30 January 2007

News Analysis From Israel – The Evil Will Come From the North IV: Is there a D9 in my future?


Ma'aléh Levoná, Israel
29 January, 2007

I did patrol duty last night in Jerusalem (28 Jan.). It was much easier than the usual duty of standing in the cold (or heat) with a rifle. I got to sit in my partner’s vehicle, where it was warm, watching the heavy downpour of rain and driving wind as people tried to flag down rides at one of Jerusalem’s trampiadas. It was cozy in the car. All that was missing was Dunkin’ Doughnuts and some coffee.

We left patrol a bit early so that I could try to catch the 9:00 p.m. bus out of town. But because my cell phone (which doubles as my watch) was five minutes slow, I missed the 9:00 p.m. bus going to Ma’aléh Levoná out of Jerusalem and was stuck waiting for the 11:15 bus. Staring at the station clock which read 9:05, and seeing no bus at my platform, I made the best of a bad deal and rushed to a nearby supermarket, hoping that they were open. They were, so I bought some toilet paper (even police volunteers need toilet paper) humus, dates, and cornflakes (Kellogg’s – the good stuff).

I schlepped all this to the Central Bus Station, bought some bourekas and strong coffee, and finished writing an article on Dr. Gerald Schroeder’s appearance at a Root & Branch presentation at the Israel Center on 28 December last. I was tired and very much looking forward to getting home. I had been in town on one patrol or another since 9:00 in the morning.

The 148 pulled out of the station at 11:20 travelling north to French Hill, Písgat Ze’év and some villages on the way home – Kokháv Ya’akóv, Ofrá, Shvut RaHél, Shiló, ‘Elí, and Ma’aléh Levoná. The bus winds up in Ariél where I think the driver holes up for the night.

I was contemplating what I would do if confronted with the question of being evicted from my home by the Israeli army, and whether my kids should serve in a military that might try to make us homeless, when the young woman in front of me threw up in the aisle.

A bunch of people gathered round on the bus to help her, getting a barf bag for her, giving her tissues, encouragement, etc., and offering her a beverage to sip on. I kept waiting for the stink of vomit to fill the air. It didn’t. Instead the faint odor of bad beer wafted up, just enough to make me aware of it, but not enough to disturb me. I began to wonder about the young woman in front of me when the bus slowed to a crawl.

In front of us, one vehicle down was a long IDF flatbed truck, the kind that hauls tanks and artillery pieces. But this flatbed was not carrying any tank. The vehicle on it was huge. I couldn’t help breaking into English. “What is that thing?” I asked, more to myself than anyone else.

The fellow standing next to me looked at me and said in English, “that’s a D9. It was used to destroy houses in Gush Qatif. It took about 5 minutes to destroy a house. I remember seeing them do it in ‘Amóna.”

He then got into a discussion (in Hebrew, discussions often sound like arguments) with some of the others on the bus as they started to pay attention to the D9 themselves. I asked the bunch talking about this in Hebrew, “is this our future?” They were silent. So was I.

I studied the machine, looking for weaknesses in it that might be exploited. If there is to be a D9 in my future, I can’t just sit there and let my jaw drop as it approaches. Somehow, I (and others like me) will have to stop it. Rachel Corrie tried to stop it by standing in front of it. I’m not that stupid.

It seems unreasonable, if not criminal, to say I’ll shoot at someone who tries to destroy the home I live in. But the government planning to destroy my home – and the D9 I saw moving to a military base in Samaria last night is proof of these plans – is not asking me.

I remember Rachel and Moshe Saperstein waging a valiant, but law-abiding battle against the expulsion from their beachside home in Nevé Dekalím, one of the villages in Gush Qatif. Moshe, a retired humor columnist for the Jerusalem Post, wrote articles for Judy Lash Balint’s Jerusalem Diaries and made trips overseas to try to garner support. Rachel, whom Moshe had referred to as La Passionara in his articles, gave interviews to journalists world wide, raising a hue and cry (a geshrei in Yiddish) to anyone who would listen. And they were not the only ones. But the government of Israel was determined to suppress their voices, arresting teenagers as young as twelve and jailing them for weeks at a time as “security risks” for participating in demonstrations and expressing their rights to petition and freedom of assembly as supposedly guaranteed under law. All the classic techniques of a Soviet dictatorship were employed here to suppress freedom of expression and to distort it into something it wasn’t. Israel is not a democracy.

