Yonaton Behar,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Yonaton Behar
Yonaton is happily married with 6 children, and 10 grandchildren, and lives in the most amazing Torah community in the world - Har Bracha. He is a long-time member of the Likud Central Committee.

Damage Caused in Three Areas

Q: What damage is there in idealists who are willing to endanger their lives for the sake of settling Judea and Samaria, establishing hilltop communities with great self-sacrifice?

A: The benefit resulting from the group of troublemakers to the settlement of the Land of Israel is highly insignificant, while on the other hand, the damage they cause is immense, particularly in three areas: 1) disruption of settling the Land. 2) Creating constant conflicts with the Arabs and the IDF. 3) The corruption of other youth.

Settling the Land through the Expansion of Existing Settlements

It’s important to know that almost all of the hilltop communities were established under the direction of the leaders of the settlement movement, in collaboration with the most senior government offices, on land originally planned for settlement expansion. This form of settlement originated after the cursed Oslo Accords, which created heavy pressure in oppo‎sition to the construction of new settlements. The solution found was to build neighborhoods, sometimes called hilltop communities, near the settlements. Despite the difficulties and harassment, these hilltop communities evolved while receiving government funding, and most of them have already become established neighborhoods numbering thousands of families.

On the other hand, all the hilltop communities which are regularly destroyed by the army and the police are hilltops that were built by the private initiative of activists and youths on unauthorized lands. Over the years there were cases where hilltop communities were started on unauthorized land as a Zionist response to the murder of our comrades who died ‘al Kiddush Hashem’ – for the sake of God, the People, and the Land . Even hilltop communities such as these are usually destroyed, and only in rare cases when they are successfully coordinated with public officials are they allowed to remain standing, with their handling requiring enormous public resources.

Had we been fortunate, and the majority of Knesset members were ardent supporters of settlement expansion, our situation would be very good. However in practice, only about half of the Ministers and thirty MK’s actively support the expansion of settlements. In such a reality, we are working hard to continue building and absorbing families, and thank God, settlement is successfully developing at the rate of five percent per annum.

The Disruption of the Troublemakers

I will not bother you, my readers, with all the complications associated with building the Land of Israel. In general, the providing of final building permits (‘taba‘) to areas already built, or giving approval in principle to areas about to be built, depends on the houses being built according to the original plan of State authorities – even if for political or policy reasons approval of these plans have not yet been completed. This group of troublemakers are meticulous to build on unauthorized areas, thus preventing the continuation of construction planning in the adjacent settlement for many years. Not only that, as long as there is no approval for a ‘taba’, the government cannot build daycare centers, parks, schools, and any public buildings the residents of the community are entitled to it.

We the settlers have decided to dedicate our lives, and sometimes even risk our souls, for the sake of building the Land, and not to play games of “cops and robbers” with fellow soldiers and police. We settled here to fulfill the vision of the prophets and fulfill the mitzvot of settling the Land, which our Sages said is equivalent to all the other mitzvoth combined. The essence of this mitzvah is that the Land be in our hands and not in the hands of another nation, or remain a wasteland.

As well-known, continued settlement is in great danger. We cannot be confident that we will succeed. Representatives of almost all countries are pressuring us to withdraw from the heart of our country. Many of our brothers accept their po‎sition, believing that peace will come to Israel if we are uprooted from Judea and Samaria, and the law courts also interfere, placing tough obstacles in our path. Ministers and MK’s who support us are forced to face serious allegations from representatives of friendly countries. They justify themselves in that construction is carried out within the demarcations of existing settlements. To remove the danger from our nation and country – we must grow as fast as possible, especially in ‘Gav Ha’Har (the greater area of Schem in Samaria), in the most threatened places. When the communities burst at the seams because of the massive number of residents, it will be easier for us to continue expanding. These troublemakers hinder the growth and development of the communities.

Constant Conflicts

These rioters create constant conflicts with the Arabs and the I.D.F. Clashes that force the soldiers to come to their defense in order to save their lives, and then, to separate them from the Arabs. Sometimes, until the soldiers come to rescue them, SWAT teams and heads of security from other communities are summoned to save them from the Arabs. And seeing as their reports suffer from an extreme lack of accuracy, some residents in the past were quick to open fire in order to save a boy from being taken hostage and murdered. Thus, the residents got entangled in clashes, investigations, revocation of licenses to carry weapons, and loss of work. These troublemakers also attack Arab construction workers who come to build in the settlements.

Corrupting the Youth

When attempts are made repeatedly to set-up temporary structures in unauthorized places, as a result, soldiers and policemen are dragged in to destroy these buildings. Afterwards, the youth are dragged into risky activities of supposedly guarding these structures, and a constant struggle against soldiers and police. Thus, the youth accrue bitterness, frustration, and hostility towards the entire establishment. Instead of seeing everything that was built, instead of recognizing the important role of the IDF, he learns to see only the bad. There are those who are rescued from this vicious cycle, but there are youth who subsequently are thrown out of educational institutions, often get entangled in crime and even drug and alcohol abuse, and their path to being recruited into the army and acquiring an honorable profession is ruined.

Taken from an article by Rabbi Eliezer Melamed shlita, Rabbi of Har Bracha and Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Har Bracha