A Collection of the Week's News from Israel

A service of the Bet El Twinning Committee
of Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto Congregation

2 Nisan 5759    March 19, 1999    Issue number 209

NEWS

Nationalist Camp Unifies!

Representatives of three nationalist-camp parties - Moledet, Tekumah, and Herut - initialized a unity agreement early this morning, and expressed the hope that their joint efforts will be able to have an influence on the next government. The list of the candidates on the new list will be as follows:

Benny Begin - Herut;

Rehavam Ze'evi - Moledet;

Chanan Porat - Tekumah;

Michael Kleiner - Herut;

Rabbi Benny Elon - Moledet;

Tzvi Hendel - Tekumah;

Uri Ariel - Tekumah;

Moshe Peled - Moledet;

Yossi Ben-Aharon, representing Herut, will apparently be allocated the ninth place, and Benny Katzover will likely represent the Tekumah faction in the tenth spot.

The name of the new party will be decided at a later date. The list was approved by Tekumah's advisory rabbis - Rabbi Zalman Melamed, Rabbi Dov Lior, and Rabbi Chaim Shteiner, three of the most senior students of former Chief Rabbi Avraham Shapira. Prime Minister Netanyahu congratulated the new group on its formation, which he said will prevent the splintering of the right-wing. Expressions of support for the new list were heard from various right-wing grass-roots organizations, such as Women in Green and Gamla Shall Not Fall Again.

"Congratulations!", wrote Women in Green. "Now we can start working - together - and with the help of G-d, together we will win at least 15 Knesset seats!" (Arutz-7 March 12)

Water Problems with Jordan

Another developing consequence of the winter drought is a water crisis between Israel and Jordan. Jordan has rejected an Israeli request to cut back the amount of water Israel must, according to the peace treaty between the two, supply Jordan. Itim news service reports that Israeli Water Commissioner Meir Ben Meir told his Jordanian counterpart that the peace agreement between the two nations did not take into consideration an Israeli water crisis on this scale.

In an interview with Arutz-7 today, Ben Meir explained that under the Israel-Jordan peace agreement, Israel pledged to provide its neighbor with 10 million cubic meters of fresh water each year. In addition, the two parties agreed that Israel would draw 20 million cubic meters of water from the Yarmuk River yearly, store this amount in the Sea of Galilee during the winter months, and then retrieve it for the benefit of Jordan each summer. "This part of the deal, too, we simply cannot fulfill," Ben Meir said. "The Yarmuk now holds only one-third of its average yearly level. We can't draw any water from the river, and consequently, we have nothing to 'retrieve' for Jordan in the summer." Ben Meir noted that in a more recent arrangement with Jordan, "Prime Minister Netanyahu and Infrastructures Minister Ariel Sharon consented to 'grant' Jordan 25 million cubic meters of additional water for a limited period of time - until a major desalination plant is built in the region. This water would have to come from the Sea of Galilee, but it can't, since the sea is currently only at 40% of its average yearly level." The Water Commissioner called upon Israelis to water their yards sparingly throughout the spring and summer months, and to conserve water in general. (Arutz-7 March 16)

Request to Re-examine Rabin Assassination

A request for a re-investigation of the Rabin assassination was filed this week in the Tel Aviv central police station. Twenty Israelis, led by Barry Chamish, author of "Who Murdered Yitzhak Rabin?", requested that the police investigate State Pathologist Dr. Yehuda Hiss on suspicion of altering Rabin's wounds and submitting false evidence to the Shamgar Commission In addition, they demanded an investigation to determine why the Israel Police Crime Laboratory found that Rabin was shot at point- blank range, while the Shamgar Commission declared that he was shot from no closer than 30 centimeters. Chamish presented Dr. Hiss' Pathological Report, which stated that Rabin suffered no damage to his spinal cord, nor was wounded by a frontal chest wound. On the other hand, the complainants also submitted Dr. Mordechai Gutman's Surgical Procedures Report, as well as taped testimony by Ichilov Hospital Director Dr. Gabi Barabash and former Health Minister Ephraim Sneh, to the effect that Rabin's backbone was shattered and that there was a frontal chest wound. Chamish said that the police will not be able to claim that there is a "lack of public interest" if many people sign and witness the complaint. (Arutz-7 March 12)

