Jews Protest ´Ghetto Wall,´ Vow to Step up Opposition

More than a hundred Jews protested the Partition Wall along Gush Etzion’s Route 60 Sunday.

Ezra HaLevi , | updated: 9:18 PM

More than a hundred Jews protested the Partition Wall along Gush Etzion’s Route 60 Sunday.

The protesters marched from the northern entrance of Efrat along the Patriarch’s Highway. Along the highway, a wall is being built that will cut off eastern Gush Etzion from the rest of the region and place the main road and towns like Efrat meters away from what the government apparently hopes will become the border of a Palestinian state.

The protesters were joined by MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union-NRP), Rabbi Gideon Perl of Alon Shvut, Rabbi Uzi Sharbaf of Hevron, left-wing author Eyal Meged, and activist leaders Tzafrir Ronen, Nadia Matar and Boaz HaEtzni.

“We felt the protest was very successful,” Matar told Arutz-7. “It was mostly adults from Gush Etzion and around the country. People came from Netanya and the Jordan Valley. This was just the first action of many more to come until we bring down the wall.”

Tearing down the half-built wall was a theme repeated by nearly all of the speakers. Aryeh Yitzchaki, who was forcibly evicted from his home in the Gush Katif community of Kfar Yam, said he was attending the protest not only as a resident of Efrat, but as one of the founders of the Society For the Protection of Nature in Israel.

“One of the first things we did when we established SPNI,” Yitzchaki said, “was to bring down fences and walls [around state parks and the like]. No wall in history has remained standing for long.”

“We have a particular brand of Jewish sickness here,” said MK Aryeh Eldad. “It used to be that other people put us in ghettos. Now we are putting ourselves into ghettos.”

Meged, a traditionally left-wing author who recently joined efforts to bring down the wall, expressed his hope that Jewish residents could join with PA Arabs in a joint struggle.

Inya Vinyarski, a former Amana settlement movement official who resides in eastern Gush Etzion, said that the demonstration should be the first in many continuously stepped-up activities. “There is no choice but to lie down beneath the tractors, if it comes to that,” she said.

Toward the end of the protest, a tractor arrived to pour cement for one of the segments of the wall. Protesters surrounded it and the tractor retreated. A shofar (ram’s horn) was then blown. “The ram’s horn represented those sounded by Joshua when he entered the Land of Israel, bringing the walls of Jericho tumbling down,” said Matar. “With G-d’s help we will soon succeed in bringing these walls down as well, and inheriting the entire Land of Israel.

(Photos: Gemma Blech)