The lawbreakers from the hills threaten Israeli society, but much before that they threat me and those like me, members of the Religious-Zionist camp. They threaten us, a community that for dozens of years now attempted to passionately argue that there is a way to combine Torah and work, Judaism and culture, nationalism and morality. These lawbreakers from Samaria’s hills are cutting the ground under our feet.
Along with the rabbis who lead them and the religious zealots who respond to their recklessness with silence, these hilltop youths are dooming the deepest pillar of Israel’s national-religious community to oblivion.
This community, which swore to be Jewish and Zionist and prove that the Torah’s ways are peaceful, is currently perceived by the general public as a community that precludes women, is obsessive about female singing, and does not hesitate to resort to violence against innocent Arabs and members of the IDF – the very same army that protects us, and them.
For members of the Religious-Zionist camp, the army was always the manifestation of holiness in a secular world. The purest national essence. A religious man who rose up the military ladder was perceived by religious communities as a hero one should take pride in. Effie Eitam, for example, was sitting next to the yeshiva head when visiting our yeshiva.
Illogical and unimaginable
The yeshiva boys who slowly moved up in the army were the heroes of our youth. We looked at them with genuine admiration. Eitan, Dror Weinberg and many others were the religious sector’s celebrities.
For those who hail from the Religious-Zionist camp, the fact that religious youngsters assault an IDF division commander is completely unfathomable. For the sake of example, try to imagine young poets who decide to beat up prominent poet Yehuda Amichai, or 11-year-old girls who punch Justin Bieber. This is something that simply cannot happen. It’s illogical and unimaginable.
In legal terms, we must see a firm response to the behavior and recklessness of these boys. However, in cultural terms, it appears all we can do is mourn the tragic disintegration of the Religious-Zionist narrative. And seeing Religious Zionism losing its way, beloved readers, is most certainly an existential problem for the State of Israel.