Israel Rejects EU Stand on Jerusalem

Israel does not intend to accept the European Union's stand regarding Jerusalem. Israel received a message from the EU saying that it does not recognize Israel's sovereignty over Jerusalem. Rejecting an Israeli demand that EU representatives refrain from visiting the Orient House in eastern Jerusalem, a letter written by the German Ambassador states that Jerusalem is a "corpus separatum [separate body];" the letter does not differentiate between eastern and western Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded that Jerusalem is "not a separate body, but rather the heart and soul of the Nation of Israel…Jerusalem will remain united and under Israeli sovereignty forever."Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon said that negotiations are underway with the European Union over this issue. "Our government has no intention of making any concessions whatsoever regarding the status of Jerusalem," Sharon said today. "Under my direction, and in complete coordination with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, an urgent letter has been sent to all the foreign embassies in Israel, in which I explained that this statement contradicts all of the agreements, and is in complete opposition with the stance of the government. Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish nation for 3000 years now, the capital of the State of Israel for 50 years, and will remain so for eternity." (Arutz-7 March 11)

Chutzpah Helps

Apart from its genius for networking, Silicon Valley seems to have an abundance of two other ingredients that other places lack. One is a culture that rewards risk, handsomely, but does not punish failure. The other is simply chutzpah--that upbeat sense of self-confidence that says anything is possible, go for it, and never be too shy to ask for help.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that the place emerging as California's most likely rival in innovation is Israel, with its close-knit society that networks ceaselessly, deals daily with risk, reveres learning, and is blessed with a torrent of well-educated immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Natan Sharansky, a physicist and former gulag prisoner who is now Israel's trade and industry minister, points out that a fifth of his new country's population arrived in the past five years, doubling the number of technicians, engineers and scientists there. Israel has 135 engineers and technicians for every 10,000 people, compared with America's 18. This abundance of talent shows up in the success rate of new ventures in Israel. No surprise that Israel trails only America and Canada in its number of new listings on the innovation-driven Nasdaq stock market each year.

With such stellar results, the amount of venture capital chasing Israeli innovations has been increasing by around 35% a year. Last year more than $4 billion of high-risk money found its way into innovative start-ups there, not far off the figure that venture capitalists invested in Silicon Valley. If it can keep this up, Israel is set to become the innovation centre of the world. (The Economist 20-Feb-9)


Commentary

Cutting Off Limbs - By Boris Shusteff

On March 15 former Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban wrote in The Jerusalem Post that "Israel, without a peace process, is a nation with no wind in its sails." The problem is that he forgot to mention that the violent gusts of this "wind" drive the Israeli boat closer and closer to the fatal rapids of an extremely dangerous impassable mountain river.

He forgot to mention the truth that the so-called "peace process" has nothing in common with real peace. As Senator Connie Mack said on March 3, in his speech in the US Senate, "The PLO leadership does not want peace. They want, first, their own state which they can control with total power. Then they want to use that state to eliminate the State of Israel." How often has the word "peace" been invoked in Jewish history to cover up the tragedies? Saying that they are achieving peace the Jewish leaders sent thousands of Jews to their death. These "peace" sacrifices were intended for the common good. On September 4, 1942 Mordecai Chaim Rumkowski, chairman of the Judenrat of the Lodz Ghetto delivered a speech to the Ghetto inhabitants. He said,

"The taking of the sick from the hospitals caught me completely by surprise. And I give you the best proof there is of this: I had my own nearest and dearest among them, and I could do nothing for them. I thought that that would be the end of it, that after that they'd leave us in peace, the peace for which I have always worked, which has been my goal."

