Waiting for a Trauma

The appearance of the rule of law that took over the West Bank outpost of Amona for a few hours does not have to be deceptive.

The appearance of the rule of law that took over the West Bank outpost of Amona for a few hours does not have to be deceptive. Two days earlier, the army folded and signed an agreement with Hebron settlers. One can wager that within a few weeks blissful life will return to the Hebron market - and that Amona, after the blows, the rocks, the novel concept of green water and the dozens of people arrested, will continue to exist.

That's because this is only a show of protests by the offended people in the Yesha Council of settlements, who recruited a few thousand hooligans in an effort to try to return to themselves some of the settlement dignity that got lost in the sands of Gaza. There is a dual question of dignity this time: The objective is not just to show determination when faced with the troopers of the traitorous State of Israel, but to show that the hooligan organization of northern Samaria is no weaker than the hooligan organization of Hebron.

In the past, these were well-known phenomena only on the Palestinian front. When Nablus would start riots, Hebron and Ramallah would rush to wake up, lest it be said that the south is powerless. So too when the intifada began, and a competition between the terror groups quickly developed.

The dual question of dignity parallels the dual defeat of the Yesha leaders: Not only did they fail to prevent the disengagement from Gaza, but they also failed when they made such a major effort to sear something into the Israeli consciousness. The "cattle" evaded their grasp. Amona was meant to be the white-hot iron.

It's better not to get excited; there will be no trauma in Amona. The condition is that the security forces and the citizens of Israel will finally recognize that this is a war against a belligerent organization. It's an organization that has devotees who think they are no longer part of the State of Israel, whose messianic ideology is in effect the antithesis of the State of Israel, certainly within the "small" borders that it adopts for itself. This is an ideology that sees the nation-state only as a temporary means to reach the final goal: the annulment of the nation-state and the establishment of the kingdom of Israel in all the territory of Israel and in its Palestinian diaspora.

The organization and its devotees heap scorn on everything that is done on the western section of the Green Line, whether it relates to politics or culture, and assess the Israeli leadership based only on the criterion of whether a given action is "good or bad for the settlers."

That is why the slogan "Jews don't expel Jews" could not be heard in Amona yesterday. The slogan is too soft for the leaders of the settlement infrastructure, and it was not in action because the army "has no conscience" and Israel, as an enemy country, is unable to be impressed by a plea to the Jewish conscience.

In at least one matter, the Amona settlers have been successful. They said that they could not be less violent than their counterparts in Hebron. Thus did the popular division between the hooligans, hilltop youth and Kach activists and the regular settlers disintegrate. In times of "trouble" everyone takes hold of violence. The question is why the army conceded on the Hebron issue, why it didn't evacuate the market outpost and specifically clashed over the Amona outpost. What is the Hebron settlers' magic secret that has helped them keep everything bad away from them for dozens of years as though it were a frightful dragon?

The reason is that the Hebron settlers are no longer playing the trauma games, and their ambition for everything related to "searing the consciousness" is geared solely toward the Palestinians. They don't roll their eyes, don't speak about the "disaster of violence," "a split in the nation" or "a settlement of the heart." The Hebron settlers are the real thing, and as a result, until now they have managed to arouse fear.

In other circumstances, they would certainly have won the designation of "the military wing of Yesha," the kind with which one cannot to do more than reach a hudna (cease-fire). The settlers of Amona and other illegal outposts are still considered alright, nothing more than a bit mischievous, people one can talk to, even if a few police officers get hit and a few military vehicles undergo terror attacks. One wonders how many more Amonas must be undergone in order to understand that this division between Hebron and Samaria is an invention waiting for a trauma.