"We're not in the ghetto."Like many millions of Jews over the millennia of exile, we dreamt of living in our Biblical Homeland. That's why we're in Shiloh, one of the cities richest in Ancient Jewish History. Actually Shiloh was the original target of the first modern garin, "settlement" seed/group, which ended up in Ofra. They wanted to emulate Joshua, who first established Shiloh as the center of Jewish Life. The compromise deal they made with the government stipulated that they must go to a location with "buildings," like former Jordanian army bases and police offices, of which Ofra complied.
The vast, vast majority of the hills in the Shomron, north of Jerusalem, are totally unoccupied and uncultivated. That was also the situation found in the Golan, the Sinai, Gush Katif and the Jordan Valley after the 1967 Six Days War. Israel's agricultural industry quickly evaluated the potential of those lands and established agricultural community/business in the most fertile and best potential money-makers. That's how the Golan, Jordan Valley and Northern Sinai began "filling" with Israelis.
Of those three areas, only one, the Golan is still popular and thriving, because of its location, the heights now protecting the veteran, nearby kibbutzim. Pre-1967, the Syrians were stationed there to attack the kibbutzim. The Northern Sinai communities were destroyed by Menachem Begin, when he gave the land to Sadat. And the Jordan Valley still has Jewish agriculture but has not reached its potential.
Forty years after our miraculous victory in the Six Days War, Israel still hasn't accepted the riches G-d handed us.
Not only is the Israeli Government trying to lock out most of our Biblical Homeland, but even within Judea and Samaria there are Jews willing to wall themselves in enclaves and keep us walled out.
Ariel, which includes the Ariel University, felt secure in the knowledge that the wall would bulge out to include them, but now it doesn't seem certain at all. Ariel's founder and mayor, Ron Nachman, is livid, charging that the announcement is an election ploy by floundering Defense Minister Peretz. He accepts and welcomes the wall, not caring that it separates Ariel from Jewish communities, as well as Arab ones. Considering that many Arabs work and study in Ariel, I don't see why he should think that the "security wall" will secure him.
South of Jerusalem, in Gush Etzion, they've also been "negotiating the route," rather than opposing the wall in principle.
From its earliest days, my community of Shiloh has refused to be "walled in," and we're among the few Jewish communities
in YESHA without a security fence. Having a fence would strangle us, restrict growth, and it wouldn't make life any safer.
I feel more endangered by people like Ron Nachman, who is trying to lock us out, instead of uniting with us as one large "settlement enterprise." The wall negates our rights to our Holy and Historic Land. It separates us from our Heritage and brothers.
We're now celebrating the Holiday of Pesach, Passover, Zman Cherutenu, The Time of Our Freedom.
Free People Don't Need Fences!