How familiar are Rumkowski's explanations. Aren't the Israeli leaders working for peace now? Isn't peace their goal? Rumkowski brought the mantra of peace into his speech in order to prepare the miserable Jews of the Lodz Ghetto for a new sacrifice. He told them,

"In my old age I must stretch out my hands and beg: brothers and sisters, hand them over to me! Fathers and mothers, give me your children! …I understand you, mothers; I see your tears, all right. …I must tell you a secret: they requested twenty-four thousand victims… I succeeded in reducing the number to twenty thousand, but only on the condition that these would be children below the age of ten. …Since the children and the aged together equal only some thirteen thousand souls, the gap will have to be filled with the sick. …I beg: Give into my hands the victims, so that we can avoid having further victims, and a population of a hundred thousand Jews can be preserved. So they promised me: if we deliver our victims by ourselves, there will be peace…"

It appears that Rumkowski believed in "peace" till the final moment. When the order was given to liquidate the entire ghetto, the remains of this "hundred thousand," he pleaded with the Jews "to go to the trains in an orderly fashion. Those who came voluntarily could bring luggage, those who did not were to be rounded up by the Jewish police."

Hasn't Israel already made enough sacrifices for peace? Isn't more than 300 murdered Jews and thousands of maimed and wounded Jews a sufficient price? Why this desire to extend "Oslo?" Why does Netanyahu want to resume the "peace process" after the elections?

We cannot run away from the facts made clear as a result of Israel's surrender of territory. However, it does not mean that we have to acquiesce with them. Israel does not have to allow the creation of another PLO state to comply with the desires of Arafat and his supporters in the European Union and American administration. It is time for Israel to try to rectify the terrible consequences of the agreement that has brought more than forty thousand armed enemies, who are extremely well prepared for war, into the Jewish state's back yard.

The Israeli government must stop acting like a Judenrat. It cannot just think how to provide adequate food and shelter, heat, medicine, and work to the Israeli "ghetto" population. The leaders of the Jewish state must demonstrate to the world that they are strong enough to preserve Jewish honor and dignity. They should make it clear to everybody that Eretz Yisrael is the land of the Jewish people, that it belongs to the Jewish people and that it is to be settled by the Jewish people.

The approaching deadline of May 4, 1999 is the beacon of Israel's survival. On that day the Jewish state must declare that it is free of any obligation towards the PLO Authority and immediately annex the territories of Judea, Samaria and Gaza (Yesha). Netanyahu should stop talking and should prepare to act. Instead of warning Arafat that Israel "will respond aggressively" if the PLO "unilaterally declare a state with Jerusalem as its capital," he should prepare the Israeli public for his "aggressive" move.

There is nothing that Israel can talk about with Arafat and the PLO. Arafat's intentions are well known. They completely contradict Israel's interests. Netanyahu's March 14 statement that "the Arabs have lowered their expectations since I came into office," is the continuation of a policy of self-deception. On October 30, 1998 Achmed Tibi, a major political adviser to Arafat, in an interview with Yedi'ot Aharonot presented this "lowered" expectations in the following way, "I am putting everything on the table so that in the future the Israelis will not be able to say that we lied to them. Our final aim is a state within the 1967 borders, no less than that. All the agreements are aimed at reaching that target. The Israelis must know our position and understand it."

When Rumkowski wanted the Jews of the Lodz ghetto to sacrifice their children for "peace" he said, "I must perform this difficult and bloody operation - I must cut off limbs in order to save the body itself! I must take children because, if not, others may be taken as well." In today's situation this "cutting off limbs in order to save the body" represents the complete surrender of Yesha. This means sacrificing almost 200,000 Jews living there. After all, maybe "if we deliver our victims by ourselves, there will be peace?" Only one should remember that the body cannot be saved when the heart is no longer inside it, and Yesha contains the heart of Eretz Yisrael.

