(from the Meretz USA e-newsletter of December 5, 2008)
“Kol Yisrael arevim zeh b’zeh,” it is stated in the Babylonian Talmud: The entire Jewish people is responsible, one for the other. This powerful dictum has been an important source of unity for hundreds of years, as Jewish communities around the world have worked to maintain internal cohesion in the face of hatred and systematic oppression.
But Jewish cohesion has been sorely tested of late, and no more so than over the past few weeks as Jewish extremists in the West Bank have further ratcheted up their battle against the State of Israel in an effort to hold onto their “House of Contention” outpost in Hebron.
(For those who haven’t been following the issue in the newspapers, please click here for a summary of recent developments, with links to relevant articles.)
Of course, the story of the Hebron evacuation, although drawing the most media attention, is only part of the greater drama being played out between the settlers and the Israeli government. Vowing to “never again” allow the evacuation of settlements as happened in Gaza in 2005, Jewish extremists have devised and in recent months have been implementing a plan of violent resistance (entitled “Price Tag”) to government authority.
Their plan is painfully simple: To intimidate the Israeli government by carrying out premeditated rampages and enflaming the West Bank in response to any move against a settler outpost.