They're putting the historical cart before the horses, to drag the horses after them down the slippery slope until we once again crash, for the third time; they are enlisting history into the cause to make sure the zealots of our day can once again bring us to destruction.
Their ideological reading of history says the Second Commonwealth was destroyed by "a brotherly quarrel" and "baseless hatred," and they're feeding us that straw as if we were horses at the trough. The contemporary version of the circumstances of the destruction of the Second Commonwealth are meant to serve the zealots of our day.
There was no "civil war" in those days because wars require two sides. The zealots of the day decided during the Great - and doomed - Revolt against the Romans to begin a campaign of organized terror against all those they decided were too moderate. The domestic terror toppled the responsible leadership, which feared the zealotry that fell upon them. The leadership threw up its hands in surrender without battle, so there was no "civil war."
The crazed "patriots" didn't cool off until they had managed to burn all the grain silos of Jerusalem, driving the residents of the besieged city into hunger and making certain that if there had been any chance for the Great Revolt, the fall of Jerusalem became inevitable. Therefore it was Jewish zealotry that destroyed the Second Commonwealth - and not a civil war.
There also wasn't "baseless hatred." Of course there was hatred. What else was a responsible, moderate leader to feel when the assassins came to kill him and slaughter the public who supported him? But that hatred was not "baseless." There were good, natural reasons for it. When the residents of Jerusalem watched their silos burning, there's no doubt it ignited their hatred for those in their midst who destroyed their supply of food. The hatred was richly deserved by the Sicarii and messianic thugs.
Our current zealots also are leading to anarchy that endangers our Third Commonwealth. There is no "civil war" because only one side is capable of imposing fear (and often succeeds in doing so), challenging the legitimate leadership, and undermining the foundations of the government. Are there those among us who hate the zealots for this? In some cases there are, but it is not "baseless hatred."
The hatred derives from the profound worry that history will repeat itself and we can expect the same bitter fate of the Second Commonwealth because a few thousand Sicarii once again decided to take our fate into their hands. To camouflage the insane, ongoing zealotry, they've invented the phrase "the hilltop youth," like some pastoral description of youth with flutes shepherding sheep in the Galilee. The youths on the hilltops are not some "wild growth," some "wild weeds." They were sown, sprouted, and flourished in Gush Emunim's central plot, generation after generation, and all the efforts to distance them from the Gush won't make us forget Gush Emunim's paternity.
Most of the Gush Emunim settlements were established in sin, despite government policy, against the will of most of the people, and with outright fights against the law enforcement authorities. For those who don't remember, even the Knesset's official Web site says under "Gush Emunim": "These attempts to establish settlements were accompanied by mass movements, demonstrations and passive occupation of sites, often in conflict with the IDF's forces."
I recently went back to the archives and the newspaper clippings describing the establishment of Sebastia, 28 years ago. There is nothing new under the hot, violent sun of Gush Emunim. The stories report about settlers "kicking and screaming at soldiers dragging them to the buses" and settlers shouting at the soldiers and officers "to refuse the orders." The seeds of anarchy were planted years ago. The evil, aggressive wind began there, and now we're reaping the storm. The hooligans of Havat Gilad should be considered the best students of Gush Emunim's leaders.
Gush Emunim's path to their heaven and our hell is paved with violence and brutal expressions of refusal and rebellion, always supported by Ariel Sharon (all the quotes are in the archives), who to this day, now as prime minister, is playing a double game together with his good friend, the most important man in the territories, that one from the Jewish Underground, Ze'ev Hever, also known as Zambish. Together, Sharon and Zambish are zambushing Fuad Ben-Eliezer and Shimon Peres. And the Yesha Council leaders will continue denying their paternity over the "hilltop youth," while the sanctimonious, self-righteous politicians who prepared the groundwork for the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin will continue using their saccharine rhetoric about "the unity of the nation" warning about "civil wars" and "baseless hatred."
If today's zealots continue on the path of their ancestors, I'm not sure the opposing camp will continue the tradition of surrender and panic exhibited by the moderates of the Second Commonwealth. We have the right of self-defense from the likes of Effi Eitam, his rabbis and pupils, before they bring down the horrors upon us, before Jewish fascism runs over us all.
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