The landscape in Judea and Samaria is dotted with communities of perhaps ten or a dozen homes. These are makeshift, fledgling communities frequently established by activists who are determined to settle the land that rightfully belongs to the Jewish people.
A few weeks ago in Israel I had the privilege to visit, tour and become acquainted with on of these areas—Maaleh Rehavam. The community of maybe 15 or so homes is dedicated to the meory of former MK Rehavam Zeevi who was assassinated by Arab terrorists in Jerusalem more than a decade ago.
On Wednesday morning Maaleh Rehavam was stormed by hundreds of Israeli police who were followed in by bulldozers to flatten the flimsy caravans and bungalows that well-meaning people and lovers of the land of Israel called home.
My wife and I planted ten olive trees in the community as our host explained that out here in the desert this is how you establish the permanent nature of your residency. You plant and watch the fruits of your labor grow. I don’t know if those little trees were trampled over and destroyed by the police but my gut tells me that they are no more.
It was winter but still quite a warm day in Maaleh Rehavam. We walked up a steep him where our host told us that money was needed to construct a shul. “A community first and foremost needs a shul,” Israel Danziger of Mishmeret Yesha told us. He son lived or lives in one of the caravans in the community.
The odd thing is that the entire community was not destroyed. The more permanent type structures were left intact with the residents able to remain. Later in the day on Wednesday the Israel Supreme Court put a halt to any further destruction and said any further government or police activity in the area will have to wait for a judicial ruling.
The thing about Maaleh Rehavam is that it was near nothing and bothering nobody. This is about intimidating the courageous youth of Israel and trying to diminish their zeal for settling the land. The thing is that these wild orders and actions have the opposite effect. It spurs on those who want to see Israel remain whole and not picked into pieces under the guise of negotiations and the facade of peace.
What is near Maaleh Rehavam? Well it is very close to Kfar Eldad where high ranking Likud leader MK Zev Elkin resides and also within view is Nokdim where former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman lives.
I don’t know what possessed the authorities in Israel to cite this tiny community for destruction. It will be another few months until we get back to Israel and will most likely have to plant new olive trees in the new and improved Maaleh Rehavam.