On April 22,1998 Emuna Elon wrote in Israel's daily newspaper Yedi'ot Aharonot, "The entire history of the State of Israel revolves around a land dispute. Our fallen soldiers have all been the victims of a century-old land dispute. This is what the entire Israeli-Arab conflict boils down to." This simple truth, although very uncomfortable for many Israelis, should determine the policy of the Israeli government. The peace experiment with the Palestinian Arabs has failed miserably. The Palestinian Arabs have used these five years to feverishly arm themselves and prepare for a military confrontation. The armed conflict cannot be prevented, and the cutting off of limbs will delay it only for a short period. The question is whether Israel is ready for this conflict or not. Will she will be able to use her overwhelming military superiority? Will she commit herself to a victory or will she put her soldiers in a precarious position as she did in Lebanon? Raul Hilberg wrote in the book The Destruction of the European Jews, that "Preventative attack, armed resistance and revenge are almost completely absent in two thousand years of Jewish ghetto history… Both perpetrators and victims drew upon their age-old experience in dealing with the each other. The Germans did it with success. The Jews did it with disaster." It is a must for Israel to draw upon her previous experience in dealing with the Arabs. The alternative is to go to the trains in an orderly fashion.

Notes 1. Quotes from Rumkowski's speech are from Michael Berenbaum's book Witness to the Holocaust. 2. Unless indicated otherwise, the translations of the Jewish press are from I & G News (Boris Shusteff -Freeman Center Mar03/16/99]


When the Years of Defeat Will End? - By Youssef Amine - South Lebanon

What is happening in South Lebanon is amazing and surprising. Between over-reaction and negligence, Israel, the main power in the Middle East, faces an impasse with HizbAllah. We can not imagine how Israel permitted the deterioration of this situation in this fashion.

A weak and divided Lebanon, who just finished a long and debilitating war, is winning against an apparently, submissive Israel. At the same time the Israelis, acting as if they were living somewhere on the moon, have for years been debating two mutually exclusive philosophies: keeping their forces in Lebanon or not, and the peace process with the Arabs. Israelis are not reaching a solution and act as if they were living in the confusion of "The Tower of Babel." This "Tower of Babel" is falling over all of them; they call it "Democracy," as if the raison d'etre of a democracy is to destroy countries and not allow their citizens to be united, even during crisis and danger.

For years there was a continual debate about the advantage of staying in Lebanon, and for years a combative HizbAllah have been using this dialectic successfully, fighting with the result of Israelis turning against Israelis, causing losses. Each one of those

Israelis, seeing his possessions on fire in his own house, is not ready to surrender his well being for the common good or to stop the fire and the destruction of his house. When Constantinople fell, the Byzantines were arguing irrelevancies such as the sex of angels. We are afraid today that the Israelis are doing the same thing, and that their state will have the same destiny. Otherwise, what's the consequence of HizbAllah's winning over Israel through constant attrition, striking at Israeli soldiers every day, with many of the Israelis ignoring any chivalry or reasons for self-defense. What does it mean that in the same day "General Erez Gerstein" was killed,people were demonstrating and asking for withdrawal from South Lebanon? as if their spirits are not susceptible to humiliation and not motivated by just anger.

If the Israelis withdraw unconditionally, defeated, will they then have any other choices than to be thrown into the sea or to fight the enemy? And how will the Israelis stay in South Lebanon if they decide to keep their forces waiting to reach security guaranties? Wouldn't such a policy of defeat, which proved to be a complete failure, minimize the moral and military credit of Israel and frustrate both civilians and the military? Even the residents of the "Security Zone" couldn't support yet another failed policy as they long for a realistic and just solution: A meaningful and necessary response, without conditions, where soldier's hands are not chained. They no longer see any importance in keeping the Israeli forces in South Lebanon, since they are living in a status quo that is frustrating. They who use to think that being backed by a mountain(Israel), now see this mountain fall over them and killing them.

Why this hesitation to act, when meaningful decisions need resolution and bravery? What is this indecision on responding to attack, not wading into it and facing the enemy, not closing its doors to prevent evil from penetrating?

