Hebron and Jerusalem - Dream of Hope or Terror? November 15, 1996 This morning, in honor of 'palestinian independence day' the palestinian national council released a statement declaring that 'the flag' will soon wave in Hebron and Jerusalem, capital of the palestinian state. Yassir Arafat has a dream. The fulfilment of the dream began when an Israeli government recognized his legitimacy. In order to begin reaching this goal he used all means at his disposal. The most effective tool was, (and still is,) terrorism. He killed and maimed Israelis and Jews throughout the world. Of course, the primary target was in Israel. Over the years hundreds of men, women and children were slaughtered at Arafat's command. Over the years Israel refused to deal with the terrorist. Perhaps the greatest example of refusal to compromise with terrorism was Entebbe. When Israel recognized Arafat, Israel recognized the legitimacy of terror and denounced the ideal of Entebbe. Less than two months ago, Arafat, being 'frustrated,' once again reverted to the methods he knows best. He gave the order to start shooting, at our soldiers, with the weapons we agreed that they have. His troops attacked Kever Yosef in Shechem, hoping to capture the site, and force Israel to withdraw. They also attacked Kfar Darom in Gazza. Only a miracle prevented civilian injuries there. Arafat says explicitly that his goal is a Jew-free palestine. He still spouts Jihad. And the next step, after Hebron, on the way to achieving his goal, is Jerusalem, Palestine. What will Bibi do when Arafat gives the orders again, when he is told, "no, you can't have Jerusalem."? What will he do when PLO soldiers open up on Israelis in Hebron, in Kiryat Arba, and in other areas throughout Yesha? What will he do when, in response to Israeli intransigence, a few Katushas fall on Kfar Saba, Petach Tikva, or even Tel Aviv? World opinion will undoubtedly justify Arafat - after all, Israel isn't compromising. And terror has been recognized as legitimate. Yassir Arafat has a dream. He is in the process of fulfilling his dream. Prime Minister Netanyahu, will you be the man who is remembered throughout generations of Jewish history, who helped, assisted, supported, Yassir Arafat's dream? Prime Minister Netanyahu - you know what Arafat wants. He says so, loud and clear. He knows how to achieve his goal - if you allow him to. If you give Arafat Hebron, you are giving him Jerusalem - you are giving him a palestinian state. It will be almost impossible to stop - to turn the clock back. And if that is what you think you'll be able to do, have you any idea how many casualties it will involve? Prime Minister Netanyahu - burst the bubble now - Do not give Arafat a prize for terror - do not give him Hebron - do not give him Jerusalem - do not give him a palestinian state - do not give him the Land of Israel. Whose dream will be fulfilled - that of hope and Zion or that of terror? Mr Prime Minister - STOP BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!
Friday, November 15, 1996
Wednesday, November 13, 1996
The Day After November 13, 1996 The Israeli army has, by all accounts, almost completely concluded its abandonment of the City of the Patriarchs. The IDF has removed almost 100% of its outposts in and around the city, in the areas to be transferred to Arafat. Legally, Israel still has access to the entire city, but patrols in nearly all the neighborhoods have been halted. The major difference between today and post- abandonment is the entrance of the armed, uniformed terrorists into Hebron. Presently, Hebron's Arabs are still wearing civilian clothing and their weapons are still in the closets. Following official `redeployment' that changes. As will Israeli access to about 90% of the city. Barring a miracle - and miracles do happen, we know them very well - but barring a miracle, Arafat's flag will actually fly over the Hebron military compound in the very near future. His soldiers will be patrolling in the hills above the Jewish Community of Hebron, possibly by next Sunday morning. According to the most recent news accounts, Netanyahu, who was supposed to leave tonight for the west coast of the United States, canceled his trip. Early this morning palestinian negotiators met with President Ezer Weitzman, and as a result of this meeting, met tonight between seven and eight, with Netanyahu. It is possible that tonight, or early tomorrow an agreement will be initialed by both sides. The agreement will have to be ratified by the Israeli Cabinet and may be implemented on Saturday night. Israeli officers hosted palestinian `officers' including Jabril Rajub in the city, and discussed Hebron post-redeployment. Earlier tonight all roads leading into Hebron were closed off. Not even Hebron residents were allowed into the city. The reason for the confusion: A enormous military exercise, practicing measures to be taken following a massive terrorist attack outside Ma'arat HaMachpela. Peace has arrived. Earlier this afternoon a reporter sat questioning me in my office . "So," he asked, "what will you do? Are you going to try and stop it?" My response: "What can we do? Everything we could possibly do we have done. Tens and hundreds of thousands of Jews have come into Hebron to show support. Meetings, rallies, both in Israel and in the US, a legitimate