regional Council, engineered the above compromise; he did not know if the families would accept it, but the bulldozers were sent home and the caravans were left standing.

The activists on the scene said that such a “compromise” spelled destruction for the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria and the establishment of a Palestinian Authority state in its place. “If they succeed in moving these caravans,” one Land of Israel loyalist told Israel National News, “then they will go to Beit El and Shilo and other established communities and threaten to destroy caravans, and then we’ll agree to move them to larger towns, and presto, they will have the settlement blocs that they have been seeking.”

The reference is to five blocs of settlements that former U.S. President George W. Bush is said to have once agreed to, and which – according to his plan – are to become “Jewish enclaves,” leaving room for a Palestinian state around them and, ostensibly, the long-awaited period of peace.

Opponents of such a plan say, among other claims, that the Palestinian Authority has not agreed and will not agree to such a plan, leaving the Jewish settlement enterprise decimated and threatened for no apparent gain.

Asked why she believes Ze’ev Chever (Zambish) – head of the official Yesha settlement organization Amana – is in favor of the compromise, Daniella Weiss said, “He believes in the settlement bloc idea, and wants to help it happen.”  Chever himself could not be reached for comment; a source close to him told Israel National News, “You know that he does not speak with the media.”

Rabbi Levinger's Ruling
After Rabbi Druckman delivered his pro-compromise ruling, the activists said they would ask Rabbi Moshe Levinger of Hevron – expressing confidence that he would rule against it. However, he ruled that a physical fight against the removal of the trailer homes should not be waged without the consent of the families involved.

As of now, the fight is off – but the activists say the families have not yet given their final word on the matter.  One activist said that the families are in fact opposed to the compromise. If they leave their trailer homes, they will be given alternate housing – of a more shabby, temporary nature than the new caravans – elsewhere in the outpost.

In any event, residents of Bnei Adam say they are not interested in receiving further help from the Yesha Council.




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