full force, as were the police. It was truly a day to be remembered.
Of course, the stars of the show where Arabs, on both sides of the
They were having the time of their lives. It could almost have been mistaken
for the fourth of July: Pitching firebombs like horseshoes, throwing rocks like
baseballs, massive amounts of people rioting in city centers.
In 1976 six Arabs were killed during demonstrations in the Shomron.
then, for the past 21 years, Land Day has become an annual event. I found
several aspects of yesterday's events fascinating.
First of all, who participated? For instance, Jaffa's Arab community
to show full identification with the still repressed palestinians. An Arab
spokesman exclaimed quite clearly- 'we too are palestinians.' It is only a
coincidence that he happens to live in part of municipal Tel-Aviv. What a
sight- palestinian flags in Tel-Aviv!
The Arabs in the Galil, living in the area called 'the Triangle'
palestinian flags and chanted slogans, well known from the past. The
difference between the past and the present is, theoretically, that now we are
Tanks were stationed in the mountains around Shechem. Kever Yosef
has been closed to visitors and the Yeshiva students who study there,
on-and-off since last September.
Kever Rachel looked like a war zone. Soldiers, shooting rubber bullets
tear gas replaced the daily worshippers who should have been chanting Psalms
and praying for a real peace.
The street behind and adjacent to Beit Hadassah in Hebron has been
into 'rock alley.' If the Jewish residents of Hebron had moved as many rocks
into this street as the Arabs have over the past week, we would have been
accused of attempting to construct a new building. Hebron leaders Noam Arnon
and Moshe ben Zimra, in an attempt to present the "Jewish side" of affairs to
international observers in Hebron, found themselves in mortal danger. Their
automobiles were pounded by rocks while they spoke with the observers in the
H1-Arafat-controlled section of the city. Invited to speak at the request of
TIPH, the TIPH observers outside conveniently ignored the destructive rage of
the Arab mob.
On the border of Ramallah, Israeli troops withdrew, so as to
prevent clashes with the palestinian mob, or with the palestinian police. It
didn't help. In the course of continued clashes, an Arab was killed. It is, no
doubt, Israel's responsibility.
Gazza is not quiet either. There too, the Arabs were out in full force.
In spite of the blood, riots, demonstrations, etc. etc., it really is
Arab celebration. They have something to celebrate. That being, Eretz
Yisrael. There should be no doubt - they still, even in this era of 'peace'
view all of Israel as 'palestine' and know that, one day, it will all belong to
They have a cause and a reason to struggle.
That cause, that struggle, has seen countless dead and maimed, on both
of the map. That, however, means absolutely nothing to them, for their respect
for human life is equivalent to zero. Their policy of 'the ends justify the
means,' has seen fruit. Arafat, an international gangster and terrorist,
responsible for the deaths of Americans and Israelis, who, according to Deputy
Minister of Education Moshe Peled, knew about the bombing of the World Trade
Center in New York and did nothing to stop it, has been transformed into an
international leader, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, a true hero. The
'palestinians' are gaining ground, gaining land, and Israel, well Israel is
losing ground and losing land. In fact, Israel is just plain losing.
Why is Israel losing? Where is Israel's cause? I think that the answer
these questions lies with the fact that only the Arabs really celebrate a 'Land
Day,' and not Israel.
Why don't we celebrate Land Day too? The truth is that we do have a
- actually we have several Land Days. The latest one is usually marked on the
4th and 5th of Iyar. The former being the Israeli Memorial Day, memorializing
those who fell so that we may live on the Land, and the latter being
our Independence Day, the anniversary of the declaration of our renewed
existence on the Land.
But we have other Land Days too. They begin with Abraham, continue
Moses and Joshua, to King David, until the fall of the Second Temple almost
2,000 years ago. We have a Land Day once a year in which we fast for 24 hours,
lamenting our ceasing to exist on the Land.
Our trouble is that we have forgotten. We have forgotten that these too
Land Days, we have forgotten how to celebrate them, and more importantly, we
have forgotten WHY we have to celebrate them. We have seemingly reached the
pinnacle - now we don't have a cause - we have, so it seems, already achieved
it and have nothing left to do.
But this is a mistake- we still have very much to do.
Our job, today, is: 1. To make ourselves aware that we still have a
We must continue to build and develop Eretz Yisrael, physically and
spiritually. We must prepare Eretz Yisrael, and the State of Israel, to
continue to absorb Jews from around the world, who will make Aliyah, and settle
in the Land.
We have to know that the Land is ours. This is the only one we
have, including Hebron and Shechem, as well as Jerusalem.
2. We must make the rest of the world understand that we will not
capitulate - under any circumstances. They must comprehend the alternative (see
George Will's article in the Washington Post "Land for a Liar's Promise).
But the international community won't be convinced, can't be convinced,
we are, ourselves. If we continue to play Blind Man's Bluff, bordering on
Arafat roulette, we won't have anyone to blame but ourselves when paying the
inevitable price to push the clock back.