After fifteen years scrimmaging with Hizbullah, with numerous soldiers killed, with a loss of dignity, why has Israel plummeted to the stage of an organization like Hizbullah and why is Israel incapable of facing the States who support it? How did Israel descend to this level and not strike the forces that support Hizbullah? Why doesn't Israel punish the countries that protect Hizbullah and give them refuge? As we know, countries fight countries when it is in their vital interests; when will Israel rise to that level again? We know Israel will win, for strategically it has what the others do not; it can strike and the others can not effectively retaliate. So when the years of defeat will end? (Murray Kahl - Translated by Col. Barakat (SLA) 11 Mar 1999)


Awaiting Justice By Uri Dan

(Legal action against Avishai Raviv is probably being delayed because it would expose the collusion between the GSS and State Attorney's Office in the handling of this agent provocateur)

The alacrity with which our investigative and judicial authorities questioned and charged Yisrael Bondak with broadcasting incitement on a Jerusalem radio station is to be welcomed. But this efficiency makes one wonder, three- and-a-half years after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, when agent provocateur Avishai Raviv will finally be brought to justice.

Israelis have short memories. Raviv did not represent only himself, as Bondak did, and did not act, as Bondak did, in a privately owned framework. Raviv was getting a government salary as an agent for the General Security Service, which considered him a success story.

In testimony before the Shamgar Commission that investigated the Rabin assassination, Raviv's handlers recalled with pride how "they had succeeded in getting him into groups that are difficult to infiltrate," namely, groups on the extreme Right. It was a fact that he knew assassin Yigal Amir well.

What has been kept secret by the law-enforcement authorities - the attorney-general, the state attorney, and the GSS - is how Raviv turned from a secret agent into an agent provocateur. An agent who incited to violence, who organized impressionable youths into a "violent right-wing organization," which was introduced on television in a fraudulent, set-up broadcast, and most seriously, who provoked and encouraged Yigal Amir to shoot Rabin.

There is incontrovertible evidence to this effect, hidden for three years in the files of the Shamgar Commission and the Israel Police.

People in the government may argue that Raviv's handlers had no way of knowing in advance about all the provocative things their agent might do.

But there no doubt is evidence in Raviv's file indicating that at least some of the provocations had advance approval, not just from his handlers in the GSS but from the State Attorney's Office, approval that later led to the closing of criminal investigations against Raviv. The stupid-to-the-point-of-criminal explanation for this collusion was that "it was the only way for him to penetrate the groups on the extreme Right."

The execution of judgment against Avishai Raviv is therefore the only way, not only to punish him, but to shine some much-needed light on this darkest of corners, in which the security and law-enforcement authorities met to operate this agent provocateur.

After all, we are talking about the most serious lapse of the GSS under Carmi Gillon, which ultimately ended in the murder of the prime minister.

One could assume that Raviv's trial is being delayed - even as the handling of Bondak's case is being expedited - for reasons other than just the agreements between Raviv and the GSS. It is being held up because it would expose the responsibility of various people in both the GSS and the State Attorney's Office for the cavalier handling of Raviv.

Current GSS head Ami Ayalon has made progress in cleaning out the stables there, which were full of all kinds of refuse since the days of the Bus 300 incident. But the protection still being accorded to Raviv and his handlers raises serious questions about how successful Ayalon has been at the disinfecting process.

This issue is of utmost importance, given the unending incitement against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in the spirit of Amnon Lipkin-Shahak's comment that "Netanyahu is a danger to the state."

This type of awful incitement is going on around the clock by power-hungry politicians, who get the full cooperation of most of the media. Such incitement could lead to violence or even to murder, even though that is not anyone's intention.

One cannot recall such incitement other than in the historical hate campaigns of Labor and the Left; against Ze'ev Jabotinsky after the murder of Arlosoroff ("Vladimir Hitler") against Menachem Begin ("the fascist"), and against Ariel Sharon ("the murderer").

The GSS needs agents in the right places, but not provocateurs. There are enough of those in Labor and the Left. (Jerusalem Post March 10,1999 )


Equality Before the Law?

