December 8, 2003
Do you have any idea what Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Hamas leader Shech Ahmed Yassin have in common?
A couple of days ago Yassin stated that “a two state solution will never work,” because all of Eretz Yisrael, the State of Israel, is occupied Arab land, and of course, armed resistance will continue until all the “occupied land” is liberated. So, he suggested that the “Jewish state” be moved, to Europe. In other words, Yassin’s stated goal is the annihilation of the State of Israel.
On Friday, Ehud Olmert, who holds numerous cabinet positions, as well as being Sharon’s deputy, told the Israeli daily Yedioth Achronot that Israel must unilaterally transfer somewhere in the vicinity of 40,000 ‘settlers’ uproot dozens of ‘settlements’ and accept smaller borders in order to insure survival of a “Jewish state” with a Jewish majority.
Some view Olmert as having walked the Likud plank in the same direction as Roni Milo and Dan Meridor, both of whom made a sharp Left turn and found themselves political outsiders. However, yesterday, Olmert reacted, saying that his declaration was exactly what a majority of Likud supporters believe, but were always afraid to say.
What lies behind Ehud’s apostasy? There are a couple of possible factors involved:
1. Olmert considers himself to be crown prince and has to distance himself from his main rival, Bibi Netanyahu. Despite the unpopularity he now faces within the Likud, Olmert expects that within a few years a majority of Likud voters will side with him, due to continued Arab terror and Jewish blood shed.
2. Olmert is Ariel Sharon’s shofar, testing the waters and preparing the way. This isn’t the first time. Not too long ago, at a memorial for David ben Gurion, Olmert started talking about unilateral Israeli measures, paving the way for Sharon’s own remarks.
Olmert is considered to be Sharon’s closest confidant within the government, and it’s believed that he wouldn’t make such far-reaching statements without coordinating them with the Prime Minister. He is also very close to Sharon’s son Omri, whose left-wing ideology is no secret. He and his father are said to be grooming Olmert to follow in Sharon’s footsteps to the Prime Minister’s office.
It is very important to note the distinction being made between the right and the left. The left is willing to separate from Yesha because, to them, it is insignificant and has little value to the Jewish people. Olmert and Sharon, on the other hand, are openly declaring that Judea, Samaria and Gaza are definitely integral elements of Eretz Yisrael, that they are OURS, but must be sacrificed for the good of the Jewish people. In other words, in their view, the land is ours to do with what we want – to take it or leave it.
It is nauseating to read the conversation that took place about Hebron at yesterday’s cabinet meeting. Sharon, when asked about Hebron, said that during normal times, every Jewish school child and every foreign visitor should visit Hebron “which has our forefather's graves and righteous Jew's grave which we cannot give up on.” “Could anyone imagine a Hebron without Jews?” To that, Shinui Minister Avraham Poraz responded, “yes” that Jews should be removed from Hebron because “there are only a handful of Jewish settlers up against thousands of Arabs”. Shinui Minister Yossi Paritzky added, "There are also Jewish graves in Prague but that doesn't mean that we have to be there."
How did Sharon react? He was quoted as having said, “In the framework of difficult concessions Israel will not give up the Jewish community in Hebron," but added that even if the city is handed over to the Palestinians, Israel would continue to hold on to the Ma’arat HaMachpela, the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs.
Where does this leave us? Sharon’s seeming reluctance to part with Hebron, but his willingness to abandon others areas of Yesha is despicable. Surely it doesn’t leave me breathing a sigh of relief. It is clear from Sharon’s remarks that he would not hesitate to evict Hebron’s Jewish community, leaving a small garrison to guard Ma’arat HaMachpela. But secondly, how can he even consider forsaking Shilo, site of the ‘mishkan’ the sacred Tabernacle, following the exodus from Egypt and entrance into Israel, for 369 years [http://www.telshilo.org]. And what about Beit El, which we read about in the current weekly Torah portions? The list goes on and on.
Yesterday Minister Meir Shitrit, presently Bibi’s helper in Treasury, said on Kol Yisrael radio that it is “intolerable that people should take hilltops wherever they want, install electricity and pave roads.” “What, can anyone settle wherever he wants in Eretz Yisrael,” he exclaimed.
It really is difficult to understand these people. After all, this is what Zionism was, (and, contrary to popular opinion, still is,) all about. Settling the land, our land, all of it, forever. This is exactly how the land was settled, against world opinion, and against British dictates. Without this kind of settlement I’m not sure if the State of Israel would have come into existence. And today, without this kind of settlement, we know what else will come into existence.
Current talk of unilateral withdrawal from Yesha, eviction and transfer of tens of thousands of Jews, destruction of dozens of communities is, a reward to terror, a victory for the terrorists, and a Beilin – left-wing triumph. But it is much worse than just that. It is a signal to our enemies to continue on their trail of killing, for if such huge Israeli concessions can be gained without any sacrifice on their part, the full conquest cannot be far behind. Just as Yassin declared, “a two-state solution will never work.”
That is what Ehud Olmert and Ahmed Yassin have in common. They are both working, in their own ways, to bring about the end of the Jewish state of Israel. Olmert is not the first high-ranking Jew to walk this road, changing his mind in the middle of the battle for his own good. In keeping with his notorious forerunner, he should be renamed: Ehud Flavius