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September 17, 2014 / 22 Elul, 5774
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Evacuation of Mitzpe Avichai – Beyond the Pale

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin planting an olive tree during a visit at the settlement of Migron in the Benjamin region. Jan 12, 2012. Rivlin called on the government to take responsibility for the current situation, in which the High Court ordered homes demolished by the end of March.

Photo Credit: Photo by Kobi Gideon / Flash90.

Beyond what’s decent. Way beyond what can be accepted with equanimity:

There are legal arguments over Jewish communities — “settlements” or “outposts” — in Judea and Samaria. We can take a stand against the government position regarding some (or all) of these. Presumably (ideally) those arguments can be pursued in courts and via negotiation, with dignity. Presumably if in the end the government or the IDF or the civil administration (appointed by the IDF) in Judea and Samaria or the court decides a particular settlement or outpost must come down, that, too, can be done with dignity — with decent Jewish respect.

But that’s not what happened last night in Mitzpe Avichai, outside of Kiryat Arba (which is itself adjacent to Hevron). Police and representatives of the civil administration, after first blocking roads, came in the small hours of the morning, roused families from their beds, ordered them outside and destroyed their temporary homes. There was a light rain falling and the temperature was close to the freezing point.

Ten structures were destroyed, nine of which were inhabited. I believe the tenth was a synagogue. Among the families so evicted were several children and babies. The Flaishman family, by itself, for example, has seven children. Miriam, the mother of these children, said, “They arrived in the middle of the night. It was brutal. I woke up after they broke down the door and were already in the living room.”

This is simply unacceptable.

Whether it was legal for those buildings to stand or not becomes an issue that is secondary. Children and babies have rights. The police and civil administration have obligations.

And yet…I read in YNet that, “No unusual events were reported during the eviction of the outpost…” By this is meant, of course, that there was no violence and the residents did not fight back. But to depict the night-time eviction of youngsters and babies into a freezing rain as not an unusual event?

It is my understanding, based on information from a knowledgeable source, that representatives of the government recently testified before the Knesset committee on the rights of the child, and offered verbal assurances that in instances where “outposts” are taken down children will be appropriately provided for.

The residents of Mitzpe Avichai have said they are not deterred and will rebuild. I will follow with information regarding the legal situation as I can secure it.

~~~~~~~~~~

But the moral issue supersedes the legal issue in my opinion. I ask you PLEASE to contact Prime Minister Netanyahu without delay. On this issue especially it is important to keep the message succinct and clear. No speeches, no history lessons. Just a direct statement, which is more powerful:

Tell him that official action on the part of the government or its representatives that brings children and babies from their beds into a freezing cold rain in the middle of the night, as just happened at Mitzpe Avichai, is shameful and morally unacceptable. As he is the head of the government, you hold him accountable to make certain that it does not happen again.

This is sufficient of itself. If you wish to add one further thought, tell him that you know that the legislation that has been proposed that deals with preventing unnecessary dismantlement of settlements addresses the rights of children. Right now that legislation is frozen and it is in his hands to make certain that it advances speedily.

Change the wording of the above just a bit, so that it is clear that what you are saying represents your personal sentiments.

Fax: 02-670-5369 (From the US: 011-972-2-670-5369)

E-mail: Memshala@pmo.gov.il and also pm_eng2@it.pmo.gov.il (underscore after pm) use both addresses

This is one of those instances in which numbers count. Netanyahu needs to hear from a great many people — and before the beginning of Shabbat here, please!

About the Author: Arlene Kushner is an independent journalist. Her website is www.arlenefromisrael.info and she can be reached at akushner@netvision.net.il


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5 Responses to “Evacuation of Mitzpe Avichai – Beyond the Pale”

  1. CB says:

    Maybe it is time to consider guards at these outposts or settlements to protect against terrorists, anything suspicious approaching put a lot of bullets down range keep this up till dawn. Terrorists can speak hebrew, if a voice in hebrew says stop shooting, means no reason to stop shooting. It would take only one incident of mistken identity for the evictions at night to end. Be sure to call the army and tell them you are under attack, Make the call in such a manner that you can not hear what is said on the other end. Be trigger happy and enjoy shooting. BEST WISHES (BE SAFE) CB

  2. auroraaronsson says:

    NOTHING NEW!
    The same SHAME was done, ALWAYS BY A LIKUD LED GOVERNMENT, that is the worst betrayers of the National Movement in Israel, in 1998 when Netanyahu destroyed the home of Oslo victim Ehud Dribben, ztuq”l, Hi”d, in Ma’on, kicking out the widow and four kids in the middle of the night; in 2002 when Sharon destroyed the home of Oslo victim Netanel (Nati) Ozeri, ztuq”l, Hi”d, kicking out the widow and five kids in the middle of the night, destroying everything including wedding albums and kids’ toys, money and documents; etc., etc.

  3. Mike Kailing says:

    How morally wrong and so contemptuous of government agents to treat its own citizens with disrespect and demonstrating no regard for the safety and health of the children. How low is the government going to go in its methods of displacing its residents with brutal military style invasion tactics to rout innocent non-combative citizens? Is there no shame or decency in humanely to use thuggery in displacing people in the middle of the night. Obviously, government leaders to not follow or affirm the Messiah’s command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Shameful conduct from those entrusted to protect its own citizens. Some other than these unfortunate residents of Israel should be forcibly replaced by true compassionate leaders. Why are you conducting yourselves in such bad-spirited ways? And you want visitors to come to Israel? For what reason??

  4. Irvin says:

    I do intend to send a letter to the PM. I would encourage him to continue a more agressive legal campaign against people who think they that are outside the law, that women should ride in the back of buses, that it is acceptable to attack IDF bases, and who think that dirty diapers and “price tags” are acceptable ways to express themselves in Isreal.

    Actions have consequences. Remember that several of those arrested at the IDF outpost incident were from Mitzpe Avichai.

  5. Sara says:

    Bibi, I used to have great respect for the intelligent way you represent Israel in the media. But behind closed doors you gave away Hevron, the very burial site and home of our forefathers & mothers. This makes me unsure whether to trust you with my national inheritance. Sir, you have seen that we got absolutely no good for the people of Israel. Maybe some peoples pockets got lined. Maybe you were threatened by powermongers that you had to deal with. I don’t know why you did such a terrible thing, but I beseech you not to shame us. When we are strong, the world respects us more. And whomever doesn’t respect us, we will never convince no matter what we do or don’t do. So do what’s good for the citizens of Israel, the Jewish State-ALL OF IT! They don’t want to negotiate, they want to kill us and take everything. Deport them, don’t talk to them. Give them money to start a life in a Moslim country among their own people. The only Palestinians I know are the Jews who never left Israel. There are no Palestinian People. Just a bunch of squaters on our Land given to us by the Creator of the Universe.

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More Articles from Arlene Kushner
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin planting an olive tree during a visit at the settlement of Migron in the Benjamin region. Jan 12, 2012. Rivlin called on the government to take responsibility for the current situation, in which the High Court ordered homes demolished by the end of March.

“They arrived in the middle of the night. It was brutal. I woke up after they broke down the door and were already in the living room.”

A good move, may it yield results: Thirty-five members of the Knesset recently signed a letter to IDF Central Command, asking that Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem (called Nablus by the Arabs) be opened again to visits by Jews, with steps taken to provide security.

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