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Monday, August 06, 2007

The symbolism of Hebron

Once again, the Jews of Hebron are being threatened with expulsion - but, this is not 1929 and the ones who want the Jews out of Hebron are Jews.

Others are blogging about the incredible hostility in the media toward's Hebron's Jews, as well as the absurdity of 3,000 IDF soldiers planning to evict 2 Hebron Jewish families.

A couple of years ago, I wrote:
Hebron is the second-holiest city in Judaism. Morally, Jews should have the right to move there if they wish with no limitations. The ones that moved back to Hebron after 1967 were nothing short of heroic. There certainly has been friction between the Jews and Arabs of Hebron. Nevertheless, there is a huge symbolic importance to maintaining - and increasing - the Jewish areas of Hebron.

The Arabs understand the symbolism of Israel giving up on historically Jewish land. That is why they fight, beyond all logic, for the tiniest slivers of land, far beyond its useful value. That is why they never compromise on land. If there were no Jews there, they wouldn't care in the least - they do not fight because it is Arab land but because it is Jewish land.

When Israel gives away the indisputably Jewish parts of Israel, then it loses part of its character. Israel's claim to the land is not based only on logic, it is not based only on the law - it is based on emotions. When the Jewish state suppresses its emotions and its historic ties to the land in the name of an illusory "peace process" it loses far more than land. Emotions and symbols are important, and Israel is at a disadvantage because the world expects the Jews to be logical and Arabs emotional. Logical people can compromise, emotional people cannot. Hebron is not a logical issue.

Some things are worth fighting for, and Hebron is one of them.