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Israel's wonderful youth 

By Shulamit Aloni 

07/11/05 "Haaretz"
- - They received the best education that the State of Israel can offer its choice students during the tenure of the present government, in spite of the budget cuts. Small classes, good teachers, many rabbis, a supportive community, free transportation, a lot of enrichment classes - to which the darlings were carried on the shoulders of army reservists - a very patriotic education, a lot of Torah with derech eretz (proper courtesy) and loads of Judaism. (It is doubtful whether they learned a lot of Jewish ethics there, of the type understood by most of the public, and as Jewish public relations around the world would like to present it).

How everyone bragged about them, how their parents and educators lorded it over ordinary public school students, those who populate classrooms with 40 students and whose lessons and teachers' work conditions have suffered from the cutbacks. They raised wonderful youth there, and now the moment of truth has arrived. 

Today we are talking about the "test of the results." And regarding results, the prophet Isaiah already said in the parable of the vineyard (Isaiah 5): "And he dug it, and cleared away its stones, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also hewed out a wine vat in it: and he looked that it should bring forth good grapes, but it brought forth bad grapes." 

Here is the examination of results, before our eyes. We saw them on the highways, we heard them cursing elected officials and the prime minister, violating law and order, going wild and humiliating the people in uniform, the police and the army. They declare and they write: "Sharon will be murdered like Rabin," "Sharon, Hitler is proud of you," and mainly, "Death to the Arabs!" 

The pogrom that we saw in the Muasi neighborhood of the Gaza Strip, including an attempt at lynch, is not unusual. But it is unique in that this was the first time that the media have agreed to bring information concerning such an incident before the general public. That same day, I was with my friends from Yesh Din (There is Law, a human rights organization) in Akraba (not far from Nablus); a community of about 10,000 inhabitants, next to a few other small villages. They don't have water. Only those who invaded the settlement of Itamar and their friends have water. In Gitit, a new place, there is a wonderful well, but the "natives" are forced to buy water from trucks that arrive once a day. The official institution that dug a well did not bother to lay down a pipe for the neighboring villages as well. Apparently they are unimportant to us. 

MK Benny Elon once said to me: "You are opposed to transfer, so we will embitter their lives until they transfer themselves." And there are certainly people who are embittering the Palestinians' lives. They poisoned 120 sheep, cut down olive trees, blew up a farmer's tractor, tied up a 15-year-old shepherd boy and stole 10 sheep from him. They took out someone's eye, shot another boy and paralyzed his right hand. In short - in one encounter we saw and heard the testimony of one person without an eye, one person whose brother was killed (in effect, murdered), one person who was shot along with his donkey and was cut. And then they even close off the road that has led to Nablus since the days of the Turks. 

If these examples are not sufficient, the wonder children of the Nahal Haredi (ultra-Orthodox soldiers) sally forth from the east, in order to bring destruction down on the residents and their property. The devoted activist women of Yesh Din gathered a great deal of testimony; they are trying to activate the law-enforcement authorities in the territories, who are doing everything in their power not to hear and not to know and not to act, and thus to protect the lawbreakers. 

Israel Hess, who passed away a few years ago, was the rabbi of Bar-Ilan University. As part of his role as a super-educator, he wrote an article in the university newspaper, in which he stated: "We are all obligated to commit genocide." And why? Well, he did a study and concluded that the Palestinians are the sons of Amalek, and Israel was commanded to remember what Amalek did to us - that is, to remember in order to destroy them. During the same period, Bar-Ilan was headed by Rabbi Prof. Emanuel Rackman, who came from Yeshiva University in New York, and of course fired the man. But all the "wonder children" know what has to be done to Amalek. That's what they call the Palestinians, and every toddler understands what they want him to understand. 

It is no coincidence that the rabbis of the settlers (who receive a salary from the state) have decided that the issue of "loving the stranger" should be abandoned, and instead we should adopt the rule found in Deuteronomy (7:2): "Then thou shalt devote them to utter destruction, thou shalt make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them." (These words were said in regard to the seven nations of Canaan who no longer exist, but our sages like to find new interpretations, so they applied it to the Palestinians). Here we have the new Judaism. A Judaism of force that is burning with "alien fire." 

Our darlings have come a long way since the occupation in 1967, in permitting theft and in the persecution of the natives of this country. These lovers of the land deny even the love of God, since elsewhere in Deuteronomy (10: 17-19), we learned that "a great God, a mighty and terrible God ... He executes the judgment of the fatherless and widow and loves the stranger ... for you were strangers in the land of Egypt." 

Now, at the start of the hour of trial, we have seen the products of the abundance granted to the settlers, their rabbis and their children. We also see the results of the fact that the law-enforcement authorities' have ignored their criminal activities, the theft and the destruction and the harassment. We have seen the deeds of the "pioneers" of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his friends, who are enjoying their wealth at the expense of the poor of Israel and their distress, and behold they are lawbreakers, bearers of a fascist spirit and blatant racism, and destroyers of the foundations of a properly administered society, and disdainful of democratic institutions. They have rightly been called "the rulers of the land," because those who are distorting the values of Judaism and the values of democracy and above all the value of man as man were raised to be "masters." Their rabbis and their parents and their children - we have seen and heard them all, and of course everywhere they have left their marks in writing, in reading, in rending and in injury. 

And the minister of education is silent and Prime Minister Sharon is loving and forgiving. 

Copyright 2005 Haaretz. All rights reserved

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