What Will I Tell My Friends in America About the Demolitions?
What Will I Tell My Friends in America About the Demolitions?
I made aliyah to Israel six months ago from Chicago. I had recently finished my Bachelor’s degree in Physics at a good university with good grades and had plenty of future career or graduate school options. While all those options were tempting, I also had a burning desire to make Aliyah to Israel and live in the Holyland. In the end my Zionistic desires won out and I decided to come to Israel and begin my graduate degree in Physics here. 

I arranged housing for myself on the hilltop near the town of Kfar Tapuach in the Shomron. I chose to live there there both based on an ideology of settling the land of Israel and because the pricing was reasonable for a new immigrant student. Aside from traveling to school and back everyday, I also became a part of the town of Kfar Tapuach by starting a chess class for children, helping make a minyan on the hilltop on Shabbat and holidays, and playing basketball once a week with my neighbors. In short, I was slowly acclimating to life in Israel and was enjoying myself.

However on Thursday April 30th, 2015 (11 Iyar 5775), all that changed. Security forces, along with the civil administration arrived at the trailer I rented and destroyed it. They added insult to injury by arresting me for my nonviolent protest against their actions. Further upon my release, the court distanced me from the town of Kfar Tapuach for 30 days. Mind you, all of my belongings were taken out of my house and left outside, yet the court forbade me from collecting them.

I am still shocked that such a thing would be done in the Jewish State.
I don’t understand. What was my sin? What did I do so wrong in my Aliyah to Israel?

Does Israel not want more researchers and academics? If one listens to local media, it appears the opposite is true as more and more researchers leave for abroad and the country is in a ‘brain drain.’

So maybe there is a surplus of housing? But that can’t be it. The media is constantly abuzz about the lack of housing in Israel. Just a few years ago students decided to camp out in tents on Rothschild Boulevard in order to protest the high cost of housing. Surely it’s better that I continue living in my little trailer and not live in a tent in the middle of Tel Aviv.

So what did I do? What did I do so wrong that I deserved this triplet of destruction, arrest, and distancing? There was no Supreme Court case against the trailer I was renting and there is no Arab who claims that it is his private land. Just twenty meters from my trailer is an antenna belonging to the Israeli Electric Company and surely they wouldn’t place their antenna in a problematic location. Further there haven’t been any fights with Arabs in the area or any other sort of problems. Up until my arrest for peaceful protest I had no cases or any other issues with the police.

There was only the tyranny of the civil administration, which decides to arbitrarily destroy Jewish houses.

Yet now that my house is destroyed, what am I supposed to tell my friends abroad- those friends who chose one of the other options I had available to me including a high paying job or attending a more prestigious graduate school. How can I tell them to come to Israel after the
Just twenty meters from my trailer is an antenna belonging to the Israeli Electric Company and surely they wouldn’t place their antenna in a problematic location.
government threw my belongings outside, destroyed my house, arrested me for nonviolent protest, and forbade me to return to gather my belongings? They’ll laugh in my face. Why should they sacrifice a high paying job in order to come to a place that does such things to its citizens? I’ll tell them that it’s still the Holy Land and Jews are obligated to live here, but it’ll be difficult to convince them and they’ll no longer believe the stories that the Jewish Agency tells.

Maybe I’ll tell them that this is the Jewish State and each and every Jew has a part in it, yet what will I tell them about the destruction? In the American government does not destroy their houses, but the Jewish State does? Could it be? They’ll laugh at me and return to their high paying jobs. Maybe they’ll give a poor fool like me a couple of dollars to support me in Israel, but they surely won't come here themselves.

And what will I tell them when they ask about my arrest? Will I dare tell them that Tzipi Livni created a special unit to deal with Nationalistic Jews- called the Nationalistic Crimes Unit in Judea and Samaria? When officers from that unit were driving me to the police station, they became curious about what their unit is called in English. Google Translate told them it was the “Unit for Patriotic Crimes.” In other words, in a Jewish State there is a special unit designed to fight patriotic citizens- specifically Jewish patriotic citizens? When I tell my friends that, they’ll again laugh at a fool like me and return to their jobs. 

And what will I tell them if they ask how the state has money for such a unit? Maybe for a second they’ll believe that everything here must be really great. After all if there are enough resources to devote to fighting “patriotic citizens” things must be really good in the country. But I can’t lie to them. Things are not that great. Every day Arabs throw stones and firebombs at Jewish vehicles; every week African infiltrators rape Jewish women in South Tel Aviv; and every month Arabs try to kill Jews in vehicular attacks. How will I justify the fact that in a Jewish State the government is more concerned with fighting “patriotic” Jewish citizens than with protecting Jews from stones, firebombs, rape, and death?

In truth, its difficult for me to justify it to myself. Why should I continue staying here? This year I’ll finish my Master’s Degree and I could easily return to the US and get a job there or apply for a doctoral program there. I don’t want to leave the Holy Land where the Jewish people has finally established a state, but it’s very difficult to accept that such things are done in a Jewish State.

Even if I stay here, I still don’t have answers for my friends abroad. I guess all I can offer them is to join me and other holy Jews living here in our attempts to rectify the State and work to ensure that what was done to me is not done to anyone else. Yet in order to be able to tell them that I’ll need the help of all my Jewish brothers and sisters throughout the world. 

Let’s wake up. It’s time to end the policy of discrimination and let Jews live anywhere in the land of Israel. It’s time to stop the continued encroachment of Arab residents on Jewish land. It’s time for the police to close the “patriotic crimes” unit whose sole purpose is to fight good Jews. It’s time for the army and the police to act with all of their power to stop Arab terror and expel dangerous African infiltrators. It’s time for all of us to wake up and demand the government do it.

Hopefully after all that is done, I’ll be able to at least tell my friends abroad that while it is true that once the government did these terrible things to me, “if you believe that you can destroy, then believe that you can repair.” (Rebbe Nachman).