For teen activists, Amona is just the start

The sight of police hitting her friends with batons and shoving them onto the ground at the Amona outpost on Wednesday scared but does not deter Ruti, 18, from signing up for future demonstrations. "This is not the end [of outpost demonstrations], it's just the beginning," she told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday. "I'm so glad I was there," she said.
She and teens like herself believe that they have a mission from God to defend the Land of Israel from those who want to give it away. They are willing to sustain injuries and fight anyone - even their own government - police and army in pursuit of their divine mission. "We are disconnected from the state," said Ruti. This government does not represent "our ideal" of God, the land of Israel and the Bible, she said. It's these ideals, not the state, that is sacred to her and right-wing activist teens like herself, said Rutti, who lives in Jerusalem. "What we did yesterday is considered a victory for us," said Ruti. When she hears on the media that the state is afraid "of what will happen with the other outposts" she knows they are starting to achieve their goals of preventing further evacuations. If the government is afraid to take on another evacuation, "then we have achieved our purpose," she said. Teens like herself, she said, "are a strong youth. We are not so easy to push away. We have ideals and we are going for them, even at a high price." Ruti said she had tried to enter Gush Katif last summer to protest Israel's pullout from Gaza, but didn't make it past the Kissufim Crossing. She walked by foot from Netivot to Kissufim. Toward the end of the journey, as they were in the fields along the road to escape detection, she recalled that the police were looking for them with dogs and helicopters. "I felt bad that I wasn't in Gush Katif," she said. The fact that she missed that evacuation meant that it was important for her to make a stand in Amona, she said. As she and her friends waited inside one of the nine homes, they sang and danced, until police dressed in riot gear broke through the window, sending glass shards flying across the room. They had feared the police would lob tear gas into the room. They had been given cloths to put over their mouths and were advised to throw the canister back outside if they could, but instead the police just barged in through a window and door. Immediately the border policemen grabbed and hit the teens, as they pulled and pushed them outside the homes. "They were just pushing everyone," she said. She was among the lucky ones who was tossed outside without injury, but her friend was taken away on a stretcher, she said. "I ran after her, past the police," said Ruti. Anticipating that she might be removed by men and not women, Ruti said, she had received permission from a rabbi prior to the event to allow men to touch her in this instance. When the police came, said Ruti, "I was pretty passive. I let them drag me." Next time, she said, she intends to struggle more. When it comes to acting out the will of God, she is willing to sustain injuries, even severe ones. She paused when asked if she was willing to die for this cause. She said that loss of life was her personal red line. The question of teens injuring the police and soldiers was harder for her to answer. "That's a tough one," she said. If the police or soldiers who come were Jews, "I don't think we should hurt them," she said. But the policemen in Amona were not Jewish, so it was tolerable but not preferable that they would be injured in the fray. "I looked at the names, they were not even Jewish, so you could do possibly almost anything [to defend the homes]," she said, although here too, she balked at the question of loss of life. "For sure people would react differently if they were Jews, but they weren't," she said.