Occupying the language

During the evacuation of Yamit, in 1982, I was listening to the radio in my dorm room in Yeshivat Har Etzion. This was during the time that Yaakov Ariel was down in Yamit acting the Rosh Yeshiva [Head of the Yeshiva] of his newly founded yeshivah, trying to convince Israeli soldiers not to follow orders to evacuate the settlers of Yamit. Most of the settlers took their checks, left peacefully and tried to rebuild their lives elsewhere.
On this day, a reporter was interviewing a settler, a religious settler, who had just been forcibly evacuated, with his family, from Yamit. The settler was angry, crying, screaming. The reporter asked the settler if the trauma that they were causing to the country as a whole was worth it. The settler replied: “What about the trauma caused to my young children who forcibly removed from their home?!” The reporter then asked the obvious follow-up question: “How long have you lived in Yamit?” “Three weeks” was the answer.
Language is often a casualty of tyranny and terror. The house in Hebron which bears a sign which reads “God gave Israel to the Jews” is called the “House of Peace” by the Jewish community of Hebron.

Judaists in Hebron riotThe website of the Jewish community of Hebron has videotapes of the forced evacuation of the house which most of the media calls the “house of contention” and they call the house of peace. The footage is fascinating, in the way that a car wreck is fascinating. Sometime around two and a half minutes into the first clip, someone starts calling the Israeli soldiers “Nazis”. About a minute later somebody calls them “an occupying army.” The settlers wail and scream and curse the soldiers for forcibly evicting them from their homes. Their homes of a day, a week, several months. They run into the power of the IDF with the hubris of those who know that they won’t really be harmed. This is not the way the IDF evacuates Palestinians. For that you have to go here. When the IDF evacuates Palestinians and destroys their homes, the rifles are cocked, the safeties are off and fingers are on the triggers. The Palestinians are marched out of their homes in their underwear and their homes are bulldozed. Palestinians don’t get to scream at the IDF face to face, as the Judaists from Hebron do.
Then these Judaists from the “House of Peace” rioted and wreaked vengeance on the homes of their Palestinian neighbors.

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