On Sunday, June 30, the Israeli government ordered the destruction of four trailers and a makeshift synagogue at Ramat Gilad, a settlement near Karnei Shomron. The last time synagogues were destroyed took place in the expulsion of Gush Katif – and before World War II.
Israel’s reality today involves a very complex Redemption process, which on one hand it requires us to build and settle the land, and on the other, we see outposts destroyed and now even a synagogue.
Ramat Gilad was established in 2002 after the murder of Gilad Zar, of blessed memory, but since then there were several attempts to destroy and evacuate the Ramat Gilad outpost. These attempts were significantly strengthened by the Peace Now group, who petitioned Israel’s Supreme Court to instruct the military and the Israel government to destroy this facility.
In 2011, the court ordered that some of the caravans set up at the outpost were to be removed. Recently, it additionally ordered that all the structures remaining at the Ramat Gilad outpost were to be completely destroyed, including a synagogue and with them four other buildings. The court allowed until July 3 to evacuate the remaining structures, with the demolition scheduled for July 30.
In the meantime, people presently living at Ramat Gilad are trying to raise funds to continue building its community, including a new synagogue to replace the one razed, and are asking for donations to help with the costs as there is no budget for this undertaking.
With the recent kidnapping by the Hamas and the barbaric murder of three children – Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frankel, we believe that the best answer to honor the memory of those murdered is to continue building those very communities – large and small – that our enemies are trying to destroy.
The Israeli government would be better channeling its energies towards strengthening the Shomron and providing for the needs of its population, as for example, by providing additional transportation services for residents who travel to Yehuda and Shomron and are forced to hitchhike, and by building more roads to accommodate the increase of human and vehicular traffic, instead of destroying homes and synagogues, thereby strengthening our enemies.
In answer to this demolition at the Ramat Gilad outpost, we call upon all those who are physically able to come live in the Shomron and help further settle and build the land. For those others who cannot physically or financially participate in this great mitzvah of yishuv ha’aretz they should help publicize the importance of continuing to build Eretz Yisrael at this time. In this merit, we will know better days and see the eventual resettling of all of Eretz Yisrael, the rebuilding of our Beit Hamikdash, and onto the complete Redemption.
Translated from the Hebrew by Ari Blackman