Supreme Court Chief Justice Aharon Barak, speaking last night at the swearing-in ceremony of new judges at the President's Home in Jerusalem, said, "Everyone is equal before the law - right and left, easterner and westerner, Jew and Arab, man and woman, religious or secular." Arutz-7's Ariel Kahane asked Prof. Shalom Albeck - former Dean of the Law Faculty in Bar Ilan University - whether this was actually true. "I'm afraid that objectively speaking," Albeck answered, "this is simply not true. For instance, a teen-age hareidi boy was arrested last year on suspicion of throwing stones at a demonstration, and was ordered held until the end of the proceedings against him - while other, more dangerous criminals are often held in house-arrest, or even less. It's hard to say that the hareidi boy received equal treatment."

Kahane quoted another statement by Chief Justice Barak last night: "The courts do not intervene between man and his Creator, but only between man and man, or man and State.." Prof. Albeck said, "This is also not true. Obviously, the Court cannot force someone to believe or not to believe, even if it wanted to. But Judaism is not only a system of private beliefs, but also one of specific acts that are regulated by the religious values it teaches." He mentioned the example of Syrian-Greek King Antiochus, who commanded Hannah's seven sons to bow down before the idol "even without believing in it; this is obviously an intervention in religious beliefs."As a current-day example, Prof. Albeck cited the religious-councils issue."The members of the council are morally bound to follow their religious precepts, which tell them they may not sit on a council that provides religious services together with others who don't believe in those values. The Court comes along and commands the citizens not to accept those religious precepts, but rather to do what the Court says instead. This is clearly an intervention in religious beliefs."

Kahane quoted yet another Barak statement: "The complaints against the Supreme Court are not only against the Court, but against democracy itself." Prof. Albeck's response: "This can be said only by one who truly does not understand democracy. The complaints are not against the Court, but rather against certain of its rulings that are objectively harmful to democracy. In fact, whoever is concerned with democracy should have been at the [prayer-vigil] demonstration. For instance, when Chief Justice Barak tells the Knesset that it must legislate a particular law or else the Court will deal with the issue, such as it did with a civil-marriage issue, this is [not democratic.] For if the Knesset, which is the democratic, popularly-chosen, body does not want to legislate a law, then the judges -who are not democratically chosen - cannot force their own personal views on the Knesset."

Prof. Albeck said that a solution to the much-criticized "judicial activism" of Chief Justice Barak is the formation of a constitutional court: "The formation of such a court can be decided upon by the Knesset. It simply depends on the will of those political parties that claim to be concerned for democracy." (Arutz-7 March 10, 1999 )


Rana in Wonderland By Gary M. Cooperberg

Just when we thought we reached the lowest point we could possibly reach, we find ourselves sinking even lower. It was bad enough that the Jewish State was represented at an international song festival by a lovely young lady who used to be a young man. Now, it would seem that among all of the beautiful women in Israel, the judges of the Miss Israel beauty pageant felt that an Arab girl, Rana Raslan from Haifa, can best represent the Jewish State!

Upon winning the title of Miss Israel, the new beauty queen declared that there is no difference between Arabs and Jews, we are all people, exactly the same. Don't get me wrong. I am sure that the young lady is quite pretty, and equally sincere in her utopian beliefs spoken in perfect Hebrew. But the very fact of this excursion into wonderland only exacerbates the confusion which reigns in this country. Religious Jews understand the difference between Arabs and Jews. Unfortunately the majority of Jews are not religious and were delighted to hear an Arab say what they think. But the vast majority of Arabs are also religious and certainly would repudiate this young girl's idealism. But this we do not see on our television screens, or, if we do we simply ignore it.

The lemmings of Peace Now will point to this as proof that we can live in peace with those who seek our destruction. They will use such moments to justify making trips on the Sabbath to rebuild illegal Arab homes destroyed by the IDF. And they will point to this pretty Arab girl as proof that we can live in peace with the PLO. It is exactly moments like this which make it easy, for those of us who choose to lie to ourselves, to believe our own lies. And most of us are guilty of lying to ourselves. Barak declares that he will get us out of Lebanon within a year. Now Netanyahu claims that he too will negotiate with Syria and get out of Lebanon. They are both liars. Even should we giveaway all of the Golan and leave Lebanon we will never see a moment of peace as a result.

