The struggle over the Golan Heights gained impetus in the
wake of the massive demonstration held last week in Rabin
Square in Tel-Aviv.
Even if there were 150,000 participants, as the police
assessed, or half-a-million as the organizers say, the event
succeeded in a most impressive manner to awaken public
awareness to the opponents of withdrawal from the Golan.
The opposition to ceding the Golan Heights to the Syrians has
become widespread and diverse, and encompasses all levels of
There are not many issues which merit so broad a consensus as
the Golan one. Religious and secular elements, city-slickers
alongside the residents of the development towns, settlers,
kibbutz members, old-timers and new immigrants took part in
Motti Ashkenazi and Avi Kadish, the leaders of the protest
movements which rocked the country after the Yom Kippur War
were there. So was General (res.) Meir Dagan, who had come to
express his opposition to evacuating the Golan, despite his
staunch support of the political process.
Many others came to identify with the demonstrators, even
though according to their testimony, they support Barak and
the political left.
Throughout the days preceding the demonstration, a strange
phenomenon could be seen at the main junctions of the
country's highways. In both the north and the south,
enterprising youngsters could be seen pasting and
distributing propaganda urging participation in the
They wore on their heads white visors or white baseball hats,
meant for wear during the scorching summer days, as
protection against the blistering rays of the sun.
The enigma remained unsolved, if not for the fact that some
of kids were a bit "careless", and didn't realize that their
knitted yarmulkes peeked out from under their
This begged a question: Since when have the members of the
knitted kippah generation begun to wear hats? And if
so, why not normal ones. Why wear those similar to the
popular type worn by Yitzchak Rabin in the boiling heat at
the festive ceremony in honor of the sigining of the Peace
Accords with Jordan in Ein Evrona?
This question was answered at the big demonstration, where
the same trend reoccurred, although on a smaller scale.
According to the the media, which some stubbornly insist on
denying, many of the knitted-kippah wearers among the
demonstrators had been asked to hide their traditional
headgear, so as not to give the impression that the
demonstrators were Yesha settlers.
The presence of too many knitted-kippah wearers, it
was claimed, was liable to be interpreted as sign that the
demonstration was purely a national religious one, while the
organizers of the demonstration felt that it was important to
show that the battle against withdrawal from the Golan, isn't
exclusive to the settlers of Yesha and their supporters, but
also encompasses all sectors of the Israeli population.
One of the reporters who reviewed the demonstration, quoted a
religious demonstrator as saying: "They asked me to hide my
kippah, so that too many datiim wouldn't be
seen among the crowd."
Without any bearing on the position of the chareidi community
regarding the Golan, or "the struggle for peace" as others
prefer to call it, it is impossible not to see the hiding of
the kippot as heartening.
It is no secret that many in the periphery of the chareidi
community blindly identify, with the positions of the
political right, and even the extreme rght.
The sophisticated propaganda, which leans on the distortion
of basic Jewish values, encroaches the hearts of believing
Jews, who have a soft spot for every slogan and bit of
propaganda which incorporates love for Eretz Yisroel.
It is no secret that one can always find wearers of black
yarmulkes participating in the right wing
demonstrations. To our dismay, most of them, sadly, are
youngsterrs who have dropped out of yeshiva, and who very
sadly, are not aware of the implications of associating with
youth from the knitted-yarmulke circles.
It is no secret that the ambience at such events isn't, to
say the least, commensurate with the lifestyle demanded by
the Shulacn Arouch, not to mention the lack of
tznius at such rallies.
It is no secret that the Torah-observant community is not
right wing or left wing. It is subordinate to the gedolei
haTorah, according to whose dictates we live, and they
still have not expressed their opinion on the issue.
At this point, the nature of the agreement which will be
formulated, if at all, still is not known. It still is not
known what kind of "peace" the Syrians will offer in
exchange for withdrawal.
The position of the military experts on the security
arrangements, which still have not been formulated, are still
In other words, we still don't even know what kind of
question will be laid on the table of the gedolei
Yisroel, in order for them to decide whether we should
support the agreement, or whether it is preferable, or even a
mitzvah to oppose it, or perhaps to adopt the policy of
shev ve'al taaseh.
At such an early stage, what we do know for certain is that
the chareidi community has nothing to look for at right wing
If the organizers of the demonstrations say without
reservation that the presence of kippah wearers is
liable to harm the image they wish to present, then we have
only to thank them, and to say: you've started out on the