The paradoxical blessings of oppression: Amona, Netiv Ha'avot, Tapuach

The more they beat us down, the more we will build, until Yesh Din, Bagatz, and company start receiving plaques in neighborhoods across Judea and Samaria titling them as “Builders of Zion”.

Daniel Winston

Judaism Netiv Ha'avot today on Sussia field
Netiv Ha'avot today on Sussia field

“Make men large and strong, and tyranny will bankrupt itself in making shackles for them.” -Henry Ward Beecher (1887)

There is nothing new under the sun and our nation is witness to a remarkable revisitation to aspects of our trial by slavery in Egypt.  In Exodus 1:12 we are told: “But as much as they (the Egyptians) would afflict them (the Jews), so did they multiply and so did they gain strength, and they were disgusted because of the children of Israel.”  

Our enslavers apparently operated under the assumption that if they could only sufficiently hurt us, they would subdue and control that which they claimed to fear. It is a very early scriptural expression of one of the relationship dynamics which I often see in the couples I treat, namely: Those who cannot modulate their own anxiety will seek the next best option which is to control those around them.

In our case, not only did the strategy not work, it backfired on the tyrants. Rather than beat us into submission or oblivion, they made us stronger, eventually creating by their own actions the very thing they feared. That fear caused them to lash out at that which in truth posed no threat, thus creating the dynamic which indeed did lead to their eventual downfall as the Creator freed a nation of slaves at great cost to the nation that enslaved them.  

So what isn’t new under our sun today?   In the past several weeks, the cult of ultra-Leftist collaboration with our self-proclaimed genocidal Arab enemy has seen the fruits of their labor delivered on a silver platter of Judicial Tyranny by the Supreme Court of Israel (Bagatz).  The modus operandi of this confederacy of confused Jews, deceitful Arabs, and foreign anti-Semites is, roughly outlined, to locate lands on which Jewish homes have been built, find an Arab willing to stake a shot-in-the-dark retroactive claim to the land, finance said Arab’s appeal in Bagatz, and then sit back as Israeli judges issue decrees of destruction irrespective of the factual spuriousness of the Arab claim or the existence of other easy legal options.  

Needless to say, rampant EU-funded illegal Arab building does not enjoy even a small fraction of such judicial zealousness. In an astonishing mix of Sdom and Chelm, if a Jew has a house which contains 2 square meters in such “disputed land”, our justices insist the whole structure be demolished rather than accepting the removal of the “offending” meterage or even simply employing available licensing procedures. If foreign states build entire ilegal Arab neighborhoods, the same justices will bend over backwards to avoid issuing the demolition orders they so blithely hand out to Jews.  

What is interesting here are not the reprehensible actions of the Left or the complicity of Bagatz, as these are unfortunately to be expected as both reflexive and axiomatic.  What is tremendous is how these forces tirelessly conspire against the redemption of Zion, yet by their very hands can at times paradoxically serve that very cause. In both Netiv HaAvot and Tapuach, the infamous and stupid destruction is setting up a path towards the creation of entire neighborhoods to replace the homes that were destroyed as we watched with tears, and as they watched with smug joy.  

This result is not only the result of the almost guilty conscience of a government, but primarily an expression of the refusal of the Jewish people to lie down in the face of those who would see us fail. Although we cannot yet claim this as a broad phenomenon, as we sadly see with Gush Katif, Migron, Amona, and other debacles of Jewish self-inflicted wounds which remain unrepaired for lack of true leadership, perhaps we are witnessing another repeat of our ancient history.  

The more they beat us down, the more we will build, until Yesh Din, Bagatz, and company start receiving plaques in neighborhoods across Judea and Samaria titling them as “Builders of Zion”.

We still must do all in our power to defeat all enemies, both foreign and domestic, and reform our unwell justice system. But until such time as true Justice prevails in the land, we can try to enjoy the rare moments of poetic justice and take heart in knowing that our redemption is at hand, is moving ever closer, and cannot be defeated by even the most determined amongst our antagonists.  

Au Contraire!

Daniel Winston is a marital therapist and writer living in Bat Ayin, Gush Etzion.