Friday, April 13, 2007

Hebron settlement / Born in sin, living in sin

By Yossi Sarid

There is nothing new under the Hebron sun - what has been will be again. Forty years ago, Moshe Levinger took advantage of the government's weakness and blindness, and of the rivalries and intrigues of its ministers. Now Levinger has successors.

The 1967 settlements were established through chicanery, and it is through trickery that they continue to be founded in 2007. To this day, we are forced to swallow the rotten meat they serve at The Settlers' Restaurant.

Haaretz's editorial at the beginning of the week focused on the building known as "the house of dispute."

"It's not a house," the editorial stated, "it's a settlement." It lies on 3,500 square meters and already more than 30 families and 14 singles are inhabiting it - and that is not the end of it.

Now the agents provocateur are citing the law - "the house was bought legally." After all, haven't they always been known for their blind obedience to the law; did they not always march in the darkness with a relevant clause lighting their way? They carefully paid the Palestinians 400 silver shekels, just as our father Abraham paid Efron the Hittite for the Machpela Cave. However, in Kiryat Arba (Hebron), Abraham wished to bury the dead and be buried. These, on the other hand, want only to expel and to rule.

The Jewish settlement in Hebron was born in sin and lives in sin, and the whole enterprise is nothing but a farce. How Abraham's bastards laugh! Laws in a land that isn't yours are meaningless. Their sole purpose is to transform what isn't yours into yours. The essence of occupation is patently illegal. Only its transience makes it acceptable. But for the settlers, "temporary" means "for eternity."

So all of the serious hair-splitting debates into the legal issues make us laugh. But the story of the so-called kosher bone in the throat of the large Arab city will end in tears.

There is no such thing as a kosher deal under occupation. Every purchase and every sale has the stench of foul play sanitized by a law book. Sodom also had a nice book of laws. Clearly, there is no purchase without a sale, and there is no seller free of pressure, threats, trickery or irresistible temptation. There is no free market, nor could one exist. Injustice and greed stand in place of supply and demand.

Therefore the most kosher deal is the one that stinks the most. It should not be examined by legal experts but by odor experts.

The defense minister has no chance of evacuating the house soon. He is weak and exhausted, battered and pecked. His roar is a mouse's squeak. The interior minister was interviewed on the radio yesterday, and it was clear that another Efron-Bar-On-Hebron conspiracy was being concocted, with a devious prime minister once again calling the shots behind the scenes.

All we can do then is quote to those hard-hearted Jews the prophet Isaiah's reproach: Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no room, and ye be made to dwell alone in the midst of the land! (Isaiah, 5:8).

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