The common assumption of most observers is that Israel is broken down along religious and cultural lines – a disparate assortment of squabbling factions and tribes bound only by the need for self defense against a dangerous Arab enemy.
The Expulsion Of Amona from 2006 – Will This Happen To Evyatar in 2021?:
True there is much tribalism in Israel, but these tribes or factions have shifted over the years. In a sense there are factions within factions that see an intersection of interests with other groups. For example, many on the Chareidi street identify more and more with those living in the isolates “settlements.” Those in the main stream consensus “settlements” identify far more modern orthodox Israelis – deeply connected to the hi-tech scene. None of this of course is all or nothing, but rather a set of interests and preferences.
Evyatar is the first time we see the Israeli right’s version intersectionality, where a set of overlapping interests are pushing a variety of people together against the Minister of Defense Benny Gantz’s obsession with knocking over a 50 plus unit community built on State Land. Chareidi youth and Hill Top Youth, mixed with non-religious nationalists and old time settler leaders appear ready for a large showdown with Israeli regime forces.
In 2006 when then Prime Minister Olmert sent in riot police on horseback to remove families and protestors from eight homes in Amona, it ended up being a near bloodbath. Bennett knows times have changed and the youth in Judea and Samria have only grown more prepared to stand up against the Israeli government when it comes to uprooting Jews from their land. He knows that no one in Evyatar or anywhere else in Judea and Samaria will go quietly as the Jews in Gush Katif did. After all, he was the director after Gush Katif of Yesha, the organization overseeing communities in Judea and Samaria.
The showdown at Evyatar represents far more than government forces knocking over another fledgling community. It is about perspective and trajectory of the Jewish nation in Israel. It is also about where the power of the Nation rests – in the corrupt and politicized centralized government or with the people on the ground and their local governments. Evyatar is about determining what kind of nation we are. Meaning, are we some sort of Middle Eastern Singapore – a hi-tech power house or are we here for something far bigger – a Redemptive vision not yet complete.
To Bennett’s dismay, Evyatar is uniting all the forces he was hoping to keep separate. These forces are now working together against his government – a government that many on the right of center do not consider legitimate. Bennett finds himself at odds with his former base and now he finds himself going head to head with a rising star – Yossi Dagan, the head of the Shomron regional council who has built up Evyatar from nothing in a matter of a couple of months.
For all of Bennett’s “success” he has shown how his own hubris has gotten himself into a mess over Evyatar. He knows full well that Evyatar may well be his downfall. If he finds a way to approve it, then Meretz and the Arabs will leave the coalition. If it is destroyed, then the visuals may very well dwarf the violence seen at Amona.
Israel stands at a crossroads. It can continue to purse with mindless hate those Jews who have returned to the hills of their forefathers or it can embrace them – allowing them to become the rightful leaders we have yearned for. Evyatar is set to be the first sign of the direction the State of Israel will take in the post Bibi era.