Over thirty years ago the United States faced a threat which bears a strong similarity to our confrontation in Lebanon. The former Soviet Union was arming Cuba with nuclear weapons. President Kennedy immediately understood the implications and took drastic action. He got on television and announced a naval blockade of Cuba, and declared that should Cuba launch an attack against the United States, it would be considered as an attack from the Soviet Union and responded to accordingly. It was a dangerous but necessary strategy and may well have saved the United States from a devastating military blow.

Everyone in Israel knows who is behind HizbAllah. Had we a leadership with even the slightest bit of courage it would declare that any further attacks upon Jewish soldiers or territory by HizbAllah will be considered an attack by Syria and that country will be attacked in response. It certainly would be a dangerous stance, but it would force Syria to accept responsibility. Our present stance enables our enemies to continue to attack and murder our soldiers with impunity. Syria doesn't care if we bomb HizbAllah. But she would certainly think twice if we would bomb Damascus.

So Netanyahu can declare how much peace he will make with the Syrian butcher. He can proudly announce how he will insist that Arafat honor agreements as he parcels out yet more of our holy country to him. And he can boast of his special skill in achieving peace with security. Any honest observer, however, can clearly see that such utopian declarations are meaningless. Our enemies certainly want peace. But their definition of peace is a Jew-free Middle East. When you turn on your television set and listen to a pretty Arab girl who just won the Miss Israel Beauty Pageant declare that "there is no difference between Arabs and Jews. . . we are all the same," if you are one of those who likes to believe his own lies, this fantasy only makes it that much more easy to do so. (March 10, 1999)


20% / 80% Hebron Accord Wrongs - By Evelyn Hayes

After walking from Ma'arat Hamachpelah into the Avraham Avinu neighborhood and into Beit Hadassah and up the hill to Tel Rumeida, one wonders of the soldiers in full combat gear, the Jewish owned market place Judhenrein, the looks of hate and you won't be here. The memorials. The memorials. The memorials of the targeted Jew. The targeted species in his first homeland bought for 400 special silver shekels, the equivalent of 1,000,000 shekels four thousand years ago. Rebought. Rebought. Rebought!

After studying the museum, the faces of the innocent, the rabbis, the righteous, the students and what their Arab friends did to them as the British looked the other way, one wonders. The Hebron of 80% is even dominant in the 20%, does not allow the 20%, attacks the 20% who can't have 20% of the population. Jew-be-gone. Hamas. Fatah. The growth is below the 489 of 1865 and this is a crime. No Jews. What 20% and the Jews don't want to shake the boat from which they are being thrown overboard. Don't even know their boat. Visiting the house of the deceased Rabbi Ra'anan, grandson of the first Chief Rabbi of Israel one can feel a presence of one who will never be gone. Just as one walks the streets of Jewish Hebron, davens in the midst of our ancestors, one can never feel the detachment. The attachment reaches across the Jewish globe.

However, the kever of Ruth and Yishai are so rarely visited. Ruth the geress, the ancestor of King David. Ruth who wanted to be buried with her people. And Yishai, the ger who saw the miracles and looks about the hills wondering how the miracles could be forgotten. It's a danger zone in our 20%. So what does this mean? Where are the tourists, the visitors, the Jews, the descendants of Avraham Ainu, Yitzkak and Yaakov? Where are the Rivkas and Leahs? Where is Caleb and Yehoshua, the true meraglim?

How withered are the roots when 20% is too much for a Jew to have as his own when a deals been dealt. Should we walk on tiptoes, float in the sky, disappear. Jew-be-gone.

We will always be there. The taller we stand, the more that 20% will be 20% and in population that is a long way. Against propaganda, the big lie a la Mein Kampf makes Jewish truth even a longer way off.

