Sunday, November 30, 2008

"Plowing In Tears, Reaping In Joy"

Morning, November 29
"Usually Ta'ayush activities are well-planned, and much thought is given to various contingencies that might arise. But today's plowing is mostly a more or less private initiative of Ezra Nawi's; when the Samu'a people spoke to him of their troubles, he somehow cobbled together a disparate group of activists, arranged for two tractors, and headed south early this morning..."

Afternoon, November 29
"Such were today's gains and sorrows. By South Hebron standards, a huge area was safely plowed. Will our friends actually harvest what they have sown? I doubt it. The settlers will see to it that the crops are burnt or buried. But plowing a ready field is one of those things in life, like listening to music, like loving, that have their own innate perfection, that are not judged by results. We follow in the wake of the tractor, the settlers above and below us, still cursing; in the end they throw a few stones. The stones miss."

"So is there hope after all? I suddenly remember something Gandhi said: First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

THE WORDS ARE those of my old friend David Shulman, Hebrew University India scholar, MacArthur Fellow, stubborn Zionist of the old school--you know, someone who came to Israel after the 1967 war, and stayed out of love of modern Hebrew poetry. David is a founder of Ta'ayush. He and a few others may be all that is left of it in this time of resignation. His widely admired book, Dark Hope, tells the tale. 

Anyway, when his friend Ezra Nawi says that there is an action in the South Hebron Hills, he musters himself; and when David says I should join him, I join. I wrote about one such action two years ago. Yesterday's witnessing was pretty much the same event, a kind of opera playing out, as David and I took turns listening to excerpts from "Turandot" on my iPod. Except that the sheer vulgarity of these settlers was curiously unoriginal, in the pathetic way Klan epithets were unoriginal; while the army (a reserve platoon of mainly young professionals from Kfar Saba, Netanya, etc.) behaved just about perfectly, keeping the peace, allowing the plowing to be completed with tact and humor, and making no bones about their doubts about the settlers' sanity. When people say that things cannot go on this way, eventually they can't.

David sent me his diary entry after the trip which is well worth the several minutes it will take to read it.


Y. Ben-David said...

A truly heart-rending story....simple Arab shepherds and farmers, who for years, have been terrorized and driven off their land by the "settler thugs" that everyone knows about. Dr Avishai and his fellow "progressives" have been telling these stories for years. We are constantly hearing these stories. We are told, over and over, that nothing is done to protect these innocent Arabs.
But this does not make sense. How many "settler thugs" have been arrested? Don't the security organs of the state know what is going on? How hard would it be for the SHABAK to send undercover agents to these hotbeds of "settler extremism" to find out who is supposedly carrying out these crimes. On more than one occassion, MERETZ and the Left have succeeded in getting the Cabinet to discuss these stories and to do something about it. The heads of the IDF, the SHABAK say they are going to finally do something about it. Don't forget that the heads of the IDF, the police and the SHABAK are all Leftists who oppose settlers. Don't forget that the current Prime Minister sent the police to severly beat right-wing religious settler protestors at Amona, so he has no particular love for settlers. Thus we see that heads of the security establishment are all ideologically on the side of those who oppose the "settler thugs". Yet, we never hear of arrests and we keep hearing more and more stories of supposed crimes by "settler thugs".
Maybe no one is being arrested because NO CRIMES ARE BEING COMMITTED. Maybe the Arabs, are causing provocations. Maybe some of those Israelis accompanying the simple shepherds and farmers are not really interested in protecting them but rather, in creating propaganda which will then bring about a political move to remove the Jews from Judea/Samaria once and for all, and the simple Palestinian farmers are merely viewed as the lever to create the incidents.

If Jews are really assaulting Arabs on their own land and destroying their property, they should be in jail. They are only doing damage to the Judea/Samaria settlement movement. But if we are not seeing arrests then it leaves a lot of questions in my mind about what is really going on.

Anonymous said...

"NO CRIMES ARE BEING COMMITTED" by settlers? Can you be serious? You should go and see for yourself.

Y. Ben-David said...

I again ask the question. The SHABAK has infiltrated all these Jewish settlements, they have informers everywhere. The heads of the IDF, the SHABAK and police are all "glatt kosher" anti-settler people. The Cabinet set up special commissions to investigate these supposed crimes. Then please explain to me why have there been no arrests? Phil Weiss, who is a radical anti-Zionist, posted on his blog "MONDOWEISS" a film purporting to show one of these "crimes" that everyone supposedly knows about. However, no crime is shown. All we see is some masked people in the distance. The narrator (someone with a UK accent) keeps telling us about how the settlers are throwing rocks at them, assaulting them and then stealing and killing their donkey, but none of this is actually shown on the film. Then we see these masked people with a donkey, then we see a dead donkey with some Israeli police looking at it. They had better come up with some better videos if they want to convince people.

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