Shedma, located next to the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Choma, is on the road linking the settlements of Eastern Gush Etzion with Jerusalem. This is a strategic spot in terms of security. Not in vain was there an IDF base there until two years ago. Before that it was a Jordanian army base, and still earlier it served the British as such. The IDF abandoned the location for non-security reasons.
We, the Eretz Yisrael Faithful, decided not to give up on Shedma. Here are our reasons:
1. Because this is Eretz Yisrael. It is forbidden to transfer one clod of Eretz Yisrael soil to any other nation.
2. Because keeping this spot is essential to our security, for it dominates the road.
3. Because this spot links Jerusalem with Eastern Gush Etzion.
4. Because conceding Shedma means conceding the possibility of developing Jerusalem eastward.
In light of the above reasons, we have decided to act and demand Shedma for Jewish settlement. We have started carrying out a number of settlement actions there, each for a short time, in order to nurture awareness and motivation.
On 11 Tammuz, we decided to go up to Shedma again – this time to try spending a night there. We began our drive to Shedma from Kiryat Arba-Hebron. The way to Gush Etzion during this season is lovely. There are green grapevines hanging from trellises, fruit stands every few meters (obviously owned by Arabs) enjoying the blessing of Eretz Yisrael’s soil – which is yielding its fruits bountifully.
We passed through Arab villages undergoing accelerated development under the Israeli “occupier” – whereas in the Jewish towns there is an absolute freeze on construction.
The next stop was Efrat. Many friends, understanding the importance of Shedma, joined our trek from Gush Etzion.
Passing from the hill country road to the eastern road of Gush Etzion we stopped at Tekoa, collecting more friends and arriving at Nokdim. Our pulse rate began increasing. Would we succeed in our mission? Would the Israeli army allow us to spend the night? Would the police make arrests?
Thank God, we climbed toward Shedma. The road was free. We reached the spot. We quickly alighted from our car and unloaded our equipment (there was a lot). There was a generator for lighting, wood for a bonfire, food and drink, and paint to be used on the standing structures. After our guards combed the area, we climbed to the spot with all our equipment. And before us lay the pogrom perpetrated by the Arabs and anarchists following our last visit there. There was no time to waste, so we immediately began working by painting the shacks again with new Jewish graffiti on the walls. We hoisted the Israeli flag on the water tower. We cleaned ourselves and got organized, since night would soon fall.
The cultural program then began. Ezra Yachin, a hero of the pre-state Lehi underground, spoke about “Now – Just as Then.” He explained that now, just as then, we need faith that this is our land. Now, just as then, we need valor and determination. We need to struggle in order to win our land.
This was a lecture praising our wonderful, Shedma-going youth. These youth arrive with enthusiasm and joy, with a fierce desire to conquer Eretz Yisrael.
More cars arriving from Har Choma were met with great rejoicing. A political/musical concert was presented by the artist Ari Ben Yam of Nokdim. There was a feeling of exaltation. We had succeeded! At the same time, however, we knew that a lot of work lay ahead before a permanent town could spring forth.
Around us lay Beit Sachur – with tens of thousands of hostile residents, with anarchists and leftists coming to their aid, and with great sums of money to boot. They are trying to help the Arabs conquer Shedma.
The struggle over Eretz Yisrael is continuing. With God’s help – and with your help – we will be victorious.
(To be continued)
Yehudit Katzover is a member of the Eretz Yisrael Faithful.
Send comments to Zvi Katzover, mayor of Kiryat Arba, at Rivka@kiryat4.org.il.