They dare call themselves “Jews”
They destroyed 100 olive trees last night. Cut them down. Up-rooted them. Destroyed them. Massacred them.
50-/60-year-old trees. Trees that provided a living to Akram Amram and his family in Burin, Palestine. No longer.
People calling themselves Jews did this, although Jewish law prohibits wanton destruction: “[Y]ou shall not destroy [a city’s] trees by wielding an axe against them; for you may eat of them, but you shall not cut them down.” [Deuteronomy 20:19]
Jews blessed and encouraged by their Rabbis – so filled with religious zeal that they give “Jews permission to kill Gentiles who threaten Israel … even babies and children can be killed if they pose a threat to the nation.” [HaAretz, 9 November]
They dare call themselves “Jews” …
Not a week ago, I was harvesting trees like these, climbing their strong branches reaching toward the clouds. Trees deeply, securely rooted longer than my almost-60 years, drawing richly from the red, clay soil, producing silky green and deep blue fruit. Next to patches that had been burned, cut, and up-rooted earlier this year and last.
The settlers of Yitzhar and their Rabbis desecrate everything that is Jewish. Defile Judaism. And those of us who know their depravity – which Judaism do we embrace? What actions will we take?
For if these people are Jewish, then I must relinquish my Jewish-ness, for I will not abide the Judaism they represent.