attempt to influence public opinion, and to sway the politicians. We brought about a political revolution - leading to a change in governments. Whatever there was to do, we did it." "Now, we cannot force the Israeli army to patrol where they don't want to patrol. We have no intentions of forming our own militias - that is not our task. Fifty four adult males will not be able to prevent armed Arabs, called police, dressed like soldiers, from entering the vacuum created by the abandonment of the city by the IDF. There really isn't too much else left for us to do. Barring a miracle." So then the reported continued. "What will you do the morning after, the morning after redeployment?" "I suppose we will get up in the morning, the way we get up every morning," I answered. "We will go to morning prayers, eat breakfast, - the kids will go to school and we will go to work." "That's it!?" he queried, "life as normal?" His voice sounded incredulous. "Yeah, I suppose so." What else is there to do? We aren't planning on leaving, if that's what you are alluding to." "But life as normal?" He couldn't believe it. "Look," I answered, "our goal was, and still is, to live as normally as possible, within the given circumstances. True, things will change - they will change drastically. Unbelievable amounts of soldiers and police will wonder the streets and rooftops in the areas still controlled by Israel. We don't really want to live feeling like we are embedded inside a military camp - but we don't have too much choice." "Our security, in spite of the military presence, will have been compromised. No amount of soldiers can prevent sniper fire from the hills surrounding us. We know that, and will have to find a way to live with it." "O.K.," he said. But what's next? You've spent so much time just fighting for survival. That was your goal, almost since the previous government was elected and the Oslo accords were signed. What do you do now - where do you go from here?" I sat and thought for a moment and then responded. "We are going to try to do whatever we can to proceed forward - to build wherever we can and to struggle to build where we will be told that we cannot. We are going to bring as many more people into Hebron as we can, both to visit, and as permanent residents. We are going to keep living in Hebron, and we will develop and expand however we can." It won't be exactly as we wanted it - but we can only do what is in our hands, within our limits. We try, but that is all we can be held responsible for - trying. What we can do, we will do. What we can't do, we won't do." Hebron existed before Oslo, Rabin, Peres and Netanyahu and will continue to exist after them. Three thousand seven hundred years of history, of heritage, of Judaism cannot be eradicated by anyone or anything. There may be those who believe, for one reason or other, that they are above history. But history will prove them wrong. Just as the Jewish people are eternal, so are our roots. Nothing can severe those roots, because they are so deep, that they touch the very essence of existence. That is the status of Hebron. There may be setbacks, there may be failures - but these are temporary. We were exiled from Hebron from 1929 to 1967 against our wills, but we returned home - the same as we returned to Eretz Yisrael after a 2,000 year exile. We may again find ourselves facing a situation whereby most of Hebron is Judenrein. However, we will be back. Hebron-Past, Present and Forever is not only a slogan - it is an expression of truth - of essence. And just as it was, and is, it always will be.
Tuesday, November 12, 1996
Blood Libel November 12, 1996 The last few days have brought forth very interesting news articles concerning Hebron. 1. There was a television report disclosing plans by two Jewish women in Hebron to immolate themselves to prevent the Israeli army from abandoning Hebron. 2. It was also revealed that a Hebron `extremist' might attempt to assassinate either PM Netanyahu or Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai. 3. Hebron's Jewish residents, it was reported, are hoarding illegal weapons and ammunition. 4. In addition, a list of some thirty names of Hebron-Kiryat Arba `fanatics' was discovered by press sources. These people are to be placed under immediate administrative detention preceding `redeployment'. (Hebron's Noam Federman was already arrested for two months by administrative order.) 5. And finally, anonymous sources within the military divulged that quiet will never come to Hebron as long as there are Jews in the city, leading to the conclusion that the Jews should be evicted. 1. Yesterday, police commissioner Asaf Hefetz, reacting to the press accounts concerning immolation, publicly announced that this report was a figment of the imagination of a particular police officer. In reality, there was never any truth to the report. 