Tzvi Fishman
Tzvi FishmanINN: TF

Ahuvya Sandak was killed after the vehicle he was traveling in overturned during a police chase. His alleged crime? Throwing stones. It took days before an investigation by DIPI was instituted. The Israel Police: "The investigation of the entire incident has been transferred to the central bureau in Tel Aviv to prevent a conflict of interest, and the conduct of the police is being examined by the Department of Internal Police Investigations (DI{PI), all done thoroughly and professionally, under the guidance of the competent authorities. Because the incident is under investigation, we will naturally not be able to elaborate on it at this stage." MK Bezalel Smotrich responded to the State Attorney's Office's announcement: "This is an illusory announcement that indicates whitewashing is going on. This is a fraud. The interrogation of the four young men on suspicion of involvement in causing the death of Ahuvya pollutes the DIPI interrogation and turns it into an 'Israbluff.'"

This event is the background to the writer's fictional story below. Could this ever happen?

A telephone call at three in the morning woke Dan up from sleep. “It’s the President of the United States,” a familiar voice told him. “He’s waiting on the line to speak to you.”

Quickly, Dan sat up in bed. “Put him through,” he ordered, shaking the sleep from his head.

“Hello, Dan,” the President said. “I hope I didn’t wake you.”

“It’s three in the morning.”

“I thought you people never slept.”

“Occasionally, sir.”

“Well I haven’t been getting much sleep lately,” the President told him. “I was informed that there’s some young settler who built himself a shack in Palestinian territory. Ever since I heard about it, I can’t sleep at night. I mean, it’s a terrible thing. Don’t you agree?”

“I don’t know what you are referring to, Mr. President. Can you give me more details?”

“Yes I can. My people inform me that the settler’s name is Zion and he’s living on some mountain top near Elon Moreh, wherever the hell that is. If you people want peace and the support of America, this isn’t the way to get it.”

“First thing in the morning I will check out the matter,” Dan promised.

“I am not asking you to check out the matter. I want that s.o.b. removed from that mountaintop by tomorrow noon, Washington time.”

The President terminated the conversation.

Dan called his attendant. “Phone Uri at 5 in the morning. I want to know about a settler name Zion who’s living on some mountaintop near Elon Moreh. I want a full report by 7 in the morning.”

Sighing, Dan went back to sleep.

Uri called Dan exactly at 7 in the morning. “He’s a 20 year old kid. He lives with his wife and their baby in a shack he built by himself. According to the official maps, it’s Jewish land. The closest Arab village is ten kilometers away. He isn’t bothering anyone as far as my people tell me.”

“He’s bothering the President of the United States. I want them removed from the site this morning. Destroy their home.”

“I may not be able to get a court order so fast.”

“Without a court order. This is a military decision. We’ll worry about the courts later.”

“We are already taken a beating in all public-opinion polls. The public doesn’t like to see IDF bulldozers destroying the home of a young couple with a baby.”

“Use a civilian bulldozer and close the area to journalists.”

“You should know that the Arabs have absolutely no legal claim to the site. That’s what my legal team tells me. Any decent settler attorney could make us look like hardcore Bolsheviks in court.”

“Don’t worry about the courts. An investigation into the property rights can drag on for a year, and we can stall the case from reaching court, and by then we probably won’t be here, so let the next government worry about it. If the President of the United States says that this messianic pioneer can jeopardize our support from America then he is a national security danger. Is that clear?”

Uri said it was clear.

Two hours later, a civilian bulldozer and a convoy of police and army vehicles roared past the settlement of Elon Moreh and continued over the Biblical hillsides past a string of scattered outposts to an isolated mountaintop, a five-minute drive from the nearest neighbor. Soldiers closed the road leading up to the lone shack at the top of the mountain which afforded a spectacular view of the whole Jordan Valley and the hillsides of Jordan stretching from the Golan Heights to the Dead Sea. Hearing the rumbling noise of the convoy, a young guard stepped out from a tent, a rifle slung over his back. Long peyes dangled down to his shoulders. Sheep in a nearby pen bleated as if to protest the disturbance.

Yesha outpost in Elon Moreh
Yesha outpost in Elon MorehFlash 90

The commander of the operation knocked on the door of the shack. A squadron of police took up positions circling the makeshift dwelling. Some of them trampled on the flowers growing in a small garden outside of the house. Shirts and pants on a clothesline blew in the wind.

Zion opened the door. His young wife stood behind him holding their baby.

“You’re being evacuated,” the commander told him. “You have to leave the premises now.”

Zion gazed at the crowd of policemen outside the house.

“Where is your court order?” Zion asked.

“I don’t need a court order.”

“Then a military order,” Zion insisted.

“I don’t need that either,” the commander replied. He reached forward, grabbed Zion by a lock of his long hair and yanked him through the doorway. As he shoved him out from the house he extended a leg and tripped the youth. Zion sprawled forward and fell through the air. As he landed, his head hit a large rock. Blood burst from his splintered skull. His body collapsed and lay motionless. With a groan, he died. His wife screamed and ran outside. For several moments the policemen were stunned. The young guard took pictures with his cellphone.

“He resisted arrest,” the commander called out.

“Liar!” the wife yelled.

Two policemen kneeled by the body. The settler who guarded the shack stepped forward to take a closer photo.

“Grab his camera!” the commander ordered.

A policeman snatched the phone from the settler and tossed it to another who threw it to another who bent down and placed it under the rear wheel of a jeep. The vehicle jerked backward crushing the phone.

“You killed him! You murdered my husband!” the wife screamed hysterically. The infant cried loudly as if it understood what had transpired.

“Take all of the belongings out of the shack and destroy it immediately!” the commander ordered. Gazing around, he spotted the police photographer. Quickly he strode over to him.

“Erase any photographs that make us look bad,” he told him in a quiet yet urgent voice. His eyes flashed in a threatening manner. “Is that clear?”

“Yes, sir,” the photographer said.

When the commander reached the police station in Ariel, Uri was waiting in a small interrogation room.

“What the hell happened?!” he angrily barked.

The commander gave his report.

“The guard who was there said you purposely tripped the kid when you hauled him from the shack.”

“That’s not true,” the commander replied. “They’re all a pack of liars.”

“He says you destroyed his camera and the photos he took.”

“He interfered with the police operation. His cellphone fell to the ground. By accident a jeep ran over it.”

Uri called Dan with his report.

“My people say you botched the operation,” Dan told him. “The settlers are up in arms.”

“Nonsense,” Uri responded. “You and I know they’re all a pack of liars.”

Dan nodded. It really didn’t matter if they were liars or not. They were a national security risk. He phoned the President long before the noon deadline. “You can sleep tonight, Mr. President,” he said. “The shack has been destroyed.”

Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Jewish Culture and Creativity. Before making Aliyah to Israel in 1984, he was a successful Hollywood screenwriter. He has co-authored 4 books with Rabbi David Samson, based on the teachings of Rabbis A. Y. Kook and T. Y. Kook. His other books include: "The Kuzari For Young Readers" and "Tuvia in the Promised Land". His books are available on Amazon. Recently, he directed the movie, "Stories of Rebbe Nachman."

Tzvi Fishman books
Tzvi Fishman booksCourtesy