Thursday, August 14, 1997

Mirror Image - Part Two

Mirror Image - Part Two
August 14, 1997

Following posting of my last article "Mirror Image" I received a number of
responses similar in content. The following are two of those letters, sent
to me by Hebron supporters:

Dear David,

The no-mirror policy has been in force for the past few weeks. We were also
stunned when we were checked for mirrors a couple of weeks ago for the
first time. ( we're at the Meara every Friday morning) One of the girls
with me admitted to having a mirror and she handed it in. When we got
upstairs, we saw that more little mirrors had been confiscated. The same as
for pocket knives and other such things. Yes, it's very humiliating but do
you really think it was necessary for that woman to make such a scene? That
policy was not set by that police-woman and it would have been sufficient
to write a letter afterwards asking why this new policy against mirrors. We
surmised that a mirror could theoretically be broken in half and made into
a very sharp weapon. Do we have to fight each other, no matter how
humiliated we're made to feel by our own Chayalim and police? This Friday,
there was a very friendly senior police officer at the entrance to the
Meara who tried to make each one coming in feel good. Yes, they had to
check our bags but they certainly weren't nasty about it and there's no
reason for us to be nasty to them.

So, let's ALL examine ourselves and see whether we're not being excessively
provocative because of tensions in Hevron which are certainly reason to be
angry and explosive but this anger should be directed against policy makers
and those idiots who forced the "Hevron agreement" on us... The one-sided
agreement, of course.


Dear David,

I read your reports with much interest and really appreciate
receiving them. I am more than sympathetic to the plight of the Jews in
Hebron and the courage they display. Most of the incidents you describe
indicate to me the lack of cooperation shown by the Israeli authorities .
It appears as if they would like you all to go away but to me your
presence in Hebron is most significant to all the Jews of the world. In
your recent story about Esther and the mirror I find it hard to fully
sympathize with her. Why didn't she just hand over the mirror and than
reclaim it on the way out? We are dealing with people who are given some
authority and usually this type cannot interpret a rule as it might have
meant to be. It would have been better not to challenge the authority and
just rise above this policewoman. There are other instances where a
challenge to their authority is more significant. My prayers are for the
safety of the people of Hebron and I hope the day will come when they can
live a life with the confidence of complete secutiry.



Due to the importance of the questions raised, I feel it is important to
publically post my response:

I understand what you are saying, but you have to understand the tactics
being used against us (all of us) in Hebron. One day we were told that no
cellular phones, cameras, and beepers would be allowed inside. They
actually tried to enforce the 'no camera' edict, until I made a lot of
noise there, and then it was rescinded. There is a limit to the abuse we
can allow -they (the decision-makers) take advantage of every show of
weakness or acquiescence on our part and continue. The idea that a mirror
might be used as a weapon is so totally ridiculous - besides which - who
are we going to attack with a mirror sliver? - The Arabs they let wander
around 'our side' of the Ma'ara? If that is what they are worried about,
they should stop the Arabs from being on 'our side.' After all, we have
absolutely no rights to be on 'their side.'

Aside from that, the behaviour of the border police who are stationed at
the Ma'ara, is, many times, disgraceful. They use excessive force without
any need to do so, and lie through their teeth. Esther did not attack
anyone, but they want to charge her with doing just that. - Please be
aware that Mishmar HaGvul (Border police) are not soldiers - they do not
operate under the auspices of the IDF - they are full-fledged police,
dressed in uniforms looking like soldiers.

We have no choice but to resist the continued humiliations, because if we
don't we will only pay a higher price for the next condition on the list
that they will try to enforce, after seeing that this decree has been
successfully implemented.

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