Here Come the True Settlers

What is supposed to take place today in Hebron and later in the week in Amona can be defined as "Operation Half of their Lust." This definition is apt because nothing will happen in Hebron today.

What is supposed to take place today in Hebron and later in the week in Amona can be defined as "Operation Half of their Lust." This definition is apt because nothing will happen in Hebron today, despite the fact that the order to evacuate the Jewish invaders from the wholesale market goes into effect. This is because the Israel Defense Forces wanted first to evacuate Amona and then Hebron - and two riots in one week are too much. But also in Amona, the illegal settlement attached to Ofra, nothing will happen. As usual. This time because the High Court of Justice agreed to hear what the chronic lawbreakers have to say.

So, neither Hebron nor Amona. But this did not prevent Pinhas Wallerstein's settlers from promising that the "shameful scene" that took place several months ago in Gush Katif would not be repeated. Because here is where "the heroes of Israel" live joyfully - lawbreakers and invaders. In particular, here are many people whose pride has been injured, who need to exact revenge for their humiliation, to again raise the banner of rebellion, and especially to settle accounts with the prime minister who lies in the hospital in clinical muteness.

These are not sites that are vital from a national perspective, far from it. It is also not a contest of strength between law-abiding people and lawbreakers. After all, for years law-abiding people have been among the biggest contributors to the violation of law. In Hebron, where the settlers took over the market about four years ago, the army and police did not hurry to pull the invaders out. Those responsible for law enforcement waited for the Hebron municipality to petition the High Court and for the court to rule before they would awaken from their slumber and deliver a commitment to evacuate the vegetable market. These same law enforcement officials unilaterally informed the Hebron municipality last week that, together with the evacuation of the settlers, the protected leasing agreement between the IDF and the municipality, which has been in effect for decades, would be canceled. This agreement formed the legal basis by which the municipality leased the stores in the market to Arab merchants. And, therefore, if the market will not be for Jews, then the Arabs will also not be able to use it.

In Amona, which has existed for 11 years, the IDF has also not been in a hurry to maintain law and order. This wild outpost, built on land belonging to Palestinians, will continue to exist because the decision is to demolish only the nine empty permanent homes; the families living in trailer homes will not be evacuated. They will continue to live there in defiance of the law. Thus, the issue here is not respect for the law, but rather a lesson in the anatomy of vertebrates - that is, who will be the one to show some backbone. "It is not Gush Katif here," declared Pinhas Wallerstein last week. This statement by the defeated commander of the disengagement should explain everything. Here, there are no weaklings who will collapse into the arms of the men and women of the IDF. These are not naive citizens who revere the army or the foreign government that dispatched them. Here is "Yesh" [a Hebrew acronym combining "yud" for Judea and "shin" for Samaria] and no additional letter will fall from it after the wimps of Gush Katif lost the "ayin" [representing the Gaza Strip] of Yesha. There is a limit to how much the government of the settlers can bow its head before the government of Israel.

But it seems there is a more far-reaching declaration here. They are now making it a personal affair: Wallerstein versus Sharon. Noam Federman versus Shaul Mofaz. Daniella Weiss versus Ehud Olmert. Leadership versus leadership, career versus career. There is trampled honor here that must be raised from its ruins, and this is not the honor of the law but rather of neighborhood bullies.

Oh, if only the invaders could believe that Sharon hears and understands what they are preparing for the army, their lust would be fully satisfied. After all, this entire little war was originally intended against him. Now only half of their lust remains in their hands. Those who are at the receiving end of their threat can only smile, because there can be no dispute over the heritage of Sharon on at least one matter: The instructional manual for handling the settlers, which was written in Gush Katif, is still valid.