The Perdition of Amona: Beytrayal, Defeat, Humilition by guest author Barouch Levy


     After a bombing raid on Rome,by hundreds of planes, in 1944, the Italian king, failed to understand the meaning of the relentless Allied advance.  In order that the king, would be able to grasp that reality, he had to be told, that the war was,"perduto", perdutissimo"(absolutely and completely lost). Similarly, the perdition of and at Amona, in  the pre Chanuka days of 2016, is apparently beyond the comprehension, of almost all the leadership in the Israeli Right, be they either in positions of political, or religious, leadership roles. Their commentary and portrayal of the Amona expulsion, to the public, particularly those loyal to the Torah mandate of settling the Land of Israel,  does not convey, the meaning and gravity of what has, and is to happen there, G-d forbid. That is in itself the real essence  of the Amona tragedy.,

  The fifty or so families, who have tenaciously held on to a barren, most inhospitable  looking, mountain ridge have nobly succeeded in creating a Jewish community, there. That is why those who demand that this community be destroyed, are so intent upon doing so. With the indispensible help of the Israeli government, its courts and security and police forces, it appears, very likely, that these above mentioned Jewish families, will be thrown out of their homes, and will have to reconstruct their Jewish lives some place else. If one senses, that what is soon to transpire, is demoralizing reminiscent, of many other tragic events in the history of the Jewish People,  his senses are not misleading him. Jews are again to be evicted from their homes, solely because they are Jewish and adhere to the Jewish faith. What makes the Amona expulsion even so much more disheartening, is that the Israeli government, which came into existence to prevent and insure such an event will never again occur,  is the real enabler of the unfolding Jewish tragedy of Amona, in the year 2016. The phrase, "Never Again", is not to be used without the necessary consideration. None the less, the pertinence of those words. as they relate to current situation, of Amona and the Jewish People as a whole, is undeniable.

   One of the leaders of the settlement movement, whose personal dedication, can not be denied, was  recently interviewed at Amona. He agreed, with those who criticize his position, on Amona, that the expulsion of Jews from that location, is quite deplorable and a desecration of the name of G-d. But in spite of this acknowledgment, he proceeds to characterize the agreement, and the support for it, by the settlement movement and others in the Israeli Right, as in what can be translated from the Hebrew, as merely "a lesser of two undesirables". That is something quite different from his opening comment, mentioned above. Unfortunately, his latter comment, more accurately reflects what he conveyed to the public. Another spokesman, in explaining his support for the agreement, noted the "impressive achievements", which consent to the agreement by the settlement leadership, provides. Yet another, very well esteemed Torah figure, in the National Religious Camp, remarked in a similar manner. He sunnily emphasized, that these inhabitants of.Amona,targeted for their Jewishness, and scheduled to have their homes destroyed, by the government, at the behest of Arab and other Anti-Semites, should find consolation in the agreement, none the less. He was referring to that part of the agreement, stipulating that these Jewish refugees, had been allocated, a nearby lot, and thus, in his words, would," remain on the mountain".

    These representatives' and speaker's  words, tragically miss  the  the point. Jews are again to be thrown out of their homes, by non- Jewish demand, in the Jewish State of Israel! That such a thing can happen, again, after the Holocaust, is completely unacceptable to any normal Jew. One of the few normal  Jewish reactions, expressed, in the  Israeli media was that the phrase, "Jewish expulsion", be completely stricken off the Israeli lexicon. But as the above remarks clearly show, consent to and even agreement with Jewish eviction, is held to be a possible and acceptable option, replete with positive aspects, by the Israeli Right, and most notably by the leadership of the settlement movement. This the real perdition and tragedy. "Perduto Perdutissimo"

  Why this perdition has come about, and particularly the role played  in it, by not a few religious leaders, is clearly spelled out by Rabbi Nachman, in chapter 61, part one, of his masterpiece, "The Collections of Rabbi Nachman." .The whole chapter, is about faith in, and authorization of authentic Torah leadership. When that does not happen he writes, the prestige and honor of Torah and its laws are demeaned. Consequently, non Jewish law becomes predominant. As a result,"Israel becomes obligated to learn non-Jewish law." Then, it follows, "they decree (apparently, in the temporal and heavenly courts) the  expulsion of the Children of Israel, from a place of settlement, to a place of wilderness.".

 These words of Rabbi Nachman are strikingly compatible to the present day reality of the Amona tragedy. The eviction, the strength of  Israeli civil law versus weakness of Torah law, religious and civil leadership, and dissatisfaction with them.

  Indeed, one of the leaders, whose comments were quoted above, described the reaction of the young people from the settlements of Judea and Samaria, who converged upon, en masse, to prevent the ignominy of Jewish eviction with their bodies. The youths were devastated upon hearing about the agreement. I tried to explain to then the benefits  the Jewish people had achieved as a result of the struggle. They would have none of it. He writes, they, the youths cried out, "You,(plural) have betrayed the truth, you have betrayed the Land of Israel. You have broken our spirit!"

 The tragedy of Amona is the moral paralysis of leadership in the face of evil and Jewish national humiliation. That is what an expulsion of Jews is. Period. But it is much worse than that. Efforts to obfuscate and minimize the depts of the tragedy,  have contributed to the creation of  the present situation, which is, the perdition of Amona.

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