Daily Israel Report

Exclusive Interview with Evicted Hilltop Resident from Judea

Aryeh Davis describes how Israeli police forced his family out at 2:30am from his home in Mitzpe Avichai.
By INR Staff
First Publish: 1/23/2012, 7:03 PM

Mitzpe Avichai
Mitzpe Avichai
Courtesy E.Y.
On January 18th Aryeh Davis and his family were evicted from his home in Mitzpe Avichai by the Israeli police. He spoke on Arutz Sheva - Israel National Radio about the incident with guest show host Shifra Hoffman. Mitzpe Avichai is a hilltop community located near Kiriyat Arba in the Judea region.
 
The following is a transcription of the live interview as broadcast on Israel National Radio's live streaming internet station. Davis's native tongue is Hebrew and not English, and his phrasing has been left in the vernacular. 
 
To listen to the audio broadcast click on the INR Player.
 Can't see player? Click here for mp3 download.
 
Question: What exactly happened on that night?
 
Davis: We had a knock on our door at about 2:30am. And then they broke open the door and told us we have 15 minutes to get dressed and take our children and go out of the house before they break down the house. Then they brought 50 Arabs and the Arabs took all of our things out of the house and then they came and broke down the house. 
 
Question: Who were these Arabs? 
 
Davis: They hired the Arabs. (editor's note: as hired labor to carry out the demolition)
 
Question: How long had you been living there?
 
Davis: For two and a half years.
 
Question: They came with no warning?
 
Davis: Yes. They just came. We knew that they wanted to break down the place, but we didn't know when they will come. They came at 2:30am. We woke up from the knock.
 
Question: How many people live there?
 
Davis: Eight families. Also youth who live there, and also a synagogue. [There were] ten houses that the police broke down.
 
Question: Is it true that they threw the Sefer Torah in the mud?
 
Davis: I was in my house, so I don't know what happened in the synagogue. But they broke it down too.
 
Question: What motivated you and the other families to come live there?
 
Davis: We came there to settle because we want to settle all of Eretz Yisrael. This government wants to build a state for the Arabs instead of the Jewish communities that are in Judea and Samaria. We want to build more and more houses and to stay here forever.
 
Question: What effect does it have on the children? How old are they?
 
Davis: My biggest daughter is five and a half. We have another three and a half and the 
 
baby is 10 months old.
 
Question: And they threw you all out into the cold?
 
Davis: Yes. They didn't want us to go into a car. They insisted we walk by foot out of the place. 
 
Question: What effect did this have on the children?
 
Davis: My children now are gathering together to build our house again. It is not the first time they broke our house. We rebuilt it eight times in two and half years. They gain a lot of strength from building the house again. 
 
Question: Are other families rebuilding as well?
 
Davis: Yes. We are the first. More families have gathered. For some of them, this was the first time that there house was broken down.
 
Question: Were you involved with any of the pro-Gush Katif protests to prevent the army from enacting the Disengagement in 2005?
 
Davis: I was a soldier [at the time of the Disengagement]. I ran away from the army. I was put into jail for 28 days.
 
Question: Where do you feel that you get your strength from?
 
Davis: From the Bible. The Bible says that we have to settle in all of Eretz Yisrael and that's what I learned from my rabbis. 
 
Question: Why do you think the government is doing this?
 
Davis: I think they are frightened. They don't have courage to face all the world and say Eretz Yisrael is ours. But that's what it says in the Bible and that's what we're going to do. But the people have more courage than their government. I hope that the government will build instead of breaking down.
 
Question: What do you think motivates NGOs and activist groups who are against a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria?
 
Davis: I don't think they really believe it themselves.
 
Question: But they receive funding. There are people out there such as foreign donors who support them.
 
Davis: Maybe they believe in it because they get the money.
 
Question: Has anyone from such a political perspective ever switched and joined your side?
 
Davis: I have never met someone like that. But I'm still waiting.
 
Question: How long can this go on, destroying and rebuilding? It's like a contest.
 
Davis: Well, I think it's closer to a solution then the 2,000 years that we were out of Eretz Yisrael. 
 
Question: What about self-defense against terrorists? What if the government takes your weapons?
 
Davis: Well, they took my weapon. I sent a notice to a Member of Knesset and a Knesset Minister. They tried to help me, but the Ministry of Defense didn't let them help me. They took my weapon. So now I have my hands.
 
Question: Since your home has been razed, where exactly do you live right now?
 
Davis: With my wife's relatives.
 
Question: Are there any Americans or other foreigners who support your cause?
 
Davis: There are some. There was a time that Daniella Weiss [long-time mayor fo Kedumim] would go to the United States [to speak on behalf of the cause]. They took her visa, because she said something against the United States.
 
Question: How can people who support your cause help you?
 
Davis: I hope I can invite everyone who hears me to celebrate in my new house soon in Mizpe Avichai. 
 
Question: Can visitors come to Mitzpe Avichai? Will they see remains of destroyed houses?
 
Question: I hope not. We're planning to organize everything like it was before and build more and more houses.
 
For a past articles about Mitzpe Avichai click here: 
 
Arutz Sheva - Israel National Radio broadcasts a live call-in show every Sunday through Thursday from 9:00pm - 10:00 pm Israel time. Other live programming can be found on the schedule page on www.IsraelNationalRadio.com.