Monday, March 31, 1997

Land Day

Yesterday Israel celebrated Land Day. Such festivities! The IDF was out in

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
Green Line.

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'
marched with

palestinian flags and chanted slogans, well known from the past. The

difference between the past and the present is, theoretically, that now we are

at 'peace.'

    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
Land Day

- 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.    

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Friday, March 14, 1997

Why Cry

Why Cry
March 14, 1997

Why Cry
The tears fall and dry
But the pain, the agony

Why Cry
Does weeping help
Console the grieving family

Why Cry
Is the tragedy over
The killing will only happen

Why Cry
Such a waste
Beautiful Children

Why Cry
It won’t bring them back
Flowers blooming

Why Cry
Anguish lingers
National Sorrow

Why Cry
For Sivan,Yaala,Natali,Nirit,Shiri,Keren,Adi
Because there is no choice, except,  to

Friday, March 7, 1997

A Time to End "Other Considerations"

Hebron-Past, Present and Forever
by David Wilder
A Time to End "Other Considerations"
March 7, 1997

In an interview following today's cabinet decision, Prime Minister Benyamin
Netanyahu related to threats by members of the coalition to leave the
government. "It is in their hands if they want the government to be run within a
different framework."

Netanyahu, together with Yitzhak Mordechai and David Levi, forced the cabinet to
accept the first of three planned `further redeployments.' The initial
abandonment includes relinquishing an additional 9% of Eretz Yisrael to Arafat,
including 2% in area C, presently under total Israeli control. However, the
real man behind the cabinet decision is not Bibi Netanyahu. It is Bill Clinton.

According to Arutz 7 news reports this morning, Yitzhak Mordechai and other
ministers took calls from the State Department several times during the cabinet
debate. Martin Indyk, American ambassador to Israel received constant updates.
Throughout the day, preceding the cabinet meeting, phone calls between
Washington and Jerusalem abounded. The new American Secretary of State, Madeline
Albright, reportedly told the Prime Minister that Israel must concede 10% of
Yesha to Arafat. When Netanyahu presented the American administration with an
alternative plan suggested by the National Religious Party, whereby only .5% of
area C territory would be transferred to Arafat, the State Department nixed the
idea. Then, of course, Netanyahu rejected it too.

Netanyahu, defending the Hebron accords in the Knesset, basked in the glory of
the `additional letter' signed by Warren Christopher, declaring that Israel
alone would determine the extent of the `further redeployments,' without any
intervention by Arafat and the palestinian authority. It did not, however,
exclude American interference.

Seven ministers voted against the abandonment - Arik Sharon and Limor Livnat of
the Likud, Zevulun Hammer and Rav Yitzhak Levi of the NRP, Natan Sharansky and
Yuli Edelstein of Yisrael b'Aliya, and Rafael Eitan of Zomet. Deputy Minister
of Education Moshe Peled (Zomet) has announced his intention to resign. Hanan
Porat, Shaul Yahalom and Zvi Hendel, all of the NRP, are considering pulling out
of the coalition, along with Gesher MK Michael Kleiner, who heads up the Eretz
Yisrael Force in the Knesset. He is calling on the other 17 MKs who belong to
the Eretz Yisrael Force to join him and the other 4 MKs in voting against the
government in next week's no-confidence vote.

It appears that the time has come to make a decision. The right-wing of the
Israeli political spectrum broke its back to get Netanyahu elected. Had the
elections taken place as scheduled, and had Rabin not be assassinated, it is
impossible to know what would have happened. After the murder, it seemed that
Peres' reelection was assured. Israeli public opinion and the left-wing
backlash, supported by the media, insured the continued rule of the anti-Eretz
Yisrael forces in Israel.

But the overwhelming work of tens of thousands of people in Israel and around
the world led to `the miracle,' - the defeat of the left and the rise of the
right. Ecstasy was an understatement. However, shortly afterwards, Bibi's
intentions began to slip out. Arik Sharon, the one person most responsible for
the election of Netanyahu was pushed to the side, outside of the cabinet. The
Prime Minister's lack of reaction to the September affair left red lights
blinking in the minds of many. And of course, Hebron. Hebron - abandonment of
all values Netanyahu had ever espoused - the beginning of the end.

