The shooting by Noam Friedman in the Hebron market evoked all the expected and familiar condemnations from the “nationalist” types. Over and over again they repeated the same worn out phrases: “a terrible action”, “anabominable act”, “insanity”, etc. But as more incidents such as these take place, the absurdity and outright hypocrisy of their statements reaches new heights. In order to give a concrete example, we bring an article in which one of the major Hebron settlement leaders felt it an obligation to condemn Noam Friedman, but in the same article he is quoted as saying, “I still hope that we will be able to stop Arafat’s troop mobilization just as in 1948 in Kibbutz Dagnia, when the Arab terrorists (“Kokogi”) were stopped at the last minute…” Immediately following this quote, which had been made two days before the action of Noam Friedman, the writer states that: “He was not referring to a violent action, and certainly not to what Noam Friedman did.”
If not, then what DID he mean? I am sure that this same spokesman, who happens to be a good Jew, does not really think that Noam Friedman did a bad thing, but rather says what he says for “tactical” reasons. The pity is that he and his friends run in circles around the truth due to fear of what the media will say about them. Because if his comparison of the army of murderers of the Kokogi and the army of murderers of Arafat who are about to replace the IDF is a correct one, than there is no other choice other than to draw the conclusion that Noam Friedman’s act should not have been condemned. For if it was justified for Jews to fight with weapons against the army of Arab murderers in 1948, why should it be forbidden and condemnable today?
Worse, though, is that all the vicious condemnations of Noam Friedman by the Hebron settlers only serve to discredit their claim about the possibility of another slaughter that might take place if the IDF withdraws from Hebron. For if it is indeed true that there is a real danger as they have warned (and rightly so), being that the PLO police are no better than Nazi soldiers, then how can they get all excited when a Jew who takes their words and their worries seriously, decides to take it upon himself to sabotage the agreement by killing a few Arabs in the market which is crawling with enemies of Israel?
If in the aftermath of the shooting they would say something to the tune of: “We have no problem with the intentions of Noam Friedman, but he doesn’t understand that from a practical point of view, it hurts the struggle” – then there may be room for discussion. But when they hysterically attack and defame him without compunction, they begin to sound dishonest. The fact is, that even from a practical point of view, the incident certainly did thwart the finalization of the agreement temporarily, at a time when there was nothing to lose anyway.
At this point I say: The time has come that the settlers stop standing on two opinions, and to cast off the complexes that forever cause them tostraddle both sides of the fence: For if the Arabs are so bad and so dangerous, then maybe the time has arrived that they stop self-righteously talking about co-existence. If they really believe that the “moderate” Arabs from the PLO want to slaughter us just as the “extremists” Arabs from the Hamas do, then stop condemning those Jews who occasionally do to Arabs what they do to us.
The sages tell us that the first and final redemption are dependent on self-sacrifice. Unfortunately, the awesome concept of self-sacrifice haspractically disappeared today. And so, those few who are willing to act withself-sacrifice must suffer great affliction with long prison terms, with out even being appreciated by that sector of society which is supposed to recognize them as heroes. Rather they are greeted with vicious condemation and damnation.