Outlaws and Outposts

?The first three times you build an outpost, you do it cheaply,? Yitzhar resident Michael Buktzin told me. ?After it has been taken down and rebuilt three times, it is worthwhile to invest a little more and put up a decent home.?

Aliza Karp

OpEds לבן ריק
לבן ריק
If you know someone is dishonest, why are you so surprised when he tells a lie?

When the Oslo agreement was made public ten years ago, innocent, intelligent, well meaning - albeit misguided - people thought it was worth a chance. And a chance it was given.

But after all that has transpired, only the staunchest fantasist would imagine that concessions bring peace. We know the Arab response to concessions and we know the Israeli response (or lack of it) to terror.

I must admit I was surprised when the cabinet passed the Roadmap. That Sharon would accept it was a given. He had said that was his goal. The Likud party, on the other hand, had said they would not stand for it. But when the cabinet passed the Roadmap, the Likud party did stand for it and so did the ?religious? parties.

Soon, the Knesset ratified the Roadmap and we knew that they also favored another absurd agreement. One side gives gifts, the other side gives terror. And, as history has proven, the greater the gifts, the greater the terror. It?s not a cycle of violence, it?s a spiral of cause and effect.

After a major attack, such as the one on Jerusalem?s bus #2, we know who we are dealing with and what to expect. Sharon and his government buddies make statements and Bush rustles his leaves. But the underlying goal is to keep the terrorism going strong. The Bush administration needs the terror to weaken Israel, the Arabs need terror to kill Jews, and the Israeli Zionists need terror because they are still holding onto their dream of joining ?the brotherhood of nations?. And if ?the brotherhood of nations? wants dead Jews, well, that?s the membership fee to the brotherhood, so it has to be paid.

Why do I say Bush wants terror? Look at what the Jews have built in Eretz Yisroel in such a short time, against the odds. Bush wants the Jewish state, but not in full strength. Pharaoh had the same logic, he was also dubious of a strong Jewish presence, so he started the slave movement. Bush has a different tactic, but the goal is the same. Through one-sided agreements and concessions, the terrorists will do his dirty work. They will weaken us, but not destroy us. By now, he also knows that peace agreements bring terror. It is obvious that peace is not his goal, he has an agenda of maintaining terror in Eretz Yisroel and he is true to it; no surprises.

Why do I say the Arabs want dead Jews? Why not give them the benefit of the doubt and say they want a Palestinian state? Because they do not want a Palestinian State any more than they want a Jewish state. If they cared for the ?Palestinians?, they would help them. Besides which, they do not want an Arab state that is a democracy and would give rights to women. Their goal is not a Palestinian state, it is to kill Jews, so they also want to keep the level of terror at a high. No surprises here.

Why do I blame the current government treachery on Zionist ideals? It?s a cop-out on my part. I cannot figure out why Jews will knowingly allow their brethren to be slaughtered, and I don?t even want to go there. So the lust for world opinion is as good an excuse as any.

Since the day after the Six Day War, one of the strongest, most uncompromising voices against negotiations with and concessions to the Arabs, has been the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Sharon personally consulted with the Rebbe time and again, as did many Israeli government officials, especially Binyamin Netanyahu. They cannot plead ignorance.

Repeatedly, the Rebbe said straight out, as in this quote from Pesach 5750/1990: ?Since the abovementioned party met with the representatives of the Arabs and negotiated with them ? The outcome of this will bring about - according to nature and logic - that Arabs everywhere will continue with their actions. They will harm more and more of our brothers, the Bnei Yisroel, to the extent of murder, heaven save us, and not only in the Holy Land, but also in other countries.?

But not everyone knows of the Rebbe?s warnings. Recently, I have had some rude awakenings, by way of direct contact with leftist Jews.

I just spent two wonderful weeks in Eretz Yisroel. Most of the time was spent in Yesha visiting people and places. But I did visit one museum. It was on a Kibbutz near Rehovot.

While the British were still in Eretz Yisroel, before 1948, the Haganah manufactured their bullets in an underground factory. When the British left, the bullet manufacturing moved above ground, but the old factory remained in tact. It was interesting to go down into the factory and hear all the clever ways in which the Jews kept the clandestine factory operating.