But more to the point, Moshe and Rachel Saperstein were expelled from their home in Nevé Dekalím. Nothing stopped the government juggernaut and for months, the Sapersteins lived in a hotel room in Jerusalem. They now live in what is known as a “caravilla,” a slightly enlarged version of a pre-fab made from spit and cardboard, and they live in a “caravilla” colony. Rachel Saperstein has a will of iron. But Moshe is a broken man.

Seeing that D9 on the bus pushed back to front and center in my mind the fact that the government most assuredly had an agenda to make me and 200,000 more like me homeless within the near future and that in spite of all that it had said in the recent past about not pushing for an expulsion in the future, it was definitely back on the table.

When I saw that the Israeli government had reportedly offered to Ephraim Inbar, the director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University of Tel Aviv, whose presentation at Root & Branch inspired my article “Lo Norá” recommends foreign (as in Jordanian & Egyptian) rule for Judea and Samaria, arguing that the “two state solution” advocated for so long by the ruling elites here, is a failure and the Arabs are incapable of self-government.

I draw you once more time to the story that got this series going some time ago, which appeared in Debkafile on 4 September 2006. We finally see why there has been a buildup of European forces off of Lebanon for the last several months, one which has not yet dissipated. Indeed, they are to be sent here, just as I speculated they would be months ago.

There are just a few more points that need to be made here. First, when the Israeli government/media want to hide a major news development, they cover it up with a “crisis.” While this story about turning over control of Judea and Samaria to the EU was breaking, it was being drowned out by the “crisis” of Moshe Katzav being indicted for rape, and by stories of Shimon Peres circling the office of the presidency like a vulture. Except for Arutz Sheva and David Bedein, the Israeli media has not touched the issue of who will control Judea and Samaria. Indeed, had I not seen that D9 on the Shekhém Road last night, I would not have had my own attention attracted to the plans being drawn behind closed doors.

When thinking about all this, my mind is immediately drawn to the lines in the Book of Daniel describing the “handwriting on the wall” that affrighted King Belshazzar of Babylonia [Daniel 5:25-28].

Now this was the writing that was inscribed: MÉNE MÉNE TÉKEL, UPHARSÍN. This is the interpretation of the matter: MÉNE (counted) - G-d has counted the years of your kingship and terminated it. TÉKEL - (weighed) you have been weighed in the scales and found wanting. PÉRES (broken up) - your kingdom has been broken and given to Media and Persia.

But even more appropriate to the present situation are words inscribed on a parchment nearly a quarter millennia ago and a third of a world away, words that are barely visible, but which ring out with a clarity of a bell proclaiming freedom throughout the land.

…when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such a Government and to provide new Guards for their future security. [American Declaration of Independence, July 1776]

The road to redemption may well be through revolution.


Blogger Rick Vassar, CPCU ARM said...


I didn't want to answer your question on BC.

I beleive that this question goes back to Abraham, and as the Bible points out, will be settled in the end times.

With both sides claiming Abraham as their father and therefore heirs to the land, it's not going to be settled anytime soon

24 April, 2007 23:07  
Blogger Rick Vassar, CPCU ARM said...

If you would like to continue this discussion, or establish a dialogue, go to my website and leave me your email address and I will contact you directly.

I don't like getting involved in the baiting that goes on, especially in the religion threads.


Rick V

25 April, 2007 20:50  
Blogger sadi ranson-polizzotti said...

the way to redemption may indeed be through revolution in many places, Ruvy... I know you know me, but you may wish to check out my work on cyrano (just Google Sadi Ranson" and "Cyrano" and it will come up). I invite you to join to write for Tant Mieux (www.tantmieux.squarespace.com/) for our Cyrano section - we are far left, yes, but you would be a welcome contributor.

senior cultural and political editor, cyrano
editorial director,
the tant mieux project

02 June, 2008 20:54  

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