Religious Unity in Face of Destruction
The threat of demolition hanging over several homes in the Binyamin-region town of Beit El has created new religious and political unity, as the hareidi-religious United Torah Judaism party reaches out to the embattled religious-Zionist town.
MK Rabbi Yisrael Eichler visited the Haulpana neighborhood Sunday and told residents that his party was at their side. Charges that hareidi parties failed to oppose past demolitions are false, he said.
“Whoever did not hear our voice must have been deaf. United Torah Judaism cried out when [former Prime Minister] Sharon harmed the world of Torah; we knew that ultimately, there would be harm done to Judea and Samaria as well. A blow to Torah and a blow to a Jewish town – are one and the same,” he declared.
“We were against the ‘Disengagement.’ After the expulsion we voted for the ‘eviction – compensation’ plan, but we did not support the Disengagement,” he added.
Eichler spoke to children living in the threatened homes and tried to give them comfort with stories from his own childhood. “When I was a 12-year-old child the Six Day War broke out and we thought that the Egyptians would soon conquer Jerusalem,” he related. “Thank G-d, there were great miracles, and thank G-d we continue to live in Jerusalem and in the land of Israel. There is no reason for you to fear.”
He had unusually harsh criticism for the government over the plan to demolish homes. “There is cruelty here that I would not expect to see from a wicked foreign government, let alone a Jewish one,” he declared. “If there is some issue here we should solve it, destroying homes means disengaging from Judaism.”