The museum guide was a young man, probably in his mid-twenties. He wore a ponytail and an earring. He was idealistic and clearly had respect for the people of the factory, and others, who sacrificed so much for Jewish independence.

Near the end of the tour were displays that told more of the goings-on, in and around the Kibbutz. The guide told of how there had been a nearby train accident in which British soldiers were injured and the Kibbutzniks rushed to help the soldiers for humanitarian reasons. Then he mentioned that the Altalena was destroyed by Ben-Gurion, as he was telling of how Ben-Gurion solidified his political foundations in order to establish a unified Zionist movement with himself at the helm. This young guide did not realize what he himself was saying: He was praising Jews for being kind to their enemies for humanitarian reasons, while condoning the murder of our own brethren for political reasons. The confusion is amazing.

But it is real.

Our young guide was not evil. He told us about himself and he sincerely wants goodness. But he thinks a Jewish state should to be a ?humanitarian light unto the nations.? He has no clue that our light is Torah. And he cannot see the reality, that keeps repeating itself, that when we try to be humanitarian we are labeled the opposite. His world is a world of confusion.

Yet, I was also privileged to meet other young men and women during my visit to Eretz Yisroel. These ones are also idealistic. They also believe in what they are doing. And they are not confused. They see the world for what it is. And they see the government for what it is. They know the Arabs consider talk and concessions as weakness. They know that the police and the government often act contrary to the best interests of the Land of Israel and the People of Israel. But that does not deter them for doing what is right, even if it renders them outlaws. They know that they walk a thin line, but they walk it with confidence, knowing Hashem is with them.

These are the individuals and families who live on the ?hilltops?, in what the press at large like to refer to as ?illegal outposts?.

The outpost movement started less than ten years ago. As Arabs began to grab more and more land, illegally, and the Jewish government did nothing to stop them, these Jews realized that the only way to prevent the Arabs from taking over more land was to extend settlements and communities. They went through the motions of making their new settlements legal, but, due to government resistance, had to settle the outposts first and get the legalities taken care of later. (Similar to the way some areas of Yesha were settled in the first place.) In the meantime, when a new outpost has not yet been legalized, it remains an illegal outpost and the residents are subject to government harassment (to put it mildly).

?The first three times you build an outpost, you do it cheaply,? Yitzhar resident Michael Buktzin told me. ?After it has been taken down and rebuilt three times, it is worthwhile to invest a little more and put up a decent home.?

The outposts surrounding Yitzhar, a town in the area of Shechem, are a combination of tents, caravans and houses. One outpost is actually down the hill from Yitzhar. Two bochurim, who were on guard duty, had been murdered there. Now a caravan sits on that spot, with a family living there.

For those whose goal is to perpetrate terror, the correct response to attacks is to release prisoners, arrest settlers or give other positive reinforcements to the terrorists. But if you want to stand up in the face of terror, and prove that we will not be terrorized and we will not be driven from our land, then the best response is to build a new home in a new place.

Six years ago Shabtai and Sheila Bendet moved to Rechelim, not far from Tapuach Junction. They joined another family who had been there for 8 months by themselves, establishing a presence, also in a place where Jews had been murdered.

?At the beginning we were only allowed to live in tents,? said Shabtai, ?So we lined the inside of our tent with a wooden wall. Now Rechelim is legal, with 14 real houses!?

Far past Itamar, in the vicinity of Shechem, we visited an outpost that is a beautiful farm complex. All the work is done by Jewish hands. As we were driving up to the farm we could see goats blocking the road. As we approached, the goatherds moved the goats away so we could pass. Very competent goatherds, these Jewish boys.

Knesset votes and American envoys do not dissuade the hilltop youth and families. While you and I are focusing on the news, groaning and crying when the government does another government-type thing, which we should have known they were going to do anyway, these young people are out there on the land: in defiance of what Bush wants, in defiance of what the Arabs want, in defiance of world opinion. They are the cutting edge of Jewish history today, in harmony with the will of Hashem.