So what's the policy? Why the policy and let's stop this ugly Jew phenomena after the holocaust, this clinging Jew get out of here. Take the laws as the laws are taken or are Jews outside the law, under the law in the violence of what they thought is gone. I thought Jew hate was out of fashion since the holocaust. Am I naive? Who's moving to Hebron? If there are 100,000 Arabs, returned, hired, immigrated, Iraqis, Jordanians, Egyptian, Sudanese, Algerian, Tunisian, Ugandese, why aren't there 20,000 Jews? Arab speak of a right of return. How do you get 100,000 Arabs from 2000 when the Christian Arabs have run for their lives? Why aren't Jews speaking of their right to be? To be the Slonins documented in 1827and before? To be the Resnicks who studied in 1929, fled for their lives? To be the children of the pharmacist, the doctor, the nurse, the peaceful Jew of ancient Jewish Hebron? What do they mean 20%/80%? And will this disease spread and dilute Jew numbers everywhere? And will these actions undo the laws that gave Jews legal rights to own land? Is it Jew in or Jew out in our year 5759? (March 10, 1999)


Hezbollah Takes Another Step Toward Jerusalem - By David Beden

Last Monday, the South Lebanon-based terrorist group Hezbollah, funded and armed by Syria and Iran, set off a roadside bomb that killed an Israeli brigadier general in command of Israel's Lebanon operations, along with a leading Israeli journalist and two other officers.

It is easy to speak of Hezbollah, as a New York Times article recently did, in terms of its "low-level war to push Israel out of South Lebanon." Yet Hezbollah's own rhetoric proclaims a fuller agenda. "Another victory on the way to liberating Jerusalem and Palestine" cried Hezbollah radio the morning after the attacks, while TV clips of the funerals of Hezbollah fighters the morning after Israeli Air Force attacks featured crowds chanting, "By our blood and by our soul, we will liberate you, Palestine." The push to get Israel out of Lebanon is not the goal but merely the first step to a final push of Israel out of Jerusalem and out of what Hezbollah defines as "Palestine."

Yet the threat from Hezbollah is not adequately understood, even in Israel. Some suppose that the Hezbollah program begins and ends in the Lebanon Security Zone, and that after an Israeli withdrawal, Hezbollah will be satisfied and Israel will live happily ever after. One reason for Israelis' lack of comprehension is that Hezbollah - like other Arab groups - flaunts its true intentions in Arabic. Few people in Israel understand Arabic, and fewer follow the pronouncements Arab leaders make to their own people. Israeli newscasts and newspapers rarely cover these statements or translate them into Hebrew, much less into languages accessible to Western journalists and policymakers.

Of those who do understand, even those who serve in Israeli or Western intelligence services, many dismiss this rhetoric as meant "for internal consumption." Most Israelis do not grasp that religious conviction can inspire wars of destruction. It would seem that average secular-minded Israelis do not realize that the nuances of a language and religion that mean nothing to them could be a galvanizing force to others. This blurred perception might be traced to the early days of Zionist building, when there was inadequate attention to the growth of Arab-Muslim nationalism after World War I. Since then, anti-Zionism has been fed on stories of an imagined Arab-Muslim pseudo-Zionist nationalism and a generation passionately ready to go to war for an all-Arab Palestine.

In the 1980s, I lived in Upper Galilee, the sparsely settled northern region of Israel, where 100,000 Israeli Jews and Arabs dwell in an area within rocket range of Southern Lebanon. Residents of other regions of Israel often seem to have little communication with Israelis on the northern border and less empathy. My acquaintances in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv always seemed to view attacks on border settlements as our security problem, not theirs. If we heed the words and intentions as well as the deeds of Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah and other militant Arab Muslim groups, it should be clear that no security problem is merely regional. All Israel remains the target, and no Israeli anywhere should feel complacently free from threat.

With elections scheduled for May 17, Israeli politicians compete with one another with promises to leave the unpopular battlefield of Lebanon if they are elected. Opposition candidates Ehud Barak and Yitzhak Mordecai have so promised, as has incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. No matter the promises, a dedicated enemy is making ready to launch the march to Jerusalem. Some still ignore that agenda. Their awakening may be rude indeed. (The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 6, 1999)


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