2,3, and 4. Hebron police are not bashful. If they know, or even suspect illegal activities, they know what to do. In most democratic countries, when a person is suspected of illegal activities, he is arrested, indicted and tried for his crimes. If there really is stockpiling of illegal weapons, or if there are plans to kill anyone, not only political leaders, why are the perpetrators not arrested and officially charged with breaking the law? Why aren't the illegal weapons confiscated? Who are some of the BIG 30? Anat Cohen, mother of eight and pregnant, together with her husband Ronen, Orit Struk, mother of eight, Rav Moshe Bleicher, Dean of the Shavei Hebron Yeshiva, Rabbi Hillel Horowitz, Executive Director of the Association for the Renewal of the Jewish Community of Hebron, Rabbi Moshe Levinger, Father of Hebron's Jewish community and Noam Arnon, Spokesman for the Jewish Community of Hebron. These are some of the dangerous fanatic extremists who must be incarcerated using military administrative orders to ensure successful implementation of the Oslo abandonment accords in Hebron. 5. The "peace accords" were drawn up and are being implemented in order to usher in a new era of peace. Why then, can't Jews and Arabs live together in Hebron? The answer is, of course, because the Arabs aren't interested in peace. They are interested in `piece' - taking Israel apart, piece by piece. That includes, initially, eradication of the Jewish Community of Hebron and any Jewish presence in Hebron. In future Arafat plans, it includes annihilation of the State of Israel. Why must Hebron's Jews pay the price of a cowardly accord, which is already a failure? Rather than introducing peace and coexistence, it is paving the road to extermination. However the real issue that must be faced is WHAT IS GOING ON? Who is behind this concerted, intentional campaign to continue on the path of the previous administration to delegitimize Hebron Jewish Community and its residents. Who are the `anonymous' high-ranking officers who have decided, and taken it upon themselves to notify the press, that the Jewish Community of Hebron must be uprooted. Does the military create political policy, or does it follow orders given by the political establishment, led by the Prime Minister and Defense Minister? There is a group of people with the military, as well as in positions of authority throughout the government, who may be classified as "The Oslo Group." These are people who assisted in initiating Oslo and furthering it over the past few years. They are still in positions which allow them to circumvent present administration policy, and at the very least, continue to throw mud at the Jewish Community of Hebron. The Israeli media is an instrumental tool in this blood libel, which is attempting to paint a picture of fanatic crazies who will do absolutely anything - the ends justify the means. This is, of course, total nonsense. The events undertaken by Hebron's Jewish Community prove the point. We have undertaken numerous legal activities, both in Israel and throughout the world, to influence public and political opinion. This is a legitimate right in any democratic country. It should be noted that we have been successful in our efforts. The New York Solidarity Concert was attended by 1,500 people. Last Shabbat, 10,000 people from all over Israel came to Hebron to celebrate Abraham's purchase of Ma'arat HaMachpela 3,700 years ago, as read in the weekly Torah portion. Yesterday about 2,500 Jews came into Hebron for special prayers and to show solidarity with the Jewish Community of Hebron. Unfortunately, there are those who attempt to undermine this right and obligation, by using any means at their disposal. The result is the smear campaign presently being waged against us, with the cooperation of the press and tools such as administrative detention. ------------------------------
--------------------------- ---------------------- Yesterday I participated in a meeting that included Hebron and Yesha leaders with Likud MKs and the Minister of Defense. The details of the meeting were released by Arutz 7 news. However, one point must be stressed. There are Likud MKs who, in spite of their lack of public expression, are very torn by the continued implementation of Oslo, especially concerning Hebron. They know and admit the tremendous error being made, deeply regret it. This may be illustrated by the following answer by MK Michael Eitan, the Likud Coalition Leader in the Knesset to Dr. Aaron Lerner's question: IMRA: It sounds like you are talking to a cancer patient who is terminally ill. Eitan: That is a good example. A doctor can have a cancer patient and he cuts an arm and a leg and he tells the patient that that will heal him yet he knows that cutting the arms and leg won't suffice. There is not today a serious person who can say "gentlemen there is today a position to stop the process at such and such a stage" - even Jerusalem. There are no red lines. And I am well aware of what people in the government are saying and doing. (The entire interview is available from firstname.lastname@example.org). He, with others, understands the problem, but is seemingly unaware of the solution. However, Eitan later speaks of the lack of leadership within the right. That leadership vacuum doesn't necessarily have to exist. He, along with the others who, by definition, are `crying', must not only speak up - they must scream out for all to hear. They must speak the truth, as they see and feel it - that is their responsibility and obligation as elected leaders. They must proceed without any consideration of their personal political future because at the moment the destiny and fate of all our futures- the future of the State of Israel and the Jewish People is at stake.