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Wed May 16, 2012, 04:54 PM

A toxic attachment

By removing the local population of an isolated hilltop in the South Hebron Hills, Israel’s grip becomes ever firmer over land we so urgently need to relinquish.

By Hannah Weisfeld | May.16, 2012 | 2:01 PM


Standing on a hilltop in the South Hebron Hills over Pesach, the group of British Jews who had come to visit the southernmost tip of the West Bank was joined for a small part of the trip by four IDF soldiers who stumbled across this unlikely band of travelers whilst on patrol. Jews from all over the U.K., with a kosher-for-Pesach picnic packed in the trunk of the bus, they wanted to see the West Bank for themselves. The soldiers wanted to hear what they were discussing.

The Jewish group’s visit is reflective of a growing sense of concern amongst U.K. Jewry as to what is to be done with this piece of territory, apparently loved so deeply by a sector of the Israeli population and Jewish people at large, that they are prepared to allow this toxic love to kill Israel, slowly but surely.

This concern manifests itself in a desire to see and understand the West Bank, with various groups organizing fact-finding and experiential trips. Yachad, of which I am the director, has, in its first year of operation, taken close to 200 British Jews on such trips. Many British Jews are stepping over the ‘line’ to see the mythical territory they so often read about.

As Avner, our guide from Breaking the Silence, who regularly takes our groups into the south Hebron Hills as well as Hebron, explained the relationship between the IDF and settlers that is required for Israel to maintain its control over this piece of land, the soldiers shifted uncomfortably at the back of the group.

remainder: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/a-toxic-attachment-1.430833

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