Yehoram Gaon Decries War Against Land of Israel Lovers

Singer Yehoram Gaon compares the idealists who were beaten in Amona to the pioneers who built the Galilee 70 years ago, and bemoans the war against those who stand fast to the Land of Israel.

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Hillel Fendel, | updated: 13:12


Popular singer and actor Yehoram Gaon delivered a long discourse on his views of last week's violence in Amona. His politics, as expressed in his service as a one-man faction in the Jerusalem Municipality and his weekly Friday afternoon radio program, are generally left-wing. This Friday's show was different, however. "Only one who fights for his land," Gaon said on Israel Radio's Reshet Bet, "acquires it, by virtue of his love and dedication."

Excerpts from Gaon's talk:

I know that "without fear of the government, one person would swallow another" [Ethics of the Fathers 3,2]. I know, as a loyal citizen, that one must adhere unconditionally to the statutes of the government... But even so, I was not party to all those interviewers and commentators who, from their high perch above, rebuked every settler who arrived in their studios, giving free lessons in ethical civics and law enforcement - to the point where I wanted to yell out, 'Hey, who appointed you?'

As opposed to them, I was really so sad when I saw these boys fighting our army forces, and I didn't know who was fighting whom, or why. It was like a play put on from above for the media...

I thought about the pioneers of Hanita and the "stockade and tower" communities built during the pogroms of the late 1930's... who, against the establishment of the time, built their homes there and became a symbol of heroism and daring Zionism. I thought: What would have happened if they would have heard or known that those who continue their path in 2006 would be evacuated by blue-and-white army and police at the order of the State?

What would [Yehoshua] Henkin - whose entire life was dedicated to redeeming lands of Eretz Yisrael in the Jezreel Valley, the Huleh Valley, and more - have said? What would he have said about those who continue his ways as they stand on roofs and - yes, I know, it's terrible, throw stones on the police and army that come to evacuate them?

Have you noticed that something has gone totally wrong in the Zionist agenda of the People and State of Israel? It's getting worse and worse, deteriorating to a situation in which a real collision is unavoidable... How many wounded or dead will we have to suffer in order to remove a caravan or two from some desolate hill on which some youths settled to prove their love for the Land of Israel?

They call them, justifiably, law-breakers. But... law-breakers are those who fire Lau missiles at their competing gangsters' homes and kill people along the way, and drug-dealers and pimps. So with all the due respect that you do not give them, at least agree with me that the law-breakers in Amona have a different type of motivation.

...Why are they, of all people, being persecuted? Do you realize how many building violations there are in Israel? Why specifically them, and why specifically now? And who wants to prove what this time, and to who, and why specifically at their expense?

Like Hillel the Elder, I sandwich in this matza not only the establishment, but also the leadership of the settlers...

But it appears that the youth no longer have leaders other than this land. The land is leading and directing and forcing its will, and sending them to fight for it, and they agree to do so - like a lover for his loved one, with great truth and without compromise. Zionism '06.

I know it's not popular today to say nice things about the settlers. All my colleagues in radio and television are very, very angry at them - but what to do? Only one who fights for his land, cities and fields, and for every caravan and every clod of earth, acquires it, by virtue of his love and dedication.

One need only flip through the pages of the history of this land to understand what was always self-evident. Our neighbors [the Arabs] know this secret very well. They never rushed; they are tied and bound only to this land and its olive trees. And they know that this is the way, the only way, to become its masters. Conquerors come and go; that's history. But the man who is bound to his land, acquires his eternity upon it.

Looking at these "law-breakers," it's impossible not to think about the big city [Tel Aviv], the city that never stops. Hand on heart: how many of us would leave our warm house, our dreams of getting rich, our cafes and nightclubs... to be with the Land of Israel, that it should not remain alone? How many of us, out of our own free will, would spend time on a barren, wind-swept hill in a caravan?

...[Nothing] is worth these terrible pictures in which we saw such great force expended - force that is nothing more than rage that is really just great weakness... Horses charging forwards - yes, I know, in reaction to stones; and clubs being wielded - yes, I know, in reaction to stones. But suddenly the face of our police and army has changed, and they are getting further away from us, as if in a bad dream. They are suddenly different, estranged from this beautiful and good land...

...OK, fine, so there were polls, and 60% are not interested in Amona and blame the settlers. These 60% - are not interested in anything.

In the end, the ones who will remain in this Land for many years to come will not be those 60%, but rather the "law-breakers" from Amona and Katif. Because they made a vow, as the everlasting nation in an everlasting covenant, for this land...

Can you actually think that these, the very best of our sons, would disengage themselves? That they would not enlist in the army? When it comes to the land of Eretz Yisrael, which is their only and true leader, they will run to fulfill every mission to defend it - and even from the roofs of Amona and amidst the hoofs of the attacking horses.

True, this is a critical moment in the process of determining our borders according to the demographic majority. This is a dangerous concept, and food for thought: If the borders of the Land of Israel are to be drawn according to Jewish-Arab demographics, then in another 50 years or less, our borders will be reduced to the beachfront of Tel Aviv. That is why borders according to demographics are not such a good idea. We have to think of something more creative, something that will leave us here for a few more good years, even after we no longer have a demographic majority.

It would be a good idea to think long and hard about this: When the regime fights the people of Amona, who is it actually fighting? Are these youth the State of Israel's real enemy?

And oh, something else I wanted to say: It's a good thing that Hamas is no longer around, and all the charters calling for our destruction have been revoked, and Iran has voluntarily shut down its atomic reactor. Now we can finally turn to our real problems...