Friday, May 31, 1996

Gratitude beyond words

Gratitude beyond words

The Jewish Community of Hebron extends its deepest gratitude to all the 
thousands and thousands of Jews and gentiles alike, around the world, who have 
shown overwhelming support for Hebron and the Jewish Community of Hebron.
The miracle happened.  By the grace of G-d, the People of Israel, having the 
opportunity to voice its opinion, sent Peres and his government home with a 
resounding NO - rejecting the OSLO PIECE ACCORDS, rejecting the abandonment of 
Hebron and Jerusalem.

Your support and encouragement, whether by visiting Hebron, by sending letters, 
by participating in rallies, by praying, or in any other way possible, played 
an integral role in allowing us to reach this wonderful day.

I must add an personal note.  I know that I've written it before, but feel no 
choice but to repeat.

This morning, I toured Hebron with visitors from the US.  After visiting 
Ma'arat HaMachpela, we drove up to Tel Rumeida.  Our first stop was the ancient 
Jewish cemetery.  I try to take all visitors to the cemetery - it has 
tremendous significance to the Jewish community - both for past history and the 
There is a set of five graves in the new section:
Mordechai Lapid, Shalom Lapid, Raphael Yairi, Nachum Hoss, Yehuda Partush

I've taken hundreds of people to the cemetery - Together with the other plots andstories, they all see these graves. 

Today, knowing that finally, those people directly or indirectly responsible 
for their deaths have been rejected by a majority of Jews in Israel, I found it 
very difficult to stand there and look at their graves.  Only with a very great 
effort was I able to explain to the visitors where we were without breaking 
down in tears.

I hope and pray that the needless bloodshed, the needless loss of life, the 
terror that has plagued us throughout Israel, will come to an end.

There are no illusions - those who hated us still hate us.  But now, we won't 
continue to run away.  Now, I hope and pray, we will stand strong, stand up for 
what is rightfully ours, acting as Israelis should, not with shame, but with 
pride, for our People, our Land, our Religion.

No one should ever again be able to speak of  "sacrifices for peace." 

With blessings from the city of the Patriarchs,
Expecting to continue to hear only good news,

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