There were those who tried to defend the policies as `Netanyahu having no
choice' - he was only implementing the agreements signed by the previous
administration - and the Hebron accords were supposedly `improved.' After all,
Netanyahu declared, towards the end of the election campaign, that he would
carry out Israel's obligations as signed by Rabin and Peres. Forget the fact
that Arafat continues to violate the treaty - that there is no reciprocity -
that Israel is giving and they are taking. Netanyahu promised to change policy
when the decisions became entirely his, when he was no longer chained by the
constraints of earlier agreements.

So, here we are, arriving at the `first further redeployment' - Netanyahu's
opportunity to show the world and the people of Israel who he really is and what
he really thinks. As if we didn't know. The resulting decision, made in the
early hours of this morning, is the final straw. Concession of land under
Israeli control puts Netanyahu in the same boat with his infamous predecessors -
he is willingly bestowing Eretz Yisrael to our arch-enemy, a terrorist who
continues to spout hate. Only a few days ago Arafat proclaimed that `without
east Jerusalem and with (Jewish) settlements in Yesha, there will not be peace.'

Why is he doing it - because of American pressure? The answer may be
affirmative. Would he continue on the same path if the pressure didn't exist? It
is very difficult to know the answer. One thing is for sure: he is doing it - he
is in the process of parting with 70% of Judea and Samaria, which will
inevitably lead to the creation of a palestinian state. We should not live
under ANY illusions: the continued Jewish presence in Hebron IS IN DANGER.
Ma'arat HaMachpela is due to be discussed in one month. Negotiations are sure to
lead to concessions - which may be the first of many more concessions in Hebron
and at the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

JERUSALEM IS IN DANGER! If Netanyahu so easily bends to American coercion, the
end is not in sight. When they `propose' a Vatican-styled solution to the
dilemma, my guess is that Netanyahu will fold. And he will attempt to convince
Am Yisrael that this is for our own good.

So, what do we do? Up until now there has been a sense of `other
considerations.' Toppling the government is fraught with danger - what else is
there - who else is there? Maybe the problems can be solved behind the scenes -
quietly, without rocking the boat.

The time has come to say NO, without any other considerations. Those who voted
against the `further redeployment' are to be commended. But, that is not enough.
The responsibility for a government decision is incumbent upon ALL THOSE IN THE
CABINET, not only those who vote affirmatively. Rafael Eitan, speaking before
the vote said, `we must abide by the majority.' In other words, even if he
doesn't agree, he is willing to partake of the responsibility for the decision.

In a democracy, the minority has no choice but to accept the decisions of the
majority. Dissent can be, and should be expressed to the utmost. In this case,
YISRAEL, and lends a hand to the continued proposals in Netanyahu's briefcase.
The Prime Minister has yet to reveal, to his own ministers, his overall game
plan, his goals to be reached by the third and final `further redeployment.'
These `further redeployments,' it should be remembered, are part of the INTERIM
AGREEMENT. What after that - what is his aim for the final status of Eretz

So, if Netanyahu believes that he is scaring anyone by threatening a `national
unity government' as he suggested during the interview quoted in the first
paragraph of this article, he should think otherwise. Let him go ahead and
invite Peres and Barak into the government - that is tantamount to political
suicide - and he knows it.

There comes a time when a moral, ethical obligation overrides all other

There is an advertisement on Arutz 7 saying:
If I wanted to give Eretz Yisrael to Arafat - I would have voted for Peres.
If I wanted to give Hebron to Arafat - I would have voted for Peres.
If I wanted to divide Jerusalem - I would have voted for Peres.
Etc. Etc. Etc.

Netanyahu's mandate was, and still is, to keep Eretz Yisrael. If he has
decided, for whatever reasons, to do otherwise, let him do it by himself,
without us. We cannot allow ourselves to be sucked into thinking that we have no
responsibility - that there is nothing we can do. If we continue to politically
affiliate ourselves with him then we are guilty by association. There comes a
time to end all other considerations - and that time is now.