Is Fighting Worth the Peace?
So this isn’t my usual post, but it isn’t the usual story here in Israel. I wrote this to shed light on the fighting tactics in Hebron, rather than discuss the obvious reasons of the fight…
Stone throwing. Civilian rebellions. Riots. This is the Hebron the world has come to know in the past weeks. However, my words come from a source about the first Intifada, the Palestinian uprising that took place over 20 years ago. Forget why each group is fighting and instead focus on the methods they use. The method of violence. And the method works.
On March 19, 2007, according to the Hebron website, Beit HaShalom (The House of Peace) was purchased by the Jewish community to house hundreds of Hebron and Kiryat Arba residents, yeshiva students, youth and adults. The house was purchased from its previous Arab owner through a Jordanian office. And they have the legal documents to prove it.
But documents or no documents, The House of Peace, never really came to fruition. Fast forward to November 2008 and you can throw that word peace, along with the stones. Defense Minister Ehud Barak focused on evacuating the settlers and protesters out of the area. Using his power, he brought in the IDF and police to get the job done. The residents and protesters didn’t just hang around the disputed building until the troops came for them, this time they fought back.
The Palestinians have used the fighting method to get what they want. And look, they got it. From the First Intifada to Sderot, terrorism and violence is a message that Israel hears loud and clear. We moved out of Gush Katif because of the violence that pursued. We fenced ourselves in to keep the terrorism out. The residents of Sderot packed up and moved out as Kassam rockets moved in. And Palestinian President Abu Mazen can put all the Peace advertisements he wants in every newspaper from here to China, but as long as Hamas is in power, then violence is the national anthem, government agenda and what’s for dinner.
Those fighting in Hebron want to be heard. And now they too have our attention. It’s awful and I hope that it ends soon, but it does work. I know what some of you are thinking: Look at how the Jews are being portrayed in the news, we look like animals (some of you are saying, we look like them). But does it really matter? We never really have the news on our side, or the International community for that matter. Our good intentions, legal documents, quiet peace talks, don’t seem to make us look any better then images of Jews throwing rocks or lighting houses on fire.
The stone throwing, Civilian rebellions, riots and possible uprising is not a problem of twenty years ago, it is an issue of today. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, President Abu Mazen and Condoleezza Rice predicted peace by the end of 2008. I think the rest of us predicted that they would be wrong and only wished we had made a huge bet on it. But while I laugh at just how right I am, there is nothing funny about the situation. The fighting in Hebron shows us just how far away peace is. After all The House of Peace can’t be called a home if no one is living in it.